Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

All schools in Devon have a similar approach to meeting the needs of pupils with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities and are supported by the LA to ensure that all pupils, regardless of their specific needs, make the best possible progress in school. Schools are required to be as inclusive as possible, with the needs of pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities being met in a mainstream setting wherever possible.


The four broad areas of need are:

         1) Communication and Interaction

         2) Cognition and Learning

         3) Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties

         4) Sensory and Physical Needs

Devon Local Offer

The Children and Families Bill became enacted in 2014. From this date, Local Authorities and schools are required to publish and keep under review information about services they expect to be available for the children and young people with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND) aged 0-25. This is the Local Offer.


The intention of the Local Offer is to improve choice and transparency for families. It will also be an important resource for parents in understanding the range of services and provision in the local area. Find out more about Devon Local Authority’s Local Offer:

The School SEND Information Report

This utilizes the Devon Local Offer to meet the needs of SEND pupils as determined by school policy, and the provision that the school is able to meet.

Exwick Heights Offer

Your Child has Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities. What can we at Exwick Heights Primary School offer you?

At Exwick Heights Primary School, we embrace the fact that every child is different, and, therefore, the educational needs of every child is different; this is certainly the case for children with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities.


Please see below for more information about the Local Offer from Exwick Heights Primary School and how we can support your child:

The Class Teacher – responsible for:

  • Checking on the progress of your child and identifying, planning and delivering any additional help your child may need (this could be targeted work or additional support) and letting the Special Education Needs/Disabilities Co-ordinator (SENDCo) know as necessary.

  • Writing SEN Support Plans, based on the smaller steps of progress needed for success and sharing and reviewing these with parents at least once each term and planning for the next term.

  • Personalised teaching and learning for your child as identified on the school’s provision map.

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

The SENDCO: Mrs Trudy Cronin – responsible for:

  • Developing and reviewing the school’s SEND policy.

  • Co-ordinating 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 into school to help support your child’s learning, e.g. Speech and Language Therapy, Educational Psychology.

  • Updating the school’s SEND 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 Caroline Neal – 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 SENDCo 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: Mr Graham Davey – responsible for:

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

A) 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 the use of IT to support recording and pre-teaching.

  • That specific strategies (which may be suggested by the SENDCo) 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:

  • Run in the classroom or a group room.

  • Run by a teacher or a teaching assistant (TA).

B) Support from specialist educational professionals.

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

  • SEMH Team

  • Babcock LDP, such as SEMH Team, Communication and Interaction Team, Educational Psychology service.

  • NHS services, such as Speech and Language, OT and physiotherapy, under 5 multidisciplinary assessment team

    What could happen: 

  • You will 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 in school and at home.

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 (EHCP). 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 professionals outside the school.

This may be from:

        –  Babcock LDP Special Educational Needs, Disability and Inclusion Advisory Service.

        –  Outside NHS agencies such as the Speech and Language Therapy Service, occupational/physiotherapy via Children and Family Health Devon.

    For your child this would mean: 

  • 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.

  • After the request has been made to the ‘Panel of Professionals’ (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 need 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 current support.

  • After the reports have all been sent in, the Panel of Professionals will decide if your child’s needs are severe, complex and lifelong. If this is the case, they will write an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP). If this is not the case, they will ask the school to continue with the current level of 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 outline the number of hours of individual/small group support your child will receive from the LA and how the support should be used, and what strategies must be put in place. It will also have long and short-term goals for your child.

  • The additional adult may be used to support your child with whole class learning, run individual programmes or run small groups including your child.

  • Parents and professionals will meet termly to discuss progress and provision. There will, in addition, be an annual review of the EHCP.

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 Co-ordinator (SENDCo): Mrs Trudy Cronin

The school SEND Governor can also be contacted for support: Mr Graham Davey.

If your child is identified as not making 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.

The school budget, received from Devon County Council, includes money for supporting children with SEND.

The Headteacher decides on the deployment of resources for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, in consultation with the SENDCo, SLT and school governors on the basis of needs in the school.

The Headteacher and the SENDCo 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 on a provision map. This identifies all support given within school and is reviewed regularly and changes made as needed, so that the needs of children are met, and resources are deployed as effectively as possible.

School Provision

  • Teachers responsible for teaching SEND groups/individuals as a bespoke intervention.

  • Teaching Assistants mainly working in the classes or in intervention areas with either individual children or small groups.

  • ICT support in the form of writing and maths programmes, is delivered by  teaching assistants during specified lessons and small group or individual sessions, according to need. We utilise Clicker 7, Widgit Online and Google Docs to support identified children.

  • Trained Teaching Assistants offering support for children with emotional and social development through STAR (Thrive principle).

  • All teachers and TAs have received training in Trauma informed best practice.

Local Authority Provision – delivered in school when necessary:

  • Educational Psychology Service

  • Communication and Interaction

  • Sensory impairment

  • Social, emotional and mental health team including behaviour support.

  • Physical difficulties and ICT SEND.

Health Provision – delivered in school when necessary:

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

  • School Nurse

  • Occupational Therapy

  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHs)

  • Physiotherapy
  • Learning disability team
  • The SENDCo’s job 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 Dyslexia and speech and language difficulties.

  • Individual teachers and support staff attend training courses run by outside agencies that are relevant to the needs of specific children in their class, e.g. from the Educational Psychology service.

  • Class teachers plan lessons according to the specific needs of all groups of children in their class (including using small steps targets) 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 (including using small steps targets) and teaching will be adapted, on a daily basis if needed, to meet your child’s learning needs.

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

  • The class teacher will meet termly with the SENDCo and PSA to review progress across the curriculum.

  • If your child is in Reception or above, a more sensitive assessment tool can be used, which shows their attainment in more detail – breaking learning down into smaller steps

  • 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 are the results that are published nationally.

  • Where necessary, children will have a SEN Support Plan based on small steps targets or targets set by outside agencies specific to their needs. Targets will be set using small steps and designed to accelerate learning and close the gap. Progress against these targets will be reviewed termly, evidence for judgments assessed and a future plan made. The SEND support plans are shared with parents termly at the Parent/Teacher meetings.

  • 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 SENDCo 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 SENDCo 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.

  • 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 SENDCo 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 /SEN Support plan/ Behaviour Care Plans will be reviewed with your involvement every term.

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

  • 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.

  • The school site has two main buildings, both of which are accessible by wheelchairs.

  • There are two designated disabled parking spaces in the main carpark.

  • The main school building and the KS1 building can be accessed from the main car park.

  • There are accessible toilets.

  • On the main site, there is a lift between the two floors.

  • There is a slope to allow ease of access to the school field.

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

  • After-school provision is accessible to all children, including those with SEND. Phone 01392 208773.

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

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

If your child is joining us from another school:

  • The SENDCo will visit pre-schools with the KS1 Leader when appropriate.

  • If your child would be helped by a book/passport to support them in understanding moving on, then one will be made for them. Short videos are placed on the school website to support transition.

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

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. SEN Support Documents, DAF paperwork, reports and reviews will be shared with the new teacher.

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

If your child is moving to another school:

  • We will contact the school SENDCo 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 SENDCo 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 transition book/passport to support them in understanding moving on, then one will be made for them.

In Year 6:

  • The SENDCo will discuss the specific needs of your child with the SENDCo of the child’s secondary school. In most cases, a transition review meeting, to which you will be invited, will take place with the SENDCo 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 transition book/passport to support them in understand moving on, then one will be made for them.

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.

In addition, we recognise that the greatest gift that we can give our children is good mental health.

All classes follow a curriculum which has the STAR principles firmly embedded. However, for those children who find aspects of this difficult we offer:

  • STAR intervention, run by a teaching assistant, either on a 1:1 basis or small group.This follows the principles of listening to children, showing empathy, making children feel important and being playful. Following Covid, this support is based within the year group cohort.

  • A Green-Team Gardening club for children to learn how to co-operate with one another in a small group and be responsible for looking after a living environment.

  • Lunchtime and playtime support, through planned activities and groups, led by a Playtime leader and responsible children as Play Buddies.

  • A daily lunchtime club that children can access either to do homework or a quiet activity of their own choice.

  • A Mindfulness Club on a Friday lunchtime for a group of invited children: children identified by the class teachers as able to benefit from this tranquil group.

  • Structured lunchtime support – bespoke to support children who struggle in the universal provision of lunchtime supervision.
  • All Staff are trained in Trauma informed best practice. The key principles of:

Awareness – Everyone understands the impact of trauma and the importance of high quality relationships.

Safety – Ensuring physical and emotional safety.

Trustworthiness – Maximising trustworthiness, making tasks clear, and maintaining appropriate boundaries.

Choice – Prioritising choice and control.

Collaboration – Maximising collaborative relationships amongst staff and students that build everyone’s relational skills.

Empowerment – Empowerment and skill building for everyone in the school.

Relationships Heal. Healing is possible.

Further information and support services parents/carers can access in Devon:

Devon Local Offer Website: https://new.devon.gov.uk/send

Additional documents which we strongly recommend that you access:

Exwick Heights Special Educational Needs Policy

Exwick Heights Equal Opportunities Policy

The Devon Assessment Framework (DAF) chart


If you have any questions regarding our SEND provision, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Cronin at the school.