SEND Reviewed September 2023


Click on a question for more information:

All Sunderland Local Authority (LA) maintained schools have a similar approach to meeting the needs of pupils with Special Educational Needs and are supported by the LA to ensure that all pupils, regardless of their specific needs, make the best possible progress in school.

All schools are supported to be as inclusive as possible, with the needs of pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities being met in a mainstream setting wherever possible.

The broad ‘areas of need’ being Communication and Interaction,Autism spectrum disorder, Speech language and communication needs Cognition and learning, Social, Emotional and mental health difficulties and sensory and physical needs.

The LA Local Offer

The Children and Families Bill will become enacted in 2014. From this date Local Authorities (LA) and schools are required to publish and keep under review information about services they expect to be available for children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) aged 0-25. This is the ‘Local Offer’. The intention of the Local Offer is to improve choice and transparency for families. It will also be an important resource for parents in understanding the range of services and provision in the local area.

The School Local Offer

This utilises the LA Local Offer to meet the needs of SEND pupils as determined by school policy and the provision that the school is able to provide.

Key Personnel responsible for SEND at Dame Dorothy Primary School are:

Mr I Williamson    Headteacher

Mrs H Burdon      SENDco

Mrs K Adie     SEND Governor

All can be contacted at school on 0191 2505525

The following questions are designed to guide you through the SEND Information Report.

Q1: Who are the best people to talk to in this school about my child’s difficulties with learning/ Special Educational Needs or disability (SEND)?

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i)          The Class teacher – responsible for:

  • Checking on the progress of your child and identifying, planning and delivering any additional help your child may need (this could be things like targeted work, additional support) and letting the Special Education Needs/Disabilities Coordinator (SENDCo/Inclusion Manager) know as necessary.
  • Writing Pupil Progress targets/ support plans with SMART targets. Sharing and reviewing these with parents each term and planning for the next term. Personalised teaching and learning for your child.
  • Ensuring that the school’s SEND Policy is followed in their classroom and for all the pupils they teach with any SEND.

ii)         The SENDCo – responsible for:

  • Developing and reviewing the school’s SEND policy
  • Coordinating all the support for children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND)
  • Ensuring that you are

a) involved in supporting your child’s learning

b) kept informed about the support your child is getting on

c) involved in reviewing how they are doing termly.

  • Liaising with all the other people who may be coming into to 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 that all the SEND needs of pupils in this school are known) and making sure that records of your child’s progress and needs are kept.
  • Providing specialist support for teachers and support staff in the school so that they can help children with SEND in the school to achieve the best progress possible.

iii)        The Headteacher – responsible for:

  • The day to day management of all aspects of the school, this includes the support for children with SEND.
  • The Headteacher will give responsibility to the SENDCo and class teachers, but is still responsible for ensuring that your child’s needs are met.
  • The Headteacher must make sure that the Governing Body is kept up to date about issues relating to SEND.

iv)        The SEND Governor – responsible for:

  • Making sure that the necessary support is given for any child who attends the school, who has SEND.

Q2: What are the different types of support available for children with SEND in our school?

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i)          Class teacher input via targeted classroom teaching (Quality First Teaching).

For your child this would mean:

  • That the teacher has the highest possible expectations for your child and all pupils in their class.
  • That all teaching is built on what your child already knows, can do and can understand.
  • 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.
  • Specific strategies (which may be suggested by the SENDCo) are in place to support your child to learn.
  • Your child’s teacher will have carefully checked on your child’s progress and will have decided that your child has a gap or gaps in their understanding/learning and needs some extra support to help them make the best possible progress.
  • Specific group work or Intervention which may be run in the classroom or outside by a teacher or a Teaching Assistant (TA).

ii)         Specialist groups run by outside agencies e.g .Speech and Language therapy

SEN Code of Practice 2014: School Support (SS) means a pupil has been identified by the SENDCo / class teacher as needing some extra specialist support in school from a professional outside the school. This may be from:

  • Local Authority central services such as the ASD Outreach Team or Sensory Service (for students with a hearing or visual need)
  • Outside agencies such as the Education Psychology Service (EPS).

What could happen:

You may be asked to give your permission for the school to refer your child to a specialist professional e.g . a Speech and Language Therapist or Educational Psychologist. This will help the school and yourself understand your child’s particular needs better and be able to support them better in school. The specialist professional will work with your child to understand their needs and make recommendations as to the ways your child is given support:

iii)        Specified Individual support

This type of support is available for children whose learning needs are, severe, complex and lifelong.

  • This is usually provided via a Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). This means your child will have been identified by professionals as needing a particularly high level of support.
  • This type of support is available for children with specific barriers to learning that cannot be overcome through Quality First Teaching and intervention groups.

Your child will also need specialist support in school from a professional outside the school. This may be from:

  • Local Authority central services such as the ASD Outreach Team or Sensory Service ( for students with a hearing or visual need)
  • Outside agencies such as the Speech and Language therapy (SALT) Service

For your child this would mean:

  • The school (or you) can request that Local Authority Services SEND carry out a statutory assessment of your child’s needs. This is a legal process which sets out the amount of support that will be provided for your child.
  • After the request has been made to the ‘Panel of Professionals’ (with a lot of information about your child, including some from you), they will decide whether they think your child’s needs (as described in the paperwork provided), seem complex enough to need a statutory assessment. If this is the case they will ask you and all professionals involved with your child to write a report outlining your child’s needs. If they do not think your child needs this, they will ask the school to continue with the current support .
  • After the reports have all been sent in, the ‘Panel of Professionals’ will decide if your child’s needs are severe, complex and lifelong. If this is the case they will write a Education Health Care Plan (EHCP). If this is not the case, they will ask the school to continue with the current level of support and also set up a meeting in school to ensure a plan is in place to ensure your child makes as much progress as possible.
  • The EHC Plan will outline the support your child will receive from the school and  LA and how the support should be used and what strategies must be put in place. It will also have long and short term goals for your child.

Q3 : How can I let the school know I am concerned about my child’s progress in school?

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  • If you have concerns about your child’s progress you should speak to your child’s class teacher initially.
  • If you continue to be concerned that your child is not making progress, you may speak to the Special Education Needs/ Disabilities Coordinator (SENDCo).
  • The school SEND Governor can also be contacted for support.

Q4: How will the school let me know if they have any concerns about my child’s learning in school?

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  • If your child is identified as not making progress, the school will set up a meeting to discuss this with you in more detail
  • listen to any concerns you may have
  • plan any additional support your child may need
  • discuss with you any referrals to outside professionals to support your child’s learning.

Q5: How is extra support allocated to children and how do they progress in their learning?

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  • The school budget, received from Sunderland LA, includes money for supporting children with SEND.
  • The Head Teacher decides on the deployment of resources for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in consultation with the school governors, on the basis of needs in the school.
  • The Head Teacher and the SENDCo discuss all the information they have about SEND in the school, including the children getting extra support already, other children needing extra support and the children who have been identified as not making as much progress as would be expected. They then decide what resources/training and support is needed.
  • Schools identify the needs of their pupils which for SEND pupils identifies all resources/training and support are reviewed regularly and changes made as needed.

Q6: Who are the other people providing services to children with SEND in this school?

School provision

• Teachers

• Teaching assistants

Local Authority Provision delivered in school

• Autism Outreach Service

Attendance Officer

Behaviour support Teams

• Educational Psychology Service

Sensory Service for children with visual or hearing needs

• Parent Partnership Service


Health Provision that may be delivered in school

• Additional Speech and Language Therapy input to provide a higher level of service to the school.

• Occupational Therapy

• Physiotherapy


Q7: How are the teachers in school helped to work with children a SEND and what training do they have?

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  • The SENDCO’S job is to support the class teacher in planning for children with SEND.
  • The school provides training and support to enable all staff to improve the teaching and learning of children, including those with SEND. This includes whole school training on SEND issues for example, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
  • Individual teachers and support staff attend training courses run by outside agencies that are relevant to the needs of specific children in their class e.g. from the Autism Outreach Team (AoT)service.

Q8: How will the teaching be adapted for my child with SEND?

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  • 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.
  • Support staff, under the direction of the class teacher, can adapt planning to support the needs of your child where necessary.
  • Specific resources and strategies will be used to support your child individually and in groups as and when appropriate.
  • Planning and teaching will be adapted if needed to meet your child’s learning needs.

Q9: How will we measure the progress of your child in school?

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  • Your child’s progress is continually monitored by his/her class teacher.
  • His/her progress is reviewed formally every term in reading, writing and numeracy.
  • If your child is in Year 1 or above, additional assessments can be used, which shows their attainment in more detail.
  • At the end of each key stage (i.e. at the end of year 2 and year 6) all children are required to be formally assessed using Standard Assessment Tests (SATS). This is something the government requires all schools to do and are the results that are published nationally.
  • Children may have a support plan based on SMART targets which are set and to accelerate learning and close the gap.Progress is reviewed termly, and a future plan made.
  • The progress of children with a EHC Plan is formally reviewed at an Annual Review, with all adults involved with the child’s education.
  • The class teacher will also monitor and track your child’s progress at termly review meetings.
  • Regular book scrutinies and lesson observations will be carried out by the Senior Leader Team to ensure that the needs of all children are met, and that the quality of teaching and Learning is high.

Q10: What support do we have for you as a parent of a child with a SEND?

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  • The class teacher is regularly available to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns you may have and to share information about what is working well at home and school so similar strategies can be used.
  • The SENDCo is available to meet with you to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns/worries you may have.
  • All information from outside professionals will be discussed with you, with the person involved directly, or where this is not possible, in a report.
  • Personal progress targets/support plans  will be reviewed with your involvement.
  • Homework can be adjusted as needed to your child’s individual needs.
  • A home/school contact book may be used to support communication with you, when this has been agreed to be useful for you and your child.

Q11: How is Dame Dorothy Primary School accessible to children with SEND?

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  • The school is fully compliant with DDA requirements.
  • The school is on one level with easy accessible doors and ramps.
  • The front desk is wheel chair height.
  • There is a disabled toilet and changing facilities.
  • We ensure, where ever possible, that equipment used is accessible to all children regardless of their needs.
  • After school provision is accessible to all children including those with SEND.

Q12: How will we support your child when they are leaving this school or moving on to another class?

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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.

i)          If your child is moving child to another school:

  • We will contact the school SENDCO and ensure he/she knows about any special arrangements or support that need to be made for your child.
  • We will make sure that all records about your child are passed on as soon as possible.

ii)         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 new teacher. Support plans will be shared with the new teacher.
  • A transition plan will be implemented if necessary. This may include visits to the new classroom and working with the new teacher for short periods.

iii)        In Year 6:

  • The SENDco will discuss the specific needs of your child with the SENDco of their secondary school.
  • Your child will take part in the usual transition programme for all pupils
  • An individualised transition plan will be implemented if necessary.

SEND: guide for parents and carers – Publications – GOV.UK

A guide on the support system for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), for parents and carers.

Read more…