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Steephill Independent School and Pre-School

‘Pupils are at the heart of everything we do’

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Steephill Independent School and Pre-School

‘Pupils are at the heart of everything we do’

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Special Educational Needs & Disabilities


Governor : Jenny Smith Spark

Governor Implementation Check. Date: January 2017



Governor Implementation Check EYFS Date: January 2017




Policy Review by Governors Date: January 2017




Date of next Implementation review: January 2018























Special Educational Needs & disabilities Policy (SEN & D)


Including EYFS and before and after school care



The School’s policy and implementation of SEND has regard to Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years (July 2014).

The SEN and Disabilities 2014 Code of Practice has a new single-based category for children whose needs exceed what is normally available in schools. This category includes physical or mental disability, language, learning and behaviour difficulties. The School has a non-selective admission policy and therefore is committed to providing support needed for children who have these difficulties whenever this is possible and is compatible with the efficient education of other children and the efficient use of Steephill’s resources. It is intended that this policy is implemented throughout the School and includes the Early Years and Pre-School.

Accessibility Plan

The School’s commitment to provision of all of the Schools resources (curriculum, physical environment and information) to as many pupils as possible is outlined in the School’s Equality Policy.


The School believes that the ‘purpose of education for all children is the same but the help individual children will need will be different’. (Warnock 1978). The SEN Code of practice 2014 states that to enable children to develop learn, participate and achieve the best possible outcomes should be irrespective of whether that is through reasonable adjustments for a disabled child or special educational provision for a child with SEN.

Consequently the School’s aims are:

  • To overcome barriers to learning wherever possible
  • To develop sensitivity to individual needs within a climate of support and high expectations.
  • To promote confidence and self-esteem.
  • To develop skills by early identification of children with learning challenges and thus construct suitable programmes of work.
  • To develop consistent strategies to help children with behavioural difficulties.
  • To be aware of physical difficulties and be aware of issues surrounding these and how to access services to counter them.
  • To work with parents/guardians to provide a support system for the needs of their child.
  • To have regard to the views, wishes and feelings of the child and to involve children with SEN or disabilities and their parents as fully as possible in decisions.

Structure and implementation of SEND


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

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

(a) have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age; or (b) have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions. Children with SEND may fall in to 4 broad areas of need which are:

  • Communication and interaction
  • Cognition and learning
  • Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
  • Sensory and/or physical needs

Children are put on a register and will have a level of support according to the following categories:

  • Physical Disability e.g. hearing, visual and multi-sensory are those children who have a physical difficulty which the school needs to support
  • SEN are those children identified as having a higher need of support and need significant support in order to work to their age equivalent. These may or may not have an Education and Health and Care Plan (EHC), formerly Statement and may not may not have a diagnosed condition
  • Additional Educational Need (AEN) those children who are identified as needing support in order for them to progress in accordance with age expectation, whether they have a diagnosed condition or not.
  • Able, gifted and Talented (AGT) are those children who are currently achieving above age expectations and identified as needing support for their progress at higher level.
  • English as an Additional Language (EAL) those children whom English is not their first language and require additional support to meet their language needs.

Children may fall in to one or more of these categories.

The SEND Co-ordinator is Sarah Fenning (SENCO) who works directly with the Headteacher and the Governor responsible for SEND, Mrs Jenny Smith-Spark. Mrs Fenning is a fully qualified teacher, employed by the School whom has recently completed the National Qualification for SEN Co-ordination qualification at Canterbury Christ Church University.

The department has 3 members of staff;

Learning support Assistant Mrs Julie Churcher PPA RSA Certificate in Co-ordinator Numeracy and Literacy Special Needs

Mr Andrew Diedo Bed, D.P.S.E (SEN) Level 6 Teaching Assistant

Mrs Paula Browne BA (Hons) Education-CDT with Computer Science

Where appropriate pupils may need referring to specialist outside agencies, this may be for the purpose of diagnosis or advice or both. The school maintains a list of Educational Psychologists, occupational therapists as well as contact for local authority resources such as school nurse to assist parents when seeking support.

The role of the SENCO

The role of the SENCO encompasses the strategic development of SEND policy and provision in the School including requirements for the Equality Act 2010 and accessibility. The SENCO is automatically part of the School Management Team (SMT) and attends fortnightly meetings.

The administration and day to day co-ordination is the responsibility of the SENCO. She is responsible for the operation and implementation of the SEND policy for all pupils with SEND including those with EHC plans. The SENCO keeps a register of such pupils and is responsible for keeping it up to date together with records associated with them

She liaises with the Class Teachers and other support staff and provides professional guidance and training as appropriate. The SENCO is responsible for providing support/liaising with staff, parents, the LEA and external agencies. She is responsible for ensuring early identification and intervention in order to provide effective support and high quality education for every child to achieve his/her full potential. Other areas of responsibilities include; deployment and monitoring of resources to meet pupils’ needs effectively and liaising with secondary or other primary schools in transition.


Admission Arrangements

If parents know that their child has special educational needs or a need for additional learning support, all the facts, reports and information should be divulged and fully discussed before entry to the School. It is essential that the School feels able to provide the prospective pupil with an accessible and fulfilling curriculum compatible with the efficient education of other pupils and efficient use of the School’s resources.

Nursery Admissions

In the term before entry the Office contacts the new pupils and arranges visits so that any potential problems or worries may be discussed. Pupils are invited in for a taster afternoon. During these visits pupils are observed and any potential needs assessed.

Lower School Admissions

The majority of children entering the Lower School into Upper I, will be from the Early Years Unit at Steephill School. These EYU children and any others entering from other schools will be based on a review of their Early Years profile and a decision to accept a child or not into the Lower School will be made jointly with the Steephill Class Teacher, the SENCo and the Headteacher after consideration of all facts and the parents’ wishes.


Reasonable Adjustments Policy

The Schools Code of Practice 2014 requires reasonable adjustments to be made to ensure access to the full curriculum by prospective and current pupils. The School has a learning support department which provides extra support to all pupils needing it which is not charged to the parents. Where a pupil may need more extensive support, special books or software, physical aids etc. then the School will take reasonable steps to support pupils but, may ask parents to contribute to the funding. In this case an analysis of reasonable adjustment will be carried out using the Kent County Council checklist.

All pupils are assessed continuously and if any pupil is deemed in need either due to internal audit or by the request of the parents then the following steps will be taken:-

• Discuss the pupil’s needs with teachers and parents and determine the effect of the disability on the pupil;

• Ascertain the provision that is needed to counter any disadvantage;

• Assess the effectiveness of taking the steps in overcoming the disadvantages suffered by the pupil;

• Assess the practicability of taking the steps;

• Assess the cost involved, the resources of the School and the availability of financial or other assistance;

• Determine any training or support that can be provided for parents, pupils or staff which will support the pupil but not have a negative impact on health and safety requirements, the need to maintain academic, musical, sporting and other standards (such as discipline) and the interests of other pupils.

A guide to Provision Mapping at Steephill School:

Children on the provisions maps are children who have been identified as needed additional support, over and above reasonable adjusted provision and regular class room differentiation.

These children are identified through end of year assessment reviews whereby any children scoring below their age equivalent will be automatically placed on the provision map for additional support. Teacher identification is also key, children will be added if the teachers feel they are working at a significantly lower level than their peers and this is impacting their progress.

The provision mapping allows the SENCO to have an overall picture of all children receiving learning support making monitoring easy and more thorough.

Provisions include: in class support, usually in small groups. One to one out of class support, usually 20 minutes sessions once or twice a week to boost phonics understanding or mathematic number bonds, place value etc. Children diagnosed with dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia, speech and language and EAL may receive one to one intervention for 10 minutes per day (where necessary).

In addition to providing SEND support, our provision maps include children identified as AGT (scoring above 130 standardised score in end of year CEM testing) the provision maps include detail of extension for these children.

The provision also includes children with visual stress, sight problems, hearing problems etc. that require coloured overlays, writing slopes etc.

The provision map includes details of wave interventions.

Wave 1- Resources help remove barriers to learning and some examples are:

  • Numicon
  • Abacus
  • Unifix number trays
  • Hundred squares
  • Number lines
  • Pencil grips
  • Displays for maths, English, languages
  • Visual timetables
  • Calculators
  • Writing slopes
  • Jolly phonics
  • Whiteboards
  • Wobble cushion
  • Tactile numbers/letters
  • Threading
  • Picture cards
  • Strategies which would be used in wave 1 include:
  • Group settings
  • Mixed ability groups
  • Differentiation
  • Reward system

For most children this will be sufficient to support and develop them.


Wave 2 resources are supported by Learning Support Assistants with relevant qualifications. LSAs may support teachers either in class, with a group or individuals according to the Provision Map.

Activities in Wave 2 include:

  • Group support with LSA
  • One to one support with LSA
  • One to one support with Class Teacher
  • In class support for group LSA
  • In class support individual
  • Talkabout club
  • Gameabout club
  • Clever fingers
  • Hyper mobility sessions with class teacher
  • Sensory/kinaesthetic activity
  • Sensory garden
  • Social story sessions
  • Musical performance classes (AGT)
  • Reading plus groups (AGT)
  • Maths challenge group (AGT)
  • Sport competitions (AGT)

These strategies are supported by a range of resources including:

Alpha to Omega, Toe to Toe, Rapid Reading, Springboard, Speech therapy cards, Reading Rods, The National Literacy Strategy – Progression in Phonics, Jolly Phonics, Complete Motor Skills programme, Reading and Thinking books, Reading Comprehension cards, Springboard, Numicon, Practical Activities for Dyscalculia, talkabout, gameabout.


Wave 3

This includes additional highly personalised interventions and may require help and support from outside agencies. The School has a list of educational psychologists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and local authority contacts which the School work with and can recommend to parents. A child in need of wave 3 intervention may need a one to one assistant to be with them at times.


Teachers are in control of Provision maps, monitoring and assessment, the SENCO oversees and structures learning support timetables to meet needs.

Interventions are usually assessed each half term, support usually continues per term and changes once child has ‘caught up’ or no longer needs additional support.

Pupil profile meetings occur each term with the teacher, class teacher and SENCO. All children are discussed and provision maps are analysed/ reviewed for children with SEN

Children may require intervention for many reasons:

• Lack of confidence

• Difficulty with number concept or tables

• A learning disability e.g. dyslexia

• Attention or concentration difficulties

• Entering the School late or prolonged absence

• Language difficulties

• English as an additional language

Review and monitoring

The cycle:

  • JULY- whole School testing using CEM software
  • Results are analysed by head teacher and SENCO
  • Provision Maps, Pupil profile meeting notes (input from class Teachers) are reviewed and analysed in detail to see if they match to test results
  • The identification process for the new academic year begins here
  • Benchmarks are set against national average; children scoring below chronological age in any area will start the new academic year with support. Children scoring over 130 standardised score will move onto the AGT list and additional challenge set for the new academic year
  • SENCO and Head teacher feedback their findings to class teachers. Class Teachers meet to discuss the handover between old and new class and from here a new provision map can be drawn up ready to start the new academic year
  • Once children have been identified, SENCO will schedule a new timetable and meet with support staff to discuss intervention programmes
  • Class Teachers are responsible overall for meeting the needs of all children, however they are encouraged to closely liaise with learning support staff and SENCO to devise a programme to best support the individual needs of the pupil
  • In regards to social and emotional needs, Andrew Diedo will devise a plan and keep class teachers informed. These interventions are usually run as clubs, during assemblies or lunch times. Clubs include talk about club, game about club
  • Academic support can either be on a one to one basis or small group, in or out of class. The length and type of support will vary depending on the individual and Class Teacher’s preference. One to one support includes phonetic support for Dyslexic pupils, fine and gross motor skill support for children with dyspraxia, additional speech and language support
  • For AGT children the class teacher is assigned a session to work with individuals or small groups to extend and challenge. Cover is arranged to allow for this to happen. Additional English clubs, including reading plus group
  • All provisions/interventions are reviewed on a termly basis and teachers are continuously carrying out assessments and making adjustments. Each term the SENCO, Head teacher and class teachers meet for Pupil profile meetings where AEN is discussed. Any changes made are recorded and SENCO changes timetable and support groups accordingly
  • The Cycle continues with testing again in JULY

Example of process for concern:

Speech & Language Guidance:

If a teacher suspects a child in their class is experiencing speech and language difficulties they are to follow the guidance below:

  1. Refer to the NHS ‘norm guidelines’ and decide whether there is a need for further action at this stage. (See attached documentation)
  2. Inform the SENCO and complete a formal observation form
  3. Discuss observation from with SENCO and Head teacher. If the SENCO and Head teacher believe outside intervention or assessment is required they will begin the application process if not continue with the guidance below
  4. Child to be put onto the Provision Map and intervention strategy to be put in place by Class Teacher, supported by SENCO and Learning support staff
  5. Progress to be reviewed per half term


Monitoring and handling of important information:

  • Parents contact the office, office forwards all correspondence to SENCO
  • SENCO liaises with class Teacher Head Teacher
  • Meeting with the parents where necessary or telephone correspondence
  • Any new documentation is passed directly to SENCO who will file the original in children’s files in Head teacher’s office. Copy will be made and given to Class Teacher. Head teacher also informed about any new information and this can be shared amongst other staff when necessary
  • Main SEND file is kept with SENCO and locked in cupboard on leaving the School
  • All old documentation is shredded

Vulnerability profile:

  • A colour coded chart displaying all children in the class and their key information
  • Categories of behaviour and areas of concern are displayed and children are scored against each category. The higher the number, the greater the concern.
  • Each class Teacher is responsible for updating their class profile regularly and it is discussed during Pupil Profile meetings each term

Parental involvement:

  • No longer use ‘action plans’ to inform parents of children receiving additional support. This information is shared during parents consultation evening in the form of a provision map with names and sensitive information removed.
  • Parents liaise frequently with classroom teacher and where necessary SENCO attends meetings
  • Parents will be invited into School if progress has not improved after intervention
  • Parents can request a meeting or phone conversation with staff at any time. SENCO will get back to the parents within 2 working days.
  • Conversations with SENCO and parents regarding SEND is recorded and logged in SEND file


Statutory Assessment

When a child needs outside support from an agency, is diagnosed with a learning difficulty or disability or has a physical disability then there may need to be a request for an EHC needs assessment. This is carried out through the Local Authority.


SF January 2017