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Special Needs FAQ

Highfield Hall Primary School         

SEND-Frequently Asked Questions   


 1. What is meant by Special Educational Needs (SEN)?

A child has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special education provision to be made. A learning difficulty or disability is present if a child:

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 generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools


2. What kinds of SEN are provided for at the school?       

The school plans for a broad range of needs which may cross over one or more of these areas (taken from the SEND Code of Practice 2014):

   • Communication and interaction

   • Cognition and learning

   • Social, emotional and mental health difficulties

   • Sensory and/or physical needs


3. Who are the best people to talk to at Highfield Hall about my child’s difficulties with learning, special educational needs or disability?

Talk to your child’s class teacher about your concerns. The teacher may seek advice from Mrs Briddon (SENCO - Special Educational Needs Coordinator), or Mike Bywaters (Headteacher).

If you continue to have concerns, you can arrange a meeting with the SENCOs directly.

Please book an appointment with the office (tel: 01246 273534)


4.  How will the school let me know if they have concerns about my child’s learning, special education needs or disability?

Your child’s class teacher may speak to you at the beginning/end of the school day or arrange another time to discuss concerns.

The class teacher may also talk to you about issues during a parent/teacher evening.

The SENCO may contact you to arrange a meeting to discuss your child’s difficulties and any possible support strategies the school may consider appropriate. 


5.  How will the school consider my views and those of my child with regard to her/his difficulties with learning, special educational needs or disabilities?

At Highfield Hall, we want parents/carers to talk to us and feel involved in all areas of their child’s learning – you know your children best! We also think it is helpful to hear your child’s views about their experiences with learning.

You can share your views with the class teacher, just ask to have a chat with them.

If your child has an identified special educational need, you will be invited to a termly meeting with the class teacher and/or a SENCO to discuss current progress, support strategies and expected outcomes.

The views of your child are also very important and will be taken into consideration when planning their support.

If your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), you and your child will also be able to share your views at the Annual Review meeting. 

If a child is Looked After (LAC) and also has a SEN, they can speak to the designated officer for LAC (Dr Bywaters) and/or give their views in meetings with education, health and social care providers.

6.  How does Highfield Hall ensure the teaching staff are appropriately trained to support my child’s special educational needs and/or disability?

Staff at Highfield Hall are well trained to support all children. Training opportunities within and outside school enable all staff to have a thorough understanding of how children learn, including how to best support their needs. For staff working directly with pupils with more complex needs, training is provided by specialist providers to ensure intervention is well matched to individual children.


7. What types of support may be suitable and available for my child?

High quality teaching that is differentiated and personalised will meet the individual needs of the majority of children. However, some children need educational provision that is additional to or different from this. Where pupils are identified as having special educational needs, the school provides for these additional needs according to a graduated approach:


  • The class teacher will use a range of strategies/resources to enable each child to maximise their learning. Support within class will be given to individual children and groups of children to meet their needs.


  • Some children may have been identified by the class teacher as needing some additional support and may be offered some group intervention work to help meet their needs e.g. English Support and/or Maths Support carried out by a Teaching Assistant. A Group Support Plan will be completed.


  • Some children will require individual support to meet their needs. This will mean that a child may need an Individual Learning Support Plan, with targets and regular reviews of progress.


  • If a child needs a greater amount of one-to-one work in order to meet their needs, a SEN Support Plan will be suggested. Some children will have been identified as needing some extra specialist support from professionals outside the school e.g. Educational Psychologist, ASD team, Speech Therapist or Occupational Therapist etc.


  • Some children may have complex, developmental needs or sensory needs that have been identified at birth or in their early years. Parents of these children may have already received advice or assistance from health professionals and the local authority may have already considered whether the child's needs are sufficiently severe/complex and long term to require an Education, Health and Care Plan. Sometimes these complex, developmental needs do not become apparent until after the child has started nursery/school; if this is the case the school can refer the child to the local authority for assessment, they will then  decide if an Education, Health and Care Plan is required.


8.  How will you support my child to reach his/her learning targets?

The class teacher and other staff working with your child ensure that your child receives appropriate teaching and support in order to reach these goals.

Pupils with SEN may have a learning plan drawn up by the class teacher and/or SENCO, in consultation with you and your child. The learning plan sets termly targets for pupils and outlines strategies to be used to support your child. Progress is discussed and reviewed termly and you and your child will contribute to this process.

External agencies and specialist may also review your child’s progress , attend planning meetings and contribute their suggestions and targets to your child's plans accordingly.

9.  What is an EHC Plan and who can request one for my child?

An EHC Plan stands for an Education, Health and Care Plan. 

The purpose of an EHC Plan is:

  • to provide special provision to meet the special educational needs of a child or young person
  • to secure improved outcomes for him/her in the areas of education, health and social care
  • as he/she gets older, to prepare him/her for adulthood. 

EHC Plans can be requested by a child's parent, the young person themselves (if over the age of 16 but under 25) and a person acting on behalf of a school (with the knowledge and agreement of the parent) and young person where possible.


10.  How will the school know that the support has made a difference to my child’s learning and how can I and my child be included in this review process?

Your child’s progress will be assessed both in terms of his/her normal learning within class and also with regard to specific interventions and provision.

The effectiveness of intervention and provision is reviewed regularly to ensure individual learning outcomes have been achieved. Pupils may continue to require further intervention or they may not, depending on outcomes.

Where pupils have completed interventions which are proven to be effective and have not made adequate progress, the SENCO may decide to ask for more specialised help.

You and your child will be kept informed and encouraged to be actively involved in all stages of this support.

11. Will my child be included in the same activities as his/her peers at school?

Highfield Hall Primary School is an inclusive school and committed to providing equal opportunities for all children.

School clubs, educational visits and residential trips are available to all children.

When necessary the school will make reasonable adjustments to ensure that children with SEN and/or disabilities are included in all activities.

You should feel free to contact your child’s class teacher if you have any concerns.

12.  Who can I contact if I have a complaint about the SEN provision made for my child?

Initially speak with your child’s teacher and/or a SENCO. Hopefully they will be able to address your concerns.

If you are still unhappy you should contact the Head teacher, who may be able to help or will be able to direct you to the school’s Complaints Policy and procedure.