School Policies

written by the staff of Marston Middle School Oxford

Behaviour in School
March 1996

Equal Opportunities
July 1990

Gifted Pupils
January 1994

Special Needs
June 1993

Staff Development
September 1990


Special Needs Policy
June 1993

copyright free
This policy was developed by the staff of Marston Middle School Oxford. You are welcome to download it and print it for your own personal use, or for use in a school or other educational establishment, but if you do so it would be appreciated if you would acknowledge its source.



1 Principles of provision

1.1 To undertake to assess and meet the needs of all our pupils, taking into account religion, culture, class, race, gender and sexuality. All pupils have an equal opportunity to prosper.
1.2 Meeting pupils' Special Needs is the responsibility of the whole school with the support of the Learning Support Department.
1.3 Learning Support provision will be constantly reviewed to ensure needs are meet effectively.

2 Objectives

2.1 To enable all pupils to have access to the curriculum with modifications to meet individual needs. Due regard will be given to National Curriculum requirements and the criteria for disapplication and support.
2.2 To help pupils play an active roll within the school community and enable them to achieve and celebrate success, gain confidence and increase self esteem and to encourage pupils to become independent learners.
2.3 To ensure that all pupils should reach their full potential.
2.4 To ensure staff are aware of the different types of special educational needs (SEN), in order to make suitable provision in their curricular areas. Awareness should be promoted partly through information being provided by Learning Support staff, staff meetings and partly through INSET.

3 Procedures for identification, assessment, recording and reviewing pupils with special needs

3.1 Transfer
3.1.1 First schools are encouraged to use the LEA 'Rainbow' forms to record: expressions of concern, results of any specialist teaching, present provision and evaluation of provision and progress.
3.1.2 Pre-transfer meetings between the first year coordinator and the feeder schools. Meetings with the school psychologist, the Section 11 staff, the special needs advisory support teacher (SNAST) and the learning support staff. The new parents' evening is a means where by parents are able to express their concerns about their child to staff of Marston Middle School.
3.1.3 First school children with their teachers have a preliminary visit to Marston Middle School in the summer term.
3.1.4 Pupils from the first schools visit Marston Middle School in small groups.
3.1.5 Pupils from the first schools share a school picnic with Marston Middle children.
3.1.6 Meeting for first school transfer between first year coordinator and learning support.
3.1.7 Fourth year pupils meet the heads of year and support staff from their chosen upper school.
3.1.8 Fourth year pupils visit their chosen upper school.
3.1.9 Fourth year pupils attend their upper schools on transfer day to meet the head teacher and staff.

3.2 Post-transfer
3.2.1 The early identification of individuals with special needs is vital. Assessment is particularly effective when a pupil's work or behaviour is carefully observed and recorded. The process of assessment is staged to recognise the early input of an individual teacher, to that of the whole strategies and the support and advice of other agencies. These stages are recorded on the Rainbow forms. The criteria for identifying special needs is based on the information acquired through:
3.2.2 Form SNAI (green) should be used by the class teacher. The form records the concerns expressed and the approach adopted to meet a particular pupil's needs.
3.2.3 If as a result of consultation with learning support a child needs additional support, strategies will be recorded using SNA2 (yellow).
3.2.4 Form SNA3 (pink). If whole-school approaches do not succeed with pupils whose needs are particularly severe, the responsibility of working with them may be shared between the school and other agencies, for example educational psychologist, education social worker, psychiatric social worker.
3.2.5 Form SNA4 (blue) is a request for a multi-professional assessment (MPA). The decision to initiate this is made by the divisional education officer (DEO) according to the following criteria:

  • The pupil's access to the curriculum is affected by significant physical or sensory impairment.
  • The pupil has significant basic, numeracy and/or literacy difficulties.
  • The pupil has major and persistent emotional and behavioural disturbance that prevents access to the normal curriculum.
  • The pupil requires a high level of support and care to gain safe and effective access to the curriculum.
  • An MPA may lead to a Statement of Special Educational Need which requires the LEA and the school to meet the special difficulties and clarifies how this will be achieved.
3.3 Review and evaluation of provision
3.3.1 Pupils with statements of special educational need must have an annual reveiw of their statement to which the pupil, parents and staff will be asked to contribute. This will be coordinated by learning support.
3.3.2 All pupils using learning support will have a termly review.

4 Types of special educational needs

4.1 Slow learners, particularly pupils with difficulties developing basic literacy and numeracy.
4.2 Underachievers
4.3 Pupils needing additional support with English as a second language.
4.4 Various physical and sensory handicaps, including hearing impaired.
4.5 Pupils from special schools, some who are partially integrated. Pupils from Northern House, Iffley Mead, Chinnor autistic unit.
4.6 Traveller children
4.7 Specific Learning Difficulties
4.8 Behavioural/emotional difficulties
4.9 More able pupils: through extension work offered by subject staff.

5 Types of special need provision at Marston Middle School

The wide variety of special needs found at Marston Middle School have to be met in differing ways. The following is an outline of the variety of provision. A combination of which may be used depending on the special need.

  • provision of small groups in some curricular areas in which the pupils are taught by the learning support coordinator or by a SNAST.
  • provision of in-class support given by learning support assistants.
  • withdrawal and in class support given by an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher.
  • withdrawal used with serious behavioural difficulties.
  • withdrawal for specific individual educational programmes.
  • counselling and monitoring within Learning Support role.
  • provision of resources including lap top coumputers, electric typewriters.
  • external agency support including advice and referral to education psychologist, education social worker, education psychiatric social worker, police, community nurse.
  • advice from and referral to Ivanhoe Tutorial Unit.
  • advice from and referral to Woodeaton Reading Centre.
  • advice from advisory service e.g. non-Commonwealth children.
  • support from the volunteer reading help.
  • support from LEA appointed home tutors.

6 The learning support department: members and roles

6.1 Members

The learning support department is led by the SENCO (special educational needs coordinator). There is a school governor with responsibility for special needs/learning support. A full list of other members of the department may be obtained from the SENCO or from the school office.

6.2 The role of the teaching staff

  • to provide educational support and practical help to the individual by assessment of individual needs and the provision of specialist tuition and support where appropriate. To relate the type and level of provision to the needs of the individual and to make effective use of available resources.
  • to support professional colleagues and parents through advice, support and resources.
  • to develop and evaluate resources and alternative programmes of study.
  • to facilitate the integration of SEN pupils into mainstream.
  • to monitor/liaise with pupil/staff through continuous evaluation.
  • to develop ways of catering for intensive and/or specific support in the short term.
6.3 The role of the learning support assistant
  • to work in close liaison with learning support and teachers, offering in-class support and working with individuals.
  • to build close relationships with individuals and be involved with decisions relating to these individuals.
  • to be involved in weekly meetings to review and evaluate provision and effect.
  • to help identify pupils who are having difficulties.
  • to participate in LEA training sessions.

7 Liaison with parents/guardians

7.1 The class teacher is the normal point of contact with parents/guardians. Learning support staff can be supportive in liaison with parents of pupils with whom they have considerable contact.
7.2 Parents are seen as a vital information source in assessing special needs and particular attention is paid to consulting with parents as part jof the transfer arrangements e.g. new parents' evening.
7.3 Learning support department members attend all parents' consultation evenings.

8 Liaison with other agencies

8.1 pupils to support students on teaching practice from Westminster College, Oxford University, Brookes University.

8.2 Research to cooperate with research groups where appropriate.

8.3 Projects to seek and facilitate special needs projects e.g. Rowntree Project, working with the vulnerable child to avoid truancy.

9 Monitoring the effectiveness of this policy

This policy and its effectiveness will be reviewed. Form tutors are responsible for maintaining documentation of pupils' progress and achievements. The special needs coordinator checks a random sample of pupil files at least twice a year to ensure that appropriate records are being kept.

See also: Gifted Pupils Policy