How can the school help my child?
Every child is individual. They all develop and learn at different rates. Some children find learning easy and some find it hard. With the right help all children develop at their own pace. This means that within a classroom, different teaching styles will be needed, taking into account the abilities, strengths, weaknesses and interests of the children. These different approaches to learning will help most children make progress. Some may, however, need more support.
- If you or the school are concerned that your child is not making progress, it is possible that they may have a special educational need. The Special Educational Needs (SEN) Code of Practice sets out a step by step approach which recognises that children learn in different ways and can have different kinds of special educational needs.
- The School’s Additional Learning Needs Co-ordinator (ALNCo) will help to decide if your child has special educational needs. They can also carry out assessments of your child’s particular strengths and weaknesses and provide advice and support to other members of staff who are involved with your child.
- All schools have an ALN Coordinator (ALNCo). In a small school the Head Teacher or Deputy may take on this role. In larger schools there may be an SEN team.
- The ALNCo co-ordinates the special educational needs support within the school and will keep a record of the children with SEN and monitor their progress. They will advise you of how the school can/will meet your child’s needs.
- They will try to ensure that your child has their needs met as fully as possible so it is important that they have a good understanding of your child’s needs and requirements.
- The ALNCo will also take responsibility for the operation and implementation of the school’s SEN policy which is available to view at the school should you wish.
If your child requires support for special educational needs and is in an early years setting, this is called Early Years Action. If they are in school it is called School Action.
What is Early Years Action/School Action?
The school or early years setting will tell you when they think your child has special educational needs. Your child’s teacher or the ALN Coordinator will collect information from you and other people who work with your child. They will discuss with you what extra or different help is needed. This is called Early Years Action or School Action and it is a school based stage of support that will not need the involvement of anyone other than yourself and the school.
An Individual Education Plan (IEP) will be set up and the school will discuss this with you.
The IEP will include information about:
- what your child needs to learn
- how this will be taught
- who will help
- when the plan will be reviewed
Targets will be agreed based on the needs of your child. The school will review the IEP at least twice a year and ideally every term. Wherever possible, your child should be involved in the review process and the setting of new targets. If your child is not involved directly then his or her views should still be considered.
The school should always tell you how they are helping your child and what progress is being made.
Early Years Action / School Action will continue until it is no longer needed or it is decided that your child needs additional support at Early Years Action Plus / School Action Plus.
School Action Plus
- If your child requires support from outside the school as well as from the school itself for their special educational needs, this is called School Action Plus. If your child is in an early years setting and requires support from outside the early years setting as well as from the early years setting, this is called Early Years Action Plus.
What is Early Years Action Plus/School Action Plus?
- If there are concerns that the progress your child is making at Early Years Action/School Action is not enough, the Additional Learning Needs Coordinator (ALNCo) will, in consultation with you, seek further advice from external support services. They may ask for help from a specialist teacher, an educational psychologist or a health professional.
- A new IEP (Individual Education Plan) will be set up based on this additional advice with new targets and strategies for helping your child make progress. Your child’s teacher or the school ALNCo will keep a close check on progress and will continue to keep you informed and invite you to review meetings when your child is discussed.
- Early Years Action Plus/School Action Plus continues until it is no longer needed or when additional support or statutory assessment is considered appropriate.