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Graduated Response Tool

The purpose of this document is to ensure every child and young person in a Somerset school receives the support they are entitled to.

Supporting children and young people with Medical Needs

A child or young person (CYP) with medical needs does not necessarily have special educational needs or a disability. The Children and Families Act 2014 places a duty on school to support children and young people with medical conditions. This support might be specified in a healthcare plan (different to an EHC plan).

Government guidance on supporting children and young people with medical conditions at school can be found here. Training is also available from the Somerset PIMS team. Further information can be found here.

Medical Funding

There are a small number of children and young people whose medical needs are very complex and the impact of their condition on the school day could be considered as additional to what is expected of schools to deliver under the above guidance. children and young people with such complex conditions will have extensive involvement from health and educational support services to provide assessment, monitoring, training, and necessary care plans.

Requests for additional funding on medical grounds where a child or young person has medical needs only (and no EHC plan) can be directed to Simon Heritage Simon.heritage@somerset.gov.uk until the end of the current academic year as this process is currently under review. The requests, together with supporting evidence, are passed across to Health colleagues and are considered at a monthly Medical Panel. If agreed, schools are notified and funding is allocated.

Details of the new process will be shared with schools at the beginning of the summer term and those schools currently receiving funding will be notified individually of the changes and any actions they need to take. Some children and young people who have medical needs may access their education on a temporary basis through the medical element of their local partnership school (Tor, South Somerset Partnership School, The Bridge, or Taunton Deane Partnership) when there is a view from their medical professional that they are too unwell to access any education in their school. Medical reasons can be both physical, such as cancer or chronic fatigue, or mental health, such as anxiety. Before referring children and young people to the Local Authority, it is expected that schools have worked with parent carers and medical professionals at an early stage to support continued attendance at school including consideration of part time timetables or the use of an AV1 robot.

The offer from the partnership school is dependent on the needs and age of the children and young people and takes account of the medical advice. It could include funding for a school-based teaching assistant to provide additional tuition to children and young people in their home, online teaching, occasionally home tuition, or a placement at the partnership school. In order for children and young people to access this provision medical evidence is required, for physical needs this should come from the children and young people’s paediatrician or specialist health team and for mental health needs from their psychiatrist or psychologist. Further information can be found here.

Medical Needs and Disability

Some children and young people with medical conditions may be considered disabled. children and young people with a medical condition that is physical or mental and that has a ‘long term and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out day to day activities’ may be defined as disabled by the Equality Act 2010. This means they may also be covered under the SEND Code of Practice legislation. In this instance, the processes set out in this document should be followed, for example, the graduated response.

Teaching staff must

  • Be aware that teachers are responsible and accountable for the progress and development of the children and young people (CYP) in their class, including where children and young people access support from teaching assistants or specialist staff.
  • Have a clear understanding of the needs of all children and young people, including those with SEN, and be able to use and evaluate distinctive teaching approaches to engage and support them.
  • Set goals that stretch and challenge children and young people of all backgrounds, abilities and dispositions.
  • Have a secure understanding of how a range of factors can inhibit children and young people’s ability to learn and how best to overcome these.
  • Manage classes effectively, using approaches which are appropriate to children and young people’s needs in order to involve and motivate them.
  • Remain responsible for working with children and young people on a daily basis. Where interventions involve time away from the main class teacher, the teacher retains responsibility for the children and young people.
  • Work closely with teaching assistants to inform the planning and to assess the impact of interventions and link them to classroom teaching.
  • Work closely with parent carers and children and young people to identify strengths, barriers and support strategies.
  • Follow a graduated response to identifying barriers and implementing support strategies.

Did you know?

There is a helpful guidance report around supporting SEN in Mainstream published by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) available here: Special Educational Needs in Mainstream Schools | EEF

SENCOs must

  • Be able to support and advise the Headteacher and governing body in determining the strategic development of SEN policy/provision in the school – this is achieved most effectively by being a member of the SLT.
  • Have day-to-day responsibility for the operation of SEN policy and specific support to children and young people (CYP) with SEN, including those with an EHC plan.
  • Be a qualified teacher and working towards a National Award in Special Educational Needs Coordination within three years of becoming a SENCO.
  • Provide professional guidance to colleagues and work closely with staff, parent carers and other agencies.
  • Be aware of the Local Offer provision and provide support to families to ensure children and young people with SEN receive appropriate support.
  • Ensure your school keeps its record of children and young people with SEN up to date.
  • Compile an annual report for school governors about the provision for, and progress of, children and young people with SEN.
  • Have knowledge of the SEN budget and how it is used.
  • Advise on the graduated approach to providing SEN support.
  • Liaise with potential next providers of education to ensure children and young people and their parent carers are informed about options and a smooth transition is planned.
  • Work with the Headteacher and SEN Governor to ensure that the school meets requirements under the Equality Act 2010 with regard to reasonable adjustments and access arrangements.

Did you know?

As a SENCO you are able to access the range of support available via SENCO Networks, the Virtual School Learning Support Team and Joint Pyramid Inclusion (JPI) meetings. Did you know?

Last reviewed: September 14, 2023 by Keir

Next review due: March 14, 2024

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