SEND Questions and Answers for Parents

Parent Information

Questions and answers

For a more in depth analysis of this report please read the school Special Educational Needs and Disabilities policy

At Downs View School we aim to support all of our children to enable them to achieve their best at school. In order to do this, many steps are taken to support them on their learning journey. Quality teaching is vital; however for some children there are occasions when further additional support may be needed to help them achieve their full potential.

Here some commonly asked questions about additional needs from parent/carers:


  1. What should I do if I think my child has special educational needs?

  • The class teacher is the initial point of contact for responding to all parental concerns.
  • For specific Special Educational Needs queries contact the SENCo/Inclusion Leader (Mrs.Lisa Somerville) or the Headteacher (Mrs.Tracy Kent)


  1. How will the school respond to my concerns?

  • The class teacher will arrange for an informal meeting at a convenient time to discuss your concern, with a follow up meeting if necessary. The SENCo/Inclusion Leader will attend these meetings if required.
  1. How will the school decide if my child needs extra support?

The primary areas of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities as identified in the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities  Code of Practice are:

  • Communication and interaction
  • Cognitive and learning
  • Social, mental and emotional health
  • Sensory and/or physical development.

When children are not making expected progress in line with their peers, the class teacher will plan appropriate intervention and support. All children will be observed and assessed regularly in class. Any concerns will be initially discussed with parent/carers as above.  Any judgements made in school, may require an outside agency to confirm these.  If a child continues to make little progress and is working at a level that is approximately 12 – 24 months below their year group expectation then a child may be identified as having needs in:

  • Communication and interaction –Speech/Language Link is used to assess communication and speech difficulties. A child may also have outside involvement from the  Speech and Language team prior to starting school.
  • Cognitive and  learning –A judgement is made by the class teacher and teaching assistant following classroom observations which are recorded on the school’s tracking system. The school’s tracking system monitors children’s progress and attainment regularly throughout the year and highlights children who are not making expected progress. School also use a Lucid cognitive screening assessment to identify aural and visual memory difficulties.
  • Social, emotional, mental health-  These difficulties are recorded when they significantly affect his/her educational progress and are identified through observation and assessment within the classroom.  We use Leuven’s levels of wellbeing and involvement as a screening tool.
  • Physical and/or sensory – These developmental needs may be identified by the class teacher, outside agency or parent and the school will follow advice given to identify the child’s needs and offer the necessary support.
  1. What will the school do to support my child?

  • Assess. If a child meets any of the criteria outlined above.
  • Plan. The class teacher will arrange a meeting with parents and the SENCo to discuss individual targets, next steps or a Special Educational Needs support plan and proposed outcomes to suit the pupil’s individual needs in order for them to make progress. With permission from parents, a child will then be placed on the school Special Educational Needs register if he/she fulfils the criteria.
  • Do. Provision will vary according to need and may include additional classroom support by the teacher, teaching assistant or intervention teacher/assistant.
  • Review. Targets and Special Educational needs support/provision plans are reviewed a minimum of 3 times a year to monitor the effectiveness of the intervention and review process, before setting new targets.

If circumstances change and you have immediate concern regarding your child’s SEN provision, please contact the school to make a convenient appointment to discuss these with the class teacher or SENCo. If/when your child has made sufficient progress you will be informed and they will be removed from the register.

Special need provision is provided in graduated stages.

Special Educational Needs with support

Special Educational Needs with an Educational Health Care Plan  

Special Educational Needs Support.

  • Initially, provision for a child will be planned for and delivered by his/her class teacher, teaching assistant and/or year group intervention teacher or assistant using a range of strategies and resources within school.
  • If a child continues to make insufficient progress he or she may receive additional support/assessment from an outside agency following discussion with the SENCo, class teacher, parents and child. If a child needs support that costs more than £6,000 the school may apply for High Needs Funding to maintain their progress.

Educational Health Care Plan

  • If a child continues to work at a level significantly below his/her peers and/or has a diagnosed range of severe complex needs that cannot be met within the schools resources even with High Needs Funding in place then, with parental permission and involvement, a child may be referred for statutory assessment. If successful this may result in a child having an Education and Health Care Plan.
  1. Who will support my child?

  • The class teacher
  • Class teaching assistants
  • Intervention teaching assistants
  • Intervention teacher
  • The SENCo – Mrs.Somerville
  1. Who else might be involved in supporting my child?

  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Educational Psychology
  • Social Communication (including Autism) outreach teams form Goldwyn and Wyvern schools
  • Goldwyn specialist teaching and learning services
  • Sensory impairment service
  • Occupational therapy
  • Paediatrician
  • School nurse
  • School Liaison Officer (SLO)
  • School Family Liaison officer (FLO)
  • Play therapist
  • Grief/Loss Counsellor
  1. How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?

When a pupil has been identified as having additional needs their work will be differentiated by the class teacher to enable them to access the curriculum more easily. Teaching assistants may be allocated to work with a pupil in a 1:1 or small group focus. If appropriate, specialist equipment may be given to the pupil e.g writing slopes, concentration cushions, pencil grippers, specialised scissors, laptops etc. Children’s seating place in the classroom may be adjusted to maximise learning.

  1. What opportunities will there be for me to discuss my child’s attainment and achievement? How will I know how well my child is progressing?

  • Parent’s consultation meetings at least 3 times per year with the class teacher/ Learning support assistants and SENCO,
  • a mid and final year written report.
  • If appropriate, some children may have a home-school book for more regular contact.
  • Class teachers are available if you wish to discuss your child’s progress at any time after school. Please contact the school office to make an appointment.
  1. How does the school know how well my child is doing?

The school uses a tracking system called Target Tracker which measures achievement against age related expectations and tracks progress 6 times per year at the end of each term.

  • National Curriculum year group expectations
  • EYFS/SEN – Development Matters
  • P scales
  • Review of Outcomes from SEN support/provision plans
  • Formal national assessments – Year 1 phonics screening check (June) End of Key Stage 1 SATs for year 2 (May).

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

  • All children have the right to access school clubs, extra-curricular activities and school trips. Planning and implementation will involve prior consultation with parents to compile appropriate risk assessments, suitable access arrangements and additional support if required.

11. How accessible is the school environment?

  • The school is situated on the ground floor with ramps leading up to the main office area and down to the year 2 outdoor area.
  • A disability parking space is available within the school car park.
  • Two toilets are available with disability access, one with changing facilities
  • School information/ newsletters are available to parents/pupils with additional languages on request at the school office.

12. How will the school prepare and support my child to transfer to a new school/ setting?

  • All additional needs information is passed on when a child transfers between school settings. Children who struggle with transition are given additional support in preparation for their new setting such as additional visits to their new school on a 1: 1 or small group basis and transition booklets.
  • A transition programme may need to be implemented for some children.
  • A multi-agency meeting will be arranged if required.
  • The school has an excellent relationship with the feeder Junior school, Kennington Academy and the two SENCos liaise together in terms 5 and 6 to support transition.
  • Our Early years teachers / EYFS leader and SENCo liaise with preschool settings before any children attend school for their pre-school visits.
  • The school provides pre-school sessions called ‘Puppies’ during terms 5 and 6 for new pupils coming into the Reception classes with parental consent.
  • Home visits are conducted in term 1 of Reception
  • All class teachers exchange information at the end of the school year with the child’s next class teacher.

13. How can I be involved in supporting my child?

  • Suggestions to parents will be discussed at Parent Consultation meetings and targets for SEN support/provision plans will be developed together between parents and school.
  • Literature and support resources for parents are also available and will be given to parents accordingly.
  • If outside agencies are involved, recommended activities will come directly from them.
  • The school provides a variety of curriculum evenings/ afternoon workshops to parents eg My parent and me, Reading, Phonics and Maths workshops
  • School will notify parents of any support groups or workshops in the local area, and direct them to useful websites.
  • The local authority has family services directory link online at


As with all children at Downs View, it is important that parents and teachers work together to support the child. We will do our best to update and inform you of your child’s progress and notify you of any relevant literature / courses. In return, please provide the school with any relevant reports from outside agencies. If your child has an appointment with an outside agency you may be asked to request a school report. Please give the class teacher as much notice as possible to allow sufficient time to write a comprehensive report. By working together in partnership, we can provide the best support for your child.

NB Please remember this offer is intended as a general guide to SEN provision at Downs View. Individual provision will vary according to individual needs.

Useful names and addresses.

Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Visual support materials Cue cards and facial expression recognition of facial expression

Information on Asperger’s Syndrome Information on Dyspraxia