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.
Each school will also provide information about the Local Offer on it's own website. You can find a complete list of schools, including their website and contact details by visiting Sefton Council's Schools finder
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.
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.
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:
Specialist education for complex needs
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