Special Needs Policy

SENCO – Rachel Russell (National SENCO Award)

email: rrussell@moorside-academy.co.uk

Moorside Primary Academy School, Back Lane, Skelmersdale, WN8 9EA

SEN Information Report

Lancashire Local Offer

Our Local Offer

This policy adheres to the requirements of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years (June 2014).

It has also been written with reference to the following guidance and documents:

  • Equality Act 2010: advice for schools DfE Feb 2013
  • Schools SEN Information Report (2014)
  • Statutory Guidance on supporting pupils at school with medical conditions (April 2014)

Our philosophy, beliefs and values

We at Moorside Academy Primary School are committed to meeting the special educational needs of pupils and ensuring that they progress to reach their full potential. We strive to ensure that our creative curriculum provides fun, exciting and relevant learning activities for all of our pupils. We offer children the chance to learn and develop new skills in a variety of contexts both working together and using individual talents. We aim to ensure the needs of all children are catered for.

At Moorside we recognise the fact that every teacher is a teacher of every child including those with SEND. We recognise that a child has special educational needs if they need additional support to access the curriculum for any of the following reasons:

1.  Communication and interaction difficulties

2.  Cognition and learning needs

3.  Social, emotional and mental health difficulties

4. Sensory and/or physical needs

At Moorside Academy we recognise that:

  • Every child matters and has his or her own particular educational, social and emotional needs.
  • Children should be listened to and encouraged to be thoughtful and considerate members of the community.
  • Learning experiences should encourage confidence and independence and focus on positive achievement.
  • Each child should feel stable and secure in their learning environment.
  • Teachers actively encourage and ensure every child puts 100% effort into learning regardless of special needs.

What are the aims of the policy?

The aims of this policy are to ensure we, as a school, are able to identify and provide for pupils who have special educational needs and additional needs. We aim to raise and improve the aspirations and expectations of all learners with SEND. We aim to ensure that all children make progress regardless of SEND by setting targets and assessing outcomes. The policy focuses on children who are under the four broad categories highlighted in the SEN Code of Practice 2014:

  • Communication and Interaction
  • Cognition and Learning
  • Social, mental and emotional health difficulties (that may affect behaviour)
  • Sensory and/or Physical (including Vision & Hearing)

Every pupil with SEND in this inclusive school has an entitlement to fulfil their optimum potential. This is achieved by ensuring the well being of all pupils in relation to: being healthy, staying safe, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution, and achieving social and economic well being.

Objectives: How do we ensure children with SEND achieve at Moorside?

  • Effective procedures to promote early identification of children’s special educational needs.
  • Involvement of parents and carers and clear collaboration concerning SEND provision for their children.
  • To provide a differentiated and accessible curriculum which will enable all pupils to achieve and make progress.
  • To ensure that all staff recognise their responsibilities for pupils with SEND and have an understanding of the statutory requirements of the SEN code of practice 2014.
  • To ensure maximum access to the National Curriculum and a broad and balanced curriculum.
  • To use a variety of assessment and tracking procedures to ensure that pupils progress, however moderate or severe their difficulties.
  • To develop effective, independent learners.
  • To promote the dignity and self esteem of all pupils, whatever their individual needs.
  • To provide for children’s SEND within the classroom setting as far as is practical and effective. However, there may be times when children are withdrawn for specialist or 1:1 or group intervention teaching, which we strive to make a positive experience and a ‘natural’ course of events. Any provision for children with SEND must be discussed with parents and carers ensuring they are given the right to collaborate on their own child’s learning.
  • To use effective and manageable procedures for recording and monitoring pupils progress.
  • To liaise and have effective relationships with the support services and external agencies.
  • To follow and ensure that the school’s SEND policy is in line with the SEN Code of Practice.

Identifying children with Special Educational Needs

The school is committed to the early identification of special educational needs and recognises the four broad categories of need in the SEN Code of Practice 2014. The purpose of identification is to identify the needs of pupils by considering the needs of the whole child which will include not just the special educational needs of the child. This is achieved through collaboration with both children and parents/carers. Initial identification of pupils with SEND is achieved in several ways:

  • Questions about specific learning, physical difficulties for/ to parents etc on admission forms.
  • Observations, by the class teacher, teaching assistant or SENCo, of children within classroom and sometimes playground environments.
  • Discussions with staff, TAs, SENCO and consultations with parents.
  • Use of baseline assessments, SATs, KLIPS, teacher assessments and PIVATs.
  • Regular meetings between parents, where appropriate the child themselves, SENCo, Teachers, TAs and other support staff.
  • Use of PIVATS, KLIPS, pupil progress trackers and optional SAT’s information to targets those children who may have additional needs.

All staff are aware of factors which may impact on progress and attainment but which may not necessarily be SEND. These include:–

  • Disability
  • Attendance and punctuality
  • Health and welfare
  • EAL
  • Disadvantaged pupils (Pupil Premium)
  • A Looked After Child
  • A child of service personnel

Where staff or parents have issues or concerns relating to a child’s behaviour, collaboration between stakeholders (those involved with the child) will identify the needs of the child.

How do we support children with SEND?

The class teacher is responsible and accountable for the progress of all pupils in their class. All teachers are required to differentiate their lessons to suit the needs of learners within their class and provide intervention maps to show any further support that children may be receiving with their learning. Support and training may be offered to the class teacher to improve their understanding of strategies to support specific pupils. Progress of intervention programmes put in place is monitored and reviewed at pupil progress meetings. 

If intervention put in place is not successful in allowing the child to progress and achieve or is not meeting the needs of the child, the class teacher, teaching assistant, pupil and parents work together to set appropriate targets and provision for the child which may be written into a Pupil Passport. This will be reviewed every term as part of an ‘Assess-Plan- Do- Review’ cycle with the teacher, the child themselves, the parent and where appropriate the teaching assistant. Review meetings will be used to measure progress, assess outcomes and to ensure that the provision for the pupil continues to match the nature of their needs. Also at this point children may be placed on the SEND support register, this will allow their progress to be monitored more easily by the SENCo and other staff. The SENCo will work alongside the class teacher to assess the outcomes of Pupil Passports and also use this time to compile information and further assess the needs of the child, including observations of the child. 

If at this point planned and reviewed provision continues to not meet the needs of a child, outside agencies can be contacted for further guidance (this could already be in place). Where the needs of the child are broader or more complex and/or a family may want to access specialist schooling a child may be put forward for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC). This replaces the Statement of Special Educational Needs. 

See ‘School’s Contribution to the Local SEND Offer.’

What is a Pupil Passport?

The Pupil Passport is a planning, teaching and reviewing tool. It underpins the process of planning intervention for an individual pupil with SEND. As a school we actively seek out and encourage parents to collaborate with class teachers in order to set appropriate provision for children. Copies of Pupil Passports must be made available to parents. We also ensure that the child themselves takes ownership of their Pupil Passports by setting targets and aiming to achieve outcomes. 

Pupil Passports are teaching and learning plans setting out:

  • Strengths of the pupil
  • The needs of the pupil
  • Targets
  • How and when the pupil passport will be used
  • Outcomes

Criteria for exiting the SEND register

Where specific planned provision has been successful and progress has been made so that the pupil is working within national expectations, then they should be removed from the SEND register. Their progress will continue to be monitored at termly pupil progress meetings. The teacher may see it as appropriate to continue to provide intervention.

Supporting Pupils and Families

At Moorside Academy parents and carers are consulted and informed every step of the way. There are opportunities to discuss a child’s progress twice a year at formal parents evenings and regular meetings are arranged as and when necessary. If children have a Pupil Passport, meetings will be held every term to assess progress and outcomes. 

All teachers employ an ‘open door policy’ and time is always made available for parents and carers to discuss any concerns. In cases where the parent may wish for another family member to be the main contact point for concerns to be discussed, parental permission must be given to the school. For those children with an EHC plan an annual review is held to discuss progress and the way forward. Parents are informed about the support available from the LEA and other agencies. 

Children with an EHC plan have a transitional review before moving to secondary school, where concerns can be addressed. Opportunities are also discussed for the child to have additional visits to the secondary school beforehand. The SENCo also liaises with the previous primary school of children joining Moorside, in order that we can be immediately aware of any special educational needs and quickly put a suitable programme of support into place. 

All paperwork kept in school relating to the child’s SEND follows the child to their high school and is transferred to the new school during September.

Please use the following link to view our admissions policy:


Also you can refer to ‘School’s Offer’ on the school website.

Supporting Pupils at school with medical conditions

We recognise that pupils at school with medical conditions should be properly supported so that they have full access to education, including school trips and physical education. If disabled, the school will comply with its duties under the Equality Act 2010. Some children will have their medical conditions recognised within their Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan.

Monitoring and Evaluation of SEND

At Moorside we ensure that effective monitoring and evaluation is carried out to improve provision for pupils with SEND and to assess outcomes. This includes:

  • lesson observations carried out by the SENCo, head teacher or SEND governor
  • data analysis of intervention programmes
  • pupil progress meetings
  • collaboration with parents/pupils
  • staff meetings focused on SEND
  • monitoring staff CPD
  • termly SENCo cluster meetings
  • reports carried out by the SEND governor

In reviewing the delivery of learning for pupils with SEND in this wide variety of ways we ensure that provision in place for SEND pupils is progressive and positive outcomes are strived for.


The governors will ensure that they are kept fully abreast of their statutory responsibilities by attending training and receiving regular updates from the Head/SENCo. 

The SENCo and Head will keep fully up to date about special educational needs issues through attendance at training and cluster meetings. In addition, the SENCo will develop their skills through attendance at specialist training, discussions with outside specialists, reading and through subscriptions to professional bodies. 

We recognise that teaching and non teaching staff will need training on aspects of special educational needs in order to have a wide range of curriculum and special educational needs knowledge in order to inform practice. 

The literacy, numeracy and assessment co-ordinators will provide access to course information for any staff needing training or a re-fresher course. 

Inset arrangements are made by the SENCo after discussion with all staff. Performance management is conducted by the Head and school Business Manager once a year and highlights inset priorities. Currently, inset training is delivered through staff meeting time, training programmes outside of school and twilight courses.


The governors will ensure that the needs of pupils are met by employing a SENCo. The Head, SENCo and parents/carers will use the child’s EHC plan and LA banding document to identify the areas of pupil need and make the appropriate provision. Where appropriate the outside agencies will also help identify needs of the pupil. 

Time will be identified for staff to review pupil progress, at least 3 times per year, discuss pupil curriculum needs and to transfer information between classes and phases. 

The governors will ensure that moneys are set aside to develop resources in curriculum areas. In addition, the governors will ensure that staff are kept fully up to date about SEND issues and undertake training. For example,

  • CPD for all staff
  • Special Educational Needs Cluster Groups
  • Subscriptions (NASEN)

It is also possible and desirable that the teaching assistants are able to help other non EHC plan and non SEND children in small group intervention sessions. 

The SENCO is responsible for the SEND budget, allocated by the head teacher, to be used on additional resources in all classrooms in order for children with SEND to access the curriculum.

Who is responsible for SEND management and provision at Moorside and what are their roles?

SENCo – Rachel Russell

The SENCo is responsible for managing the effective delivery and provision for children with special educational needs and disabilities in school. This includes:

  • Targeting and identifying children with SEND.
  • Maintaining the SEND register.
  • Assisting staff with Pupil Passports and ensuring they are completed and reviewed.
  • Organising and maintaining records of all children on the SEND register.
  • Application for Education, Health and Care plans.
  • Request appointments, assessments and referrals with various professional bodies such as:
    • Educational Psychologist
    • Speech and Language Therapist
    • Specialist Teachers e.g. Teacher for the Deaf
    • Occupational Therapist
    • Information, Advice and Support (IAS)
    • Westgate Centre – CAMHS
    • Children and Families Wellbeing Service
    • Children’s Social Care
    • Physiotherapist
    • Opthalmology Department
    • School Nurse
    • Community Paediatrician
    • Twinkle House
    • SENCOs from secondary schools
    • Other bodies as appropriate
  • To organise and chair annual reviews for children with EHC plans and hold transitional reviews (EYFS – KS1; KS1 - KS2 and KS2 - KS3).
  • Organise regular TA meetings to ensure communication.
  • Carry out assessments with children e.g. dyslexia screening.
  • Track and assess the progress of all children on the SEND register.
  • Ensure support staff have up to date training in SEND areas.
  • Organise in house training for class teachers.
  • Collaborate with parents.

SEND Governor – Sue Taylor.

The Governing Body has identified a governor to have a full oversight of special educational needs provision in the school and to ensure that the full governing body is kept informed of how the school is meeting statutory requirements. The SEND Governor meets regularly with the SENCo and Head teacher.

Headteacher - Christine Howard

The Head teacher supports the SENCo and oversees the implementation of the SEND policy. The Head teacher is also responsible for the safe guarding of all pupils. The governing body are kept informed by the Head teacher and SENCo about the SEND provision made by the school and is responsible for allocating the SEND budget.

Learning Mentor - Olive McSorley

Mrs McSorley is responsible for liaising closely with the SENCo, parents and outside agencies. Her role includes working closely with the SENCo on SEND provision, working with outside agencies and monitoring and acting upon those families whose children have poor attendance. Mrs McSorely makes use of the sunshine room for those children with SEND as well as children who may have behavioural, social and emotional needs. The sunshine room provides children with a calm environment. Mrs McSorley is also the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) for the academy.

Storing and Managing information

We at Moorside CP Academy are a Data Controller for the purposes of the Data Protection Act. We collect information, and may receive information from previous schools of children and the Learning Records Service. We hold this personal data and use it to: 

  • Support teaching and learning
  • Monitor and report on progress
  • Provide appropriate pastoral care
  • Help and improve the health and well being of all children

If you want to see a copy of the information about you that we hold and/or share please contact Mrs J Lee (School Business Manager). Information is stored in a locked cabinet whilst electronic data is password protected. All SEND information is passed on with the child to the new school. Any information relating to the child that is no longer needed is deleted or destroyed.


At Moorside Academy we are committed to ensuring equal treatment of all our pupils, parents/carers, employees and any others involved in the school community, who may have any form of disability. We will ensure that disabled young people and adults are not treated less favourably in any procedures, practices or service delivery. 

Please use the following link to view our disability equality policy: 

Disability Equality


At Moorside Academy we will:

  • Develop each child’s ability to the full.
  • Develop in each child confidence and independence.
  • Develop in each child respect and consideration for others and their environment.
  • Establish an atmosphere of security and stability.
  • Provide a friendly, stimulating environment.

For a copy of the school’s Anti-bullying policy please see the office.

Complaints Procedure

Should a parent or carer have a concern about the special needs provision made for their child, they should in the first instance discuss this with the class teacher. If the concern continues the class teacher and SENCo will discuss the problem further, liaising closely with parents/carers. If the concern cannot be satisfactorily dealt with at this stage it should be brought to the notice of the Head teacher. If the Head is unable to resolve the difficulty the parents/carers concerns should be put writing to the SEND Governor. The chair of governors will be involved to resolve the situation after other avenues have been exhausted. 

The school also provides parents with information about external support services and how to make representations to the LEA. If a child has an EHC plan parents can also contact the local authorities SEND team about any concerns or queries regarding their child.

This policy will be reviewed in the Autumn term 2019