Cleadon Church of England Academy

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Report 




Welcome to our Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Report. We do hope you will find all of the answers to your questions about our SEN Policy and provision. Please do not hesitate to contact the SENCO, Miss Merrin, for any further queries.

Thank you!

Q: What kinds of SEN are provided for at our school?

We aim to meet the needs of all children, including those who are identified in the new Code of Practice as having SEN in the areas of communication and interaction, cognition and learning, social, mental and emotional health and sensory and/or physical needs. Sometimes we need to access specialist advice and, or equipment, to meet the specific, identified needs of individual children.

Q: What are our policies for identifying children and young children with SEN and how we assess their needs?

We have a Special Needs Policy which parents, staff, children and governors review annually. This is available on our website and has been updated in accordance with the New Code of Practice 2014.

All teachers assess each pupil’s current skills and levels of attainment on entry.

The school identifies pupils falling behind or making inadequate progress given their age and starting point. Any issues or concerns are closely monitored and responded to through our system of graduated response. If further support is needed, the SENCO will work with the teacher, child and liaise with the parents.

We assess, often accessing expertise of agencies such as the Educational Psychologist, whether a pupil has a significant learning difficulty where pupils continue to make inadequate progress, despite high-quality teaching targeted at their areas of weakness.

From September 2014, we have further developed our early identification and intervention strategies, so that pupils in Nursery and Foundation Stage can be identified for SEN support, enabling early strategies to be put into place to start addressing the child’s needs.

Q: What are the arrangements for assessing and reviewing children and young people’s progress towards outcomes?

Teachers and support staff are continually assessing and reviewing the progress of all children. This is through observations of pupils in class and groups, pupil work in books, discussions with staff and parents and through the school’s data tracking system, which tracks the progress of all pupils against national expectations.

Some SEN children will require access arrangements, such as the use of a scribe or a small group setting, for SATS tests at KS1 and KS2. Some SEN children may also be eligible to have additional time concessions for some of the SATS tests, at KS2. The access arrangements are organised and applied for by the SENCO.

For SEN children we meet at least once a term with parents, and the pupil, to review progress towards the outcomes we have identified and to identify and agree future targets.

Each SEN pupil has their own SEN Support Targets (previously known as IEP Targets), which we aim to make SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed). Parents are encouraged to help support progress towards the identified targets, through activities at home.

Q: What is the approach to teaching children with SEN?

As with all children, we look for strategies and ways of delivering teaching that differentiates to take account of learning styles and children’s interests. We have a variety of resources to support learning and to take account of visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learning styles.

As with all learning, we aim to provide stimulating, engaging and enjoyable learning experiences for our SEN children.

We know that some pupils with SEN can also lack confidence, so our teaching of those pupils also focuses on celebrating success and building self-esteem.

Because children with SEN generally benefit from greater adult support, to revisit and “overlearn” some concepts, we provide targeted group intervention activities on a regular basis, for identified pupils.

We also have a range of ICT applications and programs, which may provide some SEN pupils with opportunities to practise and consolidate skills they have learned. (For example NESSY for phonics skills and RM Easy Maths for numeracy skills)

Q: How are adaptions made to the curriculum and the learning environment for children with SEN?

We provide a differentiated curriculum that is accessible to all children at their own level of understanding.

Some children may be supported within the classroom environment, by classroom staff, including classroom assistants.

Some children work in small intervention groups in quieter areas of the school, this helps the children maintain their attention and builds their confidence in a small group environment.

For some children more visual aids and resources are used to support their progress and some children need practical resources to support their learning. Where a need for specialist equipment is identified, particularly by outside agencies, such as the Educational Psychologist, we endeavour to secure the equipment for the individual child. (This applies to specialist equipment such as sloped writing boards, stability cushions, thera-bands, specialist writing paper etc).

We also access specialist programs, for example phonic schemes, to enable a very focused and targeted intervention for identified pupils.

Children with an Education Health and Care Plan (Previously a Statement of Special Educational Needs) may have adaptions to the curriculum identified and school staff will adapt the curriculum according to recommendations made.

  1. What additional support is available to pupils with special educational needs?

Our SEN pupils have access to additional support, according to their individual needs, sometimes in the classroom and sometimes in small groups, with children with similar needs, in quieter areas of the school.

Support is often for one hour sessions and is focused on Literacy and Numeracy skills, usually following the Literacy or Numeracy lesson, but with the content differentiated to meet the needs of the child. Most SEN pupils have additional support at least twice a week.

Very occasionally, pupils with very specific needs may also access one to one inclusion support; this is always following the advice of professionals, such as the Educational Psychologist, or for children with an Educational Health and Care Plan.

  1. How does the school enable pupils with special educational needs to engage in the activities of the school (including physical activities) together with children who do not have special educational needs?

Our aim is that all pupils are able to engage in all activities in the school, sometimes this may entail reasonable adjustments being made to the activities, resources or support, for individual pupils, to ensure inclusion. We also encourage all pupils to be involved in extra-curricular activities, such as dance and fitness clubs, or learning to play musical instruments.

Q: What support is in place for children for improving emotional and social development?

At Cleadon Church of England Academy we are committed to the development and wellbeing of the whole child.

All children are supported in their emotional, social and mental development through our caring staff and happy, family centred school ethos.

Through accessing a well-planned PHSE programme, One Life, throughout the school, children learn to identify their own feelings and to start to express their emotions. School staff also model the correct use of “emotions language”.

We also have resources, such as “social stories” which can be used effectively with children experiencing Autistic Spectrum Condition, encouraging children to be able to “unpick” social situations and learn about correct responses and behaviours.

We also regularly access one-to-one mentoring by Emotional Resilience Mentors (through the Local Education Authority) for individual pupils, at Key Stage 2, who are experiencing emotional and social difficulties.

For children whose mental and emotional well-being is of ongoing concern, at home and school, we complete referrals to Monkwearmouth Hospital Children’s Services (CYPS) so that individual children and families can receive the expert medical and therapeutic care they need.

For 2017 to 2018 we also have access to a School Counsellor, for one morning per week, to work with identified pupils, again with parental permission.

Any concern about a child’s emotional, social or mental wellbeing is discussed with parents and referrals to outside agencies are only made with parental consent (the only exception to this rule is when there are safeguarding concerns.)

Q: Who is the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) and how do I contact them?

The Special Needs Co-ordinator, for Cleadon Church of England Academy, is Miss Jane Merrin.

You can contact Miss Merrin through our school office, by phone on 5367813 or by email;

The SENCO is supported by the Governing Body, who has nominated a specific governor to monitor the implementation of the SEN Policy and the SEN Code of Practice. The Governor for SEN is Mrs Robina Lawson. You can contact Mrs Lawson through our school office.

Q: What is the expertise and training of staff to support children with SEN? How is specialist expertise secured?

As a school, we are very fortunate to have many very experienced teachers and support assistants, on our school staff. Staff have lots of experience working with children with a very wide range of abilities and specific needs.

To ensure staff are up to date with specific areas of SEN training, we offer staff training opportunities as needed, training is identified to address the needs of pupils in school.

Training may be in-house or via external courses. We seek advice from specialist teachers, educational psychologists, the school nurse, hearing impaired unit and other specialists as needed.

Teaching staff have had training about: the New Code of Practice, in working with children with Hearing Impairment, working with children with Autistic Spectrum Condition, working with children with Attachment issues and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

The SENCO also has undertaken training in the SEN reforms, Bereavement Counselling, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and ADHD and also Early Childhood Trauma and Attachment.

We are currently planning for further staff training and always consider the needs of the current and future children we have in school.

  1. How will equipment and facilities to support children and young people with special educational needs will be secured?

We are very fortunate to have a modern purpose- built single level school building, which is fully accessible to all, including wheelchair users and has disabled toilets and an Induction Loop System installed.

We identify and secure additional equipment and resources to match the needs of groups and individual pupils.

Some equipment and facilities are secured through the school’s own resources, software to support Phonic Development, writing boards to aid pupils with handwriting, or reading books to support emerging readers.

We also have purchased highly motivating, interactive and structured, ICT based resources. (Such as RM Easy Maths)

For larger equipment and facilities, funding can be accessed from the Local Education Authority Pupil Services, this will be when the facilities and equipment are of a considerable cost and have been recommended by professionals involved in the care of the child. (Please see the School’s SEN Policy, Section 8 Funding, for further information on SEN Funding)

  1. What are the arrangements for consulting parents of children with special educational needs about, and involving them in, the education of their child?

We have very good partnerships with all of our parents and have close partnerships with parents of children with special educational needs.

All teachers consult individual parents directly when they have concerns about a child’s academic development, social, emotional or mental wellbeing. Sometimes parents approach school about their own concerns about their child’s academic development, social, emotional or mental wellbeing.

Parents are also invited to attend termly SEN Support (IEP) meetings and feed into the child’s next targets, sometimes this meeting will be part of the Parents’ Night Meeting. School also arranges for parents to meet with relevant professionals as required. The SENCO often meets frequently with parents, when there is a period of transition or change in the child’s needs or in the identification of their needs.

The SENCO has been trained in delivering more Person Centred Review Meetings, relating to the new EHC Plans (Statements) for pupils with significant SEN needs.

Q: What are the arrangements for consulting young people with SEN and involving them in their education?

Through our on-going practice in school, we involve all pupils, in their own learning, endeavouring to give them a sense of ownership, responsibility and pride in their work. We also use a range of self-assessment strategies, where pupils are able to identify what they have achieved and what the next steps in their learning will be.

We also aim to involve SEN pupils more in the identification and review of their Support Targets, moving towards including involving pupils more in the review meetings with parents.

Q: What are the arrangements for handling complaints from parents of children with SEN?

Initially we would hope to resolve any issues through discussion at an informal level with the class teacher and the SENCO, and if needed to consult with other members of the Senior Management Team.

If parents still wish to pursue their concerns, they should follow the procedures in the school’s Complaints Procedure, available on the school’s website. Any complaints about the schools support are within the scope of the schools complaints procedure. Where parents have specific complaints about the education, health and care (EHC) planned procedures or about the content of their child's EHC plan they should approach the local authority. This is in accordance with the SEND code of practice.

Q: How do we involve and work with other bodies in meeting the needs of SEN children and their families?

The school has valuable partnerships with a range of other bodies, including the School Nurse, Educational Psychologists, Speech and Language Therapists, specialist teachers, Occupational Therapists, Child and Adolescent Mental Health professionals, Child Development Clinic and Social Care professionals.

These professionals contribute to the child’s individual outcomes as needed.

Referrals to the above agencies are only with Parental consent, the exception to this is where referrals may be made to Social Care Professionals in relation to child protection concerns.

We also work closely with the Pupil Services Officers for the Local Education Authority, who offer expert advice and support to the school’s SENCO and parents.

  1. Who in the Local Education Authority can parents contact about their child?

The Parent Partnership Service/ SENDIASS

The Parent Partnership Service/ SENDIAS offers free information, advice and support to parents and carers of children with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities.

The service:

Helps parents make informed decisions about their children's education.

Helps to make sure that parent's views are heard and that these views inform local policy and practice.

Operates independently of the council.

To contact SENDIASS please call 0191 424 6345 or email


Q: What are the arrangements for supporting children and young people in moving between phases of education and in preparing for adulthood?

Children benefit from transition arrangements already in place at the school, which involve teachers sharing information in a structured way, ensuring that they are well informed of the needs of each child in their classes.

As the child moves to the next educational phase, every professional involved is fully aware of the child’s needs and involved in planning future outcomes as appropriate. Outcomes will reflect the child’s needs at that particular time as well as looking at their future aspirations.

Nursery staff share information regarding all pupils, so that our school staff are able to support all children in settling into the reception classroom. We have a structured induction program, to ensure

that pupils and parents/ carers have visited the school and are familiar with the setting and the early years staff.

For transition to secondary education, school staff, including SENCOs from the secondary schools, meet with the SENCO and Year 6 staff to discuss all pupils and to ensure detailed information regarding pupils with SEN is shared, prior to transition to Year 7. Again, there is a structured transition programme for all pupils, and this is adapted when necessary, for the needs of individual pupils, so that transition is a positive experience for all children.

Sometimes we also involve the Local Authority Transition Mentors to support identified, individual children in their transition from Year 6 to their next educational setting. (This is with parental permission).

  1. What is The Local Offer?

(The following information is taken from South Tyneside’s Website)

The Local Offer provides information for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and their parents or carers in a single place.

It gives information on what services children, young people and their families can expect from a range of local agencies, including education, health and social care. Knowing what is out there gives you more choice and more control over what support is right for your child. The Local Offer provides information on a number of things, including:

 special educational provision

 health provision

 social care provision

 other educational provision

 training provision

 travel arrangements for children and young people to schools, colleges and early years education

 preparing for adulthood, including housing, employment and leisure opportunities


The Local Offer has been produced jointly by South Tyneside Council, Social Care and Health Services in partnership with parents and carers. It aims to help us to make sure that we are providing the sort of services that families have told us they need.

  1. Where can I find the Local Offer?

The Local Offer is published on South Tyneside’s Website at;

(Follow link and type in The Local Offer)