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SEND Information Report


What kinds of special educational needs are provided for at Pioneer?

Pioneer is a day special school for children and young people age 3 – 19 years.  Our pupils’ identified needs are complex and significant in the area of cognition and learning (Severe Learning Difficulties or Profound and Multiple Learning difficulties) and communication and interaction (Autistic Spectrum Disorder and or Speech and Language Difficulties) as described in the SEN Code of Practice. In addition many pupils have sensory, physical or complex medical conditions. We also have a growing number of pupils who can be identified as CLDD (Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities).

Our pupils all have significantly greater difficulty with learning and often make significantly less progress than their mainstream peers. Some pupils also have a disability that prevents or hinders them from taking advantage of facilities provided in mainstream schools or colleges for pupils of a similar age.


What are the school’s Policies for identifying and assessing children and young people attending the school?

Admission to the school is through the statutory assessment process where the school is named on the Statement / Education Health and Care (EHC) plan. Through this process a child’s Special Educational Needs are identified in terms of learning, communication and interaction, emotional health, physical and sensory needs.  Some pupils in Early Years and Foundation Stage join the school before they have an EHC plan; the school’s assessment then contributes to the statutory process leading to an EHC plan.


What are the arrangements for consulting parents of children at Pioneer and involving them in their child’s education?

The school is committed to working in partnership with parents and carers and fully involve them in making decisions about their child.

This includes:

·         Initial visit to the school

·         Home visit where appropriate

·         Home / school book for sharing and exchanging information

·         Annual formal meeting to review the Statement or EHC plan

·         Termly parent/teacher meetings

·         Coffee mornings / Open evenings

·         Parent Carer surveys




What are the arrangements for consulting young people at Pioneer?

·         The assessment and annual review process of statements of SEN and EHC plans, includes the choices and views of pupils.

·         The school has a Student Council with representatives from across the school where student concerns and views are shared and where possible acted upon.

·         Pupils are encouraged to express their views, concerns and worries to staff and these are followed up through established procedures.

·         Wherever possible, pupils are encouraged to express their views about their own learning and progress.


What are the arrangements for reviewing and assessing pupil’s progress at Pioneer?

The school has wide experience in supporting learning needs, specialist care needs and health issues and work as a team with the family and other agencies to secure the best approach and outcome for pupils. This is done through:

·         Annual review of Statements / EHC plans

·         School reports

·         Continuous day to day assessment of learning

·         Joined Up Planning meetings (JUPs) with those who work closely with the child and his or her family

·         Termly individual Plans (IEPs) containing targets which are monitored and assessed by classroom staff, specialist staff and health colleagues to ensure progress towards intended outcomes.


What are the arrangements for supporting children and young people in moving between phases of education and in preparing for adulthood?

All transitions throughout the school are well planned as children and young people move from class to class and phase to phase. Prior to the move, pupils have a session with the new class teacher and other members of the class team. Handover meetings also take place between teachers to ensure the receiving class is in the best position to continue meeting the young person’s needs and working towards their agreed objectives.

When transfers into school or from school occur, the school organises a number of supported visits, exchanges of data and staff expertise to ensure a smooth transition. For younger children starting school and transitioning from home, the school puts in place a staged programme which is agreed by parents, the local authority and as necessary health and social care. This would be in the form of part time attendance as the transition to school is often a worrying time for both parents and children.  The school works with the Transition Service to ensure a smooth transition to college, independent supported living or independent living as agreed with the young person and supported by their family. Key workers employed by the school provide specific support to young people and their families during this transition period.


What is our approach to teaching our children and young people?

The school uses a wide range of approaches. Work is differentiated to meet the needs of individual pupils and delivered by well trained, experienced staff.

Approaches include:

·         Individual work with a member of the class team, specialist LSA or health colleague

·         Small group teaching

·         Targeted interventions

·         Individual Education Plans

·         Liaison with outside agencies such as the Emotional Well-being and Mental Health Service

·         Excellent IT provision including an Immersive Room

·         Staff trained in holistic behaviour support strategies


What adaptations are made to the curriculum and the learning environment?

All pupils have access to a broad and balanced curriculum designed to involve pupils in exciting and engaging learning opportunities. The school uses the Key Skills and a differentiated national curriculum.

The school has made adaptations to the learning environment to keep pupils safe. There is a secure door access system fitted to all the main entrances and key internal doors. Once pupils are in school all doors are closed and can only be accessed by staff and authorised visitors. This not only prevents unauthorised access but also prevents students “wandering off”. Failsafe procedures are in place that allows entrances and exits to open automatically should the fire alarm sound.

We have a technology rich learning environment including a cutting edge Immersive Room providing interactive learning opportunities. Our hydro-therapy pool has full sensory capability with a computer controlled light and sound system. The school has 3 sensory spaces providing three different types of sensory experiences and a soft play room where pupils experiencing anxiety or displaying signs of stress are able to work out their emotions in a safe environment.


For our older pupils we have an Independent living flat where they can practice real life domestic skills and an Enterprise area which is run like a café by the students, preparing food and serving customers.  The space also acts as a display or gallery area for products made and sold as part of the Enterprise curriculum.


We have medical/therapy rooms used by NHS staff for our pupils and out of hours for mainstream pupils requiring specialist support.


All classes and specialist areas have direct access to high quality outdoor learning areas.




What expertise and training do staff have to support our children and young people?

·         Induction which includes training on a range of essential subjects

·         Positive holistic behaviour support (Essex Steps)

·         Safeguarding and Child Protection

·         Health and Safety

·         Meeting Personal Care

·         Moving and Handling

·         Strategies to support communication and interaction

·         Use of intensive interaction techniques

·         Supporting children with autism (certified and in house)


Training for epilepsy, feeding, administration of medication and meeting complex needs is also provided by health colleagues who are based in the school. Speech and Language Therapists (SaLT), Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists (OT) provide programmes to support access to learning and to provide guidance to classroom staff supporting their learning. They also deliver training to staff to ensure they have the skills needed to carry out identified programmes. Classroom staff are experienced in using a wide range of communication approaches and ensuring mobility, personal care and medical needs are handled effectively.


How do we check that pupils are making progress and how do we keep parents/carers informed?

Pupil progress is monitored in a variety of ways including:

·         Progress Review meetings

·         Joined Up Planning meetings

·         Annual Reports

·         Annual Reviews and EHC plan meetings

·         Parents evenings which allows for dialogue between parents and staff about progress

·         Tailored planning, record keeping and assessment

·         On-going PIVATS and CASPA (assessment and analysis tools)


How are children with SEN enabled to engage in activities available with children and young people in school who do not have SEND?

The specialist nature of the school, the purpose built design and the skilled staff ensure that no child is excluded from any activity on the grounds of their special educational needs.


What support do we provide for our pupils’ health (including mental health) and general well-being?

The overall health and well-being of our pupils is a priority for us.

·         Personal and medical care are given sensitively to those who require it.

·         A Care Plan is in place for those with medical needs, drawn up from advice from medical professionals.

·         Staff receive training on administering certain medications

·         We provide nutritionally balanced freshly prepared school meals

·         Staff have detailed knowledge of pupils and understand the triggers to their behaviour

·         Staff receive regular training on Safeguarding and child protection

·         The school works with the Emotional Well-being and Mental Health Service to support pupils who may have a mental health difficulty.


How does the school involve other agencies including health and social care, the local authority and the voluntary sector?

·         We see parents and carers as partners in the process of education and development of their child

·         We have a highly effective school-based medical staff, therapists and assistants who ensure pupils’ health needs are appropriately catered for

·         NHS staff contribute to staff training to ensure staff skills are current and pupil focused

·         We hold Joined Up Planning meetings attended by classroom based staff, parents/carers, medical staff and therapists.


How to get further information

The local authority has published a local offer that provides information on the services and support for special educational needs and disability. The website also contains details of support services for parents of pupils with special educational needs.




December 2016