Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
As a Catholic Academy following the tradition of Ursuline education, we seek the highest standards for all our students.
In an atmosphere of mutual respect, trust and care we work together in the spirit of the Gospel to serve the local community and the Diocese. Through encouragement, responsibility and self-discipline we enable each individual to grow spiritually and intellectually in order to make a unique and positive contribution to society.
Definition of SEN
A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.
A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty if he or she:
a) Has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age; or
b) 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. SEND Code of Practice (2015, p 15)
The four broad areas of need
The 0-25 SEND Code of Practice (2015) identifies four broad areas which cover a range of needs.
Communication and Interaction
Where children and young people have speech, language and communication difficulties which make it difficult for them to make sense of language or to understand how to communicate effectively and appropriately with others. Children and young people with an Autistic Spectrum Condition are likely to have particular difficulties with social interaction.
Cognition and Learning
Where children and young people learn at a slower pace than others their age, they may: have difficulty in understanding parts of the curriculum, have difficulties with organisation and memory skills or have a specific difficulty affecting one particular part of their learning such as in literacy or numeracy.
The term ‘learning difficulties’ covers a wide range of needs, including moderate learning difficulties (MLD), severe learning difficulties (SLD) and profound and multiple difficulties (PMLD). Specific learning difficulties (SpLD) such as dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia come under this term.
Social, Emotional and Mental Health difficulties
Children and young people may experience a wide range of social and emotional difficulties which present themselves in many ways. They may have difficulty in managing their relationships with other people, be withdrawn or behave in ways that may hinder their and other children’s learning or that have an impact on their health and wellbeing. This broad area includes attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or attachment disorder. It also includes behaviours that may reflect underlying mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression.
Physical and/or Sensory Needs
Where children and young people have visual and/or hearing impairments, or a physical need that means they must have additional on-going support
These areas allow schools to gain an overview of their students’ range of needs. The 0-25 SEND Code (2015) emphasises:
‘The purpose of identification is to work out what action the school needs to take, not to fit a pupil into a category. In practice, individual children or young people often have needs that cut across all these areas and their needs may change over time... A detailed assessment of need should ensure that the full range of an individual’s needs is identified, not simply the primary need.’ (Section 6.27)
As a school we are committed to providing the very best education for all our students, no matter their needs and we work to adjust our own practice to enable them all to have access to an education within a mainstream setting.
All teachers at Ursuline College are teachers of SEND and thus all staff are involved in the identification and support of students with additional needs in their mainstream classroom. Great priority is placed on Quality First Teaching for all students. Staff are encouraged to register any concerns about students and develop links with members of the SEN Department (known as Insieme) if there are concerns.
All SEND information and diagnoses is shared with staff so that they are aware of all needs. Alongside this we share Quality First Teaching practices and strategies that teachers will use in class with individual students.
Our team is committed to supporting the individual needs of our students and Teaching Assistants (TAs) and Lead Teaching Assistants (LTAs) are allocated on an individual needs basis to support individuals or groups of learners as allowed by resources. Staff work closely with them to ensure maximum effectiveness. Our TAs and LTAs have a wide range of skills to offer in supporting students directly and indirectly, assisting staff and working with parents/carers.
We are also committed to making sure that all statutory duties and expectations within EHCPs are met and we work with external agencies and professionals to ensure joined up thinking, enabling students to work towards their stretching, yet achievable outcomes.
The use of external professionals and referrals
Where appropriate the school will consult with external professionals to carry out assessments on students that will help with support that is provided by the school. Parents/Carers will always be informed of such assessments, and it would require their approval to carry out any such assessments.
When a referral is put in to the ASD/ADHD Pathway, consultation and approval of Parents/Carers will always be sought before any paperwork is completed and submitted, we would also require information from the parents/carers to complete any referral.
Insieme Staff Team:
Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator (SENCo): Mrs Jo Callingham
SEN Administrator: Mrs J Musgrove
Lead Teaching Assistants
Communication & Interaction Lead: Mrs M Parr
Cognition & Learning Lead: Miss Amelia Bell
Social, Emotional and Mental Health Lead: Mrs Kerry Sansome
English as Additional Language Lead: Mrs R Everson
Mrs R Cole
Mrs S Dudley
Miss L Gower
Mrs S Moore
Miss S Crawford
For any concerns or queries please contact the SEND team via email or phone:
Ursuline College – SEND Policy and Annual Information Report can be found here: https://www.ursuline.kent.sch.uk/policies/
Information on Kent LEA Local Offer - SEND Information Hub can be found here: https://www.kent.gov.uk/education-and-children/special-educational-needs
The KCC SEND Strategy can be found here: https://www.kent.gov.uk/education-and-children/special-educational-needs/send-strategy/strategy-for-children-with-special-educational-needs-and-disabilities
The Mainstream Core Standards (guide for parents/carers) applicable to Kent schools can be accessed here: https://www.kelsi.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/117257/Special-educational-needs-mainstream-core-standards-guide-for-parents.pdf