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SEND Policy : Removing Barriers to Learning

SEND Policy: Removing barriers to learning


Policy last reviewed:  November 2023  

Reviewed by:  by Lucy Pater (DHT and Inclusion Lead) and Sarah Morris (AHT and SENDCo) (November 2023)

Agreed by governors: 

Shared with staff:  November 2024

Frequency of review:  Annually

Date of next review:  November 2024

Head Teacher:  Matthew Ascroft

SENDCo:  Lucy Pater (DHT) and Sarah Morris (AHT)


HLTA Intervention Leads:  Aviary - Michaela Burns

Play Therapist: Steve Pahal

Provision Teach: Karen Daniels

Family Team: Michel Rowland and Rebecca Fenlon


Chair of Governors:  Joe Rabone

SEND Governor:  Christina Steninger


Key external contacts

LA EHCP Plan Co-ordinator


Leona Harness

Educational Psychologist


Lizzie Evans

SEMH&L Teacher


Tahira Marlow

CCT Teacher


Becci Cain

EY SEND Advisor


Rob Dalton

Speech & Language Therapist


Rachel McCormack (NHS)

Sarah Yates (Pepper Therapy)






Stoke Primary School is located on the North-East side of the City and serves a relatively disadvantaged neighbourhood.  We are proud to reflect the diversity of the City’s population with over 60% of our children coming from minority ethnic communities and around 15% having Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND).


Stoke Primary School is committed to providing an inclusive education for all.  This policy outlines the ways we meet the needs of children who experience barriers to learning, particularly in relation to special educational needs or disabilities (SEND).


Many children will face barriers to learning at some point in their school career and at Stoke Primary School we recognise that children may fall into more than one area. Whilst this policy describes provision for a specific group of children, all interventions are based on individual pupil’s needs.


Objectives of this policy


  • To ensure equality of opportunity for, and to eliminate prejudice and discrimination against, children with barriers to learning;
  • To continually monitor the progress of all children, to identify needs as they arise and to provide support at the earliest opportunity;
  • To continuously develop our ways of working in order to provide the highest quality of teaching provision for all our children with the resources available;
  • To identify the role and responsibilities of staff in ensuring the inclusion of children at Stoke Primary School;
  • To provide clear guidance for all the school’s stakeholders regarding the implementation of the Code of Practice within the school;
  • To enable children to move on from us well equipped in the basic skills of literacy, numeracy and social independence;
  • To involve parents / carers at every stage in plans to meet their child’s additional needs;
  • To involve children themselves in planning and in any decision making that affects them.



Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND)


This section of the 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: advice for schools
  • SEND Code of Practice 0 – 25 (2014)
  • Schools SEND Information Report Regulations (2014) - Statutory Guidance on Supporting children at school with medical conditions April (2014)
  • The 2014 National Curriculum in England Key Stage 1 and 2 framework document
  • Stoke Primary School Safeguarding Policy
  • Teachers Standards (2012)
  • The Disability Discrimination Act (1995)


Definition of Special Educational Needs or Disability (SEND)


A child is considered to have Special Educational Needs if he or she has defined difficulties over and above those generally experienced by the majority of his or her peer group. These difficulties may be sensory, cognitive, physical, social or emotional and some students may have complex needs, which cover a range of difficulties. This policy aims to address the needs of all of these children.


It is important to note that all staff have a responsibility of meeting the needs of each individual in their class to the best of their ability with or without a formal assessment. If there is a concern, a referral to the SENDCo should follow a structured and well differentiated teaching program where progress and impact of this has been noted.


The SEND Code of Practice 2014 provides guidance on the duties of schools, local authorities and others working with children who have SEND must have regard. The Code sets out four broad areas of SEND:


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


The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 states that a person has a disability for the purpose of the Act if they have a physical or mental impairment, which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-today activities.

Stoke Primary School acknowledge that the following may impact upon a child’s progress and attainment, however do NOT solely constitute an SEND;


  • Disability
  • Poor Attendance and Punctuality
  • Health and Welfare
  • EAL
  • Being in receipt of Pupil Premium Grant
  • Being a Looked After Child
  • Mental health and Wellbeing


Roles and responsibilities


The Headteacher at Stoke Primary will:


  • Allocate roles and responsibilities to staff so that special needs are met;
  • Delegate the liaison with staff, support services, parents and children to the SENDCo to ensure that a child’s special needs are met;
  • Provide a regular report to governors on the needs of the SEND children within the school;
  • Delegate the organisation of annual review meetings of children with EHCPs to the Inclusion Lead or SENDCo;
  • Ensure that the needs of SEND children are met within the school through a range of provision ranging from individually tailored differentiated quality first teaching to referral to external agencies where appropriate.



The SENDCo at Stoke Primary will:


  • Play a key role in delivering the strategic development of the SEND policy and provision;
  • Oversee the day-to-day operation of the school’s SEND policy;
  • Monitor the needs of SEND children together with the Headteacher and class teachers;
  • Assist with and advise on, the planning for, the teaching and the assessment of children with SEND;
  • Organise annual and termly reviews for children and parents where appropriate;
  • Ensure SEND learning plans are written and reviewed half termly by class teachers;
  • Ensure that appropriate LSA intervention provision is in place and recorded and reviewed on the school’s provision format on Edukey ;
  • Liaise with the HLTAs and LSAs to ensure that they are supporting appropriate children through both in class support and specific interventions;
  • Meet regularly with the Headteacher to discuss individual children, resources and use of time;
  • Give advice on the level of support and on appropriate resources and strategies to support learning;
  • Ensure that the school’s SEND register is updated regularly;
  • Lead the review of the SEND Policy;
  • Allocate support from external services where needed in consultation with class teachers;
  • Report to governors as requested by the Headteacher;
  • Work in conjunction with the class teachers, HLTAs, LSAs and other support staff to ensure that all children are receiving the most effective provision;
  • Lead and / or arrange INSET on SEND in school as appropriate;
  • Keep their own skills updated by reading, researching & attending INSET on SEND and appropriate related external courses.


Teachers at Stoke Primary will;


  • Provide every child with access to a broad and balanced education. This includes planning differentiated work that is appropriately matched to learning needs and ensures progression;
  • Identify children experiencing difficulties using a range of evidence, for example progress data, formal assessments and informal observations;
  • Discuss children with the SENDCo and parents / carers and plan an effective provision which meets identified needs;
  • Produce, monitor and evaluate support plans and interventions half termly according to the school calendar schedule;
  • Create a welcoming atmosphere for parents and provide regular feedback on their child’s provision and progress formally through SEND meetings at least three times a year and informally through reasonable ad hoc meetings as requested by parents;
  • Set aspirational yet attainable SMART targets for learning;
  • Create effective learning environments in which children achievements are celebrated and independence is fostered;
  • Respond flexibly to children according to their difficulties;
  • Support children’ learning without making them feel different or inferior to their peers;
  • Enable each pupil to become an independent and confident student.


Governors at Stoke Primary will;


  • Identify at least one governor with a responsibility in SEND;
  • Use their best endeavours to ensure that children’ special educational needs are identified and provided for;
  • Ensure that the schools has effective procedures for ensuring that parents/carers are informed when special provision is made for children.


Arrangements for Identification of SEND



Identification of SEND


Class teachers, supported by core leaders and SLT, make regular assessments of progress for all children to identify those making less than expected progress given their age and individual circumstances. 


If a class teacher or parent has concern about a child these concerns will be discussed in the first instance with the SENDCo, who will offer advice and support, and may suggest that either further evidence of monitoring are needed over a period of time or that the child should be placed on the SEND Register and therefore receive SEND Support.  


Stoke Primary School have adopted a three step approach to working with children who have been identified as displaying SEND needs.


Step 1


All children have an entitlement to ‘Quality First Teaching’ and teachers are responsible for ensuring this happens.  Step 1 describes quality inclusive teaching which takes into account the learning needs of all the children in the classroom.  Before any additional provision is considered, staff will consider what is already ordinarily available to all children through differentiated work and an inclusive learning environment and will make reasonable adjustments to cater for an individual child’s needs.  Where progress is not adequate despite this being in place, it will be necessary to take some ‘additional to’ or ‘different from’ action to enable the child to learn more effectively. 


Step 2


The triggers for intervention through SEND Support could be the teacher’s or other’s concerns, underpinned by evidence about a child who, despite receiving ‘Quality First Teaching’, including differentiated learning opportunities:


  • Makes little or no progress even when teaching approaches are targeted particularly in a child’s identified area of weakness;
  • Shows signs of difficulty in developing literacy and mathematics skills which result in poor attainment in some curriculum areas;
  • Presents persistent emotional or behavioural difficulties;
  • Has sensory or physical problems and continues to make little or no progress despite the provision of specialist equipment;
  • Has a communication and/or interaction difficulty.


If the class teacher is still concerned after a period of monitoring and making reasonable adjustments, a decision will be made, in conjunction with the SENDCo about whether the child needs to go on to the SEND register.  Parents should be included in this decision making process.


Step 3


At Step 3, external support services, both those provided by the LA and by outside agencies, will usually see the child in school if that is appropriate and practical, so that they can advise teachers on targets and accompanying strategies.  It may be that the child;


  • Continues to make little or no progress in specific areas over a cycle of APDR (assess, plan, do and review);
  • Continues working at National Curriculum levels substantially below that expected of children of a similar age;
  • Continues to have difficulty in developing literacy and mathematics skills;
  • Has an emotional or behavioural difficulty, which substantially and regularly interferes with the child’s own learning or that of the class group, despite having an individualised behaviour management programme;
  • Has sensory or physical needs and requires additional specialist equipment or regular advice or visits by a specialist service;
  • Has ongoing communication or interaction difficulties that impede the development of social relationships and cause substantial barriers to learning;


Stoke Primary School invites and seeks advice and support from external agencies in the identification, assessment and provision of SEND. The SENDCo is the designated person responsible for liaising with the following:


  • Educational Psychologist (EP)
  • Social, Emotional, Mental Health and Learning service (SEMH&L)
  • Speech & Language Therapy (SALT)
  • EY SEND Team
  • Complex Communication Team (CCT)
  • RISE (CAMHS) and neurodevelopmental services
  • Sensory and Physical Support Team
  • Looked After Children Team
  • Occupational Health and Physiotherapy services (OT and PT)
  • SEND Information, advice and support services. (SENDIASS)


Graduated Approach to SEND Support for children on the SEND register


If it is deemed necessary for a child to go onto the SEND register, a plan will be written using our web based provision and target tool (Edukey).  Information on a child’s strengths and areas of concern will be included as will attainment information and information about any external agencies who have worked with a child.  SMART targets will be created and discussed with parents.  Parents will be given access to the plan and will be encouraged to comment how well they feel their child is working towards their targets outlined in the plan. 


Planning for SEND support at Stoke Primary School takes the form of a four-part cycle – assess, plan, do and review.  Through this cycle, actions should be revisited, refined and revised to ensure the pupil is making progress and the identified outcomes are achieved. 




In identifying a child as needing additional support, the teacher should carry out a clear analysis of the child’s needs. This should draw on assessments, teacher observations, progress and attainment data, the views and experience of parents and child as well as advice from external support services.




Planning will involve consultation between the teacher, parents and children where appropriate to agree the interventions and support that are required; the impact on progress, development and or behaviour that is expected and a clear date for review. 




In class or out of class interventions will be actioned for a period of time (usually a half term) to support the progress of the child.  The class teacher remains responsible for working with the pupil on a daily basis.  They will retain responsibility even where the interventions may involve group or 1:1 teaching away from the class.




Reviewing pupil progress will take place half termly – at the end of a term during the parent meetings and half termly in consultation with parents through their comments on the child’s plan. The review process will evaluate the impact and quality of the support and interventions. 


Progression to Education, Health and Care Plans (EHC plan):


A request for an EHC plan can be made by parents, school, health or social care.  At Stoke Primary School, if after advice from the Educational Psychologist (EP) or other professionals, the school and parents consider that help is needed from outside the school’s resources, the SENDCo can consider completing the online referral through the Local Authority (LA) SEND portal for a Statutory Education, Health and Care Needs (EHCNA) which will be submitted to the Local Authority Panel.  The panel will decide whether to proceed with Statutory Assessment. A ‘My support plan’ will be written by SENDCo with support of external agencies and parents prio to EHCP request being made. It is usual to complete at least three rounds of ‘My Support Plans’ before an EHCP request is made to evidence the graduated approach. EHCNAs ask for parent and child views and a family conversation will take place between the parents and the SENDCo (and the child where appropriate) to gather views and gain consent before the request is sent to the LA.


If the Panel agrees to proceed with Statutory Assessment, the SENDCo prepares further documentation about the child, which is sent to the Special Needs department in the local authority where, in consideration with similar documents from other involved professionals, an EHC Plan may be issued.


The class teacher, in conjunction with the SENDCo, is then responsible for setting up an individual learning plan consisting of SMART targets which break down the outcomes set out in the EHC Plan into attainable steps using the school SEND provision and target tool (Edukey). These targets are regularly reviewed in line with the school timetable. The EHC Plan must be formally reviewed at least annually with the SENDCo, parents, class teacher and, where appropriate, the LA Plan Co-ordinator.


Where teachers, SENDco, agencies and parents feel an EHCP may be likely, children will be put on a ‘My support Plan’. After three reviews we will then complete the EHCP request.


Annual Reviews of EHC Plans


If a child has an EHC Plan, they must be called to a review annually.  The Annual Review will be chaired by the SENDCo.  Reports will be submitted by the class teacher and any of the external service agencies who have worked with the child.  If there are concerns about a child’s progress or behaviour, then school or parents can call additional reviews to be held at any time during the year and more than one can be held in the course of a year.


The Annual Review can be used to request additional support or changes to the EHC Plan.  In the unfortunate event of a pupil with an EHC Plan facing permanent exclusion, an Annual Review must be held at the earliest opportunity prior to the exclusion meeting.  In this instance, this would typically be organised by school.  



High quality trained staff


Children with SEND, and their families, have a right to be supported by high quality, skilled professionals.  Stoke Primary will support this principle through ensuring staff have access to a Professional Development Programme which directly addresses the development of expertise in SEND.  This will be available not only to teaching staff but also to support staff and all those involved in managing the assessment process.





Stoke Primary takes the majority of its children from the onsite school Nursery.  In the Summer term prior to children from the nursery joining the school, the SENDCo will liaise with the nursery to establish which of the children who are progressing to the Reception class are on the Early Years SEND register.  This information will be collated by the SENDCo in order to draw up the SEND register for the Reception class.  The SENDCo and reception staff will also liaise with other Nursery settings in order to enable smooth transition for all children.


For mobility children (those children who leave or join Stoke mid year) who are on the SEND register, contact is made with SENDCo from the new or current school and all relevant information regarding a child’s special educational need and/or disability is shared prior to the child leaving or joining Stoke so that staff are fully aware of needs and can plan accordingly.     


As children on the SEND register progress to secondary school, the SENDCo and class teachers will liaise with the various receiving schools.  This will include inviting the SENDCo from prospective secondary schools to Y5 & Y6 Annual Reviews and arranging visits for children and parents to look at prospective schools. This will include specialist provision in the case of some children with EHC Plans.



Partnership with Parents/Carers


Families are the prime educators of their children.  The best results are achieved where parents/carers, schools and LAs work in partnership.


In working towards this principle the school will do the following;


  • Assist parents/carers in their understanding of Special Educational Needs procedures, school-based provision, and other support available for their child and additional sources of help and information, for example, voluntary organisations and childcare information services;
  • Provide opportunities for mediation and discussion where necessary;
  • Ensure that assessment and review processes seek and take account of the parents’/carers’ and young person’s views wherever possible;
  • Provide clear and informative written advice for parents/carers about all aspects of the Code of Practice on the identification and assessment of young people with special educational needs and the range of different disabilities;
  • Provide clear written descriptions of the support services available for young people with special educational needs within the school and the local area;
  • Provide information in a variety of formats about the range of voluntary and statutory agencies, which may be able to assist parents/carers of young people with special educational needs;
  • Recognise that families have valuable knowledge of their child which service providers should encourage them to share;
  • Encourage families to be actively involved in relevant training/planning appropriate to their child’s needs;
  • Promote mutual respect as the basis for communication between the school and families. This should include sensitivity to families’ needs, desires and understanding;
  • Develop and promote open, honest and effective means of communication about the needs of young people who have SEND/disabilities;
  • Deliver information in an appropriate and accessible form.


Monitoring and Evaluation


All teachers have day-to-day responsibilities with regard to children with special needs, and the care of such children is seen as a whole school responsibility. The SENDCo is responsible for the co-ordination of provision and is responsible to the Headteacher in the first instance.  Learning support provision is planned, monitored and evaluated by the staff team working with the SENDCo.  Other professionals including external agencies may become involved when practicable and/or necessary.


The SENDCo will conduct internal reviews of SEND provision as required and report regularly to the Headteacher and the Governing Body.


In carrying out its responsibilities towards young people with SEND the school will;


  • Keep its arrangements and provision for SEND under review;
  • Review the effective use of its resources;
  • Review and evaluate the school’s arrangements for SEND target planning and reviewing, including parental and support services involvement;
  • Internally monitor all SEND arrangements and curricular provision against published criteria. Such monitoring will take account of the school’s development plan and SEND policy, the LA’s SEND policy and the finance delegated under SEND arrangements.


The monitoring and evaluation of the effectiveness of provision towards meeting the additional needs of young people who have special needs covers a range of important and interrelated areas. In particular:


  • Allocation and effective use of resources;
  • The performance of external support services as experienced by children and staff;
  • The provision for children with special needs within the school including annual review of statements and individual learning plans;
  • Individual children’s progress as measured against set targets;
  • Use of delegated funds.


Children with disabilities


Stoke Primary School is a single level site.   Entrance to the school is level and is wheelchair accessible.   There is currently a hygiene suite for children and adults with physical needs.


The school works alongside the Sensory Support Service.   The school receives support for children with specific hearing loss and/or visual impairments, and staff undergo specific training to support these individuals where the need arises.  The use of interactive whiteboards and high quality interactive screens increases visibility for all learners. 


Learning opportunities are absorbing, interactive, rewarding and highly differentiated.   All learning is differentiated and scaffolded to bring about appropriate learning outcomes for all children.   Children with sensory or mobility impairments or a specific learning difficulty may access the curriculum through specialist resources, such as ICT or specialist equipment.


Evaluating the success of the SEND Policy


  • All children with SEND are set challenging but achievable individual SMART targets in the areas where they have need.   Each half term we monitor the progress made by children against these targets. For any children or groups of children who have not made sufficient progress, additional provision is made available.  


  • Edukey is the web based tool used to record targets and provisions and evaluate the impact of interventions through a half termly cycle of assess, plan, do and review.


  • We report progress to Governors through the Quality and Standards committee and through the headteacher’s report to Governors


  • The SENDCo meets with the Governor with responsibility for SEND to discuss current strengths and areas for development.


  • Whole school monitoring and evaluation procedures include lesson observations, work and planning scrutinies and discussions with children.   During these procedures, raising outcomes for all children is paramount.