Special Educational Needs and Disability

SEND Information Report

This SEND information report is in compliance with Section 69 of the Children & Families Act, 2014; Regulation 51, Schedule 1 of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations, 2014; Section 6 of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0-25.

About our school

The Links Primary School is part of The Vision Academy Learning Trust, who promote an inclusive ethos, in which diversity of need and ability is acknowledged and nurtured. At the Links we aim to ensure that all children regardless of needs, thrive in a happy and safe environment where learning and success is promoted through fun whilst maintaining high expectations for all our learners. Whilst recognising that every child is unique, for some there are occasions when further additional support may be needed to enable them to make the appropriate progress needed. In these instances, we will create individualised support plans aimed to meet the needs of the child.

Working within the Code of Practice guidance we will assess, identify and plan an individualised support plan which aims to meet the needs of each child.

Who to contact

If you have concerns about your child’s progress, please speak to their class teacher in the first instance. Once concerns have been shared and possible support identified, you can contact the school office to arrange a meeting with the SENDCo, Mrs R Jones, to discuss your concerns further.

School SENDCO: Mrs Rebecca Jones

Contact: 01642 785950

Governor with SEND responsibility: Jill McGuire

Head of School: Miss C Briston

For further support and information, you can explore the local authorities’ local offer page here.

Advice can also be found from Stockton Parent Carer Form here, who are ‘made up of parents and carers of children and young people with SEND aged 0-25 years living in Stockton on Tees. We volunteer our time to work alongside strategic bodies, service providers and commissioners to ensure that the needs of children, young people with SEND and their families are being met.’

There is also the SENDIASS service here, which ‘is a free, impartial and confidential service. We provide advice, information and support on all matters relating to special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to: Parents of children and young people with SEN or disability, Children with SEN or a disability, Young people up to the age of 25 with SEN or a disability’

How do we identify children and young people with SEND?

Early identification of need is key in being able to the correctly provide support for children. Once a need has been identified, communication will take place between the parent, class teacher and SENDCo to discuss next steps and an action plan in moving forward.

There are four broad categories of need, these are:

  • Communication and Interaction
  • Cognition and Learning
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties
  • Sensory and/or Physical Difficulties

We know when pupils need help if:

  • Concerns are raised by parents/carers, school staff or the child
  • Limited progress is being made
  • There is a change in the pupil’s behaviour or social/emotional needs

What does staff training look like?

Every member of staff at The Links completes annual safeguarding training.

In order to maintain and develop the quality of teaching and learning at The Links, all staff are encouraged to undertake training and development frequently throughout the academic year. The Links has an annual training budget to address the training needs of all staff. There are a number of mandatory areas with which staff need to be compliant such as Safeguarding, Physical Interventions, Medical updates, Lifting & Handling etc.

All new staff undertake an induction on taking up a post to explain the systems and structures in the school. Regular reviews with staff allow for identification of further training, whether it be sought by the school or by the individual themselves. This allows for tailored CPD opportunities for all staff to match career expectations as well as develop knowledge and expertise in supporting each child they work with. Training logs are maintained on all staff.

Many of our training sessions are delivered in-house by our own experts from within school or across our Trust. In addition, we can commission training by outside professionals when a need is identified within school.

The SENDCo is a qualified teacher who has also completed the National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination. The academy trust hold regular trust SENDCo briefings which all the SENDCo’s in our trust attend. These are half-termly where possible and allow for a collaborative approach to SEND in our individual schools as well as a sharing opportunity of good practice.

The SENDCo also attends the local authorities termly SENDCo briefings, where possible, which provides updates on policy, legislation and good practice.

How do we work with and support parents and children/young people?

A support plan will be written and agreed by the class teacher, parents and pupil. The plan will outline the child’s needs and will consist of SMART targets for the child. These are reviewed termly and monitored by the SENDCo. The support plans follow the graduated approach of assess, plan, do and review.

Each pupil’s educational provision will be planned by the class teacher. It will be differentiated accordingly to suit the pupil’s individual needs. Depending on the need, support can vary but may look like one of the following:

  • Additional general support by the teacher or teaching assistant in the classroom (small group work)
  • Recommended, specific equipment to support learning, such as writing aids, seat wedges, handwriting slopes, coloured overlays/paper, fidget toys etc
  • Referrals to outside agencies, with parental consent
  • Keyworker assigned to the child to provide emotional or pastoral care
  • Targeted intervention if the need is related to more specific areas of learning, such as spelling, handwriting, numeracy and literacy skills etc.

The length of time an intervention will run can vary according to need, but will be reviewed to find out if it has been effective and inform next steps.

The school’s SENDCo, receives regular updates from class teachers about the progress of pupils, alongside data analysis of progress within the curriculum.

In addition to in house support, we work closely with the following outside agencies:

Name of Service Contact details Website

(Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service)

01642 368400 Community mental health services in Teesside for children and young people – Tees Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust (tewv.nhs.uk)
Speech and Language Therapy (NHS) 01429 522717 https://www.nth.nhs.uk/services/speech-language-therapy/children/
Occupational Therapy (NHS) 01642 624879 https://www.nth.nhs.uk/services/childrens-occupational-therapy/
Physiotherapy (NHS) 01642 624895 https://www.nth.nhs.uk/services/childrens-physiotherapy/
Growing Healthy Team 0333 3202 302 Growing Healthy Stockton-on-Tees – Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust (hdft.nhs.uk)


As a school we also use Symphony Psychology to provide assessments with an Educational Psychologist.

In addition, we work with private companies in supporting individual children. If you would like more information on this, please speak to the SENDCo.

How do we meet the needs of all children?

All children have access to the full national curriculum. Each teacher is skilled in providing ‘Quality First Teaching’. This means that teachers will assess, plan and teach all children at the level which allows them to make progress with their learning.

For your child this would mean:

  • That the teacher has the highest possible expectations for your child and all pupils in their class
  • Work is differentiated to meet the pupils ability
  • That all teaching is built on what children have previous learnt
  • Varied teaching pedagogies are implemented to allow for fully immersive learning opportunities
  • Small group work supported by a teacher or a teaching assistant (TA)
  • A provision map will be created detailing the support children receive in particular lessons/parts of the day
  • Recommendations from outside agencies and the SENDCo are in place to support individual children
  • Your child’s teacher will carefully monitor your child’s progress
  • The Links has a varied programme of after-school clubs and residential trips for all pupils to access. Support will be given discussed for children who require additional support.

For children with learning needs that are severe, complex and lifelong more intensive support may be required. This is usually provided via an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). This means your child will have been identified by professionals as needing a particularly high level of support from a range of professionals and will detail the provision that is required.

For further information in how we meet the needs of children in the four areas of need, please see the school offer (See link below).

How do we know if SEND provision is effective?

For every child identified as having SEND, progress will be closely monitored by their class teacher. The SENDCo also oversees and analyses the data from assessments to monitor academic progress. The termly support plan meetings between parents, children and class teachers will monitor the child’s progress and inform target setting and reviews.

At the end of each key stage (i.e. at the end of year 2 and year 6), all children are required to be formally assessed using Standard Assessment Tests (SATS). This is something the government requires all schools to do and the results are published nationally.

Regular book scrutinies and lesson observations will be carried out by the SENDCo, other members of the Senior Management Team and subject co-ordinators to ensure that the needs of all children are met and that the quality of teaching and learning is high in all lessons.

Children who are targeted for interventions will have their progress assessed at the beginning of a programme, which is then compared to their end assessment data. Their identified progress will then be assessed to identify next steps.

For children who have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) their progress will be formally reviewed at an Annual Review with all adults involved with the child’s education in attendance or providing up to date information reports.

How are children and young people with SEND helped to access activities outside of the classroom?

Activities and school trips are available to all.

Risk assessments for school trips are carried out and procedures are put in place to enable all children to participate. However, if it is deemed that a level of 1:1 support is required a member of staff will be assigned to the child. This will be discussed with parents.

Residential trips, which are available to Year 6, are accessed by all. Meetings will be held prior to the trips to ensure the child is fully supported and their needs are met away from school and home. In some cases, 1:1 support may be required which will be provided.

Joining the school and moving on

We recognize that transitions can be difficult for a child with SEND, and we take steps to ensure that any transition is as smooth as possible.

If your child is joining us from another school:

  • Your child will be able to visit our school and stay for a taster session, if this is appropriate
  • The SENDCo and/or class teacher will liaise with the previous school in preparation for transfer
  • All relevant documents will be obtained to give school and staff a full overview of the child and their needs
  • The SENDCo will meet with parents to discuss needs, create a pupil profile and identify an action plan for next steps

If your child is moving to another school:

  • We will contact the school SENDCo and ensure they are aware of any special arrangements or support that need to be made for your child. Where possible, a planning meeting will take place with the SENDCo and/or school representative from the new school
  • We will make sure that all records about your child are passed on

When moving classes in school:

  • Information will be passed on to the new class teacher in advance and in most cases a planning meeting will take place with the new teacher. Support plans and pupil profiles will be shared with the new teacher.
  • For children who require an enhanced transition, when we know the new staffing structure, we can build in visits to the new class teacher before the break for summer.
  • The SENDCo will ensure the new class teacher has read/given a copy of all relevant paperwork, including EHCPs.
  • Children have a transition day before the end of the school year where they meet their new teacher, where possible with new staff starting school, as well as meeting their class. We aim to transition children in the new classroom they will be in to give them advance notice of where their new class will be within school.

In Year 6:

  • The SENDCo and transition lead will discuss the specific needs of your child with the SENDCo or representative of the child’s secondary school. In most cases, a transition review meeting to which you will be invited will take place with the SENDCo from the new school.
  • Your child will participate in focused learning relating to aspects of transition, to support their understanding of the changes ahead.
  • Where possible, your child will visit their new school on several occasions, and in some cases staff from the new school will visit your child in this school.
  • We are included in the Stockton Transition Guarantee.

Who to contact to make a complaint about your child’s SEND provision

If you are unhappy about something regarding your child’s schooling, please contact the school office to arrange a meeting with the Head Teacher, class teacher or the SENDCo.

For any formal complaints regarding SEND within school, please follow the Trusts Complaints Policy:

The Local Offer

You can find more information about support on the authority’s Local Offer for children and young people with SENDD and their families by clicking the image below.

The School Offer

You can find the school’s offer of Special Educational Needs by clicking the image below.

You can find a link to our SEND policy here: SEND Policy