Special Education Needs & Disability Policy


Our overarching aim is to create an atmosphere of encouragement, acceptance, respect for achievements and sensitivity to individual needs, in which all pupils can thrive by paying attention to these specific areas:

  • identifying, at an early age, individuals who need extra help and attention
  • enabling each pupil to reach his or her full potential, both curricular and extracurricular
  • enabling each pupil to partake in, and contribute fully, to school life
  • endeavouring to meet the individual needs of each child
  • developing a feeling of self-esteem within the individual
  • fostering an atmosphere in our school which will promote a happy, sensitive and secure environment to ensure the most effective learning for all children
  • providing for children’s individual needs by supporting them in various ways: whole class, small groups and individual
  • monitoring closely those with SEND by review and assessment, to enable us to recognise, celebrate and record achievements
  • providing access to and progression within the curriculum
  • working with parents and other agencies to provide support and opportunities for those children with SEND
  • using a variety of teaching strategies, which include different learning styles, to facilitate meaningful and effective learning for all children
  • assisting all staff in the delivery of educational entitlement and ensuring all staff are aware of a child’s individual needs
  • ensuring access to a range of resources to support staff in their teaching of children with SEND
  • including the voice of the child in monitoring and reviewing Pupil Profiles


  • identify and provide for pupils who have special educational needs and additional needs
  • work within the guidance provide in the SEND Code of Practice, 2014
  • operate a “whole pupil, whole school” approach to the management and provision of support for special educational needs
  • provide a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) who will work with children, families and staff
  • provide support and advice for all staff working with special educational needs pupils

Types of SEN

SEN is divided into 4 types:

1 – Communication and Interaction – this includes children with speech and language delay, impairments or disorders, specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia and dyspraxia, hearing impairment, and those who demonstrate features within the autistic spectrum.

2 – Cognition and Learning – this includes children who demonstrate features of moderate, severe or profound learning difficulties or specific learning difficulties or specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia or dyspraxia.

3 – Social, mental and Emotional Health – this includes children who may be withdrawn or isolated, disruptive or disturbing, hyperactive or lack concentration.

4 – Sensory and/or Physical Needs – this includes children with sensory, multisensory and physical difficulties.

Behavioural difficulties do not necessarily mean that a child or young person has a SEN and should not automatically lead to a pupil being registered as having SEN.  Slow progress and low attainment do not necessarily mean that a child has SEN and should not automatically lead to a pupil being recorded as having SEN.  Persistent disruptive or withdrawn behaviours do not necessarily mean that a child or young person has SEN.  Identifying and assessing SEN for children or young people whose first language is not English requires particular care; difficulties related solely to limitations in English as an additional language are not SEN.


Many 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 substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities’. This definition provides a relatively low threshold and includes more children than many realise: ‘long-term’ is defined as ‘a year or more’ and ‘substantial’ is defined as ‘more than minor or trivial’. This definition includes sensory impairments such as those affecting sight or hearing, and long-term health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, and cancer. Children and young people with such conditions do not necessarily have SEN, but there is a significant overlap between disabled children and young people and those with SEN. Where a disabled child or young person requires special educational provision they will also be covered by the SEN definition.

As a school we observe two key duties:

  • we must not directly or indirectly discriminate against, harass or victimise disabled children and young people
  • we must make reasonable adjustments, including the provision of auxiliary aids and services, to ensure that disabled children and young people are not at a substantial disadvantage compared with their peers. This duty is anticipatory – it requires thought to be given in advance to what disabled children and young people might require and what adjustments might need to be made to prevent that disadvantage

Identification, Assessment and Review

Recognising that there is a continuum of need matched by a continuum of support guides the school and our response is seen as action that is additional to or different from the provision made as part of the school’s usual differentiated curriculum and strategies.

A register is kept of pupils with SEND.  Where concern is expressed that a pupil may have a special educational need, the class teacher takes early action to assess and address the difficulties. The Reviews of pupils on the SEND register take place three times a year. For pupils with Education, Health & Care plans (formerly Statements), an annual review meeting has to be held in addition to this. Pupil Profiles are used to record additional provision for pupils on the SEND register.

Riverside Primary School’s  Approach to SEN Support

Riverside Primary School adopt a “high quality teaching” approach. The key characteristics of high quality teaching are:

  • highly focused lesson design with sharp objectives
  • high demands of pupil involvement and engagement with their learning
  • high levels of interaction for all pupils
  • appropriate use of teacher questioning, modelling and explaining
  • an emphasis on learning through dialogue, with regular opportunities for pupils to talk both individually and in groups
  • an expectation that pupils will accept responsibility for their own learning and work independently
  • regular use of encouragement and authentic praise to engage and motivate pupils.

Teachers are responsible and accountable for the progress and development of the 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 SEND; additional intervention and support cannot compensate for a lack of high quality teaching.

We regularly and carefully review the quality of teaching for all pupils, including those at risk of underachievement, through lesson observations, book scrutiny and pupil progress meetings.  Professional development opportunities are provided for staff to extend their knowledge and understanding of SEND and high quality teaching.

At Riverside Primary School we assess each pupil’s current skills and levels of attainment on entry, building on information from previous settings and key stages where appropriate.

Class teachers should make regular assessments of progress for all pupils. These should seek to identify pupils making less than expected progress given their age and individual circumstances. This can be characterised by progress which:

  • is significantly slower than that of their peers starting from the same baseline
  • fails to match or better the child’s previous rate of progress
  • fails to close the attainment gap between the child and their peers
  • widens the attainment gap

The first response to such progress should be high quality teaching targeted at their areas of weakness.  This can also include progress in areas other than attainment – for instance where a pupil needs to make additional progress with wider development or social needs in order to make a successful transition to adult life.

Where a pupil is identified as having SEN, schools should take action to remove barriers to learning and put effective special educational provision in place. This SEN support should take the form of a four-part cycle through which earlier decisions and actions are revisited, refined and revised with a growing understanding of the pupil’s needs and of what supports the pupil in making good progress and securing good outcomes.  The school will draw on more detailed approaches, more frequent review and more specialist expertise in successive cycles in order to match interventions to the SEN of children and young people.


In identifying a child as needing SEN support the class teacher, working with the SENCO, should carry out a clear analysis of the pupil’s needs. This should draw on the teacher’s assessment and experience of the pupil, their previous progress and attainment, the views and experience of parents, the pupil’s own views and, if relevant, advice from external support services. The school will take seriously any concerns raised by a parent. These should be recorded and compared to the setting’s own assessment and information on how the pupil is developing.

In some cases, outside professionals from health or social services may already be involved with the child.  These professionals should liaise with the school to help inform the assessments. Where professionals are not already working with school staff, the SENCO should contact them (if the parents agree).


Where it is decided to provide a pupil with SEN support, the parents must be formally notified. The teacher and the SENCO should agree, in consultation with the parent and the pupil, the adjustments, interventions and support to be put in place, as well as the expected impact on progress, development or behaviour, along with a clear date for review. The support and intervention provided should be selected to meet the outcomes identified for the pupil, based on reliable evidence of effectiveness, and should be provided by staff with sufficient skills and knowledge. Where appropriate, plans should seek parental involvement to reinforce or contribute to progress at home.

All teachers and support staff who work with the pupil should be made aware of their needs, the outcomes sought, the support provided and any teaching strategies or approaches that are required. This should also be recorded on the school’s information system.

The class teacher should remain responsible for working with the child on a daily basis. Where the interventions involve group or one-to-one teaching away from the main class or subject teacher, they should still retain responsibility for the pupil. They should work closely with any teaching assistants or specialist staff involved, to plan and assess the impact of support and interventions and how they can be linked to classroom teaching. The SENCO should support the class or subject teacher in the further assessment of the child’s particular strengths and weaknesses, in problem solving and advising on the effective implementation of support.


The effectiveness of the support and interventions and their impact on the pupil’s progress should be reviewed in line with the agreed date. The impact and quality of the support and interventions should be evaluated, along with the views of the pupil and their parents. This should feed back into the analysis of the pupil’s needs. The class or subject teacher, working with the SENCO, should revise the support in light of the pupil’s progress and development, deciding on any changes to the support and outcomes in consultation with the parent and pupil.

Where a pupil has an Education and Health Care plan, the local authority, in cooperation with the school, must review that plan as a minimum every twelve months. The success of the school’s SEND policy and provision is evaluated through:

  • monitoring of classroom practice by the Head of School, Assistant Head and SENCO
  • analysis of pupil tracking data
  • monitoring of procedures and practice by the SEND governor
  • School Self-Evaluation document
  • meetings of parents and staff, both formal and informal

Managing Pupils on the SEND Register

All children on the SEND Register will have a Pupil Profile, which details important information about the child, including their areas of strengths and weakness, their outcomes and steps taken to allow children to achieve them and any other professionals who have contact with the child. Class teachers, parents, pupils and other professional will all contribute to the Pupil Profile. The Pupil Profile is designed to be a working document which is updated to reflect the current needs of the child.

Formal review meetings will take place three times a year, where parents and pupils will be involved in reviewing progress and setting new outcomes. Class teachers are responsible for evidencing progress according to the outcomes described in the plan class teachers are responsible for maintaining and updating Pupil Profiles. These are then shared with everyone involved with the child. The SENCO reviews all records provided by class teachers to ensure consistency across the school and appropriateness and quality of outcomes.

Specialist Support

The school may involve specialists at any point to advise them on early identification of SEN and effective support and interventions. Where a pupil continues to make less than expected progress, despite evidence-based support and interventions that are matched to the pupil’s area of need, the school should consider involving specialists, including those secured by the school itself or from outside agencies.

The pupil’s parents will always be involved in any decision to involve specialists.  The involvement of specialists and what was discussed or agreed should be recorded and shared with the parents and teaching staff supporting the child in the same way as other SEN support.

Education, Health and Care Needs Assessments

Where, despite the school having taken relevant and purposeful action to identify, assess and meet the SEN of the child or young person, the child or young person has not made expected progress, the school or parents should consider requesting an Education, Health and Care needs assessment.

Criteria for Exiting the SEN Register

If it is felt that children are making progress which is sustainable then they may be taken off of the SEND register. If this is the case then the views of the teacher, SENCO, pupil and parents need to be taken into account, as well as that of any other professionals involved with the child.  If it is agreed by all to take the pupil off of the SEND register then all records will be kept until the pupil leaves the school (and passed on to the next setting). The pupil will be continued to be monitored through the school’s monitoring procedures, such as pupil progress meetings.  If it is felt that the pupil requires additional assistance then the procedures set out in this policy will be followed.

Supporting Pupils and Families

Class teachers, in partnership with the SENCO, are responsible for ensuring that pupils are able to access assessments carried out within their class. If a child’s needs mean that they are unable to access standardised tests then the SENCO will liaise with the class teacher to assess pupils’ eligibility for access arrangements.

Supporting Pupils at School With Medical Conditions

The school recognises that pupils at school with medical conditions should be properly supported so that they have full access to education, including school trips and physical education. Some children with medical conditions may be disabled and where this is the case the school will comply with its duties under the Equality Act 2010. Some may also have special educational needs (SEN) and may have an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan which brings together health and social care needs, as well as their special educational provision.

Training and Recourses

In order to maintain and develop the quality of teaching and provision to respond to the strengths and needs of all pupils, all staff are encouraged to undertake training and development. All teachers and support staff undertake induction on taking up a post and this includes a meeting with the SENCO to explain the systems and structures in place around the school’s SEND provision and practice, and to discuss the needs of individual pupils. Staff training needs will be discussed at this stage, and both teaching and support staff will be made aware of training opportunities that relate to working with children with SEND.

Roles and Responsibilities

Provision for pupils with SEND is a matter for the school as a whole.  The board of governors, in consultation with the Head of School, has a legal responsibility for determining the policy and provision for pupils with special educational needs. It maintains a general overview and has an appointed representative who takes particular interest in this aspect of the school.

Governors will ensure that:

  • the necessary provision is made for any pupil with SEND
  • all staff are aware of the need to identify and provide for pupils with SEND
  • pupils with SEND join in school activities alongside other pupils, so far as is reasonably practical and compatible with their needs and the efficient education of other pupils
  • the school profile informs parents under the heading ‘How we are making sure we are meeting the learning needs of individual pupils’
  • parents are notified if the school decides to make SEND provision for their child
  • they are fully informed about SEND issues, so that they can play a major part in school self-review
  • they set up appropriate staffing and funding arrangements, and oversee the school’s work for SEND

The Head of School is responsible for:

  • the management of all aspects of the school’s work, including provision for pupils with special educational needs
  • keeping the governing body informed about SEND issues
  • working closely with the SENCO
  • the deployment of all special educational needs personnel within the school
  • monitoring and reporting to governors about the implementation of the schools’ SEND policy and the effects of inclusion policies on the school as a whole

The special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO) is responsible for:

  • overseeing the day to day operation of the school’s SEND policy
  • co-ordinating the provision for pupils with special educational needs
  • ensuring that an agreed, consistent approach is adopted
  • liaising with and advising other school staff
  • helping staff to identify pupils with special educational needs
  • carrying out assessments and observations of pupils with specific learning problems
  • supporting class teachers in devising strategies, drawing up Pupil Profiles (PPs), setting targets appropriate to the needs of the pupils , and advising on appropriate resources and materials for use with pupils with special educational needs and on the effective use of materials and personnel in the classroom
  • liaising closely with parents of pupils with SEND alongside class teachers, so that they are aware of the strategies that are being used and are involved as partners in the process
  • liaising with outside agencies, arranging meetings and providing a link between these agencies, class teachers and parents
  • maintaining the school’s SEND register and records
  • assisting in the monitoring and evaluation of progress of pupils with SEND through the use of existing school assessment information, e.g. class-based assessments/records, end of year QCA tests, SATs, etc
  • contributing to the in-service training of staff
  • liaising with the SENCOs in receiving schools and/or other primary schools to help provide a smooth transition from one school to the other
  • taking part in county SEN moderation

Class teachers are responsible for:

  • Providing high quality teaching for all children
  • Assessing pupil’s needs and planning appropriate adjustments, interventions and support to match the outcomes identified for the pupil (in liaison with the SENCO, parents and pupil)
  • Regularly reviewing the impact of these adjustments, interventions and support, including pupils with SEND in the classroom, through providing an appropriately differentiated curriculum.
  • Retaining responsibility for the child, including working with the child on a daily basis
  • Making themselves aware of the school’s SEND policy and procedures for identification, monitoring and supporting pupils with SEND.
  • Directly liaising with parents of children with SEND

Teaching Assistants (TAs) should:

  • be fully aware of the school’s SEND policy and the procedures for identifying, assessing and making provision for pupils with SEND.
  • use the school’s procedure for giving feedback to teachers about pupils’ progress.

TAs work as part of a team with the SENCO and the teachers supporting pupils’ individual needs and ensuring inclusion of pupils with SEND within the class. They play an important role in implementing Pupil Profiles and monitoring progress.

Storing and Managing Information

Documents relating to pupils on the SEND register will be stored with their Pupil File in secure cabinets in the school office; these cabinets are locked overnight. SEND records will be passed on to a child’s next setting when he or she leaves Riverside Primary School.

Reviewing the Policy

This policy will be reviewed by governors on an annual basis.