Special and Supported Education

 

Adopted 17th June 2019


Reviewed April 2020

Reviewed July 2023

Next review date July 2026


Policy Statement

The KingsGate School BOT respect the dignity of the individual person and are sensitive to the needs of a diverse society. We aim to make our school a happy and caring environment which recognises the needs of each individual. We believe that education flourishes in a school where good relationships are encouraged, where people feel valued and there is understanding, fairness and support for those in difficulty. We believe in helping to develop their confidence, self-esteem and talents so that they may take their place in society as responsible and confident young people.


Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines that ensure opportunities to succeed are provided for all students with special education needs.


Procedural Guidelines

The BOT will allocate resources to support special and supported education initiatives and interventions.


The position of a Special Education Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) will be appointed each year.


The principal must be kept informed of programmes and individual needs in order to support the SENCO in their role.


All support referrals will be made through the SENCO.


For students who enter school with a special needs team, the SENCO will meet with the early childhood team and develop a transition to school plan. This may involve some adaptations to the environment or classroom.


School based identification of special needs will be based on data collected from observations, assessments and parent information.


Parents are involved as partners. They will be kept informed of special programmes their child is involved in and invited to participate in meetings with specialists and at Individual Education Plan meetings.

Where possible, teachers will meet the learning needs of all pupils within the classroom environment by planning a differentiated programme and working closely with identified target students. However special programmes or support will be employed where relevant to provide extra support to identified students as school budgets/ staffing allows.


All adults who work with students must be police vetted and made aware of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.


A register of special needs students will be kept and information about individual students will be recorded on the assessment system.


Any health and safety issues will be discussed with parents and emergency teacher aide time assigned through the SENCO where necessary.


All staff will be provided with opportunities for timely and appropriate professional learning and development around students requiring special and supported education.


A collaborative approach to the development of special and supported education will be promoted within the School community, which includes learners, teachers, leadership, and parents.


The role of the SENCO

The Special Education Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) will liaise with staff and outside agencies to refer students for assessment, discuss progress, actions and ongoing monitoring needs of pupils. Specialist staff, teacher aides, parents, and external experts are consulted for advice, access to services and/ or within the programmes.


The SENCO has a detailed job description based on the tasks of coordinating agencies, parents and school staff to support learning needs of identified children and communicating with all parties.


Hold regular meetings with teacher aides to celebrate successes and deal with arising issues.


High needs students

Funded directly from MOE


Students will be referred to Special Education Services for an assessment. If the student qualifies for the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme, an Individual Education Plan will be drawn up by the class teacher in consultation with parents, caregivers and specialists. This will be reviewed regularly and updated and form the basis for any allocation of teacher aide time funded by MOE.


Moderate/ mild needs

Funded by the Special Education Grant (SEG)


Students with moderate learning needs will usually have their needs met by focused teaching and will be backed up by specialist teaching support. Such students will often be identified as target students.


Other moderate needs will be responded to on a case by case basis and may involve a wide spectrum of needs. This may involve Reading Recovery, ESOL, technology assistance, changes to the environment, a hearing aid or sound system, a medical regime, a behavioural chart or some other response. In general a teacher aide is only assigned where the student needs physical support to access the curriculum or for safety concerns.


Usually children will only be involved in one intervention at a time. This is to ensure they are benefiting from the class programme and not being confused by too many different programmes. However, the SENCO may use their discretion and create IEP’s for particular students if they believe the need is necessary and will provide for greater/better outcomes for the student.


Definitions:

Special and Supported Education

The provision of extra help, adapted programmes (including individual education programmes), learning environments, or specialised equipment or materials to support children and young people with their learning, and to help them participate in education.


Students with Special Education Needs Including Gifted and Talented

A student with special education needs may have any or all of the following


1. Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) (including dyslexia, dyspraxia, and dyscalculia)


2. Communication, emotional, or behavioural difficulties


3. Intellectual, sensory, or physical impairment

A gifted and talented student is one who through the possession of outstanding innate or pre-existing ability has the aptitude for high performance in one or more areas, which may include any or all of the following, and which may be specifically evident through academic, cultural, or sporting performance, or in behaviour:


1. Specific academic prowess


2. General high intellectual ability


3. Creative and productive thinking


4. Social leadership ability


5. Aptitude in the visual or performing arts


6. Aptitude in sport


7. Aptitude in technology, or a similar specialised learning area


8. Specific cultural knowledge and ethics

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