SEND/Learning Support

All Sunderland schools have a similar approach to meeting the needs of pupils with Special Educational Needs & Disability and are supported by the LA to ensure that all pupils, regardless of their specific needs, make the best possible progress in school. All schools are supported 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 Venerable Bede Academy SEND Department

The department reinforces the need for teaching that is fully inclusive.  Our aim is to ensure that each pupil is happy and cared for effectively in a learning environment that promotes their academic, physical, social, emotional, cultural, moral and spiritual development, equipping them for life after school in further education, training or the workplace.

We value the abilities and achievements of all pupils.  Whilst many factors contribute to the range of difficulties experienced by some pupils, we believe that much can be done to overcome them when parents, teachers, outside agencies and pupils work together.

All teachers and classroom-based support staff are teachers of children with special educational needs and have a responsibility to meet these needs.

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)?

The SENDCo Miss Sally Holt

Responsible for:

  • Checking and reviewing the progress of pupils on the SEND register.
  • Identifying, planning and delivering any additional help pupils may need (this could be things like targeted work, additional support).
  • Informing all teachers of the pupils’ needs and the strategies they should implement.
  • Ensuring that the school’s SEND Policy is followed by all teachers when teaching pupils with any SEND.
  • Developing and reviewing the school’s SEND policy.
  • Ensuring that parents are involved and kept informed in decisions supporting their child’s learning
  • Liaising with outside agencies who support individual pupils e.g. Speech and Language Therapy, Educational Psychology, Autism Outreach etc.
  • Updating the school’s SEND register ensuring that all the SEND needs of pupils are known.
  • Providing specialist support for teachers and support staff in the school so that they can help pupils with SEND to make progress.

Department Staffing

  • Mrs Christine Rayner – Trust Director SEND
  • Miss Sally Holt – Assistant Headteacher and SENDCo
  • Miss Louise Brough – Assistant SENDCo
  • Mrs Jackie Chipp – SEND Lead Practitioner
  • Mrs Lindsay Stanley – HLTA
  • Mrs Kay Brown – LSA
  • Mrs Julie Johnson – LSA
  • Mr Ian Lauder – LSA
  • Mrs Karen Maughan – LSA
  • Mrs Jackie Reed – LSA
  • Mrs Diane Thirwell – LSA

Student Care Plans

  • If a pupil has a medical condition a Student Care Plan should be completed by the parent. (Contact the SENDCo.)
  • The Care Plan will state instructions regarding any medication which may need to be taken in school.
  • All medication is stored and administered in and from reception.
  • The care plan will identify the action needed in the case of an emergency.
  • Asthma sufferers must carry inhalers with them at all times.
  • Records will be kept of those pupils with asthma and any medication taken.
  • A Medical register is accessible for all staff to refer to and details are on the class register.

Question 2

What are the different types of support available for children with SEND in our school?

Support and Intervention

  1. Subject teacher input via excellent, targeted classroom teaching (Quality First Teaching).
  2. Specific strategies (suggested by the SENDCo) are in place to support your child to learn.
  3. Additional help and support by subject teachers and learning support assistants through a differentiated curriculum.
  4. Read, write, inc literacy intervention programme
  5. Reading intervention – paired reading.
  6. Handwriting intervention
  7. Numeracy intervention including telling the time and times tables.
  8. ASD intervention
  9. Alternative curriculum activities including the Prince’s Trust XL Club programme.
  10. Individual mentoring sessions with LSAs
  11. Bereavement counselling
  12. Break and lunch access to room 25
  13. Early leave /toilet pass/ lunch pass / time out
  14. Access to lifts
  15. Hydro Pool visits
  16. Sportsability Group – a weekly activity led by LSAs
  17. Support from outside agencies Local Authority central services such as the ASD Outreach Team, Sensory Service (for pupils with a hearing or visual need), Speech and Language Therapy (SALT), Physiotherapy and the Education Psychology Service (EPS).
  18. Access to computers, iPads and specialist materials
  19. Homework club with LSA support
  20. Transition support – visits for KS2 to 3 and KS4 to 5
  21. Reviews with parents and pupils
  22. Support for Young Carers
  23. Nurturing room 25 – staffed throughout the day
  24. School Counsellor – Contact via Head of Year
  25. Bullying mentoring
  26. Arts Award

What happens in Room 25

  • Staffed throughout the day
  • Area for “Time Out”
  • Small group work
  • Supported for break and lunch time
  • Paired and Gentoo reading
  • Supported Homework Club
  • Nurture room
  • Mentoring

Room 25 at Lunch Time


Monday – Film Club
Tuesday – Film Club
Wednesday – computer, ipads, block buster, boggle and bubble games
Thursday – board games and lego
Friday – Wii


  • Sportsability takes place at the same time as PD (Personal Development) as additional PE for those pupils who find mainstream PE difficult to access.
  • Activities include: badminton, basketball, botcha, table cricket, quick cricket.
  • Competitions are entered throughout the year including regional heats for Table Cricket.
  • Winners of NE Regional Heats 2012 and 2014.

Students with EHCP

  • For pupils whose learning needs are, severe, complex and lifelong an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) may be provided. This means your child will have been identified by professionals as needing a particularly high level of individual or small group teaching.

SEN Code of Practice 2014: School Support (SS)

Students with EHCP

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.

Question 3

How can I let the school know I am concerned about my child’s progress in school?

If you have concerns about your child’s progress you should speak to your child’s tutor or Head of Year initially.

If you continue to be concerned that your child is not making progress, you may speak to the Special Education Needs and Disabilities Coordinator (SENDCo).

Question 4

How will the school let me know if they have any concerns about my child’s learning in school?

If your child is identified as not making progress, the SENDCo and or the Head of Year 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’s learning

Question 5

How is extra support allocated to children and how do they progress in their learning?

The school budget, received from Sunderland LA, includes money for supporting children with SEND.

  • The Head Teacher decides on the deployment of resources for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in consultation with the school governors, on the basis of needs in the school.
  • The SLT Link Manager and 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 and decide what resources/training and support is needed.
  • The School identifies the needs of their pupils on a school provision map which for SEND pupils identifies all resources/training and support and these are reviewed regularly and changes made as needed.

Question 6

How will the teaching be adapted for my child with SEND?

  • Subject teachers plan lessons according to the specific needs of all groups of children in their class, and will ensure that your child’s needs are met.
  • Support staff, under the direction of the subject 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 and teaching will be adapted on a daily basis if needed to meet your child’s learning needs.

Question 7

How will we measure the progress of your child in school?

  • Your child’s progress is continually monitored by his/her subject teachers, Head of Year and SENDCo.
  • Data including your child’s level’s will be sent to you 3 times a year and an annual report is also issued.
  • The progress of pupil’s with an EHC Plan is formally reviewed at an Annual Review, with all adults involved with the child’s education.
  • Student feedback through a questionnaire to evaluate support.

Question 8

Who are the other people providing services to children with SEND in this school?

School provision

  • Teaching Assistants/ Learning Support
  • Attendance Officer
  • Behaviour Support Teams

Local Authority Provision delivered in school

  • Autism Outreach Service
  • Educational Psychology Service
  • Sensory Service for children with visual or hearing needs
  • Parent Partnership Service

Health Provision delivered in school

  • Additional Speech and Language Therapy input to provide a higher level of service to the school.
  • School Nurse
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • CAMHs

Question 9

How are the teachers in school helped to work with children with SEND and what training do they have?

The SENDCo arranges or delivers 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 Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Speech and Language difficulties.

  • The SENDCo and Learning Support Assistants attend training courses run by outside agencies that are relevant to the needs of specific children in the school e.g. from the Autism Outreach Team (AOT)service. The information is then disseminated to the teaching staff.

Staff Training

  • The Learning Support Department has had training in the following:
  • Autism Outreach training
  • Bereavement Counselling
  • ADHD training
  • Speech and Language as advised by specialist support
  • The Whole Picture Training – Sex Education programme
  • Safeguarding
  • Read, Write, Inc
  • Dyslexia and Dyscalculia support 
  • Numeracy support
  • ELSA (Emotional Literacy)
  • Handwriting

Question 10

What support do we have for you as a parent of a child with a SEND?

  • The tutor, Head of Year or SENDCo are 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 may be reviewed with your involvement.
  • Homework will be adjusted as needed to your child’s individual needs.
  • The school planner may be used to support communication with you

Parent Partnership

  • Sunderland Parent Partnership can provide support and information for parents and carers and help them to play a more active role in their child’s education.
  • TEL: 0191 5615643
  • LINK: Sunderland Parent Partnership

Question 11

How is The Venerable Bede CE Academy accessible to children with SEND?

The building is accessible. The school has a lift which can access the basement, ground and 1st floors.

  • We ensure, where ever 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.
  • Extracurricular activities are accessible for children with SEND.

Transition from year 6 to 7

  • The Primary School SENDCo will discuss the specific needs of your child with the SENDCO of their secondary school.
  • Your child will attend transition days with all other Year 6 pupils transferring to The Venerable Bede C of E Academy.  Those on the SEND register will attend an additional morning.
  • There will be an additional parents meeting of those with children on the SEND register to give the opportunity to meet the SENDCo, the Learning Support Assistants, Parent Partnership, the School Governor and the teacher in charge of the Summer School.

Transition for Year 11 to College or 6th Form

  • SEND details are passed onto the person in charge of SEND.
  • Additional visits with Learning Support are arranged where appropriate.