Who decides if my child is on SEND support or not?
The teacher is usually the first person to identify a child as needing additional support. They will try to meet the child’s needs with differentiation in the classroom, but if the child still doesn’t make progress, the teacher will gather information and ask you in for a meeting to talk about your child. The SENCO may also be invited to the meeting.
The support your child receives will depend on their needs. They will probably spend some time each week with a TA or teacher doing an intervention. An intervention is the name we give to a short term targeted programme of support. This will be discussed with you during a meeting
What changes are made to the curriculum or the classroom to help my child?
This will depend on the support your child needs. You, your child, the class teacher , and possibly the SENCO, will discuss various options and agree on targets and a support programme for your child. The programme will last for up to a term before a review meeting is called to talk about your child’s progress
Will my child have access to specialist equipment and computer programmes?
This will depend on your child’s needs. Children with visual or hearing impairments may be provided with equipment to help with curriculum access; children with literacy difficulties may benefit from using computer programmes to support their spelling or phonics ; children who struggle to write can sometimes benefit from using computers for longer pieces of writing.
Will my child be taught by teachers or Teaching Assistants?
Every child has equal rights to be taught by a teacher. Your child will spend some time every day being taught by the teacher. Sometimes, their work in class may be supported by the teacher or a TA. In general, however, individual interventions are taught by TAs.
Is the teacher trained to work with children with SEND and with disabilities? And is the TA?
Teachers are trained to work with a wide range of children, including those with SEND and disabilities. They are constantly being retrained to refresh their understanding . If your child has an uncommon learning disorder or disability, the school will seek additional information in order to understand your child better.
TAs are not as well trained as teachers, but all of our TAs are used to working with children with a range of difficulties and disabilities. TA training for SEND is used to update their understanding.
How are other teachers, who are not the class teacher, informed of my child’s needs, e.g. supply teachers, the music teacher that they only see once a week etc.
This will be discussed with you when you and the class teacher create the plan for your child. Children with SEND have ‘pupil passports’ which are one page documents which try to capture the most important information about how to work with your child. This is shared with supply teachers. Other teachers like music or swimming teachers may be informed of your child’s needs if it is relevant.
You will be invited into school to review your child’s needs at least once each term, possibly more often. At that meeting you will have the chance to talk about the progress your child has made since the last review and set targets for the next term.
If my child is at SEND support in this school, will they be the same at their next school?
It depends on the level of need and the provision made by the school. You should contact your child’s new school and talk to the SENCO about your child’s needs. That will enable the school to make the best provision for your child.
How will you help my child when they move class or school?
Many children with SEND or a disability don’t need any additional support when they move classes, but others are very anxious and need a transition programme. These are planned individually for each child but are likely to include additional opportunities to visit the new school or class.
My child has just been given a diagnosis? Who can I talk to about this to help me understand what it means?
Getting a diagnosis can be very upsetting or a huge relief, depending on the reason for the diagnosis. Contact the SENCO who will be able to give you more information. If you are able to bring the diagnosis paperwork into school, it may help the school to decide whether we need to change the provision we are making for your child.
How will getting a diagnosis affect the support my child receives in school?
Very often, nothing will change. We generally respond to the needs of the child in class rather than to any specific diagnosis. (It often takes so long to get a diagnosis that if we wait until we receive one your child goes for too long without support.) Sometimes, a specialist diagnosis will point out an area that we hadn’t identified, but generally the support is already in place.
What specialist services are available to support my child?
Suffolk LA offer some specialist services we can refer to in order to support particular learning difficulties:
The County Inclusive Resource (CIR) is an outreach service supporting schools to work with children with autism.
The behaviour support service (BSS) can be involved in supporting children with social, emotional and mental health difficulties.
In addition, we can refer children to go part time to another school:
Wickhambrook primary school has a unit for dyslexic children (link to wickhambrooks website). Some older children attend Wickhambrook for two days a week. If you think this would be good for your child, please talk to their class teacher.
First Base is a pupil referral unit for children in Early Years/Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. First Base runs a nurture group for children whose behaviour may put them at risk of exclusion.