Schools and their Local Offer requirements
Schools must publish detailed information about their provision which will form part of the Norfolk Local Offer.
The SEN Information Report (The Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014 -Schedule 1, Regulation 51) should include information on:
- Their arrangements for identifying, assessing and making provision for children and/or young people with SEND
- Their arrangements for the admission of disabled children and/or young people
- The steps they are taking to prevent disabled children and/or young people from being treated less favourably that others
- The facilities they provide to assist access for disabled children and/or young people and
- The school’s accessibility plans.
Schools should ensure that they clearly publish this information on their school website so that young people, parents and other professionals can find it easily.
A link a school’s SEN Information Report can be found by going to Schoolfinder, searching for a school and then clicking on the link SEND Local Offer. If this link is not working, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Schools and Clusters as commissioners of services for children and young people with SEND
In Norfolk all SEN funding is delegated to schools individual schools and school clusters.
It is therefore for schools to decide how best to spend their SEN funding, taking into account the needs of the children and young people who have SEND in their school and also bearing in mind those children and young people with SEND who will be joining the school.
Schools should therefore be regularly undertaking a provision mapping exercise to ensure that they understand the needs of the children in their school and are regularly reviewing and planning how they are meeting those needs, for example through the provision of:
- Personal care (or access to it)
- Assistive technology
- Specialist tuition
- Note takers
- One-to-one and small group learning support
- Habilitation/independent living training
- Accessible information such as symbol based materials
- Access to therapies (for example, speech and language therapy)
It is important that schools recognise that it is their responsibility to make decisions about how best to spend their SEN funding to ensure that even the most complex needs are met.
If a special educational need or disability cannot be met using the usual resources available within the school, the school will need to use their SEN funding to commission (buy) more specialist support services from outside the school, for example
- Educational psychologists
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
- Specialist teachers and support services
- Supported employment services
If a school has an unexpected increase in the number of children and/or young people with SEND or an unusually large number of children and/or young people with more complex needs, they may need to approach their cluster for ‘top-up’ SEN funding. The cluster is likely to want to understand how the school has spent its SEN funding before is agrees to any top-up funding.
It is therefore very important that schools in a cluster communicate with each other to share information about the needs of children and young people with SEND in their area. By sharing information, a cluster of schools may be able to jointly commission (buy) specialist services more cost effectively.
In the unusual circumstances where a cluster has run out of SEN funding, they may approach the Norfolk County Council if they can demonstrate exceptional circumstances.