Blackwell Education is an inclusive organisation that understands and wish to support individuals with a varying level of need.
DEFINITIONS OF NEED
Blackwell Education follows a widely recognised, cumulative three-tier approach to differentiating levels of need, consisting of:
1. Quality First Teaching – primarily classroom-based approaches designed for the benefit of all students, all of the time.
2. SEN Support - additional school-based and external agency approaches for small groups of students, provided on a short to medium term to address specific barriers to achievement.
3. EHC Plan - additional school-based and external agency approaches for individual students, provided on a longer term basis to address persistent barriers to achievement. For a young person to be designated at the third stage as ‘EHC Plan’, they must be subject to an Education Health Care Plan (EHC Plan) - previously known, and continued in some circumstances, as a Statement of Special Educational Needs. A young person at this stage will typically:
- have a learning difficulty and/or social, emotional and mental health need and/or a disability identified by recognised specialists and
- present with a persistent level of need that prevents or hinders him or her from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age (SEN Code of Practice: 0 - 25 Years, 2014)
A young person entered into the statutory assessment process for an Educational Health Care Plan remains at ‘SEN Support’ until a decision to issue an EHC Plan is made and the relevant documentation is officially published.
Identification of further need
Assessing how a student’s learning needs are being met, whether those needs have changed / likely to change and what needs to happen next to further meet those needs can be measured, generally speaking, in consideration of the following key factors:
- A closing of the attainment gap between the child and their peers
- Prevention of the attainment gap growing wider
- Progress similar to that of peers starting from the same attainment baseline but less than that of the majority of peers
- Matching or bettering the child’s previous rate of progress and taking account of their difficulties
- Progress that ensures access to the relevant curriculum
- Progress that demonstrates an improvement in self-help, social or personal skills
- Progress that demonstrates improvement in confidence, self-esteem or behaviour
- Engagement in school life and learning evidenced primarily by attendance and behaviour data
Blackwell Education builds an initial profile of a student through:
- Risk assessment, using referral information and professional observation
- Baseline testing
- Academic tracking
- Engagement tracking, monitoring attendance and behaviour data
- A written ‘Progress Report’, collecting the views of tutors and progress data, published for each student every term
- Ongoing professional observation, shared daily by tutors.
Blackwell Education places importance on undertaking any considerations in collaboration with parents/carers, outside agencies, the mainstream school (if the student is not attending the school) and the young person themselves. This is carried out through ILP Review meetings – and where applicable, Annual Review meetings and TAC meetings.
In considering the factors above, Blackwell Education will seek to further clarify and collate evidence that will build up a picture of:
- Severity may depend on the setting and context in which students are taught
- Severity is a measure of how a student compares with his or her peers across the area or nationally
- Where possible it is based on standardised tests, rating scales or structured observation which provide evidence
- Attainment scores/centiles are used as comparisons with other students
- Complexity takes account of the number and range of factors which may contribute to a child’s SEN. It ensures each child is considered as an individual
- The existence of complexities does not necessarily mean that the child’s learning will be affected. Resilience and an ability to cope mean that each child will respond differently
- Understanding of the complexity of a student’s needs depends on the collection of accurate information from a variety of sources. ILP targets and evaluations should reflect the complexity of a student’s needs.
Such complex needs might be due to a variety of issues including;
o Lack of continuity in education due to moving schools or home setting
o Missed opportunity for education due to illness or adverse life experiences
o Bereavement or loss
o Mental health issues
o Child protection issues
o Disability requiring therapy, medical support or equipment
The progress that a child has made in response to any support previously provided – primarily through quality first teaching (including differentiation), organisation-lead intervention and the involvement of outside agencies - is a further consideration in deciding whether a student should move to a higher (or lower) stage within the three tiered framework.
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