Special Educational Needs
Malmesbury Primary School is committed to clearly identifying children with special educational needs and providing appropriate support. Teachers work closely with parents to clearly identify any additional learning needs through the assessment and observation of those children.
The Specialist Learning Centre provides a secure environment for 12 pupils with complex special educational needs. These pupils come from both inside and outside the immediate catchment area and are included into the mainstream school wherever possible. Mrs Cathy Conway, an experienced teacher of specific learning difficulties and a specialist teacher for dyslexia, is the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) and head of the Centre. Mrs Jenny Plaskitt is a speech and language specialist who also has extensive experience in developing gross and fine motor skills. They both share their valued expertise within the Centre and across the whole school working closely with class teachers, teaching assistants and parents.
All staff welcome advice from visiting professionals who work with the teachers, non-teaching staff, children and parents to support pupils with special educational needs. These specialists include the Area Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapists and Behaviour Support Teachers. The governing body sets aside money from the school budget to employ teaching assistants to work with the class teachers in our aim to raise the attainment of all our pupils. In particular these teaching assistants carry out individual programmes to support children with special educational needs.
Parents of children receiving additional support are regularly updated about their child's progress through meetings with either Mrs Conway, Mrs Plaskitt or their child's class teacher. The Individual Education Plan (IEP) sets out the specific targets that each child needs to meet and this is reviewed at regular intervals. Parents are encouraged to participate in their child's education and the class teachers and the school SENCO are always available for support and help.
The school’s Special Educational Needs Policy states “pupils will be educated in the mainstream school unless there is clear evidence that their needs cannot be met there”. We are proud of the excellent reputation that the Special Educational Needs Centre continues to hold, both in the local area and within Wiltshire. The effectiveness of the Specialist Learning Centre is reviewed by the governing body through regular observations and meetings with the Centre staff.
The admission of all pupils including those with disabilities is controlled by the Local Education
Authority. When a child with special educational needs transfers from Malmesbury Primary School, transfer reviews are undertaken in a timely fashion and there is always liaison between Malmesbury Primary School and the school to which they are transferring to.
The School supports equality of access to the curriculum and to the physical environment for all pupils. In our new school premises we have lift access to the first floor, disabled toilet facilities and where necessary we install individual systems, such as Soundfield amplification systems, to improve accessibility for all pupils. The Specialist Learning Centre is well resourced with specialist ICT equipment and software which enables children to access the curriculum. Training has been provided for staff on teaching strategies that encourage all pupils to engage with their learning.
Should any parent feel that their child's special educational needs are not being met, they should refer to our Complaints Procedure (see Our School).
Last year the school's Specialist Learning Centre budget was £82,128. The amount of money allocated for other Specialist Education Needs was £28,961.