Welcome to our Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) information report. We hope that you will find this information useful. We aim to describe the support available for your child in order that they are able to reach their full potential.

The Learning Trust is committed to a policy of including all children, where the teaching and learning achievements, attitudes and well-being of all, matter.

All children, regardless of ability and behaviour, are valued equally. Children with SEND are an equal and integral part of the whole school community and individual children’s needs are recognised and met through varied and flexible provision. Details of the percentage of pupils with SEND and their progress compared to the national average can be found on the DfE School Performance tables.

Named Contacts:

Our Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENDCo) is Jane Hamilton 

Our Home School Link worker is Sharon Patterson

Our Academy Councillor with responsibility for SEND is Joanne Campbell.

If you wish to make contact with the staff identified above, please do so by calling the school office or emailing the admin address of the school.

Newminster Middle School

Telephone: 01670 513621


SENDCo Responsibilities:

In the first instance we would encourage you to speak to your child’s class or subject teacher(s) if you have any initial concerns about how your child is progressing. Either yourself or the class/subject teacher may then decide that it is appropriate to have a discussion about these concerns with the SENDCo. 


The role of the SENDCo includes:

  • Overseeing the provision for SEND students and ensuring that plans and progress are regularly reviewed and targets reviewed and re-set as required
  • Supporting class teachers and learning support staff in meeting the needs of children in their care so that they make the best possible progress
  • Co-ordinating the support for children with SEND and developing the school’s SEND policy, provision and practice 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 their child is doing
  • Liaising with all the other people who may be coming into school to help support a child’s learning e.g. Speech and Language, Educational Psychology etc
  • Updating the school’s SEND register termly, and making sure that there are comprehensive records of your child’s needs, programmes followed and progress made.
What kinds of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) are provided for?

Any child identified as having SEND will be supported according to 4 broad areas of need, in accordance with the 0 – 25 SEND Code of Practice: 2014

  • Communication and interaction
  • Cognition and learning
  • Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
  • Sensory and / or physical needs

All students who are placed onto the school’s SEND register will be identified as either:

  • EHCP – having an Education, Health and Care plan
  • K – not holding an EHCP, but having additional support as a result of a SEND in one of the 4 categories identified above.

Provision and support exists throughout the school for students with special educational needs and disabilities. The kinds of SEND for which provision is made include (but are by no means exhaustive or exclusive):

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Asperger Syndrome
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Dyspraxia
  • Hearing Impairment (HI)
  • Moderate Learning Difficulties (MLD)
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health issues (SEMH)
  • Specific Literacy Difficulties (SpLD)
  • Speech Language and Communication Needs (SLCN)
  • Visual Impairment (VI)
How does the school identify students with Special Educational Needs?

When a student is in the process of transition from the previous phase, information from a range of sources is used to help identify SEND. This includes information from parents / carers, school to school liaison with the SENDCo, Year Leads and Class Teachers, end of key stage data and outcomes of recent tests in reading, spelling and maths. This information is gathered both before and after entry to the new school phase and then combined to identify whether an additional level of educational support is required for a child.

During their time at school, our Class Teachers, Learning Support Staff, Curriculum Leaders, Year Leads and SENDCo closely monitor the progress and attainment of all students, including those who have or may have SEND. This continuous monitoring of students allows us to further identify students with a special educational need. We follow a staged and graduated approach to identifying and assessing needs, using the ‘Assess, Plan, Do, Review’ model, after which any member of staff is able to refer a student to the SEND Department if they continue to have concerns. If appropriate, we seek the advice or intervention of external support professionals, such as an Educational Psychologist or Speech and Language Therapist.


What is the school’s approach to teaching students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities?

For the most part, students with SEND are taught in the classroom alongside their peers. Teaching techniques and strategies, including differentiated resources and learning tasks, accommodate those of differing abilities. Guidance with regard to the use of these is shared by the SEND department. This enables individual learning needs to be met and allows students to maximise their potential in all areas of the curriculum. The teaching arrangements for those pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) will be determined by their EHCP. 


How does the school evaluate the effectiveness of its provision for SEND?

The school rigorously and routinely monitors the effectiveness of Teaching and Learning for all students, including those with SEND, through the analysis of students’ progress and attainment data, learning walks to monitor that High Quality teaching is taking place and book scrutiny. Frequent data analysis allows the school to identify areas of strength and development and to drill down to individual students and where a specific area might need to be further supported.

Regular feedback from parents / carers and students provides qualitative information about the impact of the Special Needs provision. This information is used to create and implement development plans for all aspects of school life. 


What are the school’s arrangements for assessing and reviewing the progress of students with SEND?

The progress of children with SEND is monitored carefully and further support is put into place if necessary. Rigorous tracking systems inform us of any student who is falling behind and who may need further help. We aim to keep parents / carers fully involved in the process and, equally, if parents / carers have any concerns we encourage them to make contact with school via the subject/class teacher(s) at the earliest opportunity, so that we are able to work together to best meet the needs of each child and ensure that good progress is made. 

parents / carers will be kept informed of any support which we feel would benefit a child. The SENDCo will work closely with subject/class teacher(s) to offer further advice if necessary, so that a child is able to access and manage the curriculum that they are following.

All children with SEND have a Pupil Profile which outlines the needs of the child, the views of the child and the parents / carers, suggested teaching support strategies and targets for improvement. Termly opportunities are provided for parents / carers and school to review the progress made towards these targets. 


How does the school adapt the curriculum and learning environment for students with SEND?

It is a guiding principle of our school that children with SEND are valued and their needs are recognised and met through a varied and flexible provision, which begins with High Quality teaching.

We believe that every person should be treated equally and with respect. As long as the school is the best place to meet the needs of an individual, he/she will be admitted and every care will be taken to ensure appropriate access to the full curriculum. However, a small number of students have a more personalised curriculum to match their individual needs and abilities. This may include additional literacy and numeracy support, intervention groups, the number of subjects studied and additional out of class support.

All staff and adults are aware of those children who need additional support for any reason and are provided with suggested strategies for how our children with SEND can best be supported in lessons. Work is carefully differentiated as appropriate by the subject/class teacher to meet the students’ needs, ensuring progress. Due to highly focused support by our SEND team and an understanding of specific needs, we endeavour to give students the very best possible chance to maximise their potential and raise their self-esteem.

As far as is practicably possible the physical needs of every student will be catered for. The school provides accessible toilet facilities for students and adults. Any student with a disability that may make movement around the building more difficult will be fully supported, with plans put in place to facilitate their access around the building. A risk assessment will be undertaken if required. Specific equipment and resources for HI and VI students will be provided if necessary. For further information, please refer to our Accessibility Plan and Admissions Policy.

There are members of staff within school who are first aid trained and trained in administering prescribed medication to students. All medication is stored in a locked cupboard away from the students.  The school endeavours, where practically possible, to cater for all medical needs and will request any additional training or expert advice as required. Students with additional medical needs will have a Health Care Plan completed by parents / carers outlining the specific needs of the child.

For further information, please refer to our Medical Needs Policy.


What additional support for accessing learning, the wider enrichment curriculum and additional school activities is available to students with SEND?

The SENDCo will coordinate support and interventions for your child.  This may include:

  • In-class support where a Support Assistant will work closely with the teacher in order to help your child to access the curriculum.
  • 1-2-1 or small group support as appropriate where the Support Assistant will work with your child either individually or with other students.
  • Homework Club where staff who know the expectations for the subject are available to help your child to complete homework.
  • Social Clubs where staff encourage social skills development and the building of relationships between peers with an emphasis on enjoyment.
  • The Home School Link worker will support your child in situations such as illness and other difficult home circumstances.
  • Medical – there is a person with an overview of all medical difficulties. Provision for pupils with physical disabilities is made as appropriate. First Aid is always available from trained members of staff.

Targeted ‘In-Class’ Support

To make the most effective use of additional support staff in our lessons, teachers and Support Assistants need to plan together and work together as a team. Support may be provided by a Support Assistant or a member of our teaching staff.

Some key features of high quality (Tier One) support in class are:

  • Working with small groups of students
  • Observing student behaviour and keeping records
  • Ensuring students have understood the task given
  • Helping to mark work
  • Preparing adapted resources (with the teacher’s guidance)
  • Working with a larger group so that the teacher can work on specific tasks with a small group
  • Being an extra pair of eyes and ears
  • Praising, encouraging and recording good work
  • Supporting individuals with reading and written work
  • Recording in student’s planner where appropriate
If your child is falling behind, Tier Two Strategies are available:

This means:

  • That your child is slightly behind expectations for the class but well placed to improve and make progress with regular individual or small group support, usually from a Support Assistant, for either a short or sustained period

Tier Three Strategies are also available:

This means:

  • That your child is likely to require more help to make progress in the short term and that work covered in class may be inappropriate
  • Specific strategies (which may be suggested by the SENDCo or outside agencies) are in place to support your child to learn
  • Small steps of progress will be identified and shared with parents / carers and pupils
  • Your child may have a plan of intervention which explains their current abilities, the targeted ability within a 6-8 week time frame, and the programme being followed to help your child reach their goals as part of the graduated response
  • Your child may work individually or in a small group with an adult, usually a Support Assistant, several times a week, and may also have differentiated work to follow in class to develop their independence when reinforcing the skills they are learning
  • There will be an informal assessment at the beginning and end of the intervention period to help determine starting points and measure progress. This process is known as ‘Assess, Plan, Do, Review’ and the outcomes of this may be communicated to parents / carers


Our purpose is to show each child that they matter and will be valued for their contribution to school and to the world in which they live. We provide learning an enriching experience to inspire, motivate, stretch and meet the needs of all learners.

Wherever possible, children with SEND will take part in all of the enrichment activities our school provides. Our policy of inclusion covers all areas of the curriculum, school visits, residential trips, sporting activities and social activities.


What support is available for improving the emotional, mental and social development of SEND students?

We aim to ensure that your child’s learning needs are met whilst any emotional and behavioural difficulties are also supported.

We do this by linking the various pastoral systems which are in place to support your child when appropriate if these needs occur. An active role is taken in helping students to manage themselves and their learning in school.


There are a variety of programmes in place to help your child with feeling comfortable in the school community. These include:

  • Pastoral support from form tutors, teaching / support assistants and Heads of Year.
  • A personal development programme which can be undertaken if required which enables students to develop skills with positive assertiveness and with making friends.
  • Nurture groups which run throughout the school year. These are delivered by ELSA-trained members of staff, who are highly experienced at supporting a range of emotional and behavioural needs.
  • A positive behaviour programme which is used at appropriate times for students with needs in these areas.

All students have access to additional in-school support for their emotional, mental and social well-being through:

  • Home-school link worker – Ms Patterson
  • School Counsellor – Mrs Railton 
  • Thriving Minds For Learning – Gill Knights and Jill del Prete

Medical Needs

There are a number of staff designated and trained in First Aid for all pupils. 

Miss L Finch is the named contact at Newminster.

Further information is available in the Medical Needs Policy.


What are the expertise and training provisions for school staff in relation to students with SEND, and what specialist expertise can the school secure?

School staff expertise and training:

We have a SEND Department which is made up of a SENDCo, two senior Support Assistants and a team of Support Assistants. Within this team we have staff who have a range of experience, training and qualifications covering various special educational needs.  Training is provided to all staff, including teachers and Support Assistants, as the need arises. There is on-going training for all staff as well as many opportunities to further develop skills. Staff who are new to the school follow an induction programme which includes training and information on SEND.

Additional Specialist Expertise:

If the class teacher’s or parent’s request for advice in providing for a child cannot be met from within the expertise of the staff in school, the SENDCo or Headteacher may identify the need for extra specialist support in school from an outside professional e.g. Northumberland Inclusive Education Services (NIES), EOTAS (Education Other than at School), CYPS (Children and Young People’s Service), PMH (Primary Mental Health)


For your child this would mean:

  • Your child has been identified by school staff, or you may have raised your own concerns, as needing specialist  input in addition to High Quality teaching and intervention groups.
  • You will be asked to give your permission/consent 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 yourself understand your child’s particular needs better and be able to support them better in school.
  • A visiting specialist professional will work with your child to observe their work, behaviour, ask them to complete assessment tasks if appropriate and respond to direct questions
  • The specialist professional will discuss the staff’s hopes for the outcome of the visit and look at records of the child’s assessment and the targeted work to date.
  • The specialist professional may give immediate verbal feedback to staff and may prepare a written report which is shared with parents / carers.
  • You will be asked to come to a meeting to discuss your child’s progress and help plan possible ways forward.

The specialist professional will work with your child to understand their needs and make recommendations, which may include:

  • Making changes to the way your child is supported in class e.g. some individual support or changing some aspects of teaching to support them more effectively.
  • Support to set targets which will include following programmes in their specific area of expertise.
  • A group run by school staff under the guidance of the outside professional e.g. a social skills group.
  • A group or individual may work with the outside professional.

The school may suggest that your child needs some agreed individual support in school. They will tell you how the support will be used and what strategies will be put in place.

This type of support is available for children with specific barriers to learning that cannot be overcome through High Quality teaching and intervention groups.


How will facilities and equipment to support students with SEND be secured?

If a child requires additional facilities and equipment to support their learning in school then the school will identify the best way to secure these, working with additional services and professionals as required. This may include:

  • Purchasing the materials directly e.g. writing slopes, reading rulers, overlays etc
  • Looking for options to rent or lease more expensive items
  • Liaising with professional organisations to support with the provision of specialist items e.g. electric wheelchair
  • Working with our facilities team to make any reasonable adjustments that may be required to support a child’s learning

We aim to ensure that all students who attend the school have access to the school curriculum and wider enrichment activities and that all reasonable effort is made to ensure that the facilities and equipment needed to enable this to happen are in place. Where appropriate a needs assessment and / or risk assessment will be undertaken to support this.


What are the arrangements for consulting with the parents / carers of students with SEND and involving them in the education of their child?

Before the transition to Middle school there are opportunities for parents / carers to meet with the SENDCo and Class Teachers to plan the support for their child. Once in the school, there are ‘drop-in’ evenings early in the academic year, termly parents / carers’ evenings and reviews of intervention plans (Pupil Profiles) and a schedule of Annual Reviews for children with EHCPs. Communication between the school and parents / carers is essential for the needs of the child to be appropriately met.


What are the arrangements for consulting with students with SEND and involving them in their education?

As with their parents / carers, all children with SEND are asked to contribute to their termly Pupil Profile reviews. As interventions are evaluated regularly, children are involved in this process and any changes are actioned. Strong and frequent communication between all school staff and the child are essential to this process.


What arrangements are in place for supporting students with SEND transfer from their First School and into the High School?

We will do everything possible to ensure that your child’s needs are identified early, before transfer, and support measures will be put in place on entry. The SENDCo and Year Lead will meet with the SENDCo from the feeder school to discuss the specific needs of each child. If your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), there will also be a ‘phase change’ review meeting. This is carried out at an early stage to allow parents / carers and staff to carefully plan the transition which will take place at the end of each school phase.

Additional support can be offered by a Home School Link Worker to ease the transition of some children who may feel more anxious or be vulnerable. Extra visits, before transfer, will enable your child to feel confident and secure. Targeted support, after transfer, will ensure that your child does not ‘flounder’ and is given the best possible opportunity to succeed.

Year 4 children are invited to a number of transfer activities which may include: Technology Taster sessions; a Mini Sports Day organised by our Young Sports Leaders; literacy/numeracy sessions led by some of our Year 5 staff and more formal transition days organised by the Year 5 team. Our ‘new year 5’ will also receive a welcoming booklet which tells the children what they can expect and look forward to. All children and parents / carers will have the opportunity to meet the new class teacher in the Summer Term.

Further visits for those children who are particularly anxious about the move from First to Middle are arranged either through consultation with the feeder school, or by parental request.

From Newminster to High School, transition starts in the Spring term of Year 8 and consists of a number of opportunities and activities designed to ensure the move to the next phase is a successful one. The SENDCo, Year Leads and Headteacher share information with the key members of staff at the High School and there are invitations for 1-1 meetings with staff as well as information evenings for both students and parents / carers. There are also transition days and additional visits for some students if required.


What provision is in place by the Governors for dealing with any concerns or complaints from the parents / carers of students with SEND concerning the provision made by the school?

What do I do if I have a concern?

If you have a concern then contact your child’s class teacher in the first instance.

If concerns persist, then contact the SENDCo for the school:

  • Mrs J Hamilton 

Please provide details of your concerns and who you have discussed these concerns with and what the outcomes were.


What do I do if I am still concerned that the issues have not been addressed appropriately?

Please contact the Headteacher:

  • Mrs E Kinninment 
What is the Local Offer?

The Local Offer is essentially the provision available for young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). This requirement is laid out by the Children’s and Families Act 2014, the Special Educational Needs and Disability regulations 2014 and the 0-25 SEND Code of Practice, 2014.

The Local Authority will produce a Local Offer for Northumberland and all schools will produce one for their establishment.

The Local Authority Local Offer has two key purposes:

  • To provide clear, comprehensive and accessible information about the support and opportunities that are available
  • To make provision more responsive to local need and aspirations by directly involving young people with SEND, parents / carers and carers and service providers in its development and review.

The Northumberland Local Offer can be found here.

Offers designed by each school should also have these key principles in mind.

Local Offers from Neighbouring Authorities:

As a comparison, please see other examples of Local Offers:


What other support services can be accessed by parents / carers of children with SEND?

Additional information can be found via the following links:

Northumberland Local Offer


What are Education and Health Care Plans?

These were introduced in September 2014. Students with previous Statements of Special Education Need have had these updated and converted to EHC Plans.

The 0 – 25 SEND Code of Practice 2014 states that:

“The majority of children and young people with SEN will have their needs met within local mainstream early years providers, schools or colleges.

A local authority must conduct an assessment of education, health and care needs and prepare an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP) when it considers that it may be necessary for special educational provision to be made for the child or young person through an EHCP. This is likely to be where the special education provision required to meet the child or young person’s needs cannot reasonably be provided from within the resources normally available to mainstream early years providers, schools and post 16 institutions. This statutory assessment should not be the first step in the process; rather it should follow on from planning already undertaken with parents / carers and young people in conjunction with an early years provider, school, post-16 institution or other provider.

EHCPs must be focused on the outcomes the child or young person seeks to achieve across education, health and care. EHCPs must set out how services will work together to meet the child or young person’s needs and in support of those outcomes. EHCPs will be based on a co-ordinated assessment and planning process which puts the child and young person and their parents / carers at the centre of decision making.

Statutory assessment will not always lead to an EHCP being allocated. The information gathered during an assessment may indicate ways in which the school, college or other provider can meet the child or young person’s needs from within available resources.”

If an application for an EHCP is made, this process will take at least 20 weeks to complete before a final EHCP is agreed. More information about EHCPs can be accessed via the Northumberland County Council website.


Updated: September 2021