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SEND Policy

Rationale and Aims

  • We support the school's mission statement and values in order to produce effective outcomes for all our pupils.
  • We believe that all children are entitled to a broad and balanced curriculum to enable them to reach their full potential and to promote independent learning.
  • We seek to ensure an inclusive approach to working with pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) to raise their aspirations and to enable the best possible outcomes.
  • We seek to enable parents, carers and external agencies to work together with The Firs Lower School to ensure that the needs of pupils with SEND are fully met.


This policy complies with the statutory requirement laid out in the SEND Code of Practice 0 – 25 (2014) and has been written with reference to the following guidance and documents; Equality Act 2010 and Children’s and Families Act 2014.

This policy will be implemented by the staff at The Firs Lower School, and the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SEND-Co) will oversee the implementation of this policy, and the management and strategic development of The Firs Lower Schools provision for SEND.  It will be published on the school website.

  • Objectives:
  1. To identify and provide for pupils who have special Educational Needs and Additional Needs.
  2. To work within the guidance provided in the SEND Code of Practice 0 – 25 (2014)
  3. To operate a ‘whole pupil, whole school’ approach to the management and provision of support for special Educational Needs.
  4. To provide a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SEND-Co) who will work with the SEN Inclusion Policy.
  5. To provide support and advice for all staff working with Special Educational Needs pupils.


  • Definitions:

The SEND Code of Practice 0 – 25 (2014) states that a child or young person has SEN if ‘they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.  Special Educational Provision is educational or training provision which is additional to or different from that made generally for other children of the same age.’

A child or young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she has 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 educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools.’

A disability as defined by the Equality Act (2010) is ‘…a physical or mental impairment which has a long term (a year or more) and substantial (more than minor or trivial) adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day to day activities.’

Making higher quality differentiated teaching normally available to the whole class is likely to mean that fewer pupils will require such support.

Identifying Special Educational Needs

A pupil will be identified through baseline and ongoing assessments by teachers and brought to the attention of the SEND-Co if progress is less than expected, in spite of high quality, differentiated classroom teaching targeted at the pupil’s area of weakness.

Limited progress and low attainment do not necessarily mean that a pupil has SEN and should not automatically lead to a pupil being recorded as having SEN.  Other difficulties may impact on a pupils performance and should be assessed first, these may include;

  • Behaviour
  • Disability
  • Attendance and punctuality
  • Health and Welfare
  • English as and Additional Language (EAL)
  • Being in receipt of Pupil Premium Grant
  • Being a Looked After Child
  • Being the child of a Serviceman/woman

The SEND-Co will then work with other staff to investigate this further and may engage the help of external agencies such as the Psychology Team or a Speech and Language Therapist/Occupational Therapist in order to identify the area of need;

The SEND Code of Practice 0 – 25 (2014) outlines the four broad areas of need as;

  1. Communication and Interaction
  2. Cognition and learning
  3. Social emotional and mental health difficulties
  4. Sensory and/or physical difficulties.

A pupil with an identified area of need will be placed on the SEND profile and an Individualised Pupil Support Plan (PSP) will be agreed by parents and utilised by teachers to inform planning and differentiation of task.  This plan will then be reviewed termly with parents to assess progress.

Special Educational Provision

Special Educational Provision is an educational or training provision that is additional to or different from that made generally for other children or young people of the same age.

Teachers are responsible and accountable for progress and development of pupils in their class, including where pupils access support from teaching assistants or specialist staff.

High quality teaching, differentiated for individual pupils, is the first step in responding to pupils who have or may have SEN.

The Firs Lower School will follow the Central Bedfordshire Graduated Response to supporting pupils with SEND.

Special Educational Needs provision at The Firs Lower School is outlined in the schools Provision Support Plan (PSP) documents (See Appendix A) and will form the basis of the school offer.

The Firs is an inclusive school community and we strive to provide high quality teaching and support throughout the school. Quality First Teaching provides a broad and balanced curriculum, along with Adaptive teaching provision to motivate and meet the needs of our children.

We may find that a child needs additional help if concerns are raised by a parent or carer, if a child is making limited progress or if there is a change in their rate of progress or access to the curriculum.

Following a cycle of Assess, Plan, Do, and Review we are able to identify the needs of the child and plan for additional support that will enable them to make the best possible progress, access the curriculum and achieve their potential. At this point, with consultation with the child’s parents/carers, they will be recorded on the SEND register so that all staff are aware of their needs, and strategies to support them in the classroom are in place. In addition, a Pupil Support Plan (PSP) will be provided to outline support to parents and set short step targets in identified development areas.

Where it is felt that pupils require additional support from an outside agency, their progress will continue to be tracked within their Pupil Support Plan and referrals will be made to the relevant support services.

Where a child or young person continues to make less than expected progress, in spite of Special Educational Provision, and the involvement of outside agencies, or they have complex needs or disabilities that require additional support, the SEND-Co will follow the statutory guidance on requesting an assessment for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). Children with EHC Plans under the 2014 Code of Practice will have a MAP set up, and have their progress reviewed termly with parents by a member of the teaching staff.

The Special Educational Provision in place should follow the four part cycle;

  1. Assess This could involve a range of methods including, but not limited to, teachers assessment of pupil progress, attainment and behaviour, results of standardised tests, screening and profiling tests, questionnaires of parents and teachers and observations.
  2. Plan This is likely to involve the SEND-Co, working with teachers to plan appropriate provision, which is clearly communicated to all concerned.  This may be in-class support or more targeted provision.  Any planning will have a clear focus on expected outcomes for the child or young person.
  3. Do The SEND Code of Practice places the teacher at the centre of the day-to-day responsibility for working with pupils, it is imperative that teachers work closely with any teaching assistants or specialist staff involved to plan and assess the impact of targeted interventions.
  4. Review The progress of pupils who are receiving SEN support should be reviewed termly, and may form part of the whole school tracking processes.

Managing Pupils Needs on the SEN Register

Pupils with identified needs through the Assessment phase of Assess, Plan, Do Review will  be recorded as ‘SEN Support’ on the SEND register and recorded as K on the school census.

Pupils targets set out in their Pupil Support Plan, will be reviewed termly with parents following the school review planner.  (See appendix B) If progress is made and a pupil no longer meets the guidance they will then be removed from the SEN register following consultation with parents.

  • Arrangements for coordinating provision

The SEND-Co Ms Victoria Gamble is the person responsible for co-ordinating the day-to-day provision for pupils with SEND.  The Governor responsible for SEND is Mrs Sarah Walker.

The SEND-Co will be responsible for:

  • Oversee dayto-day operation of the schools SEN policy.
  • Coordinating provision with pupils with SEN
  • Liaising and providing support where a Looked After Child has SEN.
  • Advising on the graduated approach to SEN support.
  • Advising on the use of delegated budget/other resources.
  • Liaising with parents of pupils with SEN.
  • Links with other educational settings and external agencies.
  • Liaising with potential next providers of Education.
  • Working with the head and governors on Equality Act 2010.
  • Ensuring SEN records are up to date.

The Teaching Assistants will be responsible for:

  • TAs is part of the whole school approach to SEN working in partnership with the classroom teacher and SENDCo to deliver pupil progress and narrow gaps in performance.

The Teachers will be responsible for:

  • Class teachers are at the heart of the SEN support system.
  • The classroom teacher should:
  1. Focus on outcomes for the child.
  2. Be responsible for meeting special educational needs, using the SEND-Co strategically to support quality of teaching.
  3. Have high aspirations for every pupil.
  4. Involve parents and pupils in the planning and reviewing process.

The Governing Body will be responsible for:

  • Overseeing the implementation of the reform and providing strategic support to the head teacher /SENDCo.
  • Ensure arrangements for supporting pupils are in place.
  • Review the quality of support provided through measuring pupil progress.

Supporting Pupils and Families

  • Admissions

The schools general admissions policy will apply. Pupils with statements or EHC Plans will be treated as fairly as any other applicants for admission.  There are no specialisms available and there is no unit attached to The Firs Lower School.  Modifications to the building include wheelchair access via ramps and toilet facilities for the disabled.

  • Transition

The Firs Lower School will work closely to ensure a smooth transition at both transfer points to make sure that there is clear communication about SEND.  A ‘Vulnerable pupil’ transfer sheet will be supplied to middle schools.  A Pupil Passport / One plan will be completed for pupils with a statement or EHC Plan, and this will be shared with parents as part of the transition procedure.

Supporting Pupils at school with medical conditions

See Medical Needs Policy (Appendix C)

Training and Resources

  • Resources are allocated to, and amongst SEND pupils by;
  1. 5% of Formula budget
  2. Pupil Premium Funding
  3. Statement top-up funding (dependant on local authority)
  • Funded support for pupils with SEND is provided by;
  1. SEND-Co
  2. Teaching Assistants
  • Additional Resources to facilitate the learning for pupils with SEN include;
  1. Read Write Inc. – a whole school approach with intervention support delivered by teaching assistants with appropriate training.
  2. Published Programmes used in small group and individual intervention – RWI 1 to 1 tuition, Hornet Literacy, Handwriting skills development, Time to Talk, Lego/Play Therapy, Precision teaching for additional reading and speeling needs.
  3. Numicon – a multi-sensory programme for KS2 intervention delivered to groups of no more than 6 pupils by a teaching assistant with appropriate training.
  4. Sensory Room (located near the library)
  5. Selection of games and puzzles – to develop literacy skills, language skills, memory skills and motor skills.
  6. Specific resources – wobble cushions, adapted scissors, pencil grips, slanted work boards.
  • Resources to. facilitate the learning through the National Curriculum

SEN pupils are provided with support as appropriate to need in order to access the National Curriculum.

Teachers in consultation with the SEND-Co will ensure a SEND pupil’s access to the National Curriculum by;

  1. Differentiated materials and approaches
  2. Appropriate teaching and learning styles
  3. Setting as appropriate in literacy
  4. Appropriate use of Teaching Assistants
  5. Individual classroom organisation
  6. Focused intervention which targets literacy and numeracy needs.

The SEND-Co will update teaching staff and TAs regularly by attending INSET and disseminating information. 

Courses will be identified to address specific problems or areas of concern and staff will be kept up to date on current legislation.

The SEND-Co attends Senior Leadership Meetings to discuss pupil issues.

  • Link with External Agencies

Teachers and the SEND-Co will seek advice from the following outside agencies;

  1. Psychology Team
  2. LA SEND Team and School SEND_AT
  3. Attendance Officer
  4. Social Services
  5. Occupational Therapy
  6. Speech and Language Therapy
  7. Behaviour Support Team (Jigsaw)
  8. Advisory Teachers (ASD / Downs Syndrome - Ivel Valley Outreac
  9. Early Years Advisors

The SEND-Co will always seek permission from parents and carers before referring to an outside agency, and guidelines regarding access of the agencies will be reviewed.

In certain cases the use of an Early Help Assessment (EHA) may be appropriate.

  • Parental Involvement

The School is often the first point of contact for parents who have concerns about their child’s progress and/or behaviour.  As stated in the Code of Practice parents should be fully informed in the decision making process, understand the purpose of any intervention or programme or action and be informed of the Parent Partnership Service when individual needs are identified.

  • Liaison with parents will be established via the pupil’s plan which will inform them of their child’s area of need, support and progress.
  • Contact will be established via faceto-face contact, letter or telephone.
  • Records will be kept of all parental contact, with date.
  • Parents will be encouraged to contact the school with their concerns at all times.

Storing and Managing Information

Paper based information is stored in individual pupil files, which are kept secure in a locked cabinet in the Swallow room.  Records are updated regularly on a ‘History of Intervention’ Sheet.  (Appendix D)  These files are passed to the next school at the point of transition.

Electronic based information is stored in the individual pupil files in the SEND Pupil Information Folder within the Pupil Information and Parent Meeting Drive.


See Accessibility plan.  (Appendix E)

Dealing with Complaints

Depending on their nature, these will be dealt with in the first instance by the class teacher then SEND-Co.  However, in all instances the school's complaints policy should be followed.

Reviewing the Policy

The effective implementation of the policy will be demonstrated by;

  1. Appropriate movement between stages on the SEND Profile
  2. Positive Parental Involvement
  3. Communication between SEND-Co and teaching and support staff which leads to positive outcomes for SEND pupils
  4. Progress commensurate with abilities
  5. Early identification and assessment of pupils with SEND
  6. Accurate record keeping for all pupils with SEND
  7. Well defined and realistic MAPS and Provision Plans
  8. Annual Report to the Governing Body
  9. Creating a school atmosphere in which individual differences are recognised and valued.

These targets will be considered in order to measure the success of the policy.

Evaluation and Review

The effectiveness of SEN support at The Firs Lower School will be monitored throughout the school year as part of the Monitoring and Evaluation process.  The policy will be reviewed on an annual basis by the SEND-Co and Senior Leadership Team. 

Every year The Firs Lower School will publish on its website a SEN Information Report in response to section 6.74 of the Code of Practice (Clause 65)

Please see below for a PDF version of our SEND Policy.