SEN Information

From September 2014 the law for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities changed. The new law (the Children and Families Act 2014) alters the way you and your child receive support from your local council, health and social care services and your child's nursery, school or college.

The new law brings a greater focus on personal goals, increased family involvement and improves rights and protections for young people in further education and training. The changes will be gradually introduced over the next few years.

As part of the Act (Clause 65) all local authorities have to provide a 'local offer' for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and their families; Birmingham's offer can be found on the My Care in Birmingham website (external link).

Click on the questions below to find out what you can expect at Clifton Primary School if your child has special educational needs and disabilities:

Q1: Who are the best people to talk to in this school about my child?

Many parents worry about their children's learning and progress at school.

Start by talking to your child's class teacher about your child. The class teacher may suggest that you talk to the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (often called the SENCo).

Ms Rosie Slade is the SENCo at Clifton Primary School. She leads a team of people who support children who have all kinds of difficulties. Ms Slade will speak to you confidentially about your child.

You can contact Ms Slade by going to the school office to ask for a meeting or by telephone, 0121 464 2926.

The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Governor at Clifton Primary School is Mrs Gill Whitting. You can contact Mrs Whitting through the school by telephone 0121 464 2926.

The person with overall responsibility for overseeing the provision for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities is Mr Nick Lambert, Headteacher.

Q2: How does the school identify children with SEND and how will I find out about my child?

The benefits of early identification of Special Educational Need are widely recognised – identifying need at the earliest opportunity allows us to make effective provision to improve long term outcomes for your child.

The Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice (2014) states that "A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:

  • has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or
  • has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions" (Department of Health and Department of Education, page 4)

The four areas of special educational needs are:

  • Communication and interaction
  • Cognition and learning
  • Social, mental and emotional health
  • Sensory and/or physical

School will assess every child's skills and levels of attainment on entry and build upon information from previous settings where appropriate. We will look at any evidence that a child may have a disability under the Equality Act 2010 and if so, what reasonable adjustments need to be made for them.

Class teachers make regular assessments of progress and well-being for all of their pupils. Where pupils are falling behind they will be given extra support. The class teacher or SENCo will involve you in any decisions about your child's education.

If a pupil continues to make poor progress, despite high-quality teaching in their areas of weakness, the class teacher with the SENCo will assess whether the child has a significant learning difficulty. While evidence is being collected we will continue to provide extra support where required.

Once a potential special educational need is identified, a graduated approach called SEN Support will be put in place.

For some children SEN can be identified at an early age, for others difficulties only become evident as they develop. We will listen if you have a concern about your child's development. We will also listen if any concerns are raised by your child.

Q3: How will the teaching be adapted and what are the different types of support available for my child with SEND?

"Teachers and support staff work very effectively together to meet pupils' specific needs. All pupils at whatever level of ability or need, are extremely well cared for and carefully guided through the school." pg 4 Inspection Report 2009

All teachers are trained to provide high quality, inclusive teaching within their classrooms. Teachers are skilled at planning activities top develop learning.

Where appropriate additional support is provided through high quality small group teaching delivered inside or outside the classroom. Teachers expect that these learners will be back on track to meet expectations by the end of the year.

In addition to this Clifton Primary School also provides high quality one-to-one teaching for children where needed. These very structured programmes run over a set period of time and aim to accelerate and maximise progress. This support usually occurs outside the class.

The school has a range of SEN interventions in place, such as:

  • Barrier Games
  • Calthorpe inclusion links
  • Dicey Spelling
  • Fresh Start
  • Gross Motor Skills Group
  • Language Land
  • Mentoring
  • Narrative Groups
  • New Reading and Thinking
  • Number Box
  • Oral Language
  • Pre-tutoring
  • Probes
  • Pyramid club
  • Reading for Meaning
  • Role Play
  • Social Interaction Groups
  • Speech and Language Therapy programmes
  • Wordshark
  • Hearing Impaired Language Group

Each term we will look at your child's progress to identify strengths and weaknesses. This tells us the support your child will need over the next term.

Every year the SEN team evaluates the effectiveness of our school's SEN provision. This helps us to make sure we have the right support available for your child the following year.

Q4: How will the school assess and measure the progress of my child?

"All groups of learners...make outstanding progress given their very low starting points...Pupils with learning difficulties are very well supported and as a result many reach the expected standards by the end of year 6...Teaching assistants are very effective in their work. All pupils, whatever their learning needs, are fully included in the activities and this has a positive effect on achievement and personal development." pg 6 Inspection Report 2009

Teachers are responsible for the progress and development of all of the pupils in their class.

Once a child has been identified as needing SEN support we will look closely at their needs. This will include looking at information from all the adults, including outside professionals, who work with your child about their progress, their attainment and their behaviour. This assessment will be reviewed regularly to make sure the support and interventions provided for your child are matched to their needs.

Q5: How will you ensure that my child is fully included in the life of the school?

"A considerable strength of the school is its thoroughly inclusive multicultural environment, which promotes equal opportunities at all times. The school tolerates no discrimination through gender, ethnicity, disability or special educational needs." pg 7 Inspection Report 2013

To ensure your child has the opportunity to participate and achieve across all areas of school life:

We provide a balanced curriculum for all pupils both in and outside of the classroom, including play and interaction at mealtimes and playtimes, and extending to extracurricular activities (clubs) and school day trips and residential visits.

We practice teaching methods that will suit the needs of your child.

We promote an inclusive ethos throughout school and encourage all children to develop social responsibility and understanding.

If your child requires any medical support, adaptations to the environment and/or a differentiated curriculum this information is shared with appropriate staff. The SEN team have a responsibility to ensure that these reasonable adjustments are made.

The school has a range of specialist SEN facilities in place. These include:

  • Spacious Personal Care room in each building, including shower, adjustable changing bed/physiotherapy coach, grab rail, outward opening doors and alarm cord
  • Storage facilities for medical supplies, gloves and aprons
  • Dedicated bins or disposal systems for clinical waste
  • Lifts in Ocean and Rainforest buildings
  • Specialist PE equipment
  • 'Help Hands' in every room
  • Level access across the site
  • High-visibility markings around the site for children with visual impairment
  • Soundfield systems in eight classrooms, roving microphones in three classrooms
  • Double height hand rails on the staircase the Rainforest building
  • All buildings are fully wheelchair accessible
  • Sensory room in nursery

Q6: How will I be involved in supporting my child?

A member of the SEN team will have regular meetings with you to set clear outcomes for your child and review the progress they make towards them. Staff will talk about the activities and support that will help your child. These meetings will allow you to share any concerns you may have about your child.

Q7: How will my child have a say in their education and school life?

The school encourages feedback from staff, parents and pupils throughout the year. The SEN team will talk to your child regularly to review progress, set new targets and talk about the support they will receive. Staff will listen to your child's views and use this information to help plan future support. A record of these conversations will be kept.

Q8: My child currently has a Statement of Educational Needs. Will this change?

If your child already has a Statement of Educational Needs the Education Authority has 3 and a half years to convert this into an Education, Health and Care Plan. Birmingham Education Authority will let you know when this change will occur and there will be support available to make the transfer as simple as possible.

Q9: How do I know if my child is entitled to a personal budget?

The new legislation introduces personal budgets to accompany Education, Health and Care Plan to give families more control over the support you and your child receive. The amount you would be given, and how it can be spent needs to be agreed with Birmingham Education Authority. How this will be organised has yet to be decided.

Q10: How are staff in school trained to work with children with SEND?

The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCos) in school are responsible for co-ordinating specific provision that needs to be made to support children with SEN. This includes arranging appropriate training for staff supporting children with:

  • Medical needs
  • Sensory needs
  • Physical difficulties
  • Communication and interaction needs
  • Cognition and learning needs
  • Autism
  • Social, mental and emotional health

We consult parents regularly to ensure staff training is appropriate to meet the needs of your child.

Q11: Who are the other people providing services to children with SEND?

"Excellent links with specialists help pupils with their learning, social skills and emotional development. Support for pupils with learning difficulties…is especially strong and helps them to achieve exceptionally well." pg 7 Inspection Report 2009

"Strong and effective links to external professionals support the school in fully meeting the needs of pupils whose circumstances make them the most vulnerable. Learning mentors are especially effective in linking with families." pg 6 Inspection Report 2013

Parents will always be involved in any decision to involve outside agencies. School will involve specialists to advise us on early identification of SEN and effective support and interventions. Recommendations raised will be shared with you and teaching staff supporting your child.

Specialist services used at Clifton include:

  • Access to Education:
    - Educational Psychology
    - Pupil and School Support
    - Sensory Support
    - City of Birmingham Schools
    - Communication and Autism Team
    - Physical Difficulties Support Service
  • Speech and Language Therapy Service
  • Health Services:
    - School Nurse
    - Health Visitors
    - Physiotherapists
    - Occupational Therapists
    - Park House Child and Family Centre
    - Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service
    - Birmingham Children's Hospital
    - James Brindley Teaching School
  • Social Services
  • Malachi Trust
  • Sweet Project

Q12: What support will I get as a parent of a child with SEND?

Your views are very important. It is essential that you are involved in discussions and decisions that are made about your child's individual support. We will support you in contributing your views.

If you felt your child's needs were not being met or if you had other concerns about your child please contact the school office. The office staff will pass on the message and a member of the SEN team will get back to you as soon as possible. You can also contact a school governor to raise any concerns by leaving a message with the school office.

For further information, please read: SEND - A Guide for Parents/Carers (pdf) from the DfE.

Q13: How will you support my child when they are progressing through the school or moving on to a new school?

To support transition we will share information at the end of each year making sure that all new teachers are aware of your child's needs. If your child is moving to another school a member of the SEN team will talk to you about the information that needs to be passed on to the receiving school to ensure a smooth transition.

We welcome your involvement in this process.

Q14: Profile of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities at Clifton Primary School

Clifton Primary is a popular school and has recently increased to four form entry. The school has the Basic Skills Quality Mark, Active Mark, National Healthy Schools Award, Silver Science Award, Gold Artsmark and International Schools Award.

The school had an Ofsted inspection in April 2009 and in May 2013. On both occasions Inspectors considered the school to be outstanding.

"Achievement is outstanding for all groups of pupils. This includes pupils from over 40 different nationalities, almost all of whom speak English as an additional language, disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs…The school leaves no stone unturned in its ambition for every pupil to achieve as well as they can." pg 4 Inspection Report 2013

July 2014

  • Statutory Provision/Education Health Care Plan - 10
  • SEN Support - 152

July 2015

  • Statutory Provision/Education Health Care Plan - 10
  • SEN Support - 161

July 2016

  • Statutory Provision/Education Health Care Plan - 10
  • SEN Support - 151

The new legislation replaces statements of special educational needs and Learning Difficulty Assessments with a single Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan for children and young children people with complex needs.

For children with less complex needs who still require help the new legislation introduces a new system called Special Educational Needs Support which replaces School Action and School Action Plus (and the equivalent in the Early Years Setting).

You can read more information in our SEN Policy and our Special Educational Needs Booklet for Parents and Accessibility Plan, all of which can be found on our Policies and Documents page.