The SEN Code of Practice is a document that outlines how schools and services provided by the States of Guernsey should give help to children with special educational needs (SEN).
It describes how teachers in schools can identify children who may have special educational needs.
The SEN Code of Practice states that schools must keep a list of children with special educational needs. This is called the SEN Register.
All schools have a teacher called the SENCO who is responsible for coordinating the school's work for children with special educational needs.
All schools must have an SEN Policy.
How can the school help my child?
- There is a basic entitlement for all children in schools to have a broad and balanced education that is flexible to meet individual needs. Schools have systems for planning, teaching, assessing and monitoring the progress of all children, and this will provide information about your child.
What if my child is not making progress?
- The SEN Code of Practice sets out guidance to schools on the graduated response that recognises that children learn in different ways and can have different kinds and levels of special educational needs. They must tell you, as parents, when they first start giving extra or different help to your child because he/she has special educational needs.
What can the SENCO do to help?
- The SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) will:
- Help to decide if your child has special educational needs
- Take the lead in further assessment of your child's particular strengths and weaknesses
- Plan future support for your child called School Action or School Action Plus
- Ensure that appropriate records of progress are kept
- Ensure that the appropriate school staff, including themselves, talk to you and other professionals involved with your child
- Advise and support other members of staff in the school - both teaching and support staff - and parents
What is School Action?
- It is important to stress again that the school must tell you when they think your child has special educational needs. Your child's teacher or the SENCO will collect information about your child, which may include additional information from you and from other people who work with your child.
- They will discuss with you what extra or different help is needed. Extra help provided by school could be a different way of teaching certain things, some help from an extra adult, perhaps in a small group, or use of particular equipment (computers etc.) This is called School Action.
- School Action will continue until it is no longer needed or it is decided that your child needs additional support at School Action Plus.
What is School Action Plus?
- If there are concerns that the progress your child is making at School Action is not adequate, the SENCO will ask your permission to seek further advice from the external support services. The SENCO may want to ask for help and advice from, for example, a specialist teacher from one of the SEN Advisory and Outreach Support Services, an Educational Psychologist, a Speech and Language Therapist or other health professional. This is called School Action Plus.
- School Action Plus will continue until it is no longer needed or until it is decided that a request to the Education Department for a Formal Assessment may be appropriate.
Individual Education Plan (IEP)
- At School Action Plus an Individual Education Plan (IEP) may be developed for your child. The IEP will include information about:
- What the short-term, attainable targets for your child are (usually 3 or 4)
- How and when your child's progress will be monitored
- What extra help is being given
- How often your child should receive the help
- Who will provide the help
- What help you can give your child at home
- Outcomes (to be recorded when the IEP is reviewed)
- Your child's teacher or the SENCO should discuss the IEP with you, and also your child if at all possible, and he/she should be involved in the review process and setting new targets. If your child is not involved directly then his/her views should still be sought and considered.
- The IEP should be reviewed with you at least twice yearly.
- Sometimes the school will not write an IEP but they should always tell you how they are helping your child, what progress is being made and explain to you why they have decided not to write one.
- Every pupil on the SEN Register should have a Review Meeting at least once a year. The SENCO is responsible for coordinating the meeting and should include all those who support the pupil, parents and the pupil (for all or part of the meeting depending on their age and level of understanding).
- A Review need not be a formal and separate meeting. For example, it can take place during the usual parents' evening, but it should still include the collation of views of the class teacher, parents and pupil.
- If you are concerned about or otherwise unsure about any aspect of the school's response to your child's difficulties, you should initially discuss these issues with the SENCO or the Headteacher.
- You can contact the Education Officer SEN, Inclusion & Intervention for information about policy and practice.