Wolverhampton City Council Local Offer for SEND
What is the Local Offer?
The Government plans, through the Children and Families Bill, to require all local authorities to publish, in one place, information about provision they expect to be available in their area for children and young people from 0 to 25 who have special educational needs – a local offer.
The local offer must include both local provision and provision outside the local area that the local authority expects is likely to be used by children and young people with SEND for whom they are responsible, including relevant regional or national specialist provision. As well as providing clear, comprehensive and accessible information about the support and opportunities that are available, the local offer should make provision more responsive to local needs and aspirations by directly involving children and young people with SEND, parents and carers, and service providers in its development and review.
Clause 30 of the Children and Families Bill gives details of the duty on local authorities to develop, publish and review their local offer. Further detail about what is required is given in indicative draft regulations, whilst guidance on carrying out the statutory duty is given in the indicative draft Special Educational Needs Code of Practice.
With the implementation of the Schools Funding Reform (April 2013) work has been on-going to develop the wider Schools Local Offer, which covers the universal banded funding approach (SEND Matrix) the authority has agreed. This sets out what schools and settings are expected to deliver for their high needs pupils and students through funding elements 1 and 2, and following robust evidence that these elements are insufficient to meet the pupil or student’s needs and explanation of element 3 (top up funding) provided by the authority.
As well as setting out the provision the local authority expects to be available in early years settings, schools and post 16 institutions the local offer should make clear where information provided by schools (under Clause 64 of the Children and Families Bill) about their arrangements for identifying, assessing and making provision for children and young people can be found.
To view the Wolverhampton Local Offer for SEND in detail click here.
Special Educational Needs and Disability
Everyone learns in different ways and at different rates. Many children and young people will therefore need extra help at some time during their education. In most cases schools and settings will help them overcome any difficulties by providing work that is suitable for their level of ability. This is called differentiation.
However, some children and young people will have a learning difficulty or disability that requires special educational provision. This is provision that is different from and additional to that generally available to pupils of the same age. These children and young people may be identified as having special educational needs (SEND).
What Does SEND Mean?
Special educational needs is described in law in the Children and Families Act 2014 as:
A child or young person has special educational needs if he or she has 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—
(a) has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or
(b) 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.
A child under compulsory school age has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she is likely to be within subsection (2) when of compulsory school age (or would be likely, if no special educational provision were made).
A child or young person does not have a learning difficulty or disability solely because the language (or form of language) in which he or she is or will be taught is different from a language (or form of language) which is or has been spoken at home.
What Does Disability Mean?
Many children and young people who have SEN may also have a disability. A disability is described in law (the Equality Act 2010) as ‘a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term (a year or more) and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.’
This includes, for example, sensory impairments such as those that affect sight and hearing, and long-term health conditions such as asthma, diabetes or epilepsy.
What is the SEND Code of Practice?
The SEND Code of Practice 2014 provides statutory guidance for organisations (this includes schools, early years providers and post 16 settings) working with and supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. The SEND Code of Practice covers the 0-25 age range.
The Department for Education has identified four broad areas which cover a range of needs. Some children and young people may have SEND that are defined by more than one of these areas:
1. Communication and interaction
Where children and young people have speech, language and communication difficulties which make it difficult for them to make sense of language or to understand how to communicate effectively and appropriately with others.
Children and young people with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder, including Asperger’s Syndrome, are likely to have particular difficulties with social interaction.
2. Cognition and learning
Where children and young people learn at a slower pace than others their age, they may:
have difficulty in understanding parts of the curriculum
have difficulties with organisation and memory skills
or have a specific difficulty affecting one particular part of their learning such as in literacy or numeracy
The term ‘learning difficulties’ covers a wide range of needs, including moderate learning difficulties (MLD), severe learning difficulties (SLD) and profound and multiple difficulties (PMLD). Specific learning difficulties (SpLD) such as dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia come under this term.
3. Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
Children and young people may experience a wide range of social and emotional difficulties which present themselves in many ways, such as:
where children and young people have difficulty in managing their relationships with other people
or if they behave in ways that may hinder their and other children’s learning or that have an impact on their health and wellbeing.
This broad area includes attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) or attachment disorder. It also includes behaviours that may reflect underlying mental health difficulties such as anxiety, depression, self-harming and eating disorders.
4. Sensory and/or physical needs
Where children and young people with visual and/or hearing impairments, or a physical need that means they must have additional ongoing support and equipment.
Our school SENCO is Helen Rowley.