Frequently Asked Questions
Who do I talk to about SEND?
Initially please speak to your child’s class teacher and discuss your concerns. If you would like to speak to our SEND team, please contact via our contact details which can be found in the ‘worried about a child’ on the main SEND page.
Can you refer my child for a diagnosis?
Yes, the school can refer your child for a diagnosis of ADHD, ASD or other referrals needed such as Speech and language. These referrals are completed by the SENCO team with support of the class teachers.
NB due to increased number of referrals we currently have a waiting list.
I think my child needs an EHCP
This is an Educational Healthcare Plan. An EHCP is a legal document owned by the Local Authority. It sets out a child’s needs, the provision needed to meet those needs, and the school placement. The criteria for an EHCP are stringent.
There is further information about EHCP on this website: https://www.kent.gov.uk/education-and-children/special-educational-needs/education-health-and-care-plans/what-happens-during-a-needs-assessment
On this web page there is also information about the ‘pathway’ and timelines, but the whole process, from request to ‘decision to issue’ the plan is 20 weeks. Sometimes, if there is a lack of evidence, the process stops at 6 weeks. If a parent is unhappy about a decision, they can appeal to the Local Authority.
A school can also make a request for an EHCP but need to be sure that they have sufficient plan/do/review (3 cycles) and evidence of what has been in place (provision that is additional to or different to) that is not working. Schools also need to take an EHCP request to their local LIFT meeting so that specialists can determine if anything more can be done, before an EHCP is requested.
I think my child has autism. What can we do?
Autism is a neurodevelopmental condition. Therefore, any diagnosis of autism is a life-long health diagnosis and is not educational. There is no ‘test’ for autism. Instead, a paediatrician will collate evidence about a child’s social communication skills, repetitive or restrictive interests and sensory differences so that a judgement against particular health criteria can be made.
As a school we are able to make a referral for an assessment with parents’ consent, however the referral process can take up to 3 years.
If a child is displaying traits of autism, our teachers will implement appropriate support strategies even if your child has not received a diagnosis.
I think my child has ADHD. What can we do?
As above, this is a Health diagnosis. This is a behavioural disorder.
Same principles apply – school can make a referral. Children with this need may display inattentive or hyperactive/ impulsive behaviour that is significantly different from the majority of the peer group and across different environments, to refer. Children usually cannot be referred until they are 6.
There is no test for ADHD. Instead, information is collated from home/school and a certain ‘threshold’ must be met when comparing parent and school scores – and the child is observed in clinic.
I think my child has some speech and language difficulties. What can we do?
If your child is in our Nursery or Reception, we can ask our Speech and language Therapy Assistant to carry out a language assessment. This will identify areas of weakness in language and targeted support can be offered.
If your child is in Year 1 –6 we can run a speech link or language link screener. This identifies the speech sounds that the child might be muddling/substituting, or which areas of language (e.g. instructional, vocabulary, concepts, pronouns etc) they are weaker with. It helps us determine how severe a problem there may be, as well as the areas of weaknesses.
These can also help us identify additional interventions your child may need, which will also provide evidence to help us make a referral to the NHS speech and language therapy team, if intervention does not have impact.
It is important to note that these are computer-based snapshot, and it is important to talk to you as a parent /carer as well as the teacher.
How do I know if my child has dyslexia?
We can only screen for dyslexia, and this will provide an overview of your child’s strengths and areas for development. Screening reports are then shared with teachers so they are aware of how to support your child through Quality First Teaching in the classroom.
How can you support my child with understanding their emotions?
As a school we have a Welfare team that can support children with a variety of emotional difficulties. Please speak to your child’s class teacher if you have any concerns.
I think my child should be on the SEN register. Will this give them more support?
As a school we use the strategies outlined in The Mainstream Core standards to support the inclusion of all children. The school is bound by a definition of Special Educational Needs as set out by the legal framework, the SEN Code of Practice (2014).
Having a SEN or being placed on a school’s SEN register is not because a child receives a diagnosis of a condition – it must be because educational provision is consistently different for them to enable them to make progress in their areas of difficulty. Parents and carers must remember that if their child has a health condition or diagnosis, that this probably falls under the 2010 Equality Act and means that any school or educational provider must make reasonable adjustments for them, whether they are SEN or not.
We support the presenting needs of a child and teachers will adapt work and their teaching delivery as necessary, maintaining interventions for those children that need something ‘additional or different to’. Having a SEN or not SEN does not change this.