Special Educational Needs and Disability

At St. Mary's we aim, in partnership with parents/carers, to meet the individual needs of every child attending our school, including those with additional needs.

Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND): What does it mean?

The term special educational needs has a legal definition: children with special educational needs have learning difficulties and/or disabilities which make it harder for them to learn than most children of the same chronological age. The term disability also has a legal definition: you’re disabled under the Equality Act 2010 if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities. Children with special educational needs and or disability may need extra help or different support from that given to other children of the same chronological age. It is widely acknowledged that many children may have special educational needs at some time in their educational career. At St. Mary's we seek to help all our pupils to overcome the barriers to learning that their additional needs may present.

Since 1st September 2014 there has been a revised Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice in operation.  This has introduced reforms to the system of providing support to children with SEND. Details for parents and carers can be found at the Department for Education (DfE) website. Please click here for the link.

What can you do if are you are worried that your child may have additional needs?

Please talk to us. If you think your child may have additional needs that have not been identified or you are concerned about your child's development and progress, it is best to begin by talking to your child's class teacher. You can also make an appointment to see the school's Special Educational Needs and Disability Coordinator (SENDCO) or the Headteacher. Remember - you know your child better than anyone! We want to work with you in order to resolve any worries or concerns that you may have. The closer the partnership between home and school, the more successful any interventions/support for your child will be.

Another useful place to gain parent-centred information news and resources and informed opinion about SEN disability, children’s health and SEND politics is Special Needs Jungle

Who's who?

All primary schools are required to have a person who is responsible for coordinating the day-to-day provision for pupils with special educational needs. This person is known as the Special Educational Needs and Disability Coordinator or, for short, the SENDCO. At St. Mary's, this person is Mrs Rebecca Singleton. She is also a full-time class teacher.

A member of the school's governing body is appointed to have particular oversight of special educational needs provision within school. At St. Mary's this person is our Foundation Governor, Mrs Anne St. John. She also works as a special educational needs support assistant within school. She liaises closely with the school's SENDCO.

We have a Special Educational Needs Policy that gives more detail about how we aim to provide for our pupils with special educational needs. To view this policy please click here to be taken to our school policies page.

Try visiting our SEND Links section for additional information and links to useful websites covering a wide range of additional needs and disabilities.