What is an SEN Information Report?
Welcome to our SEN information report which is part of the East Sussex County Council Local Offer for learners with Special Educational Needs (SEN.) All governing bodies of maintained schools and the proprietors of academy schools have a legal duty to publish information on their website about the implementation of the governing body’s or the proprietor’s policy for pupils with SEN.
From the 1st September 2014, under Section 65 (3) (a) of the Special Educational Needs (Information) Regulations, all schools are required to publish an SEN Information Report on their school websites.
This report must contain SEN information as is set out in the Schedule, as well as utilising the Local Authority (LA) Local Offer. Consequently, the report should meet the needs of SEN pupils as determined by school policy and the provision that the school is able to determine.
How does the college know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child/young person may have special educational needs?
At Hailsham Community College (HCC) we aim to be inclusive by working towards an ethos of quality first teaching. Teaching and learning is of a high standard and our mission is to enable all students to access a broad and rich curriculum, to foster independent learning and to develop lifelong skills. We believe that students achieve and learn best when they feel safe, healthy, confident and happy. Therefore self-esteem and personal fulfilment are key factors in success.
For students who need extra support, work is differentiated (adapted to individual learning styles) in subject departments, with advice and support from the Learners with Additional Needs team (HUB Department). At HCC we aim to secure early identification of students with additional needs and also to review and amend provision as required. There are several ways in which identification and information is shared about the additional needs of individual students.
Identification and Assessment
Where students continue to make less than expected progress, despite high quality teaching targeted at areas of weakness, the HUB Department will assess whether a student has an additional learning need. We accept the principle that student’s needs should be identified and met as early as possible.
We use a number of indicators and methods to do this:
The analysis of information, including entry profiles, SATs, CATs, reading ages, and student assessments.
- Parental concerns and experience.
- Tracking individual student progress over time in academic subjects.
- Communication with feeder schools on transfer.
- Information from other services including specialist assessment and professional advice.
- The students’ own views.
- Monitoring of attendance and behaviour points.
- Weekly meetings between key members of staff.
The HUB team maintain a list of students identified through the procedures listed. This list is reviewed on an ongoing basis. A detailed analysis of the list takes place termly. For some students more in depth individual assessment may be undertaken by the college, such as:
- At transition meetings held at our local feeder primary schools before students commence at HCC.
- In the summer term of Year 6, additional transition afternoons are held for students identified by feeder schools. This allows students who have an additional need to meet the HUB department, familiarise themselves with the school and the types of lessons that they will experience in Year 7 and for HCC to assess learning needs.
- Parents and Year 6 students are invited to attend a transition evening where families are able to meet the student’s Mentor, House Leader and the Additional Needs team. Parents are encouraged to discuss their child’s individual needs with the student’s mentor or subject teachers. This may, if considered necessary, lead to a separate meeting with the student’s Mentor, House Leader and/or SENCO to discuss next steps.
How will school staff support my child?
At HCC there are numerous ways in which students with additional needs are supported:
- An effective pastoral system which includes five houses, with House Leaders and mentor teams who are instrumental on a daily basis in ensuring academic mentoring, student welfare and who work closely with the LAN Department in communicating any issues with students which are affecting progress in learning.
- Setting of aspirational targets so that all our learners with additional needs achieve the very best, with continuous review of their progress through tracking, academic mentoring and regular meetings.
- The classroom teacher will take responsibility for the daily provision for students and will be supported and advised by mentors, House Leaders, HUB Department and the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) where necessary. The teacher or mentor will discuss with the HUB Department and parents any support that they think is needed, that is additional and different to what would normally be offered to students as part of usual practice.
- There is support for students with additional needs who may transfer mid-year including individual meetings, tours, information transfer from previous school/college and personalised timetables.
- The HUB/ASD Department staff – specialist teachers and additional adults who use a range of interventions and also in class support in some cases.
The aim of Hailsham Community College’s B.A.S.E., our facility providing ASD provision, is to support students with a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome or high functioning autism in all aspects relating to education. Our Inclusion agenda aims to increase participation of each student enabling them to receive an education that will provide the foundation for future success. To ensure this happens the college has an inclusive culture, which is secure, accepting, collaborating and stimulating where everyone is valued. We will expect to support a diverse range of students and will provide a differentiated curriculum which will be adapted to suit individual learning styles, to facilitate successful learning.
How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
Quality first teaching in the classroom which includes adjusted plans and resources for individual students, is the first step in responding to students who may have additional needs. This will enable all students to access a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum.
If a student is not making the expected progress and has specific gaps in their understanding he/she may work within a smaller group. These groups, also called intervention groups, may be:
- Run in the classroom or in the LAN Department, including literacy, numeracy and social skills groups.
- Run by a teacher or a trained teaching assistant.
- Run by a specialist from outside the college, such as a speech and language therapist, hearing impaired or English as an Additional Language (EAL) specialist.
Further specific support may also be provided through a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). This means the student will have been identified as needing a particularly high level of individual or small group teaching.
How will both you and I know how my child is doing and how you will help me to support my child’s learning?
HCC has an open door policy for any daily information that needs to be shared between college and home. Mentors, House Leaders, HUB Department team and SLT are all involved in ensuring effective and regular communication regarding a student’s progress and welfare. Methods of information sharing include:
- three data assessment points per year and reporting system.
- parent consultation evenings.
- outside services involved with some students provide reports and information about attainment and expected progress for health based needs, such as speech and language or physical development.
- If a student is identified as needing a school based plan to support their education then parents will be involved in helping the college to create this and then in reviewing targets at regular intervals, usually three times a year but more if needed; this can then be used to make an application for an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP).
- Annual reviews for students with a statement of special educational needs.
- Regular communication between college and parents for students in the B.A.S.E.
What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?
We offer a range of support including:
- Pastoral/academic mentors.
- House leaders.
- HUB Department team.
- Outside services.
- Attendance Officer.
- Careers Advisor.
- Link Governor for SEN.
- A recognition of academic progress, positive behaviours and achievement through a system of rewards.
- Social and emotional interventions.
Trained first aiders are available in the college first aid room. If a student requires medication to be administered in college then you are asked to provide details of this by filling in and signing a form. In liaison with healthcare professionals HCC will implement a health plan when a child has specific medical needs.
The HUB Department has break and lunch time social skills clubs. These focus on building students’ self-esteem.
What specialist services and expertise are available at, or accessed by the college?
We have a varied range of specialist educators in our HUB Department, covering many speech, language, ASD, behavioural and emotional needs. There are also a range of services that work within our college. These include:
- The Educational Psychology Service (EPS).
- The Communication and Learning Autism Support Service (CLASS).
- The Education Support, Behaviour & Attendance Service (ESBAS).
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).
- Speech and Language Therapy Service (SaLT).
- Occupational therapist.
- Family support key workers.
- Traveller and English as an Additional Language Service (TEALS).
You can find out more about the full range of services who work with colleges at East Sussex County Council’s Website.
What training have the staff supporting children with SEND had, or are having?
We have a rolling programme of training and support for staff based on the needs of the students within college. Staff are sent on individualised training if they are supporting a student with a more specific need, such as hearing or visually impaired students. Staff have had training in the following:
Essentials of understanding SEN.
- Effective support for cognitive development.
- A range of training in supporting the needs of ASD students
- CAMHS twilight training
How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom, including college trips?
Risk assessments are carried out for college visits including residential trips and reasonable adjustments will be made where required. Where needed, the risk assessment will include a meeting with parent as well as taking account of any medical advice. When choosing the destination of these trips we will take into account the needs of all students.
On some occasions a member of staff may be assigned to support a small group or individual child if the risk assessment indicates that this is necessary.
How accessible is the college environment?
The College is aware of the access needs of disabled children on roll, adaptations to the school environment are made accordingly.
For more information: see the College Disability & Equality Policy.
How will the college prepare and support my child to join the college, transfer to a new college or the next stage of education and life?
We recognise that transitions for a student with additional needs will need careful planning and take steps to ensure that any transition is a smooth as possible.
If a student is moving to another college:
- We will contact the college SENCO and ensure he/she knows about any special arrangements or support that need to be made for the student.
- We will make sure that all records about the student are passed on as soon as possible.
- Careers information, advice and guidance (CIAG), careers conventions, and support will be available and accessible during both key stages to inform option choices, career paths and post 16 choices.
- The SENCO may arrange additional visits for students identified as having SEN and additional meetings will be arranged with parents and any other services who have been involved with the student.
- Students joining and leaving the B.A.S.E have an individual transition program personalised to their needs. Transition starts as soon as we know the student is joining or leaving. Communication between all parties is vital in ensuring as much information as possible is shared between the student, parents and staff from both colleges, before they join or leave.
- The Transition Service Team supports statement students and their parents from Year 9 in post 16 transition.
In Year 6:
- The Year 6 teacher and/or SENCO will discuss the specific needs of the student with the SENCO.
- The student will have focused learning about aspects of transition to support their understanding of the changes ahead.
- Students will have the opportunity to attend additional transition afternoons one afternoon a week in term 6 in the LAN department.
- Students joining the B.A.S.E. have a personalised transition program as well as accessing the main transition in place for all students joining the college in Year 7. Transition starts as early as possible in order to make the students as prepared as possible for September. Communication between all parties is vital in ensuring as much information as possible is shared between the student, parents and staff from both schools.
A range of methods, suitable for your child, may be used to support them at the time of transition. For example, if your child would be helped by a book/social story to support them to understand moving on, it will be provided for them.
How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
The college budget includes money for supporting students with SEN.
The college will use its SEN funding in the most appropriate way to support the student. This support may include some individual or small group teaching assistant support, but this may not always be the best way to support the student. The funding may therefore be used to put in place a range of support strategies and interventions. SEND funding may also be used to purchase specialist equipment or support from other specialist support services.
ASD specialist facility funding is used by the college to ensure that students in the B.A.S.E. have access to:
- A calm low stimulus environment.
- Interactive and visual aids to support learning.
- Allocated individual work space.
- Laptop access for each individual.
- Alternative changing facilities.
- Homework club.
- Break / lunch club.
- Private facilities for personal care.
- Full access to mainstream curriculum subjects.
- Curriculum adapted to meet student’s individual needs.
- Additional support for social skills and emotional literacy.
- Additional support offered for literacy and numeracy.
- Strategies and encouragement to promote independent learning.
- Opportunity to access and participate in main school lessons.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
Once a potential SEN is identified a cycle of assess, plan, do and review will be put in place. These actions form part of a process through which decisions and actions are revisited, refined and revised with a growing understanding of the student’s needs, and of what supports the student in making good progress and securing good outcomes.
Places in the B.A.S.E. are allocated by ESCC.
How are parents and carers involved in the school? How can I be involved?
It is our aim that the college works in close partnership with parents and maintains regular and purposeful communications between college and home. This includes:
- Parent, Teacher Friends Association.
- COMMUNICATOR – a monthly newsletter.
- An open door policy.
- Regular review of SEN plans with parental input.
Who can I contact for further information?
SENCO: Fiona Christie
HUB Lead TA: Stephen Leahy
Assistant Principal: Dave Miller
Carole Gorman, ASD Lead
SEN caseworker team at the local authority
SEN governor – Jo Robinson-Sivyer
If you are considering applying for a place at HCC and your child has special educational needs, then the first action to take is to phone the school and arrange an initial visit with the Vice Principal.
Other services that may help you if you are applying for a college place are:
This offer is accurate now, but services are regularly reviewed and could change. All information will be updated as soon as possible to reflect any new service offer.
An invite for feedback
This offer is intended to give you clear, accurate and accessible information.
If you would like to comment on the content of the offer, or make suggestions to improve the information, please contact Fiona Christie.