Educational Terms and Who’s Who

Have you ever wondered what some of those baffling terms mean? You can find a range of articles in this section helping you to find out more about Educational Terms. This section also explains about some of the different professionals involved in supporting children and young people with SEN.

Every school has a policy on behaviour. The Governors and the Headteacher are responsible for making and reviewing policies on a regular basis . The behaviour policy should give a clear idea of acceptable behaviour and the way that the School will deal with behavioural incidents.

The Policy should be on the School Website, or the School should be able to provide you with a copy.

Guidance and laws that Local Authorities must follow. The Special Educational Needs Code of Practice is produced by the Department for Education. Basically, it outlines the guidance and laws that Local Authorities must follow in making arrangements to help children with special educational needs.

You can view the current Code of Practice here

A Guide to Special Educational Needs and Disabilities for parents can be found here

Address the problems experienced in education

Many children have issues with their development and learning at some point in their lives. Most improve with the help of their families, their schools and their friends. The Educational Psychologist can offer additional advice if schools or families are having difficulty helping the child to improve. They assess the needs of these children and advise their parents, school or the local authority about the best way to help them.

You can find more information about the Educational Psychology Service (EPS) on the West Berkshire Local Offer here.

Every School has a Behaviour policy covering behaviour before and after school. It will outline the school’s general approach to discipline. Sometimes, the Headteacher will make the decision to exclude a pupil. There are 2 types of exclusion:

  • Fixed period (suspension). Can be excluded for up to 45 days in each School year
  • Permanent (expulsion)

The School should set and mark work for the first 5 days of any exclusion. (For longer fixed term exclusions the school should sort further work and for permanent exclusions the Local Authority take responsibility to obtain educational provision from day 6).

When a child is excluded a letter should be sent to the parents informing them of the length and reason for exclusion and how to appeal against the decision.

If the exclusion is permanent, you have a right of appeal to the governors and then to the Local Authority or (if it is an Academy, to the Academy Trust). If your child has been excluded and is disabled and/or has SEN, both schools and local authorities have legal duties towards you and your child.

The Education Welfare Service can provide advice and support for pupils at risk of exclusion. You can find more information on the West Berkshire Local Offer

We can provide information, advice and support if your child has Special Educational Needs and/or a disability and has been excluded from school. Please contact us for help.

Learning Support Assistants/Teaching Assistants work alongside teachers in the classroom, helping pupils get the most out of their learning. Most Teaching Assistants in Secondary School work as Special Needs Assistants.

Higher Level Teaching Assistants (HLTAs) are experienced teaching assistants who plan and deliver learning activities under the direction of a teacher and assess, record and report on a pupil’s progress.

Special Educational Needs (SEN) is a legal term. It describes the needs of a child who has a difficulty or disability which makes learning harder for them than for other children their age.

Around one in five children has SEN at some point during their school years. Some children have SEN right through their time in school. SEN covers a broad range of difficulty or disability. Children may have wide-ranging or specific problems. Eg, a child might have difficulty with one area of learning, such as letters or numbers or they might have problems relating to other children, or to adults.

Having English as a second language is not considered by law to be a SEN.

The SENCo takes day-to-day responsibility for the provision made for individual children with Special Educational Needs, working closely with staff, parents and carers, and other agencies.

The SENCo also provides support and guidance to teachers and other staff with the aim of making sure that children with Special Educational Needs get a high standard of education.

A Specialist Teacher is an experienced teacher with appropriate qualifications.

Specialist Teachers work with children and young people who are:

  • Hearing Impaired (HI)
  • Visually Impaired (VI)
  • Have a Physical Disability (PD)
  • Have Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN), Communication and Language (CAL) Team only support children from Transition to Secondary School upwards.

They work with children & young people, families and carers, pre-schools and nurseries, schools, colleges and other professionals.

A Speech and Language Therapist may work with a child or young person in relation to understanding of spoken language and body language, expression through speaking and body language, production and use of sounds, ability to use language in a social context, play skills and eating, drinking and swallowing.

The Children and Young People’s Integrated Therapies (CYPIT) Service provides Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Speech and Language Therapy and specialist Dietetic services for children throughout Berkshire.

You can find more information about CYPIT on the West Berkshire Local Offer here

Sometimes children with SEN have behaviours that challenge, requiring additional input and support.

The purpose of a Support and Achievement Plan (SAP) is to gain an understanding of why the behaviour happens and drawing up and agreeing a plan of how to deal with it to ensure there is a consistent approach.

The plan might be drawn up by the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo). The plan should include:

◦ A general description of the behaviour

◦ A list of what the teacher sees/hears

◦ The one behaviour priority that they want to try and work on.

◦ Insights into what the behaviour is communicating (they should ask your opinion and your child’s opinion/reasoning).

◦ What action should be taken by staff supporting the child

◦ What they would like to see the ONE behaviour changed to.

◦ The plan should be ‘SMART’- Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic and Timescaled.

In other words, it should be clear and the goal should be within the child’s reach. There should also be some idea of how long this might take to achieve and how they can tell if the child has made the necessary changes.

The service is made up of Social Workers, Police Officers, Probation Officers, Youth Support Workers and specialists in health, education, parenting, substance misuse and sports/arts.

They work with young people who have offended or are at risk of offending, which may include those with disabilities or special educational needs.

For more information please click here to go to the West Berkshire Local Offer.