What You Can Expect Schools to Do
The school will welcome you and your child and take time to talk to you about your child’s individual needs before they start. The school will inform you about all their policies, including how they support children who have learning difficulties and/or a disability. These will be found on the school’s website.
The Local Offer states that all children should be supported to make progress at Early Years Foundation Stage and at least 2 levels of progress from their starting point through Key Stage 1 and 2, and 3 levels of progress between Key Stage 2 and 4. A very few children do not progress at this rate and schools must take a prompt and hands on approach to identifying if a child has any particular needs which prevent them from making progress. This might be for a range of reasons, for example because they have a hearing impairment, or visual impairment, a diagnosis of attention deficit disorder, autism, speech and language difficulties, learning difficulties or difficulties managing their behaviour.
The teachers and support staff who teach your child have had professional training so they have an understanding of child development and how children should progress in their learning. Teachers will use a range of programmes, resources and teaching methods to take account of any barriers your child might be experiencing in learning. This is sometimes called ‘differentiated learning’. School may put in place short term individual or group programmes to help your child catch up in their learning. These are sometimes called ‘interventions’.
If, despite these interventions your child is not making progress or continues to have difficulties in managing their behaviour, the school must then put in place programmes to support your child that are in addition to the range of support and teaching strategies used for all children. The additional support might mean your child has support in class for some lessons if the school thinks this will help them to make progress. They may work 1:1 or in a small group with a teacher of a member of support staff on aspects of learning or behaviour with which they are really having difficulty. Not all children will need or benefit from 1:1 support in class because they need to learn to work independently.
School will discuss with you what type of support they think will help your child to make progress. You will be informed about what programmes and support will be used, why they have been chosen, how long they will last and what progress the school is expecting your child to make.
As part of supporting your child, the school may ask for advice from an outside agency such as a Speech and Language Therapist or an Educational Psychologist to assess your child and recommend strategies and programme to improve progress or behaviour. Schools cannot share information about your child’s learning difficulties without your agreement and you will be asked to agree to this happening. You can refuse to give your permission; however refusal may mean that the school is unable to support your child to make the progress that you and they would want them to make. As a parent you can request that the school seek outside advice.
Your child’s progress will be reviewed regularly in school by the class teacher and the Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCo) and you as parents. Your child’s school will share with you the progress your child is making and involve you in the reviews that take place.
Most children will make progress with this additional support from within the school. However, if despite all this your child is still not making good progress the school will request a Statutory Education, Health and Care assessment. As a parent you can also make this request.
In deciding if your child would benefit from an Education, Health and Care assessment your child’s school will then be asked to provide evidence of all the different forms of support and programmes they have tried and evidence of the progress your child has made. The Local Authority will then decide yes or no based on the evidence they are given. This decision is made by a multi agency panel of professionals including schools, health and social care.
If you are unhappy about the way in which your child’s school is working with you to carry out the Local Offer you can contact Walsall Parent Partnership Service (PPS)by telephoning 01922 650330 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Walsall Parent Partnership Service provides confidential and impartial advice, information and support to parents and carers of children with special educational needs.