Friday, 29 April 2011

Checklist of School Governors’ legal duties towards children with SEN

Checklist of Governors’ legal duties towards children with SEN

Duty Practical evidence

1. Do its best to ensure that necessary provision is made for any pupil who has SEN – use its best endeavours

• Be aware of number of children being supported at SA, SA+, under a statement of SEN within the school population

• Request to see a sample of IEP to see if they include SMART objective

• Attend a sample number of Annual Review of Statement meetings

• Ask to see teaching lesson plans to ensure they show relevant differentiation of work for children with SEN

• Be informed specifically where a child has been excluded – fixed term, permanently who has SEN

2. Ensure that the school appoint a SENCO who has the appropriate teaching background/ experience or training to comply with Statutory obligations

• Know who the school SENCO is

• Ensure that their background complies

3. Make sure that, where the head teacher or the appropriate governor (the responsible person) has been informed by the local authority that a pupil has SEN, those needs are made known to all who are likely to teach him or her

• Ensure systems are in place for the circulation of IEPs to staff in contact with a child with SEN

• SENCO and /or specialist teacher advice is available to teaching staff to support differentiation

• Ask to see teaching lesson plans to ensure they show relevant differentiation of work for children with SEN

4. Ensure that teachers in the school are aware of the importance of identifying and providing for pupils with SEN

• Ensure staff are trained in the different stages of SEN support & triggers

• That staff regularly review IEPs specifically to consider progress against SMART objectives and review support to ensure adequate progress is being made

5. Consult with the local authority and other bodies over special needs provision where this is desirable

• Make clear, formal request to LA when additional expertise and support are required which are outside a school‘s expertise and resources i.e. behavioural support

• Head teacher to consider requesting Statutory Assessment of a child‘s need to ensure additional professional support and resources are made available

• Be clear that the legal duty to met a child‘s SEN ultimately lies with the LA

6. Ensure that a pupil with special educational needs joins in school activities with pupils who do not have such needs so far as is reasonably practical and compatible with the pupil receiving the necessary special education, the efficient education of other children in the school and the efficient use of resources

• Ensure that you are made aware where a child with a disability is not being included within a school activity i.e. swimming, school trip, PE, playground activity, assembly

• Explore what alternative means of achieving the same educational goal could be used

7. Ensure that when a child begins receiving provision for special educational needs his or her parents are informed. This duty may be delegated to the head teacher

• Ensure that parents regularly receive IEP‘s and are invited to IEP review meetings i.e. at least termly

• Ask to review complaints concerning children with SEN

8. Publish and review a policy on special education and a behavioural policy which must be available free of charge to parents and prospective parents.

• Draft an SEN policy & behavioural policy

• Make arrangements to regularly review (3 yearly)

• Publish it on school website and with school prospectus

The full report for School governors understand their legal duties to children with SEN from IPSEA can be downloaded from here

IPSEA is a registered charity offering free and independent advice to parents of children with special educational needs in England and Wales on:

• local authorities’ legal duties to assess and provide for children with special educational needs;
• exclusions of children with special needs/disabilities;
• actions or inaction
by local authorities and/or schools which discriminate against children with disabilities

Website Twitter @IPSEAcharity

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