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Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) School Offer

In September 2014, a new statutory Code of Practice for Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) was introduced by the Department for Education (DfE). The SEND reforms build on the best practice over the past 13 years since the last Code of Practice was written. They aim to implement a new approach which seeks to join up help across education, health and care, from birth to 25. The reforms give schools the freedom to develop what works for them in partnership with their local authority, parents and young people

The reforms underpin the belief that, with the right provision, children with SEN can be supported to achieve good outcomes.

This document explains how The Minster Primary School plans to implement the new Code of Practice for SEND.

Special Educational Needs

The changes in the Children and Families Bill affect the way children with special educational needs (SEN) are supported in schools. The new approach begins in September 2014 and places pupils at the centre of planning. The key principles of the new legislation are:

  • Young people and their families should be involved in discussions about the support they need, so they can share their knowledge and feed back to the school on the young person’s progress.
  • Education, health and care plans (EHC) will replace statements of special educational needs. New assessments for additional educational needs will follow the EHC guidelines from September 2014. (Existing statements will remain in force until all children and young people have completed the transition, which will be within three years).
  • School Action and School Action Plus will cease and be replaced by a single school-based category (SEN Support) for children who need extra specialist support.

The Minster Primary School is well placed to adopt these changes and looks forward to working with pupils and parents/carers to ensure fully inclusive access to our education.


Local Offer

Wiltshire Council has published its ‘Local Offer’ which sets out what is available in Wiltshire in relation to education and enables parents/carers and young people to access clear and comprehensive information about the support and opportunities that are available.

Information about the Wiltshire Local Offer can be accessed through this link 


The Minster Primary School is an inclusive school. We uphold children’s right to education and recognise the diverse educational needs within our community. We acknowledge those needs may change over time and require a range of provision. We believe we have a duty to offer that provision where we can, to foster inclusion and provide full educational access. We ensure all

pupils are included in all aspects of school life.

The Minster Primary School's Offer for SEND pupils aims to provide information and answer some key questions for parents, carers and those who support children with SEND in our school. The Offer details the provision and support that parents and carers can expect our school to provide.

  • What do we offer at The Minster Primary School?

    The Minster Primary School firmly believes in the effective inclusion of all pupils in high-quality everyday personalised teaching, known as ‘Quality First Teaching’. We value the abilities and achievements of all of our pupils, and are committed to providing the best possible learning environment for every child. We aim to support all learners and to provide well resourced, appropriate and effective provision which is personalised to meet the needs of individual children. We believe that the most effective learning takes place when children are happy and confident, when they have high self-esteem and believe in themselves as learners.

  • How do we support all children to access the curriculum?

    • Class staff teams know the profile of their class and their individual needs - learning activities are planned carefully to match children’s learning needs.
    • To ensure that teaching and learning is at an appropriate level for the children’s individual needs, activities and tasks are differentiated wherever necessary.
    • The environment is stimulating, supportive and well resourced. Wall and interactive displays provide prompts and reminders to encourage children to learn and achieve independently.
    • Each class has a teacher and a teaching assistant. If children have a Statement of Special Educational Need or an Education, Health and Care Plan, there may be additional teaching assistance so that specialised support is available.
    • Classes are well resourced and for children with additional needs, specialised equipment such as writing slopes, visual aids/support, IT support or hearing loop systems can be arranged.
    • We will ensure that all staff know and understand the needs of all pupils.
    • All staff will have access to training, advice and resources to enable them to contribute to developing fully inclusive practice.
  • How do we support literacy and numeracy?

    Strategies and interventions are in place to support literacy and numeracy. Teachers and teaching assistants make sure the classroom environment is ‘language’ rich and have well- organised wall displays to support learning in all areas of the curriculum.

    For children with specific learning needs activities include: reinforcement and pre-teaching in small groups, specific programmes for literacy and mathematics.

  • How do we support speech and language development?

    Teachers make sure their classes have lots of language support and activities. Many of our staff are trained to provide specific support and interventions. We work in partnership with speech and language therapists to plan and deliver support for children with specific difficulties.

  • How do we promote positive behaviour?

    The “Behaviour Policy” describes the high standards of behaviour and conduct expected in school. In each class the Code of Conduct is shared and displayed and expectations about the rights and responsibilities of everyone in the class are explained. These are also discussed in school assemblies and underpin the school’s positive ethos; all are valued and happy. We make sure all staff know and understand the reasons behind any difficult behaviour and how to respond. In class, the teaching assistant may support targeted children to stay on task and focussed on learning. In the playground, staff will involve targeted children in specific activities. Some children who find good behaviour a challenge may need additional help such as collecting points or cards which lead to personalised in-school rewards.

    Where difficult situations have occurred, staff talk calmly through the event with the child helping to identify what went wrong and what actions could be taken if a similar situation happens again. For some children we use ‘social stories’ or comic strips to help their understanding.

  • How do we tackle bullying?

    We are aware that children with special educational needs and disability may be more vulnerable to bullying than other pupils. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable. The Minster Primary School is committed to providing a safe, caring and friendly environment for all staff and pupils. We do all we can to prevent it, by developing a school ethos in which bullying, of any kind, is regarded as unacceptable.

    We aim, as a school, to produce a safe and secure environment where all can learn without anxiety, and measures are in place to reduce the likelihood of bullying. We have developed a whole school approach to developing pupils’ social and emotional skills. We reward and celebrate good social skills. We aim to make all those connected with the school aware of our opposition to bullying, and we make clear each person's responsibilities with regard to the eradication of bullying in our school.

    Bullying by children with disabilities or SEN is no more acceptable than bullying by other children and it should be made clear that their actions are wrong and appropriate sanctions are imposed. Sanctions against pupils should be applied fairly, proportionately, consistently and reasonably, taking account of any special education needs (SEN) or disabilities that pupils may have and taking into consideration the needs of vulnerable children. However, for a sanction to be reasonable and lawful, schools must take account of the nature of the child’s disability or SEN and the extent to which the child understands and is in control of what s/he is doing.

    For further details please refer to the school’s ‘Anti-bullying’ policy.

  • How do we support children’s emotional well-being?

    Emotional well-being is supported by making sure that children who find “change” difficult are well prepared for any changes or transitions. When they are about to change class they are helped to make their own transition book, which they can revisit during the summer holidays.  Counselling sessions can be arranged for children who need time to talk with an adult.  The school has a trained Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) who works with individuals and groups when necessary.

  • How do we support children’s physical needs?

    Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists provide specific advice and guidance for target children. They also provide training for staff. Teaching assistants follow up any recommendations by providing specific interventions to children for handwriting or fine motor skills either individually or in small groups.

    The Minster School site consists of a new building (2016) and a Vicotrian building built in 1882. Accessibility to some learning spaces can be difficult.  However, when necessary, staff receive training in ensuring children can be assisted in accessing areas that are needed.

  • How do we support children’s medical needs?

    The school nurse visits school to carry out checks with children and to provide advice and training to staff. She also assists in writing Health and Care plans for children. In school we have a medical area for use by children and adults who are hurt or unwell. Medicines are stored safely in the school office. There are a team of staff who are first aid trained, we are able to administer medicines to children as directed by parents/ carers.

  • How do we support children during unstructured parts of the day?

    Lunch and playtimes are staffed to ensure safe adult:child ratios. There is a range of equipment available and different activities are led by staff and a children’s team of buddies. Specific interventions for children with additional needs include having a named member of staff for support, being guided to specific areas or activities, being able to access quiet spaces or indoor activities.

  • How does The Minster Primary School know if children need extra help?

    We recognise that many children will have special needs at some time during their school life. Whilst many factors contribute to the range of difficulties experienced by some children, we believe that much can be done to overcome them by parents, teachers and pupils working together.

    We have rigorous monitoring in place which tracks the progress children make in Reading, Writing and Maths and in the Foundation subjects. We regularly scrutinise assessment data and can quickly identify those children who are not making expected progress and may need some additional support or intervention.

    If a child is making slow or less than expected progress, this does not necessarily mean that a child has a SEN. There may be other reasons such as family circumstances or friendship issues that can affect a child’s learning. Equally, it should not be assumed that attainment in line with chronological age means that there is no learning difficulty.

    Concerns may also be raised by parents and carers, teachers and support staff. Additionally, children may be identified with an SEND via a GP referral, health visitor, speech and language service, the school nurse or paediatrician, or where a child joins us from a different school.

    The Minster Primary School follows the SEN Code of Practice (2014) and uses the Wiltshire Indicators and Provision Document (WIPD) to identify, assess and monitor a child’s special educational needs. If you are concerned about your child’s progress you should talk to his or her class teacher first, or contact the SENCo / headteacher. The best way to make contact is by email or via the school office.

    As well as providing support for children from within the school, we are also able to involve outside professionals as and when necessary.

  • Who is the Special Educational Needs Coordinator?

    At The Minster,  the SENCo:

    • manages the day-to-day operation of the policy
    • co-ordinates provision and manages the response to children’s needs
    • oversees the records of children with SEND
    • acts as the link with parents
    • acts as the link with external agencies


    Our SENCo is Mr James Hobbs. The best way to contact the SENCo is via email: admin@minster.wilts.sch.uk or via the school office on 01985 213265.

  • What kinds of SEND are provided for at The Minster?

    A child may be described as having a special educational need if he/she has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or has a disability which prevents or hinders him/her from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided (i.e. over and above adjustments, aids and services required by the Equality Act 2010). This may mean that they have a learning difficulty or a disability that requires support that is different from, or additional to, that provided for other children of the same age.

    The Minster Primary School provides support for a range of special educational needs which are put into four broad categories:

    • Communication and interaction
    • Cognition and Learning
    • Social, emotional and mental health
    • Sensory and/or physical

    The Equality Act 2010 defines a disabled person as a person with a disability. A person has a disability for the purposes of the Act if he or she has a physical or mental impairment and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

    Many of our staff members have specialist training and experience in supporting children with a variety of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

  • What training do staff supporting children with SEND have?

    All members of staff have received training relating to SEND, while some staff will have received more focussed training to enable them to support children with specific needs, for example, those on the autistic spectrum, children with speech, language and communication difficulties, children with social and emotional needs or those with physical and coordination needs.

    Ensuring that our staff have appropriate and regularly updated training is a key element of the school’s strategic planning.

  • How will The Minster Primary School support my child?

    If pupils have an identified SEN, personal targets are identified which set out specific outcomes to be achieved. Appropriate support will be put in place to enable the child to achieve those outcomes, which will be detailed on the class ‘Provision Map’. This may include additional general support from the class teacher or teaching assistant in the class, adopting different approaches and strategies to facilitate the child’s learning, or it may take the form of an ‘intervention’, where the child will work on specific areas in small group or one-to-one sessions. The interventions we may use are listed on our ‘Provision Menu’. They will usually be time-limited, evidence-based and their impact will be evaluated and reviewed regularly as part of the graduated approach.

    If at the review stage, a child is still not achieving the desired outcomes, school will seek additional help from specialist services outside the school for advice about an individual pupil. This may be a member of the Wiltshire SEN Support Team, the Speech and Language Therapy service, the Educational Psychology Service, Occupational Therapy, etc. These professionals may work directly with the child but are more likely to provide strategies and support to his or her teachers. No referrals will be made without the knowledge and support of parents.

  • How do we include children in activities outside the classroom, including school trips?

    Activities and school trips are available to all. Risk assessments are carried out and procedures put in place to enable all children to participate. If it is deemed that an intensive 1:1 level of support is required, a parent or carer may be asked to accompany their child during the activity.

  • How does The Minster work in partnership with parents and carers?

    Our open door policy encourages partnership working with parents/ carers. We ensure that review meetings and Team Around the Child (TAC) meetings are arranged at times which allow parents and carers to attend. We listen to what parents/ carers tell us about their children and use that information to make sure everyone who works with a child understands their needs.

    We hold ‘Parent Forums’ throughout the year and regularly seek feedback from parents/carers.

    We do our best to ensure that parents and carers have a number of different ways to communicate with us and that they feel comfortable, welcomed and involved in all aspects of school life.

  • How does The Minster work in partnership with other agencies?

    The Minster works effectively with many different agencies and organisations such as the Educational Psychology Service, Behaviour Support Service and Wiltshire SEN Support Service. We also consult with Social Services, Child Protection and Educational Welfare Officers, as well as Health professionals such as Paediatricians, School Nurse, Health Visitors, the Speech and Language Therapy Service, Occupational Therapy and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

  • How will The Minster support my child when joining or transferring to a new school?

    Transferring to a new school is a significant time in a child’s life and we recognise that some children may find this more difficult to cope with than others. Many strategies are in place to enable a pupil’s transition to be as smooth and positive as possible. Discussions between the previous and receiving schools take place prior to the pupil joining/leaving and we have close relationships will all our feeder pre-schools and receiving secondary schools. Our SENCo will receive and pass on relevant information on pupils with SEN and additional visits/transition support programmes will be arranged for pupils who need extra time to adjust to their new school. Secondary school staff visit pupils prior to them joining their new school.

    Within The Minster, all pupils will do ‘class swaps’ in the summer term, where they will spend time with their new teacher and individual transition plans will be put in place for those who need additional support.

  • What is an Education, Health and Care Plans (known as ‘My Plan’ in Wiltshire)?

    A very small number of pupils may require support that is over and above that which the school is able to provide through SEN Support. If that is felt to be the case, we will ask Wiltshire’s Department for Children’ and Education to consider whether a Statutory ‘My Plan’ would be suitable. This is a legal document which describes a pupil’s needs and specifies what support will be provided to meet those needs.

  • How will the extra support be funded?

    All Wiltshire maintained schools have an allocation of money within their budgets to provide additional support for pupils with an identified Special Educational Need. As a result of a Statutory ‘My Plan’, the school may receive additional ‘top-up’ funding to support an individual pupil with complex needs.

  • How will I know how my child is doing?

    You will have the opportunity to discuss your child’s progress at least three times a year at Parent’s evenings and you can see your child’s learning at our regular Open Afternoons.

    In addition, you can make an appointment to discuss your child’s progress with his/her class teacher at any time, or you can arrange a meeting with the SENCo.

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

    The Minster firmly believes in developing a strong partnership with parents and carers and that this will enable children and young people with SEND to achieve their potential. The school recognises that parents have a unique overview of the child’s needs and how best to support them, and that this gives them a key role in the partnership.

    Supporting your child with their home learning is vital, as is encouraging you child to develop an enthusiasm for reading widely. Playing Maths games, board games and doing puzzles with your child is a great way to reinforce what they are learning at school.

    The class teacher may suggest ideas to support your child’s learning at home and the SENCo can provide additional support and offer further relevant information and resources.

  • What is the role of the Governing Body?

    The governing body of the school appoints a SEND Governor who ensures that all governors are aware of the school’s SEND provision, including the deployment of funding, equipment and personnel. The SEND Governor for the school is Sue Humphries.

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