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Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND)

Our SEND Vision:

At Ryhope Junior School, we strive for inclusivity and firmly believe that ‘our most vulnerable pupils deserve our very best’. Our staff, and learning environments, will nurture children and young people with SEND and support them to achieve exceptionally well.

Ryhope Junior School is a mainstream, inclusive school where no child will be discriminated against because of a physical, learning, emotional or behavioural difficulty or due to a sensory impairment. We are passionate about ensuring all children reach their potential in all areas of school life.


Our school was inspected by Ofsted in March 2022 and recognised that Leadership and Management was Outstanding because ‘pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are fully included in all learning opportunities. Teachers structure lessons to make sure everyone is able to learn. Pupils get extra support when needed. All pupils benefit from dedicated time to focus on developing accuracy in spelling, arithmetic and grammar.’


We recognise that all pupils are entitled to a quality of provision which will enable them to achieve their potential. Ofsted (March, 2022) said, ‘Leaders have developed a community where achievements of all kinds are celebrated and everyone is valued.’


We believe in positive intervention by 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 SEND pupils.


At Ryhope Junior School, we believe that parents are equal partners in their child’s education. Ofsted (March, 2022) recognised this and stated, ‘Parents know that staff will ‘go the extra mile’ to meet their child’s needs.’  If parents are concerned about their child’s progress they should speak to their child’s teacher in the first instance. Where you may feel necessary, contact should be made with the SENDCo, Mr Storey or the Headteacher, Mrs. F Lynn.

Our Wellbeing and Sensory Support Areas

We are an Autism Friendly School!

Our school’s SENDCo is Mr A Storey


Mrs. Murphy and Mrs. McDonald are our Assistant SENDCos


At Ryhope Junior School, ‘pupils’ welfare is at the heart of this school’s culture.’ (Ofsted, March 2022). As soon as staff feel that a child has Special Educational Needs they will talk to the parents and bring the child to the attention of the school’s Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENDCo) who can be contacted via the school office (0191 917 2969)


Mr. Storey is also Deputy Headteacher; he works alongside the Headteacher and all other staff members to oversee the provision for pupils with special educational needs.


The key responsibilities of the SENDCo include:


  • overseeing the day-to-day operation of the school’s SEND policy;
  • coordinating provision for children with SEND;
  • liaising with the relevant Designated Teacher where a looked after pupil has SEND;
  • advising on the Graduated Approach to providing SEND support;
  • advising on the deployment of the school’s delegated budget and other resources to meet pupils’ needs effectively;
  • liaising with parents of pupils with SEND;
  • liaising with early years providers, other schools, educational psychologists, health and social care professionals, and independent or voluntary bodies;
  • being a key point of contact with external agencies, especially the local authority and its support services;
  • liaising with potential next providers of education to ensure a pupil and their parents are informed about options and a smooth transition is planned;
  • working with the headteacher and school governors to ensure that the school meets its responsibilities under the Equality Act (2010) with regard to reasonable adjustments and access arrangements and
  • ensuring that the school keeps the records of all pupils with SEND up to date.


The Headteacher – Mrs. F Lynn

Responsible for:

  • The day-to-day management of all aspects of the school, this includes the support for children with SEND.
  • The Headteacher will give responsibility to the SENDCo and class teachers but is still responsible for ensuring that your child’s needs are met.
  • The Headteacher must make sure that the Governing Body is kept up to date about issues relating to SEND.


The SEND Governor – Mrs. V. Thompson   

Responsible for:

  • Making sure that the necessary support is given for any child who attends the school who has SEND.
  • Liaising with school on a regular basis to ensure that she is aware of the SEND processes and systems that Mr Storey has implemented.


Mrs. Thompson can be contacted via the school office on 0191 917 2969 or via the school e-mail account which is


A termly meeting will take place between the SENDCo and the Link Governor(s) in order to ensure the they are kept up to date regarding the provision for SEND pupils.


Special Educational Needs provision is the responsibility of the whole teaching staff and will be dealt with, on the whole, by presenting a differentiated curriculum to meet the individual pupil’s needs whilst addressing specific, measurable targets that are agreed with alongside the child, parents, school staff and, where required, outside agencies.


Currently staff are working with the following outside agencies:


Education Services

We work alongside the following Special Educational Needs Support Services:

  • Dr Louise Clark – Wavelength Psychology (Educational Psychologist)
  • Services for Physical Disabilities
  • Autism Outreach Team (AOT)
  • Early Help Team
  • Language and Learning


Health & Social Services

  • Speech and Language Therapy (SaLT)
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Specialist Consultants
  • General Practitioners
  • Paediatrics
  • Health Visitors
  • School Nurses
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)
  • Children and Young Peoples Services (CYPS)
  • Social Services – Together for Children


What does it mean if my child is on the Special Educational Needs Register (SEND Register) at Ryhope Junior School?


A child with Special Educational Needs and/or a Disability will have a Personal Support Plan (PSP) which sets out targets that are currently being worked on and what additional provision is put in place for that child. The content of the PSP is negotiated, as appropriate, with the child and the child’s family.


For many children, targets will be connected to learning and will often be specifically to do with basic skills in English and mathematics. For other children, they may be linked with social interaction, communicating with children and adults, emotional difficulties, overcoming physical issues (for example problems to do with fine motor control) and the targets set depend on the needs of the child.


The school offers many different forms of additional provision. This can include:

  • additional in-class support
  • additional out-of-class support
  • one-to-one support
  • flexible groupings (including small group work)
  • access to specific resources
  • mentoring
  • counselling
  • referrals can also be made to help a child access a wide range of outside agencies. 


The additional provision depends on the individual needs of the child and we adhere to the 2014 Code of Practice for Special Educational Needs and the Disability Act of 2004.


Quality First Teaching (QFT)

All children should have access to a broad and balanced curriculum. The National Curriculum Inclusion Statement states that teachers must set high expectations for every child, whatever their prior attainment. 


At Ryhope Junior School, all teachers are teachers of children with SEND. 


Teachers have a responsibility to:


  • use appropriate assessment to set targets which are deliberately ambitious;
  • plan lessons to address potential areas of difficulty and remove barriers to a child’s achievement. In many cases, such planning will mean that children with SEND and disabilities will be able to study the full National Curriculum;
  • maintain records and assessments for pupils with SEND;
  • plan for provision and differentiation and
  • provide PSPs in liaison with support staff, children, parents and carers and SENDCo (when necessary).


Definition of Special Educational Needs and the Four Areas of Need
(As stated in the Revised Code of Practice)


A child has SEND when their learning difficulty or disability calls for special educational provision that is different from or additional to that normally available to pupils of the same age. Higher quality teaching normally available to the whole class is likely to mean that fewer pupils will require such support. Such improvements in whole class provision tend to be more cost effective and sustainable.


In Sunderland, schools work from the SEND Ranges – a PDF copy of this is available above. According to each area of need, children are given a ‘Range’ which outlines the type of provision, strategies, referrals (if appropriate) that are recommended. This document also outlines ‘descriptors’ which are used to find an appropriate ‘Range’ in relation to the need that a child may have; this is referred to as a ‘presenting behaviour’. You will be informed of your child’s SEND Range; however, if you are at all unsure, please contact your child’s class teacher or Mr Storey (SENDCO) if you require any further information about your child specifically. It is important to note that, following the graduated approach, a SEND Range may change over time (increase or decrease) in accordance with the presenting behaviours that school and/or parents recognise within the child.


Sunderland’s Parent Carer Forum have produced some helpful pieces of information in relation to the SEND Ranges which can be found on their website - 


Broad areas of need (As outlined in the SEN Code of Practice)

Children’s needs and requirements may fall into at least one of four areas though many children will have inter-related needs. All areas of need will have a varying degree of impact upon the child’s ability to function, learn and succeed.  Children experiencing difficulties in any one or a combination of these areas may be entered on either the school’s Medical Register or SEND Register (or both). Children whose difficulties are solely due to home language differing from the language in which s/he is taught are not identified as having SEND.


Communication and Interaction

Children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) have difficulty in communicating with others. This may be because they have difficulty saying what they want to, understanding what is being said to them or they do not understand or use social rules of communication. The profile for every child with SLCN is different and their needs may change over time. They may have difficulty with one, some or all of the different aspects of speech, language or social communication at different times of their lives.


Children with an Autism Spectrum Condition, including Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism, are likely to have particular difficulties with social interaction. They may also experience difficulties with language, communication, social interaction and imagination, which can impact on how they relate to others.


Cognition and Learning

Support for learning difficulties may be required when children learn at a slower pace than their peers; even with appropriate differentiation. Learning difficulties cover a wide range of needs including:


  • moderate learning difficulties (MLD)
  • severe learning difficulties (SLD) where children are likely to need support in all areas of the curriculum and associated difficulties with mobility and communication
  • profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD) where children are likely to have severe and complex learning difficulties as well as a physical disability and/or sensory impairment.
  • Specific learning difficulties (SpLD) affect one or more specific aspects of learning. This encompasses a range of conditions such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia.


Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties

Children may experience a wide range of social and emotional difficulties which manifest themselves in many ways. These may include becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well as displaying challenging, disruptive or disturbing behaviour. These behaviours may reflect underlying mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression, self-harming, substance misuse, eating disorders or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained. Other children and young people may have disorders such as attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactive disorder or attachment disorder (ADHD).


Our school has clear processes to support children including how we manage the effect of any disruptive behaviour so it does not adversely affect other pupils (see Behaviour and use of Reasonable Force Policy).


Sensory and/or Physical Needs

Some children require special educational provision because they have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of the educational facilities generally provided. These difficulties can be age related and may fluctuate over time. Many children and young people with vision impairment (VI), hearing impairment (HI) or a multi-sensory impairment (MSI) will require specialist support and/or equipment to access their learning. Children with an MSI have a combination of vision and hearing difficulties which makes it even more difficult for them to access the curriculum or study programme than for those with a single sensory impairment.


Some children with a physical disability (PD) require additional ongoing support and equipment to access all the opportunities available to their peers.