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Getting Your SEND Information Report Right

One of the most important school website requirements is the publication of your SEN Information Report.  This is a report on the implementation of your SEND Policy.  Your SEND Policy could well be used as a framework for your report.  There is clear guidance in the SEND Code of Practice for publishing a SEND Report which should be updated at least annually. Schools are required to publish a range of information on their school website to comply with the School Information Regulations and other legislation.

What is the SEND Information Report?

In short, the SEND Information Report outlines the school's provision for pupils with SEND and how the school will implement its SEND Policy.  You must also explain within the report where the local authority's local offer is published.  It must include information for identifying, assessing and making provision for pupils with SEND and for the admission of disabled pupils.  Your report should contain everything that Ofsted would want to see linked to the DfE requirements.

Remember though, it is not just a report for Ofsted.

Many parents of pupils with additional needs will want to read your report to see the provision and arrangements you offer as a school.  It is a good place to show off good practice that you provide in school for children with these needs. Schedule 1 of The Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014 lists the requirements, also listed at the bottom of this post.

You can also find detailed information about model policies and helpful checklists at The Key and detailed information at Headteacher Update, written by a member of staff at one of our school website clients.

What we find when completing audits

When completing compliance audits on school websites we often come across SEND information reports that don’t fulfil all of the requirements.  The main element that is often missed or not evidenced clearly enough is ‘how the school adapts...the learning environment for pupils with special needs’. Schools are good at showing how pupils access the curriculum if they have additional needs whether that be through the use of a coloured overlay or the use of more specialised equipment like a customised support chair.

Many schools, however, are not good at outlining the provision for pupils to access the school building and facilities. Some good examples include the use of a ramp or a lift, access to a disabled toilet, wider doorways to accommodate wheelchairs, an induction loop system for children with hearing aids.  A little thought around this area will help many schools fulfil this requirement.  Your accessibility plan needs to reference this.

Another area is the 'treatment of complaints from parents of pupils with special educational needs concerning the provision made at the school'.  The schools SEND Policy or the general complaints policy usually references this.  However, according to the legislation it must be part of your SEN Information Report.  You can use your SEND Policy to structure your report but it is not a requirement to publish this online.

A final point to note is that The SEND Information Report must be approved by the full governing body.  From an auditing point of view it would be advisable to add the date of when the governors approved the information report and the next review date.  During the year the report should be updated as soon as possible if there have been any changes.

How do you ensure your SEND Report is fully compliant?

Firstly, ensure that you update your SEND Information Report annually and publish it online.

Secondly, download our free school website requirements guide and use this as your go to guide for ensure you are fully compliant. The details of every requirement are clearly laid out and easy to follow.

Thirdly, if you're struggling for time to get your school website fully compliant consider asking our team of experts to carry out a Pro School Website Audit?

Going beyond the statutory requirements ...

Don’t rely on policies alone to show the provision for SEND in your setting.  Ensure that within your school website you have a page dedicated to SEND provision.  Why not go over and above being compliant? You could add some lovely content to your SEND page where ideally your Information Report is likely to sit.

Have a read of one of our other blog posts about creating the best school website SEN page.

This will give you some fantastic ideas!

FOR REFERENCE: SCHEDULE 1 - Information to be included in the SEN information report

1. The kinds of special educational needs for which provision is made at the school.

2. Information, in relation to mainstream schools and maintained nursery schools, about the school’s policies for the identification and assessment of pupils with special educational needs.

3. Information about the school’s policies for making provision for pupils with special educational needs whether or not pupils have EHC Plans, including—

(a)how the school evaluates the effectiveness of its provision for such pupils;

(b)the school’s arrangements for assessing and reviewing the progress of pupils with special educational needs;

(c)the school’s approach to teaching pupils with special educational needs;

(d)how the school adapts the curriculum and learning environment for pupils with special educational needs;

(e)additional support for learning that is available to pupils with special educational needs;

(f)how the school enables pupils with special educational needs to engage in the activities of the school (including physical activities) together with children who do not have special educational needs; and

(g)support that is available for improving the emotional, mental and social development of pupils with special educational needs.

4. In relation to mainstream schools and maintained nursery schools, the name and contact details of the SEN co-ordinator.

5. Information about the expertise and training of staff in relation to children and young people with special educational needs and about how specialist expertise will be secured.

6. Information about how equipment and facilities to support children and young people with special educational needs will be secured.

7. The arrangements for consulting parents of children with special educational needs about, and involving such parents in, the education of their child.

8. The arrangements for consulting young people with special educational needs about, and involving them in, their education.

9. Any arrangements made by the governing body or the proprietor relating to the treatment of complaints from parents of pupils with special educational needs concerning the provision made at the school.

10. How the governing body involves other bodies, including health and social services bodies, local authority support services and voluntary organisations, in meeting the needs of pupils with special educational needs and in supporting the families of such pupils

11. The contact details of support services for the parents of pupils with special educational needs, including those for arrangements made in accordance with section 32.

12. The school’s arrangements for supporting pupils with special educational needs in a transfer between phases of education or in preparation for adulthood and independent living.

13. Information on where the local authority’s local offer is published.

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