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Ashley Down Primary School

Special Educational Needs: Questions Parents/Carers may have

Please click on the question for the answer: 


What is SEND and what kind of SEND does the school provide for?


SEND stands for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. The SEND Code of Practice (2014) states that a child has SEN if they require something that is additional to and different from their peers.

The Code of Practice gives four areas of SEND:

Communication and Interaction – which includes Autistic Spectrum Condition and speech and language difficulties

Cognition and Learning – which includes global delay and specific learning difficulties such as Dyslexia

Social Emotional and Mental Health – which includes attachment needs and attentional difficulties

Sensory and/or Physical – which includes all sorts of physical needs such as visual or hearing impairment.

Ashley Down Schools Federation provides support for children with SEND in these four areas.

What should I do if I think my child may have SEND?

In the first instance, talk to your child’s teacher and tell them your concerns. They will listen and be able to share their thoughts on how your child is doing in school. If needed, they will arrange a meeting with the SENDCO so issues can be discussed further.

If you prefer, you can arrange to meet with the SENDCO directly. Please contact the school office to make an appointment

How does the school identify pupils with SEN and assess their needs?

Your child’s teacher and senior leadership team, including the SENDCo, make regular assessments and identify those children making less than expected progress or who are having difficulties accessing the school environment.

It may be that their progress:

  1. a) Is significantly slower than that of their peers starting from the same baseline
  2. b) Fails to match or better the child’s previous rate of progress
  3. c) Fails to close the attainment gap between the child and their peers
  4. d) Widens the attainment gap

If school staff have a concern about a child’s progress and attainment from their assessments, the parents/carers will always be contacted to discuss the situation and next steps.


If a child meets the Code of Practice definition of SEND i.e. is needing support additional to and different from their peers, then, with parental agreement, they will be put on our SEND register and have their needs assessed through a Graduated Response.

The steps in this process are:

  • Meeting with parents/carers, class teacher and/or SENDCO (and child where appropriate) to discuss the support and develop a Pupil Passport detailing the effective differentiated approaches (e.g. use of additional classroom adult; modification of tasks set; use of specialist equipment to aid access to learning; specific interventions) they need in class. At all times we will strive to promote the independence of your child, building in support strategies which will encourage independent working.

If more support is needed…

  • Targets will be set under the four heading of SEND from the Code of Practice using an Individual Target Plan

If more support is needed…

  • Referrals will be made to outside agencies to request specialist advice, assessment and further understanding of your child’s needs (always with parent/carer consent.)

If more support is needed…

  • Hold multi agency meetings and/or Annual Review that includes all the people involved with the child including child to assess the extent of additional and different support from peers and whether to request additional funding to support their needs.

If more support is needed…

  • Parents/carers (and the child if applicable) may decide to request a statutory assessment of their needs with a view to them having an Education, Care and Health plan.

If more support is needed…

  • The child may need alternative/specialist provision from the mainstream setting and a request would be made to the local authority for a change of placement as part of any multi agency, parent/carer, child and school decisions.


Your child may have already had their current additional needs identified before they join the school.

For your child this would mean:

  1. That the teacher has the highest possible expectations for your child and will follow the guidance and advice of any outside agency professionals involved with them.
  2. That all teaching is based on building on what your child already knows, can do and can understand.
  3. Different ways of teaching are in place so that your child is fully involved in learning in class. This may involve things like using more practical learning.
  4. That the class teacher is tracking your child’s progress towards expected progress.

Your child would be put on the SEND register and would join the Graduated Response at the appropriate level of support.

If your child already has an EHCP, the school would be consulted to see if we can meet your child’s needs.

If your child has a disability but no EHCP, do please contact the SENDCO to discuss how we can meet your child’s needs and best support your family.


What is the school’s approach to teaching pupils with SEND?

When providing the support that is “additional to” or “different from” we engage in a four-stage process:

Assess – this involves taking into consideration all the information from discussions with parents/carers, the child, outside agencies professionals, the class teacher and assessments.

Plan – this stage identifies the barriers for learning, intended outcomes, and details what additional support will be provided to help overcome the barriers. This differentiated support will be recorded on a Pupil Passport. Where needed, targets will be set using an Individual Target Plan

Do – the extra assistance and support as set out in the plan is carried out                                                                                                                                              

Review – the impact of support provided is evaluated and where needed, changes are made. All of those involved – learner, parents/carers, teacher, SENCO and outside agencies can contribute to this review. This stage then informs the next cycle.

The child and parents/carers are involved in all four stages of this process and we strive to consider the needs and wants of the child and their family at all times.

At all times, we will encourage the independence of your child and ensure the supportive strategies employed in the classroom allow them to flourish and build their self-esteem though independent working.

Through the Core Learning Skills, we encourage all children to develop an understanding of themselves a learners and members of the school community. There is an emphasis on the positive impact of diversity in society and strive to normalise difference.



How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?

The school budget, received from Bristol Local Authority, includes money for supporting children with SEND. The Head Teacher and SENDCO decide on the budget for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, in consultation with the school governors, on the basis of needs in the school.

In determining allocation of resources and support, they will consider:

  • the children already receiving extra support
  • the children needing extra support
  • the children who have been identified as not making as much progress as would be expected

For children who need additional support above that which the school can provide, in conjunction with advice from other professionals, the school would make an application for Top-Up funding from the Local Authority as the child would be deemed to have High Needs.



 How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?


The school will follow the Graduated Response (see question 2) to determine what type and how much support your child will receive. We will always follow the advice of outside agency professionals to determine the most effective methods of support, whilst promoting the independence of your child. This includes the use of specialist resources and equipment.


The decisions as to what support your child will have will be made in partnership between parent/carers, child (if applicable), class teacher, SENDCO and other professionals.


The impact of the support will be judged on parent/carer views, child views and monitored progress over course of intervention, at the evaluation of the Individual Target Plan meetings.



 How will the teaching be adapted to meet the needs of my child with SEND?

Class Teachers plan lessons according to the specific needs of all groups of children in their class, and will ensure that your child’s needs are met. Planning and teaching will be adapted on a daily basis if needed to meet your child’s learning needs.

Where necessary, trained support staff can adapt the teachers planning to support the needs of your child.


Specific resources and strategies will be included on your child’s Pupil Passport which is regularly evaluated and updated to ensure the most effective support is used in class.

Where specific equipment such as IT resources, enlargements and practical resources are needed or recommended by outside agency professionals, they will be put in place as soon as possible.



 What training do the staff supporting children with SEND in school have?

The SENDCO supports the class teachers in planning for children with SEND. There is regular training for all staff to ensure their Quality First Teaching strategies meet the needs of frequently occurring SEND such as ASC or Dyslexia.

When needed, staff will attend training on specific SEND for children they work with, as advised by outside agency professionals e.g. VI, Down Syndrome, S&LT support. Where needed, specialist experts will work in school to support staff.



How will both you and I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?


Your child’s progress is continually monitored by their class teacher and where appropriate, planning is differentiated to meet their needs.

Their progress is reviewed formally every term to determine if they are working at age related expectations. This information is brought to pupil progress meetings where children are discussed and concerns raised if a child is not making expected progress. (see question 2)


In addition to the Family Learning Conferences (Parent and Child Evenings) which are held twice a year in October and March for all children in the school, your class teacher may offer additional meetings throughout the year where you can discuss your child’s progress, attainment and general wellbeing in school.

Your child’s teacher will adjust home learning to meet their individual needs and will give advice on the best ways you can support them at home.

The SENDCO is also available to meet with you on Family Learning Conference evenings and you can arrange to meet with her at any time. Please contact the school office to make an appointment.



If a child is on the SEND register and has an Individual Target Plan, then these targets are assessed at least three times a year, following the Plan Do Review cycle (see question 3) and parents are invited to be a part of this review process.

You will receive copies of the Pupil Passports and/or Individual Target Plans from your child’s teacher and be informed of any additional interventions your child may be doing along with the expected outcome.

If your child has additional funding or an EHCP, you will also be invited to an annual review which may also be attended by outside agency professionals


If you have any questions or concerns about your child, please do not wait for a scheduled meeting time. Talk to your child’s teacher or contact the SENDCO to arrange a meeting.



How will my child’s views about their learning be taken into account?

Pupil Passports are written with the child and use a child-centred approach so that their views are considered with all support that is put in place for them. The passports consider helpful and unhelpful approaches as well as noting what is important to the child. The child is involved in the reviews of these documents to ensure they stay relevant and useful.



What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?


The ethos and values of the school ensure that inclusion and equality are embedded as agreed consistencies across all areas of the curriculum and for all members of the school community. The views of all pupils are regularly taken through questionnaires, question boxes, school council and Buddy systems.


Children at the school have Circle Time opportunities planned regularly by the class teacher and also sessions to respond to specific issues. There are regular PSHE lessons that cover Health and Well-being. Where key inclusion concerns are raised a programme of esteem work and targeted programmes may be used. The school will request parent/carer consent prior to this taking place for all children involved.


The school has a Medical Conditions Policy. Those children who have medical needs have individual care plans drawn up with all parties; parents carers, child health care professionals and school staff. Training is given to key adults and reviewed at least annually. Care plans are sited in the child’s classroom, medical room at the school, the staffroom and the in class register. The school has an Intimate Care Policy which is reviewed in line with the Governor review timetable.


The school has a variety of intervention support to develop social skills and inclusion in social settings – playtimes, group work. Where support is needed to develop these skills then it will be part of provision that is shared with you. At other times additional adult provision may be used to support your child when needed.


The school has clear rules and uses a restorative approach to talking about behaviour. This is part of the school’s Behaviour Policy. Where a child is exhibiting challenging behaviour the school or parent/carers may request a meeting to discuss what is happening and how it can be addressed. This would be a graduated response following the “assess, plan, do and review” cycle. Where necessary, outside agencies may be called in for support and advice.



 What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school? 


The school is able to access:

  • Bristol Autism Team
  • Educational Psychology Service
  • Sensory Service for children with visual or hearing needs
  • School Nurse
  • Primary Mental Health Specialist
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Families in Focus and social care
  • Speech and Language Therapy

We will always liaise with relevant health, social care, local authority support services and voluntary sector organisations to best support and meet the needs of children in school. When needed, we will consult with specialist experts to advise us on best practice.



 How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom, including school trips?

The class teacher is responsible for planning outdoor activities and school trips. They will plan for access by all children, utilising resources such as specific equipment or the deployment of an additional adult, to ensure the trip is accessible for all.

A risk assessment is always carried out and where children have SEND, there may also be an individual risk assessment specifically highlighting their needs.

The medical care plans would be followed for children with medical needs.  

When a trip is being planned, the class teacher may request to meet with you to talk about aspects of an activity or trip to ensure their safety and successful inclusion.


How can I be involved at school?


The school values working closely with parents/carers and understands that you know your child really well. The school welcomes parents/carers to be involved in school life and there are many opportunities, such as celebration events or coffee mornings where you are invited to join us, Class teachers will let you know about classroom activities that you may want to help with and there will also be class assemblies that you can attend. Parents/carers can also volunteer to help on trips. If a parent/carer would like to volunteer more frequently there are opportunities to hear readers by training to be a Reading Partner. Please contact the school office for more details.


How accessible is the school?


Please refer to our accessibility statement on the school website for detailed information on physical accessibility of the school buildings.

  • The entrances to all buildings are accessible to children with physical disability via a ramp to the main entrance, ground level entrance in Key Stage 1 and a ramp to access the music room at Ashley Down Primary School. At Brunel Field Primary there are ground level entrances and the first floor is accessible via a lift. We ensure that equipment used is accessible to all children, regardless of their needs.
  • At both sites there are disabled changing and toilet facilities.
  • Specific specialised equipment is put away after use in a designated area or stored in a lockable drawer.
  • After school provision is accessible to all children, including those with SEND.
  • Extra-curricular activities are accessible to children with SEND.
  • Families/Carers, whose first language is not English, are supported by the use of a translation service and where possible links made with other families that speak the same home language.

How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school and/or transfer to a new school or the next stage of education and life?


We recognise that transitions can be difficult for a child with SEND and take steps to ensure that any transition is a smooth as possible.


If your child is moving child to another school:

We will contact the new school SENDCO and ensure they know about any special arrangements or support that need to be made for your child. This may include: meetings involving parents, SENDCOs and Year heads, other agencies as necessary, additional visits to the receiving school, transition booklets etc.

We will make sure that all records about your child are passed on as soon as possible.


When moving classes in school:

Information will be passed on to the new class teacher in advance and in most cases, a planning meeting will take place with the parents/carers and new teacher. All Pupil Passports or Individual Target Plans will be shared with the new teacher.

In Term 6 a ‘moving on time line’ is established for all children, and additional work is undertaken with some children to ensure a smooth journey.

New arrivals:

Meetings will be held with parents and children including a tour of the school

Transition visits by the child prior starting the school if moving from local setting.

We will liaise with the previous setting to identify any support needs.



 Who can I contact for further information?

SENDCO – Mrs Julie Waldren (Brunel Field Primary School) 0117 3532471

Responsible for:

  • Coordinating all the support for children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) and developing the school’s SEND Policy to make sure all children get a consistent, high quality response to meeting their needs in school.
  • Ensuring that you are:

involved in supporting your child’s learning

kept informed about the support your child is getting

involved in reviewing how they are doing

  • Liaising with all the other people who may be coming into school to help support your child’s learning e.g. Speech and Language Therapy, Educational Psychology etc.
  • Updating the school’s SEND register (a system for ensuring all the SEND needs of pupils in this school are known) and making sure that there are excellent records of your child’s progress and needs.
  • Providing specialist support for teachers and support staff in the school so they can help children with SEND in the school achieve the best progress possible.

Other support services:

 How will the school support my child if their progress is a cause for concern?

Step one: assessment at whole school level:

· Regular assessments for ALL pupils as part of school assessment cycle

· Whole school tracking data

· Early identification of any specific barriers to learning


Step two: Plan and carry out intervention (do)

· Pupils whose progress is a cause for concern are discussed at termly progress meetings.

· Class teacher uses assessment information to identify any specific areas of weakness and implement a targeted cause for concern plan to be reviewed alongside SENCo within one term. The class teacher can do this at any point during the year if they identify concerns before termly progress meetings.

· A cause for concern discussion and targeted intervention plan can also be triggered if a parent raises a concern about a child at any point during the year.


Step three: review

3a) Pupil fails to make expected progress despite high quality teaching targeted at their

areas of weakness. The class teacher and the SENCo in collaboration with the child/parents use the SEN toolkits to assess whether the child has a “learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them” . For example, Benchmarking/phonics screener/CEW assessment etc. Outside agencies may also become involved, such as SALT/OT/EP/BAT etc.


Other potential causes for lack of progress are explored e.g. pastoral concerns, EAL.

If a Special Educational Need is identified, the child is added to the Inclusion Register as ”SEND support”.


3b) Pupils makes expected progress

· If the progress appears to be dependent on support that is “additional to” and/or “different from” the mainstream offer – see step 3a)

· If all gaps in learning have now been closed, no further action is required.



Please see our Communication and Complaints policy on the school website