Special Educational Needs Policy

SEND School Offer


Welcome to our Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) page. We hope you will enjoy reading about the variety of ways in which Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School is able to support SEND pupils to reach their full potential.

Our school has a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) who is responsible for the management of provision and/or support for identified pupils with SEND. They will also coach and support teachers and other staff to enable them to provide appropriate assessment and focussed provision for children in their class with SEND.

Our Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator is : Miss M Barnes

At Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School we believe that every child should have access to a broad, balanced, relevant and differentiated curriculum. This should take account of their individual strengths and needs and should allow each child to fulfill their potential. We have high expectations and targets for all of our children. We are an inclusive school and believe that high self-esteem is crucial to a child’s emotional well-being and academic progress. We have a caring, understanding staff team at Sacred Heart who look after all of our children.

We want all our children to feel that they are a valued part of our school community. Through appropriate curricular provision, we respect the fact that children;

  • have different educational and behavioural needs and aspirations;
  • require different strategies for learning;
  • acquire, assimilate and communicate information at different rates;
  • need a range of different teaching approaches and experiences.

Special educational provision is educational or training provision that is additional to or different from that made generally for others of the same age. This means provision that goes beyond the differentiated approaches and learning arrangements normally provided as part of the high quality, personalised teaching at Sacred Heart. It may take the form of additional support from within school or require involvement of specialist staff or support services.

All teachers are teachers of SEND pupils and as such provide quality first teaching which takes account of particular individual needs of pupils with SEN within the classroom.

The objectives of our SEND provision are:

  • To identify children with SEND as early as possible.
  • To consult with parents/carers to identify the strengths and needs of the child, and agree an education plan to build on the strengths and support needs.
  • To meet every child’s needs by providing a broad, balanced, relevant and differentiated curriculum.
  • To identify and use support that is available in school.
  • To refer the child to outside agencies where appropriate.
  • To seek and consider the child’s own views wherever possible.

As of September 2014, all schools are required to publish details of its school offer, detailing support for pupils with special educational needs and/or a disability to compliment the Manchester LA Local Offer. Below are details of the current school offer at Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School and the Local Offer for Manchester.

Current SEN Updates

What is Pupil Premium?

The Pupil Premium was introduced in April 2011 and is allocated to schools to work with pupils who have been registered for Free School Meals (FSM) at any point in the last 6 years (known as “Ever 6 FSM”). Schools also receive funding for children who have been looked after continuously for more than 6 months, and children of service personnel.

Why has it been introduced?

The Government believes that the Pupil Premium, which is additional to main school funding, is the best way to address the current underlying inequalities between children eligible for Free School Meals (FSM), and their peers by ensuring that funding to tackle disadvantage reaches the pupils who need it most.

Who decides on how the money is spent?

In most cases, the Pupil Premium is paid direct to schools, allocated to them for every pupil who receives Free School Meals (FSM). Schools decide how to use the funding, as they are best placed to assess what their pupils need.

How are schools accountable for the spending of Pupil Premium?

They are held accountable for the decisions they make through:

  • Performance tables which show the performance of disadvantaged pupils compared with their peers.
  • New Ofsted inspection framework, under which inspectors focus on the attainment of pupil groups, in particular those who attract the Pupil Premium.

Children and Families Bill 2013

The Children and Families Bill takes forward to Coalition Government’s commitments to improve services for vulnerable children and support families. It underpins wider reforms to ensure that all children and young people can succeed, no matter what their background. The Bill will reform the systems for adoption, looked after children, family justice and Special Educational Needs (SEN).

The Government is transforming the system for children and young people with Special Educational Needs (SEN), including those who are disabled, so that services constantly support the best outcomes for them. The Bill will extend the SEN system from birth to 25, giving children, young people and their parents/carers greater control and choice in decisions and ensuring needs are properly met.

It takes forward the reform programme set out in Support and Aspiration: A new approach to Special Educational Needs and Disability: Progress and next steps by:

  • Replacing statements and learning difficulty assessments with a new birth-to-25 Education, Health and Care Plan, extending rights and protections to young people in further education and training and offering families personal budgets so that they have more control over the support they need;
  • Improving co-operation between all services that support children and their families and particularly requiring local authorities and health authorities to work together;
  • Requiring local authorities to involve children, young people and parents in reviewing and developing provision for those with Special Educational Needs (SEN) and to publish a “local offer” of support.

What is Local Offer?

The Local Offer was first introduced in the Green Paper (March 2011) as a local offer of all services available to support disabled children and children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) and their families. This easy to understand information will set out what is normally available in schools to help children with lower-level Special Educational Needs (SEN) as well as the options available to support families who need additional help to care for their child.

What will it do?

The Manchester Local Offer will provide parents/carers with information about how to access services in their area, and what they can expect from those services. With regard to Education, it will let parents/carers and young people know how school and colleges will support them, and what they can expect across the local settings. During the last year, the Local Offer Steering Group has developed questions for schools, and trialled them with a small number of settings.

There are 14 questions, devised in consultation with parents/carers and other agencies, which reflect their concerns and interests.  These will be answered by agencies, schools and colleges to provide information to parents and carers to enable them to make decisions about how to best support their child’s needs.

Below are Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School’s responses to these questions.

How does the school know if children need extra help, and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?

When children are transferring to Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School from another school setting, we endeavour to contact a child’s previous school to ascertain any special needs they may require support with in school.

Pupil progress is monitored termly by our Class Teachers, Assessment Co-ordinator and the Senior Leadership Team. Class Teachers are confident in identifying concerns at the early stages so that additional support may be offered when required. Teacher concerns are taken directly to our SENCO and discussed. A range of school-based strategies and interventions to support children are available, and often these are very effective in enabling most children to catch up and achieve in line with their peers.

If a pupil struggles to make progress over time, there may then be a need to discuss next steps in provision with parents/carers with further assessment to identify a child’s primary area of need. Following this, we may offer extra support within school, perhaps in the form of targeted intervention groups. All children monitored on the school’s SEN Register have a termly Individual Education Plan (IEP), which gives details of any provision that is different from or additional to those provided as part of the school’s differentiated curriculum. IEPs are written on a termly basis (or as necessary) and provision is reviewed to ensure maximum impact for our pupils. Parents receive copies of initial IEPs each term, and shall also be invited to attend termly reviews.

If parents/carers have any concerns regarding the learning of their children, we operate an open-door policy at Sacred Heart. Class Teachers are available to discuss concerns, as is our SENCO. If necessary appointments can be arranged at mutually convenient times across the week.

How will the school staff support my child?

This is dependent upon the level of support required by individual children.

Support group timetables are set up at the start of every school year to match the needs of the children on roll. These groups are regularly reviewed throughout the school year, and may vary in line with the current SEN profiles and needs of our children.

Early assessment of Literacy and Numeracy, by Class Teachers, the SENCO and in some cases specialist teachers enables children to be placed in our targeted Literacy or Numeracy intervention  groups, should they require this. These groups are usually of about 6 children.

At Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School we provide a number of intervention groups as necessary including;

  • Literacy support to target key reading and writing skills;
  • Numeracy support focussing upon acquiring key skills and basic mathematical concepts;
  • Therapeutic Play groups focussing on social and emotional skills;
  • Motor skills intervention groups;
  • Language and memory intervention groups;
  • 1:1 reading booster groups.
  • *Groups offered year-on-year depend on the current needs of pupils in the school.

How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?

The National Curriculum is differentiated for children within class as part of our quality first teaching, to provide appropriate curriculum access for all children at Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School.

Access to the curriculum may be provided in a variety of ways- through a range of different tasks; additional resources/apparatus; extra time to complete; support from an adult; group work; talking partners etc. We constantly strive to work in an inclusive way throughout Sacred Heart.

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

We have regularly scheduled parent‘s evening meetings to keep parents/carers informed about their child’s progress within school. Staff are usually available to speak with parents just before or after school. Should it be necessary, additional meetings can be arranged with Class Teachers and our SENCO at mutually convenient times.

If a child is on our SEN Register, their parents/carers are invited to attend a termly review to discuss their child’s progress and talk about what the school is providing.

Letters will be sent home when children are allocated places in one (or more) of our support groups, which will explain the expected outcomes of groups and how long they will run for.

All support group feedback is monitored and evaluated by our SENCO to ensure maximum impact for the children involved.

Our open-door policy is crucial in enabling parents to provide support at home. The Individual Education Plan (IEP) for children requiring provision that is different from or additional to that provided as part of the school’s differentiated curriculum will be sent home to parents on a termly basis.

Full written reports are sent home annually in the Summer Term.

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

We offer a weekly ‘Circle Time’ session in each class, which gives children a weekly session to discuss and learn about social, health, safety and emotional issues.

Positive relationships are developed between our children and staff, so that children feel confident in knowing they can talk to someone if they need to. There is good liaison between school staff and outside agencies (if required) to build up a team around the child and share important information.

All children have access to our Therapeutic Play intervention group if necessary, which can focus on individual issues such as social skills, behaviour, anger management, bereavement etc. to support any pupils who require such support and this is allocated when the need is identified.

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

We liaise with Manchester’s ‘One Education’ team, which offers a full range of support services and advisors. If there were concerns over a child’s learning that we needed support in addressing within school, we would submit a referral to one of these agencies, who would then visit to advise us. Included are: Occupational Therapists; Educational Psychologists; Physiotherapists; Behaviour Support; Language and Learning Support; Speech and Language Therapists; Physical and Sensory Support; Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services; Targeted Mental Health in Schools.

Please see Manchester City Council’s Local Offer (A link to the website can be found on this page) for details of services commissioned to support schools.

What training are the staff supporting children with SEND had or are having?

Our SENCO has received National Award for SEN Co-ordination (NASEN) training at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Teaching Assistants are offered targeted training regarding the specific needs of the children they work alongside. Recent courses include; motor skills intervention training, reading intervention training and sensory support training.

All teaching and learning support staff have been provided with updated training regarding the new SEND code of Practice.

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

Advice from specialists is taken so that Sacred Heart can make reasonable curricular changes/adaptations for children with specific needs.

Before trips are carried out, risk assessments and accessibility arrangements are carefully considered.

For mobility impaired children, arrangements are made in advance, so that they can have as much access to the full experience as possible.

How accessible is the school environment?

Our school building offers ramped access throughout, which makes the full curriculum accessible to all learners.

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

At Sacred Heart our links with other local schools are very good. When children prepare to join our school we aim to arrange for them to visit us first, so that the child can meet their new class teacher in advance. If a child has a Statement of Special Need or EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan), this will be transferred in advance so that the SENCO and Class Teacher have the opportunity to put adequate provision in place before the child begins with us.

When leaving us at the end of Key Stage 2, the Year 6 Teacher and SENCO will meet with the High Schools that pupils are moving to. Any SEN needs are discussed at this meeting, IEPs and other appropriate documents are transferred and it may be felt appropriate for some children, who may feel a little more uneasy than others during this time, to attend special transition sessions and groups.

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

Many children with Special Educational Needs prefer to learn through visual and practical ways.  Practical resources are stored in our specially allocated SEN teaching spaces at Sacred Heart, so are available during every support session.

Some resources are specific to certain children and are accessed frequently, so are therefore available in classroom spaces too.

For children with Statements of Special Educational Needs or EHCP, the Teaching Assistant working with this child will have a bank of resources and activities to support that child’s area(s) of need.

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

Every child is different; therefore support groups and interventions are offered to target their particular needs.

Upon entering our school assessments are carried out regularly and used to inform children’s strengths and next steps for learning.

Candidates for support groups are identified by Class Teachers and discussed with the SENCO. Further assessment may be carried out by our Specialist Support Teachers.

In line with the SEND Code of Practice 2014, parents are always kept informed of the school’s decision to support their child. This is usually a step taken following substantial communication between home and school where there have been concerns over a child’s progress over time. This level of support is referred to as ‘School SEN Support’.

For some children in need of additional support, further specialist assessment may be required and referral to one or more of the agencies detailed above in Question 10. Children accessing this would still be referred to as requiring ‘School SEN Support’.

We will always keep parents/carers informed and will seek permission before assessing or referring.

For a small number of pupils, much more intensive support is required if a child has complex needs. They may have a Statement of SEN or EHCP which provides legal entitlement to specialist support from outside agencies and allocated time for 1:1 adult support and small group work. If a child does not already have a Statement or EHCP, but the school and parents/carers agree that the child meets criteria for statutory assessment, parents/carers will be invited to meet with the SENCO and/or Head Teacher to discuss the prospect of making an application for an EHCP.

At Sacred Heart we take four types of action to put effective support in place for every child – Assess, Plan, Do, Review – this is the graduated approach called SEN Support. This ensures that the level and type of support required at any stage is carefully matched with each child’s individual needs.

Who can I contact for further information?

Miss M Banres – SENCO – 0161 998 3419

Is there any additional provision you have developed during the year?

We continue to train our staff in line with the range of SEND we currently have within our school cohort; be it through sharing ideas/expertise; visits to other settings; training courses or visits from advisory teachers/professionals.

Future action plans involve buying and training staff in a number of new screening and assessment tests in order to aid the accurate identification of children with SEN at Sacred Heart.

We are also currently investing in a number of new Intervention Programmes to be delivered throughout the school in line with the New Curriculum 2014, such as reading and speech and language interventions.

How can I find out more?

The SEND Code of Practice published in July 2014 is available on the DFE website.


Manchester City Council also publishes information regarding provision for SEN across the city. This is called the Local Offer. All local authorities publish a Local Offer, setting out in one place information about provision they expect to be available across education, health and social care for children and young people in their area who have SEN or are disabled, including those who do not have Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans.

This information can be found at

www.manchester.gov.uk/sendlocaloffer - enter SEND Local Offer Hub in the search field.

The SEND Local Offer is web-based but we recognise that not all families are able to access this information. Families who need support to access the Local offer can:

Visit their local library, where staff will be able to show them
Ring the helpline number 0161 209 8356
Go to one of the SEND Local Offer drop-in sessions offered in partnership with Parents for Change.

This policy was written in conjunction with:


Contact the School

Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School

Floatshall Road,
M23 1HP

Tel: 0161 998 3419
Fax: 0161 945 6507