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SEND Policy


Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Disability Policy


Date of policyApril 2024

Date reviewed by the

Governing Body

FGB 26.03.2024

Member of staff responsible 

in Cerne Abbas CE VC First 


Angela Brown/Alex Ryan
Review date

April  2025





All schools must have a Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Disability Policy; also known as a SEN Policy. This is a duty set out in the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years (Jan 2015).

A SEN Policy explains how a school will identify and support pupils with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities.

This is the SEN Policy for Cerne Abbas CE VC First School. It is underpinned by our Christian values of Friendship, Peace,Trust, Forgiveness, Courage and Joy and our vision to be the best we can be.




The Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years (Jan 2015) explains that a pupil has special educational needs (SEN) if:

  • they have a learning difficulty or disability which makes it much harder for them to learn than other pupils of the same age; and
  • they require special educational provision to be made for them.


There are four main areas of SEN:

  • communication and interaction needs
  • cognition and learning difficulties
  • social, emotional and mental health difficulties
  • sensory and/or physical needs


A disability is described in law (the Equality Act 2010) as 'a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect on a person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.'

More detail about SEN and disability can be found on Dorset’s Local Offer.




The governing body ensures that the school meets the duties set out in the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years. The Governor with oversight of the arrangements for SEN and disability at our school is: Alex Ryan. She can be contacted via the school office on 01300 341319 or


Our Head teacher, Mrs Catherine Cresswell, has overall responsibility for SEN and disability at our school. Her duties towards pupils with SEN and disability include: liaising with the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator to ensure that pupils with SEND receive effective targeted support where necessary; monitoring progress of children with SEND with class teachers and the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SEND Lead) to ensure accelerated progress; supporting the SEND Lead with the most effective deployment of TAs to match pupil needs. Mrs Catherine Cresswell also has a Diploma in Trauma Informed Schools (Practitioner Status) which underpins our support work with children with SEMH needs.



Our Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SEND LEAD) is Mrs Angela Brown. Her day to day role includes: setting up systems for identifying SEND; discussions with class teachers about pupils who would benefit from additional intervention; creating and monitoring provision maps and Individual Learning Plans with class teachers; ensuring that teachers’ planning includes appropriately differentiated learning for pupils with SEND; regular observation in class and scrutiny of work to ensure that this is maintained; half-termly assessment and review of SEND provision and pupil progress.


Parents can contact our SEND LEAD by e-mail: 


The SEND team also consists of:


Mrs Bev Parry, who is experienced in delivering the Fischer Family Trust Literacy intervention and First Class @ Number Maths intervention. She also delivers Speech and Language programmes for pupils in Key Stage 1 and Learning Programmes provided by the Special Educational Needs Specialist Service (SENSS) as well as named interventions such as Words First.


All staff have training in delivering Trauma Informed School strategies and there is ongoing training for using restorative language.


Mrs Jasmine Willsher and Mrs Andrea Schafer work 1:1 with children with SEMH needs.


All teaching assistants are experienced in delivering Speech and Language Programmes, and Learning Programmes provided by the Special Educational Needs Specialist Service (SENSS).


Mrs Kerry Nottley-Williams has experience of delivering NHS Occupational Therapy programmes.


Mrs Amanda Sullivan has undertaken the NHS Occupational Therapy programme Learn to Move: Move to Learn.




This policy was developed in consultation with:

  • Pupils with SEN and disabilities
  • Parents
  • Governors
  • All school staff




Cerne Abbas CE VC First School wants all our pupils to feel welcome, valued and included in the school community. We have high aspirations for our pupils with SEN and disabilities and will provide them with high quality learning opportunities to ensure that they achieve their full potential.

We also want to help our pupils with SEN and disabilities to develop a positive view of themselves so that they can become confident individuals and go on to live fulfilling lives by making a successful transition into adulthood. We will endeavour to fully involve our pupils with SEN and disabilities in all decisions that affect them, so that they can help us to identify what works for them and reflect on what doesn’t.

The views of our pupils and their parents are especially important to us and we will take these into account when consulting on, implementing and reviewing this policy.

To achieve the above, we will:

  • create an atmosphere of encouragement and acceptance in which all pupils can thrive
  • be sensitive to individual pupils’ needs and celebrate achievements
  •  enable each pupil to take part and contribute fully to school life
  • provide access to and progression within the curriculum
  • involve pupils in planning to support their SEN or disability
  • work in partnership with parents to support children’s learning and health needs
  • provide quality training for staff that enables them to support pupils with SEN and disabilities.
  • continue to develop through CPD including Trauma Informed Schools




Cerne Abbas CE VC First School will do its best to ensure that the right provision is made for each pupil with special educational needs and disabilities. We are committed to discovering and providing the best learning conditions for each pupil.

In implementing this policy, our goals are to:


  • identify all pupils who have SEN and disabilities at an early stage
  • ensure that pupils with SEN and disabilities have their needs met and that they make progress
  • work in line with the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 – 25 years (Jan 2015)
  • provide support and advice to all staff who work with pupils with SEN and disabilities
  • operate a whole school approach to meeting SEN and disabilities, in which all members of the school community have an understanding of their role
  • ensure that pupils with SEN and disabilities join in with all the activities of the school alongside their peers
  • adopt a ‘person centred approach’ to supporting pupils with SEN and disabilities, ensuring that pupils and their parents are fully involved in decisions which affect them
  • ensure there is effective partnership working with outside agencies when appropriate.




Cerne Abbas CE VC First School uses the Local Authority arrangement for school admissions. This arrangement is mindful of national requirements supporting all children, including those who are disabled, in a fair and non-discriminatory way, when securing admission to school.




Our teachers are responsible and accountable for the development and progress of the pupils in their class, and we have systems in place to ensure that special educational needs are identified as early as possible. We start by:

  • providing teaching that is of a high quality
  • regularly assessing our pupils' progress and targeting areas of difficulty
  • adjusting work for pupils who need this.


As necessary, we also:

  • provide focused small group learning in the class setting
  • provide focused 1:1 learning in the class setting




If a pupil continues to struggle with the curriculum despite the above support, we will consider whether they have a special educational need.

To do this we will:

  • arrange termly liaison meetings between individual staff and the SEND Lead
  • carry out termly tracking of children’s progress (teachers and the SEND Lead)
  • look at results from Reading and Spelling tests
  • carry out informal progress tests
  • use parental feedback from Parent Discussions or additional contact

This is a process involving the class teacher, SEND LEAD, parents and the pupil.

If it is decided that a pupil has SEND and requires special educational provision (provision that is additional to and different from that which is available to other pupils at the school) they will be added to the SEND Register under the Monitoring section to review their progress and needs closely.

The provision given at the Monitoring level will be individual to each child, according to their needs but it could include:

  • targeted 1:1 or small group intervention outside of the classroom setting for Phonics, Reading, Spelling, Maths, Handwriting, fine and/or gross motor skills
  • targeted  1:1 or small group support in class from a Teacher or Teaching Assistant


If a child is already receiving outside agency support following referral by a GP, (eg. they are under the care of a paediatrician; the Vision Support Service or Hearing Support Service is involved), he/she will be added to the main section of the SEND Register under the category of SEN Support.


Within the school setting, it may be decided that a referral to outside agencies would be beneficial to support a child’s needs (eg. the Special Educational Needs Specialist Service – SENSS; Occupational Therapy Service). This would follow discussion with parents. These children are also added to the main SEND Register under the category of SEN Support.

The provision given at SEN Support will be individual to each child, according to their needs but it could include:

  • a specialist learning programme delivered by our SEND Teaching Assistant
  • 1:1 or small group targeted support in class from a  Teacher or Teaching Assistant


We will involve parents in decisions about the support to be provided for their child by: sharing Provision maps and Individual Learning Plans at Parent discussions.

Children with in-school support will have a Provision Map, with targets that are reviewed every term, and up-dated, as appropriate.

Some will have an Individual Learning Plan, for children who need more focused targets with smaller steps. This will be reviewed every half term, with targets up-dated, as appropriate.


Cerne Abbas CE VC First School will support most pupils with SEN at SEN Support. However, some pupils with more severe, complex and long term SEN may need an Education, Health & Care (EHCP) Plan, especially if they have not made progress at SEN Support. If we feel this is the case, we will discuss this with parents.

Parents can also contact the class teacher/SEND LEAD if they feel their child might need an EHCP Plan.

EHCP Plans are issued by the Local Authority following an Education, Health and Care (EHCP) Needs Assessment.

Cerne Abbas CE VC First School will work with parents and other services to request an EHCP Needs Assessment where it is felt this will be beneficial.

Further details about the assessment process and EHCP Plans can be found on Dorset’s Local Offer.

Sometimes other factors can affect a pupil’s progress but are not considered to be a special educational need, for example: attendance and punctuality, ill health, English as an additional language, looked after children, service children, behaviour (where there is no underlying SEN) and bereavement. These needs will be addressed appropriately using other processes and strategies.





At Cerne Abbas CE VC First School, we use the “Assess, Plan, Do, Review” approach to support pupils with SEN and disabilities. This is also known as the graduated response. It helps us to learn more about the pupil and what helps them to make good progress. The four parts of this approach are as follows:

1. Assess – as already outlined above, we assess the pupil's needs; listening to the views of the pupil and their parents, and other professionals as we do so


2. Plan - the teacher and our SEND LEAD will plan the support needed, involving the pupil and their parents. A review date will be agreed


3. Do – our SEND LEAD will help the class teacher to support the pupil. They will think about the pupil's strengths and weaknesses and how best to help them. The teacher will also work with any teaching assistants or specialist staff involved


4. Review – everyone, including the pupil and their parents will decide how effective the support has been. We will then adapt the support in light of the pupil's progress.


If needed, during this process, we may ask for advice from specialist support services, such as Educational Psychology, Speech & Language Therapy, Specialist Teaching & Advice, Behaviour Support and Children’s Therapy. Parental permission will always be sought prior to this.


Children with an EHC Plan have an EHC Support Plan, written by the class teacher, with short-term targets drawn from their EHC

 Plan, along with ‘next steps’ from their Early Years curriculum or National Curriculum objectives.

Children’s progress is tracked and analysed at the end of each term. The class teacher then reviews progress made towards achieving targets on the EHC Support Plan, and sets new targets, as appropriate.


Additionally, pupils with EHC Plans have an Annual Review held at the school, each year. The pupil, their parents and any relevant professionals are invited to this. Annual Reviews at Cerne Abbas CE VC First School are person centred and focus on the pupil’s progress. They also:


  • consider whether the outcomes in the EHC Plan are still appropriate
  • review the special educational provision in place
  • review any health or social care provision currently in place
  • consider whether the EHC plan is still needed.


A report of the meeting is sent to the Local Authority.

Further detail about Annual Reviews can be found on Dorset’s Local Offer.




A pupil will be removed from the SEND Register if it is decided that they have made sufficient progress and are able to access the curriculum successfully. However, they will continue to be monitored in case any issues arise. Some pupils may dip in and out of SEN Support and parents will be consulted at each stage.


Following the Annual Review of an EHCP Plan, the Local Authority will decide whether to keep the EHCP Plan as it is, amend it or cease it, based on the recommendation of the Annual Review meeting. If it is decided to cease an EHCP Plan because the pupil no longer requires the special education provision within it, we will continue to monitor the pupil’s progress using the school’s tracking systems.




Cerne Abbas CE VC First School is committed to ensuring that parents have confidence in the arrangements for pupils entering the school, progressing through year groups and when transferring to their next school. Due to our Preschool being on site, we are able to ensure a very smooth transition from Ducklings to Giant Class.


We liaise closely with other feeder Nurseries and Pre-schools, and therefore have detailed knowledge of most of the children who enter our Reception class each year. Where children enter the school from other Pre- school settings we arrange visits to ascertain if there are any additional needs. We also make sure, through our parent/carer questionnaire that we find out about all children’s additional needs. This information is shared with the SEND Lead. In some cases, information is passed to us from an external agency such as the School Doctor or Speech and Language Therapist.

At the end of each year, transfer meetings are arranged to share information about children with SEND in which teachers and support assistants pass on details of children’s additional needs to the next teacher and support team. It is also the responsibility of the SEND Lead to ensure that new teachers are informed via the up- to- date Register of all children with SEND in their class.

During the course of Year 4, we begin the process of liaising with receiving Middle Schools about children with SEND who will be transitioning to their next school placement. The SEND Lead liaises closely with Year 5 teachers and pastoral staff at Dorchester Middle School to ensure that transition is smooth for all children, particularly those who might be vulnerable at this point. The Transition Mentor at THS provides similar support for children moving to this setting.




Cerne Abbas CE VC First School  aims to keep all staff up to date with relevant training, in relation to the needs of pupils with SEN and disabilities. Funding is set aside to support continued professional development.

Training needs are identified through analysis of need with the SEND LEAD and Senior Leadership Team ensuring that training opportunities match school priorities. The SEND LEAD will also provide information on specific special educational needs for new staff.

Additional training may also be arranged to support pupils with specific medical needs and will be arranged with relevant medical professionals.




All data including data stored electronically is subject to Data Protection law.

All paper records will be held in line with the school’s policy/protocol on security of information.




This policy closely links with other policies, plans and information produced by Cerne Abbas CE VC First School and these are outlined below.

Accessibility Plan

In line with the Equality Act 2010, we are implementing an Accessibility Plan which sets out how we will:

  •  develop a CPD programme to ensure staff are knowledgeable in terms of the needs of pupils with disabilities and strategies to support them.
  • ensure that all out of school activities are planned to facilitate the participation of the whole range of pupils.
  •  ensure classrooms are optimally organised to promote the participation and independence of all pupils.
  • provide training for Governors in terms of Raising Awareness of Disability Issues.



Our Accessibility Plan can be found on the school website:



Supporting pupils with medical conditions

In line with the Children and Families Act 2014 and the associated guidance, Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions (Dec 2015), Cerne Abbas CE VC First School makes suitable arrangements to support all pupils with medical conditions, so that they have full access to the same opportunities as their peers, including school trips and physical education.


Our ‘Supporting pupils with medical conditions and managing medicines’ policy can be found in the SEND section of the website along with the Dorset County Council Guidance for Supporting children and young people with medical conditions.


SEND Information Report and Local Offer


This policy, along with our annual SEND Information Report (a summary of how this policy has been implemented over the previous year), forms our ‘local offer’ of support for pupils with SEN and disabilities at Cerne Abbas CE VC First School. You can find all this information on our school website.

Information about our school can also be found on our record on the Family Information Directory, part of Dorset County Council’s website.

Further information about the support available to all children and young people in Dorset with SEN and disabilities, and their families can be found on Dorset’s Local Offer.


MONITORING AND EVALUATION Our SEND Information Report will provide an annual account of the implementation of this policy, detailing how we have identified and supported pupils with SEN and disabilities.


This policy will therefore be kept under regular review but it will be fully updated every three years.


Pupils with SEN and disabilities and their parents will be involved in this process by inviting feed-back following publication on the school website.


Others involved in this process will include: staff and Governors. 


We will evaluate the success of our policy through:


  • our Self Evaluation Form (SEF)
  • feedback from our pupils, parents and professionals working with the school
  • analysis of lesson planning to take account of differentiation
  • progress data, including use the school’s tracking system and comparative national data to monitor the level and rate of progress for pupils with SEN and disabilities
  • success towards outcomes included on SEN Support and EHCP Plans
  • external evaluations or inspections.




It is hoped that all situations of concern can be resolved quickly through discussion and early action. If at any point a parent has concerns about how their child’s needs are being met, they should contact [name and contact details]. However, if a parent feels that their concern or complaint has not been dealt with satisfactorily, an appointment can be made to speak with the SEND Lead or Head teacher.


Further details can be found within our Complaints Policy which is available on our website.



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