SEN Special Educational Needs, also referred to as AEN ‘Additional Educational Needs', covers a wide range of needs and level of needs. Schools now cater for a range of needs within the classroom (Inclusion). Some children are catered for within mainstream via an attached unit, whilst those whose needs are deemed to be too sever to be integrated back into mainstream are catered for within a dedicated Special Needs School.
How Children are are Catered for Within School
Children who are on the AEN register are often provided with support via a TA or a group of TAs. Some children will have the same TA with them for all their lessons, whilst some TAs (mainly in Secondary School) are subject related e.g. a TA may only work in the English department and will help those needing their attention specific to a subject.
Similar to the 'Within School' section but the unit is a dedicated Unit where children attend for the areas they need additional support, e.g. English, Maths etc., and return to their class group for all other lessons. Some children are placed longer than others depending on their needs.
Dedicated Special Needs School
Children who attend such a school will have a Statement of Needs whereby those needs at this stage can't be catered for within mainstream. A majority of schools tends to be dedicated to one or a related group of needs.
A lot of schools are now catering for a greater range of needs and are now billed as being Multi-Learning Difficulty.
This is a register of Needs that is kept by the school. The register will have 5 Stages:
The teacher identifies that the child is struggling in a particular aspect of their work and wishes this to be recorded. The SENCO is informed and parents can be contacted. An IEP is formulated and progress is monitored.
The teacher with the support of the SENCO is not satisfied that sufficient progress has been made. A meeting with the parents will take place. An IEP is updated possibly with new strategies, again progress is monitored.
Same as Level 2. This time the Educational Psychologist is informed and will assess the child's needs. The Educational Psychologist will report back to the school and further strategies may be introduced, again progress is monitored.
The Educational Psychologist with the school agrees that the child needs a Statement and the evidence for this will then need to be collated, this is the gathering evidence stage.
The LEA will be responsible for the gathering of evidence. They will gain information from the school, Educational Psychologist, the parents and the child's doctor. Other outside agencies may become involved e.g. Social Services.
This will happen once the evidence is gathered. A meeting is arranged for all of those who are involved with the child. This is normally led by the LEA. An agreement is reached as to the needs of the child and a Statement is produced.
The Statement will clearly indicate what the difficulties are that the child is experiencing. The Statement will also state what strategies are to be put into place with a clear indication of IEP. Often funding (usual for 15hrs per week) is provided for additional support.
The school will then work on the Statement breaking it down further and formulating targets for an IEP.
The Statement is reviewed 1 year from the date of its implementation.
Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) is the person who is in charge of The Special Needs Register of the school. They will co-ordinate the needs of all the children who are on The Special Needs Register of the school.
The SENCO is normally in charge of the Teaching Assistants of the school.
The SENCO will liaise with the class teacher, parents and outside agencies.
The SENCO will lead INSET on SEN related matters.