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Witton Gilbert Primary School

SEND Information Report

Please find a copy of our SEND Information Report below, or download here: SEND Information Report 

Please note, updated links are in the process of being added.

What is the Local Authority Local Offer?

Local Authorities (LA) and schools are required to publish and keep under review information about services they expect to be available for children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) aged 0-25. This is called the 'Local Offer'.

The intention of the Local Offer is to improve choice for families and will also be an important resource for parents in understanding the range of services and provision in the local area.

The current link to the LA Local Offer website can be found at: www.countydurhamfamilies.info/localoffer


General Information

Welcome to our SEND information page. Hopefully you will find everything that you need.

At Witton Gilbert Primary School, we recognise that all pupils are entitled to a quality of provision that will enable them to achieve their potential. We believe in positive intervention, removing barriers to learning, raising expectations and levels of achievement and working in partnership with other agencies in order to provide a positive educational experience for all our pupils, including those with a special educational need or disability.

Our school recognises there are particular groups of pupils whose circumstances require additional consideration by those who work with them to support their SEN.

At Witton Gilbert Primary, we have a Designated Teacher for Looked after Children, who is currently also SENCO, to ensure all teachers in school understand the implications for those children who are looked after and have SEND.

At Witton Gilbert Primary, we ensure that all pupils, regardless of their specific needs, make the best possible progress.

Pastoral, Medical and Social Support

We are an inclusive school, and welcome and celebrate diversity. We believe that children’s social and emotional wellbeing is crucial to ensuring that children enjoy school and achieve well. Staff therefore provide a caring approach and are committed to the development of the whole child.

The class teacher has overall responsibility for the pastoral, medical and social care of every child in their class. The class teacher would therefore be a parent’s first point of contact.  

As well as school staff, groups of children provide pastoral and social support within school. For example, Year 3 children ‘buddy’ Reception children over lunchtimes when they first come to school, and continue to offer support for their buddy at particular events throughout their time in school.  We also have anti-bullying Champions who work together with other schools.


Statement of Intent for Promoting Equality

At Witton Gilbert Primary School, we are committed to equality. We aim for every pupil to succeed, no matter what their needs. Our School is committed to anti-discriminatory practice to promote equality of opportunity and we value diversity for all children and families.  We aim to:

  •    Provide a secure and accessible environment in which all our children can flourish and in which all contributions are considered and valued.
  •      Include and value the contribution of all families to our understanding of equality and diversity.
  •    Provide positive non-stereotyping information about gender roles, diverse ethnic and cultural groups and disabled people.
  • Improve our knowledge and understanding of issues of anti-discriminatory practice, promoting equality and valuing diversity.
  • Make inclusion a thread that runs through all of the activities of the school

Witton Gilbert Primary School prides itself in being very inclusive and will endeavour to support every child regardless of their level of need.  All pupils follow the National Curriculum at a level and a pace that is appropriate to their abilities. At times and when it is felt appropriate, modifications to the curriculum may be implemented.

To successfully match pupil ability to the curriculum there are some actions we may take to achieve this:

  • Ensure that all pupils have access to the school curriculum and all school activities.
  • Help all pupils achieve to the best of their abilities, despite any difficulty or disability they may have.
  • Ensure that teaching staff are aware of and are sensitive to the needs of all pupils; teaching pupils in a way that is more appropriate to their needs.
  • Ensure that staff have the appropriate training to meet the needs of all pupils.
  • Pupils to gain in confidence and improve their self-esteem.
  • To work in partnership with parents/carers, pupils and relevant external agencies in order to provide for children’s special educational needs and disabilities.
  • To identify at the earliest opportunity, all children that need special consideration to support their needs (whether these are educational, social, physical or emotional).
  • To make suitable provision for children with SEND to fully develop their abilities, interests and aptitudes and gain maximum access to the curriculum.
  • Ensure that all children with SEND are fully included in all activities of the school in order to promote the highest levels of achievement.
  • To promote self worth and enthusiasm by encouraging independence at all age and ability levels.
  • To give every child the entitlement to a sense of achievement.
  • To regularly review the policy and practice in order to achieve best practice.

School Admissions

We are committed to meeting the needs of all children including those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. We would ask parents to discuss the identified needs with the school prior to starting so that appropriate intervention and support can be planned and implemented. Advice from the LA or other agencies may be requested to ensure the school can meet any needs appropriately.


Full details of the admission arrangements can be found in the Primary and Secondary Admissions brochure produced by Durham County Council.


School Admissions http://www.wittongilbert.durham.sch.uk/school-information/admissions

LA Admissions http://www.durham.gov.uk/schooladmissions


Applying for a school place if your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan or a Statement of SEN

Children and young people with an Education, Health and Care Plan (or Statement of Special Education Needs) follow a different admission and transfer process for a new school.  Please continue to complete Durham County Council’s parental preference form, as part of the admission process to a new school.  You continue to have a right to request a particular school and this will be considered alongside the information that we have about your child’s special educational needs.  The information would have been provided as part of the Education, Health and Care assessment or following the review meeting.

Our Teaching, Learning and the Curriculum

Each child with SEND will be closely monitored by their class teacher, who will know them best and be proactive in planning for their needs; working closely with parents when doing so. Children with SEND are observed closely and their achievements are celebrated and documented. This information is then used to tailor the curriculum to meet the interests of each child using methods of delivery that are appropriate to their needs. If there is ever evidence that this is not occurring, Mrs Nelson will initiate training to challenge staff and enable them to provide a curriculum that ensures equality and diversity for all.

At Witton Gilbert Primary School we believe that inclusive education means providing all pupils with appropriate education and support alongside their peers. Our Curriculum is all the planned activities that the school organises in order to promote learning, personal growth and development. It includes not only the formal requirements of the National Curriculum, but also the range of additional opportunities that the school organises in order to enrich the experiences of our children. Our curriculum also includes the social aspects that are essential for life-long learning, for example school discos, sport club.

How we identify and assess children with special educational needs

Most children and young people will have their special educational needs met in mainstream schools through good classroom practice. This is called Quality First Teaching.

At Witton Gilbert Primary School we follow a graduated support approach which is called “Assess, Plan, Do, Review”. This means that we will:

Assess a child’s special educational needs

Plan the provision to meet your child’s aspirations and agreed outcomes

Do  put the provision in place to meet those outcomes

Review the support and progress


Consultation with Children and Young People with SEND

Teachers/SENCO and Support Staff will work with children and young people to identify the support needed to meet agreed outcomes.  The provision is planned and interventions are allocated to individual needs. The children regularly discuss their progress and support with support staff. Pupil voice is highly valued in our school.


Consultation with parents and carers of children and young people with SEND

We are committed to working with parents and carers to identify their child’s needs and support. Parents and carers will be involved throughout the process. There is a range of ways this can be done, for example:

  • Termly parents/ carers evenings;
  • Ongoing discussions with a class teacher and/or SENCO;
  • An ‘open-door’ policy, where parents and carers are welcome to come into school to discuss any concerns they may have;
  • Through a review of a child’s SEN Support Plan or the Annual Review of their Statement of SEN or EHC Plan.

As part of this approach, we will produce a SEN Support Plan that describes the provision that we will make to meet a child’s special educational needs and agreed outcomes. Parents and carers will be fully involved in this process.

A small percentage of children and young people with significant learning difficulties might need an assessment that could lead to an Education, Health and Care Plan.

The Equality Act 2010 and the SEN Code of Practice defines a person with a disability as someone who has a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

At the heart of each class is a continuous cycle of planning, teaching and assessing which takes account of the wide range of abilities, interests and talents. Assessment against the new National Curriculum allows teachers to assess children using formative and summative assessment with more emphasis on teacher judgement. This enables teachers to take greater account of impact over time. Therefore if your child’s overall attainments or attainment in specific areas fall significantly below the expected range, their needs will be identified and early action will be taken to support them within class.

If it is agreed that your child needs extra help and support, a discussion will take place with the teaching staff who work with your child. Your knowledge and views will be taken into account in planning any support for your child and following this discussion an action plan will be agreed. Support is tailor made to meet the needs of your child. This support may include:-

  • Additional support from a Teaching Assistant (1:1 or small group)
  • Additional physical resources used eg ICT, writing aids, visual timetables
  • Adaptations to the curriculum
  • Changes to the timetable


External Agencies and Partnerships

The school enjoys good working relationships with a wide range of people who provide services to children with SEND and their families, particularly when a child is demonstrating further cause for concern or their learning need is more complex and persistent. If additional assessments are required Mrs Nelson may suggest referring your child to an outside agency. Parental consent is required for this. The external specialists may:

 External specialist may include:

  • School Nurse
  • Educational Psychologist (looking at the barriers to learning)
  • Occupational Psychologist (looking at the barriers to learning)
  • Speech and Language Therapy (including English as a Second Language)
  • Specialist Teams e.g. Autistic Spectrum Disorder
  • CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service)
  • Crisis Response (when children are at risk from permanent exclusion or at risk)


Parent Support Advisor In addition we are able to offer support through a Parent Support Advisor, Judith Young, who can offer you additional information, help and advice. Judith's role is to work in partnership with you, helping you to help your child learn and enjoy their education. She can offer advice on routines, positive behaviour strategies, transition or support liaising with other agencies.   Parent Partnership Provides independent advice and information on special educational needs provision and procedures. Offers support to parents/carers involved with Statutory Assessment, such as compiling parents' and carers' contributions to Statutory Assessments.

SEND Provision


There are now four broad areas of SEND. These are:

  • Communication and Interaction
  • This area of need includes children with Autism Spectrum Condition and those with Speech, Language and Communication Needs
    • Cognition and Learning
    • This includes children with Specific Learning Difficulties, Moderate Learning Difficulties, Severe Learning Difficulties and Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties
    • This includes any pupils who have an emotional, social or mental health need that is impacting on their ability to learn
  • Sensory and/or Physical Difficulties
  • This area includes children with hearing impairment, visual impairment, multi-sensory impairment and physical difficulties.


Types of SEND at Witton Gilbert Primary

At Witton Gilbert Primary School, we have trained and experienced staff who have extensive knowledge and experience of working with a diverse range of SEND. Their role is to support children and young people with a wide range of needs including:

  • Moderate learning difficulties
  • Specific Learning Difficulties eg dyslexia
  • Social, emotional and mental health
  • Speech, language and communication
  • Physical needs
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorder

The school provides data on the levels and types of need to the Local Authority. This is collected through the school census.  The following table provides information from the January 2016 census.


Type of Need

Number of children

Specific Learning Difficulty


Moderate Learning Difficulty


Social, emotional and mental health


Speech, language and communication




Autistic Spectrum Disorder



Key Policies


All of our school policies can be found on the website but the most important ones for parents of children with SEND are listed below:

SEND Policy 

Equality Policy, Statement and Objectives

Accessibility Plan

Anti-Bullying Policy

Behaviour Policy

Medical Needs policy



The following are the main contacts for Special Educational Needs and Disability at Witton Gilbert Primary School:

Mrs P Nelson is the Head Teacher and SENCO

Mrs J Dubre is the SENCO Assistant

Mrs M Harrison is our designated SEN Governor:

Mrs P Nelson is our designated Special Educational Needs Coordinator. Mrs Dubre is our SENCO assistant. It is the SENCO’s job to: 

  • Oversee the day-to-day operation of the school’s SEN policy
  • Liaise with the relevant Designated Teacher where a looked after pupil has SEN
  • Advise teachers on using a graduated approach to providing SEN support
  • Advise on the deployment of the school’s delegated budget and other resources to meet the pupil’s needs effectively
  • Liaise with parents/carers of pupils with SEN
  • Liaise with and be a key point of contact for external agencies
  • Ensure that the school keeps the records of all SEN pupils up to date
  • Work with school governors to ensure that the school meets its responsibilities with regard to reasonable adjustments and access arrangements


Compliments and Complaints

Compliments are always gratefully received and can be passed on either directly to staff and the SENCO, or formally recorded via our regular questionnaires to parents or in the form of a letter to the Head Teacher.  These positive comments may be published on this area of our school website.

 We hope that complaints about our SEND provision will be rare. However, if there should be a concern, the process outlined in the school Complaints Policy should be followed.

Link to Complaints Policy

Link to Durham SEND Information, Advice and Support Service


Transition Arrangements

We recognised that transitions can be difficult for a child with SEND and take steps to ensure that any transition is as smooth as possible.  We are keen to involve parents/carers as much as possible in their child’s transition to their next year group. The children spend a day during the summer term with their new teacher. Teachers may also spend time with children in their current class prior to September.

Parents' evening is planned for the autumn term where the transition period is discussed, reviewed and evaluated.

The period of transition depends on the individual needs of your child and therefore, we may provide an adapted timetable for those who we feel will benefit from an enhanced transition.

Staff have also taken opportunities to visit and work closely with our partner secondary schools and local SEN schools to acquire a more in depth knowledge of their routines, systems and ethos.  This also gives staff an opportunity to see what provision the schools have in place and how best to support your child for the transition into Year 7.  Staff are willing to arrange and accompany children and/or parents/carers to their new school.  Where possible, all involved staff will attend a Year 6 annual review to meet you and your child, where there is an EHC plan in place.  At this meeting, we hope to ease any worries and concerns you may have during your child's transition to their new school.



The budget allocation is agreed between our school and the Local Authority at the beginning of each financial year. Detail of how this money is used to support children and young people with SEND is shown below. This is monitored each term by the Governing Body.

 At Witton Gilbert Primary School, our notional SEN budget for 2016-17 amounts to £48,248.

 This is used to support children and young people with SEND by:


  1. Providing small, focused learning groups
  2. Implementing specific interventions relative to specific special needs
  3. Providing in class support to enable children to fully access the curriculum
  4. Providing training for staff in how best to support a range of learning needs
  5. Providing resources to aid learning, such as a laptop, work station, maths/literacy resourcesIf a child has complex special educational needs and requires a high level of support, we may also receive additional funding from the Local Authority to meet the agreed outcomes. In this case, a ‘Costed Provision Map’ will be developed in liaison with the child, young person, parent or carer.   An example of a costed provision map can be found here.



We are always seeking to improve on the quality of education we provide for children with SEND and are keen to hear from parents about their child's experience.  We would also like your views about the content of our SEND Information Report.

Please click here if you would like to comment.