SEND Local Offer
MOD Schools Overseas
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Offer
Defence Children’s Services is part of the Ministry of Defence (MOD). It focuses on issues related to service children and young people. Defence Children’s Services has a similar role to a local education authority, but does not have the same legislative powers.
Defence Children’s Services MOD Schools and Settings in overseas locations mirror the English education system and adopt the principles of the SEND Code of Practice (2015). Special educational needs (SEN), is also known as Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in England. Parents moving to a MOD school from Scotland, may know this as Additional Support Needs (ASN), or from Northern Ireland may know it as SEN support and Additional Learning Needs (ALN) in Wales.
MOD schools are committed to inclusion. We aim for all our children and young people to thrive and achieve their full potential. Headteachers, setting managers, senior leaders, class teachers and support staff ensure that children:
- Feel secure and know that their contributions are valued
- Appreciate and value the differences they see in others
- Take responsibility for their own actions
- Are taught in groupings that allow them all to experience success
- Have a common curriculum experience that allows for a range of different learning styles
- Have challenging targets that enable them to succeed
- Are encouraged to participate fully, regardless of disabilities or medical needs
The MOD Schools SEND Offer is the first place for service families, who are being posted overseas, to access information to support their SEND journey. The Offer helps children, young people and their parents to understand what services and support they can expect from MOD Schools in overseas locations. The priority for this information is to empower service families by giving them knowledge about what they should expect, the services and provision available, how to access it, and what to do if they are not satisfied.
What is a Special Educational Need and Disability (SEND)?
The SEND Code of Practice 0-25 years, January 2015 states:
“A child or young person has SEND if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him/her. A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:
- Has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or,
- Has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.”
This means that children with SEND may need extra help or support, or special provision made for them to have the same opportunities of other children of their age. If a child has a SEND, their needs will mainly fall into one or more of the following four areas: Communication and interaction needs, Cognition and learning difficulties, Social, emotional and mental health difficulties, Sensory and/or physical needs.
What can I expect from my school or setting?
In every MOD school or setting support should arise from a four-part cycle, known as the graduated approach, where decisions and actions are revisited, and reviewed regularly. This cycle develops understanding about the pupil’s needs and supports them in making good progress. The four stages of the cycle are: Assess, Plan, Do, Review.
MOD schools and settings will:
- Follow the graduated approach
- Use their best endeavours to make sure that a child with SEND gets the support they need
- Ensure that children and young people with SEND engage in the activities of the school/setting alongside pupils who do not have SEND
- Designate a teacher to be responsible for coordinating SEND provision (the SEND co-ordinator, or SENDCo)
- Inform parents when they are making special educational provision for a child
- Publish a SEND information report and share the arrangements that have been taken to prevent SEND children from being treated less favourably than others
Where a MOD school can support a child’s needs, a graduated approach will be initiated and if appropriate a Service Children’s Assessment of Need (SCAN) may be completed. Whilst the SCAN is analogous to an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP - England), Coordinated Support Plan (CSP - Scotland), a SEN Statement (Northern Ireland), or an Individual Development Plan (IDP – Wales), it is important to understand that a SCAN does not guarantee access to the same level of support that may be available in the UK.
If your child is moving back to the UK with a SCAN it will not be maintained and it may not be turned into an EHCP, CSP, IDP or Statement by the new local education authority. Parents of children with SEND should be aware that the UK Equality Act (2010) is not enforceable in all overseas locations. MOD schools seek to support every child, but in some situations local commands may conclude that they cannot support a child with SEND in an overseas location. Detailed direction is laid out in JSP 770 and JSP 342.
Please click on the links below to view the following documents:
What is the Graduated Response – Assess, Plan, Do, Review (APDR)?
When it is decided that a child would benefit from specific, targeted support/intervention, your child’s teacher supported by the SENDCo will consider the advice in the SEND Code of Practice using the Graduated Response:
The class teacher, working with the SENDCo and parents, discusses the child's needs and creates a baseline assessment by which progress will be measured.
A plan of additional support is drawn up for a pupil, a record will be kept and the parents MUST be informed. The school and parents will agree what progress they hope will be made (outcomes), and by what date (deadlines).
The pupil is given extra support, undertaken under the supervision of the class teacher.
Termly reviews with parents are held at least three times per year. Parents are fully involved.
What is meant by Universal, Targeted and Specialist provision?
This will be support that is available to all children and young people. It can be accessed without needing any specialist resources or assessment.
This is for children and young people who may need additional support to access education, or may need support that is specifically designed to meet their needs. Some targeted provision can be accessed directly with or without an assessment.
This is for children and young people with higher level needs who are likely to require even more support than is available either through universal or targeted services. This usually requires outside agency support and specialist assessment.
What should I do if I am concerned about my child’s progress and/or development?
Every school or early years setting has a designated person who is responsible for co/ordinating help for children with SEND. This person is known as the Special Educational Needs & Disabilities Coordinator (SENDCo).
As a parent you may have concerns about your child’s progress/development and think that they require extra support. The first point of contact should be your child’s class teacher, tutor or SENDCo. You will be given the opportunity to share your concerns and plan an appropriate course of action. It may be helpful to make notes before you attend the meeting.
How do I apply for an overseas school place for my child with SEND?
If you are thinking of applying for a place, contact the MOD School local to your posting. If you are applying for a place in an overseas location that does not have a MOD School you will need to contact the Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS) for advice.
Once you contact the MOD School in your posting location they will begin the educational clearance process. You will need to complete an admission form and give consent for the MOD School to contact your child’s current school. The MOD School will then contact them by email, asking for information about your child. The school will be asked to complete an Education Overseas Supportability (EOS) Form.
For children transferring from a school in Northern Ireland to a MOD School, completion of the EOS form will be coordinated by the Educational Psychology and Advisory Specialists (EPAS) team. Parents should contact EPAS for more information.
Once the EOS form has been returned to the MOD School a decision will be made about the supportability of the child. Most children will receive an Education Clearance form straight away. Some forms will have details about how your child will be supported if they have additional support needs. If a child’s needs are thought to be more complex the school will begin the MASO (MOD Assessment of Supportability Overseas) process to ensure that your child can access the support they need to progress.
If your child is found to be supportable a clearance certificate will be issued outlining the support your child will receive.
How does the school prepare and support children to transfer to a new school or the next stage of education and life?
In MOD schools and settings, we understand the importance of smooth transitions for all our pupils as they move to a MOD school, move up a key stage, move from class to class, and move on to Post 16 provision. We are sensitive to all their individual needs and the challenges of service children’s frequent transitions.
Support for this transition starts early and we encourage pupils, parents and carers to look at websites, take virtual tours and speak to the school or setting prior to their posting.
What services are available in MOD Schools?
The available services are dependant on the overseas location, your local MOD school will be able to provide more specific information. Some services you may be able to access are:
Welfare and Social Care Services
A local Hive
Community Health Teams
Speech and language Therapy