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Education

Children aged 5-11 go to a primary school and older children aged 11 - 18 go to secondary schools. Primary schools can be for children aged 5 -11 or may be infant schools (from ages 5-7) and junior schools (from ages 7-11). Special schools often cater for children from ages 3-16. Some special schools offer places for young people up to 19 years.

Nearly all children with special educational needs and disability (SEND) go to a 'mainstream' early years setting or school. Many children and young people may need some extra help or support at some time. Very few children will have special educational needs (SEN) that are long-term or a disability or medical condition that significantly affects their learning. It is important to identify children who do have special educational needs and disability (SEND) as early as possible. This is known as early intervention and makes sure they get the help they need.

Children have ‘special educational needs and disability’ if they have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn than most children of the same age.

The government says that children have a learning difficulty if they:

  • have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age
  • or if they have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of the same age

This is the definition given in the special educational needs and disability Code of Practice (2014). The Department for Education has a guide that explains how the system that supports children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities works.

If you are worried about your child you should talk to their class teacher, school SENCO or early years setting. You could talk to another professional such as a health visitor, GP or childminder. They will be able to help find out whether your child may have special educational needs and disability.

Accessibility strategy

The Royal Greenwich Accessibility Strategy for 2016-2019 can be found here 

For further information please contact:

Inclusion, Learning & Achievement
Telephone: 020 8921 5560
Email: services-to-schools@royalgreenwich.gov.uk

Support available in Greenwich mainstream schools for children with SEN/disabilities

This information has been produced to provide support and clarity to parents, on the type of support, interventions and strategies that should be available to your child in a mainstream setting in the Royal Borough of Greenwich (RBG). The information is primarily for parents with children at SEN support of the Code of Practice i.e. identified as having additional educational needs but not with an Education Health Care Plan, but also applies to pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan.This document should be read alongside the more detailed guidance in the full support and guidance document for schools, for specific details for individual areas of need.

What the Royal Borough of Greenwich expects your child’s schools to do, to
ensure your child is included?

  • RBG and partner agencies believe that wherever possible, your child should be educated alongside their local peers in their local school/community
  • Schools are expected to meet the individual needs of your child, including any additional needs through personalised learning plans and a graduated response,responsive to your child’s changing needs.
  • This response may need to become more intensive with more specialized input being delivered over time, and in some cases may result in a request for statutory assessment if the resources available to the school are not sufficient to meet your child’s needs.
  • Your child’s school will be expected to adapt the curriculum, to enable your child’s learning, which may include adaptations to the way the curriculum is delivered e.g. providing a sensory curriculum in older year groups etc..

RBG EXPECTS YOUR CHILD’S SCHOOL TO:


1. Set suitable learning challenges for your child
Teachers are expected to set high expectations for every pupil, including planning
lessons for pupils with additional needs.


2. Respond to your child’s individual needs
Lessons should be planned to ensure that there are no barriers for your child to achieve
and if necessary access will be made for your child to use specialist equipment and
different approaches. There is detailed information available about this in the full
document, organised into different areas of need:

  • Cognition and Learning: (Moderate and Specific Learning Difficulties) this includes dyslexia
  • Speech & Language Difficulties
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties
  • Physical Disability /Medical Condition
  • Sensory Impairment: (vision & hearing)

Information is available in each of these specialist areas, based on good practice to meet needs, on:

  • How the classroom/whole school environment should be adapted for your child
  • How the curriculum should be adapted for your child
  • Any specialist teaching methods or interventions that may be appropriate to consider
  • Links with you and other important people in their life outside of school
  • Support for social development /pastoral support

SEN support document

3. Plan with you and your child to meet your needs:
Schools are expected to plan with you and your child, around what you and your child want them to achieve in their life, leading to achievable and realistic actions and next steps. This will be captured in your child’s “pupil profile” which is always completed when a statutory assessment is requested, but is recommended to be completed at the point that is clear that your child has additional educational needs, and should be updated with you and your child on a regular basis.


Outcomes (future goals) will then be set with you and your child as steps towards the
longer term aspirations.


PUBLIC SECTOR EQUALITY DUTY
The Public Sector Equality Duty, which came into force across Great Britain on 5 April
2011, requires schools to:

  • Remove or minimise disadvantages suffered by people due to their disabilities.
  • Take steps to meet the needs of people with disabilities where these are different from the needs of other people.
  • Encourage people with disabilities to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is disproportionately low.

These duties apply to inclusion within the school setting but also to trips out of school,
school journeys, shortened school days etc… Detailed information about the Equality Duty can be found here.


FUNDING AVAILABLE IN MAINSTREAM SCHOOLS FOR CHILDREN (up to
16 years of age) WITHOUT AN EHC PLAN:
Schools receive funding from RBG to support your child if they need extra support at SEN Support level. It is expected that schools typically have sufficient funds available to provide support if your child needs up to and including 20 hours of support, without needing to ask for a statutory assessment. Schools can request additional support if they have exceptional needs within a year group etc.
If you require information for students older than 16 years this can be provided through the SEN department.


SEN Team information


If you require information for children below statutory school age (i.e. not yet in Reception then please use the following link to the detailed guidance, as funding is organised in a different way.
Early Years funding information

 

Education, Health and Care Plans

From September 2014 Education, Health and Care Plans (EHC Plans) started to replace Statements of Special Educational Need. The government introduced a new Act – the Children and Families Act – which has changed the way children and young people from 0-25 years with SEND are supported. Learning Difficulty Assessments (LDA’s) are also being replaced by EHC Plans. Children and young people who already have a Statement of SEN or LDA will, where appropriate, gradually transfer over to EHC Plans by March 2018.

What are the benefits of EHC Plans?

-       Children, young people and their parents are at the centre of planning and should be seen as partners in the process.

-       There is a focus on the child or young person’s aspirations for the future

-       There is a focus on life outcomes – not just educational outcomes

-       The process looks at each child and young person as an individual

-       EHC Plans bring together education, health and care services into one plan.

-       Children, young people and their parents  should only have to tell their story once

-       EHC Plans may support young people up to 25 years depending on educational needs

Will my child receive an EHC Plan?

-       We will use the same criteria to agree to a needs assessment for an EHC Plan as we did for a statutory assessment for a Statement of SEN i.e. when it is considered that a child or young person may have special educational needs which cannot be reasonably provided for by the educational setting without an EHC Plan.

-       Needs assessments will now be for an EHC Plan.

How do I get an EHC Plan?

-       In the majority of cases it will be a child or young person’s educational setting that makes the request for a needs assessment.

-       Parents can also request a needs assessment. If your child or young person is at school, then you are advised to speak to their teacher or the schools Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) first as they may be able to make the request for you.

-       On the rare occasion that a parent wishes to make a request themselves, they should contact the SEND Assessment Team on:

tel: 020 8921 8044 / email. special-needs@royalgreenwich.gov.uk

 What if my child already has a Statement of SEN?

-       In most cases the Statement of SEN will be converted to an EHC Plan  no later than March 2018.

-       A timetable has been produced that sets out when different year groups will have their Statement of SEN converted to an EHC Plan.

-       The provision set out in the Statement of SEN will not change in the EHC Plan, unless, as before it is agreed through the annual review process.

-       All parents will be told when their child or young person’s Statement of SEN will be converted to an EHC Plan and they will be involved in the process.

Who do I talk to if I think my child has special educational needs?

If you think your child may have special educational needs, contact the person in your child’s school or nursery responsible for special educational needs. This person is called the “SEN Coordinator” or “SENCo”.

Contact the SEND Assessment team 020 8921 8029 / special-needs@royalgreenwich.gov.uk or your doctor if your child isn’t in a school or nursery.

You could also contact the SENDIASS service (formerly Parent Partnership) on 020 8921 2549 for impartial advice.

You can find out more about Education Health and Care Plans and the processes in place in Royal Greenwich on the links to the right.

Support for transition to Primary school

1. CHOOSING A PRIMARY SCHOOL

Choosing a school for any child is an anxious time, but can be even harder when your child has additional needs. Attached are some guidelines, adapted from advice given by the National Autistic Society that may help you think about the right questions to ask when you make a school visit. Although they are written for families of children with an ASD, they are as applicable for other types of additional need. Click here for attachment.

2. APPLYING FOR A PRIMARY SCHOOL

The Royal Borough of Greenwich provides information for parents applying for a Primary School place for their child. An interactive version of the ‘Primary Schools in Royal Greenwich’ booklet is available on the Royal Borough of Greenwich website. Reference hard copies are available in Royal Greenwich primary schools and libraries. The Families Information and Outreach Service organises sessions to support parents in making informed and realistic preferences, and provide help in completing the relevant forms. All schools have information in their Local Offer/SEND information report which outlines the specific processes for transition in and out of their schools.


Applying for a Primary school


· You need to complete the Common Application Form, stating your preference schools, from 1st September with a closing date of the 15th January. Details on how to apply are available on Royal Borough of Greenwich website.
· It is important that you consider each school’s admission arrangements and previous years’ application rates before deciding on your preference schools.
· You will receive the outcome of your application on the 18th April.

 

There are separate system for applying to Primary school, dependent on whether your child has an Education Health and Care Plan.


Applying for a school if your child has an EHC Plan


· Parents will be supported to state their preference for a Primary school in the autumn term e.g. at the review meeting
· Your preferred school/s will be consulted with and you will be informed of the outcome.
· In January final decisions about school placement are made
· By the 15th February the final EHC Plan naming your child’s primary school from the following September will be sent out

 

3. TRANSPORT TO SCHOOL


Detailed information is available in the Local Authority transport policy; however children of pre-school age will not be transported by the Royal Borough of Greenwich other than in exceptional circumstances, for example:

- Where they have special educational needs and/or live in excess of 2 miles from the Primary School (this does not apply to parent preferences where the local authority have identified a school within the 2 mile radius that can meet the child’s needs).

- Either the parent/carer or child has a disability

- There is intervention by Royal Borough of Greenwich on the grounds of safeguarding or social care.

 

4. TRANSITION INTO SCHOOL

Primary schools will have their own transition arrangements which may include:

  • Home visits
  • Visits into school to spend time in the classroom
  • Meetings for parents

Parents should ask the early years setting their child attends for the general transition arrangements they have for all children moving on to primary school

In some areas of the Local Authority early years settings have arrangements in place where they come together to share information on the children moving from their setting into Primary school.  

 
These events are typically held on an annual basis to support children to make a successful transition to their chosen Primary school.  Where they take place the events enable the transfer of child based information between the early years setting and primary school to support transition.

Transition planning for children who have more complex needs.

The Royal Borough of Greenwich is working towards a model of good practise for children who have more complex needs e.g. children with a lower level of Special Educational Need or Disability with a focus on those at SEND support, Looked after children (LAC), Children who have had behaviour support while in their early years setting.

 

  • Discussion with parents and Early Years setting re transition planning with the Primary school
  • Identification of a Lead Professional for the transition.
  • The Lead Professionals role may include:

Ensuring key information is shared before September

Coordinating a transition meeting.

 

Transition planning for children who have an EHCP.

 

  • Discussion with parents and Early Years setting re transition planning
  • Establishment of a Lead Professional for the transition, identified at a Team around the Child meeting
  • Lead Professional to set date for a transition meeting and co-ordinate attendance.

 

The Transition meeting:

  • Will usually take place in the summer term, involving parents, all professionals and settings involved in the transition
  • Will consider all key issues including level of support, involvement of key professionals, support to build independence and targets for successful transition.
  • An Action Plan will be agreed regarding which professionals will provide support e.g. creating a photo book of the new setting to act as an adapted Social Story for the child.
  • Dates for reciprocal meetings between settings to take place to get to know child.
  • Any records required to support information sharing e.g. a “Profile” to support the child and new staff in understanding their needs.
  • The meeting should identify which services continue to be involved, which will discharge and who will take on the role of Lead Professional moving forward.

 

During the autumn term your child’s progress will be reviewed, which may include:

  • A meeting to review transition targets in school and in the home setting.
  • Setting new targets.

         

5. TRANSFER PROCESS INTO SPECIALIST PROVISIONS/SCHOOLS

Most children attend mainstream schools and Ofsted inspection reports confirm that, overwhelmingly, they do well there. Some children who need a high level of support attend a Designated Specialist Provision (DSP) provided in some of Royal Borough of Greenwich’s mainstream schools or for children with very complex needs, a specialist school. These placements are agreed by the SEN Admission Panel.  The SEN Team will need to be advised of these preferences during the Autumn Term following an Annual Review.

 

Special schools and schools with a Designated Special Provision have specific processes, typically including:

  • Supported transition visits
  • Exchange visits between schools
  • Transition books to support individual students as needed
  • Transition passports/profiles

 

 6. FORMS USED TO TRANSFER INFORMATION BETWEEN EARLY YEARS SETTINGS AND PRIMARY SCHOOLS

 The Local Authority has devised an information sharing template (Early Years Transfer Information), to support the transfer of information between early year’s settings and primary schools.

This form is designed to support the discussion between early year’s settings and primary SENCOs and as a written record of this contact between the setting/schools (provided permission for sharing information has been obtained by the child’s parents).

 At the point of transfer all children known to the Early Years Inclusion Team with SEND will also have at least a one page profile, which will be circulated to all the adults that will be involved in supporting the child in their primary school, which gives an immediate profile of the child. This is developed in collaboration with parents, the child and their early years setting and may form part of the transition meeting.

 

 7DESCRIPTION OF DIFFERENT TRANSITION PROJECTS AVAILABLE TO SUPPORT STUDENTS MOVING TO MAINSTREAM PRIMARY SCHOOL IN GREENWICH

There are many different transition projects that students can access in Greenwich to support their transition to primary school.

Many early years settings now run their own schemes for specific groups of children, and details can be obtained from the individual settings.

 

Schemes run centrally to support students transferring to mainstream primary schools are outlined below: 

 

 

SERVICE

 

CONTACT DETAILS

 

ELIGIBILITY/REFERRAL SYSTEM

 

 

IDENTIFIED AIMS OF INPUT

 

Royal Borough of Greenwich Early Years Inclusion Team

 

 

 

Anita Smith: Early Years Inclusion Team Leader

 

0208 921 3821

 

Anita.Smith@royalgreenwich.gov.uk

 

  • Foundation Stage -1
  • A child that has been referred into the service with complex special educational needs who is a Greenwich resident.
  • Attending an early education or care setting that is in the Private, Voluntary or Independent (PVI) sector, this includes child-minders
  • Transferring to a primary school.

 

 

 

 

  • To facilitate the smooth transition of pupils with complex needs to primary school.
  • To equip staff with appropriate resources to enable the transition to run smoothly.
  • To support PVI early years settings to complete at least a one page profile to identify the important things to be known about the child at transfer
  • To provide information, advice to parents so that they can support their child in their transition to primary school.

 

 

Royal Borough of Greenwich ASD Outreach Service

 

 

 

Roz Weeks: ASD Outreach Manager

 

020 8921 3311

 

Roz.Weeks@royalgreenwich.gov.uk

 

 

 

  • Diagnosis of an ASD
  • Attending a nursery setting and transferring to a mainstream primary school setting
  • Referrals can be made from any source, typically ASD Outreach service/families and schools.

 

  • To facilitate the smooth transition of pupils with ASD to primary school.
  • To equip staff with appropriate resources to enable the transition to run smoothly,
  • To provide information, advice and practical input to parents so that they can support their child in their transition to primary school.
  • To address the particular and specific needs of pupils with an ASD in particular anxiety, rigidity and difficulty with change through specific interventions, to include;
    • Providing information
    • Providing visual support
    • Providing transition books

 

Royal Borough of Greenwich Sensory Service

 

 

 

Rory McDonnell: Sensory Service

Team Leader

 

0208 921 5215

 

Rory.McDonnell@royalgreenwich.gov.uk

 

  • Diagnosis of Vision Impairment or Hearing Impairment
  • Attending a nursery setting and transferring to a mainstream primary school setting

Referrals can be made from any source, typically Audiology, Ophthalmology, families and schools.

 

Please note:

The service is free at the point of delivery to all PVI, all state nursery schools, all LA schools, all free schools and academies. If a child goes to a private/independent school then our service is chargeable from the time the child is five years old.

 

 

 

  • To facilitate the smooth transition of pupils with Sensory Impairment to primary school.
  • To equip staff with appropriate resources, training and equipment to enable the transition to run smoothly, to include deaf awareness training, VI Awareness training, and BSL courses when appropriate
  • To provide information, advice and practical input to parents so that they can support their child in their transition to primary school.
  • To address the particular and specific needs of pupils with a Sensory Impairment through specific interventions, and to include;
  • Providing information
  • Providing sign language support when appropriate
  • Providing Habilitation and pre-braille support when appropriate
  • Providing assistive listening equipment when appropriate

 

Royal Borough of Greenwich Support Team for Education in Primary and Secondary Schools (STEPS)

 

 

 

Helene Agnew: STEPS Team Leader

 

0208 921 3302

 

Helene.Agnew@royalgreenwich.gov.uk

 

  • Children with complex needs/Down’s Syndrome
  • Attending a nursery setting and transferring to a mainstream primary school setting

Referrals can be made from any source, typically EYT/families and schools.

 

  • To facilitate the smooth transition of pupils with complex needs/Down’s Syndrome to primary school
  • To equip staff with appropriate resources to enable the transition to run smoothly
  • To provide information, advice and practical input to parents so that they can support their child in their transition to primary school
  • To address the particular and specific needs of pupils with complex needs/Down’s Syndrome in particular S&L and understanding to include;
    • Providing information
    • Providing visual support
    • Providing transition books

 

 

Support for transition to Secondary school

1. CHOOSING A SECONDARY SCHOOL

Choosing a school for any child is an anxious time, but can be even harder when your child has additional needs. Attached are some guidelines, adapted from advice given by the National Autistic Society that may help you think about the right questions to ask when you make a school visit. Although they are written for families of children with an ASD, they are as applicable for other types of additional need. Click here for attachment.

There is also a helpful Royal Borough of Greenwich booklet on getting ready for secondary school that also has some similar questions included at the back. 

2. APPLYING FOR A SECONDARY SCHOOL

The Royal Borough of Greenwich provides information for parents applying for a secondary school place for their child. An interactive version of the ‘Secondary Schools in Royal Greenwich’ booklet is available on our website. Reference hard copies are available in Royal Greenwich primary schools and libraries. Our Families Information Service organises sessions to support parents in making informed and realistic preferences, and provide help in completing the relevant forms.

There are TWO separate systems for applying to secondary school, dependent on whether your child has a statement of SEN/EHC Plan or if they are receiving interventions at the school based stage of SEND support.

Applying for a school if your child has a statement of SEN/EHC Plan:
· Parents will be supported to state their preference for a secondary school at   the Annual Review in Year 5 of their statement of SEN/EHC Plan
· Between the review and September of year 6, if your child has a Statements of SEN it will be converted to an EHC Plan
· You will be involved in this conversion and will receive a copy of the proposed EHC Plan
· In October of year 6 the Local Authority will consult with the schools of your preference
· In December the schools will respond to the consultation and you will be informed of the outcome, If necessary, further schools will be consulted
· In January final decisions about school placement are made
· In mid-February the final EHC Plan will be sent out
· Induction days are typically organised by secondary schools at the beginning of July, prior to secondary transfer, to give students a “taster” day of being at secondary school. Some outreach services provide additional supported sessions to aid the transition process.

Applying for a school if your child does NOT have a statement of SEN/EHC Plan:
· You need to complete the Common Application Form, stating your preference schools, by 31st October in Year 6. Details on how to apply are available on our website.
· It is important that you consider each school’s admission arrangements and previous years’ application rates before deciding on your preference schools.
· You will receive the outcome of your application on National Offer Day in early March of Year 6.
· Induction days are typically organised by secondary schools at the beginning of July, prior to secondary transfer, to give students a “taster” day of being at secondary school. Some outreach services provide additional supported sessions to aid the transition process.

3. TRANSPORT TO SCHOOL

Detailed information is available in the Local Authority transport policy but, parents can request home to school transport by completing a Travel Assistance form
Transport is usually only agreed in exceptional circumstances:
If the educational setting (special schools, designated special provision or to a school that is the only one that can meet need, and:

  • The pupil lives more than 3 miles from the school (over the age of 8)
  • The pupil lives more than 2 miles from the school (under the age of 7)
  • The pupil is too vulnerable to use public transport even with support

Pupils may be transported to their nearest mainstream school if:

  • They have significant mobility difficulties or they are too vulnerable to use public transport even with support (Medical Transport)
  • For pupils who have medical needs that mean that they cannot use public transport: medical transport requests will be sent to the Senior Medical Officer (SMO) for their confirmation that the pupil requires transport provision. Parents are expected to provide treating medical professional’s details and outline of medical difficulty. One agreed, this arrangement will be reviewed AS ADVISED by the SMO annually

General transport provision will be reviewed each year at annual review. Schools should look to encourage independent travel and where possible provide travel training for age appropriate students were possible.

Further information on transport is available here

 

4. EVENTS

Two events are held on an annual basis to support vulnerable students to make a successful transition to their chosen secondary school placement. Both events are organised to enable the transfer of detailed student based information between primary and secondary schools to support transitions to be as successful as possible. Secondary and Primary SENCO’s are invited to attend on an annual basis in the first half of the summer term, once their school placement has been decided. The primary focus of both these events is on the transfer of students without a statement/EHC plan, as this group of students will not have an annual review to plan for this transition.

  • A day event for “vulnerable” children transferring to secondary school, including:
    o Children with SEND with a focus on those at SEND support
    o Children with a Statement/EHC plan
    o Looked after children (LAC)
    o Children who have had behaviour support while at primary school
    o Children known to the attendance advisory service
    o Children with English as an additional language
  • A half day event covering the same issues specifically for students with an ASD

5. TRANSFER PROCESS BETWEEN OR INTO SPECIALIST PROVISIONS/SCHOOLS

All schools have information in their Local Offer/SEND information report which outlines the specific processes for transition in and out of their schools, including at secondary transfer. Special schools and DSP’s have specific processes, typically including:

  • Supported transition visits
  • Exchange visits between schools
  • Transition books to support individual students as needed
  • Transition passports/profiles

Forms used to transfer information between primary and secondary schools


The Local Authority (in collaboration with Greenwich schools) has devised an information sharing template, to support the transfer of information between primary and secondary schools. This form is designed to support the discussion between primary and secondary SENCO’s and to be used as a written record of this contact between the schools.
At the point of transfer all students with an ASD will also have a communication profile/passport, which will be circulated to all the adults that will be involved in supporting the student in their secondary school, which gives an immediate profile of the young person. This is developed in collaboration with parents, the student and their primary school.
As above, special schools and DSP’s have their own school specific systems to serve the same purpose.

6. DESCRIPTION OF DIFFERENT TRANSITION PROJECTS AVAILABLE TO SUPPORT STUDENTS MOVING TO MAINSTREAM SECONDARY SCHOOL IN GREENWICH

 
There are many different transition projects that students can access in Greenwich to support their transition to secondary school. Many schools now run their own schemes for specific groups of children, and details can be obtained from the individual schools. Special schools may have an extended programme of visits to familiarise students with the new setting, and again details can be got from the individual schools.

Schemes run centrally to support students transferring to mainstream secondary schools are:

Please also refer to: 

 

    Home to school transport

    Home to school travel assistance

    Parents and carers are responsible for ensuring their child attends school.  This may include making or assisting with travel arrangements to and from school and/or accompanying their child.  

    The majority of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) do not receive specialised travel assistance from Royal Greenwich.  Wherever possible, it is expected that parents and carers of children and young people with a statement of special educational needs or education, health and care plan (EHCP) will make arrangements for their child to attend school in the same way as for parents and carers of children and young people without a statement or EHCP, as this is an important factor in developing the child or young person's independence, social and life skills. 

    Royal Greenwich may offer travel assistance to and from school for children and young people with a statement or EHCP who are unable to use public transport because of their special needs.  Travel assistance may also be offered to children and young people where a medical condition prevents them from using public transport. 

    Travel assistance can consist of a range of options depending on the needs of the child and young person.  However, priority will always be given to travel assistance solutions that help develop travel independence skills to enable children and young people lead independent and healthy lives, feel safe and secure, and achieve their full potential.

    For further information, including eligibility criteria, forms of travel assistance and how to apply, please access the Royal Greenwich’s Home to School Travel Assistance Policy to the right of this page.

    Information on disagreement resolution and mediation processes for children with special educational needs and disabilities

    Parents of children with SEND expect that the services they receive will support their child to reach their desired aspirations and outcomes. Royal Greenwich works in partnership with parents to achieve this and always hopes to resolve any disagreements at an early stage.

    These disagreements may occur between the parents and the school, or parents and the Local Authority or Health Service.

    Special Educational Needs Officers in Royal Greenwich work closely with schools to resolve any differences themselves and are usually able to resolve disagreements between them and parents. You can contact the SEN team on 020 8921 8029 or special-needs@royalgreenwich.gov.uk

    There may be times, however, when parents or carers feel that they would like an independent person to support them in a disagreement they have with the SEN team or with other services that they feel should be supporting them.

    If you still have a problem you might be able to:

    • Seek some help to put your concerns forward
    • Make a complaint
    • Ask for independent disagreement resolution or mediation
    • Appeal against a decision.

    Greenwich SENDIASS (Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service)

    Royal Greenwich SENDIASS is available to provide advice and support to any Greenwich families with a child with a special educational need, or where parents believe their child may have a SEN. The service offers parents information, advice and guidance so they can make appropriate, informed decisions regarding the learning of their children.

    This includes:

    • Listening to parents concerns
    • Telephone information, support and advice
    • Written information about SEND
    • Help for parents to understand letters and reports from services and professionals working with their child
    • Help to write letters about their child’s SEND
    • Accompany parents to meetings at their school or early learning setting
    • Liaising with other children’s services
    • Home visits, if required

    This is a confidential service and information is only shared with the parent’s or carer’s permission unless there are concerns about the safeguarding of a child.

    They can be contacted on 0208 921 692.

    Making a Complaint

    All schools and colleges in Royal Greenwich have a complaints procedure. They will send you a copy if you ask for it.

    In most cases you will need to:

    • Have tried to resolve your complaint by speaking to the right people
    • Put your complaint in writing using the word ‘complaint’
    • Be clear about all the issues you would like resolving
    • State what you would like to happen
    • Give a reasonable time by which you would like a response

    If you are not happy with the outcome of making a complaint or feel that it has not been dealt with properly, you should appeal to the school governing body.

    Parents can also choose to use a more independent disagreement resolution or mediation service to resolve disagreements across education, health and social care

    Parents can contact themselves directly on: 020 7365 3635. They also have a website at www.kids.org.uk

    Both are free but there is a difference between the 2 services:

    Disagreement Resolution Service:

    The purpose of disagreement resolution is to look for a way forward that all parties accept. This service is available to all children and young people with SEN – with or without a statement or plan. You can choose whether or not to use it.

    The disagreement resolution service is there to help resolve three kinds of disagreement between parents or young people and the organisations that are responsible for making provision for children and young people with SEN. These are:

    • Between parent/young people and their education providers – early years setting, schools or colleges
    • Between parents/young people and the Local authority or health commissioning group – this may be during an EHC assessment, during an EHC review, or during a reassessment – but can be used for children with SEN who does not have a statement or EHC plan.
    • Between the Local Authority and the health commissioning group

    Disagreement resolution is voluntary and all parties have to agree for it to take place.

    The meetings are confidential and if you later appeal to the SENDIST tribunal, the tribunal will disregard any offers or comments made during the meeting.

    If you decide not to use disagreement resolution, you can still appeal to the SENDIST tribunal.

    Royal Greenwich SENDIASS can help you decide whether dispute resolution is right for you (0208 921 6921).

    Mediation

    If the disagreement relates to a statement or Education, Health and Care plan – you can ask for independent mediation.

    Parents and young people over 16, have the right to go to mediation following a decision by the Local Authority:

    • Not to carry our an EHC needs assessment
    • Not to draw up an EHC plan
    • Not to amend a statement or EHC plan
    • To cease to maintain a statement or EHC plan

    Or on the content of a final or amended EHC plan – including the health and social care element of the plan.

    However before registering an appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST) about the SEN elelment of the plan you must contact the mediation service within two months of the date of the relevant decision letter to obtain a certificate to say that you have discussed mediation UNLESS:

    (a)The appeal is solely about the name of the school, college or other institution named on the plan;

    (b)The type of school, college or other institution specified in the plan or;

    (c) The fact that no school or other institution is named.

    Entering into mediation does not affect the right to appeal to the Tribunal.

    What will the mediation adviser do?

    The Mediation Advisor will provide information over the telephone about mediation and answer any questions about the mediation process.

    Once you have received this information you can decide whether you want to go to mediation about the SEN element of the Plan.

    If you do not wish to go to mediation:- simply let the medication adviser know and they will proide you with a certificate confirming that you have received mediation informatiom. The mediation adviser must send you the certificate within three working days of you telling them that you do not want to go to mediation. The certificate will enable you to lodge your appeal, either within two months of the date of this letter or within one month of receiving the certificate whichever is the later.

    You can also ask for mediation on the health and social care element of the place - you do not have to speak to a mediation adviser first. If you are asking for mediation on health - you will have to say what the issues are and what provision you would like.

    If you do choose to go to mediation, the meeting must take place within 30 days and the Local authority must agree. If the mediation is only about health provision, the Local Authority has to inform the health commissioning group within 3 days and they must arrange the meeting within 30 days.

    Once the mediation meeting has taken place, KIDS will issue a certificate within 3 days, and if you still wish to appeal to the SENDIST tribunal – you will have to send this to the tribunal.

    If the mediation has not been successful, parents or young people can also appeal to a Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST) in the following cases:

    • A decision not to carry out an EHC needs assesment or re-assessment
    • A decision not to issue an EHC plan foloowing assessment
    • The description of a child's SEN specified in an EHC plan; the special provision specified; the school or other institution specified in the plan or that no school or other institution is specified.
    • An amendment to these elements of the EHC plan
    • A decision not to amend an EHC plan following a review or re-assessment
    • A decision to cease to maintain an EHC plan

    The Royal Greenwich SENDIASS Service will be able to advise you on this process (0208 921 692)

    Complaints about the social care or health element in a plan

    For social care complaints you should contact:

    childrens-complaints@royalgreenwich.gov.uk or 020 8921 3082

    For decisions made by the NHS Greenwich Clinical Commissioning Group you should contact greccgcomp@nhs.net or greccg.nhsgreenwich@nhs.net

    If you need help to make a complaint about services commissioned or provided by the NHS you can contact Voiceability by calling 0330 088 3762 or email nhscomplaints@voiceability.org

    Schools outside of Greenwich

    Schools Outside of Greenwich

    Parents may want to choose a mainstream school in a neighbouring borough if that is closer to their home. However, parents should look at the services that would be available to them as different boroughs have different services available to schools.

    We try to place all children and young people with special needs in schools in maintained schools within Greenwich. However, we do sometimes need to use independent special schools when a child or young person’s needs cannot be met otherwise.

    In this case, we have to use schools or colleges that are approved by the Department of Education - this is the link to the list (Section 41) that is regularly updated (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/independent-special-schools-and-colleges )

    Section 41 of the Children and Families Act (2014) allows the Secretary of State to publish a list of approved independent special institutions (independent special schools – England and Wales and special post-16 institutions). Institutions can only be included on the list with their consent.

    We currently have children attending the following independent special schools:

    Parkwood Hall – www.parkwoodhall.co.uk

    West Heath School – westheathschool.com  

    Right Choice - www.rcpc.co.uk

    Future Planning for special educational provision

    Special Provision Capital Fund grant 2019/20 : Consultation outcomes and Plan

    The Royal Borough of Greenwich has consulted with a range of stakeholders around proposals for the future of special educational provision in the Borough. The documents are listed below and can be accessed at the right side of this page. The updated plan for 2019/20 is now also attached, and a more reader friendly document, showing what we have done this year, and our plans for the next year, with pictures of the developments we have been able to make in 2018/19:

    1. Grant funding for the Special Provision Capital Fund: Royal Borough of Greenwich plans: 2018/19 and 2019/20
    2. Parent friendly version with a summary of developments in 2018/19 and our future plans
    3. Summary of consultation events
    4. Outcomes of the parent consultation
    5. Outcomes of the professionals consultation
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