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What are Special Educational Needs or Disabilities?

The term 'Special Educational Needs' (SEN) has a legal definition, referring to children who have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn or access education than most children of the same age. At Rishton Methodist Primary School we appreciate that some children may have different or additional needs to others and may need extra support to access the curriculum. 

Children who have Special Educational Needs, may need extra help in a range of areas, including:

  • reading, writing, number work or understanding information.
  • expressing themselves or understanding what others are saying.
  • social skills including making friends or relating to adults.
  • behaving properly in school.
  • organising themselves.
  • sensory or physical needs which may affect them in school.

How will you know if your child has Special Educational Needs?

You will be informed by your child's class teacher if we feel your child needs to receive some extra, or different support. You will then be invited to meet with Mrs. Studholme and your child's class teacher to discuss a way forward for your child. The level of extra help is known as SEN Support. This could include:

  • different teaching strategies.
  • extra support from an adult.
  • using particular equipment.

If we feel that your child has a SEN that requires external support, we will always seek your consent before we make a referral to gain specialist advice or support to help us meet your child's needs. This could include a Specialist Teacher, Educational Psychologist or a Speech and Language Therapist. You will always be informed by your child's Class Teacher and/or Mrs. Studholme of the outcomes and recommendations of any referrals made.

How do we meet the needs of SEND children? 

If we feel that your child has SEND we will devise an Individual Provision Map which will outline what we feel they need in place to help them progress through the education system. This may be provision within school and/or through external agencies. The Provision Map will give specific targets and outline how children are being supported. It will also include information on specific areas you can work on at home with your child. Your class teacher will invite you in every half term to discuss and sign your child's Individual Provision Map.

If your child's needs continue to hinder their learning and development and we feel we need additional support in school order to deliver the required provision, it may be necessary to apply for an Educational Health Care Plan (previously known as statements).

It is important to note that SEN children may require support on a short-term basis or for many years. The needs of each individual child will be different.

At Rishton Methodist we firmly believe that all children make progress in different ways and at different speeds. Teachers take this into account and work hard to consider children's strengths, different learning styles and abilities. This means that children may have different levels of support. If your child is making slower progress, it does not automatically mean that they have SEN.


Parent Partnerships

The FIND Directory as part of the Parent Partnership Service at Lancashire County Council is a statutory service that offers information, help and support for parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities [SEND].

The service has a role in making sure that parents and carers views are heard and understood and that these views inform local policy and practice.

Parent Partnership Services can help you by:

  • Giving accurate and neutral information about Special Educational Needs or Disability (SEND) assessment policies and procedures.
  • Arranging a face-to-face meeting to explain the SEND documentation.
  • Assisting you to complete the Parental Advice Forms.
  • Explaining the content of Statements of SEND.
  • Accompanying you on visits to schools so that you can make informed decisions about your preference.
  • Liaising between you, school and Lancashire County Council's Special Educational Needs Support Service [SENDSS] regarding a child's special educational needs.

SEND Complaints? 

If you are concerned about or have a complaint about your child with SEND not receiving the support you feel they need, please first of all talk to your child's class teacher.

If you feel you would like to speak to someone other than your child's teacher, please feel free to make an appointment to see the school's SENCo or Headteacher who will gladly sit down with you and talk through any issues you may have. If at this point you feel that you would like to take your concern/complaint further, the Headteacher will guide you through the school's complaint procedures.

  • Lancashire SEN website Here is the link to the Lancashire Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Local Offer. There may also be other information that you will find useful.


Updated September 2023