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Children & Young People with Additional Learning Needs

Policy Framework for Children with Special Educational Needs (SEN)

The aim of this policy, and the practice which it informs, is to maximise the educational opportunities of all Flintshire's pupils who are identified as having special educational needs. This will be achieved by offering all children a relevant and worthwhile education, which is designed to enable them to be included, and participate fully in, the society to which they contribute and from which they benefit.

Policy Framework for Children & Young People with Additional Learning Needs (SEN)

 

Additional Learning Needs

Children have additional learning needs if they have difficulties with learning, communication, behaviours (social and/or emotional), and/or a sensory (visual or hearing) and/or physical disability.  Schools have a responsibility to identify if a child has an additional learning need, to then notify the parents and to provide the child with the appropriate support that the child needs.

What to do if you think your child needs help in their learning (the Graduated Response)

If you have concerns about your child’s progress, you need to speak to your child’s class teacher to share those concerns.  The class teacher will ensure that all learning tasks that are set are appropriately differentiated to enable your child to access the learning.

In the event of your child not making appropriate progress, the class teacher will share their concerns with both you and the school’s Additional Learning Needs Co-ordinator (ALNCo). If your child needs something that is ‘in addition to or different from’ that of your child’s classmates, an Individual Education Plan (IEP) will be agreed with you that will target specific areas of difficulty that your child experiences and that will be reviewed regularly as your child’s needs change.  Your child will now be at the ‘School Action’ stage of the Graduated Response.

If, over a reasonable time, the school feel that your child is still not making expected progress, they will ask your permission to consult with specialists who will advise the school how best to meet your child’s needs.  Your child will now be at the ‘School Action Plus’ stage of the Graduated Response.

If, over a reasonable time, your child is still not making expected progress, the school will ask your permission to request a Statutory Assessment of your child’s needs.  This assessment may involve specialist observations, tests, medicals and interviews with yourself and other specialists.  If the assessment shows that your child has significant difficulties, the Local Authority may decide that your child needs a Statement of Special Educational Needs that will clearly identify what your child’s needs are, what help your child should receive and how your child should receive it.

Parent Partnership

Parent Partnership are there to support you if you think that your child has ALN or if you have been notified by school that your child has ALN. 

They will explain your rights within the ALN process and will make sure that you have all of the information that you need to make informed decisions.  They can even attend meetings with you.  Their contact number is 01352 706840.

FAQs

How will I know if my child has additional learning needs (ALN)?

School has a responsibility to monitor your child’s progress and if they feel that your child has additional learning needs they will notify you.

If your child needs something that is ‘different from or in addition to’ their classmates, then the school will invite you to discuss that your child requires an Individual Education Plan (IEP) that will identify how your child’s needs can be met through SMART target-setting (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-oriented).  You will be invited to contribute to the target-setting and will be asked to sign the IEP.  The IEP will be frequently reviewed in order to move your child’s learning forward.

Does my child need 1:1 support if they have ALN?

Not necessarily.  On occasions children do require 1:1 support or ‘shared’ support in order for their needs to be met.  However, depending on a child’s needs, access to a small group situation or a specific programme suited to a child’s needs may be of more benefit.  It is important that a child is provided with the opportunity to achieve their potential both socially and academically.  Therefore all children will be encouraged to develop their independence skills.

Will my child have to go to a special school if they have ALN?

Only a very small percentage of children with ALN attend a specialist provision.  In most cases their needs can be met in a mainstream school.

What is a Statutory Assessment?

This is a multi-disciplinary assessment that involves a child being assessed by relevant specialists, having a medical and interviews taking place with the parents to gather information about the child’s needs.

My child has a diagnosis of ASD/ADHD/Dyslexia.  Do they need a Statement?

No, not unless your child needs to access specialist provision or a high level of support.  All schools have a responsibility to meet a child’s needs and receiving a diagnosis does not actually change the child’s needs.  Similarly a child does not require a diagnosis in order to have their needs fully met.  A diagnosis can, however, enable a school to access additional training in that specific area if the school feels that it would benefit the child and the staff to do so.

My child has ALN and I want to be sure that their needs are being met in school.  What should I do?

You should speak to the class teacher find out what is being done to address your child’s needs.  If you feel uncomfortable about doing this, contact Parent Partnership and they will advise and support you to do this.  If after speaking to the class teacher you are not satisfied, request a meeting with the ALNCo.  If following this you are still dissatisfied, ask to meet with the Head Teacher of the school.  The school wants all of its pupils to be happy and to achieve their potential, whatever that might be, and if the school feels that specialist support/advice is needed, they will discuss this with you and ask you to consent to a referral being made to the relevant agency.

Email: SEN@flintshire.gov.uk

Educational Psychology Service

What is an educational psychologist?
We are psychology graduates with experience of working with children and young people who have gained further professional qualification as educational psychologists. We are all chartered by the British Psychology Society or eligible to be chartered. We are concerned with all aspects of children and young people’s learning, behaviour, social and emotional development.

What do we do?
Each educational psychologist acts as a ‘named’ psychologist for a number of schools and other educational settings in Flintshire. A large proportion of our time is spent working with them on issues they have prioritised.

We work with:
• staff in educational settings
• parents
• personnel from other support agencies
• officers from the Education & Youth Portfolio and
•children and young people

We work on a consultation basis helping adults focus on possible solutions to the problems and concerns they have regarding the young people in their care. We work directly with children and young people both individually and in groups: e.g. carrying out observations and assessments, therapeutic interventions, helping young people express their views.

We provide training to staff in educational settings on aspects of learning, behaviour and child development.

We give advice to the local authority on various policies and initiatives and generally support the authority in carrying out its duties and responsibilities, including statutory assessments of children with additional learning needs.

Some members of our team have a proportion of their time set aside for work in specialist areas such as:
• behaviour, emotional and social difficulties
• early years work
• autism.

What if things go wrong?
If you are unhappy or concerned about the service you have received from us or have a complaint:

Contact the educational psychologist concerned.

If this does not resolve matters to your satisfaction contact the Principal Educational Psychologist.

If this does not resolve matters to your satisfaction contact the Senior Manager Inclusion & Progression.

How to contact us
If you wish to speak to a member of the service please contact us by phone, by letter or by email at Inclusion@flintshire.gov.uk
 
Education Psychology Service
County Hall,
Mold,
Flintshire,
CH7 6ND
Tel: 01352 704102

English as an Additional Language

Key Principles
It is the purpose of the EAL service to up-skill, support and assist schools in being able to successfully meet the needs of their EAL learners, enabling all EAL pupils to meet their potential.

The service works to ensure that all EAL children have a smooth transition into school. This may involve liaison with parents and guardians.

Monitoring and data analysis, undertaken in partnership with schools, forms the basis for a transparent, fair and equitable system of support for pupils and schools within Flintshire.

The Service also provides specialist, knowledgeable and up-to-date advice and training.

Admission Procedure
• The LEA is the admitting authority for all community and voluntary aided schools.
• Parent’s first point of contact should be the LEA. They are able to state their preferred schools and places are allocated on the basis of availability. However, many parents approach the local school directly.
• Head teacher notifies the EAL Advisor.
• EAL teacher/ Head teacher arrange for a meeting with parents to gain background and previous educational history. A Polish teacher can sometimes be provided if required. For all other languages, the EAL teacher will facilitate using language line.
• The EAL teacher will undertake an initial assessment, including consultation with school to ascertain language needs. 

Initial Assessment and Planning
There are three key areas:-

Information Gathering -
Initial contact should be made with schools/parents.  It is essential to gain information about the pupil’s age, first language, level of literacy and details of any special requirements/SEN. 
 
Determining Action-
In consultation with class/subject teachers, arrangements should be made for the induction of the pupil.  This would include assessment, placement in the appropriate year group and provision of background, cultural and linguistic information to the relevant staff. The EAL teacher can provide practical ideas and strategies for supporting the pupils in the class.
  
Provision of individual language targets-
Initial assessment can identify appropriate language targets for school and the EAL service to work towards.  The targets should be discussed with class teachers.  Teaching strategies should be matched to pupil’s needs, interests and abilities and take into account the demands of the curriculum.


Allocation of Support
Language development is monitored using the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) language stages A-E

Priority for support is given to pupils at WAG Level A – New to English and WAG Level B-Early Acquisition, and pupils with a standardized score of <85 for reading. 

Some support is also given to Level C- Developing Competence particularly in secondary school. 
 
Pupils arriving in secondary school in year 10 and 11 require significant support to access the curriculum.

Teaching assistant support is given where there are significant clusters of EAL pupils.

Bilingual (Polish) Support is limited, and is allocated according to priority of need. Children entering schools in Years 5-11 benefit from bilingual strategies to enable access to the curriculum.

Each school has access to a Specialist EAL teacher who can provide advice, support and training for schools. 

Monitoring Progress-Learning and Well-being
This is achieved through:
 Annual WAG assessment in December.
National Test and CSI data.
On-going informal assessment during the teaching time
Monitoring of emotional well-being during contact time.

Any concerns regarding progress should be discussed with the class/ subject teacher and a way forward agreed.   It may be that the pupil has difficulties in his/her home language. The outcome of the discussion may be to discuss the concerns with the Additional Needs Co-ordinator.  Parents should always be involved and informed. 

Assessment 
Timetable of Assessments

Initial Assessment- Undertaken on a new pupil on entry to school. 

Annual WAG Assessment of Language Acquisition (A-E).- This is undertaken  in November with an internal and cross-county moderation  in December.  

Liaison
Where possible, liaise regularly with the class/subject teacher to obtain an overview of progress within the curriculum. 

If a pupil expresses any concerns about their life and/or learning within the small group teaching situation then it is vital to liaise with the relevant teacher regarding this.  Older pupils, depending on language levels, could be advised on what they should do.

The Service can support schools to enable close liaison with parents.

Training can be provided on using the Telephone Interpretation Service. Polish translators can be provided, if agreed by the EAL advisor.

Language Development Training for staff is offered at least annually and can be accessed via the EAL Advisor.

EAL Leaflet

Contacts
EAL Advisor:   

Lisa J Davies  
Lisa.j.davies@flintshire.gov.uk
01352 703912

Admin:

Margaret Lewis
Margaret.lewis@flintshire.gov.uk
01352 703916

Education Welfare Service

The Education Welfare Service exists to ensure that every child and young person within the County of Flintshire is adequately cared for and receives maximum benefits from the educational opportunities provided, (including education otherwise than at school) in order that they may realise their maximum potential. The Service aims to offer, professional and quality welfare support to young people, their parents, their families and their schools.

The Education Welfare Service is an integral part of Flintshire County Council’s Inclusion & Progression Service.

Service Provided
Flintshire’s Education Welfare Service, is part of the Authority’s provision of a full and flexible response to the welfare needs of children.

The Service has a duty under the 1996 Education Act to consider the welfare of children and their families. The Service focuses upon early intervention, with parents and schools, to prevent harm and disadvantage arising from a wide range of educational and social problems and it holds a responsibility to work with other agencies in the protection of children and young people from abuse.

The Education Welfare Officers (EWOs) are based at the high schools, from which they deliver services to the cluster primary schools and children from the catchment area who attend special schools and Pupil Referral Units.

Referrals are accepted from school staff, other agencies or directly from pupils or parents.

Whole School Support
The EWOs provide:
1. Consultation, guidance and support re LA and Welsh Government guidance and policies on promotion of the best levels of school attendance, punctuality and inclusion.
2. Assistance in promoting a consistent ethos that values good school attendance and the development of the full potential for all pupils.
3. Work in partnership with schools and other agencies to promote pupil welfare.
4. Help and advice to schools in the implementation of their individual discipline policies.
5. Assistance to schools in the implementation of Home - School Agreements.

Individual Support and Direct Work with Parents and Pupils
Parents have the duty to ensure that their children receive education. The EWO role is to support them in any aspect of pupils’ welfare and attendance. The broad areas of operation are as follows;
 
Direct work with parents and pupils on problems affecting attendance
School strategies having failed to bring about an acceptable level of attendance, the EWOs may intervene to advise, assist and support parents to remove personal or social problems at home or in school that may threaten an escalation in, or the development of, disaffection and poor attendance. Parents’ permission may be needed if an EWO is to work with pupils.

Interventions may include: home visits, facilitating meetings between parents, children and teaching staff, individual support to pupils and parents and empowerment of pupils and parents to access appropriate support from other agencies and services.

Court action is taken as part of a process rather than at “the end of the line”. The decision to prosecute is based on evidence and arises from EWOs professional concern. The objective is to have children in school who are receptive to education and in a fit condition to learn. Court action is the LA’s responsibility (EWSs and County Secretary).

Pupils with Special Educational Needs - help in identification and assessment of children who may have SEN and, where appropriate, support parents and pupils in the process of assessment and review.

Pupils with Emotional and Behavioural Problems - assist school staff, parents and pupils with the early recognition and/or management of behaviour problems.

Exclusion of Pupils -
• Help school staff, parents and pupils and LA support services to prevent exclusion.
• Ensure school staff, governors, parents and pupils are aware of their duties, rights and responsibilities when exclusion from school is being considered and/or administered
• Help secure such temporary education as is deemed reasonable by the LA and expedite permanent provision for pupils without a school place.

Bullying - support to schools, parents and pupils, whether they be victim or perpetrator.

Children Educated Otherwise than at School (EOTAS) by the LA

Provide advice and assistance to schools, parents, pupils and LA on assessment and provision for children who cannot be maintained in a mainstream school because of exclusion, school refusal/phobia, sickness or in need of an assessment prior to placement.

Give assistance to parents, home tutors, schools and LA officers to reintegrate children in a full time placement as required.

Provide advice, assistance and support for Looked After Children.

Employment of Pupils
• Advise pupils, parents and employers on the application for licences for pupils involved in performances and permits for those in employment.
• Investigate reports of illegal employment of pupils and take the appropriate action.
• Investigate applications for matrons licenses re children in entertainment.

Inter Agency Community Work
• To be involved in activities recognised by the LA, which promote educational achievement and/or social well-being amongst young people their parents and families.
• To participate in multidisciplinary working groups recognised by the LA and promote strategies that benefit children and young people, e.g. young carers, juvenile crime, drug and solvent abusers.

Monitoring the Movement of Children Within and Between Counties
• Investigate the whereabouts of missing children and families in or outside the county.
• Advise and assist in the educational provision to children new to the County.
• Facilitate or assist the passing on of education or child protection information to other Authorities or the dissemination of such information from such Authorities.

Statutory Responsibilities include:
• Attendance
• Exclusions
• Child Protection
• Children in Employment

Child Protection
• Help identify children who may be neglected or in need or at risk of abuse.
• Follow the All Wales and Flintshire Area Child Protection procedures and assist child protection agencies in the protection of children who are “at risk”  attending case conferences and reviews as required.
• Advice, help and support to school staff, parents and children before, during and after Children’s Services involvement and, when appropriate, act as an advocate for the child.
• To provide training as and when required.

Tel: 01352 704137

North East Wales Sensory Support Service (NEWSSS)

The North East Wales Sensory Support Service (NEWSSS) is a regional provision which supports children and young people with a hearing or vision loss, their families and schools across Wrexham, Denbighshire and Flintshire.

This joint Service is led by Flintshire County Council: The team comprises of 1 learning adviser, 6 advisory teachers and 4 outreach workers.

The team works with children and young people from birth to age 19.

Specialist skills tuition is provided for those children and young people with a significant sensory loss with support, advice and guidance being provided for families, schools and other agencies to provide a seamless approach to meeting the needs of identified individuals.

Contacts:

Learning Advisor:
Rachel Ward
Email:  rachel.ward@flintshire.gov.uk
Tel:  01352 703911

Admin:
Angela Saunders
Email:  angela.saunders@flintshire.gov.uk  
Tel:  01352 703917

Communication and Language Advice and Support Service

The Communication and Language Advice and Support Service work with pupils who have significant speech and language difficulties in a number of targeted primary schools. It is made up of an advisory teacher and a number of specially trained NNEBs. The advisory teacher undertakes assessment of the educational implications of the speech and language difficulties and provides advice, support and training for class teachers. The team is based at Flintshire County Council, Mold.

Tel: 01352 703916