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Special Educational Needs & Disability

At St Mary's Primary School we recognise that there are a number of pupils whom specialist intervention and support may be required under our provision of Special Educational Needs and Disability. 

We have a SEND co-ordinator (Vicki Sheppard) who can be contacted on and a governor who monitors this provision.

What is SEND?

A child has special educational needs or disability (SEND) if they have a learning difficulty or disability which means that they find it significantly harder to learn, or to do activities which children the same age are able to do.

These children need extra help or support, or special provision made for them to allow them to use the same facilities as other children of the same age.

If your child has special educational needs or disabilities their needs will fall into one or more of the four main areas of SEN;

1. Communication and Interaction

  • Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN)
  • Autism

2. Cognition and Learning

  • Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD)
  • Moderate Learning Difficulty (MLD)
  • Severe Learning Difficulty (SLD)
  • Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty (PMLD)

 3. Behavioural, Emotional and Social

4. Physical and Sensory

  • Visual Impairment (VI)
  • Hearing Impairment (HI)
  • Multi-Sensory Impairment (MSI)
  • Physical Disability (PD)

Children whose needs fall into a mixture of these four categories have complex needs. A child is described as having mild or severe learning difficulties depending on the degree of their needs and the impact they have on their lives.

What if I think my child has SEN?

You know your child better than anyone else, if your child attends a pre-school speak to their teacher or key worker. If your child is already in school (including nursery or pre school) talk to their teacher. Ask also to speak to the school's Special Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO), who organises extra help for children with SEN.

Talk to the Teacher/SENCO about:

  • Why you think your child has SEN
  • What the school can do to help
  • What you can do to help

What will the school do?

We are required by law to provide an education for all pupils, regardless of their ability or special needs and have a SEND/Inclusion policy.  If the SENCO and your child's teacher agree that your child has SEN, we will probably take a 'graduated approach' - this means 'step-by-step', as set out in the Code of Practice for SEND.  We will offer your child extra support and/or resources, with the possibility of more support if needed. Whatever we decide to do, you have the right to be informed and for your views, and your child's views, to be taken into account.

You can find further information about SEN from your local Parent Partnership Service. In North Somerset this is: