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Frequently asked questions related to special educational needs

Frequently asked questions related to special educational needs

Every setting must publish information about how they support children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND); this is known as their Local Offer.

The type of information that is covered in a settings Local Offer is: 

  • How the setting identifies children and young people with special educational and disabilities
  • How parents will be informed / consulted about the ways in which their child is being supported
  • How the setting will match/differentiate the curriculum to a child’s needs
  • What teaching strategies the setting uses for children with additional needs or learning difficulties
  • What additional support the setting provides for children with additional needs or SEND
  • How the setting monitors the progress of a child and how they will involve the parent in this process
  • How does a setting ensure children and young people with additional needs are included in the same activities as their peers
  • How does a setting provide help with personal care
  • How accessible is the building for children and young people with mobility difficulties / wheelchair users?
  • How does the setting support the transition to a new setting or next stage of a child's or young persons education

Each settings Local Offer will help you to decide which education setting can best support your child’s needs.

Visit our directory to view each education settings Local Offer information.

Specialist education settings

The Wokingham borough has specialist education settings for children who require a higher level of support than can be provided in a mainstream setting.

For further information about these settings go to our web pages:

 

Parents can request that the date their child is admitted to the school is deferred until later in the school year or until the child reaches compulsory school age in that school year. Parents can also request that their child attends part-time until the child reaches compulsory school age.

In such instances the school place will be held for that child and not offered to another child. However, please note that the school place will not be held beyond the academic year for which the original application was accepted. This means that if your child is summer born and you wish him/her to start in September 2020 into year one (the term after your child’s fifth birthday – statutory school age) that the school place will not be held.  You will be required to apply after the May half-term 2020 for a year one place under the in-year application process. It should be noted that, in this instance, all places at your preferred schools may have already been allocated.

Read the parent guide to starting primary school on the starting infant or primary school - ages 4 to 5 web page.

All schools have a duty to differentiate the curriculum to meet your child’s needs. 

All schools have a duty to meet children’s Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND). Schools have funding that will enable them to put things in place in order to support your child. 

The SEND Code of Practice 2015 directs schools to follow an ‘assess, plan, do, review’ cycle when they are addressing children’s special educational needs and/or disabilities. Some children’s special educational needs and/or disabilities will be at a level that might require a higher level of support than is usually available in a mainstream setting. If this is the case the setting or parents may request an Educational Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment. As a result, a child may receive an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) which might bring additional resources into the child’s school.

All schools have a special needs co-ordinator (SENCO/SENDCO) to find out the support your child is receiving speak to the schools SENCO.

All schools have a duty to educate children in their school irrespective of any special educational needs they may have. The SEND Code of Practice 2015 directs schools to follow an assess, plan, do, review cycle when they are addressing children’s SEND.

Every setting produces a Local Offer in which you can find the type of support the school may provide for children with SEND.

Please search the Local Offer directory to find your child’s schools Local Offer.

Your child’s education setting will share key information about progress and successful ways of working with your child in advance of them joining their new education setting.

Including sharing your child’s educational record such as individual education plans, Education, Health Care Plan, review paperwork, intervention records, diagnostic assessments, professional reports etc.

Each education settings has been asked in their Local Offer to answer questions relating to preparing a child to join their school, transfer to another school or the next stage of their education and life.

Search the directory to find your child's current or future education settings Local Offer.

A transition meeting takes place when a child or young person has a new school they will be moving to. A transition meeting is held with both schools in attendance. A transition meeting is held to ensure that there is discussion about how your child or young person will be supported, and to pass on any key information that will help the new school or college support your child.

The school your child currently attends organises their pupil’s yearly annual review. In Year 6 the SENCO from your child’s new school will be invited to come along. If your child attends a first school this process will also happen when your child moves onto junior school.

Your child’s education setting will share key information about progress and successful ways of working with your child in advance of them joining their new education setting.

Including sharing your child’s educational record such as individual education plans, Education, Health Care Plan, review paperwork, intervention records, diagnostic assessments, professional reports etc.

Each education settings has been asked in their Local Offer to answer questions relating to preparing a child to join their school, transfer to another school or the next stage of their education and life.

Search the directory to find your child's current or future education settings Local Offer.

For children and young people with Education, Health and Care Plans

Transitions are discussed the year before a child is due to transfer to a new setting in their annual review.

Go to our annual review page for further information on what happens at an annual review and who is invited.

Each education settings has completed a Local Offer which contains questions relating to preparing a child to: 

  • Join their school
  • Transfer to a new school
  • The next stage of education and life
     

Search the Local Offer directory to find your child’s current education setting or future school's Local Offer.

If your child is in Year 9 or above please visit the becoming an adult section.

If your child in the process of going through an Education, Health and Care needs assessment near the time for transition?

At the stage in the assessment process when the SEN (Special Educational Needs) Team approaches a school to be named on a child's Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan, they will include recent annual review paperwork. 

After a final EHC Plan has been issued to you, it is recommended that a transitions meeting/review takes place with both the old and new school, yourself and your child will be present. Discussions regarding how your child will be supported in the new school will take place during those transition meetings.
    

All schools and nurseries have a special needs co-ordinator (SENCO/SENDCO). They can provide you with information and guidance on transition.

Transitions are discussed the year before a child is due to transfer to a new setting in their annual review.

The process for this is:   

  • An annual review takes place at your child’s current education setting    
  • The EHC Plan is reviews by the SEN team at Wokingham Borough Council    
  • The SEN Team send out a proposed amendments and a copy of the plan    
  • Parent or young person has at least 15 days to respond to the proposed amendments/content of the plan. At this stage a parent or young person can request that a particular school is named   
  • The council issues a final amended plan, naming a school or type of school in Section I of the EHC Plan

Once the finalised plan is completed it will include the name of the school your child will be attending after transferring to their new setting. 

No correspondence will be received from the council’s School Admission Service relating to your child’s school placement. The EHC Plan is a legal document and therefore this is the confirmation of your child’s placement.    

Visit the IPSEA website for further information on moving to a new phase of education with an EHC Plan.
  

If you are concerned about how your child will cope in secondary school speak to the school's special needs co-ordinator (SENCO/SENDCO) to discuss how they can support your child in making that transition to secondary school.

Speak to the your child's current school's SENCO who will discuss visits with their new school.

Each education settings has been asked in their Local Offer to answer questions relating to preparing a child to join their school or to transfer to a new school or the next stage of education and life.

Search the Local Offer directory to find your child’s current or future schools Local Offer.

Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014 does not apply to wholly independent schools or early years settings. This means the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice 2015 does not apply either. 

This means that the requirements around special educational needs (SEN) support set out in this section do not apply. However, this does not mean the school or early years setting should not attempt to identify SEN and support children. The Equality Act 2010 does apply to all schools and education settings therefore reasonable adjustments must be made where necessary to avoid disability discrimination. 

If your child has an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan, it is the local authority’s duty to ensure the provision set out in the EHC plan is made. However, under section 42(5) of the Children and Families Act 2014, the local authority (LA) do not need to do so if you have made “suitable alternative arrangements”. If the independent school is named in Section I of your child’s EHC plan, and there is no other suitable school which your child could attend, it is likely that the LA remains responsible for your child’s special educational provision and should be paying the fees. If the LA suggested that a different school should be named in the EHC plan, and you chose to send your child to an independent school and pay for it yourself, then this is likely to count as making suitable alternative arrangements, and so the LA have no further duties towards your child. 

(Source: IPSEA website)

The Special Educational Needs and Disability Information Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) provides free, confidential, impartial advice, guidance and support to parents and young people on education matters. This includes providing support in meetings with schools and promoting a disagreement resolution where communication with a school is breaking down.

For further information on what support SENDIASS offers to parents and young people go to their directory listing

Contact details

If your child is refusing to attend school talk to them about any worries he or she is facing. Speak to their class teacher or the SENCO at your child’s school.

You can also contact the following services:

Wokingham Borough Council Education Welfare Officers

An Education Welfare Officer aim is to ensure children and young people get the best possible education. They can help parents to build good relationships with their child's school and offer support through home visits.

Contact details:

Special Educational Needs and Disability Information Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS)

SENDIASS provides free, confidential, impartial advice, guidance and support to parents and young people on education matters.

Contact details

If your child is finding it difficult to do their school work, please contact the schools class teacher, head of year or SENCo as there may be some helpful strategies that they use in school that can be replicated at home.

Speak to your child's class teacher, the schools literacy or numeracy co-ordinator, their head of year, or the schools SENCO for advice on how you can help and support your child.

The following website may provide some useful advice and information:    

  • The  ABC to Read website provides practical ideas on how to support a child’s learning   
  • The Listening Books website offers children and young people help with their fear of the printed word and provide access to books that are appropriate to intellectual age rather than reading age. 
  • The words for life website provides tips and information for reading and communicating with your child
  • The Oxford Owl website has advice, top tips and activity ideas to help your child with reading and maths.
  • The Book Trust website has tips on encouraging reluctant readers to read, information and practical advice to help make reading a part of a child’s everyday life and tips for carers and foster families. Plus find recommended inclusive children's books.

Further support and information services can be found on our families directory.

The adult and community learning service run courses to help parents and carers develop skills to support their child's learning. Visit the  Wokingham adult community learning website to find out further information about the courses on offer.

Visit the library section of the council’s website to find out about what services are available at your local library and how to join.

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