What are schools expected to provide?
Schools in Plymouth are expected to provide a broad and balanced curriculum for all pupils, including those with special needs. This means that all pupils should have the opportunity to learn and develop in a way that is appropriate for their needs.
Schools must also make reasonable adjustments to ensure that students with special needs can access the curriculum and participate in all school activities. Reasonable adjustments may include providing extra support in the classroom, using specialist equipment, or adapting the curriculum.
For pupils with the most complex needs, schools must work with parents and carers to develop an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP). An EHCP is a legal document that sets out the child's needs and the support that they will receive.
What support should schools provide for students with special needs?
The type of support that schools provide for pupils with special needs will vary depending on the individual child's needs. However, some common types of support include:
- Extra help in the classroom: Pupils with special needs may be given extra help in the classroom from their teacher or a teaching assistant. This may involve helping them with their work, providing them with additional resources, or giving them more time to complete tasks.
- Specialist equipment: Pupils with special needs may be provided with specialist equipment, such as adapted pens and pencils, computers with assistive software, or hearing aids.
- Adapted curriculum: Schools may adapt the curriculum for pupils with special needs to make it more accessible to them. This may involve breaking down tasks into smaller steps, providing more visual support, or using different teaching methods.
- Social and emotional support: Pupils with special needs may also need social and emotional support. This may be provided by a school counsellor, social worker, or other specialist.
In addition to this, all schools in Plymouth have the same special educational needs and disabilities duties and are expected to provide support for children and young people who have additional needs. Two useful places to find greater detail about these duties are the SEND Code of Practice and Equality Act 2010: advice for schools.
Plymouth City council has worked with Plymouth schools to put together a detailed description of how schools will work with children who have special educational needs and their families and this is explained within the Graduated Approach to Inclusion Framework.
How do schools identify if a pupil has special educational needs?
Schools work with families and pupils in a number of ways to in order to understand barriers to learning.
Education, Health and Care Plans (EHC plans)
Schools are required to develop an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC plan) for all children with the most complex needs. An EHC plan is a document that sets out the child's special educational needs and the support they will need to meet those needs.
The EHC plan will be developed by the school in consultation with the child's parents and carers, as well as other professionals who are involved in the child's care. The EHC plan will be reviewed regularly to ensure that it is still meeting the child's needs.
How do schools support students through transitions?
In Plymouth, we have worked with schools to produce the Plymouth Enhanced Transition Framework to support children who are making the transition between primary and secondary school.
Parents and carers have the right to be involved in making decisions about their child's education and support. Schools are required to consult with parents and carers when developing an EHC plan and when making decisions about reasonable adjustments.
Parents and carers can also play an important role in supporting their child's learning at home. They can do this by talking to their child about their school day, helping them with their homework, and providing them with a supportive and stimulating home environment.
What funding is available to support my child in school?
All schools in Plymouth have funding available through their budgets, which they must use to support children with special educational needs.
How can you be confident that schools in Plymouth meet the needs of children and young people with SEND?
There are a number of ways in which we, as a council, talk to schools in order to understand and share the best practice as well as recognise challenges.
- SEN Audit: Each year Officers from the SEND Strategic Advice and Support Team visit a third of Plymouth schools to discuss identification of need, use of funding, working with families and outcomes for children and young people. Themes from each audit cycle are then made priorities for planning.
- SEND Local Area Inspection: Ofsted and CQC jointly inspect local areas to see how well they fulfil their responsibilities for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities. View Plymouth's inspection report.
- SEND Joint and Early Years Briefings: These events, which happen three times a year, are an opportunity to support schools by developing good practice and understanding their duties.
Links to external websites
Plymouth's Local Offer is organised into four main categories covering the following age ranges:
- Early years (0 to 5 years old)
- Primary (5 to 11 years old)
- Secondary (11 to 18 years old)
- Preparing for adulthood
Is the information correct?
Let us know if the information on this page is wrong and needs to be updated.