Definition of Special Educational Needs (SEN)

Children have special educational needs if they have a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made for them. Children have a learning difficulty if they: -

  • Have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age; or
  • 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 in schools within the area of the local education authority; or
  • Are under compulsory school age and fall within the definition at (a) or (b) above or would so do if special educational provision was not made for them.

The four areas of Special Educational Needs

Special educational needs and provision can be considered as falling under four broad areas.

1. Communication and Interaction

2. Cognition and Learning

3. Social, Mental and Emotional Health

4. Sensory and/or Physical 

My name is Carissa Walton and I am the Special Educational Needs & Disability Co-ordinator (SENCo). My colleagues and I support the needs of students with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities. We work with students with ASD, SMEH, MLD, SpLD, VI, HI, Speech & Language and Communication Difficulties as well as those with Physical Disabilities, e. g. Cerebral Palsy. We pride ourselves on building positive relationships with parents. We are open and honest with parents and hope that they are able to do the same with us."

As a SENCO, I organise, manage and co-ordinate provision for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities at The Petchey Academy.

My role involves coordinating all the support for students with Special Educational Needs (SEN) and/or disabilities; developing the academy’s SEND Policy to make sure all students get a consistent, high quality response to meeting their needs in school; updating the academy’s SEND record of needs; identifying and monitoring students’ individual needs to ensure that appropriate provision can be made; carrying out Exam Access arrangements; liaising with external people who help support students’ learning e.g. Speech and Language Therapists, Educational Psychologists, Aspace Counselling, Young Hackney etc; providing training to ensure staff are able to offer the correct support and carrying out arrangements for identifying, assessing and making provision available for students with SEN.

I also work to ensure that parents and carers are:

  • Involved in supporting their children’s learning
  • Kept informed about the support their children are  receiving
  • Involved in reviewing how students are progressing
  • Fully involved in planning ahead for them.
  • Providing a One-page Profile, for those with children on the SEN register, which will have their SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time scaled) targets, with the expectation that the student will achieve the target by the time it is reviewed.

We believe that your child’s education should be a partnership between parents and teachers, therefore we aim to keep communication channels open and communicate regularly, especially if your child has complex needs. As a team, we ensure that:

  • All students have access to educational experiences that are broad, balanced, differentiated and appropriate to their individual needs.
  • All students have full access to the National Curriculum and they are given every opportunity to participate and progress in line with national expectations.
  • Ensure that relevant information regarding SEN students is disseminated to staff.
  • Make referrals to and work with external agencies.
  • Organise and oversee the Annual Review process for all students with SEN statements.
  • Provide information and support for all staff to ensure the promotion of the academy's SEN policy.
  • To identify and monitor students’ individual needs to ensure that appropriate provision can be made.
  • To plan and effective curriculum to meet the needs of students with special educational needs and ensure targets are SMART.
  • To work in close partnership with and involve parents/carers of students who have special educational needs.
  • To ensure all who are involved with students are aware of the procedures for identifying their needs, supporting and teaching them.
  • To work in close partnership, where appropriate, with outside agencies to support the needs and provision for students who have special educational needs

We offer an open door policy where you are welcome any time to make an appointment to meet with either the class teacher or SENCo and discuss how your child is getting on. We can offer advice and practical ways that you can help your child at home.

020 7275 1579