|September 2023 (Ratified at FGB meeting July 23)
|Next Review Due:
This report has been written in line with the requirements of
- Children and Families Act DfE, 2014
- SEND Code of Practice 2014
- Special Educational needs and Disability Regulations 2014
Definition of SEND (SEND Code of Practice 2014)
A child or young person has a special educational need if they have a difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them.
A child of compulsory school age, or a young person, has a learning difficulty 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 them from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.
Definition of disability
Many children and young people who have SEN may also have a disability under the Equality Act 2010 – that is…’a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities’.
The Inclusion Team can be contacted by:
Telephone: 01843 226077 Option 2 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Christina Goldsmith – Inclusion Manager/SENCo/Lead DSL
Sally Potter – Family Liaison Officer/Deputy DSL/Play Therapist
David Read – ACE Lead/DSL
1. What types of special educational needs is provision made for in our school?
At Northdown Primary School we can make provision for frequently occurring special educational needs without an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), e.g. Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, speech and language needs, Autism, learning difficulties and behaviour difficulties. There are other kinds of special educational needs which do not occur as often and with which the school is less familiar, but we can access training and advice so that these kinds of needs can be met.
The school also currently meets the needs of pupils with an Education, Health and Care plan with the following special educational needs: communication and interaction; cognition and learning; social, emotional and mental health; sensory and/or physical; and visual impairment.
Decisions on the admission of pupils with an Education, Health and Care plan are made by the Local Authority. The admission arrangements for pupils without an Education, Health and Care Plan do not discriminate against or disadvantage disabled children or those with special educational needs.
Special Education Needs in our school 2023-24
Area of need
No. & % of pupils at SEN Support
No. & % of pupils with an EHCP
Communication & Interaction
Cognition & Learning
Social, Emotional & Mental Health
Sensory and/or Physical
2. How do we identify and assess pupils with SEND?
At Northdown Primary School we monitor the progress of all pupils six times a year to review their academic progress. We also use a range of assessments with pupils at various points such as phonics screening, speech link, language link, spelling age, reading age and national tests.
Where progress is a concern, even if a special educational need has not been identified, we put in place extra support to enable the pupil to catch up. Examples of extra support are small group or one-to-one interventions.
The school follows the graduated approach of assess-plan-do-review to ensure that gaps and issues are identified as early as possible.
Some pupils may continue to make less progress than expected, despite high-quality teaching and extra support. For these pupils, and in consultation with parents, we may use a range of assessment tools to determine the cause of the difficulty. At Northdown Primary School we are experienced in using a range of assessment tools to identify difficulties. We access training from Speech and Language Therapists, Thanet Inclusion Services, Educational Psychology, Behaviour Support Services and Outreach services from our local specialist provisions as well as bespoke training from our academy trust, TKAT.
The purpose of this more detailed assessment is to understand what additional resources and different approaches are required to enable the pupil to make better progress. Parents and the pupil will be involved and a support plan may be put in place which will be reviewed and refined / revised if necessary. At this point, we will have identified that the pupil has a special educational need because the school is making special educational provision for the pupil which is additional and different to what is normally available.
If the pupil is able to make good progress using this additional and different resource (but would not be able to maintain this good progress without it) we will continue to identify the pupil as having a special educational need. If the pupil is able to maintain good progress without the additional and different resources they will not be identified with special educational needs. When any change in identification of SEN is changed parents will be notified.
We will ensure that all teachers and support staff who work with the pupil are aware of the support to be provided and the teaching approaches to be used.
3. What are the school’s arrangements for assessing and reviewing pupil’s progress? How are pupils and their parents involved in this?
The progress of all pupils is monitored and assessed throughout the year using various methods. All children with SEND have a support or provision plan which is written by the class teacher with the support of the Inclusion Team. These plans identify needs, show support given and targets and outcomes set. They are reviewed three times a year and a copy will be sent home to gather parent and pupil voice. Parents and pupils are encouraged to speak to the class teacher and/or SENCo about the plans and how they can continue the support at home.
Parents and Carers are welcome to discuss their child’s progress with their class teacher at any time. There will also be Parents Evenings during the year as well as an annual report of attainment and progress.
All parents of pupils are invited to discuss the progress of their children on at least two occasions a year and receive a written report once per year. In addition, we are happy to arrange meetings outside these times. Please speak to the class teacher or Inclusion Team to arrange this.
Assessment information from teachers and other feedback will be considered which will help to show whether progress is being made or not.
The SEN Code of Practice (2015, 6.17) describes inadequate progress thus:
- Is significantly slower than that of their peers starting from the same baseline
- Fails to match or better the child’s previous rate of progress
- Fails to close the attainment gap between rate of progress
- Widens the attainment gap
For pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan there will also be an annual review of their progress and an evaluation of the effectiveness of their provision. Parents and pupils are able to give their views and attend these meetings. A report is completed with recommendations which is sent to the Local Authority for them to agree.
If parents have any concerns or wish to discuss anything relating to their child, we encourage them to speak to their class teacher in the first instance who will consult the Inclusion Team if necessary.
4. What is the school’s approach to teaching pupils with SEND?
We believe that high quality teaching, adapted for individual pupils, is the first step in supporting pupils who have or may have SEND. Additional intervention and support may be provided in the classroom, through group work or individually, depending on needs, but research shows that children learn best in the classroom. The amount of extra support needed for a pupil to make good progress will be different in each case and may vary over time. This will be discussed when the pupil’s plan is reviewed.
We also have additional teaching approaches, which may be advised by internal and external assessments for example, one-to-one tutoring, precision teaching, mentoring, small group teaching or use of ICT software learning packages. These are delivered by trained support staff and teachers.
Teachers receive advice, support and training to improve their understanding of strategies which help pupils with SEND as well as understand the different types of needs. We will also consider adaptations to the curriculum and learning environments, referring to best practice, research and advice from other professionals.
5. What do you have in place to improve social and emotional development, including pastoral support?
We understand that an important feature of the school is to enable all pupils to develop emotional resilience and social skills, both through direct teaching, for instance during Class Thrive sessions, PSHE lessons and registration time, and indirectly with every conversation adults have with pupils throughout the day.
For some pupils with the most need for help in this area we also can provide access to a counsellor, Thrive reparative sessions, ACE mentoring sessions and a calm space for regulation.
Pupils who are developing their emotional and social development, because of their special educational needs or other factors will be supported to enable them to develop appropriately. This may require additional and different resources beyond that provided to all pupils through the curriculum.
6. How do we ensure that teaching staff and other staff have the expertise needed to support pupils with special educational needs?
A continuous program of training is in place for all staff and may be delivered by school staff or other professionals, depending on the subject. Training may be delivered to all staff or individuals, depending on their role and the needs of the children they support. We access training from Speech and Language Therapists, Thanet Inclusion Services, Educational Psychology, Behaviour Support Services and Outreach services from our local specialist provisions as well as bespoke training from our academy trust, TKAT.
Where external advisors recommend the use of specialist equipment or facilities which are additional to those regularly available in a school, these will be obtained if possible by purchase or loan.
7. How do we support transition between year groups / phases? How do we prepare pupils for adulthood?
We work closely with the educational settings used by the pupils before they transfer to us in order to seek the information that will make the transfer as seamless as possible. In the summer term before pupils start in our Reception Year, they have the opportunity to visit the school with their parents and carers and spend time playing in the Reception classrooms during drop-in sessions. This also allows parents to meet key staff and discuss any concerns they may have. Staff visit nursery settings and meet with key nursery staff to gather information. After the summer holidays, teachers carry out one-to-one meetings with children and parents. When children join our Nursery provision, individual visits are carried out before the children start.
We also contribute information to a pupils’ onward destination by providing information to the next class or setting. When pupils transfer from one year group to the next, they will have opportunities to meet their new teachers and spend time in their new classrooms. Any pupils who are identified as having particular anxieties about moving on will be supported through extra transition opportunities and may also be provided with a Social Story.
On transfer to secondary school, staff liaise with each school to ensure that key information is passed on. Each school arranges its own transition days but extra visits can be arranged for pupils who are particularly concerned about the move to Year 7. Where a child has additional needs, parents are supported with choosing an appropriate school and school staff can support visits with the parents.
Our broad and balanced curriculum looks at different eras in history and areas of the world to widen our pupils’ horizons and aspirations. We offer an extensive range of extracurricular activities that provide many opportunities for developing our pupils’ cultural capital and global awareness thereby enabling them to grow into responsible, global citizens.
We focus not only on education but on the emotional wellbeing and happiness of our children. The Thrive Approach is based on the latest research into brain development, child development theory and attachment theory. Our team of qualified Thrive practitioners deliver reparative sessions in one-to-one or small group settings after an initial screening of all children.
Children are provided with positive experiences tailored to them in a safe, secure setting to promote social and emotional development. The aim is to help children build positive relationships with adults and their peers and reinforce good mental health.
Our Thrive practitioners also lead on the implementation of Thrive sessions in every classroom which are bespoke to each class’s needs and promote the key social skills of communication and interaction needed to grow into well-rounded adults.
8. What adaptations are made to the curriculum and the learning environment to make it more accessible to pupils with SEND?
We adapt the curriculum and the learning environment for pupils with special educational needs in line with our Accessibility Plan which can be found at https://www.northdown-tkat.org/key-information/policies/
We also incorporate the advice provided as a result of assessments, both internal and external, and the strategies described in Education, Health and Care plans. When teachers plan their lessons, they take into account where a child is with their learning, such as how they did in the previous lesson, and identify the next steps in their learning to move them on. Any individual needs are taken into account and planned for. Lessons are adapted according to the next steps required in a child’s learning. Additional adults are used to support learning in class as well as providing targeted interventions at other times. We make use of additional equipment and resources where appropriate. In addition to our teaching assistants, we also have a team of ACE mentors and Thrive practitioners who support by helping to remove social and emotional barriers to learning in the classroom; they may also deliver additional interventions linked to Social, Emotional and Mental Health.
We endeavour to ensure that all clubs, trips and activities offered to pupils, are available to pupils with special educational needs either with or without an Education, Health and Care Plan. Wherever possible the school will use its best endeavours to provide additional support to enable the safe participation of all pupils. In some circumstances a risk assessment may need to be completed to ensure the safety of all involved.
9. How can parents, children and young people make a complaint about our provision?
We encourage parents to discuss their concerns with the class teacher, Inclusion Manager or Headteacher to resolve the issue before making a formal complaint to the Chair of the governing body.
Our Complaints Policy can be found here https://www.northdown-tkat.org/key-information/policies/
There are some circumstances, usually for children who have an Education, Health & Care Plan where there is a statutory right for parents to appeal against a decision of the Local Authority. Complaints which fall within this category cannot be investigated by the school.
11. How does the school work with other agencies and organisations to meet pupils’ needs and support their families?
We work with a number of agencies and organisations to support our pupils and their families. We have a wide range of pastoral support available through our Inclusion and Family Team. This includes our Family Liaison Officer, Thrive Practitioners, ACE mentors, NELFT Wellbeing Practitioners, Counsellor and Play Therapist as well as Early Help and social workers. A range of interventions is used to support pupils with social skills, behaviour management and emotional wellbeing. If you are concerned about your child’s emotional well-being, please speak to their teacher or a member of the Inclusion and Family Team. Bullying is not tolerated and any incidents of unkind behaviour will be dealt with using a restorative justice approach, allowing pupils to resolve issues under the guidance of trained adults.
12. What are our arrangements for supporting children who are Looked After by the Local Authority and have SEND?
Our Designated Teacher for Looked After Children is Christina Goldsmith, Inclusion Manager
Regular liaison takes place between the class teacher and Inclusion Team to ensure that looked after children with SEND receive the same level of support as other children with SEND in accordance with the Code of Practice.
Staff attend and contribute to LAC reviews, PEP meetings and all other relevant social care meetings in order to provide information regarding the child’s learning, attainment and any concerns raised by the school.
Staff liaise with the Virtual School that has responsibility for individual pupils, as appropriate.
13. How do you capture pupil voice especially for pupils with SEND?
Pupils will be asked for their views when their individual plans are reviewed. If a pupil has an Education, Health and Care Plan their views will be gathered prior to the Annual Review and whenever possible and appropriate, they will also be able to attend the review meeting.
Pupil voice is collected during the writing of support and provision plans. They are consulted in the development of next steps and appropriate outcomes.
Pupils are also welcome to attend Parents Evening meetings to share their voice.
14. Information on where the Local Authority’s Local Offer is published and other support.
The school should always be the first stop for information, but there are many groups available for support if needed. The Inclusion and Family Team is always happy to put parents in contact with groups and other professionals so please ask – they can be contacted through the school office or at email@example.com
In addition, Kent County Council’s Local Offer has a wealth of information to support parents. The website address for this is