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St Cuthbert's Catholic School

St Margaret Mary Catholic Primary School



Special Educational Needs Local Offer


St Margaret Mary Catholic Primary School is part of the CaSPA Alliance


Our Mission Statement: To treat all children with patience, fairness and equality.


How we support children with special educational needs or disabilities


SEN Statement

St Margaret Mary Catholic Primary School is an inclusive school where we welcome, value and celebrate the abilities and achievements of all children. Staff are committed to making the curriculum as accessible as possible and therefore we continually strive to remove barriers to learning and participation, developing an environment which enables and supports every child so they can succeed and achieve their potential.

Through regular assessment we aim to ensure the early identification of need and appropriate provision, whether it be individual or small group. Where appropriate, intervention plans will detail and track this support and the children’s achievement.

At St Margaret Mary Catholic Primary School, we strive to support our children to develop their confidence in their own ability, their independence and their self-esteem which as a result have a positive impact on them socially and emotionally. Our main priority is to support the development of the whole child.


‘.. those children with disabilities and those with SEN make the same good progress because their needs are well understood by staff.’

(Ofsted Report, St Margaret Mary Catholic Primary School, April 2013)


‘… pupils with SEN and or with disabilities (SEND) make excellent progress through all three key stages. This is largely due to the quality of teaching.’

(Dioceses Report, Section 48, June 2014)


Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Report
(Local Offer) 2019-20


All CaSPA Cluster (Carlisle South Primary Alliance) schools have a similar approach to meeting the needs of pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and are supported by the Cumbria Local Authority (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 (SEND) being met in a mainstream setting wherever possible.


The broad areas of SEND are:

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


The purpose of the Local Offer

The Local Offer has two key purposes:

To provide clear, comprehensive and accessible information about the provision available.

To make provision more responsive to local needs and aspirations by directly involving children and young people with SEN, parents/carers and service providers in its development and review.


About the school

St Margaret Mary is a 3-11 community mainstream primary school with 234 children on role.

There is a nursery which operates in the mornings and which forms part of the Foundation Stage Unit.

SEN register as at January 2019: 37 receive SEN support, 5 pupils have an EHCP (Education Health Care Plan).

We define School Support as additional group interventions, over and above day to day differentiation, designed to help pupils reach their target levels.


This is how parents/ carers raise concerns

Parents/ carers can raise concerns by talking to us – firstly contact your child’s class teacher/keyworker.  You could also contact the:

SENCo, Mrs. P Fontana (01228 401800)


Head of School (01228 401800)


SEN Governor, Mrs F Robinson via the school office (01228 401800)


If appropriate, contact your GP surgery or the school nurse.

We pride ourselves on building positive relationships with parents.  We are open and honest with parents and hope that they are able to do the same with us.


This is how we identify SEN

At St Margaret Mary School children are identified as having SEN through a variety of ways including:

  • Liaison with previous school/ Nursery
  • Liaison with Foundation Stage staff
  • Child performing below age-related expectations
  • Concerns raised by teachers through informal discussion/ or at Pupil Progress meetings
  • Concerns raised by parents/ carer
  • Concerns raised by teacher eg behaviour or self-esteem is affecting performance
  • Liaison with external agencies eg Family Centre, Social Care
  • Health diagnosis through a GP, Pediatrician or Health Visitor


This is how school staff support children with SEN, assessing and reviewing their progress throughout the year

Our SENCo oversees all support and progress of any child requiring additional support across the school.

The class teacher will oversee, plan and direct the work with each child with SEN in their class to ensure that progress is made in every area.

There may be a Teaching Assistant (TA) working with your child either individually or as part of a group; if this is seen as necessary by the class teacher or SENCo. The regularity of these sessions will be explained to parents when the support starts.

The class teacher will meet with parents at least twice a year (this could be as part of Parents Evening) to discuss a child’s needs, support and progress.

For further information the SENCo is available to discuss support in more detail.

The SENCo reports to the Governors every term to inform them about the progress of children with SEN; this report does not refer to individual children and confidentiality is maintained at all times.

Mr Rob Charlton is the Governor responsible for SEN and meets regularly with the SENCo, reporting back to the Governors to keep everyone informed.

The Governors agree priorities for spending within the school budget with the overall aim that all children with SEN receive the support they need in order to make progress.


This is how we match the curriculum to the needs of children with SEN

All work within lesson is pitched at appropriate levels so that all children are able to access it according to their specific needs. Typically this might mean that in a lesson there would be at least three different levels of work set for the lesson.  However, on occasions this can be individually differentiated to follow advice from an external specialist or cover a specific learning/ intervention programmes.

The benefit of this type of differentiation is that all children can access a lesson and learn at their level.


This is how we approach the teaching of children with SEN

We are an inclusive school and all staff start from the belief that children with SEN can respond to high expectations.

We ensure as far as possible that a range of different strategies are used so that children with SEN are fully included and able to succeed eg laptops, colour overlays for children with reading difficulties etc.

We are also experienced in using materials to develop self-esteem and a more positive outlook for children with social, emotional and behavioral issues - these materials may include personal books, boxes, charts and stories.


This is how we work with parents of children with SEN.

We offer an ‘open door’ policy where you are welcome at any time to make an appointment to meet with either the class teacher or SENCo and discuss how your child is progressing. We can offer advice and practical ways that you can help your child at home.


This is how we manage the learning of children with SEN within school.

We believe that your child’s education should be a partnership between parents and teachers, therefore we aim to keep communication channels open and communicate regularly, especially if your child has complex needs.

If necessary we will operate a home/school link book which your child will bring home regularly so that comments from parents and teacher can be shared and responded to when needed.


If a child with SEN receives School Support they have an Intervention Plan/ Group Intervention Plan which will have individual/ group targets. Children with SEN who are part of a Group Intervention will have additional sessions in Reading, Writing, Spelling or Maths (depending on their need) which are over and above the differentiated support that they already receive in the classroom. Other children may have specific group support linked to social and emotional needs. These plans are discussed and reviewed on a termly basis. Copies of these are given if applicable. These additional sessions may be delivered by Teaching Assistants, Specialist Teachers or a class Teacher. The targets set by the class teacher are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-scaled) targets with the expectation that the child/ children WILL achieve the targets by the time they are reviewed. If any child does not achieve the targets, further discussion with the SENCo will take place at the termly pupil progress meetings to identify the next steps. It may be that that child requires a programme of 1-1 work with a specialist teacher or further assessment.


If a child has complex SEN they may have an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) which means that review meetings or family meetings will take place. Children with EHCPs will have an Individual Intervention Plan.


When the child’s Individual/ Group Intervention Plan is reviewed comments are made against each target to show what progress the child has made. If the child has not met the target, the reasons for this will be discussed, then the target may be adapted into smaller steps or a different approach may be tried to ensure the child does make progress.

As a school, we measure children’s progress in learning against National Expectations and age-related expectations.


As a school, we track children’s progress from entry at Nursery through to Y6, using a variety of different methods.


Children who are not making expected progress are picked up through Pupil Progress Meetings between the class teacher, the Executive Head and the SENCo.  In this meeting a discussion takes place concerning why individual children are experiencing difficulty and what further support can be given to aid their progression.


There are many opportunities for regular contact about things that have happened in school including Parents Evenings, Review Meetings, Home/School books/diaries and Curriculum Evenings.


The school website gives details of class topic plans each term and there are also sections about what your child should know on the curriculum page. This will help you to understand what your child is learning and how you can support them outside of school.


Parents/carers are involved in planning their child’s SEN through Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) meetings, Team Around the Child (TAC) meetings and Early Help assessment meetings.  If your child has complex SEN you may get advice directly from a specialist advisory teacher.


Children with complex SEN who have an EHCP are able to give their views through the Form A consultation, along with their parents/carers.


Family Learning events are organised by the school and may cover areas such as Phonics, Maths, Family Learning, Healthy Eating, Parenting Advice.  The school also holds ‘Open’ events during the year when you can visit classrooms to see the children at work.


This is how we support the emotional and social development of children with SEN, including pastoral support arrangements for listening to the views of children with SEN and measures to prevent bullying

We are an inclusive school; we welcome and celebrate diversity.  All staff believe that children having high self-esteem is crucial to a child’s wellbeing.  We have a caring, understanding team looking after our children.


The CLASS teacher has overall responsibility for the pastoral, medical and social care of every child in their CLASS, therefore this would be the parents’ first point of contact.  If further support is required the CLASS teacher liaises with the SENCo for further advice and support.  This may involve working alongside outside agencies such as Social Care, Health Services, Inclusion Support, Family Support organisations and local authority Specialist Teachers.


We recognise that some children benefit from being able to talk through difficult experiences in their lives with a trained professional. Through the Pupil Premium resource for 2016-2017 the school employs a part-time counsellor, who is skilled in working with younger children. Children are referred to the counsellor after discussions between the CLASS teacher, parents/carers, Executive Head and the SENCo. The 45 minute sessions are usually weekly over a 10 week period although this can be extended if necessary.


The school has a policy regarding the administration and managing of medicines on the school site.  Please contact the school office.


Parents need to contact the school office if medication is recommended by health professionals to be taken during the school day. A medication form will need to be completed.


On a day to day basis first aid trained staff oversee the administration of any medicines.


As a staff we have regular training and updates of conditions and medication affecting individual children so that all staff are able to manage medical situations. Staff have regular training in specific areas as and when the need arises. Previously these have related to diabetes awareness, anaphylaxis, hearing impairment and buccal midazolam.


As a school we have a very positive approach to all types of behaviour with a clear reward system that is followed by all staff and pupils.


If a child has severe behavioural difficulties an individual Behaviour Management Plan may be written alongside the child and parents to identify the specific issues, put relevant support in class and set targets. As a result of the support we give, the rate of exclusions is very low at this school.


 After any behaviour incident we expect the child to reflect on their behaviour with an adult, often completing a reflection form.  This helps to identify why the incident happened and what the child needs to do differently next time to change and improve their behaviour.  For further information please see the school Behaviour Management Policy.


Attendance of every child is monitored on a daily basis by the Administrative Team.  Lateness and absence are recorded and reported upon to the Executive Head. In the case of illness, parents are expected to inform the school each day before 9am. If we do not know the whereabouts of a child, a home visit will be undertaken. Support is given through an incentive scheme where good attendance is actively encouraged throughout the school.  We have had many successes where families were struggling with lateness but are now able to get their children into school on time.  For more information please see the school Attendance Policy.


We value and celebrate each child being able to express their views on all aspects of school life.  This is usually carried out through the School Council.


Children who have Intervention Plans are informed of their targets by their CLASS teacher/Teaching Assistant.


We also actively seek the viewpoints of the children and conduct interviews with pupils on different aspects of the curriculum and school life.


There is a worry box which is regularly checked and acted upon.


If your child has an EHCP their views will be sought via a questionnaire before any review meetings.


The School has a robust Behaviour Management Policy


The School takes any allegations of bullying very seriously and acts swiftly to deal with it.


This is how we secure specialist expertise to support children with SEN. This is also how we involve other bodies, including health and social care bodies, local authority support services and voluntary sector organisations in meeting children’s SEN and supporting their families.

Our SENCo is a fully qualified teacher with the National Award for SEN Coordination accreditation and experience in managing Special Educational Needs.


As a school we work closely with any external agencies that we feel are relevant to individual children’s needs within our school including:

  • Behaviour/Inclusion Support/ Pupil Referral Unit
  • Health including GP, Practice Nurse, School Nurse, Clinical Psychologist, Paediatrician, Speech & Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and Health Visitor
  • Social Care including Locality Team, Social Workers, Educational Psychologist, Counselling services and therapists
  • Others eg Police Community Support Officers, Safety Net, East Cumbria Family Support, Barnardo’s, NSPCC, CADAS (Drugs and Alcohol) and Kids Safe


At any time in the school we may have staff working who are trained in the following areas including

  • Speech and language programmes
  • INPP (The Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology) movement programme
  • Smart Moves
  • Makaton
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Autism
  • Reading Intervention/ Spelling Programmes
  • Maths Recovery


All children are included in all parts of the school curriculum and we aim for all children to be included on school trips.  We will provide the necessary support to ensure that this is successful.


A risk assessment is carried out prior to any off site activity to ensure everyone’s health and safety will not be compromised.  In the unlikely event that it is considered unsafe for a child to take part in an activity, then alternative activities which will cover the same curriculum areas will be provided in school.


This is how the learning environment is adapted for children with SEN

  • The school site is wheelchair accessible for all areas with a disabled toilet large enough to accommodate changing.  The school is all on one level with ramps at specified fire exits.
  • The site is both safe and secure.
  • Staff teaching children who have a Hearing Impairment wear transmitters at all times and are skilled in using this equipment to maximize learning for these children.
  • All rooms have ICT facilities to support children’s learning; these include interactive whiteboards, projectors and iPads.


This is how we support children with SEN in moving between settings, schools and phases of education

  • We encourage all new children to visit the school prior to starting when they will be shown around the school.  For children with SEND we would encourage further visits to assist them with acclimatisation of the new surroundings.  We would also visit them in their current school or home, if appropriate.
  • We write social stories with children if transition is potentially going to be difficult as well as making photo books of visits. Arrangements to meet and make links with staff can also be organized.
  • When children are preparing to leave us for a new school, typically to go to secondary education, we arrange additional visits if appropriate and a transition programme.
  • We liaise closely with staff when receiving and transferring children with SEN to different schools ensuring all relevant paperwork is passed on and all needs are discussed and understood.
  • If your child has complex needs then an EHCP review will be used as a transition meeting during which we will invite staff from both schools to attend in order to plan and ensure a smooth transition.


This is how the school’s resources are allocated and matched to the support of children with SEN

  • We ensure that all children who have SEND will have their needs met to the best of the school’s ability with the funds available.
  • We have a team of TAs (teaching assistants) who are funded from the school budget and deliver programmes designed to meet groups of children’s needs. Some are also funded through EHCPs to support children who have complex SEN.
  • The budget is allocated on a needs basis.


This is how we evaluate the effectiveness of the provision made for children who have SEN

  • The CLASSs teacher alongside the SENCo will discuss the child’s needs and what support would be appropriate.
  • Different children will require different types/ levels of support in order to bridge the gap to achieve age expected levels.
  • This could involve discussions with parents, as appropriate.
  • We can judge if the support has had an impact by reviewing targets on individual/group intervention plans and ensuring they are being met, by monitoring progress against national age expected levels and observing that the gap is narrowing, through verbal feedback from the parent and pupil and the fact that children may move off the SEN register when they have made sufficient progress in an identified area.
  • The school’s tracking data supports these judgements, as well as discussions between the class teacher, SENCo and Executive Headteacher during Pupil Progress Meetings.
  • For children with complex SEN, advisory teachers/educational psychologists conduct their own assessments eg in Speech, Language and Communication, Cognitive Ability, Perceptual Reasoning etc which form part of the review process and provide additional information about the child’s developmental progress.


This is how we address complaints from parents of children who have SEN

  • In the first instance, parents/carers can contact the Head of School. The Head of School and the SENCo will aim to resolve the complaint without the need to progress it further.
  • If a parent/carer feels that their complaint about provision at school has not been fully considered by the school they are able to contact Parent Partnership:
  • The Parent Partnership worker may advise parents/carers to contact IPSEA (Independent Parental Special Education Advice)


This is how we support children who are looked after by the Local Authority and have SEN

  • Children who are looked after by the Local Authority (LAC) will have their SEN supported through the Pupil Premium Plus allocation
  • This support could be academic (in the form of additional support with Literacy, Numeracy or the provision of a specialist programme such as Reading Intervention)
  • This support could be social or emotional as we recognize that LAC often have needs in this area due to disruption and attachment issues in their lives – counseling is offered as are specific programmes such as Social Stories.
  • We work closely with Cumbria’s Virtual School to match appropriate support to the child’s needs through collaboration with the LAC Achievement Team and the Virtual Head Mrs Penny Crudge.
  • Each LAC has a PEP (Personal Education Plan) in which strategies are laid out for the support of SEN. PEPs are reviewed every six months. At the PEP meeting the views of the children, the foster carers and appropriate family members are heard and valued.
  • In 2016 -17 there were no children looked after at the school.


This is who I can contact for further information

  • First point of contact would be your child’s class teacher to share your concerns.
  • You could also arrange to meet Mrs P Fontana, our SENCo.
  • Look at the SEN policy on our website as well as the other policies referred to above
  • If you are considering whether your child should join the school, contact the School Office to make an appointment to meet the Head of School Mr Denny.


This is where the School’s contribution to the Local Offer is published

  • The School’s contribution to the Local Offer is published on Cumbria’s Local Offer Website: