Special Educational Needs and Disability Policy (Updated Sept. 2020)

 You can download a PDF copy of our policy here: SEND Policy – Sept 2020


At Chalkwell Hall Junior School we believe in the concept of life-long learning and the idea that both adults and children learn new things every day. Learning should be a rewarding and enjoyable experience for everyone; learning should be fun! Through our planning and teaching we help children develop skills, knowledge and understanding, recognising that all children are special and all children have needs.

As a school we recognise that all children learn in different ways and at differing speeds and that some children can have a variety of barriers to learning for which they will need to have support and provision in place which takes into consideration their particular difficulties.

Some children have special educational needs and therefore may need additional or different help from that given to other children of the same age, either throughout or at any time during their school careers. Teachers make provision for these children to enable them to participate effectively in curriculum and assessment activities. This policy ensures that curriculum planning and assessment for children with special educational needs takes account of the type and extent of the difficulty experienced by the child.

This policy follows the guidelines set out in the Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0 to 25 years (henceforth referred to as the Code) June 2014, last update May 2015.

The Code sets out guidance with reference to part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014 and associated regulations:

  • The Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014
  • The Special Educational Needs (Personal Budgets) Regulations 2014
  • The Order setting out transitional arrangements * (See Appendix)

Guidance in the Code is also based on the Equalities Act 2010 and the document Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018.


Definition of SEN from the Code:

A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.

A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:

  • has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or
  • has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.

*The Appendix gives a brief outline of the main implementations of the new Code of Practice on SEN in schools.

  1. Aims and objectives

The aims of this policy are:

  • To create an environment that meets the special educational needs of each child;
  • To ensure that the special educational needs of children are identified, assessed and provided for;
  • To ensure that the social and emotional needs of all children are met;
  • To make clear the expectations of all partners in the process;
  • To identify the roles and responsibilities of staff in providing for children’s special educational needs;
  • To enable all children to have full access to all elements of the school curriculum;
  • To ensure that parental contribution is paramount and that they are consulted and progress discussed on a regular basis;
  • To ensure that our children have a voice in this process where appropriate.


  1. Responsibility for co-ordinating SEN provision

The Acting Deputy Head and SENCo, Sam Birkinshaw, co-ordinates the day-to-day provision of education for pupils on the SEN register.

He can be contacted through the School Office – 01702 478570 or directly via email:


  1. Roles and responsibilities

Assistant Head (SENCO):

  • Manages the day-to-day operation of the policy;
  • Tracks pupil data and joins regular pupil progress meetings with year groups to ensure early identification and intervention through personalised learning;
  • Oversees the provision for and manages the responses to, children’s special needs;
  • Supports and advises colleagues;
  • Oversees the records of all children with special needs;
  • Acts as a link with external agencies and other support agencies;
  • Ensures that all those who work with a pupil with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC) are aware of the nature of the child’s needs.
  • Liaises with class teachers, parents and children to ensure that all parties are fully included and informed;
  • Monitors and evaluates the special educational needs provision and reports to the Governing Board;
  • Manages a range of resources, human and material, to enable appropriate provisions for children with special educational needs;
  • Contributes to the professional development of all staff;
  • Leads annual reviews of all pupils with EHCPs;
  • Supports the class teachers with the writing of Independent Support Plans (ISPs) and attends review meetings with the parents, where appropriate;
  • Oversees the completion of the Early Help Family Support Assessment (EHFSA) with the parents/carers in order to access support from outside agencies and ensures subsequent reviews are carried out.


Class teachers:

  • Deliver quality first teaching and provide activities differentiated to allow the appropriate challenge for all children;
  • Monitor and assess the children’s progress;
  • Communicate success and concerns to parents as early as possible;
  • Tailor learning to meet the needs of individuals, following the graduated response process as set out in the school’s Local Offer. Actions and interventions will be recorded on a Provision Map.
  • Where concerns are noted, follow the check list for initial actions;
  • Discuss identified concerns with the SENCo and report strategies used to date;
  • With the SENCo, identify any relevant screens to be carried out in order to identify specific areas of need;
  • Provide support for children who need help with communication and interaction, cognition and learning, social, mental and emotional health, sensory and /or physical needs and medical requirements. (See Appendix for full details of the 4 categories of need)
  • Following discussion with parents and SENCo to discuss next steps, hold an initial ISP planning, including the child. At this point the child will then classed as needing ‘SEN Support’ (This may happen before or after consultation with the Educational Psychology Service);
  • Depending on the difficulties identified and the discussion with all parties, it may be necessary to make a referral to outside agencies e.g. speech and language referral via and EHFSA; Early Help Team via the EHFSA; occupational therapist via their own referral form; physio therapy service via the GP; educational psychology service via their own referral form. The educational psychology service is likely not to be involved until at least two cycles of ‘plan, review, do’ of the ISP has been completed.
  • Plan to develop children’s understanding through the use of all available senses and experiences;
  • Differentiate planning to allow for children’s full participation in learning, including physical and practical activities as independently as possible;
  • Help children to manage their behaviour and to take part in learning effectively and safely;
  • Help individuals to manage their emotions, particularly trauma or stress, and to take part in learning.


The Governing Body:

  • Has due regard to the Code of Practice when carrying out its duties towards all pupils with special educational needs and has appointed the nominated Governor to have responsibility in this area. The SEND Governor ensures that all governors are aware of the school’s SEND provision, including the deployment of funding, equipment and personnel.
  • Does its best to secure the necessary provision of support for any pupil within the school identified as having special educational needs.

The Head Teacher informs the Governing Board of how the funding allocated to support special educational needs, has been deployed.


The SENCO prepares and presents a termly SEN Report for the Governing Board.

  1. Admission arrangements

For children who do not have an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP):

  • Admission arrangements for these children will be the same as for all children. Care will be taken to inform staff of the children’s individual needs and make every effort to meet these so that the children can fully access a broad and balanced curriculum.
  • Under the Equality Act 2010, schools have a duty towards individual disabled children and young people. In compliance with this, Chalkwell Hall Junior School will make reasonable adjustments, including the provision of auxiliary aids and services for disabled children, to prevent them from being at a substantial disadvantage. (Code 6.9)


  1. Facilities for pupils with special educational needs

There is sloped access to the main school entrance. The side entrance and four ground floor classrooms have direct flat access from the playground. There is sloped access into the dining hall.

There is an adapted toilet for use by disabled people on the ground floor.

 (See the school Accessibility Statement)

  1. Allocation of resources

Children with special educational needs have learning difficulties that call for special provision to be made. All children may have special needs at some time in their lives.

Many children who join this school have already attended an early education setting and the assumption is that all will have attended an infant school. In some cases children join the school with their specific needs already identified. All the children are assessed when they join our school so that we can build upon their prior learning. We use this information to provide starting points for the development of an appropriate curriculum for all our children.

Schools receive delegated budget, which the Local Authority calculate, and are expected to provide support for identified pupils up to 13 hours of Learning Support time – including support in class, some group work and possibly some one to one work. These children will have their needs met at SEN support – see below. For children with more severe needs who have qualified for an EHC plan, the school will receive ‘top-up’ funding to cover the difference between the 13 hours that school are expected to provide and the total number of hours of support that have been allocated. For example an EHC plan with 20 hours means that the school receives 7 hours top-up funding on top of the 13 already in their budget.

Identification and review of pupil needs

The school provides a graduated response:

Wave 1 – includes quality first teaching and provision with the aim of eliminating any barriers to learning e.g. sitting nearer the board if there is an eyesight difficulty.

Wave 2 – additional support with differentiated work and extra adult support to work on identified barriers to learning. Interventions are timely and monitored for impact. Where the barrier is developmental or is due to some missed learning, the impact should be that the children begin to make accelerated progress in their learning. Communication with parents will mean that they are kept informed of any concerns, are part of the decision making process and able to offer appropriate support at home.

Wave 3 –  screens may be carried out by thee Assistant Head to determine any possible barriers to learning; External agency support and advice is sought when the impact of Wave 2 support is insignificant and screens indicate that there could be an underlying barrier to learning. The pupil will then be recorded as needing Special Educational Needs Support (SEN Support) with an Individual Support Plan (ISP) in place to target specific areas to develop. Progress will continued to be monitored and if despite intervention the gap between expected attainment and that of the identified children is widening then further assessment may be necessary and advice sought from outside agencies, e.g. e.g. speech and language referral via and EHFSA; Early Help Team via the EHFSA;  occupational therapist via their own referral form; physio therapy service via the GP; educational psychology service via their own referral form.

Following the implementation of suggested strategies and monitoring of their success, consideration may need to be given as to whether it is appropriate to apply for a Statutory Assessment with the view to obtaining an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP) for the child

Monitoring of children on SEN Support, usually over two terms, will give an indication of whether the interventions are having significant impact. Where there is an increasing gap between the pupil’s ability and that of their peers, a discussion will then take place between parents, teacher, SENCO as to the next steps.  Advice will be sought from professionals e.g. Educational Psychologist, with regards to applying for  an assessment by the Local Authority with the view to the possibility for the child being issued with an EHC Plan.

Details of what support can be found at each ‘wave’ of the graduated response, can be found in the Appendices of this document, on the school website, and in the school’s Local Offer.

Early Health Family Support Assessment forms (EHFSA) can be used by education, health or social care when the needs of a child indicate the support of other agencies.

The Code (9.2) states that:

The purpose of an EHC plan is to make special educational provision to meet the special educational needs of the child or young person, to secure the best possible outcomes for them across education, health and social care and, as they get older, prepare them for adulthood. To achieve this, local authorities use the information from the assessment to:

  • establish and record the views, interests and aspirations of the parents and child or young person
  • provide a full description of the child or young person’s special educational needs and any health and social care needs
  • establish outcomes across education, health and social care based on the child or young person’s needs and aspirations
  • specify the provision required and how education, health and care services will work together to meet the child or young person’s needs and support the achievement of the agreed outcomes

 7. Emotional and Social Barriers to Learning

The school has a Pastoral Team in place consisting of the SENCo;  Attendance Administrator and two full time Learning Mentors. Meetings are held to triangulate information in order to make sure that any possible vulnerability can be identified early with the aim of avoiding escalation to more serious concerns. At different times in their lives, children may experience emotional stress e.g. bereavement, divorce etc. The Learning Mentors work with children at these times and with their families. Should the child’s emotional needs be considered to be of a deeper nature, the school has engaged the services of a trained counsellor who sees the children on an individual basis for as long as the child needs.

  1. Access to the curriculum

All children have an entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum, which is differentiated to enable them to:

  • Understand the relevance and purpose of learning activities;
  • Experience levels of understanding and rates of progress that bring feelings of success and achievement.

All children placed on SEN Support and those with an EHC Plan, have an ISP. The ISP is used as a tool to address the child’s barriers to learning in order that the children have the best opportunity to access the curriculum as a whole. Children are supported in a manner that acknowledges their entitlement to share the same learning experiences that their peers enjoy and facilitates their particular learning style.

The school adapts learning to address the needs of individual children. In some cases it is necessary to implement a more personalised curriculum in order to improve early learning skills through tailor-made small group and/or individual work: this may be provided outside of the classroom as part of the school day. For a small number of children and for a wide variety of reasons, additional nurture is needed in order to ensure that they are ready and able to learn.
Children who can access learning through differentiation within a whole class setting will continue to have their learning facilitated in this way for maths and literacy in the mornings.  Where extra support is needed, some children will be taken out for individual/group intervention in the afternoon for short periods of time – this may happen daily, weekly or a number of times during the week.

  1. Inclusion of pupils with special educational needs

As stated in the Introduction, we are an inclusive school, which abides by our duty under the Equality Act 2010 towards individual disabled children and make all reasonable adjustments necessary to facilitate their needs.

Our inclusive ethos also means that we recognise that all children learn in different ways and at differing speeds and that some children can have a variety of barriers to learning for which they will need to have support and provision in place which takes into consideration their particular difficulties.

Within the umbrella of reasonable adjustments we make sure that all children regardless of need or disability have the same access to a broad and balanced curriculum.

There are a wide range of lunch time and after school clubs available to all which offer varying experiences, allowing children to make choices and follow their own interests. The lunch time clubs offer alternative activities for those children who may have difficulty on the playground for a variety of reasons.

Children are encouraged to be considerate to others taking particular care of those who may have more severe difficulties.

  1. Working in partnership with pupils and parents

The school values the contribution that parents make, as they are the ones that know their child best. Therefore school works closely with parents in the support of all children and makes special arrangements for consultation around those children with special educational needs. Parents and pupils play an integral part in the review processes that are in place:

  • Consultation regarding decision making;
  • Regular informal updates of progress made and targets being worked on, at least half termly;
  • Termly formal ISP review meetings;
  • Annual Reviews for EHC Plans.


As part of the school ethos, children are encouraged to take responsibility and to make decisions thus promoting the development of children as independent thinkers and learners. Children are therefore involved at an appropriate level in setting targets for their ISPs and in the termly formal ISP review process. Children are encouraged, at an appropriate level, to make judgements about their own performance against their ISP targets. We recognise all small successes as we do in any other aspect of school life.


  1. Monitoring and evaluation

The SENCO monitors the movement of children within the SEND system in school, providing staff and governors with regular summaries of the impact of the policy on the practice of the school.

The SENCO meets termly with the SEND Governor.

The following systems are in place:

  • Regular meetings between SLT (Senior Leadership Team) to review the process of all children including those identified as having a special need;
  • Termly Pupil Progress meetings between the Assessment Lead, SENCO, year group leaders and teachers;
  • Rigorous tracking of pupil progress by SLT, Year Group Leaders and all Teachers;
  • Regular professional dialogues between staff and the SENCo;
  • SENCO compiles termly Inclusion reports for Governors;
  • An annual report is compiled by the SENCo, for the Governing Board and the parents, with a copy being published on the school website.


The SENCO reviews the policy annually with the Governing Board and school staff and the policy is up-dated to ensure that it complies with latest legislation and guidelines.


Transitions of all kinds can be difficult for all children but children with special educational needs can find them particularly challenging. Teachers are mindful of daily transitions – e.g  at the finish of one  lesson and the start of play; the finish of one lesson and the preparation for PE.
Transition between year groups at the end of each academic year takes into consideration the varying needs of children with a graduated approach. Teachers meet within their year groups to identify those children with special needs who may need extra strategies put in place – visits to the classrooms of the next year group, taking photographs of the new classroom, teacher etc. to refer to over the holidays.

The school also has links with other local schools – the SENCOs/Inclusion Leaders meet at termly cluster meeting. Children visit local secondary schools to take part in science lessons and sports training. Children from the secondary schools visit to perform plays and help with reading and maths.

The transition to secondary school is very important for children with special educational needs. Staff from secondary schools visit the children in school and the children have the opportunity to spend time in their new school. Staff meet to discuss the pupils in advance and information and records are passed on at the end of the school year. The SENCO from the appropriate secondary school will be invited to the final Annual Review before a child with an EHC plan transfers to secondary school. All EHC plans and EHFSAs, with parental permission, are shared with the chosen secondary school.

We liaise closely with the Infant school to plan detailed transition for the Year 2 children coming into Year 3, with the first meeting taking place before Easter. Children with special needs are provided with extra transition arrangements organised by the Learning Mentors for both schools. This includes extra visits, children helping to take photographs and make books, circle times and activities in the juniors. They will meet their new class teacher with their classes on the allocated day in the summer.


This policy should be read in conjunction with the following policies:

Safeguarding and Child Protection
Accessibility Statement
Supporting Pupils with Medical Conditions


 Appendix 1

Chalkwell Hall Junior School’s Local Offer (Graduated response) can be found on the school website and on the local authority website – Southend Help and Information Point (S.H.I.P.)

There are 4 categories of need:

Communication and Interaction (Speech and language delay, impairment or disorders; Disorders on the autistic continuum);

Cognition and Learning (Mild, moderate, severe and profound learning difficulties; Specific learning difficulties)

Social, Mental and Emotional Health (Including Emotional and behavioural difficulties)

Sensory and/or Physical Needs (Hearing impairment; Visual impairment; Physical disabilities)

Provision is also made for children who have medical conditions but do not have any learning difficulties. (See Managing Medication in Schools Policy)

Glossary and explanation of the terms and procedures:
Special educational needs and disability

SEN Support –Special Educational Needs Support: children for whom intervention as described at Wave 2, of the Local Offer, has not had the desired impact and placed on the SEN Register.

ISP: Individual Support Plan: Children recognised as SEN Support all have an Individual Support Plan which documents long term desired outcomes broken into Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant Timely (SMART) targets. These plans are working documents which are updated daily/weekly as appropriate when children either achieve targets, or to alter strategies which are not working. The plans compiled by class teachers with advice from the Inclusion Leader in consultation with parents and children where appropriate.

EHFSA: Early Help Family Support Assessment: This form is completed when outside agencies support is required for a range of reasons including the Speech and Therapy Service, Early Help Family Support Team a variety of different and varied support including behaviour management. The completion of the EHFSA involves the class teacher providing evidence and then the Learning Mentor meeting with parents to complete the rest of the form.

EHC Plan: Education, Health and Care Plan: This document incorporates the outcomes desired for a child’s education, health and care needs and facilitates all professionals working together with the parents and child at the centre.