SEND Information Report


As part of the government’s reforms around special educational needs (SEN) and with the introduction of the new code of Practice in September 2014, local authorities are required to publish a local offer showing the support available to disabled children and young people and those with SEN and their families and carers.

Further information around Gateshead’s Local Offer can be found at

To view or download our SEND Policy, please click here:  SEND Policy

SEN contact: Leanne Lowrie
Tel: 0191 438 5008

Click the tabs below to learn more about White Mere’s SEND Offer:


All pupils at White Mere follow a broad balanced curriculum that is appropriate to their age and stage of development and that is personalised to take into account their needs and abilities. In order to identify a pupil’s special educational needs the school uses all of the information about the pupil’s progress and compares it with the progress of other pupils in the school and against national performance information.

If a pupil is not making the progress that would be expected, the pupil and parent/carer will be involved as soon as possible. We will discuss our concerns with the parent/carer and get the parent/carers views about:

  • the pupil’s strengths and areas of difficulty
  • concerns that the parent/carer has
  • agreed outcomes
  • next steps

Following discussions with parents/carers we will then agree outcomes that the pupil will be working towards and the support or programmes of study that are needed to meet these outcomes. From the records of progress and discussions with parents/carers, we will then decide the support or programmes of study that are needed to meet these outcomes.

Concerns are not always based on academic progress but could also be linked to the social and emotional development of the student. Any concerns that school staff or parents raise in this area may lead to a further investigation by the SENCo.

Each pupil’s progress is continually monitored by their class teacher and the SENCo in a number of ways, including additional educational testing completed within school. The SENCo oversees any additional support a child may need and at the beginning of the new academic year, data is analysed and tracked to get a clear indication of which children need support with their academic work.

Progress is discussed regularly between appropriate staff and reviewed formally every term.   A National Curriculum level given in reading, writing and mathematics on an annual basis and this information is shared with parent/carers through the school annual reporting system. If the pupil is in Year 1 and above, but is not yet at National Curriculum levels, a more sensitive assessment tool is used which shows their level in more detail and will also show smaller but significant steps of progress. The levels are called ‘P levels’. As well as National Curriculum Levels other assessments may be used to monitor progress, such as tests which give a reading and spelling age or a standardised score. These tests and levels will also be discussed in detail, along with staff comments within the review meeting.

These reviews will affect the level of support given to each pupil and depends on the additional needs of the child and any other factors that may improve or hinder their progress. When a pupil has been assessed as having SEN and is not making progress with the help that they have been given, school can refer pupils to a number of different services for more specialist assessment and advice.

Depending on the student’s needs, referrals can be made to the Special Educational Needs Improvement Team (SENIT), the Educational Psychology Service or Behaviour Support Service within Gateshead Council.  Health services such as speech and language therapy, school nursing service, Children and Young People’s Service or social care teams such as the Family Intervention Service could also be referred to if appropriate. School might suggest completing a Common Assessment Framework (CAF) form in order get a team of professionals (Team around the Family (TAF)) together to work with the pupil and their family. This needs to be done with the parent/carers agreement.

If the pupil does not make progress with support that has been suggested by specialist staff, school can make a referral to the Local Authority (LA) for an assessment for an Education, Health and Care Plan. This is a legal process, which is carried out by the LA, which sets out the amount of support that will be provided for your child.

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

Parents/carers can contact school if they have any concerns about their child by telephoning, writing or coming into the office and requesting a meeting or speaking to their child’s class teacher at the start and end of the school day.

Staff will contact parents or carers to discuss issues, concerns or progress of individual children.

The school holds regular parent evenings for all parents. If their child has special educational needs, parents and carers involved in these meetings will have the opportunity to discuss the actions on their child’s learning plans.

Annual Reviews are held for pupils with Education & Health Care Plans. This review focuses on achievements, the progress made towards the outcomes, support and future plans and is held with parents/carers, the child and any other agencies involved.

Progress reports can be provided to parents/carers in alternative formats if required.

Pupils are encouraged to share their aspirations and views in review meetings and this will be done in a way that is appropriate to their age.

There are a number of people in school who are responsible for special educational needs in school:

The Headteacher, Chris Boddy, is responsible for:

  • the day to day management of all aspects of the school, including support for children with SEN.
  • making sure that your child’s needs are met but they will give this responsibility to the SENCo and class teachers.
  • making sure that the Governing Body is kept up to date about any issues in the school relating to SEN.
  • Contact info:

The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENDCo), Leanne Lowrie, is responsible for:

  • coordinating all the support for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and developing the school’s SEN Policy to make sure all children get a consistent, high quality response to meeting their needs in school.
  • ensuring that parents/carers are:
  • involved in supporting their child’s learning
  • kept informed about the support their child is getting
  • involved in reviewing how they are doing
  • involved in planning for their future.
    • contacting other people who may be coming into school to help support your child’s learning for example, an Educational Psychologist.
    • making sure that there are excellent records of your child’s progress and needs.
    • providing specialist support for teachers and support staff in the school, so they can help pupils with SEN in the school make the best possible progress.
    • supporting class teachers in writing Learning Plans that specify your child’s targets.
    • ensuring that all staff working with the student in school are helped to deliver the planned work/programme so the student can make the best possible progress. This may involve the use of additional adults, outside specialist help and specially planned work and resources.
  • Contact info:

The Class Teacher is responsible for:

  • making sure that all children have access to excellent classroom teaching (this is known as quality first teaching) and that the curriculum is adjusted to meet your child’s individual needs (this is called differentiation).
  • checking on the progress of your child and identifying, planning and providing any additional help your child may need and letting SENCo know if necessary. This could be things like targeted work, additional support.
  • writing Learning Plans with the SENCo. These will be shared and reviewing with parents at least once each term.
  • planning for the child’s next term based on their progress.
  • ensuring that all staff working with the child in school are helped to deliver the planned work/programme so the child can make the best possible progress. This may involve the use of additional adults, outside specialist help and specially planned work and resources.
  • ensuring that the school’s SEN Policy is followed in their classroom and for all the pupils they teach with any SEN.

The Teaching Assistants work with the class teacher to identify areas of support for pupils with SEN. They:

  • support pupils to access the curriculum
  • help to implement specialist support strategies in the classroom
  • keep pupils focused on learning activities during lesson
  • attend all training opportunities related to SEN and differentiation.
  • are mainly classroom based, however Higher Level Teaching Assistants are able to deliver specific SEN programmes outside of the classroom.
  • help pupils to develop effective ways of becoming independent learners

The SEN Governor is responsible for:

  • making sure that the school has an up to date SEN Policy
  • making sure that the school has appropriate provision and has made necessary adaptations to meet the needs of all children in the school.
  • making sure that the necessary support is made for any child who attends the school, who has SEN.

School staff are trained in specific areas where there is a current need. The Headteacher collects information on areas for development through appraisals and staff meetings and asks the appropriate professionals to deliver it as whole staff or individual training. Managers of Literacy and Numeracy areas find appropriate specialist support training and enrol staff on courses. Training is also provided for staff when students are admitted to school with a SEND that no-one in school has experience of.

Staff within school have different levels of expertise in order to support pupils with special educational needs:

Awareness – this is basic awareness of a particular type of SEN. All staff who come into contact with the pupil will have this level of training and it will be carried out by the SENCo, SENIT, Educational Psychologist or other specialist service.

Enhanced – this level of training will be carried out by staff working with the pupil regularly, such as class and subject teachers, and will focus on how teaching and learning can be adapted to meet the pupil’s needs. The training can be carried out by SENIT, Educational Psychologist, staff from special schools or other specialist services.

Specialist – this is in-depth training about a particular type of SEN for staff who will be advising staff who support pupils at an enhanced level. This could be a specialist SEN teacher or a SENCo if they had appropriate qualifications.

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

  • Before your child moves to White Mere Community Primary School, we will discuss the needs of your child with staff at their current school. We will also arrange for your child to visit us, have a look around the school and meet their new teacher/classmates. We also speak to parents before their child begins at the school as they know their child better than we ever can. We will develop a personal transition plan for your child with their current primary school and review staff training to ensure that the staff teaching your child have a knowledge of their needs.  If your child has an Education, Health & Care Plan they must have had an annual review before they move from their current school to White Mere.
  • 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. All Learning Plans will be shared with the new teacher.
  • If your child is moving to another school we will contact the SENCo at the new school and ensure they know about any special arrangements or support that needs to be made for your child. We will also make sure that all records about your child are passed on as soon as possible. Where possible your child will visit their new school before they begin and in some cases staff from the new school may visit your child in White Mere.   If your child has an Education, Health & Care Plan they must have an annual review before they move to another school.
  • When your child moves to secondary school, staff from White Mere Community Primary School will discuss the specific needs of your child with the SENCo of their secondary school.  Pupils with Education, Health & Care Plans will have a review in the Autumn term before they move to secondary school to discuss the transition.

Academic Support

All pupils receive excellent targeted classroom teaching.   For your child this means that:

  • the teacher has the highest possible expectations for your child and all pupils in their class.
  • all teaching is based on building on what your child already knows, can do and can understand.
  • different ways of teaching are in place so that your child is fully involved in learning in class. This could involve things like using more practical learning.
  • specific strategies are in place to support your child to learn.
  • if your child’s teacher has decided that your child has a gap in their understanding/learning after carefully checking on your child’s progress they could receive some extra support to help them make the best possible progress.

All pupils in school should be getting this as a part of excellent classroom practice when needed but other types of support are available for pupils with SEN:

Specific intervention work with a small group of children

This type of support is available for any child who has specific gaps in their understanding of a subject/area of learning and will be put in place if the class teacher or SENCo think that they need extra support in school. These Intervention Groups are:

  • run in the classroom or in a teaching area outside of the classroom,
  • planned and overseen by a teacher but often run by a Teaching Assistant who has been trained to run the groups using the teacher’s plan,
  • working with specific outcomes to help the pupil to make more progress.

Specialist groups run by outside agencies

This type of support is available for children with specific barriers to learning that cannot be overcome through targeted classroom teaching and intervention groups and means they have been assessed as needing some extra specialist support in school. This may be from:

  • Local Authority services such as the SENIT, an Educational Psychologist or Behaviour Support Service.
  • Outside agencies such as the Speech and Language Therapy (SALT) Service, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy.

For your child this would mean:

  • They will have been identified by the class teacher as needing more specialist input instead of or in addition to targeted classroom teaching and intervention groups.
  • You will be asked to come to a meeting to discuss your child’s progress and help plan possible ways forward.
  • You may be asked for permission for the school to refer your child to a specialist professional e.g a Speech & Language Therapist or Educational Psychologist. This will help the school and yourself understand your child’s needs better and be able to support them better in school.

Individual support

This is usually provided through an Education, Health & Care Plan (known as a Single Plan in Gateshead). This means your child will have been identified by a specialist professional as needing a higher level of support than the school can provide from their SEN budget. This is a legal process, which is carried out by the Local Authority, which sets out the amount of support that will be provided for your child. School will discuss with you if they think that this is required.

Emotional Support

As well as providing academic support, school can also provide emotional and social support for students. This can include:

  • Social skills/nurture group interventions – provided by both internal staff and external agencies (e.g. Emotional Well-Being Team)
  • Self-esteem interventions – ranging for the use of sport/music/drama to speech and language interventions
  • Anti-bullying policies and taught within PSRE curriculum
  • Before and After School Clubs
  • Administration of medicines

The school is fully accessible to students with physical difficulties. The following facilities are available for pupils and their parents/carers with physical difficulties:

  • Access to the building, including a lift for access to the lower ground and first floors
  • Accessible toilets
  • Induction loop for hearing aid users
  • Accessible break and dining areas
  • A private room for administration of medication

A risk assessment will be carried out and a personal evacuation plan drawn up for all pupils with physical difficulties.  All staff working with the pupil will be made aware of the plan.

We have an Accessibility Policy which is available on our Key Documents page.

The school has a number of after school clubs which are accessible to pupils with special educational needs.

Pupils take part in school visits throughout the year. A risk assessment is completed for all school visits. The Senior Leadership Team, overseen by the Headteacher, makes decisions based on whether it is safe for a child to leave the premises, taking into account the emotional needs of the pupils. 

Parent/carers should contact the SENCo if they have any complaints about the provision that their child is receiving at school.  If the complaint is not resolved, the school has a complaints policy which can be accessed via the school website or requested from the school office.

Parents/carers can contact the Special Educational Needs and Disability Information and Advice Service which is run by Barnardos in Gateshead (tel 0191 4784667). This is a free, confidential service for young people who have SEND and their parent/carers. The service is available whether or not the young person has a Single Plan.

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