A child has special educational needs if he or she has difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for him or her to learn than most other children of about the same age. Many children will have a special need of some kind during their education. Some children will need extra help and support from us for some or all of their time at St Weonards Academy.
Please click on this link to find out how Herefordshire Council can help with Special Educational Needs and Disability through the SEND Local Offer.
Communication and interaction needs
Children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) have difficulty in communicating with others. This may be because they have difficulty saying what they want to, understanding what is being said to them or they do not understand or use social rules of communication. The profile for every child with SLCN is different and their needs may change over time. They may have difficulty with one, some or all of the different aspects of speech, language or social communication at different times of their lives.
Children and young people with ASD, including Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism, are likely to have particular difficulties with social interaction. They may also experience difficulties with language, communication and imagination, which can impact on how they relate to others.
Cognition and learning needs
Support for learning difficulties may be required when children learn at a slower pace than their peers, even with appropriate differentiation. Learning difficulties cover a wide range of needs, including moderate learning difficulties (MLD) and severe learning difficulties (SLD), where children are likely to need support in all areas of the curriculum and associated difficulties with mobility and communication. Specific learning difficulties (SpLD), affect one or more specific aspects of learning. This encompasses a range of conditions such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia.
Social, emotional and mental health needs
Children may experience a wide range of social and emotional difficulties which manifest themselves in many ways. These may include becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well as displaying challenging, disruptive or disturbing behaviour. These behaviours may reflect underlying mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression, self-harming, eating disorders or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained. Other children may have disorders such as attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder or attachment disorder.
Sensory and/or physical needs
Some children require special educational provision because they have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of the educational facilities generally provided. These difficulties can be age related and may fluctuate over time. Many children with vision impairment (VI), hearing impairment (HI) or a multi-sensory impairment (MSI) will require specialist support and/or equipment to access their learning, or habilitation support. Children with an MSI have a combination of vision and hearing difficulties. Some children with a physical disability (PD) require additional ongoing support and equipment to access all the opportunities available to their peers.
If you have any concerns about your child’s progress you should first talk to your child’s class teacher. The teacher spends the most time with your child each day and will have the most knowledge and information about their learning needs.
Working together with your child’s class teacher will often help to sort out worries and problems. The closer you work with your child’s teacher, the more successful and helpful it can be. If your child has a different teacher for a certain subject, e.g. maths or literacy, it is also helpful to inform those teachers of any concerns you may have in relation to those subjects.
In our school we have an SEN Co-ordinator (SENCo), who is responsible for co-ordinating support for children with special educational needs. The SENCo is Mrs Zayla Beecham and she can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the main office and leaving a message. Mrs Beecham is our Federation SENCo so often visits the other HMFA schools, however she will respond to any messages as soon as she is able to. We also have an Assistant SENCo, Mrs Kate Higgins, who supports Mrs Beecham’s role in a variety of ways – she can be contacted at email@example.com. Mrs Beecham and Mrs Higgins work very closely together so Mrs Higgins may respond to messages from parents in Mrs Beecham’s absence.
In addition to the SEN Team we also have a Pastoral and Safeguarding Team which is led by Mrs Jan McColl, our Pastoral and Safeguarding Manager. Although all staff members have a responsibility to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the children in our care, Mrs McColl has the overall responsibility in this area. There are several other members of staff in the pastoral team: Mrs Ryder (Family Support Worker) & Mrs Millikin (Learning Mentor). The Pastoral and Safeguarding Team support and motivate children who are experiencing any barrier to learning including poor social skills, difficulties with friendships, poor attendance, low self-esteem, difficult family circumstances and bereavement to name a few. They have many contacts with a range of agencies and they can offer signposting, guidance and support for children and families on a wide range of issues and difficulties. These issues and difficulties may include questions and concerns around parenting, behaviour, separation or divorce, domestic violence and more. See the Safeguarding Information on this website.
All practitioners work under the direction of Mrs Beecham and support children with more specific barriers to learning. In addition to this we are also in contact with a range of external agencies who may be able to offer more specialised advice and support, including Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Visual Impairment Team, Hearing Impairment Team, Specialist Speech and Language Therapists, Community Paediatrics, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) and the Local Authority’s Outreach Service for children who have a diagnosis of ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) .
Herefordshire SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIAS)
SENDIAS provides free information, advice and support to parents and carers of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and to young people with SEND up to the age of 25. They offer an impartial, confidential and supportive service, separate from the school or the local authority, covering educational matters, social care and health entitlements, to help you play an active role in planning for your son or daughter’s future. In particular they can:
The SENDIAS Team can be contacted on (01432) 260955 or you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Their address is: Herefordshire SENDIAS, Franklin House, 4 Commercial Road, Hereford, HR1 2BB
Please visit Herefordshire SENDIAS website for more information.
Herefordshire Parent Carers Support
Being a parent caring for a child with disabilities and/or special needs can be very rewarding but even when you willingly take on the task it’s still hard work. You may have times when there is too much to do; not enough money; no social life or time for yourself and not enough for sleep or relaxation. Anyone who provides care and support to a child under 18 who is ill, has a disability or any additional needs is a Parent Carer and Herefordshire Parent Carers Support offers a wide range of help, advice and support specifically targeted to meet the needs of Parent Carers. By registering with the service you will meet people with similar challenges and also strengthen the Herefordshire parents Carer Voice – a forum of Parent Carers who contribute to the planning of future services in Herefordshire.
Herefordshire Parent Carers Support also provides:
Please visit Herefordshire Carers Support website for more information on the services they can provide or to register as a Parent Carer.
WISH Wellbeing, Information and Signposting for Herefordshire
WISH is a directory of services for families in Herefordshire, offering information on a wide variety of subjects including: Children and families; Keeping well and staying healthy; Things to do and latest news; Looking after someone; Keeping safe; Learning, work and volunteering; Money and legal matters; Housing and accommodation; Transport, travel and mobility Equipment, adaptation and technology and a link to the Local Offer for Special Educational Needs.
To explore the directory, go to WISH Herefordshire website for more information.