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SEND Information Report


SEND Information Report 2019-20

  • 1. About this report

    The Children and Families Act 2014 says that all maintained schools must publish a Special Educational Needs (SEN) Information Report every year. This report explains how our school meets the needs of children with SEN.  It will be shown on our school website and in the ‘local offer’ on www.eastsussex.gov.uk/localoffer

    This report is also our SEN policy.

    We will review this report every year and will involve pupils and parents through questionnaires, pupil voice and meetings. If you want to give us your views about the report, please contact the school office – 01892 852866.

    Chair of Governors: David Robson

  • 2. Who do I contact?

    If your child is already at school your child’s class teacher is the first point of contact

    The Special Educational Needs Coordinator SENCo is responsible for managing and co-ordinating the support for children with special educational needs, including those who have Education Health and Care (EHC) plans. The SENCo also provides professional guidance to school staff and works closely with parents and other external services/agencies.

    Key contacts in school

    • SENCo – Mrs Joanna Challis
    • Head of School – Mrs Lucy Hazeldine
    • Executive Head Teacher – Mrs Debbie Bennett
    • School website – www.markcrossce.e-sussex.sch.uk

      Similarly if you have a question, want to look around or perhaps you feel that your child’s needs are hard to meet and you want to discuss the matter in more depth, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01892 852866 or office@markcrossce.e-sussex.sch.uk

    • Mark Cross school's offer for children with special educational needs and disabilities has been approved for publication by the East Sussex Local Education Authority.
  • 3. Which children does the school provide for?

    We are a Primary School who admit pupils from age 4 to 11.  We are a voluntary aided school.

    We are an inclusive school. This means we provide for children with all types of special educational needs, including disabilities. If you want a place for a child who has a statement or Education Health and Care plan, contact your Assessment and Planning Officer at East Sussex County Council. If you want a place for any other child with special educational needs, you should apply as normal and your application will be considered in the same way as applications from children without special educational needs.
    • Mark Cross Primary school – www.markcrossce.e-sussex.sch.uk
    • School Admissions – www.east Sussex.gov.uk / 0300 3309472
    • Contact Information for Families for admissions advice 0345 60 80 192

  • 4. Summary of how the school meets the needs of children with SEN and disabilities.
    • Your child’s needs will be met within the class supported by quality first teaching including differentiated planning which takes account of the needs of each child. 
    • The progress of all children is reviewed termly.
    • The class teacher will develop a plan for your child in liaison with the SENCo, setting appropriate targets. This will be reviewed each term to ensure that provision remains appropriate.
    • Where necessary an individual programme of support will be implemented and monitored. This may include support from an outside service.  We will make sure you know about any extra support that your child is receiving in school.
    • Where necessary the school may seek support from outside agencies, this will be discussed with you and a referral made with your permission.
    • The Governing body is responsible for ensuring that funding is appropriately allocated and also for monitoring teaching and accessibility. There is a designated SEND governor who liaises regularly with the SENCo.
    • We will track your child’s progress carefully and adjust support as needed.  

    This process of rigorous assessment, planning to support any identified difficulties, implementing this support and reviewing this provision regularly is identified in the 2014 SEND code of practice as the ‘assess, plan, do, review’ cycle . Staff, parents, children and outside agencies, where relevant ,are involved and consulted during this process.

    If the child is looked after by the local authority they will have a Care Plan including a Personal Education Plan (PEP) and a Health plan. We will co-ordinate these plans with the SEN support plan and will involve parents and carers as well as foster carers or social workers in discussions.

  • 5. How does the school identify children's special educational needs?

    We aim to identify children’s special educational needs (SEN) as early as possible, so that the child achieves the best possible outcomes. A pupil has SEN where their learning difficulty or disability calls for special educational provision. That is provision which is different from or additional to that normally available to pupils of the same age.  Children may have one or more broad areas of special educational need:

    • Communication and interaction – including speech and language difficulties and autism
    • Cognition and learning – including developmental delay and specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia.
    • Social, emotional and mental health difficulties – including difficulties with behaviour, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, an attachment disorder or anxiety.
    • Sensory and/or physical needs- including visual and hearing impairment, dyspraxia, cerebral palsy and other physical disabilities or medical conditions which affect a child’s learning.  

    Class teachers, supported by the leadership team, make regular, termly, assessments of the children’s progress in their classes. These identify children making less than expected progress given their age and individual circumstances. It can include progress in areas other than attainment , for instance where a child needs to make additional progress with social or physical needs. Progress in attainment is shared with parents at consultation evenings,in addition specific needs or concerns will be discussed with parents/carers at the earliest opportunity and may involve the class teacher and SENCo.

    Children will be involved in this process of identifying areas of difficulty and ways forward in age appropriate ways. If a child has behavioural difficulties, we will use the expectations and guidance of the school behaviour policy whilst also investigating any social and emotional issues as well as possible SEN . If a child with English as an additional language is making less than expected progress we may involve the EALS service to help identify any underlyng needs. We assess each pupil’s skills and level of attainment when they start at the school and we continually assess each child’s progress in a variety of ways throughout their school careers. If a child is making less than the progress we would expect for their age or individual circumstances, we will consider whether they have special educational needs.

    The school has adopted a system of assessment using percentages of end of year expectations which is used, alongside observations, work scrutinies and consultation with parents and the child, to identify special educational need. The Special educational Needs Co-ordinator SENCo will also consult outside agencies for advice if necessary.

  • 6. How does the school teach and support children with SEN?

    Teachers provide quality lessons to meet the needs of all children in their class using differentiation to support all their teaching.   Additional support for individual children or groups of children may be planned and reviewed by the class teacher and/or teaching assistant.  

    Where necessary, the class teacher will talk to the SENCo and a more personalised programme of support may be introduced which may include support from an outside agency. Parents and children will be informed and consulted during this process.

    We will track your child’s progress carefully, adjusting support as needed and meeting with parents regularly to share information. Good teaching is ensured through the school’s performance management process, regular observations and through an ongoing programme of training for all staff.

  • 7. How will the curriculum and learning environment be matched to the child's needs?

    Lessons are pitched appropriately so that all children can learn and progress. Teachers make sure that teaching is appropriate to the needs of all the children taking account of the needs of the individual and differentiating tasks and materials appropriately.

    Pupil Progress Meetings are held termly between the Head of School, SENCo and Class Teacher to discuss suitable teaching programmes/interventions for each child.

    Reviews of learning Targets for your child are reviewed at relevant times throughout the year with the SENCo and Class Teacher.   The meeting is used to inform you of new programmes or differentiated support and how it is organised and necessary, leading to personalised learning.

    Targets are set to support children’s individual needs and are regularly updated.

    Children work in a variety of groupings for example, small supported groups, 1:1, mixed ability and similar ability groups.  

    The senior leadership team regularly carries out environmental audits of the school, and part of this includes looking at resources, displays and how ‘learning friendly’ the classrooms are.

  • 8. How are parents and carers involved in reviewing children's progress and planning support?
    • As a school we are committed to working with parents and carers in partnership, this is especially important for children with SEND.
    • There is regular communication between home and school, both through parent consultation meetings and less formal meetings which may be arranged by parents or teachers to share successes or concerns.
    • Parents are involved in the decision to place their child on the SEND register, which will usually take place after a process of support, monitoring and assessment.  On occasion, a specific event may cause significant social, emotional issues for a child which may mean their needs justify assignment to the register , although this may be short term.
    • Open door policy with teacher/SENCo/Head of School/Executive Head.
    • Home/school contact books where appropriate.
    • Sharing of support plans with parents and how you can support at home.
    • Annual school report from class teacher.
    • Reports from outside agencies shared/discussed as appropriate.
    • SEN Review meetings with parents  – at least 3 times per year with parents.
    • Opportunities for parent training workshops/meetings to develop understanding of the curriculum.
    • We are keen to involve parents in school life. Below are some of the opportunities available:
    • We encourage parents to attend parent's evenings.
    • Workshops, helping with school visits and sharing any skills as part of themed events.
    • Individual Learning Plans are discussed with parents including the role they can play.
    • Opportunities to be a parent governor.
    • Opportunities to join the FMCS (Friends of Mark Cross School) supporting the school by raising funds and organising events. 
  • 9. How are children involved in reviewing their progress and planning support?

    Children are encouraged and supported to make suggestions about their learning, this begins in the classroom where next steps are discussed daily, and during the interventions where a dialogue takes place between the adult and child. At the end of the interventions children are encouraged to say what they have found helpful and what they think their next steps should be. We are committed to ensuring that all children are active participants in their learning. Opportunities for talking to children about their learning include:


    Who’s involved?

    How often?

    Self assessment

    Pupil, class teacher


    Class Circle times

    Pupil, class teacher

    As required

    Worry Box/Suggestions box

    Pupil, class teacher

    As required

    School Council

    Class, class teacher


    Pupil Voice

    Pupil, SENCo, class teacher

    At least once a term and aas required

    SEN support review meetings

    Pupil, parents, class teacher supported by SENCo

    At least three times a year

    Annual reviews (statements and EHC plans only)

    Pupil, parents, SENCO, class teacher support services, local authority.

    Once a year

  • 10. How does the school prepare and support children to transfer to a new school/college or the next stage of education and life?

    We recognise that moving can be difficult for any child, but can be especially difficult for children with SEND and we take steps to ensure that any transition is as smooth as possible.

    Effective transition arrangements between early years settings and school:

    • Home visits for children joining the Reception class.
    • We will invite you to visit the school with your child to have a look around and speak to staff.
    • All records and information about your child are discussed and passed on between schools.
    • If other professionals are involved, we will contact them or meet them to discuss your child's needs and any previous successful teaching methods, and ensure that support is put in place before your child starts.
    • Induction events will take place during the summer terms for all children who are joining the Foundation Stage in September.
    • Effective transition between classes in school:
    • Information, including learning targets, will be passed on to the new class teacher in advance.
    • For children with more complex needs there will be a planning meeting and/or specific preparation or training for the new teacher and/or support staff.
    • Transition work in school which may include creating a book of information about the new class and routines.
    • Buddies assigned from within school to guide and support the new reception children when they join.

    Effective transition arrangements with secondary schools:

    • All records and information about your child are discussed and passed on between schools.
    • Additional transition visits for vulnerable children as appropriate.
    • Staff from the new school may visit children in our school.
    • Transition group work in school. Children who might find moving on difficult will attend a small group in school to support their understanding of the changes ahead. This may include creating a book of information about their new school.

    Continuation of involvement of outside services as appropriate.

  • 11. What training do school staff have?

    The school has a School Improvement Plan which includes identified training needs for all staff to improve the teaching and learning of children, including those with special needs.

    There is ongoing training for staff to increase or refresh knowledge and strategies to ensure consistency of the school's approach to supporting pupils with SEN. This is done both internally and through external services. The types of training include: approaches to teaching reading, understanding and working with children on the autistic spectrum, dyslexia and approaches to using appropriate questioning with pupils.

     In addition, teachers and teaching assistants attend individual training for a child's specific needs, such as:

    • Occupational therapy to manage exercise and specific speech and language programmes.
    • Skills audits are carried out and a rolling programme delivered by the SENCo or outside agencies
    • Shadowing/peer observation.
    • Medical training to support pupils with medical care plans e.g. epilepsy,   epi-pen training.

    Our SENCo was awarded the National Award in Special Educational Needs Co-ordination in 2014.

  • 12. How does the school measure how well it teaches and supports children with SEN?

    We regularly and carefully review the quality of teaching for all pupils to make sure no-one underachieves. We look at whether our teaching and programmes of support have made a difference. We use information systems to monitor the progress and development of all pupils.  This helps us to develop the use of interventions that are effective and to remove those that are less so.

    We complete an annual self-evaluation of our SEN provision and use this to develop an annual action plan to further improve our SEN provision.

    We send home a parent questionnaire every year to inform our provision and school improvement plan. This is shared with all staff to support their QFT (Quality First Teaching) provision.

    We also invite parents to provide feedback at meetings, through attending parent forums and through the Ofsted parent view website. https://parentview.ofsted.gov.uk/

    At the start of this year the SEN register represented  11% of the school roll.  This figure is unlikely to change significantly as the year progresses.  We currently do not have any children with an EHCP.  The children on the SEN register either have a Additional Needs Plan or a SEN Support plan.

    Being a small school we do not publicise numbers and the exact movement of children on and off the register for confidentiality reasons.  The SENCo reports to the governors at every meeting  on progress, new initiatives and the impact of the interventions in place.

    The progress of the children on the SEN register is tracked termly by the SENCo and is used within pupil progress meetings and with staff.

    The current assessment without levels system, where children are assessed against their year group rather than individual levels, means that SEN children continue to sit in the lower bands of Working Towards Expected for their year. The very nature of SEN means that these children may continuously, year on year be assessed as ‘below expected’ for their year group (in their areas of difficulty).  At the start of the academic year 7 children on the register were in KS1, 4 in KS2.   

    Each class has their own provision map in place and small group interventions are run by the class teacher or the teaching assistant.  All interventions are recorded with a start and end point so we can see how successful the interventions have been and the progress that has been made.  Analysis of these interventions takes place each term.  This is then used to inform the training needs of staff in school to support children on the SEN register.  Over the last year, for example, training has taken place in Personalised Learning to Read (PLR), Precision Teaching (frequent and short interventions in specific areas) Speech and Language and  Maths support.

  • 13.How accessible is the school and how does the school arrange the equipment or facilities children need?
    • The downstairs part of the school is fully wheelchair accessible. One class is based on the upper floor.  There is no lift to the this floor.
    • We have a disabled toilets that are large enough to accommodate  changing
    • Visual timetables are used in all classrooms.
    • We recognise some children are dyslexic and work effectively to meet the needs of all children.
    • Access to outside areas of the school, including the playground and field, is good.
    • We currently communicate with parents in direct conversation, phone, letter and e-mail. We ask parents how they prefer us to communicate with them.
    • We are sensitive to the needs of parents whose first language is not English or who may have other communication needs.
    • https://www.markcrossce.e-sussex.sch.uk/esussex/primary/markcrossce/site/pages/parentinformation/policies   

  • 14. How are children included in activities with other children, including school trips?

    "Our Equality Scheme is inclusive of our whole school community including children, staff, parents and visitors” (see prospectus). 

    • We make sure that activities outside the classroom and school trips are available to all.
    • Risk assessments are carried out to ensure that procedures are in place so that all children can participate.
    • Parents/Carers are invited to accompany their child on a school trip if this is deemed helpful to ensure access.
    • After school clubs are available to all pupils, vulnerable pupils are given priority and adjustments will be made to support their participation. 
    • If there is something that might make it hard for your child to be included in an activity, we will discuss this with you and see how we can work together to make the activity possible.
    • Health and Safety audits will be conducted as and when appropriate.

    We work with parents and pupils to listen to their views, feelings and wishes to ensure pupils with SEN engage fully in the life of the school and in any wider community activity.

  • 15. What support is there for children's overall well-being and their emotional, mental and social development?
    • We are an inclusive school. We welcome and celebrate diversity.  All staff believe that having high self-esteem is crucial to a child’s emotional well-being and academic progress. We have a caring and understanding team that look after all our children.
    • The support we can provide in school include nurture groups, social skills and friendship groups, pupil voice and behaviour programmes which include rewards and sanctions.
    • Medicine can be administered in school with signed parental permission.  There are nominated First Aiders in school and members of staff have paediatric First Aid qualifications. If your child has significant medical needs you will need to speak to the SENCo to discuss how we can best support you and your child.  This might include drawing up an Individual Health Care Plan.
    • The class teacher has responsibility for the overall well-being of every child in their class.  If you have any worries speak to the class teacher first. If further support is needed the class-teacher will speak to the SENCo. 

    We will monitor and review progress, with the child and parent, so that we can see good outcomes for them. We will do this as part of the SEN support planning cycle of assess, plan, do review.

    The school may work with other services to support children, e.g. Education Support, Behaviour & Attendance Service (ESBAS), Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, Early Help services among others.

  • 16. What specialist services does the school use to support children and their families?

    As part of the cycle of SEN support (assess, plan, do, review) we will consider whether we need to involve other services to make sure the child’s specific needs are met. Parents are always involved in any decision to involve specialists.

    Currently some children and their families have support in the following areas:

    • Speech and language
    • Dyslexia
    • ASD (autism spectrum disorder)
    • Behaviour
    • Emotional Needs
    • ADHD
    • Sensory needs
    • Motor skills

      We may access support from other services including:

    • Educational Psychology
    • Language and Learning support service
    • Speech and language therapy
    • School Nurse
    • ASD service (Autism Spectrum Disorder)
    • Early years
    • ESBAS (East Sussex Behaviour and Attendance Service)
    • Occupational Therapy
    • CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service)
    • Counselling services
    • Children’s services

      All of these resources are limited and provided by other services eg the NHS.  We therefore have limited control over their availability.

      Resources are requested and ordered as necessary to support each child’s learning and with regard to the budget.

    Regular meetings to monitor impact of interventions and SEN provision are managed by the SENCo in discussion with class teacher and Head of School.

  • 17. Where can I get information, advice and support?

    The ‘local offer’ on the internet


    Parent information : https://new.eastsussex.gov.uk/childrenandfamilies/familysupport/parent-information-contacts/about/)

    SEND information, advice and support service

    Impartial advice and help for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and their parents and carers.

    0345 60 80 192 informationforfamilies@eastsussex.gov.uk


  • 18. What do I do if I am not happy or if I want to complain?

    School Complaints Procedure –available on the school website  www.markcrossce.e-sussex.sch.uk

    Most issues and concerns about school life can be resolved on an informal basis. The complaint procedure is in place to be used when parents are not happy that an informal resolution has been reached.

    Arrangements for handling complaints from parents with children with SEN about the school's support are within the scope of our Complaints policy and procedure. However, specific complaints in relation to Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) procedures or content should be referred to the Local Authority and contact details are set out in our policy.

    Informal procedure

    School action

    Informal discussion with the relevant class teacher or other relevant member of staff usually resulting in resolution of the issue.

    The person is informed of the action to be taken to resolve the issue. If they are not satisfied, they should be provided with a copy of the school’s complaints procedure and information on how to proceed to stage one.

    Formal procedure- Stage 1

    School action

    The complaint is submitted, either verbally or in writing, to the head teacher.

    The Head of School or Executive Head Teacher acknowledges receipt within five school days and provides a full written response within 15 school days. Information is provided to the complainant on how to progress the complaint to stage 2.

    Formal procedure- Stage 2

    School action

    A written complaint is submitted to the chair of governors.

    The chair acknowledges receipt within five school days and provides a full written response within 15 school days. Information is provided to the complainant on how to progress the complaint to stage 3.

    Formal procedure- Stage 3

    School action

    Complainant writes to the clerk to the governors requesting that the complaint be heard by the complaints panel.

    Clerk arranges for complaints panel to meet between 12 and 20 school days from receipt of the letter and informs the complainant of the findings within 5 school days of hearing. Information is provided to the complainant of how to progress the complaint to the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, or the Local Government Ombudsman.

    Further recourse

    Further recourse

    Complainant writes to the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, or the Local Government Ombudsman.

    Complainant writes to the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, or the Local Government Ombudsman.

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