Skip to content ↓


What do we mean by the term ‘Special Educational Needs’?

Definition of Special Education Needs (SEN) from the Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice: for 0-25 years (2015)

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

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

Who should I contact to discuss the concerns of needs of my child? 

Class Teacher Responsibilities

If you have concerns about your child you should speak to you child’s class teacher first. You may then directed to our Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO).

Class teacher is responsible for:

  • Adapting and refining the curriculum to respond to strengths and needs of all pupils. Checking on progress of your child and identifying, planning and delivery of any additional support.
  • Contributing to devising personalised learning plans to prioritise and focus on the next steps required for your child to improve learning.
  • Applying the school’s SEN policy.

Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCO)

Mrs L Ralls-Baird (email:

The SENCO is responsible for:

Coordinating provision for children with SEN and developing the school’s SEN policy and Information Report.


Ensuring that parents are:

  • Involved in supporting their child’s learning and access to the curriculum
  • Kept informed about the range and level of support offered to their child
  • Included in reviewing how their child is doing
  • Consulted about planning successful movement (transition) to a new class or school
  • Liaising with a range of agencies outside of school who can offer advice and support to help pupils overcome any difficulties
  • Providing specialist advice and facilitating training to ensure that staff are skilled and confident about meeting a range of needs.
  • Evaluating, along with other teaching and learning staff, the effectiveness of the school’s provision for pupils with special educational needs. This takes place through regular monitoring including observations of provision, programmes of support and interventions, tracking pupil progress and written/verbal feedback from those involved.

Head Teacher Responsibilities

Mrs E Moakes (email

The Head Teacher is responsible for:

  • The day to day management of all aspects of the school, including the provision made for pupils with SEN

The School Governing Body

The Governors are responsible for:

  • Doing their best to make sure pupils with SEN get the help they need to access the curriculum and participate fully in the life of the school.
  • Supporting the school to evaluate and develop quality and impact of provision for pupils with SEN across the school.

If parents and carers are unhappy with the provision offered to their child, they are invited to use the school’s complaints procedure, and contact the Chair of Governors, Claire Lowther, when other avenues to resolve issues have been exhausted.

How can I find out about how well my child is doing? 

  • Ongoing monitoring by class teachers for all pupils helps to identify those children who are not making progress or who have needs that are affecting their ability to engage in learning activities.
  • After discussions with key staff, additional support will be put in place to provide enhanced resources and targeted small group and/or individual support to help overcome any difficulties. This will be discussed with parents/carers at Parents Evenings and additional meetings as appropriate.
  • If your child is identified and assessed as having a learning difficulty then any support that is ‘different from and additional to’ (CoP6.15) will be documented on an Individual Learning Plan or an Individual Behaviour Management Plan.
  • In consultation with the SENCO and parents, short-term targets are agreed which prioritise key areas of learning or behaviour to address and by which progress can be measured. Where external agencies are involved, their advice and recommendations are included in these support programmes. Actions agreed take into account each pupil’s strengths as well as their difficulties.
  • Formal review meetings are held at least termly. Parents will be kept informed by the class teacher and/or SENCO
  • During these reviews we discuss:
    • the impact of support offered
    • the progress towards targets set
    • any updates/revisions to support arrangements. If not involved already, this might include referral to external agencies

If your child continues to have significant difficulties, further external expertise may be requested. Additional funding may be available dependent on the provision required. Further details about this process can be found in the Local Authority’s Local Offer:

Hampshire's Local offer for SEN 

Tests: Access Arrangements

For some pupils additional arrangements and adjustments can be made to enable them to fully access a range of tests. This might include additional time, rest breaks or the use of a scribe or word processor.

How will teaching be adapted to meet the needs of my child? 

Teachers are highly skilled at adapting teaching to meet the diverse range of needs in each class. Daily planning takes into account individual pupil’s needs and requirements. Differentiation is approached in a range of ways to support access and ensure that all pupils can experience success and challenge in the learning.

Grouping arrangements are organised flexibly with opportunities for both ability and mixed setting to maximise learning opportunities for all. Additional adults are used flexibly to help groups and individual pupils with a long-term goal of developing independent learning skills. Monitoring takes place to avoid pupils becoming over reliant and dependent on this adult support.

What are the areas of need children with SEND might experience?

The 2015 SEND Code of Practice (SEND CoP 2015) outlines four broad areas of special educational need that includes a range of learning difficulties or disabilities:

Communication and Interaction

Cognition and Learning

Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties

Sensory and/or physical needs

The code states that:

“In practice, individual children or young people often have needs that cut across all these areas and their needs many change over time” (SEND CoP 6.27)

Communication and Interaction

A difficulty in communicating with others.

Some of the aspects of difficulty included in this area are:

Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

ASD is a relatively new term that recognises there are a number of identified groups covered within the spectrum. Pupils with ASD are likely to find it difficult to:

  • understand and use non-verbal and verbal communication
  • understand social behaviour, which affects their ability to interact with children and adults
  • thing and behave flexibly, which may be shown I restricted, obsessional or repetitive activities

Pupils with ASD cover the full range of ability, and severity of their learning needs varies widely. Some pupils may also have other learning difficulties, making diagnosis difficult.

Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN)

Pupils may have a range of difficulties with speech and language, some of which may resolve as the child develops.

For some pupils, such difficulties may be confined to their production of speech. For others, it may be hard to find the right words or to join them together meaningfully in expressive language. They may have problems in communicating through speech and may find it hard to acquire language and express thoughts and ideas. They may experience difficulties or delays in understanding or responding to verbal cues from others, or in understanding and using appropriate language for social interaction.

The fact that a pupil may understand and speak English as an additional language does not in itself constitute a speech and language difficulty. It is important to note, however, that different languages have different structures/phonologies (sound systems) which can sometimes cause initial short-term difficulties.

Cognition and Learning

Some of the aspects of difficulty included in this area are:

Moderate Learning Difficulty (MLD)

Pupils with MLD will have attainments significantly below expected levels in most areas of the curriculum despite appropriate provision, programmes and interventions. Their needs will not be able to be met by normal differentiation and the flexibilities of the National Curriculum.

Pupils should only be recorded as MLD if additional educational provision is being made to help them to access the curriculum. Pupils with MLD have much greater difficulty than their peers in acquiring basic literacy and numeracy skills and in understanding concepts. They may also have an associated speech and language delay, low self-esteem, low levels of concentrations and under-developed social skills.

Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty (PMLD)

Pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties have complex learning needs. In addition to severe learning difficulties, they have other significant difficulties such as physical disabilities, sensory impairment or a severe medical condition. Pupils require a high level of adult support, both for their learning needs and also for their personal care. They are likely to need sensory stimulation and a curriculum broken down into very small steps. Some pupils communicate by gesture, eye pointing or symbols, others by very simple language. Their attainments are likely to remain in the Pre-Key-Stage Standards throughout their school careers.

Severe Learning Difficulty (SLD)

Pupils with Severe Learning Difficulties have significant intellectual or cognitive impairments. This has a major effect on their ability to participate in the school curriculum without support. They may also have difficulties in mobility and co-ordination, communication and perception and the acquisition of self-help skills. Pupil with severe learning difficulties will need support in all areas of the curriculum.

They may also require teaching of self-help, independence and social skills. Some pupils may use sign and symbols but most will be able to hold simple conversations. Their attainments may be within the pre Key-Stage Standards for much of their school careers.

Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD)

Specific Learning Difficulties affect one or more specific aspects of learning. This encompasses a range of conditions such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia, dysgraphia and auditory processing disorder.


Pupils with dyscalculia have difficulty acquiring mathematical skills. Pupils may have difficulty understanding simple number concepts, lack an intuitive grasp of numbers and have problems learning number facts and procedures.


Pupils with dysgraphia have difficulty with fine motor skills and can have trouble organizing letters, numbers and words on a line or page. This may partly be from:

Visual-spatial difficulties: trouble processing what the eye sees

Language processing difficulty: trouble processing and making sense of what the ear hears


Pupils with dyslexia have a persistent difficulty in learning to read, write and spell, despite progress in other areas. Pupils may have poor reading comprehension, handwriting and punctuation. They may also have difficulties in concentration and organisation, and in remembering sequences of words. They may mispronounce common words or reverse letters and sounds in words.


Pupils with Dyspraxia have difficulty in the organisation of movement, often appearing ‘clumsy’. Gross and fine motor skills are hard to learn and difficult to retain and generalise. Pupils may have poor balance and coordination and may be hesitant in many actions (running, skipping, hopping, holding a pencil, doing jigsaws, etc). Their articulation and language may be late to develop. They may also have a lack of awareness of body position and poor social skills.

Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties

Children and young people may experience a wide range of social and emotional difficulties, which manifest themselves in many ways. These may include becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well as displaying challenging, disruptive or disturbing behaviour. These behaviours may reflect underlying mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression, self-harming, substance misuse, eating disorders or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained. Other children and young people may have disorders such as attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder or attachment disorder (SEND CoP 2015 6.32)

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a complex condition that can seriously affect a child’s concentration, behaviour and learning. A pupil with ADHD will often have a short attention span, be easily distracted, be impulsive and find it hard to sit still. This impacts on their learning as they can find it very hard to concentrate for the periods of time needed to complete tasks. Consequently, the work that they produce may not necessarily reflect their true ability.

Anxiety Disorders

Pupils suffering from an anxiety disorder may be prone to frequent panic attacks. Here the pupil may complain of physical symptoms such as headaches or stomach aches. The pupil may also display inappropriate emotional responses, such as outbursts of laughter or crying out of context.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Pupils with Emotional Behavioural Disorder may also have an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Here the pupil can display recurrent and persistent obsessions or compulsions.  Behaviours may include repetitive handwashing, praying, counting, and repeating words silently.

Sensory and/or Physical difficulties/needs

Some of the aspects of difficulty included in this area are:

Hearing Impairment (HI)

A hearing impairment will range from mild hearing loss to profoundly deaf. Pupils with HI will cover the whole ability range.

For educational purposes, pupils are regarded as having SEND associated with HI if they have hearing aids, adaptations to their environment and/or particular teaching strategies to access the concepts and language of the curriculum. Pupils with HI may also have an additional learning difficulty.

Visual Impairment (VI)

A visual impairment is generally defined as an eyesight problem that cannot be corrected by wearing glasses, contact lenses or by surgery.

The terms partially sighted, low vision, legally blind and totally blind are used in the educational context to describe pupils with visual impairments. They are defined as follows:

Partially sighted

This indicates some type of visual problem that requires ‘different from and additional to’ educational provision.

Low vision

This generally refers to a severe visual impairment, not necessarily limited to distance vision. Low vision applies to all individuals with sight who are unable to read the newspaper at a normal viewing distance, even with the aid of glasses or contact lenses. They use a combination of vision and other senses to learn, although they may require adaptations in lighting or the size of print, and, sometimes, Braille.

Legally Blind

This indicates that a person has less than 20/20 vision in the better eye or a very limited field of vision (20degrees at its widest point).

Totally Blind

The pupils who are totally blind will learn via Braille or other non-visual media.

Multi-sensory Impairment (MSI)

Pupils with MSI have a combination of visual and hearing difficulties. They are sometimes referred to as deafblind but may have some residual sight and/or hearing. Many also have additional disabilities but their complex needs mean it may be difficult to ascertain their intellectual abilities. Pupils with MSI have much greater difficulty accessing the curriculum and the environment than those with a single sensory impairment. They have difficulties in perception, communication and in the acquisition of information. Incidental learning is limited. The combination can result in high anxiety and multi-sensory deprivation. Pupils need teaching approaches that make good use of their residual hearing and vision, together with their other senses. They may need alternative means of communication.

Physical Disability (PD)

There is a wide range of physical disabilities and pupils cover the whole ability range. Some pupils are able to access the curriculum and learn effectively without additional educational provision. They have a disability but do not have a special educational need. For others, the impact on their education is severe.

In the same way, a medical diagnosis does not necessarily mean a pupil has a special educational need. It depends on the impact the condition has on their educational needs. There are a number of medical conditions associated with physical disability that can impact mobility. Pupils with physical disabilities may also have sensory impairments, neurological problems or learning difficulties.

Medical Needs

A medical diagnosis of a disability does not necessarily imply a special educational need. It may not be necessary for the pupil with any particular diagnosis or medical condition to have ‘different from and additional to’ educational provision. It is the pupil’s medical needs rather that a diagnosis that must be considered.

Some pupils may not require school based special educational provision but they have medical conditions that, if not properly managed, could hinder their access to education.

In such cases, school staff will take into consideration the medical guidance available.

If you have any concerns about your child’s education please make contact with, the class teacher, the SENCO or the Head Teacher.