Special Educational Needs & Disability

Lead for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities:  Mrs J Rushton – contactable via the school office 01782 235350 or email office@hillsideprimary.org.uk

Link Governor for SEND: Mr D Gray

At Hillside Primary School we pride ourselves on developing the individual. This encompasses all children, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Mrs Rushton leads the area of Special Educational Needs at Hillside and believes passionately that every child, of every ability, should have equal opportunities to develop and achieve, and that every child should believe that they can do and be anything they wish. Through high quality first teaching, careful identification and targeted support at Hillside we strive to meet the needs of all children in an inclusive environment. Teaching, training, expert external support, apt resourcing and highly positive relationships between staff and children all help our children to make progress, particularly for those who may find the curriculum challenging. Additionally, at Hillside we value parental partnerships and have an open-door policy with staff as well as an approachable, experienced SENCo and so we are able to act quickly as needs arise or are made known. Through open and honest dialogue and apt support, we are able to offer our children and families the tools that they need to make progress throughout their educational journey with us and beyond. Please find to follow information about what to do should you feel your child has special educational needs, what we will do if we feel your child has SEND and information relating to how we support children with SEND at Hillside Primary School. Further relevant web-links and documentation are included at the bottom of the page.

  1. What kinds of SEND does Hillside Primary provide for?

The school accommodates all SEND in line with the Equality Act 2010 and provision is available for all four areas of need outlined in the 2014 SEND Code of Practice.
The types of SEND the school caters for include;

1) Speech, Language and Communication
2) Cognition and Learning
3) Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties
4) Physical and/or Sensory

Below is a glossary of the most common SEN terms.
ADHD: Attention Deficit & Hyperactivity Disorder
ASD: Autistic Spectrum Disorder
HI: Hearing Impairment
MLD: Moderate Learning Difficulty
PS: Physical and/or Sensory
SEMH: Social, Emotional and Mental Health
SEN: Special Educational Needs
SEND: Special Educational Needs & Disability
SENCo: Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator
SLCN: Speech, Language, Communication Needs
SpLD: Specific Learning Difficulty
VI: Visual Impairment

  1. How do we know if your child needs extra help and what should you do if you think your child may have special educational needs and/or disabilities?

Our school will know when pupils need help if:

  • concerns are raised by parents/carers, teachers or the child
  • if limited progress is being made
  • if there is a change in the child’s behaviour or progress

The primary contact is your child’s class teacher who monitors all children closely to ensure that children are making progress and meeting age related expectations through apt assessment. Mrs Rushton is the SENCo at Hillside Primary and she supports class teachers, parents and children as needs arise.

  1. How will Early Year’s staff support your child initially?

They will ensure that there are:

  • Apt, differentiated activities that engage all children, factoring in their interests and needs.
  • A range of indoor and outdoor learning environments will foster love of learning early, and begin to develop the individual.
  • Daily dialogues with parents / carers to ensure children are well supported as needed.
  • Regular progress checks to ensure that children are meeting age related expectations.
  • A ‘Passport to Learning’ will be devised if a child needs additional targets. This will ensure that they are further supported and able to demonstrate progress which will be shared with parents/carers.
  • All staff will have the highest available training in order to deliver high quality first teaching at all times, with relevant planning and assessment links to the EYFS curriculum.
  • SEND Policy (available at the bottom of the page) to be followed within class as necessary at all times.

(These elements are all considered by all teaching staff as children progress in to Key Stage One and Key Stage Two).

  1. How will the curriculum be matched to your child’s needs?

  • As above.
  • Class teachers will all deliver high quality first teaching and hold high expectations of children in order to ensure that all needs are met.
  • Teaching will build upon what your child already knows through the utilisation of an enquiry based curriculum in line with the updated EYFS Curriculum that supports children’s interests initially. (This will progress to the National Curriculum as children progress in to Key Stage One and Key Stage Two).
  • Teachers plan to meet the needs of individuals/classes/cohorts in line with their interests and the National Curriculum, adopting differing teaching styles and activities to encompass all learners, including those who may need additional practical or visual resources.
  • Specific strategies may be employed (as suggested by the SENCo or external agencies) to support learning. Progress will be reviewed and identified gaps in learning or understanding will be met through additional support or intervention as necessary.

Depending on your child’s needs they may access one or more of the following types of support with their learning:

Targeted small group (intervention) work may be:

Delivered in the classroom or outside in a quiet area.

Delivered by a teacher or most often a Learning Support Practitioner or Teaching Assistant who has had training to deliver the intervention or support programme that is best designed to meet the needs of your child.

School based support (which means your child has been identified by the class teacher as needing some extra support in school in addition to intervention group work):

For your child this would mean:

Your child will have a Passport to Learning.

Your child will engage in individual work and/or group sessions with specific targets to help them to make more progress, which will be supported by the Teacher or Teaching Assistant.

This type of support is available for any child who has specific gaps in their understanding of a subject/area of learning.

Specialist SEND support (which means that your child has been identified by the class teacher/SENCo as needing some extra specialist support in school from a professional outside of the school)

This may be from:

Local Authority central services such as the Inclusive Learning Support Team (ILS) or the Sensory Service (for students with a hearing or visual need)

Outside agencies such as the Speech and Language Therapy Service (SALT) or Occupational Therapy.

For your child this would mean:

Your child will have been identified by the class teacher/SENCo (or you will have raised your concerns) as needing more specialist input instead of, or in addition to, quality first teaching, school support provision and intervention groups.

You will be asked to come to a meeting to discuss your child’s progress and help plan possible ways forward to aid their progress.

You may be asked to give your permission for the school to refer your child to a specialist professional e.g.  a Speech and Language Therapist or Educational Psychologist. This will help the school and yourself understand your child’s particular needs better and that we will be able to support them better in school.

The specialist professional will work with your child to understand their needs and make recommendations, which may include:

  • Making changes to the way your child is supported in class, for example, some individual support or changing some aspects of teaching to support them better
  • Support to set better targets which will include their specific expertise
  • A group delivered by school staff under the guidance of the outside professional e.g. a social skills group
  • A piece of group or individual work with an outside professional


The school may suggest that your child needs some individual support in school. School will discuss with you how the support will be used and what strategies will be put in place.

Support provided through an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

This means that your child will have been identified by the class teacher/SENCo/specialist professional as needing a particularly high level of individual or small group teaching (more than fifteen hours a week), which cannot be provided from the budget available to the school. This type of support is available for children whose learning needs are severe, complex and lifelong. Usually your child will also need specialist support in school from a professional outside of the school. This may be from:

Local Authority central services such as Inclusive Learning Service (ILS), through the Autism Team or SEMH Team for example, or Sensory Service (for students with a hearing or visual need)

Outside agencies such as the Speech and Language therapy (SALT) Service.


For your child this would mean:

The school (or you) can request that the Local Authority carry out a statutory assessment of your child’s needs. This is a legal process which sets out the amount of support that will be provided for your child.

After the request has been sent to the Local Authority (with a lot of information about your child, including some from you), they will decide whether they think your child’s needs (as described in the paperwork provided), seem complex enough to require a statutory assessment. If this is the case they will ask you and all professionals involved with your child to write a report outlining your child’s needs. If they do not think your child needs this, they will ask the school to continue with the school support.

After the reports have been submitted to the Local Authority they will decide if your child’s needs require more than fifteen hours of support in school to make good progress. If this is the case they will write an EHC Plan. If this is not the case, they will ask the school to continue with school support and also set up a meeting in school to ensure a plan is in place to ensure your child makes as much progress as possible.

The EHC Plan will be written by the Local Authority and will outline the support your child requires within a set banding, determining how the support should be used and what strategies must be put into place. It will also have long and short term goals for your child.

An additional adult may be used to support your child with whole class learning, deliver individual programmes or carry out small groups including your child.

A specialist teacher may be employed to work with your child if recommended in the EHC Plan.

This type of support is available for children whose learning needs are severe, complex and lifelong and require more than twenty hours of support in school.

  1. How will both the school and you as a parent or carer know how your child is doing and how will we help you to support your child’s learning?

We will ensure that there are opportunities for:

  • Daily dialogue with staff through an open door policy to support positive relationships between school and home. Additionally, appointments can be made to see class teachers or the SENCo if a concern needs to be raised by visiting the school office. Strategies can be shared between school and home to ensure that children are able to make the maximum progress.
  • Parent’s evenings are completed in the Autumn term and Spring term to discuss how your child has settled and their rates of progress, as well as their current achievements. Additional reviews of Passports to Learning will be completer termly and will ask for your comments regarding the progress that your child has made towards their targets.
  • Parent’s workshops are offered to support parents/carers in understanding current policy and processes used in school.
  • Sharing of achievements through celebration assemblies happen on a weekly basis and parents/carers are invited to share their children’s successes in and out of school.
  • Relevant reporting through end of year reports as well as termly topic diaries that offer links to learning in school will be provided.
  • There are planned show case afternoons whereby parents are invited into school to see their children’s work in a show case, resulting in children sharing their learning with parents/carers.
  • The SENCo is available to meet with you to discuss progress or concerns as necessary.
  1. What support will there be for your child’s/young person’s overall wellbeing?

High quality relationships with children based on positivity and good rapport.

All children will have support from class teachers, learning supports assistants, lunchtime supervisors etc. to encourage open and honest relationships.

PSHCE curriculum will support developing the whole child as an individual, alongside Careers teaching encouraging aspirations and Growth Mindset lessons.

A challenging, interwoven curriculum enables children to engage deeply in their learning, making links to real life and as result, beginning to prepare them for the wider world.

Links are available as necessary to relevant School Counselling Service or School Nursing Team.

If a child has medical needs, then a Care Plan will be in place with support from the school nurse / parents / carers and all staff will be aware / trained as necessary.

Regular first aid training is undertaken as is training in specific needs, for example asthma, for all staff in school.

  1. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by Hillside Primary?

Inclusive Learning Services, Educational Psychologist, CAMHS, Changes/Staywell etc. are all accessed as necessary as are outreach services, for example, The Autism Outreach Team at Abbey Hill who support regarding children with ASD. Services are contacted and referrals are made for further specialist support as necessary. Please refer to the Stoke-on-Trent local offer for further details of support services / agencies.

  1. What training have the staff supporting children with SEND had or are having?

Staff have received training for the Better Reading Partnership, Beat Dyslexia, Manual Handling, Safeguarding, ASD support (courses including parental involvement as well as one-to-one support worker) etc. Ongoing training is accessed and delivered based on the needs of the children and staff.

  1. How will your child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?

Inclusive environment for all and so as such, all children will be fully included in out-of-school activities and educational visits.

A Local Authority approved Risk Assessment is always carried out prior to any educational visit taking place.

Consideration will always be given to children with SEN / medical conditions to ensure that all potential issues have been assessed with apt risk assessment and that clear procedures are in place should an issue arise.

Additionally, ratios of staff to pupils are always within statutory requirements, and where necessary, for parents/carers or children’s benefits, if one to one support is required, parents may be invited to support their children on out-of-school activities or educational visits to ensure that all children are able to attend.

  1. How accessible is Hillside Primary School?

Please see the disability / equality policy: school is accessible for all children, including those with specific needs relating to walking or wheelchairs.

Signage inside and outside of school is clear and well–posted.

There is a disabled toilet with a changing table if necessary and staff are trained / undertaking training as necessary to support children with specific or medical needs.

Laptops, dyslexia friendly paper, large print books are all available to children as well as adults as requested.

Children have a range of teaching styles within class, rooms are arranged to meet needs, teachers and learning support assistants are deployed aptly to meet needs both inside and outside of the classroom and lunchtime supervisors and playground leaders support engagement with the school environment.

  1. How will Hillside Primary prepare and support my child to join the next stage of education and life?

Transition is carefully monitored and planned as children progress through year groups / key stages / schools.

Transition weeks occur prior to children changing year groups as do intensive handovers between teaching and support staff to ensure that all staff are aware of the needs of the children within their class/the school and they are able to plan to further develop the individual on entry.

If your child is joining our school: We will contact the previous school/setting to discuss your child’s individual needs and any special arrangements or support that they are currently receiving. We will obtain all records about your child and request that they are transferred as soon as possible.

If your child is moving from Hillside Primary to another school: We will contact the school and SENCo if necessary to ensure he/she knows about any special arrangements or support that has been made for your child. We will make sure that all records about your child are passed on as soon as possible.

When moving classes in school: Information will be passed on to the new class teacher in advance and in most cases, a planning meeting will take place with the new teacher. All Passports to Learning and notes relating to provision in class will be shared with the new teacher. If your child requires further support with their transition into their new class specific arrangements will be made. E.g. photographs of new members of staff to take home, extra sessions with new members of staff, powerpoints about the new environment etc.

In Year 6: The SENCo will liaise with the SENCo of the secondary setting to discuss how a smooth transition can be managed and the provision and support that needs to be in place for your child  in addition to the Year Six Class Teacher. Your child will visit their new school and take part in the transition programme offered by the secondary setting.

  1. How are Hillside Primary’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs? 

Our school aims to meet needs and demands as they arise through apt budgeting, resourcing and through / in line with the whole school development plan.

Whole school actions are detailed within Disability / Equality policy and SEND Service Level Agreement supports access to ILS and outreach facilities.

As necessary, whole school / small group / individual training needs are met through attendance on courses, in house delivery or shared good practice as well as by procuring relevant training materials or resources to support children’s learning.

All needs are reviewed regularly through discussion with the class teachers / SENCo / SLT / HT as necessary.

  1. How is the decision made about what type and how much support your child will receive?

Children will receive in-house support in the initial stages when special educational needs are noted. Apt SMART targets will be set, reviewed and amended as necessary and on a regular basis. Teachers and support staff will attempt to meet needs of children within class / school.

If children’s needs are not being met, outreach services or referrals to relevant specialists will be sought, following collaborative consultation with children / parents / teachers / support staff / SENCo / Senior Leadership Team or Head Teacher as necessary.

Outcomes of referrals will then be acted upon with immediacy in school (for example, findings of Educational Psychologists reports, ASD specialist advice, SLCN programmes etc.) to further support children. If necessary, more referrals or requests for Statutory Assessment / Education and Health Care Plans will be made.

14a. How will our child and young person be involved in the decisions about their learning?

Pupils are involved at every opportunity through regular discussion of their learning, progress and targets. Pupils are involved specifically when reviewing their targets on their Passport to Learning and are asked about what helps them to learn on a day to day basis. Pupils are consulted and asked for their views as part of the Annual Review process if they have an EHCP.

14b. How will we be involved in the decisions about the learning of our children and young people?

All parents are encouraged to contribute to their child’s education as noted above and below. This may be through:

  • Discussions with the class teacher
  • During parents’ evenings
  • Comments in home /school diaries
  • During discussions/meetings with SENCo or other professionals.
  • School questionnaires
  • Termly Passport for Learning review meetings
  • Annual Review meetings for Statements of SEND and EHCPs
  1. How can I be involved as a parent/carer?

At Hillside we encourage positive relationships between parents/carers, pupils and staff.

  • Open door policy encourages frequent, open and honest dialogue and all parents / carers are encouraged to have an active role in their child’s education, as well as through home-school diaries and regular letters / newsletters.
    • Parent’s evenings, Passport to Learning reviews further discussions relating to progress and achievement.
    • Parents/grandparents are encouraged to come into school for parents evening, lunches and workshops to support learning and are invited to their children’s showcase events.
    • Additionally, parents are asked to support their children during celebration assemblies and sports days as well as out of school activities like Singing Stars, choir or Street dance. These also enable children to achieve in a range of ways, not only academic.
    • The PTFA encourage participation in school events, such as Christmas or Summer Fayres as well as the Year Six Leaver’s Event or school disco.
    • The school has an up-to-date website with access to all relevant information as well as a school app that can be downloaded on to smart phones or tablets. School Dojo is used to showcase events that happen in your child’s class during the teaching week too.
  1. What do I do if I want to make a complaint?

Any complaint is dealt with sensitively and promptly.
1. The initial point of contact is the child’s class teacher
2. Appointments may also be made with the SENCo initially, if further concerns, then the Headteacher.
3. If any person feels that their complaint has not been dealt with adequately by the school staff, they are able to contact the named Governor of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, Mr Derek Gray, who will report their concerns to the Governing Body.
4. In addition, the Local Education Authority provides a disagreement resolution service, telephone number on display in the entrance hall. The LA also provides a parent partnership service (SENDIASS – see below for contact details).

  1. What other support Is available to parents and how can I contact them?

Contact the SENCo (Mrs Rushton) for leaflets/information about a range different support groups and additional services available to support the parents/carers of children with SEND. Many leaflets are on display in the school reception area and provide links to Inclusion Learning Services, SENDIASS, the Safeguarding Board and Independent School Services (ISS). Additionally, posts are made to the School App and Dojo to support parental signposting.

The LA provides a parent partnership service to support with and guide parents/carers with regards to SEND (SENDIASS):

Telephone: 01782 234701
E-mail:  iass@stoke.gov.uk
Website:  SENDIASS – SEND Information Advice and Support Service | Stoke SEN and Disability – Local Offer

If there is anything that you would like to discuss, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Rushton via the school office 01782 235350 or email office@hillsideprimary.org.uk at your earliest convenience. Additionally, please note that the school SEND Policy and the Local Offer are both linked on the school website.

Stoke SEN and Disability – Local Offer

Hillside Primary School | Stoke SEN and Disability – Local Offer