SEND Information Report for Heathcoat Primary School

Heathcoat Primary School is a mainstream primary school with approximately 370 pupils on roll, from Nursery to Year 6. All of our staff strive to put children first and are committed to supporting all of our pupils, including those identified as having special educational needs, to develop lifelong learning skills alongside making academic progress. We believe that all children have a common entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum, which is accessible to them, and to be fully included in all aspects of school life wherever possible.

Our shared vision is that Heathcoat Primary School will be a happy, inclusive environment with high expectations for learning and behaviour, for all pupils and for ourselves. Our curriculum is designed to engage, develop and challenge pupils so as they enjoy learning and strive to make the progress that will help them to go forward and achieve their full potential and ambitions well beyond school.

It is part of our school’s ethos to welcome every child and every family in exactly the same way. We work hard to form a strong and trusting relationship with every parent/carer and child. Mrs Claire Shanahan is the SENDCo & Inclusion Leader for the school and can be contacted via email or via telephone on 01884 252445. SEND within the school is managed within a team:

Teresa Sturivant: SEND Governor for Tiverton Federation of Schools
Claire Shanahan: SENDCo and Inclusion Leader
Kylie Ford: Assistant SENDCo & Autism (ASC) Lead practitioner
Karen Moore: Social, Emotional, Mental Health Lead Practitioner (Pastoral Team Leader & Mental Health Champion)
Hannah Gleeson: SEMH support & Attachment Based mentor
Josie Hambly: Family Support Worker
Julie Broom: School Counsellor – 2 days a week

The SEND team are responsible for:

  • Developing and reviewing the school’s SEND Policy
  • Co-ordinating all the support for children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND)
  • Working with class-teachers to ensure that parents are: involved in supporting their child’s learning, kept informed about the support their child is getting and involved in reviewing how they are doing.

The SEND team liaise with professionals who may come into school to help support learning, as well as update the school SEND register and ensure that effective records of a child’s progress and needs are kept. They work in conjunction with Devon County Council’s 0-25 SEND team.

The local authority’s local offer is published at: educational-needs-and-disability-send-localoffer

How do we identify and assess if a child has a special educational need?

According to the SEND Code of Practice (2014), pupils have special educational needs if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made which is additional to or different from that normally available in a differentiated curriculum.

We regard pupils as having a special educational need (SEN) if they:

  1. Have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of pupils of the same age, and/or;
  2. Have a disability which prevents or hinders him/her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age within our mainstream school.

Early identification is a key element to effectively supporting pupils with additional needs. Therefore, a pupil within our nursery setting would be considered to have a special educational need if they fall into either of the definitions outlined in 1) or 2) above or would do so if special educational provision was not made for them (as stated within Section 20 Children and Families Act 2014).

Staff at Heathcoat School use the following Graduated response when identifying and supporting SEN, using an ‘Access, Plan, Do, Review’ approach:

Step 1

  • Pupil is on track with learning and no unmet needs.
  • High quality, differentiated teaching provided – universal provision.

Step 2

  • Pupil is showing first signs of underachievement.
  • High quality, differentiated teaching provided – Targeting use of universal provision in the classroom.

Step 3

  • Pupil is continuing to underachieve in certain areas.
  • Targeted interventions planned by Class teacher to accelerate progress with outcomes closely monitored.
  • Discussion with parents around concerns.

Step 4 – SEN Support 

  • Pupil continues to underachieve or not make significant progress.
  • Class teacher to complete response assessment document and discuss with SENDco and parents.
  • Personal Learning Plan to be written.

Step 5

  • Pupil with complex needs continues to make little/no progress through plans written.
  • Meeting held to discuss possibility of requesting an EHCP assessment.

Pupils can move up and down the stages from stage 1-4, dependent on their area of need and the progress being made.

The progress of all children is regularly monitored by Team Leaders and discussed at team meetings through a cycle of Pupil Progress meetings. Initially concerns raised by teachers and or parent/carers are registered and addressed through appropriate differentiation within the classroom and records of strategies used are kept on the class provision map. This can be used in later discussions if concerns persist.

The school uses a variety of methods to identify children who may have a special educational need:

  • Early identification through screening eg. Speech link and Language link screening within Reception and Y1 classes or on entry to school.
  • Conversations with parents – at induction (or home) visits, Parents Evening meetings, arranged meetings.
  • Liaison with previous school staff (or pre-school staff)
  • Feedback from teachers and teaching assistants to the SEND team with completion of the Graduated Response Toolkit Quick-checker (part
  • Discussions with pupils about their learning and any difficulties they are experiencing – including ideas for making improvements.
    Report written: 9th January 2020 Review due: October 2020
  • Liaison with the health professionals such as school nurses, paediatricians, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists etc.
  • Liaison with educational psychologists and specialist teachers.
  • Measured impact of targeted support through the class interventions managed by class-teachers.
  • Liaison with Family Support Worker

Although the school can identify special educational needs, and make plans to support/meet those needs, it is not appropriate for staff at school to diagnose specific conditions. The SEND team may need to make referrals to other professionals to further investigate and parents are always advised to contact their GP if they think their child may have a medical condition/disability.

How do we support children with different kinds of special educational needs and disabilities?

At Heathcoat Primary School we aim to provide a structure for a pupil-centred process that engages pupil, family, school and other professionals in planning for and implementing provision which is needs led and consistent across the school.

We currently have 17% of our school population on our SEND register but this is constantly under review by the SEND team and teaching staff.

We use the 4 broad categories for SEND from the 2014 code of practice to ascertain needs, and recognize that pupils may have needs in more than one area. The figures below show percentages for the identified primary need of SEND pupils on the current register within different stages of the school:

Communication and Interaction (ASC
or Speech and Language difficulties)
Cognition and LearningSocial, Emotional and
Mental Health
Sensory and/or Physical

What does support look like?

The school aims to include every child in as much learning as possible alongside their peers in the mainstream classroom through quality first teaching. In the first instance, teachers carefully plan the curriculum, differentiating appropriately to meet the needs of their class. A variety of strategies can be embedded into daily classroom practice and a range of different teaching resources may be used to achieve this. This may include the use of additional adult support from the class-teacher or a teaching assistant if available.
Some children may need targeted support through the use of small group work and specific interventions. This is planned for by the class-teacher and incorporated into class provision, with adult support allocated as needed, based on availability. Some teaching assistants have received specialist training in a number of specific interventions which may be used strategically to provide for pupils across the school.

Occasionally it may be necessary to support pupils using a personalised timetable and a highly differentiated curriculum which is regularly reviewed and supported through the involvement of external professionals. Where possible, the aim is to reintegrate the pupil into the classroom through inclusive practice.

Pupils on the SEND register have personalised learning plans (PLPs) written with clear outcomes identified, which are shared with the child and their family. These are reviewed every term with a new plan written if it is still appropriate. Parents meet with class-teachers termly within the whole school parents evening cycle, but additional meetings can be organized by request. All parents receive a copy of their child’s annual report. For pupils who have an EHCP of additional needs, there are termly review meetings with a member of the SEND team and an Annual Review with relevant professionals for parents and their child, with paperwork shared with the 0-25 team at Devon County Council.

If there is an ongoing need, or wider family support is required, then the Early Help process may be used. A Team around the Family (TAF) meeting will be held and documented on the Right for Children website to share information with agreed professionals and access wider support. The family will then meet regularly at TAF meetings with either a member of the SEND team, School Leadership or Family Support Worker, and other professionals when relevant.
Further information about Early Help can be accessed from

How are pupils with Social and Emotional Needs supported in school?

All pupils are supported in developing and maintaining a strong, resilient mental health through class based sessions run by the school’s Social Emotional and Mental Health lead practitioner, Mrs Moore. In addition, pupils who required a more targeted approach have access to small group interventions or 1:1 sessions to work on key areas of need eg managing bereavement, developing emotional understanding, building resilience due to traumatic life experiences, developing attachments using staff trained in ‘Attachment Based Mentoring’.

How are children with SEND involved in their learning?

We hold the views of pupils highly and recognise the importance of gaining genuine pupil views in promoting the best pupil outcomes. Pupils are able to share their views in a number of different ways (appropriate to age and ability). These views are welcome at any time but are specifically sought as part of their annual review and/or at the end of a targeted intervention. We are working towards all pupils contributing to the setting of their own outcomes through the Personal Learning Plan process.

How does the school assess and review the progress for children with SEND?

Regular monitoring of the quality of provision for all pupils including those with SEND follows the schools’ assessment and monitoring calendar. In addition, the cycle of Assess, Plan, Do and Review ensures that pupils with SEND have their individual provision reviewed regularly, and at least termly. This is using our Personal Learning Plans (PLPs) which are shared with parents/carers termly and feedback sought from parents/pupils/classteachers and other staff as relevant. Pupils who have an EHCP will also have an annual review to record progress against both short and long term outcomes as identified on their plan.

Pupil progress is tracked in regular team progress meetings and where pupils are not making sufficient progress additional information is sought and appropriate action taken. Actions taken could include small group regular interventions such as additional phonics, Pre teaching opportunities, Language groups, pastoral support and social skills. Referrals to other agencies may be made where it is deemed relevant through discussions with a member of the SEND team.

The teaching staff use assessments related to key areas of the curriculum, entering half-termly judgements on the data tracker ‘Go 4 Schools’. This enables them to monitor the progress of individual pupils and measure attainment against age related expectations. Sometimes it may be necessary to use alternative progress measures such as P Levels, B Squared and the Autism Education Trust Progression Framework; this will be discussed with parents if/when required.
Where a pupil is included in an intervention group, assessments are completed at the beginning and end to enable the effectiveness of the intervention to be evaluated. This is completed termly by the SENDCo.

It may also be appropriate to work with outside specialists to support the Graduated Approach cycle such as an Educational Psychologist or an Occupational Therapist. As part of their support, they may complete specific assessments and observations of an individual to support identification of need and/or assess progress against specific outcomes set. The SENCo may also carry out specific tasks and assessments as required such as Single Word Reading Tests, Cognitive skills screeners, classroom observations or Fun Fit.

Termly meetings between the SENDCo and SEND Governor include discussions around data, targets and evaluating provision for pupils with SEND.

How does the school make sure staff have the knowledge and skills to support children with SEND?

  • Claire Shanahan has successfully completed the SENDCo Award and maintains regular updates and training to maintain current knowledge.
    *All staff have been trained in the SEN Code of Practice 2014. They engage in sessions when Quality First Teaching is addressed – this is either through staff meetings, twilight sessions, TA meetings or shared materials.
  • The SENCO and SEND team provide regular training to all staff in school in specific aspects of meeting the needs of pupils with SEND.
  • Support staff are engaged in an ongoing training whereby their role is developed to enable them to meet the needs of the children they are working with.
    *The appraisal process for teachers and TA staff includes targets around key areas for development linked to their role/professional development.
  • External trainers are brought in, when appropriate, to address more specialist training needs such as dealing with specific medical conditions (e.g. epilepsy, Autism Spectrum Disorder) or to train staff in the use of specific interventions.
  • Peer support and guidance is available daily for all staff and some of the best training development occurs through professional dialogue with colleagues looking at meeting the specific needs of a pupil.
  • Our SENCO regularly attends the Local Authority SEND network meetings in order to keep up to date with local and national updates in SEND.

How does the school work with outside agencies and specialists to meet the needs of children and families with SEND?

Heathcoat Primary School is supported by a wide range of different agencies and teams. In the last year we have worked with the following agencies:

  • Educational Psychology
  • Devon Babcock Teams – Communication and Interaction Team, Social Emotional and Mental Health Team, SEN/ICT Team
  • Speech and Language Therapists
  • Hearing Impaired Advisory Teacher
  • Occupational Therapy – at Honeylands and Vranch House
  • Portage / Nursery Plus and EYFS advisor for Nursery setting
  • Bereavement Counsellor
  • Play Therapy Counsellor
  • Open Minds – support for pupils with SEMH and intensive interaction work with key pupil
  • ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) Assessment Team
  • Paediatrician
  • CHIME Auditory Processing Assessment clinic
  • School Nurse
  • CAMHS – Child Adolescent Mental Health Service
  • EH4MH – Early Help for Mental Health Team
  • Early Help Team (Right for Children)
  • Social Care
  • DIAS – Devon Information and Advisory Services

What support services are available for parents/carers of children with SEND?

Parents/carers are encouraged to seek help and advice from Independent Information Advice and Support services. Impartial and independent  advice, support and information on special educational needs and disabilities are available via the Devon Information Advice & Support (DIAS) on their website at

Parents/carers are also encouraged to visit the Devon County Council Local Offer website and Devon Pinpoint This website provides valuable information about different agencies, services and resources for children, young people with SEND and their families in addition to school resources and information.

Additional information about local parent support groups is shared through the school newsletter and website whenever possible

How does the school support children with SEND with Transition?

Change can be an exciting, yet anxious time for all pupils. Wherever possible we endeavour to make sure these periods of change are carefully managed in a sensitive way to provide continuity of high quality provision and reassurance to pupils and families.

Transition into and within school

We understand how difficult it is for children and parents as they move into a new class or a new school and will do what we can, according to the individual needs of the child, to make transitions between classes- including from preschool provision- as smooth as possible. This may include, for example:
• Additional meetings for the parents and child with the new teacher
• Additional visits to the classroom environment in order to identify where the toilets are, where the pegs are etc.
• Opportunities to take photographs of key people and places in order to make a transition booklet.
Enhanced transition arrangements are tailored to meet individual needs.

Transition to Secondary School

Transition reviews for Year 6 pupils on a statutory plan (EHCP) are held, where possible in the Summer term of Year 5. The secondary school SENCO is invited to Annual Reviews and other review meetings. Additional transition arrangements may be made at these reviews e.g. extra visits, travel training etc.

A programme of additional transition visits for key pupils are organised with the SENDCo from the Local High School. This is shared with parents and meetings arranged as needed to enable parents to share concerns and discuss plans. Pupil profiles are written by class-teachers, alongside SEND Team where relevant, and shared with the SENDCo at the Secondary school to enable support to be planned.

How is Heathcoat School accessible for children with SEND?

The school is accessible in a variety of ways for pupils and parents with additional needs:

  • The main building (Reception & Classrooms) and Nursery area is wheelchair accessible due to being on a single level
  • There are 2 disabled toilets within the main building – with toilet frames
  • An additional disabled toilet can be found in Nursery
  • Reasonable adjustments are made within classrooms when required – eg classroom furniture layout
  • Provision of ICT equipment to support access to the curriculum eg 4 sound field systems targeted to specific classrooms to support hearing impairments
  • After school provision is accessible to all children
  • Extra-curricular activities are offered to all children, regardless of level of SEND need
  • A Sensory room and access to quiet areas to support calming as needed.
  • Trained staff in Makaton, initial BSL, Autism, Speech and Language, THRIVE
  • Access to the school car park for drop off & pick-ups can be arranged

How does the school manage complaints from parents of children with SEND?

If you have concerns about your child’s SEND provision, you should initially raise these with the class teacher and/or Team Leader. You can also ask to talk to the school SEND team – Mrs Claire Shanahan or Miss Kylie Ford.
If this has not helped to resolve the problem, you can arrange to meet with the Head of School, Miss Demelza Higginson, by making a telephone call to the school admin team on the school number – 01884 252445.
In addition to this Heathcoat School has a complaints procedure, which can be found on the website .

If there continues to be a disagreement with regards to SEND provision, parents and carers can access support through the Devon Information Advisory Service and the Local Authority, who should make arrangements with a view to avoiding or resolving disagreements between the parents/carers and the school. This includes access to mediation before tribunal. Parents/carers have a right to appeal to a SEND tribunal at any stage.

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