Special Educational Needs & Disability Information

The Dales School SEND Information Report 2018 – 2019

This SEND Information Report is be updated annually to reflect changes and plans within the school. This report reflects current provision at The Dales School.

What are the kinds of special educational needs for which provision is made at The Dales School?

This is a maintained day specialist school for cognition and learning. We admit pupils aged 2 – 19 with a wide range of special educational needs which are severe and profound in the area of cognition and learning (severe learning difficulties or profound and multiple learning difficulties) as described in the SEND Code of Practice. Some pupils may have special educational needs in the areas of autistic spectrum condition / severe communication difficulties, physical or sensory needs, and / or social / emotional and mental health needs. Other pupils may have moderate learning needs, with a range of associated further difficulties resulting in complex learning difficulties.

Admissions to the school are allocated by the Local Authority. For further information, the admission policy is available on this website.

Please refer to our Curriculum Statements for detailed information regarding our high quality educational provision.

What are the school’s policies for the identification and assessment of pupils/students attending the school?

All pupils who attend the school will have a statement of special educational needs or an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP). Occasionally, pupils may be admitted whilst they are undergoing assessment at the request of the Local Authority.

Further information on the admissions and assessment processes to our school can be found on this website.

What is the provision for pupils/students at The Dales School and how is it evaluated?

The staff and governors of the school have agreed our Aims and Ethos Statement, which is a set of principles that creates and leads our vision for the school.
Our Aims and Ethos Statement represents a commitment to our pupils to support them to achieve best outcomes on a holistic basis to support the next stage in their lives.

Our vision is to provide an excellent educational environment that enriches and enhances every child’s learning and quality of life experiences, by breaking down barriers to learning and participation. This vision is underpinned by our aims and values – these define what we aim to achieve, and how we seek to achieve these aims.

Our Aims

Please see our Ethos Statement for information about our aims and values.

Evaluating the effectiveness of our provision

The school has a robust system of reviewing provision each term. The Curriculum Committee meets at least annually, and the full governing body receives regular reports on pupil achievement, behaviour and safety, leadership and management and the quality of teaching and learning. The Deputy Headteacher works closely with all teaching groups to ensure that pupil progress is assessed and recorded appropriately via agreed summative and formative means throughout the academic year, which is detailed in the school calendar. Additional funding such as the Pupil Premium Grant is identified and tracked to ensure the impact is effective. We have a School Development Plan which is reviewed and evaluated on an ongoing basis. The school was last inspected by Ofsted in April 2019 and was judged to be good

The Curriculum

Our curriculum at The Dales School is skill and context-based and encourages active engagement in learning. The curriculum focuses on developing the key skills of communication, cognition, independence, physical and social development and self-care, all transferrable skills that equip children and young people for life beyond school.
Our curriculum strives to be responsive to each learner, and build on individual strengths and interests. Throughout the school, the curriculum supports a balance of stimulating contexts for learning through different learning experiences, themes and subjects.

Our three core curricula

  1. Pupils with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD) are provided with an informal curriculum which is specifically designed to meet their needs in connecting and responding.
    2. Pupils with Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD) benefit from a semi-formal curriculum which promotes independence and life-skills, and is highly stimulating.
    3. Pupils with Complex Moderate Learning Difficulties (CMLD) receive an adaptation of the National Curriculum which emphasises mastery and deeper learning.

In addition, children in the Early Years Foundation Stage follow the statutory EYFS curriculum. We are committed to offering our children and young people with the best opportunities. We aim to provide curricular opportunities which are meaningful, accessible, motivating, contextualised and appropriately challenging to maximise progress for each learner and take the learning opportunities across every aspect of the pupil’s day.

At The Dales School we ensure that the emphasis on Communication and Literacy across the Curriculum is informed and effective. We use a range of augmentative or alternative strategies to promote the ability of some learners to communicate successfully, enabling them to respond and interact to their full capacity.

For further details of all areas of our school curriculum and assessment processes, please contact the school on 01609 772932.

Support for well-being

The Dales School has a robust safeguarding policy and protocol in place. Pupils’ health and well-being is paramount, and we work closely with medical and health practitioners on behalf of the pupils. Personal care is conducted discreetly and with dignity, whilst fostering independence as much as possible. We routinely follow healthcare plans and have staff trained to administer prescribed medication. We also work closely with Disabled Children’s Service, and other professionals and service providers.

Staffing levels allow for pupils to be taught in classes of up to 10 with a teacher and at least one advanced teaching assistant and an appropriate number of additional teaching assistants to meet the needs of the class group.

What training do staff have in relation to the needs of pupils/students at The Dales School?

All staff have clear job descriptions which detail the required qualifications for each post in school. All staff have an extensive training programme related to their work.

Teachers and teaching assistants have undertaken ongoing specialist CPD (Continuing Professional Development) in a wide range of areas. Training is strategically planned in collaboration with health care professionals to ensure that it aligns with the needs of our pupils and the school development plan. It also responds appropriate to statutory guidance. Staff work hard to ensure they remain updated and skilled.

Other staff continue to gain a range of certificates to mark their commitment to courses such as Higher Level Teaching Assistant, Paediatric First Aid and Signalong. The school Lead for CPD is Deputy Headteacher, Sharon Kettleborough, and staff are proactively encouraged to discuss their own CPD needs and opportunities as a vital aspect of the performance management.

We continue to commit to having qualified trainers within school for courses such as Moving and Handling, and a developing range of PE and Sport provision such as Rebound and Jabadao. We deliver regular Child Protection, Safeguarding and PREVENT training to all staff which complies with statutory requirements and is planned and delivered in collaboration with the Local Authority Safeguarding Team (Local Authority Designated Officers (LADO)).

How accessible is The Dales School?

Our school is largely accessible, being on one level, with ramps and hoists as required. We have changing facilities for children who require adult support. The school has invested in a wide range of accessible equipment, particularly with regard to IT, Curriculum resources and equipment, and a hydrotherapy pool. We continue to review and enhance curriculum resources in response to the new curriculum developments across the key stages as and when the changes are implemented and to ensure that we remain robust in our ability to meet the specific needs of all pupils.

Our SEND policy details the wide range of provision for our children including the range of equipment and facilities for children with different needs. This policy can be found on this website and is reviewed annually.

Family Involvement with the school

We hope to meet new parents at the stage when they are deciding which school is their preferred choice for their child. Parents are invited to their child’s ‘moved in’ meeting after about half a term.

Parents are highly valued as key contributors to their child’s holistic development as as such are warmly welcomed to the school to participate in the target setting and assessment process which includes their child’s Annual Review meeting, which is a person centred process, following the Helen Sanderson and Associates methodology. Families receive regular communication through home school planners and by telephone. Parents also receive termly updates on their child’s MAPP progress and new targets, and an Annual Report each July.

We host ‘Dales On Tour’ and other coffee mornings on a regular basis, which are advertised via the school Facebook page and in home-school communications, where you can meet other parents for coffee and listen to a range of guest speakers.

We also hold a Christmas Fair, Christmas Service, along with other events to which families are warmly invited.

For further information this website is regularly updated with upcoming events, the school has a Facebook page and we produce half termly newsletters at the beginning of each half term, and the Daleslink celebrates our achievements at the end of each half term. For any further information please contact the school office.

How we consult with and involve young people about their education at The Dales School.

All children and young people in our school are treated with dignity and respect. There is full personalisation for the curriculum for each pupil/student in order that they can access and experience success through-out their school life.

The School Council involves pupils to contribute and decide on aspects of school life relating to their needs.

The assessment and annual review process of statements of SEND and EHC Plans includes the choices and views of pupils/students.

What are the arrangements made by the governing body for dealing with complaints from parents/carers of pupils/students in relation to the provision made at The Dales School?

The process for all complaints is made available on the school website. The complaints procedure is also available on this website.

How does the governing body involve others – including health, social services, local authority services and voluntary organisations, in meeting the needs of pupils/students at The Dales School and in supporting their families?

The governing body are aware of the wide range of staff working together within the school to support the children, young people and their families. The governing body consists of some professionals with a range of appropriate skills and knowledge, and they provide a consistent monitoring of practice to ensure that children and families’ needs are met through meetings and reports.

Classroom staff are employed directly by the school. This includes teachers, teaching assistants and pupil support assistants. Admin staff are also school employees.

Other professionals work for a range of agencies – some work from within the school for an allocated amount of time during the school week, others have office bases elsewhere and work in liaison with school, attending meetings and sessions in school when necessary.

Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists are employees of Harrogate and District Health Trust. All these professionals regularly visit school, training and advising staff and working with children and young people who are on their case load.

Home to School Transport is organised by the Local Authority.

There are social workers for children/young people with disabilities who are Local Authority Employees.

All contact numbers for support services, described above, are available from school. If families have a query relating to these areas it is best to contact the professionals directly. This ensures that any message/queries/concerns from families are dealt with in the most efficient way.

What are the school’s arrangements for supporting pupils/students in transferring between phases of education or in preparing for adulthood?

All transitions are well planned for throughout school as children and students move from class to class and phase to phase. Parents always have the opportunity to meet the new teacher and class staff as a key aspect of the transition process towards the end of each academic year and in preparation for the next year.

Students are increasingly supported in planning for their transition from school to adult life. Our Specialist Careers Adviser and the Transition Team work with pupils in school to get to know them and to advise both pupils/students and parents/ carers on what is available after leaving The Dales School.