Meeting your child's needs in school
Support in school
Every school has a special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) policy. This sets out how they will identify the special educational needs (SEN) of their pupils. A school's policy should be available on their website.
Once a child is identified as having SEN, support will be given in addition to the support given to all pupils.
All mainstream schools (not specialist) can provide support from their own resources. They can also ask for further resources from:
- other schools in their area or their trust
- local authority specialist services
- health services
- social care services.
If you have any worries about your child at school, you should talk to their teacher. You can also speak to the school's special education needs co-ordinator (SENCO) if you have any further concerns.
If your child has been identified as having additional needs, it will be because they are showing characteristics under the four main areas of need which are set out in the SEND code of practice:
- communication and interaction
- cognition and learning
- social, emotional and mental health difficulties
- sensory and physical needs.
If the school feels that your child has SEN, they should plan extra learning support. They should always talk to you about this support, which may include:
- special classroom materials and equipment
- observation throughout the day and keeping records
- support to overcome challenges by finding different ways to engage
- additional support in the classroom
- support with personal care such as eating and dressing.
The graduated response
The graduated response is a 4-part process called the 'assess, plan, do, review cycle'. Over time, by following this process, your child’s education setting will:
- develop a greater understanding of your child
- learn what works well for your child
- determine how best to support their progress.
The Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) and teachers will investigate the barriers and difficulties your child is experiencing in school. This may involve:
- looking at work
- observing your child in lessons or during break and play times
- carrying out assessments
- looking at reports from other professionals such as doctors or speech and language therapists
- discussions with you.
Working with you, the SENCO plans:
- agree the targets for your child’s learning or development
- decide when the plan will be looked at again to see if it’s working.
Once a plan is agreed with you, the school or setting will:
- implement the plan and keep you up to date with how things are going.
The support plan will be given time to make a difference. The SENCO will agree a way to work with you to review how the support has worked and what should we do now.
The cycle is repeated and provision changes over time as an understanding of what works well for your child develops.
If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s support in school, you should arrange to speak to the SENCO or contact SENDIASS for guidance.
Our graduated response explains the process in more detail.
The Derby Inclusion Tool
To help identify and support a child’s needs across our schools, we use the Derby Inclusion Tool. The tool supports you and your child’s nursery, school or college (setting) to work together to understand and support your child’s individual needs.
The tool includes a number of prompts and questions to:
- understand your child’s needs across five key areas
- understand how well your child’s school is supporting their needs and the different support strategies that might benefit your child
- understand how confident you feel in supporting your child at home.
When completed, you and your child’s school can identify the right support to put in place to enable your child to thrive.