Special education needs expectations for schools

We expect every early years provider, state-funded mainstream and special school and post-16 institution to offer effective education for children with special educational needs and disabilities.

This should help the child make good progress in their learning and support long-term independence by providing skills needed to gain employment in or near their local community.

It is important that there is transparency and accountability regarding these provisions. Our guiding principles which define what we expect from our settings are centred around parents being equal partners in planning for their child, a focus on outcomes and a co-ordinated approach towards education, health and care planning and assessment.

1. Tracking progress, assessing needs and providing support plans

It's important that settings show how they support your child's education, demonstrate the steps taken to show progress, make sure your child's needs are meet and show how they plan and review the support they provide.

Education settings should:

  • communicate Local Offer for children with special educational needs, focusing on achievement of outcomes through evidence-based approaches to provision planning
  • include Local Offer interventions to address literacy and learning; language and communication; social, emotional, behavioural, sensory and medical needs; and needs associated with ASD, dyslexia and dyspraxia
  • document co-ordinated assessments of child’s educational needs and provide a resourced plan of intervention, including cost of provision
  • have pupil progress recorded, monitored and updated by a teacher working in conjunction with parents/carers, e.g. using SIMS to record and benchmark
  • determine pupil’s targets based on prediction and challenge

2. Expectations around measuring outcomes

The council requires education settings to measure and monitor outcomes for children based on a range of factors, such as peer relationships and attendance.

We expect settings to:

  • have systems in place to monitor and support pupil’s emotional and social well-being and inclusion, including patterns of attendance and exclusions
  • ensure that pupils demonstrate good attendance (98% or above), confidence, resilience, positive peer and adult relationships and motivation to learn
  • keep a record of issues relating to child’s well-being and include parents and other agencies when addressing issues such as attendance, exclusion, poor behaviour, anxiety and depression
  • designate a safeguarding officer to monitor issues relating to safeguarding and co-ordinate school, social work and community safety planning
  • co-ordinate and record pastoral support or behaviour improvement plans which detail support for pupils and promote engagement through positive activities
  • use assessment of pupil's well-being to inform understanding of pupil's attainment and progress

3. Expectations around parental involvement

Parents should be listened to and included in any development around the support that is being provided for their child. Feedback from parents should also be taken into consideration.

Education settings are expected to:

  • plan termly parent/teacher conversations in advance for the academic year and encourage parents/carers to feel welcome to attend
  • co-ordinate multi-agency assessment and planning using SENCo to inform education, health and care planning
  • work collaboratively with practitioners to implement EHC provision and monitor effects on attainment and well-being
  • record outcomes of parent/teacher conversations in child’s record and use this information to inform goal setting and future planning
  • ensure that parents feel outcomes of structured conversations are positive

4. Expectations around leadership and governance

The school leadership team and governors are expected to set a purpose and direction that inspires members of staff, parents and the wider school community to work together to ensure the sustained progress, achievement and well-being of pupils with SEN. Key areas of focus are the pace and quality of progress, the provision of effective and efficient education, and transparency and accountability for High Needs Funding.


Last updated: 27 January 2017
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