What you can expect from us
- We support children, young people and their parents or carers who live in Blackpool, regardless of where the child or young person attends for their education
- We aim to respond to all enquiries within 7 working days
- We offer a range of information, advice and support and this will be determined by the level of support needed at the time of the enquiry
- Our attendance and support at meetings will be subject to the relevance of our role at the time and the availability of staff
- The range and duration of support will vary depending on the needs of the case, the information and support offered will be tailored accordingly. This may include face-to-face meetings, contact by telephone or email
- We will make sure that you aware of all the options so that you can make an informed choice
What is a special educational need
The SEND Code of Practice says:
"A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.
A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:
- Has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or
- Has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions"
Special educational provision is educational or training provision that is additional to, or different from, that made generally for other children or young people of the same age.A child or young person may not necessarily have a learning difficulty but may still meet the definition SEN.
What is a disability
According to the Equality Act 2010, a person is disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment, which has a long-term and substantial adverse affect on their ability to carry our normal day-to-day activities.
These are the four broad areas of need, a full description of each can be found in the SEND Code of Practice:
- Communication and interaction
- Cognition and learning
- Social, emotional and mental health
- Sensory and/or physical needs
For example, a child may suffer with high anxiety or sensory impairments. These barriers to learning may mean that a child or young person has additional support (Special Educational Provision), known as SEN Support.
Support for SEN is not dependent on a medical diagnosis.
Make some notes to help keep you focused including:
- Your key questions/concerns (use the SENDIASS Planner)
- Any positive ideas you may have yourself, what works for you
- Any strategies which are likely to make the situation worse
Your emotions are likely to be raised because this involves your child but remember the meeting will go better if you remain calm
During the meeting
- Make sure everyone introduces themselves and you are clear about their roles and responsibilities
- Check the finishing time of the meeting
- If anyone is going to take notes ask for a copy, or take your own notes, action points particularly should be recorded and agreed before the meeting ends
- If anything is said which you do not understand, ask for an explanation
- Try to focus on solutions, you could use questions such as:
- What can we do to move this forward?
- Is there a strategy which could be put in place?
- Do you have any ideas of what could help?
- What could make this better?
- What support could the school offer?
- What could I/we do to support?
- If your concerns have not all been discussed ask how this might be followed up - phone call, Email, or further meeting?
- Agree a date to check on progress and agree who you can contact in the future
After the meeting
Following the meeting you should know:
- Who is going to do what and by when
- How the action points are going to be reviewed
- How any other issues are going to be followed up
- Who to contact if you have any questions
If, after the given timescales, the situation has not improved:
- It may be that the strategies in place are not successful and that something else needs to be tried
- It may be that agreed actions have not happened
If you are not happy
If you are not happy, speak to the headteacher and, if you still feel unhappy, you can ask to see or speak to a governor or governors at the school.
The school will have a complaints policy for when you want to take things further.
Letters and fact sheets
We've selected a few resources that you may find useful: