Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
As an inclusive school, we are proud of the support we offer to all pupils including those with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities.
Elm C of E Primary School is an Academy with an inclusive and supportive ethos for all children. We are ruthless with our ambition that each child fulfils their potential and makes progress from their own unique starting point.
All the teachers in the school are teachers of children with Special Educational Needs. As such we adopt a ‘whole school approach’ to SEND that involves all staff adhering to a model of good practice driven by quality first teaching, robust monitoring of provision and progress measures.
All staff will ensure children with SEND can join in the activities of the school together with pupils who do not have SEND, so far as that is reasonably practical and compatible with the pupil receiving the necessary special educational provision, the efficient education of other children in the school and the efficient use of resources.
All staff and governors in the school are aware of the importance of identifying and providing for children who have SEND.
The staff of Elm C of E Primary School are committed to identifying and providing for the needs of all children in a wholly inclusive environment.
If you are applying for a place at our school and have a child with SEND or you would like to discuss provision for your existing child please contact our SEND Coordinator, Mary Ann Short. It is vital that we understand your child’s needs and in working together we will, as a team, be able to create a bespoke package of support to ensure your child flourishes. Please see below for admissions advice and our documents.
Admission arrangements for a child with SEND
School admissions can be stressful for any family. Families with disabled children may have additional concerns about whether we will include their child, keep them safe and give them the help they need to learn.
Children without an EHC plan
Most children with special educational needs (SEN) do not have an EHC plan. They are supported from the help generally available in the school. Please see our admissions tab for how to apply for a place in our school via the usual admissions rounds.
Children with Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans
The admissions system for children with EHC plans is different; you do not go through the normal admissions system.
Instead, part of the process of getting an EHC plan involves getting a ‘named’ school. This means that you can express a preference for the school you want at the time you first get the EHC plan or when your child moves to a different phase of education.
You can also ask for a change of school at an annual review.
Naming a school or college in an EHC plan
When you get a draft EHC plan, the name of the school in section I will be left blank. You will be asked for your preference of school, which might be mainstream or special.
You have a right to express a preference for any school in the following categories:
- Maintained schools (community schools and voluntary-aided or controlled schools)
- Academies and free schools
- Further education colleges
- Non-maintained special schools (independent but generally run not-for-profit)
- Approved independent schools or colleges on the government’s ‘section 41’ list
The local authority must then consult with your preferred school; that normally involves sending the school a copy of the EHC plan and reports. The school will give an opinion about whether they can meet your child’s needs, but the final decision on whether to name a school lies with the local authority.
The local authority must name your preference as long as it is:
- Suitable for your child’s age, ability, aptitude and special educational needs
- Not incompatible with:
- The efficient education of other children
- The efficient use of resources (too expensive)
If it is named on the EHC plan, the school must give your child a place.
If you want a school or college that is completely independent then you can ask the local authority to consider it. This is called ‘making representations’. The school will need to agree to take your child, and you will probably have to prove that no other school is suitable.
Sometimes your local authority may not name the school you want. This could be for a reason such as:
- Your child doesn’t fit the profile of the children for whom the school caters, for example in terms of level of learning disability
- Taking another child would impact on the education of others in the school; the local authority cannot refuse simply because the school is “full” – they must give reasons why the education of other children would be affected if the school admitted your child as an additional pupil
- Your child has challenging behaviour that would impact on other children
- The school you want is very expensive and the local authority considers that your child’s needs can be met in a school that costs less
If you are turned down, ask for detailed reasons as this will help you decide whether you want to appeal.
Right to mainstream
There is a general right in law to a mainstream school place if this is what you want. If you say that you want mainstream and the local authority cannot name your preferred school, it then needs to look more widely at other mainstream schools in the area.
The local authority can only name a special school against your wishes if:
- Admitting your child to a mainstream school would be detrimental to the efficient education of other children, and
- There are no steps that the school or local authority can take to overcome that disadvantage
The local authority cannot refuse mainstream outright on the grounds of that it is ‘not suitable’.
Moving to secondary school or post 16 education with an EHC plan
If your child is moving to secondary school or leaving school to go to college, you must be asked for your preference for the next stage of education. Options are likely to be discussed at the annual review before transfer.
There are set legal timescales for the local authority to name the new school/college for entry in September. These are:
- 15 February for secondary
- 31 March for post 16
You will need to think about which school you want well before this. For secondary transfer it is good to start planning when your child is in year 5.
Our school is part of the Diocese of Ely Multi-Academy Trust and the Wisbech Partnership Locality of Schools who work collaboratively to ensure best practice and a common approach.
Our SEND Policy and our Information Report below have been written collectively by staff, parents and Governors.
The information above relates to our school. Further support for families and young people with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities is available via the Cambridgeshire Local Offer Page:Cambridgeshire children and families local offer
Arrangements for handling complaints from parents of children with special educational needs about the support provided by the school can be found in appendix one of the complaint policy on the policies page of this website found under key information.