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Minister Ford’s Open Letter to children and young people, their parents/carers and families and people who support them



At St Bega’s we:

  • Aim to develop the full and unique potential of each child, realising that each person is made in the image and likeness of God.

  • Seek to identify the needs of children with SEND as early as possible.

  • Monitor the progress of all children in order to aid the identification of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

  • Make appropriate provision to overcome all barriers to learning and ensure children with SEND have full access to the curriculum.

  • Work with parents to gain a better understanding of their child, and involve them in all stages of their child’s education and provide regular feedback on their child’s progress.

  • Aim to support parents in terms of understanding SEN procedures and practices.

  • Work with outside agencies when pupils’ needs cannot be met by the school alone.

The SEN Code of Practice 0-25 outlines four main areas of need:

  • Communication and interaction

  • Cognition and learning

  • Social, emotional and mental health difficulties

  • Sensory and/or physical needs

Who are the best people to talk to in St Bega’s about your child’s difficulties with Learning/Special Educational Needs or Disability (SEND)?

The class teacher

Responsible for:

  • Checking on the progress of your child and identifying, planning and delivering any additional help your child may need and letting the Special Education Needs/Disabilities Coordinator (SENCO) know as necessary.

  • Writing Pupil Progress targets which are incorporated within Intervention Programs (IPs), Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and where necessary Care Coordination Plans (CCPs) and sharing and reviewing these with parents on a termly basis.

  • Ensuring that the school’s SEND Policy is followed in their classroom and for all the pupils they teach with any SEND.

    The SENCO Mrs N Brownless

    Responsible for:

  • Developing and reviewing the school’s SEND policy.

  • Coordinating all the support for children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND)

  • Ensuring that you are:

    i) Involved in supporting your child’s learning

    ii) Kept informed about the support your child is getting

    iii) Involved in reviewing how they are doing

  • Liaising with all the other people who may be coming in to school to help support your child’s learning, e.g. Speech and Language Therapy, Educational Psychology.

  • Updating the school’s SEN register (a system for ensuring that all the SEND needs of pupils in this school are known) and making sure that records of your child’s progress and needs are kept.

  • Providing specialist support for teachers and support staff in the school, so that they can help children with SEND in the school to achieve the best progress possible.

    The Headteacher: Mrs. J Dolphin

    Responsible for:

  • The day-to-day management of all aspects of the school; this includes the support for children with SEND.

  • The Headteacher will give responsibility to the SENCO and class teachers, but is still responsible for ensuring that your child’s needs are met.

  • The Headteacher must make sure that the Governing Body is kept up to date about issues relating to SEND.

    The SEND Governor: Mrs B Jones

    Responsible for

  • Making sure that the necessary support is given for any child with SEND who attends the school.

  • Monitoring and evaluating the provision for SEND

    The Social Inclusion Assistant: Mrs R McMorris

    Responsible for:

  • Supporting the SENCO in the coordination of the day to day provision for children with SEND.

If you would like to talk to Mrs Brownless or one of the staff with related responsibilities please ask at the school office to arrange a meeting or telephone 01429 267768. If you have any queries, concerns or complaints, please discuss these initially with your child’s class teacher or the school SENCO, Mrs Brownless. You may wish to discuss your concerns further with the head teacher, Mrs Dolphin. To make an appointment, again please contact the school office on 01429 267768.






What are the best types of support available?

  1. Class teacher input, via excellent targeted classroom teaching (Quality First Teaching).

For your child this would mean

  • That the teacher has the highest possible expectations for your child and all pupils in their class.

  • That all teaching is built on what your child already knows, can do and can understand.

  • That different ways of teaching are in place, so that your child is fully involved in learning in class. This may involve things like using more practical learning.

  • That specific strategies (which may be suggested by the SENCO or other professionals) are in place to support your child to learn.

  • Your child’s teacher will have carefully checked on your child’s progress and will have decided that your child has a gap or gaps in their understanding/ learning and needs some extra support to help them make the best possible progress.

    Specific group work

    Intervention which may be

  • Carried out in the classroom or a group room.

  • Carried out by a teacher or a teaching assistant (TA).

  1. Specialist groups carried out by outside agencies

This means a pupil has been identified by the SENCO/class teacher as needing some extra specialist support in school from a professional outside the school. This may be from:

  • Local Authority central services, such as the ASD Outreach Team, Behaviour Support Team or Sensory Service (for students with a hearing or visual need).

  • Outside agencies such as the Education Psychology Team, Occupational Therapy, Speech and language and Social and Communication Team (SCCT)

    What could happen?

  • 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 you to understand your child’s particular needs better and be able to support them more effectively in school.

  • The specialist professional will work with your child to understand their needs and make recommendations as to the ways your child is given support.

    c) Specified Individual support

    This type of support is available for children whose learning needs are severe, complex and lifelong.

    This is usually provided via an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan) also known as a One Plan. This means your child will have been identified by professionals as needing a particularly high level of individual or small-group teaching.

    This type of support is available for children with specific barriers to learning that cannot be overcome through Quality First Teaching and intervention groups.

    Your child will also need specialist support in school from a professional outside the school. This may be from

  • Local Authority central services such as the ASD Outreach Team, Behaviour Support or Sensory Service (for students with a hearing or visual need).

  • Outside agencies such as the Speech and Language Therapy Service.

    Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC plan) also known as a One Plan

  • The school (or you) can request that Local Authority Services 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. This process happens in the three stages as follows:

    Stage One - Request

  • A request is made to the Local Authority (with a lot of information about your child) the SEND panel will consider the request and will decide whether they think your child’s needs (as described in the paperwork provided), seem complex enough to need a statutory assessment and the implementation of an Education, Health and Care plan.


    Stage Two – Assessment

  • If the request is accepted, the SEND team will meet with the family and will explain the process in more detail.

  • An assessment planning meeting will be arranged and all family and professionals involved with your child will attend.

    Stage Three – Planning

  • A support planning meeting will be arranged

  • A draft EHC plan will be written

  • The finalised and agreed EHC plan will be produced


How can you let the school know if you are concerned about your child’s progress?

If you have concerns about your child’s progress, you should speak to your child’s class teacher initially.

  • If you continue to be concerned that your child is not making progress, you may speak to the Special Education Needs/Disabilities Coordinator (SENCO).

  • The Headteachers

  • The school SEN Governor can also be contacted for support.


    How will the school let you know if we have any concerns about your child’s learning?

    If your child is identified as not making the expected progress, the school will set up a meeting to discuss this with you in more detail and to:

  • Listen to any concerns you may have.

  • Plan any additional support your child may need.

  • Discuss with you any referrals to outside professionals to support your child.




    How is the extra support allocated to children and how do they progress in their learning?

  • The school budget, received from Hartlepool LA, includes money for supporting children with SEND.

  • The Headteachers decide on the deployment of resources for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, in consultation with the school governors on the basis of needs in the school.

  • The Head Teacher, Senior Leadership Team and SENCO discuss all the information they have about SEND in the school, including:

    The children getting extra support already

    The children needing extra support

    The children who have been identified as not making as much progress as would be expected.

    From this information, they decide what resources/training and support is needed.

  • The school identifies the needs of SEND pupils. This identifies all support given within school and is reviewed regularly and changes are made as needed, so that the needs of children are met, and resources are deployed as effectively as possible.

    Who are the other people providing services to children with SEND at St Bega’s?

    School provision

  • Teachers responsible for teaching SEND groups/individuals and implementing IPs, IEPs and where necessary CCPs.

  • Teaching Assistants mainly working with individual children or small groups.

    Local Authority Provision delivered in school

  • Educational Psychology Service

  • Sensory Service for children with visual or hearing needs

  • Parent Partnership Service

  • SALT (Speech and Language Therapy)

  • Autism Outreach Service

  • Learning Support Teacher

  • Social and Communication Team (SCT)

  • Social Services

  • Health Services

    Health Provision delivered in school

  • Speech and Language Therapy input to provide a higher level of service to the school

  • School Nurse

  • Occupational Therapy

  • Physiotherapy

  • CAMHs


    How are the teachers in school helped to work with children with SEND and what training do the teachers have?

    The SENCO’s role is to support the class teacher in planning for children with SEND.

  • The school provides training and support to enable all staff to improve the teaching and learning of children, including those with SEND. This includes whole school training on SEND issues, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), consultations with Educational Psychologist and Speech and Language Therapists.

  • Individual teachers and support staff attend training courses run by outside agencies that are relevant to the needs of specific children in their class.


    How will the teaching be adapted for my child with SEND?

  • Class teachers plan lessons according to the specific needs of all groups of children in their class and will ensure that your child’s needs are met.

  • Support staff, under the direction of the class teacher, can adapt planning to support the needs of your child where necessary.

  • Specific resources and strategies will be used to support your child individually and in groups.

  • Planning and teaching will be adapted, on a daily basis if needed, to meet your child’s learning needs.

How will we measure the progress of your child in school?

  • Your child’s progress will be continually monitored by his/her class teacher.

  • Half termly pupil progress meetings with the Senior Leadership Team

  • His/her progress will be reviewed formally with the Headteachers, Senior Leadership Team and SENCO every term

  • At the end of each key stage (i.e. at the end of year 2 and year 6), all children are required to be formally assessed using Standard Assessment Tests (SATS). This is something the government requires all schools to do and that the results are published nationally.

  • Where necessary, children will have an IEP or a CCP based on targets, set by the class teacher and in some cases by outside agencies, specific to their needs. Targets are set and designed to accelerate learning and close the gap. Progress against these targets will be reviewed regularly, evidence for judgements assessed and a future plan made. These plans follow the ‘assess, plan, do and review’ process and clearly describe how your child is performing at present, what provision will be made to help your child to make progress, how long the intervention will last and the results of the intervention.

  • The progress of children with a statement of SEND/EHC Plan will be formally reviewed at an Annual Review with all adults involved with the child’s education.

  • The SENCO will also check that your child is making good progress within any individual work and in any group that they take part in.

  • Regular book scrutinies and lesson observations will be carried out by the SENCO and other members of the Senior Leadership Team to ensure that the needs of all children are met and that the quality of teaching and learning is high.

    What support do we have for you as a parent of a child with SEND?

    The class teacher is regularly available to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns you may have and to share information about what is working well at home and school, so that similar strategies can be used.

  • The SENCO is available to meet with you to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns/worries you may have.

  • All information from outside professionals will be discussed with you with the person involved directly, or where this is not possible, in a report.

  • Personal progress targets, IEPs and CCP’s will be reviewed with your involvement every term.

  • Homework will be adjusted as needed to your child’s individual requirements.

  • A home-school contact book may be used to support communication with you when this has been agreed to be useful for you and your child.

    How is St Bega’s accessible to children with SEND?

  • The school is fully compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) requirements.

  • The school has easy access and ramps.

  • The front desk has a wheel-chair height section and is DDA compliant.

  • There are two disabled toilet and changing facilities.

  • We ensure wherever possible that equipment used is accessible to all children regardless of their needs.

  • Extra-curricular activities are accessible for children with SEND.

    How will we support your child when they are joining this school/leaving this school or moving on to another class?

    We recognise that transitions can be difficult for a child with SEN, and we take steps to ensure that any transition is as smooth as possible.

    If your child is joining us from another school:

  • The SENCO will visit pre-schools with the Early Years Leader when appropriate.

  • If your child would be helped by a personalised transition booklet to support them in understanding moving on, then one will be made for them.

  • Your child will be able to visit our school and stay for a taster session, if this is appropriate.

    If your child is moving to another school:

  • We will contact the school SENCO and ensure he/she knows about any special arrangements or support that need to be made for your child. Where possible, a planning meeting will take place with the SENCO from the new school.

  • We will make sure that all records about your child are passed on as soon as possible.

  • If your child would be helped by a personalised transition booklet to support them in understanding moving on, then one will be made for them.




    When moving classes in school:

  • Information will be passed on to the new class teacher in advance and a planning meeting will take place with the new teacher. IPs, IEPs and CCPs will be shared with the new teacher.

  • If your child would be helped by a personalised transition booklet to support them in understanding moving on, then one will be made for them.

    In Year 6:

  • The SENCO will discuss the specific needs of your child with the SENCO of the child’s secondary school. In most cases, a transition review meeting to which you will be invited will take place with the SENCO from the new school.

  • Your child will participate in focused learning relating to aspects of transition, to support their understanding of the changes ahead.

  • Where possible, your child will visit their new school on several occasions, and in some cases staff from the new school will visit your child in this school.

  • If your child would be helped by a personalised transition booklet to support them in understand moving on, then one will be made for them.

    How will we support your child’s social, emotional and mental health difficulties?

    We recognise that some children have extra emotional and social needs that need to be developed and nurtured. These needs can manifest themselves in a number of ways, including behavioural difficulties, anxiousness, and being uncommunicative. Support available to children includes:

  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)

  • Educational Psychology Services

  • Increased communication between home and school

  • Individual behaviour Plans

  • Support from the SENCO, identified teaching assistants and teacher

  • Referral to outside agencies such as Educational Psychologist, CAMHS etc

  • Mindfulness sessions

  • Emotional Literacy support

  • Friendship group work

  • Emotional Well-being sessions



If your child still needs extra support, with your permission the SENCO will access further support through the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) process.


Links to other services

Where can I find more details and information about Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in Hartlepool?

To access further information in relation to how we work together with the Local Authority please visit:

First Contact and Support Hub (FCSH)

Telephone: 01429 284284




Hartlepool Families First

Telephone: 01429 867016



Hartlepool Parent Partnership

Telephone: 01429 266522






Any questions, concerns or complaints you may have are taken seriously and we usually find most issues can be resolved informally by talking to:

  • your child’s class teacher

  • the SENCO – Mrs Brownless

If the issues are not satisfactorily resolved informally then our complaints procedure can be followed.

School Accessibility Plan

Our School Accessibility is available for download

For more details information about Special Educational Needs and Disabilities at St Bega’s and further information about the type of provision we provide, please refer to the school’s SEND policy which can be viewed at




The Education Act 1996 says that a child has special educational needs (SEN) if they have a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made or them.

A learning difficulty means that the child either:
a) has significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age
b) has a disability, which either prevents or hinders the child from making use of the educational facilities which are provided for children of the same age in a mainstream school.

Special educational provision means educational provision, which is additional to, or different from, the provision made generally for children of the same age in a mainstream school.

Everyone at St Bega’s Primary School is committed to providing the conditions and opportunities to enable any child with SEN to be included fully in all aspects of school life.

For further information on our Special Needs policy, please see the accompanying downloadable document.