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Special Educational Needs
Fulham Bilingual, Holy Cross SEN SCHOOL OFFER
Please note that the below information is for Holy Cross enrolled pupils only. If you have SEN concerns or questions and are enrolled via the Lycee Francais, please contact the Directeur.
What is a Special Educational Need (SEN)?
The SEN Code of Practice is a legal UK government document which provides guidance on the special educational needs and disability (SEND) system for children and young people aged 0 – 25. In this document, SEN is identified as when a child requires support which is additional to, or different from other children of the same age or developmental stage.
All schools, including ours, provide regular additional support for small groups and occasionally individuals, to help them to catch up with different aspects of their learning. For example, in a Year 2 class there will normally be some children participating in a ‘Catch up Phonics’ programme. Children involved in these regular groups would not necessarily be defined as SEN.
If, in order to learn successfully, a child continues to need focussed additional support or continues to need different provision (for example a modified curriculum), despite the usual benefit of good quality teaching and normal small group support, then it is possible that they may be identified as having a Special Educational Need.
Special Educational Needs are broadly defined in the following categories:
- Communication and Interaction needs
- Cognition and Learning needs
- Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs
- Sensory and/or physical needs
What happens if I think my child has SEN?
- First, please make an appointment to discuss your concerns with the class teacher.
- If you agree that there are signs of SEN, the school SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator), will be available to meet with you to talk over your concerns, as well as to observe your child and make recommendations for provision.
- Appropriate steps will be put in place to support your child. For example, if they are identified as having difficulty following instructions, these could be broken down for them into smaller steps and they could be provided with additional supportive visuals.
- If it is agreed that the SEN need is significant, then with your permission, the SENCO will make referrals to outside professionals for further support and advice. At this point your child will be added to the SEN register.
- Recommendations provided by the professionals will be put into place in school.
- Any additional provision will be reviewed termly by the class teacher and/or SENCO, so that we can evaluate the impact.
- If, despite putting additional provision into place, we are unable to meet your child’s needs, you will be invited to discuss making a request for an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP). This document looks in depth at a child’s needs so that a structured plan of support can be developed and implemented. EHCPs are designed to support the needs of children with significant SEN.
- If a child is awarded an EHCP they will be provided with additional support in school which may take the form of provision of particular equipment, particular therapies (e.g. Speech and Language Therapy), small group work or a 1:1 learning support assistant (LSA). The provision outlined in the plan will be tracked and reviewed once per year at the Annual Review.
- The SENCO can also provide support with secondary transition for children with an EHCP and other children on the SEN register.
What outside professional services are available?
Speech and Language Therapy - This service works with children who are experiencing difficulty with one of more of the following: expressive language (spoken); receptive language (spoken); emotional regulation; social skills; physical difficulties related to speech e.g. stammering, pronunciation.
Educational Psychology – This service is focussed on understanding the barriers to a child’s learning. They can provide a clear indication of a child’s cognitive skills, both verbal and non-verbal, as well as supporting children with emotional needs.
Occupational Therapy – This service can support children who have difficulties with motor functioning, whether this is fine motor skills such as handwriting, or gross motor skills such as spatial awareness. They can also support children who have severe SEN with ‘life-skills’ such as dressing and eating.
Autism Outreach – this service provides highly skilled professionals who are able to observe children with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in school, and advise us on how to best meet their needs within the setting.
Sensory Outreach Team – this service provides specialist professionals who are able to come into school and advise us on how best to support children with visual or hearing impairment.
CAMHS (Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service) – This is a National Health Service (NHS) based service, however if your child has a need which is presenting in school, we can support you with a referral for therapy. They work with a wide range of different needs. A few examples would be: selective mutism (children who do not speak at all in school), to children who suffer from excessive anxiety, to children with significant mental health disorders.
The Cheyne Clinic – Multi-disciplinary assessments for children with suspected social communication needs, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
NB If your child has suspected Dyslexia, we do not fund referrals for a diagnostic assessment. We ensure that we have ‘dyslexia friendly’ practice happening in all classrooms and will put extra measures in place to help dyslexic children to independently improve their reading and writing skills.
Please also look at the Hammersmith and Fulham Local SEN Offer for further information, advice and support. Go to www.lbhf.gov.uk and search ‘SEND local offer.’
What if I want to source private provision for my child?
The support described above in the ‘School Offer’ is funded through the Local Authority and is therefore free to all children attending state schools.
The SEN support is highly professional and reliable, however for a few of the services on offer there can be quite long waiting lists.
At the Fulham Bilingual, we know that our parents and families are always eager give excellent support to their children. Many families decide to source some additional independent provision to give their children the best chance to progress and achieve. We are not able to offer suggestions or advice about which private practitioner to choose.
We also recognise that there are some services which we are not able to provide through the School Offer, for example, specialist dyslexia teachers or ABA (Applied Behavioural Analysis) tutors, and we understand that some families will be keen to source this type of support.
When a child has SEN the best way to ensure good progress at school is if all the professionals involved are ‘working on the same page’, so it is extremely supportive when we are able to work together with any outside professionals who are supporting your child’s needs. If your child is receiving any additional support outside of the School Offer, we would very much appreciate being informed of what they are receiving, as well as where possible, having reports, recommendations and advice shared.