Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND)
All Sunderland Local Authority’s (LA) maintained schools are required to meet the needs of all pupils. This common approach focuses on meeting the needs of pupils with Special Educational Needs and; we are supported by the LA to ensure that all pupils regardless of their specific needs, make the best possible progress in school.
All schools are supported to be as inclusive as possible, with the needs of pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) being met in a mainstream setting wherever possible. The broad areas of SEND needs are:
- Communication and Interaction
- Cognition and learning
- Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties
- Sensory and or Physical
Please see the following policies for more information:
Information Report (Local Offer)
What is the Local Offer?
The Children and Families Bill was enacted in September 2014. From this date Local Authorities (LA) and schools are required to publish and keep under review information about services they expect to be available for children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) aged 0-25. The LA refer to this as the ‘Local Offer’. The intention of the Local Offer is to improve choice and transparency for families. It will also be an important resource for parents in understanding the range of services and provision in the local area.
What is the Special Educational Needs Information Report?
At Blackfell primary school, we utilise the LA Local Offer to meet the needs of SEND pupils as determined by our school policy and the provision that the school is able to provide. This is referred to as ‘The Special Educational Needs Information Report’
Blackfell Primary School Special Educational Needs Information Report
Please read the questions below for more information about the Special Education Needs Information Report for Blackfell Primary School.
Who are the best people to talk to in this school about my child’s difficulties with learning / special educational needs or disability (SEND)
The Class teacher
Checking on the progress of your child and identifying, planning and delivering any additional help your child may need (this could be targeted work or additional support) and letting the Special Education Needs/Disabilities Coordinator (SENCo) know as necessary.
Writing Pupil Progress targets /Support plans and maintenance plans, these are sometimes based on the smaller steps outlined in PIVATS (Performance Indicators for Value Added Target Setting). Teachers are responsible for sharing and reviewing these with parents at least once each term and planning for the next term.
Ensuring that any additional resources, support or adaptations to the curriculum enable all children to be included in the learning
Personalised teaching and learning for your child as identified on school’s Provision Map.
Ensuring that the school’s SEND Policy is followed in their classroom, and for all the pupils they teach with any SEND.
The SENCo (The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator) – Miss Joanne Dodds
Developing and reviewing the school’s SEND policy
Coordinating all the support for children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND)
Ensuring that you are
- i) involved in supporting your child’s learning
- ii) kept informed about the support your child is getting
iii) involved in reviewing how they are doing.
Liaising with all the other people who may be coming into to school to help support your child’s learning e.g. Occupational Therapist, Speech and Language Therapist, Educational Psychologist, etc.
Updating the school’s SEND register (a system for ensuring that all the SEND needs of pupils in this school are known) and making sure that records of your child’s progress and needs are kept.
Providing specialist support for teachers and support staff in the school, so that they can help children with SEND in the school to achieve the best progress possible.
The Headteacher – Mrs. J Watkins
The day to day management of all aspects of the school, this includes the support for children with SEND.
SEND budget management and the deployment of resources / equipment / staffing support
Giving responsibility to the SENCo and class teachers, but is still responsible for ensuring that your child’s needs are met.
Making sure that the Governing Body is kept up to date about issues relating to SEND.
The SEND Governor – Mrs. A. Star
Making sure that the necessary support is given for any child who attends the school, who has SEND.
School contact telephone number 0191 9171665
What are the different types of support available for children with SEND attending Blackfell Primary School?
- a) Class teacher input via targeted classroom teaching (Quality First Teaching).
For your child this would mean:
That the teacher has the highest possible expectations for your child and all pupils in their class.
That all teaching is built on what your child already knows, can do and can understand.
Different ways of teaching are in place so that your child is fully involved in learning in class. This may involve more practical learning or the use of additional resources.
Specific strategies (which may be suggested by the SENCo or an external agency, e.g. Educational Psychologist) are in place to support your child to learn.
Your child’s teacher will have carefully checked on your child’s progress and will have decided that your child has a gap or gaps in their understanding/learning and needs some extra support to help them make the best possible progress. This will be discussed with parents / carers.
Specific group work
Intervention which may be:
Run in the classroom or outside.
Run by a teacher or a Teaching Assistant (TA).
- b) Specialist groups run by outside agencies e.g. Speech and Language Therapy, Language and Learning, Autism Outreach Team
SEN Code of Practice 2014: School Support (SS)
This means your child has been identified by the SENCo /Class Teacher/Medical Professional/Parent or Carer as needing some extra specialist support in school from a professional outside the school. This may be from:
Local Authority central services such as the Specialist Support Team for Children with Physical and Medical Disabilities, the Autism Outreach Team (for children with ASD) or Sensory Team (for children with a hearing or visual needs)
In addition this can also include the Education Psychology Service.
What could happen:
You may be asked to give your permission for the school to refer your child to a specialist professional e.g. .a Speech and Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist or Educational Psychologist. This will help the school and yourself understand your child’s particular needs better and be able to support them better in school.
The specialist professional will work with your child to understand their needs and make recommendations as to the ways your child is given support.
- c) Specified Individual support
This type of support is available for children whose learning needs are, severe, complex and lifelong.
This is usually provided via an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). This means your child will have been identified by professionals as needing a particularly high level of individual or small group teaching.
This type of support is available for children with specific barriers to learning that cannot be overcome through Quality First Teaching and intervention groups (Refer to ‘Including All Children’ – documentation from Sunderland LA).
Your child will also need specialist support in school from a professional outside the school. This may be from:
Local Authority central services such as the Specialist Support Team for Children with Physical and Medical Disabilities, the Autism Outreach Team or Sensory Team (for children with a hearing or visual needs)
Outside agencies such as the Speech and Language Therapy Service (SALT).
For your child this would mean:
The school (or you) can request that Local Authority Services carry out a Statutory Assessment of your child’s needs. This is a legal process which sets out the amount of support that will be provided for your child.
After the request has been made to the ‘Panel of Professionals’ (with a lot of information about your child, including some from you), they will decide whether they think your child’s needs (as described in the paperwork provided), seem complex enough to need a Statutory Assessment. If this is the case they will ask you and all professionals involved with your child to write a report outlining your child’s needs. If they do not think that your child needs this, they will ask the school to continue with the current support.
After the reports have all been sent in, the ‘Panel of Professionals’ will decide if your child’s needs are severe, complex and lifelong. If this is the case they will write an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP). If this is not the case, they will ask the school to continue with the current level of support and also set up a meeting in school to ensure a plan is in place to ensure your child makes as much progress as possible.
The EHCP will outline the number of hours of individual/small group support your child will receive from the LA and how the support should be used and what strategies must be put in place. It will also have long and short term goals for your child.
The additional adult may be used to support your child with whole class learning, run individual programmes or run small groups including your child.
How can I let the school know I am concerned about my child’s progress in school?
If you have concerns about your child’s progress you should make an appointment to speak to your child’s Class Teacher initially.
If you continue to be concerned that your child is not making progress, you may make an appointment to speak to the Special Education Needs and Disabilities Coordinator (SENCo).
The school SEND Governor can also be contacted for support.
How will the school let me know if they have any concerns about my child’s learning in school?
If your child is identified as not making progress, the school will set up a meeting to discuss this with you in more detail and to:
Listen to any concerns you may have
Plan any additional support your child may need and inform you of progress and achievement. At this point, a support plan may be put in place by the class teacher so that targets are clear to you and your child.
Discuss with you any referrals to outside professionals or agencies to support your child’s learning
How is extra support allocated to children and how do they progress in their learning?
The school budget, received from Sunderland LA, includes money for supporting children with SEND.
The Head Teacher decides on the deployment of resources for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in consultation with the school Governors, on the basis of needs in the school.
The Head Teacher and the SENCo discuss all the information they have about SEND in the school, including:
- the children getting extra support already
- the children needing extra support
- the children who have been identified as not making as much progress as would be expected and decide what resources/training and support is needed.
The child’s view will be sought informally and for review meetings; this may not always be possible with very young children / children with delayed development.
Schools identify the needs of their pupils on a school Provision Map, which for SEND pupils identifies all resources/training and support. This Provision Map is reviewed regularly and changes made as needed, so that needs of all children are met and resources are deployed as effectively as possible.
Who are the other people providing services to children with SEND in this school?
Teaching Assistants / Learning Support working with individuals or small groups
Specialist P.E coaches
Local Authority Provision delivered in school:
Autism Outreach Service
Educational Psychology Service
Sensory Team for Children with Visual or Hearing needs
Parent Partnership Service
EAL (EMTAS) English as an Additional Language
Early Years/KS1 Behaviour Intervention Teams & Nurture Provision
KS2 Behaviour Intervention Teams/PRU (Pupil Referral Unit)
Language and Learning Team
Specialist Support Team for Children with Physical and Medical Needs (Including Specialist Paediatric Occupational Therapist to ensure that that the functional needs of children with SEND are met)
Health Provision delivered in school:
School Nursing Team
Speech and Language Therapy
School Nurse / support from Consultant Paediatricians where appropriate
Children and Young People’s Service (CYPS)
How are the teachers in school helped to work with children with an SEND and what training do they have?
The SENCo’s job is to support the class teacher in planning for children with SEND.
The SENCo attends regular Local Authority SENCo Meetings which provide regular updates regarding current developments in Special Educational Needs/Disabilities and Inclusion.
The school has a Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Training Plan which provides training and support to enable all staff to improve the teaching and learning of all children, including those with SEND. This includes whole school training on SEND issues such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Speech and Language difficulties.
Individual Class teachers and Support Staff attend training courses run by outside agencies that are relevant to the needs of specific children in their class e.g. from the Autism Outreach Team (AOT) service and Speech and Language therapists.
How will teaching be adapted for my child with SEND?
Class Teachers plan lessons according to the specific needs of all groups of children in their class, (including using PIVATS targets where needed), and will ensure that your child’s needs are met.
Support staff, under the direction of the class teacher, can adapt planning to support the needs of your child where necessary.
Specific resources and strategies will be used to support your child individually and in groups.
Planning (including that for specific PIVATS targets) and teaching will be adapted on a daily basis if needed to meet your child’s learning needs.
How will we measure the progress of your child in school?
Your child’s progress is continually monitored by his/her class teacher
His/her progress is reviewed formally every term in reading, writing and numeracy, a pupil progress meeting will take place the class teacher, SENDCo and Head Teacher.
If your child is in Year 1 or above, a more sensitive assessment tool can be used, which shows their attainment in more detail: breaking learning down into smaller steps (PIVATS – Performance Indicators for Value Added Target Setting).
At the end of each Key Stage (i.e. at the end of Year 2 and Year 6) all children are required to be formally assessed using Standard Assessment Tests (SATs). This is something the government requires all schools to do and the results are published nationally.
Children may have a support plan/maintenance plan which will be reviewed, and a future plan made.
Where necessary children will have a support plan based on PIVATS (Performance Indicators for Value Added Target Setting). Targets will be set, using these PIVATS levels, designed to accelerate learning and close the gap. Progress against these targets will be reviewed regularly, evidence for judgements assessed, and a future plan made.
The progress of children with an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) is formally reviewed at an Annual Review, with all adults involved with the child’s education including Parents/Carers.
The SENCo will also check that your child is making good progress within any individual work and in any group that they take part in.
Regular book/work scrutinies and lesson observations will be carried out by the SENCo, and other members of the Senior Leadership Team, to ensure that the needs of all children are met, and that the quality of teaching and learning is high. Regular 'A Day in the Life' monitoring sessions allow the SENCo to have a clear understanding of the provision, opportunities and quality for teaching provided for children.
What support do we have for you as a parent of a child with a SEND?
The class teacher is regularly available to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns you may have and to share information about what is working well at home and school so similar strategies can be used.
The SENCo is available to meet with you to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns/worries you may have.
All information from outside professionals will be discussed with you with the person involved directly, or where this is not possible, in a report.
Support plans/maintenance plans will be reviewed, with your involvement.
Homework will be adjusted as needed to your child’s individual needs.
A home/school feelings chart may be used to support communication with you, when this has been agreed to be useful for you and your child.
How is Blackfell Primary School accessible to children with SEND?
There are two well equipped Sensory Rooms in school which are timetable appropriately for the needs of children.
All pupils on the SEND register have a support plan which is reviewed termly.
Teaching and learning opportunities are adapted to meet the needs of all learners. Subject leaders advise class teachers how to make adaptions to curriculum subjects where needed.
Where necessary, adaptions to the classroom and child’s learning environment are made (e.g sensory items at desk, wobble boards).
After school provision is accessible to all children including those with SEND.
Extra curricular activities are accessible for children with SEND.
How will we support your child when they are leaving this school? OR moving on to another class?
We recognise that transitions can be difficult for a child with SEND and take steps to ensure that any transition is a smooth as possible.
If your child is moving child to another school:
We will contact the school SENCo and ensure he/she knows about any special arrangements or support that need to be made for your child.
We will make sure that all records about your child are passed on as soon as possible.
When moving classes in school:
Information will be passed on to the new class teacher in advance and in most cases, a planning meeting will take place with the new teacher. Support plans will be shared with the new teacher.
If your child would be helped by a booklet to support them understand moving on then it will be made for them.
In Year 6:
The SENCo will discuss the specific needs of your child with the SENCo of their given secondary school that your child may be transferring to.
Your child will do focused learning about aspects of transition to support their understanding of the changes ahead.
Where possible your child will visit their new school on several occasions and in some cases staff from the new school will visit your child in this school.
Additional visits are arranged for children who need extra time in their new school
How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom?
Activities and school visits are available to all.
Risk assessments are carried out and procedures put in place to enable all children to participate.
However, if it is deemed that a very high level of 1:1 support is required a parent/carer may be asked to accompany their child during the activity.
What if my child has physical/medical needs?
If a child has physical and/or medical needs then a detailed Individual Healthcare Plan (IHCP) is compiled in close consultation with parents/carers and with support from the medical professionals involved with the child e.g. community paediatric nursing team
Individual Healthcare Plans (including any emergency procedures) are circulated and are discussed with staff.
Staff receive appropriate training, where required, on an annual basis.
Where necessary and in agreement with parents/ carers, medicines are administered in school but only where a signed Administration of Medication Consent Form is in place to ensure the safety of both child and staff member.
Risk assessments are completed to support children with complex physical/ medical needs.
We have members of staff who are trained in the Administration of Medication
We have members of staff who have First Aid Training, including Paediatric First Aid Training.
What Emotional and Social Development support do we have for a child with a SEND?
We recognise that pupils with SEND may well have Emotional and Social Development needs, which will require support in school.
The Emotional Health and Well being of all our pupils is very important to us.
We have a robust Child Protection Policy in place; we follow National & LA Guidelines.
We have a robust Behaviour and Discipline Policy in place.
The Head Teacher, Deputy Head Teacher and all staff continually monitor the Emotional Health and Well being of all our pupils.
We have a robust Anti-bullying Policy, and procedures, in place and we have achieved the Platinum Sunderland Anti-Bullying Charter Mark.
We have a members staff who works with pupil on an individual basis to support their Emotional Health and Well being, as appropriate. We also run a daily nurture group to support children with social and emotional needs.
There are five members of staff trained in Team Teach de-escalation strategies..
Which services do Blackfell Primary School work with to support a child with a SEND?
Blackfell Primary school recognises the important contributions that external support services make in assisting to identify, assess, and provide for our SEND Pupils.
When it is considered necessary, colleagues from other support services will be involved with SEN pupils. These agencies include:
- Occupational Therapists
- Autism Outreach Team
- Educational Psychology Service
- Sensory Team for Children with Visual or Hearing needs
- School Nursing Team
- Speech and Language Therapy
- School Nurse / support from Consultant Paediatricians where appropriate
- EAL (EMTAS) English as an Additional Language
- Early Years/KS1 Behaviour Intervention Teams & Nurture Provision
- KS2 Behaviour Intervention Teams/PRU (Pupil Referral Unit)
- Language and Learning Team
- Children and Young People’s Service (CYPS)
- In addition, important links are in place with the following organisations:
- Attendance Officer
- Social Care
Home to school transport
If your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), they may be entitled to a taxi funded by the local authority. Home to school transport is the responsibility of the Local Authority and further information can be found on the Sunderland City Council Website.
Which policies do we use to identify and support SEND children in our school?
- To follow requirements and guidance in the Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0-25 (DfE 2014)
- To follow outcomes from the Children’s and Families Act 2014 (Part 3)
- The regulations associated with Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014.
- The Special Educational Needs (personal Budgets and Direct Payments) Regulations, Section 49
- The Equality Act 2010.
- Pupil Referral Units in England , DfE ‐ September 2017)
- Guidance on Use of Reasonable Force in Schools (DfE March 2012)
- Exclusions Policy (& Exclusions from Maintained Schools, Academies and
- Mental Health and behaviour in Schools (DfE 2014)
- SEND 2022
- Inclusion Policy 2022
- Accessibility Policy 2019-2022
- Child Protection Policy
- Anti‐bullying policy
- Behaviour Policy
- Subject Policies
Who can I contact if I have a complaint?
Blackfell Primary school is committed to providing a safe, stimulating, consistent and accessible service to children and their parents/carers. We always aim to provide high quality services for everyone, but accept that sometimes things do not always go to plan. In such circumstances, we want to know so that we can put them right and learn from any mistakes.
In the first instance parents/carers are encouraged to speak to the relevant member of staff, if deemed appropriate. If not, the Head Teacher should be contacted and they will try to resolve the problem.
If you are not happy with the outcome, or your complaint is in relation to the Head teacher, the next step is to make a formal complaint to the Governing Body. Further information about how to do this is included within Blackfell Primary School’s Complaints Policy (also available on our website).