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What should I expect from schools?

Schools have a responsibility to provide a broad and balanced curriculum for all pupils. The statutory National Curriculum inclusion statement sets out three principles for developing an inclusive curriculum.

Schools must:

  • set suitable learning challenges
  • respond to pupils' diverse learning needs
  • overcome potential barriers to learning and assessment for individuals and groups of pupils.

The needs of the majority of pupils will be met through teachers' normal planning. There is a wealth of guidance available to school staff in planning for inclusive teaching and learning.

The graduated response

Only a few pupils will require interventions which are additional to and different from the differentiated curriculum provided for all pupils. This forms part of the graduated response.

The 2015 SEN Code of Practice describes a 'graduated response' to meeting the needs of SEN pupils. In making provision for SEN pupils, schools are expected to draw upon their normally available resources. Schools are responsible for funding the first £6,000 per nine and a half teaching assistant (TA) hours costs from their formula budgets.

The descriptors

The descriptors outline local authority expectations about types and levels of support which pupils in Derbyshire primary and secondary schools should receive through school SEN support as described in the SEN Code of Practice.

The descriptors are set out in tables, which correspond to the types of SEN used by schools for recording pupils' needs in the annual schools census (also known as PLASC) return. They indicate provision which the authority expects primary and secondary schools to make for pupils with:

  • learning difficulties
  • behaviour, emotional and social difficulties
  • autistic spectrum disorder
  • speech, language and communication needs
  • visual impairment, deafness and hearing impairment
  • physical impairment and/or medical conditions.

For each group of pupils, detailed information outlines the authority's expectations in terms of interventions, support and resources. As well as providing guidance to schools, the descriptors will be used for monitoring provision made for pupils.

SEN information report

All schools must publish details of how they meet the needs of pupils with special educational needs and disabilities. These details will be found in an SEN information report that will be found on the website of most schools. Some schools may call this something different, such as a policy document. You can find detailed information about the report in section six of The Government's Code of Practice and SEN Information Report: guidance for educational settings.