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Special Educational Needs and Disability Policy

Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator: Ms Tracey Johnson
School Telephone: 0191 2523546

Interventions Co-ordinator : Mrs Catherine Costigan
School Governor for Special Educational Needs is Mrs Pat Gray

This policy complies with the statutory requirements in the Special Educational Needs & Disability (SEND) Code of Practice 0 - 25 2014


At Appletree Gardens First School we are committed to giving all our children every opportunity to achieve their best. We believe that is the right of every child to receive a broad and balanced curriculum and that every teacher is teacher of Special Educational Needs (SEN) The achievement, attitude and well-being of every child matters and inclusion is the responsibility of everyone within our school. 

Definition of SEN and Disability (SEND)

At our school we use the definition for SEN and for disability from the SEND Code of Practice (2014). 
This states - SEN: A child or young person has special educational needs if he or she has a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.
 A learning difficulty or disability is a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age. Special educational provision means educational or training provision that is additional to, or different from, that made generally for others of the same age in a mainstream setting in England. 
Disability- Some children and young people who have SEN may have a disability. Under the Equality Act 2010 that is ‘a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.’

  • To identify pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities and strive to meet their needs.
  • To provide a wide, varied and inclusive curriculum for children with SEN.
  • To inform parents of their child’s needs and form a working partnership with them.
  • To measure the progress made by all SEN children at regular intervals within the school year.
  • To ensure that all SEN pupils are given the opportunity to express their views and are involved in decisions that may affect their education.
  • To involve outside agencies when appropriate.
  • To provide support, advice and training for all staff in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

Identification and Provision of children with Special Educational Needs 

There are four broad categories of need identified in the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Code of Practice 2014. They are;
  • Communication and Interaction
  • Cognition and Learning
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health
  • Sensory and Physical
At Appletree Gardens we also recognise that other factors may impact upon a child’s learning and/or overall development. They are;-
  • Attendance and punctuality
  • Health and Welfare
  • English as an additional language (EAL)
  • Being in receipt of Pupil Premium / FSM 6
  • Adoption / Fostering
  • Being a child of a serviceman/woman
Appletree Garden’s graduated approach to supporting children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities
Appletree Gardens is committed to the early identification of SEN and adopts a graduated response to meeting these needs in line with the Code of practice 2014. Provision for Special Educational Needs will be initially met by Quality First Teaching in the classroom. Teachers will employ appropriate strategies and differentiated activities and tasks. 

A typical graduated approach then follows;-

  1. Class teacher, Teaching Assistant, parent or carer expresses concern. This may be done within a pupil progress meeting or at another time.
  2. Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator is made aware and records concern. 
  3. The concern is monitored over a specified period of time. The initial response is through Quality First Teaching by the child’s class teacher. If appropriate a group or individual school based intervention program is put in place. These programs have clear targets and outcomes for each child depending on their needs and may be facilitated by teachers or Teaching Assistants. Parents/Carers are informed. The intervention is logged and monitored on a week by week basis.
  4. The intervention and concern is reviewed and evaluated after an agreed period of time. The concern may no longer exist or further intervention is required. Standardised assessments are used to record progress for all pupils. 
  5. A Pupil Support Plan may be started if external agencies are to be involved . Parents are involved in this process. 
  6. This is person centred and compiled with the child, the parents/carers, class teacher and teaching assistants if appropriate. This runs alongside a Strategies and Recommendations Checklist compiled by the SENCO in response to a finalised report from the external agency involved with the child. The Pupil Support Plan is  a long term document which is reviewed termly by the class teacher and SENCO.  These documents may lead to an application for an Education Health Care Plan (Statement )
  7. A School Support Plan is set in place when staff become aware of a long lasting or serious medical need or concern even if the child is progressing within national expectations. This is to ensure awareness by all staff of medical needs. Parents will be involved in the setting up of this plan as they will have the necessary information and will be able to explain in more detail the medical need and how we can support the child in his or her learning.
(Pupils who have involvement with Speech and Language Therapy or Occupational Therapy will have the Specialist Report and Recommendations in place of a Pupil Support Plan.)

External Agencies

External support services and the provision they provide play an important part in addressing the needs of children with SEN in Appletree Gardens. We have sought expertise and guidance from the following services
  • Educational Psychology
  • North Tyneside Dyslexia Team
  • Language and Communication Team
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Child and Mental Health Service (CAMHS)
  • Behavioural Support
  • Counselling Services
  • RHELAC Team (Raising the health and education of looked after children)

Managing Children through the Graduated Approach

School based group or individual intervention programmes will take place over a term or half term. They are monitored weekly then reviewed and evaluated when completed. School Support Plans, Pupil Support Plans and Strategies and Recommendations Checklists are also reviewed termly. Any support plan or checklist is done with parental involvement and consultation. We aim to discuss these with parents at the very minimum three times a year. 

New Admissions

New admits are assessed on entry into school. If any concerns arise from these assessments, the parents are informed and the child will follow the school’s graduated approach to SEN. 

SEND Register

Any child with SEND is put on the Special Educational Needs Register and this is updated as new needs arise. Class Teachers are provided with a copy of this register. Parents are made aware of their child being place on this register. In line with the Code of Practice we place children on this register when they receive support that is additional and different to those of other pupils. Pupils exit this register when they are no longer receiving this support. Children with long term or concerning medical needs/conditions are also included on this register. Some of these children may be involved with external agencies, may have in school intervention or may need no extra provision at all as they are achieving academically at a nationally expected level.

For more information and further detail about our graduated approach to interventions and SEN please see our Local Offer on the school’s website. 

There is also a link on the school’s website to North Tyneside’s Local offer so parents are able to access further services, procedures and SEN advice.

Statements and EHCP Education Health Care Plans

In addition to any school intervention reviews, a pupil with an ECHP or Statement will also have their overall progress reviewed annually through a person centred approach. All the necessary information will be compiled in a report for the Local Authority.

Sharing and Managing SEN information

SEN information regarding individual pupils is kept centrally and is accessible only to the SENCO, Interventions Co-ordinator, Head teacher and Deputy Head teacher.  Confidentiality is maintained at all times. Information transferred between SENCOs or SENCOs and external agencies is shared via secure email or courier service. Occasionally SEN information is personally delivered.

Intervention Folders are kept by the member of staff who is facilitating the intervention and are accessible to the class teacher at any time.

Training and Resources

Regular whole staff training and updates are managed by the SENCO which may involve representatives from external agencies. Resources are updated or purchased when there is a new need. All classrooms have access to a Calming Box and a quiet area.


The transition of SEN pupils from Year 4 into Middle School is very important and requires communication between all SENCOs in each school setting. Whenever possible Year 4 SEN pupils will visit their intended Middle School before the Local Authorities general agreed Year 4 Transition Day. If for some reason a preliminary visit cannot take place the SENCOs will transfer information and aim to meet the child in their host school. The visits usually include participating in one lunchtime in their new setting. 
Parents are made aware of these visits.

The Governing Bod

The governor for SEN needs to
  • be aware of current legislation
  • participate in the review and implementation of the SEN policy
  • be available for school visits during the working day
  • develop a mutually supportive role with the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator
  • report back to the Governing Body

Complaints Procedure

Any parent who has a problem regarding an SEN issue with their child should in the first instance discuss this matter with the class teacher or SENCO. If there is no resolution the parent may request a meeting with the Deputy Head Teacher or Head Teacher. A request may also be made to meet with the Chair of Governors.

The school will make parents aware of SENDIAS (The Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service). This is an impartial body.

Policy Review

This policy will be updated on a regular basis and reviewed by the SENCO, Senior Management Team and Governing Body. Parent views will also be taken into account.