The Local Offer at Meopham Community Academy
The Government has asked all Local Authorities in the UK to publish, in one place, information about the services and provision they expect to be available in their area for children and young people from 0 to 25 who have Special Educational Needs and/or a Disability (SEND).This is known as the local offer.
Further information about the Local Offer can be found on the Kent County Council website:
The Purpose of our Local Offer at Meopham Community Academy
The purpose of our local offer is to inform parents and carers about how we welcome, support and make effective provision for children with SEND. We will keep our local offer under review asking parents what is working well and what they feel needs improving.
As advised by Kent Education authority, the school adopts a graduated response to Special Educational Needs provision.
When a child is identified as needing additional support, this is planned by the relevant Meopham Community Academy staff members working alongside the child and the child’s parents. Where necessary, further help can be sought from outside agencies through the Local Inclusion Forum Team. This may involve advice from professionals including: Specialist Teachers, Speech and Language Therapists or an Educational Psychologist. In some cases parents may be advised to seek further advice from a paediatrician.
Once a child’s needs have been identified, interventions are planned to try to address their area of need. Provision maps are used to track the impact of the interventions. Targeted support may be given in the form of additional resources, adaptations to classwork, small group work or 1:1 support from a Learning Support Assistant.
Individual Support Plan
If a child’s needs require a higher level of support the child will be given an Individual Support Plan. This will identify the planned outcomes for the child and the interventions which will be put in place in order support their needs. Each intervention will have a measurable target so that progress can be tracked. The plan is written in collaboration with the child and the child’s family, with a focus on the process of ‘Assess, Plan, Do, Review.’
For many children, targets will be connected to learning. For others, they may be to do with communicating with other children and adults or overcoming physical issues (for example problems to do with fine-motor control). The most important point is that the targets set reflect the needs of the child.
interventions available at meopham community academy
Educational Health Care Plan
The majority of children and young people with special educational needs will have their needs met within their local early years setting or school without the need for further assessment. However in a small number of cases, children with more complex needs may receive support through an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan. An EHC plan is a legal document that describes a child or young person's special educational, health and social care needs. It explains the extra help that will be given to meet those needs and how that help will support the child or young person to achieve what they want to in their life. The plan is drawn up by the local authority after an EHC needs assessment.
If you would like to discuss our Local Offer in detail please contact Mrs Parke, our SENCo, via the school office, to arrange an appointment.
Additionally, Mrs Parke (Inclusion Manager) runs an AEN clinic on Mondays from 2:30pm. Appointments can also be booked via the school office.
Arrangements for Parents of Pupils with SEN to make a complaint
The normal arrangements for the treatment of complaints at Meopham Community Academy are used for complaints about provision made for special educational needs. We encourage parents to discuss their concerns with the class teacher, members of the pupil support team, SENCO or Senior Leadership Team, to resolve the issue before making the complaint formal to the Chair of the Governing Body.
What do Pupil Support do?
Class teachers provide for all the children in their classes, but children with AEN/SEND may need further support for a period of time.
Here at Meopham Community Academy we have an experienced and award-winning Pupil Support Team to offer children support with their needs. The team uses a wide-range of strategies to meet individual pupil's needs whether from an academic, social or emotional aspect.
Introducing the Pupil Support Team:
The provision from the Pupil Support Team may include:
- co-ordinating and running interventions for social, emotional and communication assistance as well as Maths and English intervention groups;
- 1:1 mentoring both in- or outside of the classroom;
- providing advice and an opportunity to have time to talk with an adult;
- adding individuals to the Special Educational Needs (SEN) register so that they receive the support they require in school;
- referring children's cases to outside agencies for more specialist involvement.
- Pupil Support guide both the pupil and parents through these processes.
The Pupil Support Team is made up of eight members of staff. Each have different roles and responsibilities as part of the support team as follows:
- Mrs H Parke - SENCo / Inclusion Manager
- Mrs J Ring - Behaviour mentor
- Mrs F Winter - Social and Communication mentor
- Mrs M Martin - Learning mentor
- Mrs A Jephcote - Speech and Language mentor
- Mrs J Lucy - Medical Needs Co-ordinator
At Meopham Community Academy we understand the importance of early identification of a child’s needs. We carefully monitor and track the progress of all children throughout their time at the school. Please see the SEND policy available on our website:
Working With Our Children's Families
We actively encourage a strong partnership between home and school and involve parents and carers as much as we possibly can. In Term 6 we hold a new parents evening for those with children starting at our school in the following September. Our school reports are simple and accessible and are sent home at the end of Term 6. Parent’s consultation evenings are held three times each year.
Special Educational Needs Coordinator
Our school Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) is Mrs Hazel Parke. Mrs Parke is an experienced teacher who holds the National Award for SEN coordination. She holds a clinic every Monday afternoon for which parents are able to make an appointment via the school office. For more urgent enquiries, Mrs Parke and her team can always be contacted via the school office.
To support children with special educational needs, with the transition from a pre-school setting to Meopham Community Academy, a close liaison is built between school, the pre-school setting and parents. Staff from our school endeavour to visit all pre-school settings and children have opportunities to visit our school to familiarise themselves with the Reception classrooms.
Parents of children with Educational Health Care Plans, or whose children have had been allocated SCARF (Severe and Complex Accessibility Resource Funding) to help meet their needs, are also offered a school planning meeting in the summer before their child starts school. This ensures that school, professionals involved and family are able to prepare for the child’s arrival. In addition any parent who has concerns regarding their child’s special educational needs can make an appointment to speak to the SENCo prior to starting school.
To support children with special educational needs moving from one year group to another and between key stages, planning meetings are held between the class teachers to transfer information regarding the child’s needs. For children who are experiencing anxiety, or those with social communication needs, the special educational needs team also provides additional transition support such as photographs of the new teacher and classroom and pre-visits.
To support transition for children with Special Educational Needs who are moving to secondary school, the Year 6 class teachers and SENCo communicate with the staff and SENCo of the receiving school to discuss the child’s needs and how best to facilitate the child’s access to the school and curriculum.
The child will take part in transition workshops in their final term at primary school to enable them to prepare for their next step. Where necessary the Learning Mentor can also provide individualised support.
Identification and assessment of children with SEND
Meopham Community Academy staff understand how important it is to identify special educational needs at an early age so that provision can be put into place. The progress of all children is tracked and monitored at our school. This means that we are aware when a child has not moved forward at an expected rate. If a child does not appear to be making expected progress further detailed assessments may be carried out by the support team to try to identify any barriers to learning.
Progress is discussed with parents at Parent Consultation evenings or at Individual Action Planning meetings held to discuss next steps for children with special educational needs. If a parent or teacher has significant concerns about a child’s progress, the SENCo is advised of this. The SENCo can seek advice or make appropriate referrals to outside agencies as necessary.
At Meopham Community Academy we offer children a fun, exciting and enjoyable curriculum which inspires a love of learning and develops life-long skills. For children with special educational needs, the curriculum is appropriately differentiated by the class teacher, following advice from the SENCo or specialist teachers where necessary.
For more details on our curriculum, follow this link:
Emotional and Social Development
Our curriculum includes the teaching of social skills and resilience for life. Every class teacher is aware of the need for pastoral care within the classroom. In addition to this we have a highly skilled mentoring team, who support children with barriers to their learning : those that need support during a family breakdown; those who have suffered bereavement; children experiencing school anxiety or those with social communication and interaction needs, where there this has an impact on their learning or social development. In addition we are fortunate at Meopham Academy to employ the services of a play therapist and a counsellor who can give children the professional support with emotional and mental health.
If a parent wishes to discuss a concern about their child’s provision the first point of contact is the class teacher. After this parents would be encouraged to speak to the SENCo or contact the SEN Governor (Julia Herod).