Special Needs


SEN Reform

There are changes on the way for provision of children with Special Educational Needs and these have been implemented from September 2014.

At St Brigid’s, we have always taken a child-centred approach, however, the approach to SEN provision places pupils very much at the centre of planning.

Below are 5 key changes:

1. Pupils and families will have more of a say

The system aims to put each young person and their family at the centre of discussions about the support offered. The government says that parents know their children best. We will ask parents to share their knowledge about how their child is developing, and involve them at every stage. We will consult so we can work out what is best for each pupil. Young people will also have new rights and their views are important and will also be taken into account.

2. Education, health and care plans to replace statements

Under the 2014 rules, SEN statements and learning difficulty assessments will be replaced with education, health and care (EHC) plans taking children and young people up to the age of 25. From September 2014, assessments of SEN will follow the new rules, and support will be provided through an EHC plan.

Statements and LDAs will only remain in force until all children and young people have completed the transition. Transfers from statements to EHC plans should be completed within three years.

3. School Action and School Action Plus to end

School Action and School Action Plus – intervention schemes that tracked progress – have been removed in the code. Instead, there’ll be a single school-based category for children who need extra specialist support. We will set out interventions and expected outcomes for these pupils, and review progress each term. We will also inform parents when pupils without an EHC plan receive special support.

4. Optional personal budgets for young people

Under the new system, young people and parents of pupils with an EHC plan can choose to hold a personal budget to buy in the support identified. The money will come from the high-needs funding block and will not normally affect the school’s notional SEN budget.

5. Teachers must make sure that every pupil makes progress

The code makes teachers more accountable for the progress of all pupils, even those supported by specialist staff. Teachers will expect to be judged on how well they teach pupils with SEN as a result of this. Our teachers know how to identify when pupils are displaying signs of special educational needs and they support pupils a range of pupils with different needs (particularly those needs they see more frequently). In line with the school’s continuous professional development agenda, staff who require additional training or support will continue to be assisted and directed as appropriate.