St Martin's School Bournemouth

Special Educational Needs Policy


‘All teachers are teachers of pupils with special educational needs. Teaching such pupils is therefore a whole school responsibility.’ Revised SEN Code of Practice (2000), para. 6.1

At St. Martin’s School, we offer an inclusive curriculum to ensure the best possible progress for all of our pupils whatever their needs or abilities.

Policy statement

The school strives to encourage, facilitate and support the individual growth and development of each pupil. We recognise that, beyond this, there will be pupils whose needs are additional to or different from the normal curriculum arrangements. In meeting these needs, a graduated response seeks to match provision and intervention to increasing or diminishing levels of need.



‘Pupils have Special Educational Needs if they have a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made for them.’


The Children Act, 1989, defines a child as disabled if they are ‘blind, deaf or dumb or suffer from a mental disorder of any kind or are substantially and permanently handicapped by illness, injury or congenital deformity or such other disability which may be prescribed’ (section 17 (11K)). The Disability Discrimination Act 1995, defines a person (including a child) with a disability as someone who ‘has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term effect on his ability to carry out normal day to day activities’ (section 1(1)).

At St. Martin’s School we are able to provide a good quality education for a child with mild disabilities.

Gifted and talented

At St. Martin’s School, gifted and talented (G&T) pupils are recognised as having distinctive educational needs.

The specific objectives of our SEN policy are as follows:

  • to identify pupils with special educational needs and disabilities and ensure that their needs are met
  • to ensure that pupils with special educational needs and disabilities join in with all the activities of the school
  • to ensure that all pupils make the best possible progress
  • to ensure parents are informed of their child’s special needs and that there is effective communication between parents and school
  • to promote effective partnership and involve outside agencies when appropriate.


The responsibility for SEN lies with the Headteacher (Education Act 1993) but under delegated authority the ‘responsible person’ is the special educational needs coordinator (SENCO), who will coordinate arrangements for identification, assessment and provision.

The named SENCO (SEN coordinator) for the school is the Headteacher, who is responsible for making provision for pupils with special educational needs.

SENCO role

The SENCO coordinates the school’s strategies for achieving its policy aims through managing the arrangements for identification, assessment and provision.

Identification and assessment of special educational needs

The school is committed to early identification of special educational need and adopts a graduated response to meeting special educational need in line with the Code of Practice 2002.

Identification is as early as possible and is achieved through:

  • information from previous schools
  • information supplied by the parents to the school
  • results of assessment tools, as communicated by the teacher responsible for assessment
  • referrals at any time during a pupil’s career by teachers or parents (e.g. when a teacher notices emotional/behavioural changes)
  • pupils presenting to the class teacher, SENCO or other member of staff with particular problems (this is particularly the case with emotional needs).

There is no need for pupils to be identified as having special educational needs unless the school is taking additional or different action.


The assessment procedure is as follows:

  1. SENCO to collect all available information and relevant information about a pupil who is referred.  This includes contact with parents, teaching staff, and the pupil him/herself.
  2. Where it is judged that a need additional to or different from the normal curricular provision exists, then either:
  • in liaison with parents and the pupil’s class teacher, an individual education plan (IEP) meeting is called and the pupil is placed on the SEN Register at Action.


  • with parental consent, the advice and guidance of outside experts (e.g. an educational psychologist) is sought prior to calling an IEP meeting.  As a result of this or the subsequent IEP meeting, a decision may be made to institute the formal statementing procedures.  Where outside experts are involved in the management of provision, the pupil is placed on the register at Action Plus.


This is detailed on the IEP, which includes:

  • long, medium and short term targets, agreed at the IEP meeting (parents, class teacher and any involved experts are invited, and called by the SENCO)
  • strategies to be used within and beyond the classroom to enable the pupil to achieve the targets agreed
  • provision of extra help (e.g. from teaching assistants) or materials/equipment, such help being within a general ethos of inclusion
  • curriculum modification as appropriate
  • non-confidential medical aspects (e.g. prescribed drugs for ADHD)
  • success criteria
  • monitoring.

IEPs are normally reviewed twice annually, but may be reviewed more or less frequently as appropriate.  At such reviews, a pupil may move up through the SEN categories or may be removed from the Register altogether when the intervention has been entirely successful.  Parents/carers will also be invited to participate in the target-setting and review process.

IEPs are working documents used by teaching staff to plan appropriately for pupils with specified individual needs.  Key aspects of provision are:

  • it is the responsibility of all staff and is not left to the SENCO
  • it is graduated according to pupil need and part of a cycle of target-setting, action and review
  • decisions are made in partnership with the parties concerned, including the pupil and their parents

If, despite significant support and intervention at School Action, the school has evidence that a pupil is making insufficient progress, we may seek further advice and support from outside professionals.  These professionals will be invited to contribute to the monitoring and review of progress.  Pupils and parents will be fully involved and kept informed about the involvement of external agencies and proposed interventions.

When pupils move to another school, their records will be transferred to the next school within 15 days of the pupil ceasing to be registered, as required under the Education (Pupil Information) Regulations 2000.

Gifted and talented pupils

The school recognises that gifted and talented pupils have needs that may be additional to or different from the normal curricular provisions and meets these needs as appropriate within subjects and at whole school level.

Sick pupils

The school follows the procedures and practices outlined in Access to Education (statutory guidance, November 2002 and related Summary, April 2002).  The SENCO is the named person/contact, who will endeavour to ensure that pupils absent through sickness receive an education of a similar quality to that available in school, including a broad and balanced curriculum.  Accordingly:

  • the school monitors pupil attendance through scrutiny of attendance registers
  • where a pupil is absent through (or will be absent due to) mental or physical sickness for sixteen days or more, the SENCO is informed and liaises with parents to provide home teaching
  • the SENCO seeks to facilitate liaison with peers where appropriate
  • where a pupil has recurrent hospital stays on a known basis, the SENCO ensures that work packs are prepared in advance, in accordance with the pupil’s capabilities
  • the SENCO considers whether a statement is appropriate
  • for pupils approaching examinations, the SENCO liaises with the Headteacher to ensure that special arrangements, where appropriate, are put in place.

The above procedures are carried out in full ‘working together’ partnership with the pupil and their parents; where return to school is planned, the SENCO contributes to the reintegration.

Reviewed September 2017