Local Offer - Education, Schools & Learning
The vast majority of children who have special educational needs or disabilities in Sefton will access their educational entitlement alongside their peers in mainstream schools. There is a rich and varied range of schools in Sefton including faith schools, maintained schools, academies, a free school and proposals for Studio schools.
For further information on school nurseries and schools, including admissions procedures, please visit the Sefton Council website.
Sefton has a range of support services [Sefton SEN and Inclusion] that work with early years settings and schools to help children or young people with special educational needs or disability to develop, be included and make good progress across the academic, social and emotional aspects of their life.
Schools both mainstream and special develop timetables, either full time or part time, which meet the needs of the child/young person. For further information please contact individual schools.
Each school will also provide information about the Local Offer and each school will publish a SEN Information report on it's own website, please contact the school to obtain this information. You can find a complete list of schools, including their website and contact details by visiting Sefton Council's Schools finder
Welcoming Children and Young People Back to School
Margaret Jones, Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health, has written to parents and guardians across the Borough to remind them about the arrangements in place for returning to school.
In her letter she explained that before the the start of term, each Sefton school has completed a risk assessment and identified specific measures for their settings.
Sefton’s schools will be following the national guidance. This means ‘pupil bubbles’ and social distancing/mixing measures have been removed and pupils are no longer be required to wear face coverings in school, although it is recommended they be worn in crowded and enclosed places.
Regular hand washing, personal hygiene and ventilation is also being recommended to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Should case numbers in a school or educational setting rise substantially, some control measures need to be temporarily reintroduced.
Although NHS Test & Trace are now responsible for contact tracing of all positive cases, if a child or young person tests positive for COVID-19, their school should still be informed.
Young people are no longer being advised to isolate if they are identified as a close contact of a COVID-19 case, but they will be asked to take a PCR test. If the PCR result is positive, the individual will then be required to self-isolate. All known contacts of positive COVID-19 cases should be reported to NHS Test & Trace, no matter vaccination status or age.
The letter reminds parents and guardians that if a child develops COVID-19 symptoms, they should book an appointment for them to have a PCR test and that the child should not come into school whilst they are awaiting the test results, even if they feel better. If their test result is negative, they can return to school. If their result is positive, they should continue to isolate and follow public health advice.
Appointments for PCR tests can be booked at www.gov.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.
Mrs Jones’ letter also encourages parents, carers, secondary pupils and college students to take regular rapid lateral flow (LFD) tests. Taking LFD tests twice a week remains one of the most effective ways to reduce transmission of COVID-19.
Free rapid tests are available through schools, colleges and nurseries for everyone who attends them or works at them. Primary age pupils in Year 6 or below do not need to do testing if they do not have symptoms or are not a contact of a positive COVID-19 case.
She also reminds readers that vaccination remains the best protection against the virus and encourages everyone eligible to get both doses as soon as possible.
Margaret Jones said:
Update for Parents/Carers and Professionals re SEND
The Coronavirus Pandemic and Covid 19 has undoubtedly impacted upon SEND in the same way as it has impacted upon all other public services. We would want to reassure all parents/carers and partners that;
In all areas the Local Authority is working to the Guidance provided by Government.
The day to day functioning of the SEN team who administer the EHCP process has continued with Business as Usual as far as possible. Different arrangements have been made in some circumstances such as; virtual meetings using remote technology. Panels have continued and new assessments and Reviews are ongoing.
Other teams who support Children and Young People with SEND, for example, specialist teachers and Educational Psychologists, are making best endeavours to carry out their duties but with strict Social Distancing measures.
A number of meetings have been held with SENDIASS and Sefton Parent Carer Forum to keep in touch and inform partners of any changes as a result of the updated guidance which has been forthcoming. The Local Offer has also been updated.
In line with guidance, a Risk Assessment Task was carried out at the beginning of the Lockdown, to ensure all children and Young People with EHCPs had contact arrangements in place and to monitor provision. A follow up to these Assessments is being carried out currently.
Very best wishes to all of our SEND community at this challenging time.
Useful Information during Coronavirus
Useful Support/Advice Webinars from Contact
Sefton's Quality First Teaching offer to all pupils
The Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0 to 25 years (DfE, 2014) says that a pupil has Special Educational Need where their learning difficulty calls for special educational provision, that is provision that is different from or additional to that normally available to pupils of the same age. Making higher quality teaching normally available to the whole class is likely to mean that fewer pupils will require such support.
All children and young people have the right to a good education and all schools are encouraged to ensure that a ‘quality first’ teaching approach is adopted in the classroom which is well planned, engaging, active and differentiated so that all pupils progress in every lesson:
- Quality First in Primary Schools [Sefton quality first teaching offer reflecting inclusive practice]
- Quality First in Secondary Schools [Sefton quality first offer to secondary pupils]
If required additional classroom support will be provided by schools for students with additional needs to ensure that they can access the curriculum and make expected progress. Parents and carers will be fully informed by schools of any extra support which is provided.
If you think your child may have a special educational need that has not been identified by their school or nursery, you should talk to your child’s teacher first, or ask to see the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) or Headteacher.
The SENCO is the person in the school who has a particular responsibility for co-ordinating help for children with special educational needs or Headteacher. Working together with your child’s teachers will often help to sort out worries and problems.
Special Educational Provision
Some children will need additional support. This kind of help is called “special educational provision”. From September 2014 children and young people will receive support under a single school based category called “SEN support in schools”.
When a special educational need has been identified, the school or nursery should start a cycle of actions. This cycle is called the graduated approach and involves the teacher, the SENCO, teaching assistants, and sometimes other professionals. You, as parents/carers are involved and so is the child or young person.
In addition to Quality First there are further expectations about Special Educational Need provision in Sefton Schools:
- Expectations for SEN provision in Sefton's primary schools [Sefton's expectations regarding SEN provision in primary settings]
- Expectations for SEN provision in Sefton's secondary schools [Sefton's expectations regarding SEN provision for secondary pupils]
The majority of children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) will have their needs met by mainstream education providers using the resources available within their own budgets or accessing additional funding from the local authority. A request for an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment should not be the first step in the process for helping to meet the needs of a child or young person but should build on co-ordinated work that is already happening between families, educational settings and support services, health and social care professionals. It should be noted that in Sefton, educational settings can apply to the local authority for top-up funding from the High Needs budget where the additional support necessary to meet a young person's needs exceeds around £6000, (These are the costs the school/academy would not incur if the child was not on roll).
The authority can provide top-up funding to the school/college or early years setting without the need for an EHC plan to be completed.
There may however come a time when despite the best efforts of all involved parents/carers, professionals or the young person themselves (over the age of 16) feel that the young person’s special educational needs cannot be met by the additional resources available to the mainstream setting and there is evidence that the child/young person is not making adequate educational progress.
Where the special educational provision required cannot be provided through the resources and services that are available to the mainstream setting, it may be necessary to apply for an EHC needs assessment.
Specialist Provision For Pupils With Complex Needs
Sefton has a range of specialist provision for those with the most complex needs. Sefton has some enhanced provision in mainstream school schools; often called resourced provision or units. There are also six special schools. You can view/download the range of provision below:
These settings are supported by the Complex Needs Team at Sefton's SEN and Inclusion Service, to find out more about this service please click: Sefton SEN and Inclusion Service
Special Provision Capital Plan
Sefton is ambitious in providing high quality provision for pupils and is currently in the process of applying for funding to support the development of provision.
Since the Children & Families Act (2014) and the subsequent reforms, there has been an increase in parental preference for specialist provision. The number of children and young people with an education health care plan in Sefton has increased from around 850 in 2014 to nearly 1,450 currently. The local authority needs to ensure there are sufficient places to meet the needs of children and young people who live in the local area.
Our aim, within Sefton, is for children and young people with SEND to be able to attend a school within their own community. In order to do this we want them to be able to be supported to attend a local mainstream school or access a place in high quality specialist provision without having to travel long distances.
Some of our school buildings are old and require work to keep them in good condition and fully able to meet the needs of the pupils who go to these schools.
DfE have provided some capital funding to support this and the projects identified are shown below.
Specialist resourced provision at Redgate Primary school: This project is to create 20 specialist places for children with expansion to a good primary school. Maintained specialist places for children with complex needs are nearly full and this project creates additional places to support primary children with this complex profile in a geographically different part of the Borough so that children will be able to attend school within their local community. The investment is part of a wider package of investment to reduce children's travel times to other local authorities and support them to be independent in their own community. Work will take place over the summer of 2019.
The estimated cost of this work is £60,000
Rowan Park School: This project is the expansion to an outstanding special school. Maintained specialist places for children with ASD and SLD are full and this project creates places to support primary children with this complex profile without having to send them out of borough so that children will be able to attend school within their local community. The investment is part of a wider package of investment to reduce commissioning cost for HN funding. Work will commence in 2019.
The estimated cost of this work is £350,000
IMPACT Pupil Referral Unit and Alternative Provision: This project will refurbish the Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) and Alternative Provision (AP) at IMPACT. This is needed to ensure the provision remains fit for purpose and can support children and young people with SEND who need a statutory assessment but are not able to remain in their current educational setting. The project will enable the current PRU to be combined on the one site which will free up capacity to support more pupils with mental health issues via the Complementary Education Service in the vacated premises which are connected to their building.
The estimated costs of this are £700,000
Crosby High School: This project will improve accessibility in the school for wheelchair users through adaptations needed to the existing structure. The number of wheelchair users and children using standing frames and other walking aids in the school has increased over the last few years and this will continue into 2019/20. The works are needed to widen doorways and access points in corridors to improve accessibility around the school. Work will take place over the summer of 2019.
The estimated costs of this are £40,000.
The Pathway of Support in Sefton Video
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