Special Educational Needs Policy

Download the full Special Educational Needs Policy





Policy on Special Educational Needs (SEN)

1 Introduction

High Beech C of E Primary provides a broad and balanced curriculum for all children. The National Curriculum is our starting point for planning that meets the specific needs of individuals and groups of children. When planning, teachers set suitable learning challenges and respond to children’s diverse learning needs. Some children have barriers to learning that mean they require particular intervention by the school.


These requirements are likely to arise as a consequence of a child having special educational needs. Teachers take account of these requirements and make provision, where necessary, to support individuals or groups of children and thus enable them to participate effectively in curriculum and assessment activities. Such children may need additional help or different help from their peers.


Children may have special educational needs either throughout or at any time during their school career. This policy ensures that curriculum planning and assessment for children with special educational needs takes account of the type and extent of the difficulty experienced by the child.


The Disability Discrimination Act identifies the fact that some pupils with disabilities may have learning difficulties that call for Special Educational Provision. However, not all children defined as disabled will require this provision. A child with asthma or diabetes, for example, may not have special educational needs, but may still have rights under the Disability Discrimination Act. We will assess each child as required, and make the appropriate provision, based on their identified needs.

2 Aims and Objectives

The aims and objectives of this policy are:

  • to create an environment that meets the special educational needs of each child;
  • to ensure that the special educational needs of children are identified, assessed and provided for (outlined in a Provision Plan);
  • to make clear the expectations of all partners in the process;
  • to identify the roles and responsibilities of staff in providing for children’s special educational needs;
  • to enable all children to have full access to all elements of the school curriculum;
  • to ensure that parents or carers are able to play their part in supporting their child’s education;
  • to ensure that our children have a voice in this process.
3 Educational inclusion

In our school, we aim to offer excellence and choice to all our children, whatever their ability or needs. We have high expectations of all our children. We aim to achieve this through the removal of barriers to learning and participation. We want all our children to feel that they are a valued part of our school community. Through appropriate curricular provision, we respect the fact that children:

  • have different educational and behavioural needs and aspirations;
  • require different strategies for learning;
  • acquire, assimilate and communicate information at different rates;
  • need a range of different teaching approaches and experiences.

Teachers respond to children’s needs by:

  • providing high quality teaching, differentiated for all pupils.
  • providing support for children who need help with communication, language and literacy;
  • planning to develop children’s understanding through the use of all their senses and of varied experiences;
  • planning for children’s full participation in learning, and in physical and practical activities;
  • helping children to manage their behaviour and to take part in learning effectively and safely;
  • helping individuals to manage their emotions, particularly trauma or stress, and to take part in learning.
4 Special Educational Needs

Children have a learning difficulty if:

  • they have significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age;
  • they have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of the educational facilities that are provided for other children of the same age.

Many of the children who join us have already been in early education. In many cases, children join us with their needs already assessed. All children are assessed when they enter our school, so that we can build upon their prior learning. We use this information to provide starting points for the development of an appropriate curriculum for all our children.


If our assessments show that a child may have a learning difficulty, we use a range of strategies that make full use of all available classroom and school resources. The child’s class teacher will offer interventions that are different from or additional to those provided as part of the school’s usual working practices. The class teacher will keep parents or carers informed and draw upon them for additional information. The Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO), if not already involved, will become involved if the teacher and parents/carers feel that the child would benefit from further support. The SENCO will then take the lead in further assessments of the child’s needs.


We will record, in Provision Plan, the strategies used to support the child. This will show the short-term target set for the child, and the teaching strategies to be used. It will also indicate the planned outcomes and the date for the plan to be reviewed. In most cases, this review will take place once a term.


If the review identifies that support is needed from outside services, we will consult parents/carers prior to any support being actioned. In most cases, children will be seen in school by external support services. This may lead to additional strategies or strategies that are different from those used previously. External support services will provide information for the child’s new Provision Plan. The new strategies in the Provisional Plan will, wherever possible, be implemented within the child’s normal classroom setting.


If the child continues to demonstrate significant cause for concern, a request for statutory assessment will be made to the LA and an assessment of Educational Health and care needs will be undertaken. A range of written evidence about the child will support the request.


In our school, the SENCO:

  • manages the day-to-day operation of the policy;
  • co-ordinates the provision for and manages the responses to children’s special needs;
  • supports and advises colleagues;
  • oversees the records of all children with special educational needs;
  • acts as the link with parents and carers;
  • acts as the link with external agencies and other support agencies;
  • monitors and evaluates the special educational needs provision, and reports to the governing body;
  • manages a range of resources, both human and material, to enable appropriate provision to be made for children with special educational needs;
  • contributes to the professional development of all staff.
5 The Role of the Governing Body

The governing body has due regard to the Code of Practice when carrying out its duties toward all pupils with special educational needs.


The governing body does its best to secure the necessary provision for any pupil identified as having special educational needs. The governors ensure that all teachers are aware of the importance of providing for these children. They consult the LA and other schools, when appropriate, and report annually to parents and carers on the success of the school’s policy for children with special educational needs. The governing body ensures that parents or carers are notified of any decision by the school that SEN provision is to be made for their child.


The governing body has identified a governor to have specific oversight of the school’s provision for pupils with special educational needs. The ‘responsible person’ in this school is the headteacher. The headteacher ensures that all those who teach a pupil with a statement of special educational needs are aware of the nature of the statement.


The SEN governor ensures that all governors are aware of the school’s SEN provision, including the deployment of funding, equipment and personnel.


6 Allocation of Resources

The SENCO is responsible for the operational management of the specified and agreed resourcing for special needs provision within the school, including the provision for children with statements of special educational needs.


The headteacher informs the governing body of how the funding allocated to support special educational needs has been employed.

7 Assessment

Early identification is vital. The class teacher informs the parents or carers at the earliest opportunity to alert them to concerns and enlist their active help and participation.


The class teacher and the SENCO assess and monitor the children’s progress in line with existing school practices. This is an ongoing process.


The SENCO works closely with parents/carers and teachers to plan an appropriate programme of support.


The assessment of children reflects as far as possible their participation in the whole curriculum of the school. The class teacher and the SENCO can break down the assessment into smaller steps in order to aid progress and provide detailed and accurate indicators.


The LA seeks a range of advice before making a formal statement. The needs of the child are considered to be paramount in this.

8 Access to the Curriculum

All children have an entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum, which is differentiated to enable them to:

  • understand the relevance and purpose of learning activities;
  • experience levels of understanding and rates of progress that bring feelings of success and achievement.
Teachers use a range of strategies to meet children’s special educational needs. Lessons have clear learning objectives; we differentiate work appropriately, and we use assessment to inform the next stage of learning.
Individual Education Plans, which employ a small-steps approach, feature significantly in the provision that we make in the school. By breaking down the existing levels of attainment into finely graded steps and targets, we ensure that children experience success. .

We support children in a manner that acknowledges their entitlement to share the same learning experiences that their peers enjoy. Wherever possible, we do not withdraw children from the classroom. There are times, though, when to maximise learning, we ask the children to work in small groups, or in a one-to-one situation outside the classroom.

9 Partnership with Parents and Carers

The school works closely with parents and carers in the support of those children with special educational needs. We encourage an active partnership through an ongoing dialogue with parents and carers. The home–school agreement is central to this. Parents and carers have much to contribute to our support for children with special educational needs.


We have regular meetings each term to share the progress of special needs children with their parents or carers. We inform the parents/carers of any outside intervention, and we share the process of decision-making by providing clear information relating to the education of children with special educational needs.

10 Pupil Participation

In our school, we encourage children to take responsibility and to make decisions. This is part of the culture of our school and relates to children of all ages. The work in the Foundation Stage recognises the importance of children developing social as well as educational skills.


Children are involved at an appropriate level in setting targets in their Provisional Plans and in the termly review meetings. Children are encouraged to make judgements about their own performance against their targets. We recognise success here as we do in any other aspect of school life.

11 Monitoring and Review

The SENCO monitors the movement of children within the SEN system in school. The SENCO provides staff and governors with regular summaries of the impact of the policy on the practice of the school.


The SENCO is involved in supporting teachers involved in drawing up SEN Provisional Plans (for children. The SENCO and the headteacher hold termly meetings to review the work of the school in this area. The SENCO and the named governor with responsibility for special needs also hold termly meetings.


The governing body reviews this policy annually and considers any amendments in the light of the annual review findings. The SENCO reports the outcome of the review to the full governing body..

This policy should be reviewed annually.