Special Educational Needs

The School’s Inclusion Co-ordinator (INCo) is:

Mrs Ryan.  Mrs Ryan has been the INCo at Mead Vale since September 2014.



At Mead Vale Primary School, we believe that all children have the right to a full and rounded education which will enable them to achieve their full potential.


Special Needs usually fall into one of the following categories:

  • Communication and interaction. This could be speech difficulties, social skills difficulties or autism.
  • Cognition and learning. Specific Learning Difficulties such as dyslexia, global learning difficulties, processing and memory difficulties
  • Social, mental and emotional health. Difficulties that impact on a child’s mental health or behaviour.
  • Sensory/physical. Children with hearing or sight impairments or a physical disability
  • Medical. Children with a chronic medical condition such as diabetes or ME


As a result of any of the above areas causing a child to have problems accessing their education, the school may put special educational provision in place to help them.


What are the aims of the school for these children? We aim to:

  • identify pupils with special educational needs and disabilities and ensure that their needs are met
  • ensure that children with special educational needs and disabilities join in with all the activities of the school
  • provide a differentiated curriculum appropriate to the individual child’s needs and ability
  • ensure that all learners make the best possible progress
  • work in partnership with parents and insure that they are kept fully informed of their child’s special needs and provision, progress and attainment
  • ensure that the children are fully involved in decisions which affect their education, wherever possible
  • work with outside agencies when appropriate
  • think big and expect much of ourselves and our children
  • focus on long term outcomes for pupils with SEND


Roles and Responsibilities

We are all involved in the education of children with special needs at Mead Vale Primary School: teachers, governors, support staff and parents. In addition some individuals have more specific responsibilities:

  • The governing body, in cooperation with the Headteacher and staff, determine the school’s SEND policy, establish appropriate staffing and funding arrangements and monitor the provision for children with SEN
  • The Headteacher has responsibility for the day to day management of provision for SEND, keeps the governing body fully informed and liaises with the Inclusion Leader (INCO)
  • The Inclusion Leader for the school is Mrs Ryan. She oversees the day to day operation of the provision for SEND, working closely with the teaching and nonteaching staff and the named governors to co-ordinate provision for the pupils
  • All teachers are teachers of pupils with special educational needs.  They identify, assess and make provision for pupils with SEND. Support staff work under the direction of teachers and the INCO.


How does Mead Vale Primary School know if children need extra help?

We know when pupils need help if:

  • The teachers, parents/carers or child tell us
  • Limited progress is being made when the teachers assess the children once a term
  • There is a change in the pupil’s behaviour or progress;
  • Talking to a previous school tells us there is a problem
  • Talking to or receiving reports from outside agencies such as the Vulnerable Learners Service, Speech and Language Team, Community Paediatrician or others suggests a problem.


What should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?

First of all, talk to the class teacher.  If you still have concerns then contact Mrs Ryan, the school’s Inclusion Leader (INCO) or one of the Learning Mentors.


How will I know how Mead Vale Primary School is supporting my child?

Each pupil’s education programme will be planned by the class teacher, with the support of the school INCO, Mrs Ryan. It will be tailored to your child’s individual needs. This may include additional general support by the teacher or teaching assistant in class. If a pupil has more specific needs, such as spelling, handwriting, numeracy & literacy skills etc. then the pupil will be placed in a small focus group. This will be run by the teacher or teaching assistant. The length of time of the intervention will vary but will generally be for a term. The interventions will be looked at carefully to make sure they are making a difference.

If you have any queries related to the interventions please do not hesitate to contact the class teacher or INCO.

Pupil Progress Meetings are held three times a year. These are meetings where the class teacher meets with the Headteacher to discuss the progress of the pupils in their class. This is a time to think about how we can support the children in our care.

Sometimes a child may need more specialist support from an outside agency such as VLS, Community Paediatrician, Occupational Therapist etc. The school will make the referral, with your consent, and we will let you know what they say.

You are invited to Parent Evenings during the school year, and will receive a report at the end of the year.  In addition, you can come and ask your child’s teacher or the INCO whenever you like.

We have five named people in school who are in charge of Safeguarding and Child protection matters.  They are Mr J M Nicolaides, Mrs L Ryan, Mrs B langley, Mrs Spedding-Blyth and Mrs Ratcliffe.  If you have worries about the safety of your own child/ren or other children, they are the people who can help.


How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?

All the children in the school are regularly assessed to see how they are doing.  The teachers then carefully plan lessons that can be understood by children at all ability levels, and provides work that they can manage.

Your child may work with a member of the support staff 1:1 or as part of a small group.

If we think it may be useful or if your child has funding from the local authority or an Education Health and Care Plan, we will write an IEP for your child which will have targets for your child to work on

Sometimes the school will be given specialist equipment for the child to use that will help them with their school work.  This might be writing slopes, special pens, wobble cushions etc.


How will you help me to support my child’s learning?

The class teacher may suggest ways of helping your child;

We have some leaflets available that may help

Mrs Ryan, INCO, or the Learning Mentors may meet with you to discuss how to support your child

If outside agencies are involved, they may also have suggestions for you to try.


What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?

The school offers a wide variety of pastoral support for pupils.  These include:

Learning Mentors and Parent Support Advisor, teaching assistants and the INCO, who are all willing to talk to children and their families about worries.

Each class participates in Personal, Social and Health Education lessons each week where these issues may be addressed;

A referral to the school nurse can be made in certain circumstances and counselling sessions carried out in school;

We are able to use the expertise offered by SS4L who can offer targeted support with self-esteem, anger management etc

CAMHS )Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service can be accessed through your GP

The VLS can offer some therapy to children with particular issues such as depression and/or anxiety



At Mead Vale we ensure all of our children are kept safe and well. However, we also know that children with Special needs can be vulnerable and are more likely to be bullied. Children are encouraged to tell their teachers or any adult within the school of any bullying.  This will be dealt with immediately, following procedures from our school safeguarding and behaviour policies.

The Governors of School are responsible for entrusting a named person to monitor Safeguarding and Child protection procedures. At Mead Vale this is done by Mrs Ryan and Mr McArthur, supported by our Learning Mentors. 


Pupils with medical needs

If a pupil has a medical need, e.g. Diabetes, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Epilepsy, then a Health Care Plan is written by the INCO with the parents/carers.  These plans are updated every year.

Staff receive Epipen and other training, including First Aid training on an regular basis.

We can on occasions give children at school medicines if the relevant form has been filled in and signed.  Please ask at the school office for further details. 


What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?

At times it may be necessary to consult with outside agencies to receive their more specialised expertise.

The agencies used by the school include:

  • Vulnerable Learners Service (VLS)
  • Local Authority Safeguarding officer
  • Educational Psychologist
  • CAMHS (Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service)
  • CMEO (Children Missing Education Officer – used to be known as Educational Welfare Officer )
  • Social Care
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Hospital consultants
  • School Nurse
  • Paediatricians

An Educational Psychologist is allocated to each school. He/she would normally only work directly with pupils with multiple and complex needs who have not responded well to the interventions previously put in place for them.  In order to help understand the pupil’s educational needs better, the psychologist will work with the child, then write a report for parents and all staff involved. He/she will offer advice to the school and parent/carers on how to best support the pupil in order to take their learning forward.

The school employs a Parent Support Advisor, Mrs Ratcliffe, to work with parents of children in the school.  She is there to offer help and guidance to parents on a wide range of issues.  If she can’t help, she usually knows who can.


What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had or are having?

Training takes place with outside trainers, or by experienced members of staff within the school.  This can be on a wide range of subjects that staff are likely to find useful.


How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?

Activities and school trips are available to all children, and arrangements can usually be made to make this possible.

A risk assessment is carried out before the trip takes place so we know everyone will be safe.  In the unlikely event that it is considered unsafe for a child to take part in an activity, then we will make sure he or she has an alternative thing to do that is just as much fun.


How accessible is the school environment?

As a school we are happy to discuss individual access requirements.

Facilities we have at present include:

  • a toilet adapted for disabled users.
  • wide doors in some parts of the building.
  • Ramps into some classrooms


How will the school prepare and support my child for changes such as moving class or school?

This will depend on your child’s needs but we are well used to finding the best way to support your child. The possibilities include:

Teachers from different schools talking to each other before the change takes place.

Passing on all information on the child

In July each year all pupils spend a session with their new class teacher or at their new school and extra visits can be arranged, as well as photos of important staff and places within the new school.

Additional visits are also arranged for pupils who need extra time in their new school.

Mrs Hartland-Smith, Headteacher, meets with all pupils and their parents before they join the school;

The SEN team are always willing to meet parents/carers prior to their child joining the school.

Secondary school staff visit pupils prior to them joining their new school, and talk to staff. They take in to account friendships when planning class groups.

The PSA and INCO liaise with the INCOs from the secondary schools to pass on information regarding SEN pupils, will phone a previous school to speak to the INCO and liaise with pre-schools for children coming into Reception.

Where a pupil may have more specialised needs, a separate meeting can be arranged with everyone involved to plan for transition. This may be part of an annual review if the child has a Statement of Special Educational Need or an Education, Health and Care Plan.

The teachers in Year 6 work through a transition programme with all students to support them to make the transition to secondary school.


How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?

The SEN budget is sorted out every year. The money is used to provide additional support or resources dependent on an individual’s needs.  


How is the decision made about how much support my child will receive?

The teachers and INCO talk together about needs within the class and how they can be met. The needs are then put onto a provision map which shows pupil names, type of support, staff involved, how often the support will be given and how to tell if the support has worked.  If your child is having extra support at school, you will be told.

The school tries very hard to make sure that all pupils who have special educational needs have their needs met with the funds available. If the school is providing more than £6000 worth of support to a single child over a year then they may need to apply to the local authority for top-up funding.

The money for support is allocated on a needs basis. The pupils who have the most complex needs are given the most support, often involving a TA or an LSA.

We have a team of TAs and LSAs who are funded from the special educational needs budget and deliver interventions designed to meet the needs of groups of children or individuals.


How will I be involved in discussions about and planning for my child’s education?

All parents are encouraged to contribute to their child’s education and Mead vale has an open door policy for parents and carers.  Please do come and talk to us whenever you need to.

Other ways to be involved may be through:

  • Discussions with the class teacher, the INCO or outside agencies;
  • During parents’ evenings
  • At review meetings


Who can I contact for further information?

Please contact the school’s Inclusion Leader, Mrs Ryan. She is in school every day at various times and you can ask for her at the school office.  You are also welcome to ring or email through the school number/email address.

If your query is urgent and cannot wait then please contact the Headteacher, Mrs Hartland Smith, via the school office.


Complaints’ procedure

In the first instance, please see your child’s teacher if something has gone wrong.  If it cannot be sorted out then please ask to see the Head Teacher.

Please use this link to download a copy of our SEND Report.