Wirral is committed to giving all children and young people a high quality education that allows them to achieve well in their early years, at schools and college and lead happy and fulfilled lives.
All Wirral settings are required by the Code of Practice to identify and address the SEN of the children/young people that they support. They must:
- Use their best endeavours to make sure that a child/young person with SEN gets the support they need – this means doing everything they can to meet children and young people’s SEN
- Ensure that children and young people with SEN engage in activities alongside pupils who do not have SEN
- Designate a teacher to be responsible for co-ordinating SEN provision
- Inform parents/young people when they are making special educational provision
- Prepare a “SEN Information Report” – Wirral Schools have prepared this report, which includes their arrangements for the admission of disabled children, the steps taken to prevent disabled children from being treated less favourably than others, the facilities provided to enable access to the school for disabled children and their accessibility plan, showing how they plan to improve access over time. Currently, these reports can be found on individual school sites (a full list of links will be produced as part of the development of this site)
What is meant by Special Educational Needs?
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 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
In Wirral the vast majority of children who have Special Educational Needs and or disabilities will have their needs met in their local mainstream early year’s settings, schools or colleges. Only “some children/young people” will require an Educational, Health and Care Needs Assessment in order for the Local Authority to decide whether it is necessary for it to make provision in accordance with an EHC Plan.
The support required to meet most children’s SEN needs will come from the setting, school or college’s own SEN budget (This is known as Element 1 and 2 funding). Previously this support was known as School Action or School Action Plus.
Full details of what schools will provide for children within each category of need will be included in Wirral’s SEN Toolkit Document, which will be included in Wirral’s SEN Handbook (coming soon).
Under the New Code of Practice this is now referred to as SEN Support through the graduated response. It is the responsibility of each individual school to describe how, with their allocated SEN resource; they intend to meet the needs of children and young people who they have identified in their school.
For a small amount of children and young people who do not make the progress expected of them, despite their setting having taken “relevant and purposeful action to identify, assess and meet their special educational needs” the Local Authority will consider whether an Education, Health and Care Assessment is necessary.
Education, Health and Care Assessment processes and admissions to special schools are managed by the SEN team at Hamilton Building. The team is primarily responsible for the completion of the Plans and work with parents, settings, and professionals in health and social care. Assessments are requested via the educational setting or directly from parents.
The service is for all children and young people aged 0-25.
This team can be contacted via the Children and Young People’s Department, SEN Section, Hamilton Building, Conway Street, Birkenhead, Wirral, CH41 4FD. Tel: 0151 666 4224. Or by clicking here
As the result of an EHC assessment most children or young people will receive an EHC Plan allowing them to access additional funding from the Councils High Needs Budget. (This is known as Element 3 funding). This can be used for support in a mainstream school or to access Specialist Provision.
The Local Authority can also provide Element 3 Funding in certain circumstances without an EHC assessment when a child has a disability which is a significant barrier to their learning. These enhanced funding arrangements are currently known as ” Individual Pupil Funding Arrangements” for children who have social and communication difficulties and “Individual Health Care Plans” for children with Physical Disabilities. For details of these systems please contact the ASC Team or the Medical Physical Needs Team.
Disabled Children and Young People
Many children and young people who have SEN may have a disability that is ‘a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities’. Long-term is defined as ‘a year or more’ and ‘substantial’ means ‘more than minor or trivial’. Please see Wirral’s Medical and Physical Support Team and the Autism and Social Communication Team
The Equality Act 2010 sets out the legal obligations that schools, early years providers, post-16 institutions, local authorities and others have towards disabled children and young people:
The requirements of the Equality Act have NOT been changed by the Children And Families Act
Children with Medical Conditions
The Children & Families Act places a duty on maintained schools and academies to make arrangements to support pupils with medical conditions. A healthcare plan will set out the type and level of support required to meet these needs. Guidance on “Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions” can be found by clicking here.