The Department for Education's Special Educational Needs and Disability reforms came into effect in September 2014 (Children and Families Bill). The reforms aimed to streamline support for children and young people aged 0 – 25 and focus on delivering positive outcomes for them.
Definition of SEND
The Government’s definition of SEND in the new SEND Code of Practice is: ‘A child has SEND if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for ‘special educational provision’ to be made for them and they have significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age.’
At the core of the framework is the emphasis on identification and support made available to schools to address needs at the earliest opportunity. There is a 4 stage approach to SEND and a graduated response. Pupils may move up or down the register dependent on need. Our main aim is to create independent, confident and successful learners.
The Highlighted Needs Register
Some pupils who were previously classed on the school’s SEND register as having ‘Special Educational Needs and Disabilities’ will now be referred to by Cheddar Valley Schools as being on the Highlighted Needs Register. They may still take part in additional interventions, but these may not be ‘special educational provision’. If this is the case, staff will still be required to ensure that lessons meet their needs and that effective ‘personalised’ provision is made for them. This is called ‘Quality First Teaching’ and is the most effective way for the vast majority of pupils to access their learning.
A smaller number of pupils will remain on the SEND register and all these pupils will now be referred to as requiring ‘SEND support’. The interventions to meet their needs will be more specialised and will require the advice and supervision of the school’s Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO). The progress they make on these interventions and in their education as a whole will be reviewed termly with parents.
Education, Health and Care Plans
Some pupils with very complex needs will have Education Health and Care Plans. This is the term for the documents that have replaced statements. The government hopes to encourage Health, Social Care and Local Authority agencies to work together to meet the needs of these young people. More information regarding these arrangements can be found on the local authority website.