Policy for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities



Jo Kerr (email via office@meadowdale.leics.sch.uk or telephone on 01858 465479).

Jo Kerr is a qualified teacher and is currently studying to achieve the National Award for SENDCO in 2018. Mrs Kerr is a qualified Arts Psychotherapist registered with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC). She also trained to offer family support. She is supported by Liz Martin who is the Deputy Head and previous SENDCO. Mrs Martin is also a specialist teacher trained to assess the needs of pupils with specific learning difficulties in literacy.


This policy complies with the statutory requirement as specified in the SEND Code of Practice 0 – 25 years (July 2014) 3.66 and has been written with reference to the following guidance and documents:

  • Equality Act 2010: advice for schools DfE Feb 2013
  • SEND Code of Practice 0 – 25 years (July 2014)
  • School SEN Information Report regulations (2014)
  • Statutory Guidance on supporting pupils at school with medical conditions April 2014
  • The National Curriculum in England Key Stage 1 and 2 framework document Sept 2015
  • Safeguarding Policy
  • Accessibility Plan
  • Teachers Standards 2012

The process involved in developing the draft of this policy was for the SENDCO Leadership Development Group, part of the Affinity Teaching School Alliance (TSA), to initially review existing and proposed documentation.  It was then finalised by the SENDCO in consultation with the SEN Governor, parents, pupils and staff at Meadowdale School.


We are committed to using our best endeavours to provide an appropriate and high quality education for all children at our school which enables them to

  • Achieve their best
  • Become confident individuals living fulfilling lives
  • Make successful transition to their next phase of education.

We consider every teacher to be a teacher of every child, including those with special educational needs and disabilities. We have the highest aspirations and expectations for all pupils, including those with special educational needs.

We aim to achieve a community where parents and those working in school have a mutual trust and confidence in each other, created through clear, consistent approaches to communication and collaborative working, to enable outstanding outcomes for children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND).

We aim to provide all children, including those with special educational needs and disabilities, with a broad, balanced academic and social curriculum.  One which is accessible and ensures they are fully included in all aspects of school life and feel equally valued and fully involved in the school community.

No child will be refused admission to the school on the grounds of special educational needs or disabilities. All education takes place on one floor and there is easy access into the school from the playground. There are toilet and showering facilities for children and adults with disabilities. The school has its own kitchen and caters for children and adults with special dietary requirements where necessary. Funds are allocated to support pupils with special educational needs or disabilities from within the school budget and also include additional top up funding for children with a statement of special educational need when allocated.


To achieve this aim we will:

  1. Strive to establish a fully inclusive school, eliminate prejudice and discrimination and create an environment where all children can be happy, flourish and feel safe.
  2. We will respond to learners in ways which take account of their varied needs and life experiences, taking a holistic approach and endeavouring to do all we can to meet a child’s SEN.
  3. We are committed to identifying a pupil’s special educational needs at the earliest point and then making effective provision as this is known to improve long term outcomes.
  4. Work in close partnership with parents to achieve these aims. We are committed to parents participating as fully as possible in decision making and we will provide all relevant information and appropriate support to enable this.
  5. Support pupils to participate in discussions, to express their views and to be fully involved in decisions which affect them, encouraging them to become increasingly effective self-advocates.
  6. Work in close partnership with a range of specialist agencies to enable us to provide effective targeted support.
  7. Provide support, advice and training for all staff working with pupils with special educational needs to enable them to be increasingly able to adapt teaching to respond to the strengths and needs of all pupils.
  8. Appoint a qualified Special Needs Coordinator who will have responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the SEN policy and coordination of specific provision made to support individual pupils with SEN, including those who have EHC plans.

The head teacher, SENDCO, all staff and the Governing Body will work within the guidance outlined in the SEND Code of Practice 0 -25 Years (July 2014)


A pupil has SEN where their learning difficulty or disability calls for special educational provision to be made for them, that is provision different from or additional to that normally available to pupils of the same age. 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.

The identification of SEN is built into the overall approach to monitoring the progress and development of all pupils. Class teachers will assess each pupil’s current skills and levels of attainment on entry, building on information from previous settings. Class teachers then make regular assessments of progress for all pupils identifying in particular where pupils are making less than expected progress given their age and individual circumstances. Where a pupil’s progress is causing concern, this may be characterised by progress which:

  • 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 the child and their peers
  • widens the attainment gap

It can include progress in areas other than attainment – for instance where a pupil needs to make additional progress with wider developmental or social needs. We use standardised test results as one tool to help identify possible special needs.

Broad areas of need as outlined in the SEND Code of Practice (2014)

These four broad areas give an overview of the range of needs that the school plans for and is not an attempt to categorise or label a pupil’s needs. In practice, individual children or young people often have needs that fall into more than one area and their needs may change over time.

  • Communication and Interaction
  • Cognition and Learning
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health
  • Sensory and/or Physical

The purpose of identification is to work out what action the school needs to take.  In our school, the needs of the whole child will always be considered in this process.

There are other factors that may impact on progress and attainment that are not considered to be related to SEN:

  • Disability
  • Attendance and punctuality
  • Health and Welfare
  • English as an additional language
  • Being in receipt of pupil premium grant
  • Being a looked after child
  • Being a child of a serviceman or service woman

Any concerns relating to a child’s behaviour may be as a result of an underlying response to an unidentified need which the school would work with parents to identify.


 Identifying and adapting teaching to meet pupils’ needs is a process that is in place for all pupils. The school has a rigorous and regular system, through termly pupil progress meetings, to identify where pupils are not making expected progress or working below national expectations. Class teachers will put in place, if necessary, relevant and timely interventions through quality first teaching, appropriate differentiation and in-class support, aimed at closing the gap or raising the attainment. The class teacher will also talk with parents to ensure there is a shared understanding of a pupils needs and to gain parental perspective on any emerging concerns and areas of strength.

Where a pupil’s needs are persistent, the class teacher will complete an initial concerns checklist and arrange to meet with the SENDCO. At this meeting the requirement for additional fine-tuned assessments will be ascertained. Parents will be invited to attend this meeting and share their perspective. Where appropriate, the child’s views will be sought. If, as a result of this process, it is clear that different and additional provision is required to meet the child’s needs, the child will then be placed on the school SEN record at ‘SEN Support’. The parents will be informed if the school is making special educational provision for a child. The class teacher remains responsible and accountable at all times for the progress and development of all children in his/her class, even where a child may be receiving support from a teaching assistant or through a Wave 3 intervention. High quality teaching, differentiated for individual pupils is always seen as the first step in responding to pupils’ who may have SEN.

Working together the SENDCO, class teacher, parents and child (where appropriate) will select appropriate support and intervention to meet the outcomes identified for the pupil, based on reliable evidence of effectiveness. This will be delivered by staff with sufficient skills and knowledge. This SEN support will take the form of a four-part cycle (assess – plan – do – review) through which earlier decisions and actions are revisited, refined and revised with a growing understanding of the pupils needs and of what supports the pupil in making good progress and securing good outcomes. This is known as the Graduated Approach.  It draws on more detailed approaches, more frequent reviews and more specialist expertise in successive cycles in order to match interventions to the SEN of a child.

The effectiveness of the support and interventions and their impact on the pupil’s progress will be reviewed each term. The review process will include an evaluation of the impact and quality of the support and intervention and the views of the pupil and their parents. This review will then feed back into the analysis of the pupil’s needs. The class teacher, with support from the SENDCO where required, will revise the support in light of the pupil’s progress and development, deciding on any changes to the support and outcomes in consultation with the parent and pupil.

The school can involve specialists at any point to for advice regarding early identification and effective support. However, where a pupil continues to make less than expected progress, despite evidence based support and interventions that are matched to the pupil’s area of need, the school will consider involving specialists, including those secured by the school itself or from outside agenciesParents will always be involved in any decision to involve specialists along with the child’s class teacher and in appropriate cases, the child them self. Specialist agencies will only be contacted where parents are in agreement. It is the SENDCO’s role to contact any specialist agencies and to ensure that the involvement of specialists and all points discussed or agreed are recorded, shared and fully understood by parents, teaching staff and, where appropriate, the child.

Examples of specialist agencies used by and that are available to be used by the school

  • Educational psychologists (services provided by EPIC)
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
  • Education Inclusion Service specialist teachers
  • Specialist teachers for children with hearing and vision impairment, including multi-sensory impairment, and for those with a physical disability
  • Speech and language therapists
  • Occupational therapists and physiotherapists
  • Paediatricians
  • ADHD solutions
  • Specialist teacher for children with autism
  • Behaviour forum
  • ICT assessment service for assistive and augmented communications

In some cases, there is a charge for accessing specialist agency support; funding for which will come from the school’s notional SEN budget and will be monitored by the SENDCO and head teacher.

Where pupils are made subject to a Statement of SEN or EHC plan, the school will work in close partnership with any specialist agencies is named on the Plan to provide support and specialist advice.

The LA SEN Support Plan and Education Health and Care Plan process

Where the special educational provision required to meet the child or young person’s needs cannot reasonably be provided from within the resources normally available to the school, the school, in consultation with parents, will consider requesting a LA SEN Support Plan or Education, Health and Care assessment from the Local Authority is appropriate. To inform this decision, the SENDCO will have close regard to the local authority’s criteria for funding through an SEN Support Plan or for an EHC Plan assessment. This can be found on the Leicestershire Local Offer web site – http://www.leics.gov.uk/index/children_families/local_offer.htm

This site also has information on the EHC plan coordinated assessment process and will be shared in full with parents to ensure they are confident and clear about what the process is and how they are involved in it.

Removing pupils from the SEND Record

In consultation with parents, the child will be considered for removal from the SEND Record where he/she has made sustained good progress that:

  • betters the previous rate of progress and has sufficiently closed the attainment gap between the child and their peers of the same age,
  • or where a child’s wider development and/or social needs have improved and progress in the targeted area is considered to be sustained
  • SEN Support is no longer required to ensure this progress is sustained.


The school is fully committed to a meaningful partnership with parents of children with special educational needs where they can be as fully involved as possible in decisions and are provided with the information and support necessary to enable participation in those decisions.

The school will do this by:

  • Always making parents feel welcome and actively listening to their concerns, wishes and aspirations for their child, instilling confidence and building effective partnerships.
  • Providing all information in an accessible way
  • SENDCO available for meeting by appointment through the school office or by email.
  • Publishing about how the school implements the SEND Policy on the school web site following the information set out in the SEN information regulations (2014) and as part of the school’s contribution to the Local Offer –  http://www.leics.gov.uk/index/children_families/local_offer.htm
  • Class teachers meeting with parents, in addition to parent evening appointments, to discuss concerns regarding pupils’ progress at the earliest opportunity, raised either by the class teacher or the parents themselves.
  • Class teachers will invite parents of pupils with SEN in their class at least three times a year to set and review the outcomes of support, discuss the activities and support that will help achieve them, and identify the responsibilities of the parent, the pupil and the school. It will provide an opportunity for the parents to share their views. This meeting may be part of or in addition to parents’ evening meetings and may be supported by the SENDCO.
  • The school will ensue that teaching staff are supported to manage these conversations as part of their professional development.
  • Support and guide parents in ways that they can help with their child’s learning and development at home.
  • A record of the outcomes, action and support agreed through the discussion are kept and shared with all the appropriate school staff and a record will be given to the pupil’s parents.
  • Signposting parents to wider support, information and services pertinent to their child’s SEN by ensuring they know how to access the Local Offer and the LA’s Parent Partnership Service.
  • Consulting with a representative group of parents of pupils with SEND when reviewing the school’s SEN Information Report (see school web site – http://www.meadowdale.info/ ) and the SEND policy. A paper copy will be made available to parents on request.
  • Planning in additional support for parents at key times, for example, when considering and making a referral for a coordinated assessment for an EHC plan and to ensure smooth and successful transition into the school or onto the next phase of education.
  • Making use of media, such as, email and school communications to contact parents and to enable parents to contact school.
  • Seeking parents’ views through periodic questionnaires and considering adjustments to practice in the light of analysis.


The school recognises that all pupils have the right to be involved in making decisions and exercising choice. We aim to develop pupils’ self-advocacy skills to enable them to transfer to their next phase of education; confident and able to communicate, convey, negotiate or assert their own interests, desires, needs and rights, becoming increasingly able to make informed decisions about their learning and future, taking responsibility for those decisions.

How the school will do this

  • Self-knowledge is the first step towards effective self -advocacy so, with their parents, we will support pupils to understand their strengths, needs and the approaches to learning that are particularly successful for them and to have the confidence to voice their concerns, hopes and aspirations.
  • Wherever possible and in an age appropriate manner, pupils with SEN are involved in monitoring and reviewing their progress and are, as fully as possible, involved in making decisions about future support and provision. Their views are recorded and shared.
  • All staff will actively listen to and address any concerns raised by children themselves.
  • Planning in additional support for pupils at key times, for example, when considering and making a referral for a coordinated assessment for an EHC plan and to ensure smooth and successful transition into the school or on to the next phase of education.
  • Pupils are also provided with additional support to contribute as fully as possible in their Annual Review. This can be, for example, by attending part of the review meeting in person, preparing a statement to be shared at the meeting, using a peer advocate to support them in the meeting or by preparing a recorded presentation to share at the meeting.
  • Seeking pupils’ views through regular questionnaires/group interview activities undertaken by the SENDCO, considering adjustments to make in the light of analysis.
  • Any child with a recognised special need will have an individualised ‘One Page Pupil Profile’. This is written in collaboration with pupils and parents to provide a pupil voice.


The school recognises that pupils at school with medical conditions should be properly supported so that they have full access to education, including school trips and physical education. Some children with medical conditions may be disabled and where this is the case the school will comply with its duties under the Equality Act 2010.

Some may also have special educational needs (SEN) and may have a statement, or Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan which brings together health and social care needs, as well as their special educational provision where the SEND Code of Practice (2014) is followed. Arrangements in place to support pupils at school with medical conditions are detailed within the school’s policy for Supporting Pupils with Medical Conditions.


The school regularly and carefully monitors and evaluates the quality and effectiveness of provision for all pupils including those with SEN. This is achieved through scrutiny of data related to the achievement of pupils with SEN, work scrutiny, observation and sampling of parent and pupil questionnaires.


In order to maintain and develop the quality of teaching and provision to respond to the strengths and needs of all pupils, all staff are encouraged to undertake training and development.

Training needs of staff are identified through the school’s self-evaluation process.

All teachers and support staff undertake an induction process on taking up a post and this includes a meeting with the SENDCO to explain the systems and structures in place around the school’s SEND provision and practice and to discuss the needs of individual pupils.

The school’s SENDCO regularly attends SENDCO Network meetings, Affinity SENDCO Leadership Development meetings and local SENDCO meetings and uses the www.nasen.org.uk (nasen send gateway) in order to keep up to date with local and national updates in SEND.


The school’s core budget is used to make general provision for all pupils in the school including pupils with SEN. In addition, every school receives an additional amount of money to help make special educational provision to meet children’s SEN. This is called the ‘notional SEN budget’.

The amount in this budget is based on a formula which is agreed between schools and the local authority. The government has recommended that schools should use this notional SEN budget to pay for up to £6,000 worth of special educational provision to meet a child’s SEN. Most children with SEN need special educational provision that comes to less than £6,000. If the school can show that a pupil with SEN needs more than £6,000 worth of special educational provision, it can ask the local authority to provide top-up funding to meet the cost of that provision. Where the local authority agrees, the cost is provided from funding held by the local authority in their high needs block. Schools are expected to use this funding to make provision for that individual pupil

The school may also use Pupil Premium Funding where a pupil is registered as SEN and is also in receipt of Pupil Premium grant to address the needs of these pupils and enhance learning and achievement.

Each term, in consultation with the head teacher and class teachers, the SENDCO will map the targeted provision in place for pupils on the SEN record to show how resources are allocated and to monitor the cost of the whole of our SEN provision. This targeted provision is outlined on the school’s Provision Map.


The role of the SENDCO

The key responsibilities of the SENDCO are taken from the SEND 0- 25 Years Code of Practice (2014) and include:

  • overseeing the day-to-day operation of the school’s SEN policy
  • coordinating provision for children with SEN
  • liaising with the relevant Designated Teacher where a looked after pupil has SEN
  • advising on the graduated approach to providing SEN support
  • advising on the deployment of the school’s delegated budget and other resources to meet pupils’ needs effectively
  • liaising with parents of pupils with SEN
  • liaising with early years’ providers, other schools, educational psychologists, health and social care professionals, and independent or voluntary bodies
  • being a key point of contact with external agencies, especially the local authority and its support services
  • liaising with potential next providers of education to ensure a pupil and their parents are informed about options and a smooth transition is planned
  • working with the head teacher and school governors to ensure that the school meets its responsibilities under the Equality Act (2010) with regard to reasonable adjustments and access arrangements
  • ensuring that the school keeps the records of all pupils with SEN up to date.

The SENDCO is a member of the school leadership team and is responsible for reporting to the head teacher and the governing body on the day to day management of this policy.

The Role of the Class Teacher in relation to pupils with SEND

The ‘Teachers’ Standards’ which were effective from 1st September 2012 state that all teachers should adapt teaching to respond to the strengths and needs of all pupils. To do this teacher need to have a secure understanding of how a range of factors can inhibit pupils’ ability to learn, and how best to overcome these. In addition they should have a clear understanding of the needs of all pupils, including those with special educational needs; those of high ability; those with English as an additional language; those with disabilities; and be able to use and evaluate distinctive teaching approaches to engage and support them.

When planning for the inclusion of children with SEND class teachers will:

  • Ensure that all children can access the curriculum at an appropriate level and that reasonable adjustments are made as required
  • Deliver appropriate wave 2 interventions within the classroom to provide support where necessary
  • Identify children who continue to present a ‘Cause for Concern’ and complete the school paperwork
  • Discuss with the SENDCO children who they suspect may have SEND
  • Communicate with parents in relation to concerns, provision, targets and progress
  • Implement class based IEP targets and monitor progress made
  • Support targets set for withdrawal interventions to aid the transference of skills
  • Work alongside the SENDCO and TA(SEN) to monitor progress and set targets

The Role of the SEND Teaching Assistant

The Teaching Assistant with responsibility for SEND works under the leadership of and in conjunction with the SENDCO.

The teaching assistant (SEN) will carry out the following:

  • Write intervention plans in line with areas of difficulty identified by the class teacher and assessments
  • Communicate targets to class teachers
  • Plan and deliver sessions for each intervention
  • Withdraw children in groups or individually when working with them
  • Carry out regular classroom observations of the children with SEND and provide feedback to class teachers
  • Monitor and review interventions and progress made
  • Keep up to date with current legislation, initiatives and practices through attending the Leicestershire SENDCO Network meetings and relevant training
  • In consultation with the SENDCO give advice about resources and strategies to members of staff as required

The Role of the Classroom Teaching Assistant in relation to pupils with SEND

Teaching assistants play a major role in the support of pupils with SEND within the classroom. Teaching assistants are expected to carry out the following:

  • Liaise with the Class Teacher about the planned provision for pupils with SEND – it is not their responsibility to plan work themselves, however it is appropriate to make and prepare resources that may be needed
  • Include pupils with SEND in all class activities where appropriate and withdraw pupils as necessary under the specific guidance of the Class Teacher
  • Under the direction of the teacher carry out day to day assessments and record progress made against learning objectives and targets, feedback to the teacher
  • Be prepared to oversee the independent work of the class to enable the Class Teacher to focus on pupils with SEND
  • With guidance from the Class teacher and/or SENDCO, contribute to a written report for a pupil’s Annual Review

Governing Body and Headteacher

The Governing Body will, in line with SEN Information Regulations, publish information on the school’s website about the implementation of the school’s policy for pupils with SEN. The information published will be updated annually and any changes to the information occurring during the year will be updated as soon as possible.

The head teacher, SENDCO and governing body will establish a clear picture of the resources that are available to the school and will consider the strategic approach to meeting SEN in the context of the total resources available, including any resources targeted at particular groups, such as the pupil premium.

Head teacher will ensure that the SENDCO has sufficient time and resources to carry out her functions. This will include providing the SENDCO with sufficient administrative support and time away from teaching to enable them to fulfil their responsibilities.


All records containing sensitive records relating to the special educational needs or disabilities of pupils in school will be treated as highly confidential and be securely placed in a locked cabinet when not in use.


This policy will be formally reviewed annually. Representatives of parents of pupils with SEN and pupils themselves will be part of this process.


Appendix 1

Appendix 2

Check lists available for specific learning difficulties:

  • ADHD (Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder)
  • Dyslexia
  • ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder)
  • Attachment Disorder

Appendix 3

List of assessment materials available in school

  • WRIT 4 (Wide Range Intelligence Test)
  • Dyslexia screening tool
  • CTOPP 2013 (Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing)
  • PhAB (Phonological Assessment Battery)
  • DRA (Diagnostic Reading Test)
  • SWRT (Single Word Reading Test)
  • Wordchains Test
  • BPVS (British Picture Vocabulary Scale)
  • Graded Word Spelling Test (Vernon)
  • Small Stepped Tracker (Phonic Skills for Reading and Spelling)
  • Numicon assessment materials (maths)
  • Boxall Profile
  • SDQ  (strengths and difficulty questionnaire)
  • Talkabout assessment Tool
  • SCARED (screen for anxiety related disorders)

Appendix 4

Interventions used at Meadowdale:

  • FFT Wave 3 Reading and Writing programme
  • Precision teaching
  • Number stars
  • Numicon
  • Nessy
  • Gaps in Maths Materials
  • Acceleread Accelewrite
  • Start Write, Stay Right
  • Social communication group
  • Personalised interventions
  • Talkabout
  • Starving the anxiety Gremlin
  • Drama therapy

Appendix 5

Family Support:

  • SENDCO available to talk and liaise with parents
  • ‘Fun in Families’
  • Solihull Approach