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Special Educational Needs and Disability

At Highweek School we have a dedicated member of staff working with SEND within the school. As SENDco (Special Educational Needs and Disability Coordinator), they rely on the hard work of their team to support pupils with additional needs individually or in groups. Some members of staff work with individual children who have Educational Health Care Plans (the old statements) and require full time support in class, while others work with many children on the SEND register that may have difficulties with speech and language, fine and gross motor skills or the acquisition of literacy/numeracy skills.

Teaching assistants support individual children or small groups of children as recommended by the class teachers.

We are also very fortunate to have the expertise of other specialists from within the school, but also come in from other organisations.

We also involve outside agencies and therapists via various routes to acquire extra support for any children who have very specific needs. Regular meetings are held with parents and there is an “open door” policy so parents can discuss any concerns as they occur.

Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) All Devon 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 four broad areas of need are:

  1. Communication and Interaction

  2. Cognition and Learning

  3. Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties

  4. Sensory and Physical Needs

Devon local offer The Children and Families Bill became enacted in 2014. From this date, Local Authorities and schools are required to publish and keep under review information about services they expect to be available for the 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.

Find out more about Devon Local Authority’s Local Offer: Devon Local Authority – SEN Website

The Highweek Primary School SEND Information Report

This utilises the Devon Local Offer to meet the needs of SEN pupils as determined by school policy, and the provision that the school is able to meet.

School local offer

Your Child has Special Educational Needs. What can we at Highweek Primary School offer you?

At Highweek Primary School, we embrace the fact that every child is different, and, therefore, the educational needs of every child is different; this is certainly the case for children with Special Educational Needs.

View the FAQ’s below for more information about the Local Offer from Highweek Primary School and how we can support your child:

What should I do if I think my child may need extra help at school?

If you believe your child needs extra help and would like to discuss this with school you can speak to your child’s class teacher in the first instance. Teachers are happy to speak to parents at the beginning or the end of the day but you may want to arrange a longer meeting after school. You may wish to discuss your concerns with the school SENCO who can be contacted on 01626 216300 or by email and would be happy to discuss your child’s needs and suggest next steps.

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

The school provides support for pupils across the 4 areas of need as laid out in the SEN Code of Practice 2014:

  • Communication and Interaction

  • Cognition and Learning

  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties

  • Sensory and/or Physical Needs


We support a wide spectrum of special educational needs and disabilities which include high numbers of pupils with Speech, Language and Communication needs (SLCN) and Social, Mental and Emotional Health needs and fewer numbers of pupils experiencing cognition and learning difficulties and physical and sensory needs.

The progress of all pupils with SEN support is closely monitored termly by Victoria Benfield , Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator (SENDCO). This is achieved through meetings with all teachers individually and reviewing the SEND support to ensure it meets individual pupils’ needs.

Parents can talk to the SENDCO about their concerns for their child. The SENDCO consults with parents, children and teachers to establish the main needs of a pupil and assesses whether these needs can be met through support within the class and differentiation of lessons or the pupil requires SEND support.

How does the school know if children/young people need extra help?

Pupils are identified as having SEN, and their needs assessed, through:

  • Information passed on from previous schools

  • Thrive assessments in the Nursery and Early Years; Language Link assessments in the Reception classes, KS1 results, Year 1 Phonics Screening

  • Lack of progress in curriculum areas through half termly teacher assessments

  • Pupil Premium interventions not showing impact

  • Listening to and following up on parental concerns

  • Following up on concerns raised by teacher and learning support assistants regarding individual pupils

  • Information gathering through observations, assessments and transition meetings

  • Reports from outside agencies including medical letters, occupational therapy reports and speech and language reports.

Assessments used to identify learning difficulties include:

  • Graduated approach – Assess Plan Do Review

  • Half termly teacher assessments

  • Phonics screening assessments in year 1 and year 2

  • Reading age assessment

  • Phonology assessment

  • Data tracking for pupil progress by SLT

  • Assessment by Educational Psychologist

  • Speech and Language assessment

  • Language Link assessment

  • Occupational therapy assessment

  • Assessment of social and emotional needs through the Boxall profile/Thrive


We also work closely with the community nurses team who support with arranging hearing checks when parents or teachers are concerned about this.

We use a number of outside agencies to advise us on meeting pupils’ needs including:

  • Educational Psychology Service

  • Behaviour Support Service

  • Speech and Language Therapy

  • Occupational Therapy

  • Physiotherapy

  • Neuro-Developmental Support

  • Community Nursing Team

  • Communication & Interaction Team

  • Dyslexia Outreach Support

  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)

  • Devon Integrated Support Service (DISS)

  • Portage

How will the school and I know how my child is doing?

If your child has SEN support, his/her progress will be reviewed with the SENDCO at school during a SEND Pupil Progress Meetings every term. The academic progress in core subjects as well as individual targets set on Class Provision Maps will be reviewed and if progress is slower than expected a DAF 1 may be initiated to address any difficulties. Parents can check the progress of their child with their class teacher at any time.


Parents can also contact the SENDCO if they are concerned about their child’s progress and arrange a meeting if appropriate.

If your child’s needs are more complex and a multiagency approach is needed, the school may start a DAF process (Devon Assessment Framework) for your child with your full involvement from the beginning. Desired outcomes are agreed and recorded on a DAF2a- My Plan and progress towards agreed outcomes will then be reviewed through Team Around the Child (TAC) meetings.

Those children with statements of special educational needs or Education, Health Care Plans (EHCP) will also have their child’s progress reviewed through a statutory annual review meeting every year. During the meeting, plans are made and targets set to meet the needs of individuals for the next 12 months. This will also include discussions about transition to secondary schools during the year 5 annual reviews.

What sort of extra support might my child have?

At Highweek, we believe the best support is delivered within the mainstream classroom through accessing high quality teaching as part of the universal provision for all children with the addition of a personalised curriculum to meet an individual’s SEND needs. Highweek works closely with the educational psychology service, and all other agencies involved, to meet the individual needs of children through reasonable adjustments to the curriculum and the daily routines of the school. This is planned individually and may include providing extra adult support at key times, small group interventions outside the classroom and/or alternative arrangements including nurture groups in the mornings in key stage 1, forest school and football coaching in the afternoons in key stage 2. Personalised provision is through time limited programmes and adapted resources and interventions.


Individual emotional and social difficulties are supported through a nurture approach. We can also offer support from our Thrive trained staff and Family Support Worker with discussion with parents. The school also offers a parenting programme based on positive parenting techniques as well as an understanding of how the brain influences behaviour.

How will my child be included in school activities?

All children with SEND are part of their mainstream classrooms and have access to assemblies, school performances, school visits, extra-curricular activities and residential trips. In order to ensure all children’s health and safety, risk assessments have to be completed for all off-site visits and any individual requirements will be discussed with parents. School staff will discuss and agree with parents how their child can be included whilst taking account of their individual needs. Children with SEND are fully involved and valued at Highweek and take on a range of responsibilities which in key stage 2 include Play Leaders at lunchtimes, Pupil Advocates in Year 6 and Anti-Bullying Ambassadors in Key Stage 2.

What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?

Children with SEND can access a range of provision which supports their overall well-being.   We also have indoor activities for those who prefer a quieter lunch time in our library. The school provides a number of interventions to support social and communication skills. Children with SEND are fully involved and valued at Highweek and take on a range of responsibilities which in Key Stage 2 include helping Key Stage 1 children at lunchtimes, being a Key stage 2 Play Leader; Pupil Advocate and/or an Anti-Bullying Ambassador.

The curriculum/learning environment may be adapted by:

  • Groupings that target specific levels of progress

  • Differentiated resources and teaching styles

  • Appropriate choices of text and topics to suit the learner

  • Access arrangements for tests and or examinations

  • Additional adult support


Children with Social, Emotional and Mental Health SEND are supported by:

  • An anti-bullying policy that is supported by a specialist trained member of staff and a team of trained Anti-Bullying Ambassadors selected from across Key Stage 2 children

  • A SEMH team that provide programmes such as nurture groups, anger management, self-esteem building; developing emotional literacy

  • Targeted support for individual pupils

  • Embedded Thrive principles

  • Targeted Family Support

  • Bereavement Counselling


Children with SLCN are supported by:

  • Visual timetables, visual prompts

  • Developing language (concepts and vocabulary) groups using Language Link materials

  • Instructions broken down into achievable chunks with visual support

  • Makaton signing

  • Programmes of work from Speech Therapy – where appropriate


Children with medical needs have their medical needs met through individual health care plans and if they need to have medicine at school, this is kept at reception and administered as specified on their health care plan in consultation with parents. Some children with SEND are recommended regular physiotherapy exercises at school and 1:1 exercise sessions 2/3 times per week are arranged on an individual basis as required.


Children with sensory needs may have planned sensory breaks as recommended by occupational therapists and this is included in their daily provision.


Children with SEND who need additional personal care have their needs met through a personal intimate care plan which is devised with full parental involvement.


Behaviour care plans are completed in order to support children with behavioural difficulties to ensure that they have a positive time at school and to avoid exclusions. When a child is at risk of exclusion due to challenging and dangerous behaviour, the SENDCO will arrange a meeting to complete an individual behaviour care plan with parents, class teacher and other key adults of the child. The plan is shared with all key adults and reviewed and updated regularly to support the individual child.

Who supports children with SEN and disabilities at Highweek?

All staff at Highweek support children with SEND but the following may be particularly involved in supporting your child:

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator (SENDCO): Dawn Matthews
EYFS Family Support Worker: Jacky Dawes/Eline Walker
Governor with responsibility for SEND: Christine Candlish
Educational Psychologist: Caroline Smith
Advisory Teacher for Behaviour: Andy Simpson
Speech and Language Therapist : Marc Carowicz
Communication and Interaction Team: Rob Good

How is the school equipped to meet the needs of children with SEN and Disabilities?

Highweek is situated on a large and green site. Security and safety is ensured through locked gates and a secure key access through the main entrance doors. The school is fully wheelchair accessible with disabled toilets and changing facilities on the lower level. Access to the upper level can be achieved through the lift or directly via outside classroom doors.


Small specialist items of SEND equipment are purchased routinely on a needs basis through the allocated budget.

Other items such as tablets are a shared resource and accessed when needed.

How are parents involved in the school?

At Highweek, we recognise the importance of listening to parental concerns and aim to understand and listen to your concerns about your child and to act on any concerns regarding progress and development effectively. We also listen to the children and act on their concerns or suggestions. Children with SEND have the opportunity to express their views through regular conferencing times with their class teacher and additionally through completing a one page profile with their teaching assistant or SENDCo in preparation for DAF review meetings.

Parents also receive termly updates from school regarding their child’s progress and have termly meetings with their child’s class teacher regarding Provision targets. Other arrangements are also made for parents to meet class teachers to discuss school reports and at transition times to meet new teachers.

Highweek has an active parent group who organise a wide variety of events in school.

Throughout the year parents are warmly invited to their child’s class sharing assemblies, events and other performances.

How can I get more information about SEND in Devon?

Devon Information Advice and Support (DIAS)  provide general advice and support on many aspects of education of children with SEN and disabilities and can be of particular help at times of transition from primary to secondary school.


The support provided by Devon Local Authority for children with SEN and disabilities can be found in

Teachers and the SENDCO can direct parents to other organisations and services that can provide additional support for SEND.

What should I do if I am worried or unhappy about the support my child is receiving in school?

At Highweek, we are committed to working with parents to meet each child’s SEND needs fully. There are however times when we don’t get it right and we need to know about it. You are encouraged to contact the class teacher or the SENDCO in the first instance to discuss any worries or concerns. You can also contact the Headteacher Judy Martyn to arrange a time to discuss your concern. If you still feel concerned you can contact the Governor responsible for SEND, by letter.


Devon Information Advice and Support (DIAS)  can advise parents on how to proceed if they feel their concerns are not being adequately addressed by the school or the Local Authority.

2014 – SEND Changes

There are many changes that have happened this year in SEND and from 1 September 2014 the provisions in the Children and Families Bill, its associated regulations and Code of Practice has come into force. The Code of Practice gives statutory guidance to organisations who work with and support children and young people with SEND and their parents. The Code provides practical advice on how to carry out statutory duties to identify, assess and make provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Full Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice 2015

Updated June 2021

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