Berwick Middle School Local Offer

Parent Information

Special Education Needs and Disabilities ( SEND) Information Report

To be reviewed May 2018


Northumberland Local Authority (LA) maintained schools have a similar approach to the provision of Special Educational Needs support. The LA works with all schools to ensure that any pupil with a specific need is able to make the best possible progress.

Berwick Middle School is supported by the LA in order to be as inclusive as possible, with the needs of pupils being met in mainstream settings wherever possible.

The areas of need identified fall into the following categories

  • Communication and Interaction
  • Cognition and Learning
  • Behaviour, Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties
  • Physical and Sensory needs

What is the Local Offer /SEN Information Report?

The LA Local Offer

In September 2014 the Children and Families Bill came into effect. From this date both Local Authorities (LA) and schools were required to publish and keep up to date information about the services they offer for children and young people with special educational needs/ Disabilities (SEND) aged 0-25. This is the’ Local Offer’.

The Local Authority's SEND local offer can be found at

The School SEND Report

This utilises the Local Authority Local Offer to meet the needs of SEND pupils as determined by school policy and the provision that the school is able to provide. Special educational provision means that which is additional to, or otherwise different from the educational provision made generally for pupils of their age in schools maintained by the Local Education Authority, other than special schools, in the area.


Question 1.

Who are the best people to talk to in this school about my child’s difficulties with learning/Special Educational Needs or Disability (SEND)?

Provision for children with special needs is a matter for the school as a whole.

The Class Teacher

Responsible for planning, recording and checking the progress of pupils. They will also arrange for any extra support pupils may require and inform the school Special Educational Needs/ Disabilities Co-ordinator (SENDCo)of any relevant issues.

The class teacher will complete pupil progress targets/ intervention plans which provide small steps to aid progress and are reviewed each term. Various assessments are available and results are used to report back to parents and set new targets for future work.


Responsible for maintaining and reviewing the school SEND policy.

Coordinating the work of all those involved in supporting pupils with SEND.

Ensuring parents are informed at all stages and involved in supporting child’s learning.

Liaising with other adults who are involved with supporting an SEND child’s progress e.g. LIST, Occupational Therapy, Hearing Impaired, School Health etc.

The SENDCo will ensure that the school SEND register is kept up to date and staff are informed of any changes.

The SENDCowill provide support and organise specialist training for relevant staff within school to enable SEND pupils to make the most of their abilities.

The SENDCowill report annually to the Governing body upon the progress made by pupils identified with SEND.


The Headteacher.

The Headteacher is responsible for the day to day management of the school; this includes the support for pupils with SEND.

The Headteacher will liaise with the SENDCo to ensure that all SEND pupils’ needs are met.

School governors will receive regular updates upon provision and progress of SEND pupils from the Headteacher.

The Headteacher will receive regular reports from the SENDCo and the school SEND Governor.


The SEND Governor

The school SEND Governor is responsible for ensuring that all necessary support is provided for pupils with SEND.

The SEND Governor will visit school to observe SEND pupil provision and report back to the Governing Body.


Question 2

What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?

Pupils are supported through the school special needs policy. The SEND provision is an integral part of the school development plan.

Class Teacher

Class teacher support is delivered through excellent targeted classroom teaching (Quality First Teaching).

This means that staff will build on previous data to develop your child’s skills and abilities. Close liaison with feeder schools and use of baseline assessments/moderated and triangulated, using a variety of methods, identify cases where early intervention would help a pupil.

There is a clear tracking and monitoring system which follows progress and identifies needs as they arise.

A Provision Management system records all interventions provided for pupils and cross references support received. Staff have access to this information to aid further planning and provision of support.

Staff will have the highest possible expectations for all pupils within Berwick Middle School.

Pupils will be supported by a range of teaching strategies, adapted for the need of the child.

Any specific need will have a strategy put in place after discussion with relevant bodies and under the guidance of the SENDCo.

If your child has a need identified and extra support is required to enable them to make the best possible progress then extra interventions will be put in place. The pupil’s progress will be monitored and adjustments made to the provision, if appropriate.

Teaching Assistants

Teaching Assistants (TAs) are fully aware of the SEND policy and procedures for identifying, assessing and making provision for pupils with SEND. They also use school procedures to provide feedback to teachers about pupils’ responses to tasks and strategies.

Interventions may take many forms.

  • Class based interventions which will be organised by the class teacher and possibly supported by a Teaching Assistant (TA).
  • Intervention groups withdrawn for support work with a member of teaching staff or a TA.
  • Nurture group intervention using THRIVE run by a TA specialising in that area.
  • Specialist intervention run by external agencies such as (North Locality Support Team) NLIST, Health care, Speech and language development etc.

There is the support offered under the 2014 SEN Code of Practice.

If a child is identified with a need which is not being met by the interventions put in place within school then a consultation will take place between the SENCoand parents/ carers with a view to engaging the support of specialist external services. The pupil will then be placed upon the SEND register and additional support may be sought.

NLIST provide support with behaviour, attendance, social and emotional issues as well as providing training for staff in identified areas of need.

The school may apply for’ Top Up’ funding if extra hours/ resources are required to support a child’s learning or progress. This will enable extra support to be available once a targeted number of hours have been exceeded. ‘Top up Funding’ will be the main provision for children with a Special Educational Need.

To support pupils and families it may be necessary to set up an Early Help Assessment (EHA). This will involve parents/carers meeting with a group of professionals to discuss early help strategies which will involve support from within school as well as external agencies.

Should the need arise the school or parents/guardians can request a statutory assessment carried out by the Local Authority Services. This is a legal process and determines the amount of support which should be allocated to your child. The request will include a lot of information about your child from you and other professionals

Once a request has been made it will be reviewed by a’ Panel of Professionals’. They will assess the level of need required and make a decision as to whether the child’s needs are complex enough to warrant a statutory assessment. 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 set up a meeting to ensure your child is making as much progress as is possible.

An EHC Plan will determine how many hours your child will receive from the LA and how the support will be used. A plan will be put in place and reviewed on an annual basis. The review will be chaired by the SENCoand provision discussed with parents/carers and others involved in supporting the pupil. This review will determine whether any changes need to be made, either to the Plan or to the funding arrangements for the child.

Pastoral, medical and social support is provided within school to support pupils with SEND. Pupils are encouraged to share their views through a school council or participate in other support groups such as Peer Mentors. An Anti Bullying coordinator works with pupils and maintains a high profile encouraging mutual support within school. Staff receive medical training when working with pupils with special medical needs and medicine is kept centrally in a medical cabinet with instructions for use.


Question 3

What specialist support and expertise are available or accessed by pupils?

School provision available to all pupils


Teaching assistants, either individually or in small group support in Bereavement, ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) Precision Teaching, THRIVE Literacy and Numeracy support packages.

Teachers responsible for teaching SEND groups.

Local authority provision delivered in school.

LIST team (Behaviour Support, Educational Psychologist, Communication Support Service and Education Welfare Officer)

Social Services

The school has contact with various health professionals, such as, school nurse, speech and language therapists and occupational therapists.

CYPS (Children and Young Persons Service)

Complex Neurological Unit

Dyslexia support through trained staff within school.

Bridges Unit (Educational, Behavioural, Disability, Social Support)


Question 4

How will I know how my child is doing?

Berwick Middle School encourages an open door policy where parents are welcome to contact school whenever there is a concern about their child and arrange a meeting at a mutually convenient time. The issue will be discussed and parents receive feedback from a member of staff.

In addition to normal reporting arrangements parents will receive progress reports at various stages dependent upon the need of the child. The aim is to develop a partnership where professionals, staff and pupils can work together to structure a package which will work in the best interest of the child. In addition information will be shared through:

  • Email/phone contact
  • Parentmail
  • School/ Home planners
  • EHCP reviews
  • Informal meetings when appropriate

Question 5

What training do staff supporting pupils with SEND have?

The SENDCo has responsibility 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 pupils, including those with SEND. This includes whole school training on SEND issues such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Epilepsy, Diabetes as well as speech, language and communication difficulties. Staff have been trained in assessing pupil levels of attainment using appropriate SEND assessment tools as well as specialist programmes such as Precision Teaching.

Where specialist training is required staff are supported in acquiring new skills. This may involve internal training with visits from external providers such as the school health team and training in areas such as Safe Handling but may also include visits to other schools to observe good practice.


Question 6

How will my child be involved in activities outside of the classroom, including school trips?

Berwick Middle School values the opportunities presented by school trips, including residential visits. As part of the school Inclusion policy all pupils are encouraged to participate in such visits.

All visits are evaluated for risk through the completion of an EVOLVE risk assessment. Provided behaviour does not pose a Health and Safety risk to the group, every effort is made to ensure full inclusion for all pupils. Parents/carers are involved in the planning of trips where additional precautions are required for more vulnerable pupils. In some cases, parents are invited to make suggestions or to attend where the additional supervision will enable the pupil to participate fully.

Berwick Middle School will make every effort to provide the resources to enable pupils with SEND to be fully inclusive in all school activities.


Question 7

How accessible is the Berwick Middle School environment?

Arrangements have been made to make Berwick Middle School fully accessible to pupils with disabilities. Provision has been made for wheelchair access to all key areas and improvements have allowed for access to disabled changing and toilet facilities.

Staff have received training in dealing with the needs of wheelchair pupils and parents are invited to tour the school and discuss provision available prior to commencement of pupils attendance. The school site was assessed in 2014 for accessibility by pupils with special needs and improvements were made to access points, exits, walkways, toilets and changing facilities.

Site inspections monitor the safety and accessibility issues around the school. Lighting is good and classrooms have good acoustic conditions so that the effects of hearing difficulties are minimised.

Pupils who have English as an additional language are supported in accessing the curriculum and developing social skills by the school Teaching Assistants. The Mohr group may also act as translators, working with parents/carers, where necessary. Regular contact is maintained with parents/carers to ensure pupils remain fully inclusive within the school setting.


Question 8

How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?

Berwick Middle School will ensure that all pupils have access to a broad and balanced curriculum. No pupil will be excluded from any learning activity due to their learning difficulty unless it is clearly of benefit to that child and supports their overall inclusion within school.

Staff will monitor pupil’s achievement through baseline assessments to identify areas of need.

Appropriate provision will then be made through planning and support. Pupils will be provided with access to the curriculum at a level appropriate to their ability. Where necessary pupils may be provided with technological aids or adapted equipment to allow access to activities within and beyond the school.

Pupils will, whenever possible, be taught in the classroom with their peers. This may be with the support of a Teaching Assistant. Teaching techniques and strategies will accommodate pupils with differing abilities, including those with special needs, through differentiation of tasks. Berwick Middle School also works closely to extend more able pupils through organisations such as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).

Pupils who continue to have difficulty in acquiring the basic skills will receive Early Intervention (EI). Once a difficulty has been identified support will be provided and pupils may be withdrawn to receive extra tuition.

The curriculum may be modified or disapplied when a pupil has an Education and Health Care Plan


Question 9

How is the decision made about the type of support my child will receive?

Good liaison with feeder schools ensures accuracy of data / information and identifies when a need exists. Where necessary early transition sessions can be arranged and bespoke packages provided.

When a teacher identifies a pupil with a SEND they will notify the SENDCo and ensure that a differentiated programme of work is put in place. At this stage, parents will be contacted and the concern discussed. Progress will then be monitored and reviewed for impact.

Should the concern continue, in consultation with parent/carers, school may seek the support of external agencies. Advice or support would then be provided to school and after discussion between specialists, staff, SENDCo and parent/carers new strategies would be put in place. An Intervention Plan would be put in place and recorded on the school’s provision map. This intervention would then be reviewed at a meeting between staff and parent/carers. Top Up funding (additional funding to support pupils with SEND) may be applied for a pupil who requires higher level additional support.

If, after considerable intervention, a pupil is still unable to access the curriculum, then, in consultation with Head Teacher/SENDCo and parent/carers, school may make a request for a statutory assessment, these are now only available for pupils with long term learning or physical disability.

Links with other schools.

Berwick Middle School has strong links with all feeder schools and regular liaison meetings are held throughout the year. Discussions include curriculum and transition activities. Regular meetings are also held with the SEND department from Berwick Academy and pupils with special needs are discussed prior to their transition from Year 8. Early transition meetings and visits also take place in the Spring and Summer terms.

There are termly SEND meetings which involve all SENDCos within the town to ensure that all schools are working to achieve the best possible support for SEND pupils.


Question 10

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

Berwick Middle School believes in the importance of the school/home partnership. Where there is a need then regular contact between staff, parent/carers and pupils is sought to maximise the pupil’s progress.

Any concern identified by parent/carers but not highlighted by school should be reported to the class teacher or SENDCo who will investigate and report back as appropriate.

Where interventions are put in place, parents are informed as to the need and the strategies to be implemented by the school; they are at that point welcome to discuss any issues and the content of the intervention. Parents may add to this support and seek further guidance if required by contacting the class teacher or SENDCo.

Parents are invited to parents evenings and information evenings and otherwise maintain regular contact with school, through the class teacher and SENDCo.

Support material will be made available either through the school or via the school website. Any concerns regarding the progress of pupils with SEND should be referred to the SENDCo where parent/carers are welcome to arrange an appointment to discuss any issues.


Question 11

Who can I contact for further information?

There are various levels of contact within school.

The first point of contact should be the class teacher who will be able answer any questions or refer them to the SENDCo.

If your child is already involved with SEND interventions then the SENDCo would be the most appropriate point of contact.

Should you have more serious concerns or be unhappy about the provision provided and the issue cannot be resolved they will then be managed according to the school’s Complaints Policy, copies of which are available from the school office.