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SEND Information Report

Frequently Asked Questions

How SEND works in school

What should I do if I have concerns about my child?

For any concerns with special educational needs, health and mental health, please talk to your class teachers. Class teachers have a wealth of knowledge and training and will be able to support you with your concerns. 

In school we have specialist special needs and pastoral staff who can provide additional support and guidance at any time. In school these staff are; Helen Figg and Julie Batchelor, pastoral LSAs, Chelsea Andow and Fiona Rowley SEND Team or SENDCos. 

How does the school know if children need extra help, and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?

We know if a child needs extra help if:

  • Concerns are raised by parent/carer, teacher or child.
  • Limited progress or change in progress is made. 
  • There is a change in the pupil's behaviour/emotional needs

The class teacher is the initial point of contact for responding to parental concerns. 

How will both you and I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child's learning?

Your child's class teacher will be available at the end of each day should you wish to raise a concern, or you can make an appointment for a longer meeting with your class teacher or the SENDCOs. The class teacher will suggest ways you can support your child and may write an individual SEND support plan. 

You will be able to discuss your child's progress at parents evening or support plan meetings. The SENDCOs and teacher may meet with you to discuss how to support your child with strategies to use if there are difficulties with a child's behaviour/emotional needs. 

If outside agencies have been involved suggested programmes of study are normally provided that can be used at home. 

What types of SEND does the school provide for? Does my child need a diagnosis to get support?

We support children in school with a variety of special educational needs.

Children have support with special educational needs such as speech, language and communication, cognition and learning, social, emotional and mental health and physical or sensory needs. Children do not need a diagnosis to get support, we support all children in school and provide needs led support. 


How will the school staff support my child? 

Each pupil's education programme will be planned by the class teacher. It will be adapted accordingly to suit the pupil's individual needs. This may include additional general support by the teacher, learning support assistant, adaptations to the environment or additional resources. 

If a pupil has needs related to more specific areas of their education, such as spelling, handwriting, numeracy and literacy skills etc. then the pupil may be placed in a small focus group. This will be run by a teacher or learning support assistant. The length of time of the intervention will vary according to need. The interventions will be regularly reviewed by all involved to ascertain the effectiveness of the provision and to inform future planning.

Pupil progress is assessed 3 times a year (Oct, Feb, May/June) and discussed by the senior leadership team and class teacher. These may highlight any potential barriers to learning in order for further support to be planned.

Occasionally a pupil may need more expert support from an outside agency such as the educational psychologist, a speech and language therapist, or advice from the children's mental health team etc. A referral will be made, with your consent, and forwarded to the most appropriate agency and we will act on their recommendations and record them in the pupils support plan. 

How do the governors support SEND?

The Governors of Ashton Vale Primary are responsible for entrusting the Safeguarding Team to monitor safeguarding and child protection procedures. They are also responsible for the monitoring and correct administration of the Disclosure and Barring service procedures for the school's single central record. In a support and challenge role the governors ensure that the school is as inclusive as possible and treats all children and staff in an equitable way. 

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

When a pupil has been identified with special educational needs their work will be adapted by the class teacher to ensure they can access the curriculum. 

Learning support assistants and teachers may be allocated to work with the pupils in a small focus group to target more specific needs. 

If a child has been identified as having a special need, they may be given a SEND Support Plan. In schools plans are used to deliver small steps within the curriculum for children to work towards.  Targets will be set according to their area of need, these will be monitored by the class teacher and SENDCOs. Support Plans will be discussed with parents at least three times a year. Children with complex needs may have an Education, Health and Care plan. These will be reviewed annually with a SENDCO and the class teacher.

If appropriate, specialist equipment may be given to the pupil, such as a writing slope, a concentration cushion, pen/pencil grips or adaptations may be made to the classrooms and learning environments to support them accessing the curriculum.

How are decisions made about the type of support my child will receive?

These decisions are made in consultation with the class teacher, SENDCOs and senior leadership team. Decisions are based on assessments of pupil needs or as a result of outside agency assessments. If further concerns are identified due to as support is reviewed, then other interventions or adaptations may be arranged. Class teachers will discuss and review all Support Plans with parents at least three times a year. Progress is reviewed frequently throughout the year by teachers responding to changes in children's needs as they happen.

How will the school make sure my child is included in activities alongside pupils who don’t have SEND?

No pupil is ever excluded from taking part in activities because of their SEN or disability; we encourage all of our children to take part in a wide range of activities, trips and extra-curricular activities. We actively seek to ensure there are no barriers to pupils with SEND and will make the adjustments and adaptations to promote inclusion for all.

All pupils are encouraged to go on our school trips, including our residential trips such as school camp. All pupils are encouraged to take part in sports days, assemblies, and other whole school events and activities.

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

Activities and school trips are available to all. Risk assessments are carried out and procedures put in place to enable all children to participate. If it is deemed that extra support or adjustments with travel are necessary then a member of staff will be allocated or parents may be invited to attend.

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

At Ashton Vale we have a wide range of pastoral support for pupils who are encountering emotional difficulties. The school has a provision of two ELSAs, Emotional Literacy Support Assistants, we run 1:1 or small group sessions with the Pastoral LSAs or teacher. 

We have support from a Primary Mental Health Specialist and the School Nursing Team. We signpost workshops and webinars to parents in our weekly newsletters.

The school nurse can support some concerns, such as an eating disorder and trauma. A referral can be made for expert support, for example, bereavement counseling or support from the primary mental health specialist. 

How does the school support pupils with disabilities?

We ensure that adjustments are made to prevent disabled pupils from being treated less favorably than other pupils. Please refer to the school’s accessibility plan which provides further information.

What support will there be for my child's medical or toileting needs? 

If a child has a medical need then a detailed care plan is compiled with support from the school nurse in consultation with parents/carers. These are discussed with all staff who are involved with the pupil. Staff receive medical training where needed such as epi-pen training. This is delivered by the school nurse. Where necessary and in agreement with parents/carers medicines are administered in school, but only where a signed medicine consent form is in place to ensure the safety of both the child and the staff member.

Children needing support with toileting are given an Intimate Care Plan and this is written in consultation with parents and supported with guidance from the school nursing team. The nursing team also offers support with toileting needs at home. 

What support is available in school for looked after children and previously looked after children?

The school has a Designated Teacher for Children in Care and this is SENDCO Fiona Rowley. We work closely with the Hope School who support looked after children in Bristol. We make sure that all teachers understand how a looked-after or previously looked-after pupil’s circumstances and their SEND might interact, and what the implications are for teaching and learning.

Children who are looked-after or previously looked-after will be supported much in the same way as any other child who has SEND. However, looked-after pupils will also have a personal education plan (PEP). We will make sure that the PEP and any SEND support plans or EHCP plans are consistent and complement one another.  

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?

The agencies used by the school include:

The Bristol Autism Team - BAT

Speech and language Therapists - SALT

Educational Psychologist EP  

Sensory Support team - hearing / vision

Primary Mental Health Specialist - PMHS

Occupational therapy - OT

Physiotherapy - PT

CAMHS (Child and adolescence mental health team)

School Nurse

Early Help

Education Welfare

Social Services

Bristol Parent Carers

Bristol Autism Support

SEND and You


What training have the staff supporting SEND had or what training are they having?

Different members of staff have had different training related to SEND. Many of the following have been completed by the whole staff team.

These include:

How to support pupils on the autistic spectrum

Autism Education Trust

Making Sense of Autism

Good Autism Practise

Supporting sensory needs

How to support pupils with emotional needs

Zones of Regulation

Trauma informed schools

Understanding attachment

Adverse Childhood Experiences

Anxiety in Children

ELSA - Emotional Learning Support Assistants

Positive handling and de-escalation

Supporting children in care and previously looked after children

How to support pupils with speech and language difficulties

Using visuals to support language and communication


Colorful Semantics

Language for Thinking

Word Aware

Therapist advised programs

How to support pupils with physical and coordination needs

Sensory circuits

Manual handling

Individual Support programs

Write Dance

How to support pupils with learning needs

Pre teaching

Precision Teaching

Better Reading Partners


First Class at Number

Unlocking Letters and Sounds

 How accessible is the school both indoors and outdoors?

As a school we are happy to discuss individual access requirements. Facilities we have at present include:

Level access to all classrooms and the hall
Toilet suitable for disabled access
Changing table and shower
Wide doors

How are parents involved in the school? How can I get involved? 

This may be through:

Discussions with the class teacher
Parents evenings or Support plan review meetings, parents are encouraged to comment on their child's Support Plans with possible suggestions that could be incorporated
Discussions with the SENDCO or other professionals.
Joining the PTFA

Weekly newsletter/website

Supporting and helping in school

How will you prepare and support my child to join the school, transfer to a new school setting or to the next stage of education and life?

Many strategies are in place to enable the pupil's transition to be as smooth as possible. These include:

  • Discussions between previous or receiving schools prior to pupil joining/leaving
  • All pupils attend a transition session where they spend some time with their new teacher
  • Additional visits are also arranged for pupils who need extra time in their new school
  • Teachers are always happy to meet parents prior to their child starting
  • Secondary school staff visit pupils prior to them leaving here.
  • SENDCO liaison between schools
  • Secondary schools attend annual reviews in year 6
  • EY staff attend annual reviews in the nursery settings
  • Home reference book with photos of relevant staff and classroom
  • Empty classroom visits
  • Home visits

How does the school make sure the admissions process is fair for pupils with SEN or a disability?

We are a school that is inclusive and welcoming to all children. Please see the admissions policy for more information. 


Who can I contact for further information?

If you wish to discuss your child's educational needs please contact your child’s class teacher.

For more information on SEND and Pastoral support in school please ask to speak to a member of the SEND team. If you are unhappy with the provision that has been made for your child, please contact the SEND team to discuss further by emailing on SEND@ashtonvale.bristol.sch.uk

SEND (ID 1254)