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Special Educational Needs

Definition of Special Educational Needs: 

1981 Education Act sets down a definition of Special Educational Needs which is aimed at a minority of children.  These children are not defined by their handicap or disability, but are defined as those who have needs that require resources or support additional to those which are usually provided within a school.  For example, additional teaching time, welfare support, special aids and equipment.
‘A pupil has SEN where their learning difficulty or disability calls for special
educational provision, namely provision different from or additional to that normally
available to pupils of the same age. Making higher quality teaching normally
available to the whole class is likely to mean that fewer pupils will require such
support. Such improvements in whole-class provision tend to be more cost effective
and sustainable.’ (SEND Code of Practice 2014, 6.15)
Ashcombe Primary School values the abilities and achievements of all its pupils and is committed to providing the best possible learning environment for every child. We recognise that pupils learn at different rates and that there are many factors affecting achievement, including ability, emotional state, age and maturity.  We believe that many pupils, at some time in their school career, may experience difficulties which affect their learning, and we recognise that these may be long or short term.  This policy helps to ensure that the school promotes the individuality of all our children, enabling them to have access to a broad and balanced curriculum.
SEND is divided into 4 categories:

Communication and Interaction- this includes children with speech and language delay, impairments or disorders and those who are diagnosed with or demonstrate features within the autistic spectrum.
Cognition and Learning- this includes children who demonstrate features of moderate, severe or profound learning difficulties or specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia, dyscalculia or dyspraxia.
Social, Mental and Emotional Health- this includes children who may be withdrawn or isolated, disruptive or disturbing, hyperactive or lack concentration.
Sensory and/or Physical Needs- this includes children with sensory (sight or hearing), multisensory and physical difficulties.
The following examples do not necessary mean that a child will automatically lead to being registered as having SEND:-


  • Slow Progress
  • Low Attainment
  • Persistent disruptive behaviour
  • Withdrawn behaviours
  • English as an Additional Language (EAL)
  • Looked after Children
  • Difficulties socialising with peers
This policy complies with the statutory requirement laid out in the SEND Code of Practice 0-25 (July 2014) and has been written in reference to the following guidance and documents:
- SEND Code of Practice 0 – 25 (July 2014)
- Equality Act 2010: advice for schools DfE 2013
- Schools SEN information Report Regulations (2014)
- Statutory Guidance on Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions (April 2014)
- The National Curriculum in England: framework for Key Stage 1 and 2 (July 2014) 
- Ashcombe School Safeguarding Policy (Nov 2015)
- Ashcombe School Accessibility Plan - within the Equality Policy (March 2014)
Our aims:
To enable all children with SEND to receive the support they need to maximise their full potential and to also raise their expectations and aspirations. As a school we provide a focus on outcomes for both children and their families by creating an atmosphere of encouragement, acceptance, and respect for achievements, and sensitivity to individual needs.
The school is guided by these principles in all its work with children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND):
  • All pupils should have equal opportunity to follow a wide and stimulating curriculum
which is appropriate to their needs and so help them ultimately to reach their full potential.
  • The school is committed to working in partnership with parents for the benefit of their children.
  • Identify additional needs as early as possible and set challenging but appropriate outcomes to ensure progress
  • We are committed to all pupils being fully included in a mainstream class. If this is not possible, due to the conflicting needs of the other pupils and the school community, withdrawal may be necessary temporarily. If so, the school will work with the LEA and parents to find alternative and more suitable provision for the child.
  • We will work very closely with a wide range of other agencies and use their expertise for the benefit of the pupils and to increase the knowledge of school staff.
  • We will invest in staff development opportunities, to ensure that adults working with children with SEND will be suitably trained, supported and fully committed to supporting the children.  
  • Resources for SEND will be given high priority when setting the school budget. Once budgets are set, resources will be used in the most efficient and effective ways possible using principles of “best value”.
  • We will value and celebrate the achievements of all pupils.
  • By working with the model of planning, doing and reviewing to set achievable outcomes and ensure that the children, parents, carers and outside agencies are involved at every stage.  This also ensures that the voice of the child is heard and the achievements that are made are recorded and celebrated. 
Roles and Responsibilities:
The education of children identified with SEND is the responsibility for the school as a whole.  The Governing body, in consultation with the Head teacher, have a legal responsibility to monitor and maintain a general overview and ensure that the policy and provision for children with SEND is adhered to.
Governors are responsible for:
  • Ensuring that there is a named governor to have responsibility for the implementation of the SEND policy
  • Ensuring the SEND information of the school is accessible to all parents and the wider community
  • Maintain a general oversight of the school’s work and that they are fully informed about SEND issues.
  • Having up to date knowledge about the schools SEND provision, including funding
  • Establishing the appropriate staffing and funding arrangements is available for the necessary provision of children with SEND
  • Liaising with the Head teacher, SENDCo, SEND governor (who is the link between professionals and the governing body – please see Governor Terms of Reference) and staff about SEND issues
 The Head teacher is responsible for:
  • The day to day management of all aspects of the school’s work, including provision for children with SEND
  • Allocating roles and responsibilities to staff so that special needs are met
  • Keeping the Governing Body fully informed about SEND issues
  • Work closely with the SENDCo , support services and parents and pupils
The SENDCo is responsible for:
  • Playing a key role in delivering the strategic development of the SEND policy and provision.
  • Overseeing the day-to-day operation of the school’s SEND policy.
  • Monitoring the needs of SEND children together with the Head teacher and class teachers.
  • Assisting with and advising on, the teaching and assessment of children with SEN.
  • Organising annual and termly reviews.
  • Ensuring that provision for pupils with SEND is mapped.
  • Making contact with the Vulnerable Learners’ Service with North Somerset to gain access to Educational Psychologist and other support services in consultation with the Head teacher and class teachers.
  • Meeting regularly with the Head teacher to discuss individual children, resources and use of time.
  • Giving advice on the level of support and on appropriate resources and strategies to support learning.
  • Maintaining SEND files with all relevant information for each child.
  • Ensuring that the school’s SEN register is updated regularly.
  • Leading the annual review of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Policy.
  • Meeting with parents and pupils to discuss and support needs and progress.
  • Reporting to governors as requested by the Head teacher.
  • Working in conjunction with the class teachers.
  • Managing Teaching Assistants (TA) and Learning Support Assistants (LSA) working with children with SEND.
  • Leading INSET and staff meetings on SEND in school as appropriate.
  • Keeping their own skills updated by reading, researching & attending INSET on SEND and appropriate related external courses.
Class Teachers are responsible for:
  • Knowing which pupils in their class are on the SEND Register and at what stage.
  • Providing high quality teaching and learning for all children, by planning appropriate adjustments, interventions and support to match the outcomes identified for the pupil, in liaison with the SENDCo, Teaching Assistant/Learning Support Assistant, parents and pupil.
  • Ensuring that a differentiated curriculum is provided and appropriate teaching styles are employed so that as far as possible, the needs of all children are met and all children in the class have equal opportunity of access to the full curriculum.
  • Being involved with, and take responsibility for, children with SEND in their class and aware of the procedures, provision and strategies that are in place.
  • Maintaining records and ensuring the successive teacher receives these as part of the formal records.
 Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) are responsible for:
  • Being aware of the schools SEND policy and procedures for identification, monitoring and supporting children with SEND
  • Meeting the needs of the children identified with  SEND by following the direction of the class teacher who has prime responsibility for the day to day education of the children
  • Carry out activities and learning programmes requested by the class teacher or outside agencies, e.g. Speech and Language programmes
  • To keep records of this work as appropriate

Identifying children with SEND:
For some children, SEN can be identified at an early age. However, for other children and young people difficulties become evident only as they develop.  Children may be added to the SEN register due to the fact they:


  • Have made little or no progress, even when teaching approaches are targeted particularly in a child’s identified area of weakness
  • Present with persistent emotional or behavioural difficulties which are not improved by the behavior management techniques usually employed in the school, which impede the child’s learning
  • Show signs of difficulty in developing specific maths or literacy skills
  • Have sensory or physical difficulties, and continues to make little or no progress, despite the provision of specialist equipment
  • Have communication or interaction difficulties, which requires support from Speech and Language or careful monitoring

Ashcombe School adopts the levels or intervention as described in the SEN Code of Practice 2014.  In deciding whether to make special educational provision, the teacher and SENDCO should consider all of the information gathered from within the school about the pupil’s progress, alongside national data and expectations of progress. 

Parental consent is sought before any external agencies are involved.  There will also be a period of information gathering which will include an early discussion with the pupil and their parents. These early discussions with parents will be structured in such a way that they develop a good understanding of the pupil’s areas of strength and difficulty, the parents’ concerns, the agreed outcomes sought for the child and the next steps.  The resulting Action Plan may incorporate specialist strategies, which will be implemented by the class teacher, but involve other adults.  For further information on our Graduated Response and support for children with SEND, please see our SEN Information Report on our school website.
What is NOT SEN but may impact on progress and attainment:

· Disability, including some medical conditions ( the Code of Practice outlines the “reasonable adjustment “ duty for all settings and schools provided under current Disability Equality legislation – these alone do not constitute SEN)
· Attendance and Punctuality
· Health and Welfare
· EAL (any child with English as an additional Language)
· Being in receipt of Pupil Premium Grant
· Being a Looked After Child
· Being a child of Serviceman/woman
· Behaviour difficulties unless these are an underlying response to an additional need.
Request for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
A request will be made by the school, or parents, to the Local Authority (LA) when, despite an individualised programme of sustained intervention, a pupil remains a significant cause fro concern.  The LA will be given the following information:


  • Previous action plans and targets for the pupil
  • Records of review meetings and their outcomes
  • Records of the child’s health and medical history, where appropriate
  • National Curriculum attainment levels in literacy and numeracy
  • Other assessments from outside agencies or specialists, e.g. Educational Psychologists
  • Views of the parents and young person

An EHCP will ensure long terms outcomes for the child are considered, including resources and whether the child requires provision beyond what a mainstream school can offer, and therefore if the child requires special school provision.

EHCPs must be reviewed annually.  The LA will inform the head teacher and SENDCo of the pupils requiring reviews, and the SENDCo will then organise the review and invite the pupil (if appropriate), parents, class teacher, a representative of the LA SEN team and any other professionals currently involved with the pupil.  The review meeting will consider the appropriateness of the targets on the EHCP and progress towards meeting the targets.
Access to the Curriculum:

Ashcombe Primary School is one storey level, with wide corridors and disabled toilets by our reception offices.  We consider ourselves to be fully accessible for children and parents with physical disabilities.  We generally find that no additional adaptations to the building are necessary to accommodate children with disabilities, however, other adaptations to the physical environment will be made, as appropriate and according to every child’s needs.
All of our children access the full National Curriculum, and we recognise achievement and expertise in all curricular areas.  As part of normal class differentiation, curriculum content and ideas can be simplified and made more accessible by using visual, tactile, concrete or technological resources.
Access to extra-curricular activities:  
All of our children have equal access to before school, lunchtime and after school clubs which develop engagement with the wider curriculum.  Where necessary, we adapt these to meet the physical and learning needs of our children.  Class trips/residential trips are part of our curriculum and we aim for all children to benefit from them.  No child is excluded from a trip because of SEND or medical needs.
Children with Medical Needs:

The school recognises that children at Ashcombe School with medical conditions should be properly supported so that they have full access to education, including school trips and physical education. Children with medical conditions have a Health Care Plan written in conjunction with the School Nursing Team and which is shared with all relevant members of staff. The Health Care plan is reviewed annually or when there are changes to the child’s medical condition.  Our Pastoral Co-ordinator (Kathie Light) ensures that all necessary children have a Health Care Plan which is accurate and reviewed annually.

The head teacher and SENDCo are responsible for the operational management of the specified and agreed resourcing for special needs provision within the school.  The head teacher informs the governing body of how the funding allocated to support special educational needs has been employed.  There will be various learning support assistants employed subject to budgetary constraints.
Staff Development

Staff development will in the main be "needs" driven and will be facilitated at a variety of levels:
-           Educational Psychologist and advisory teacher
-           Health, including Speech Therapy
-           In-house training during INSET days
-           LEA initiatives
Transition and exams:
The Head, in liaison with the class teacher and SENCo, is responsible for access arrangements for exams and assessments. In collaboration with external agencies, children requiring additional support are identified early and the appropriate access arrangements made including: extra time, use of a parenthesis, larger print exam materials and readers.
We know that a good transition between the stages of a child’s education helps them to feel safe and to continue to progress. We plan carefully for:

  • School entry from home or Nursery
  • Movement between key stages and between classes.
  • Movement to Secondary Schools
  • Movement between primary schools for children who enter or leave at different times.
The school works closely with previous schools and future schools to ensure that transitions between providers are as smooth as possible. Transition is personalised to meet the needs of individual children but may include: extra visits, shared provision or additional meetings including parents / carers and children. Transition within school is also considered and some children will have additional transition arrangements for movement between year groups or key stages. These programmes are personalised to meet the needs of the children and families.
We have policies in place so that any concerns or complaints can be resolved as quickly and efficiently as possible.  For further information please see our complaints policy which is available on our school website or from the school office.
Associated policies:
SEN Information Report,  North Somerset Admissions Policy, Anti Bullying Policy, Complaints Policy, Equality Policy, Health and Safety Policy,   Medication Policy.
Date: January 2016
To be reviewed:  January 2018