Special Educational Needs

At Robertsbridge Community College, we are committed to offering an inclusive education to ensure the best possible progress for all of our students. We look upon all students as individuals in the context of their own strengths and abilities. We continually strive to adapt and improve the services and support we offer in response to a process of co-working with parents and carers.

Robertsbridge Community College upholds the principle that ‘all teachers are teachers of special educational needs’ (SEND Code of Practice, 2015). It is our firm belief that success for students comes from good and outstanding classroom teaching in which the classroom teacher works flexibly to create learning opportunities adapted to the needs and abilities of all learners. In addition, we offer some targeted and specialist support provided by our own staff and through partnership with outside services to ensure the best possible outcomes for all. 

As per updated guidance, our SEN Information Report replaces previous SEN Policies and our SEN Local Offer.

 

ROBERTSBRIDGE COMMUNITY COLLEGE - SEN INFORMATION REPORT

1.    About this report   

The Children and Families Act 2014 says that all maintained schools must publish a Special Educational Needs (SEN) Information Report every year. This report explains how our school meets the needs of children with SEN.  It will be shown on our school website and in the ‘local offer’ on www.eastsussex.gov.uk

In the report, we explain how we meet our duties towards pupils with special educational needs and disabilities. This report is also our SEN policy. This report is also the information we provide to the East Sussex local offer which show the support that is available for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities in East Sussex www.eastsussex.gov.uk/localoffer

We will review this report every year and will involve pupils and parents.  If you want to give us your views about the report, please contact the school office. 

Signed…………Chair of Governors 
Date……….    

Referenced in law and guidance - SEND CoP 6.81

 

2.    Who do I contact?     

Admissions:
If you are thinking of applying for a place at the college, contact Miss H Stedman (PA to the Headteacher).

Existing students:
If you have a query about a child already at the college, you should talk to the child’s Learning Mentor in the first instance. You can do so by telephoning the school on 01580 880 360.

The college SENCo:

The Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) is responsible for managing and co-ordinating the support for children with special educational needs, including those who have Education Health and Care (EHC) plans. The SENCO also provides professional guidance to school staff and works closely with parents and other services that provide for children in the school. 
 
The SENCo at Roberstbridge Community College is:
Danielle Kingsley

Contact telephone:
01580 880 360

Contact email: 
dkingsley@robertsbridge.org.uk
    

 Referenced in law and guidance - SEND CoP 6.79 bullet 5

 

3.    Which children does the school provide for?     

We are a maintained secondary school, admitting pupils from age eleven to sixteen years.

We are an inclusive school. This means we provide for children with all types of special educational needs. 

If you want a place for a child who has a statement or Education Health and Care plan, contact your Assessment and Planning Officer at East Sussex County Council.

If you want a place for any other child with special educational needs, you should apply as normal and your application will be considered in the same way as applications from children without special educational needs. 

You can contact Miss H Stedman, PA to the Headteacher, with queries relating to places at the college by telephoning 01580 880 360.


 Referenced in law and guidance SEND CoP 6.79 bullet 1 
The kinds of SEN that are provided for

 

4.    Summary of how the school meets the needs of children with SEN and disabilities     

At Robertsbridge Community College, we are committed to offering an inclusive education to ensure the best possible progress for all of our students. We look upon all students as individuals in the context of their own strengths and abilities. We continually strive to adapt and improve the services and support we offer in response to a process of co-working with parents and carers.


Robertsbridge Community College upholds the principle that ‘all teachers are teachers of special educational needs’ (SEND Code of Practice, 2015).  It is our firm belief that success for students comes from good and outstanding classroom teaching in which the classroom teacher works flexibly to create learning opportunities adapted to the needs and abilities of all learners. In addition, we offer some targeted and specialist support provided by our own staff and through partnership with outside services to ensure the best possible outcomes for all.


If the child is looked after by the local authority they will have a Care Plan including a Personal Education Plan (PEP) and a Health plan. We will co-ordinate these plans with the SEN support plan and will involve parents and carers as well as foster carers or social workers in discussions. 

 Referenced in law and guidance SEND CoP 6.79 bullet 5 & SEND CoP 6.80 re looked after children

 

5.    How does the school identify children’s special educational needs    

We aim to identify children’s special educational needs (SEN) as early as possible, so that the child achieves the best possible outcomes.


A pupil has SEN where their learning difficulty or disability calls for special educational provision. That is provision which is different from or additional to that normally available to pupils of the same age. 
Children may have one or more broad areas of special educational need:

  • Communication and interaction – including speech and language difficulties and autism
  • Cognition and learning – including developmental delay and specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia.
  • Social, emotional and mental health difficulties – including difficulties with behaviour, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, an attachment disorder or anxiety. 
  • Sensory and/or physical needs- including visual and hearing impairment, dyspraxia, cerebral palsy and other physical disabilities or medical conditions which affect a child’s learning.  

We assess each pupil’s skills and level of attainment when they start at the school. We continually assess each child’s progress. If a child is making less than the progress we would expect for their age or individual circumstances, we will consider whether they have special educational needs. 

How are concerns about a special educational need raised?
Teachers with concerns about a young person’s progress will share these with the SEN Co-ordinator (SENCo) will communicate with parents to explore this further.

A query may also be raised by a young person themselves or by their parents. If you have a concern that your child may have a special educational need, please contact the college’s SENCo, Miss Kingsley by telephoning 01580 880 360 or via email using the address dkingsley@robertsbridge.org.uk


What assessment will you do?


Staff at the college are unable to formally diagnose special educational needs but will refer concerns on to appropriate professionals to offer assessments. Some of the services we work with regularly include:

  • CAHMs (Child and Adolescent Mental Health)- for young people  with needs related to mental health. This service is also involved with the assessment of needs such as Autism and ADHD.
  • Speech and Language Therapists- for young people with speech and language needs.
  • An Educational Psychologist

Screening for Dyslexia can be conducted within the college using an online programme called Lucid Rapid. This programme, like other forms of screening, gives an indication of the likelihood of a young person experiencing Dyslexia and allows us to make judgements about the types of support they may benefit from in their learning.

How are parents involved?


We recognise that parents have a critical role in the process of assessment. The college SENCo will make contact with you to discuss any form of assessment and to seek your consent before any action is taken. You will have the opportunity to discuss available options and have the right to decline an assessment or referral taking place, if you so wish.

Please contact the college’s SENCo, Miss Kingsley, in order to discuss assessment of special educational need.


 Referenced in law and guidance SEND CoP 6.79 bullet 5 
Arrangements for assessing and reviewing children and young people’s progress towards outcomes. This should include the opportunities available to work with parents and young people as part of this assessment and review

 

6.    How does the school teach and support children with SEN?     

Teachers regularly and rigorously review student attainment and progress.  The college holds the highest expectations of all learners.  Regular meetings are held within curriculum departments in which students making less than expected progress are identified and strategies for support within the classroom are agreed. 
Strategies for supporting young people with special educational needs vary depending on the type and level of need but may include the application of classroom strategies relating to:

  • The way materials are produced/presented for a young person 
  • Requirements for access to special equipment
  • Recommended approaches to teaching
  • Strategies to support sensory or physical needs

We firmly believe that the best outcomes for students are provided through access to a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum and that consistent, high quality classroom teaching is key to our students’ success.


Students with particular difficulties related to special educational needs will be considered for additional intervention-based support.  We regularly review the range, type and frequency of interventions offered to support students. 


These can change from time to time to reflect changing needs of students, staffing and resources.  Many of our intervention groups are led by committed teaching assistants.  Below are some examples of the types of interventions or additional support typically offered by the college for students with SEND:

  • Literacy development groups of students incorporating multi-sensory approaches to reading, writing and spelling.
  • Focused work on an individual or group basis to develop memory, organisation and independence.
  • Focused work on an individual or group basis to develop skills related to self-regulation and social/emotional engagement with learning.
  • Support to develop recording skills through writing or the use of specialist technology.
  • Teaching assistant support in lessons. This is requested by teachers for lessons in which support is required to ensure a students’ progress towards a specific learning objective and is an extension to a foundation of quality first teaching. 

In addition, all students have access to regular homework clubs, in which supervision and access to ICT are provided.


 Referenced in law and guidance - SEND CoP 6.79 bullet 7 
The approach to teaching children and young people with SEN

 

7.    How will the curriculum and learning environment be matched to the child’s needs?    


All pupils will have access to a broad and balanced curriculum which is suitable for all our pupils.  We will set high expectations for all pupils.

We adjust the curriculum for each child with SEN to make sure that they can access the subjects at their own level and make progress. This is called ‘differentiation’. 

We will look at the child’s level of achievement and see what support they need to make good progress and reach their potential.  We will use our Assessment policy to do this (link to this). We will talk with children and parents as part of the SEN support cycle (assess, plan, do, review).

To find out more about the curriculum in a particular subject area and how your child’s needs are being met within the classroom, please contact their teacher directly by emailing admin@robertsbridge.org.uk or telephoning 01580 880 360.
 

 Referenced in law and guidance - SEND CoP 6.79 bullet 8 
How adaptations are made to the curriculum and the learning environment of children and young people with SEN

 

8.    How are parents and carers involved in reviewing children’s progress and planning support?      

The college is committed to working closely with parents of all students to review, plan and support the progress of our students. The progress of all students, including those with special educational needs, is regularly monitored and reviewed by subject teachers and subject leaders. Regular grade cards and written reports are produced in which progress on each child is graded and parents and teachers are encouraged to communicate where a concern around progress in any particular subject arises.


In addition, parents of students recorded as having a special educational need will receive regular updates on the current strategies employed by staff to support their child. Parents are invited to review and develop these strategies, reflecting on the progress their son/daughter is making. This provides an opportunity to discuss and agree with parents any changes to support required.


Information on all students with special educational needs is available to staff, including details of relevant targets and specific support strategies for the classroom. This information is regularly updated by the special educational needs department to ensure that teachers can make necessary adaptations in their planning and assessment of pupils.


Parents/carers of pupils with more complex needs supported with School Based Plans, Statements of SEN or Education Health Care Plans have additional opportunities to formally review progress, as outlined below.

For students with Statements of SEN or Education Health Care Plans 

Statutory Annual Reviews are held in accordance with local and national guidance. In addition, flexible meetings and catch-ups are arranged flexibly on an individual basis. 
The views of parents and young people are acknowledged at each stage and all parties are encouraged to be involved in reviewing and setting targets.


Detailed records of each review are maintained on statutory forms provided by East Sussex County Council and made available to parents and carers.


For students with School Based Plans


Regular formal review meetings times a year are held in accordance with local and national guidance. This is flexible dependent on the type and level of need of each young person.

 Referenced in law and guidance -SEND CoP 6.79 bullet 3
Arrangements for consulting parents of children with SEN and involving them in their child’s education & SEND CoP 6.79 bullet 5 Arrangements for assessing and reviewing children and young people’s progress towards outcomes. This should include the opportunities available to work with parents and young people as part of this assessment and review

 

9.    How are children involved in reviewing their progress and planning support?     

The college is committed to ensuring young people are directly involved in having a voice in the support they receive. We involve students with special educational needs in the reviewing and planning process in a number of different ways, as shown below:   

  Who's Involved? How Often?
Student self-assessment of learning and progress Pupil, class teacher/Learning Mentor Daily opportunities are provided in lessons
Discussions with Learning Mentor Pupil, Learning Mentor Students meet with a Learning Mentor on a 
daily basis, providing an opportunity to
discuss progress and share concerns.
School Council Students, Head teacher Student representatives
are involved with school decision making on a weekly basis.
Pupil Voice Pupil, SENCo, SEN Staff At least once a year
SEN support review meetings Pupil, parents, SENCo Several times per 
Year.
Annual reviews (statements and EHC plans only) Pupil, parents, SENCO, support services, local authority. Once a year

Referenced in law and guidance - SEND CoP 6.79 bullet 4
Arrangements for consulting young people with SEN and involving them in their education
and 6.79 bullet 5 

 

10.    How does  the school prepare and support children to transfer to a new school/ college or the next stage of education and life? 
    

The college provides extensive transition and careers support for all students. This includes:

  • Access to assemblies focused on careers and transition
  • Opportunities to take part in theme days within school where visitors representing different career paths are invited in to speak with students
  • Support with the UCAS service, including the writing of applications
  • One-to-one appointments with our link careers advisor
  • An opportunity to attend a sixth form provision evening, attended by local sixth form providers. Parents are also invited along to this event.

Students requiring additional support with transition (such as those with special educational needs) will have additional opportunities to access taster days at college and take part in induction programmes over the Summer holidays (arranged by local colleges).

For young people with Statements of SEN or Education, Health and Care Plans, further support forms part of the annual review process at KS4.

Who can I ask for more information about careers and transition?


General questions about careers and transition can be directed to your child’s Learning Mentor by emailing admin@robertsbridge.org.uk

If you have a specific query or require detailed advice about an aspect of the transition process, please address your query to Jackie Wallis (Head of House) and email jwallis@robertsbridge.org.uk

Referenced in law and guidance - SEND CoP 6.79 bullet 6
Arrangements for supporting children and young people in moving between phases of education and in preparing for adulthood. As young people prepare for adulthood outcomes should reflect their ambitions, which could include higher education, employment, independent living and participation in society

 

11. What training do school staff have?  
  

All teaching staff


All staff are involved in regular, high-quality training as part of their professional development.  Past training has covered a wide range of areas related to special educational needs and future training is planned with the needs of students in mind. Our teachers do not currently hold accredited qualifications in specific areas of special educational need or disability.


The SEND Team


We have a committed team of four teaching assistants from a diverse range of backgrounds.  Many of the team are qualified to degree level and some have developed their expertise over many years of service with the school. The team has accessed specialist-delivered training in areas such as Autism, sensory needs, multi-sensory strategies for supporting learning, memory development and promoting self-regulation.
As a small secondary school, we do not have access to on-site speech and language therapists or educational psychologists. Where required and when possible, we access professionals and services provided by East Sussex County Council to all schools. 
SENCo
Our SENCo, Miss Kingsley holds the National Award in Special Educational Needs Co-ordination, a Certificate of Competence in Educational Testing, Registration with the British Psychological Society as a Registered Test User and a Post Graduate Certificate in Autism and Aspergers Syndrome.

Referenced in law and guidance SEND CoP 6.79 bullet 9
The expertise and training of staff to support children and young people with SEN, including how specialist expertise will be secured

 

12.    How does the school measure how well it teaches and supports children with SEN? 
    

We regularly and carefully review the quality of teaching for all pupils to make sure no-one under achieves. We look at whether our teaching and programmes of support have made a difference. We use information systems to monitor the progress and development of all pupils.  This helps us to develop the use of interventions that are effective and to remove those that are less so. 

Please feel free to contact your child’s Learning Mentor for information regarding overall progress, or speak to the teacher of an individual subject. You can do this by emailing the school via admin@robertsbridge.org.uk or telephoning 01580 880360.


Intervention Programmes
The progress of students supported through additional intervention is also closely monitored and communicated with parents. 

For further information, please contact Hannah Goldsmith (Senior Teaching Assistant) by email via hgoldsmith@robertsbridge.org.uk


Referenced in law and guidance SEND CoP 6.79 bullet 10 
Evaluating the effectiveness of the provision made for children and young people with SEN

 

13.    How accessible is the school and how does the school arrange equipment or facilities children need? 
    

Accessibility

Most lessons are held within the main school building, which spreads over two floors.  A single lift is available for use by students with limited mobility and wheelchair users.  There are small numbers of steps to rooms on the ground floor. In order to improve the accessibility of our site, a stair lift was installed in 2015, enabling access for wheelchair users.  


The college is committed to working with young people and families to make our site accessible. For further information about this and advice about accessibility, please contact our Business Manager David Evans by email via devans@robertsbridge.org.uk

Equipment and facilities for students with medical needs and disabilities
If you need to let us know that your child requires special equipment or facilities to support a medical need or disability while they are at school, please contact David Evans (Business Manager) by email via devans@robertsbridge.org.uk

    
Referenced in law and guidance - Section 69 Children and Families Act 2014 

 

14.    How are children included in activities with other children, including school trips?
    

Through careful planning and reasonable adjustments, pupils with SEN engage in the activities of the school together with those who do not have SEN and are encouraged to participate fully in the life of the school and in any wider community activity. 

We work with parents and pupils to listen to their views, feelings and wishes to ensure pupils with SEN engage fully in the life of the school and in any wider community activity. 

What if I have a question about a trip or activity?

Please direct queries regarding arrangements for students with SEND on trips directly to the trip organiser, whose details will be printed on the trip letter.


Referenced in law and guidance - SEND CoP 6.79 bullet 11 
How children and young people with SEN are enabled to engage in activities available with children and young people in the school who do not have SEN

 

15.    What support is there for children’s overall well-being and their emotional, mental and social development? 
    
Pastoral support for all students

Your child’s learning mentor is the first point of contact for any pastoral concerns. All students are placed in learning mentor groups.  They spend thirty minutes each morning in these groups for registration.  A young person’s learning mentor is their main point of contact for support and addressing any worries they may have related to their time at school.

Students are arranged into three separate ‘houses’: Mariners, Smugglers and Artisans.  Each head of house has oversight of a group of learning mentors.  Heads of house work alongside learning mentors to support students with pastoral issues, including behaviour.  Heads of house and learning mentors regularly communicate with wider school staff about issues of concern as they arise.


For young people with special educational needs, there is a wide range of other ways support for wellbeing is offered in school. This includes:

  • The possibility of allocating a mentor or ‘key person’ to a student to offer regular support
  • Referrals to a student adviser or school counsellor 
  • Access to a quieter space at break and lunch times
  • Support with homework available through a supervised Homework Club
  • Access to other services such as Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAHMs)

Safeguarding procedures

The college is committed to adhering to the highest standards of safeguarding and child protection.
Our Designated Safeguard Lead is Miss Carly Young (Deputy Headteacher).


A full copy of our Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy can be accessed on our website using the link below:
http://www.robertsbridge.org.uk/Policies

Anti-Bullying Policy

The college acts quickly to investigate and put a stop to incidents of bullying and takes reports of bullying behaviour very seriously.

A full copy of our Anti-Bullying Policy can be accessed on our website using the link below:

http://www.robertsbridge.org.uk/Policies

Referenced in law and guidance -SENd CoP 6.79 bullet 12 Support for improving emotional and social development. This should include extra pastoral support arrangements for listening to the views of children and young people with SEN and measures to prevent bullying

 

16. What specialist services does the school use to support children and their families?     

As part of the cycle of SEN support we will consider whether we need to involve other services to make sure the child’s specific needs are met. 

Parents are always involved in any decision to involve specialists and your consent is sought before any involvement with another professional is agreed.

The college accesses a range of external services as detailed in the East Sussex County Council Local Offer (www.eastsussex.gov.uk/localoffer)

Some examples include:

  • CAHMs (Child and Adolescent Mental Health)- for young people  with needs related to mental health. This service is also involved with the assessment of needs such as Autism and ADHD.
  • Speech and Language Therapists- for young people with speech and language needs.
  • An Educational Psychologist- where certain types of further assessment are required.

Access to these services can be subject to waiting lists. The college SENCo, Miss Kingsley, will be able to offer more information and advice.

Referenced in law and guidance  - SENd CoP 6.79 bullet 13
How the school involves other bodies, including health and social care bodies, local authority support services and voluntary sector organisations, in meeting children and young people’s SEN and supporting their families

 

17.Where can I get  information, advice and support?

    
Your child’s Learning Mentor will be happy to answer questions regarding any aspect of their learning, education and support within college.

For information about other support and services provided by East Sussex County Council, you can access their Local Offer using the link below:

www.eastsussex.gov.uk/localoffer

SEND information, advice and support service

Impartial advice and help for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and their parents and carers.

0345 60 80 192 informationforfamilies@eastsussex.gov.uk

www.eastsussex.gov.uk/sendadvice

Referenced in law and guidance CoP 6.81 re local offer & Children and Families Act regulation 51, schedule 1 (11)- re advice

 

18. What do I do if I am not happy or if I want to complain?   


You can obtain a full copy of the college’s complaint policy by contacting Miss H Stedman (PA to the Headteacher) by email via hstedman@robertsbridge.org.uk or by telephone on 01580 880 360.

The Stages of Making a Complaint
In the first instance, parents are encouraged to speak to the child's class teacher, or contact the school office to arrange an appointment to discuss your complaint with whoever you wish. 

The complaints process is divided into three stages: 

  • Stage 1 (informal): aims to resolve the concern informally, through the appropriate level in school. 
  • Stage 2 (formal): is the first formal stage where written complaints are considered by the Headteacher or a designated governor (if the complaint relates to the Headteacher). 
  • Stage 3 (formal): is only applicable if stages 1 and 2 have not resolved the complaint. Stage 3 involves the complaint being review by a panel appointed by the governing body. 
  • Stage 4 (formal): is only applicable if stages 1, 2 and 3 have not resolved the complaint. 

Referenced in law and guidance - SEND CoP 6.79 bullet 14 
Arrangements for handling complaints from parents of children with SEN about the provision made at the school