Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

In 2021 3.7% of children at schools in England had an ‘Educational Health Care Plan’ – known as a ECHP.  In addition to this 12% of children in primary schools and academies receive some sort of SEN support.  Approximately half of children with an ECHP are in mainstream schools and this page explains what both Croydon and The Pegasus Academy Trust are able to offer families whose children have special needs.

What do we mean by SEND?

At different times in their school life, a child or young person may have a special educational need and disability (often referred to as SEND).  SEND describes the needs of children or young people who have a disability or greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others the same age. This calls for special educational provision to be made for him/her.

SEND can cover a broad range of needs which include speech, language and communication needs, behavioural, emotional and social difficulties, specific learning difficulties, moderate learning difficulties, profound and multiple learning difficulties, multi-sensory impairment, visual and hearing impairment, physical development and Autistic Spectrum Disorders.

How/when might your child be identified with SEND? How will we know if your child needs extra help?

A child with SEND may experience difficulties with:

  • Writing, reading, maths or understanding information or instructions;
  • Making friends, relating to their peers or empathising with others;
  • Organising themselves;
  • Personal care and hygiene;
  • Understanding and adhering to school expectations;
  • Expressing their thoughts or feelings;
  • Understanding what others are saying and processing information;
  • Sensory needs

We know when pupils need help if:

  • Concerns are raised by parents/carers, teachers or the child;
  • Limited progress is being made after additional input has been provided;
  • There is a change in the child’s behaviour or progress;

Who should I contact to discuss the needs of my child?

Class Teacher

She/He is responsible for:

  • Ensuring high quality, wave one (inclusive, high quality first teaching for all) and wave two (additional interventions to allow children to work at age related expectations or above) teaching and provision is provided which is differentiated and responds to the strengths and needs of all pupils.
  • Checking on the progress of your child and identifying, planning and delivery of any additional support required to support progress within everyday teaching.
  • Discussing ways in which you as parents/carers can support at home.
  • Producing Individual Support Plans to produce focused and prioritised next steps in order to support your child to make progress.
  • Delivering the school’s SEND and Inclusion policy (available on the school’s website).

If you have concerns about your child, you should speak to your class teacher initially. You may then be directed to the School Inclusion Manager if concerns continue and additional support in the classroom has not impacted on progress.

Inclusion Manager

She/he is responsible for:

Coordinating provision for children with SEND and developing the school’s SEND policy.

Ensuring that parents are:

  • Involved in discussions to identify key strengths and areas of difficulty;
  • Involved in planning provision to overcome barriers to learning;
  • Regularly included in reviewing how well their child is doing;
  • Consulted about planning successful movement (transition) to a new class or school;
  • Involved in updating annual reviews if their child has an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP);
  • Liaising and engaging with a range of agencies outside of school who can offer advice; and support to help pupils overcome any difficulties;
  • Providing specialist advice and facilitating training to ensure that all staff are skilled; and confident about meeting a range of needs.

The Headteacher or Head of School

She/He is responsible for:

  • The day to day management of all aspects of the school, including the provision made for pupils with SEND.

The SEND Governor

She/He is responsible for:

  • Supporting the school to evaluate and develop quality and impact of provision for pupils with SEND across the school.

How will my child's school in the Pegasus Academy Trust support them?

Ongoing assessment takes place within class and each pupil’s learning will be planned, differentiated and personalised by the class teacher.  Children who are not making sufficient progress are identified during this process.  After further assessments of their needs, and discussion with relevant staff and parents/carers, additional support may be put in place for your child.

This support will then be documented by the school on an Individual Support Plan (ISP) on which targets are created in consultation with the class teacher, Inclusion Manager and parents.  These are achievable, SMART targets which aim to support the child to make progress and identify their next steps.  The class teacher will involve the parents and children as much as possible in this process so as to ensure that pupils’ voices are heard and strengths are taken in to consideration as well as their difficulties.  Schools within the Trust recognise how important it is to include the views of children and parents/carers to further identify what is going well and how each individual can be supported.  If it is not appropriate to include children in their reviews, we will use other ways to share their successes and plan for future support.  ISPs will be reviewed and updated at least termly and parents/carers will be invited to take part in these reviews.

If a pupil has needs related to specific areas of their education, such as spelling, handwriting, numeracy and literacy, then the pupil will be placed in a small focus or intervention group: the length of time of the intervention will vary according to need. The interventions will be regularly reviewed by all involved to ascertain the effectiveness of the provision and to inform future planning. Staff members who deliver interventions will meet regularly with the Inclusion Manager so that their effectiveness can be evaluated and next steps identified.

In School Review meetings are held regularly and outcomes are formally recorded.  This is a meeting where the class teacher meets with the Inclusion Manager to discuss the progress of the pupils with additional needs in their class, and to highlight any further children who may be experiencing difficulties. This shared discussion supports staff in carefully planning next steps for each child and, if not involved already, can lead to further referrals or advice from outside agencies such as:

  • Speech and Language Therapy,
  • Occupational Therapy,
  • Educational Psychology,
  • Behaviour Support,
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health or …
  • A Paediatrician.  A referral for support from an outside agency will only be made with your consent.

… a referral for support from an outside agency will only be made with your consent.

If your child continues to make little or no progress after interventions have been regularly implemented and reviewed, an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP) may be requested. Further details about this process will be explained by the Inclusion Manager and information published in the Local Authority’s Local Offer.

The following link will take you to Croydon’s Local Offer of Special Needs: https://localoffer.croydon.gov.uk/kb5/croydon/directory/home.page

Some pupils may already have an EHCP and therefore, additional group support or teaching assistant support may already be allocated to them. The level of support given will relate to the complexity and severity of the need. If provided with 1:1 support, children will also be encouraged to develop independent learning skills so as not to become reliant on an adult working with them.

How will teaching be adapted to meet my child's needs?

All children receive high quality teaching, differentiated to their individual needs. Teachers within the Trust are highly skilled and supported to adapt teaching to meet the needs of each class.  Daily planning and assessment ensures that work can be differentiated in a variety of ways to make learning accessible for all and ensure that all pupils can experience success and challenge in their learning.  For children with additional needs, this could mean that they are given a slightly different task or given different strategies/equipment to complete the task.  Some children may require support or guidance from the class teacher or a teaching assistant as part of a small group, paired work or on an individual basis.

Alongside planned differentiation in the classroom, some children with SEND need something additional to or different from that which is provided for the majority of children. Alongside Individual Support Plan interventions the following range of interventions are in place in schools across the Trust to help overcome a range of difficulties. These include:

Speech and Language

Chatterbox (Atwood Nursery)

Chatterbox Groups are run as part of the local offer and are groups for Croydon families with children aged 4 years old and under who have concerns about their child’s talking or interaction.  They are run by the Chatterbox team which includes Speech and Language Therapists and Assistants, Best Start Early Help Group workers and Children’s Centres staff across the borough.  The groups are designed to promote, encourage and support speech, language and communication development in pre-school aged children. Your class teacher can provide you with more information about these upon request or may recommend that you attend these sessions with your child in order to support their speech and language development.

LOLA (Reception and Year 1)

Young children need encouragement to develop the essential skill of listening. This intervention is game based and involves the help of Lola the listening leopard. The activities focus on developing the key skills of turn taking, body control, concentration, memory, listening and early thinking.

Social Interaction and Speech Discrimination Enrichment groups (Nursery and Reception)

These groups are designed by a Speech and Language Therapist and led by the staff in the Nursery and Reception. They work with a small group of children to develop communication skills. Staff work with the speech and language therapist to make sure these interventions are delivered effectively.


Lexia (Atwood KS1 and EYFS and KS2 year groups in other PAT schools)

Run in class in EYFS and Key Stage One and before and after school by our Inclusion Manager for Key Stage 2 children, Lexia Reading Core5® is a fun computer-based program that has helped millions of students. The activities in Core5 support and build on our classroom curriculum and focus on developing reading skills in six areas: phonological awareness, phonics, structural analysis, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.

Jelly and Bean

During 1 to 1 reading sessions, children who are finding reading difficult will follow a phonics based scheme which repetitively covers phase 3, 4 and 5 phonics and tricky words.

Rapid Reading

The Rapid Reading scheme offers a range of fiction and non-fiction books which includes a variety of engaging topics. This intervention is particularly useful when engaging struggling boy readers. The dyslexia friendly resources and designs also supports those who find specific aspects of reading difficult. This supports comprehension skills as well as decoding and fluency.

Precision Teaching Spelling

Precision Teaching of spelling supports children to embed the correct spelling of high frequency words and spelling patterns which they find difficult. Initial assessments of a child’s strengths and difficulties are carried out so that sessions are personalised to the areas they are struggling with. This intervention is carried out by teaching assistants 3-5 times weekly.

Pre-teaching of vocabulary and word webs

In small group or one to one sessions, children will explore new and unknown vocabulary to support them with their development in understanding, speech and writing. During this intervention questions such as ‘what does it do? Where do I find it? What group does it belong in? What is it like? How many syllables does it have? What’s the first sound in the word? What does it rhyme with?’ will be explored.

Colourful semantics

This intervention aims to help children to develop their grammar but is rooted in the meaning of words (semantics). Colourful semantics reassembles sentences by cutting them into their thematic roles (who? what doing? what? where?) and colour coding them. This approach is used in stages and helps children to develop language and structure in addition to grammatical structure.

Clicker Connect, Clicker Sentences and Clicker Docs

Emergent writers and those children still acquiring early literacy skills can use this iPad app to support them to develop their understanding of key skills that are necessary for independent writing. Clicker Connect and Clicker Sentences enables sentence building activities to be created on any topic and can be tailored specifically to support each pupil’s individual needs. Clicker Docs can be used for those pupils who have grown in confidence in their writing and offers support tools which enable children to create accurate writing which flows and has a clear structure. This is a tool that is particularly useful for dyslexic students and less confident spellers.


Precision Teaching Maths

Precision Teaching for Maths helps children to embed the basic key skills and concepts needed to support them with their everyday learning. For example, this may cover times tables, number bonds, counting, recognising digits etc. This intervention is carried out by teaching assistants 3-5 times weekly.

Social, Emotional and Mental Health

ELSA groups             

The ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) programme promotes emotional literacy and supports the development of  good communication, self-esteem, social and friendship skills, and anger management. It is run by a highly skilled and trained Teaching Assistant, Mrs Krekis, for 30 minutes once a week depending on the age and needs of the child.

Drawing and Talking

This intervention aims to support children who have underlying emotional difficulties which are affecting their well-being. It aims to support individuals who may not be realising or achieving their full potential either socially or academically. The child sets the pace and decides what to bring to and where to take the sessions. This runs averagely for 12 sessions, one session per week.

Sensory and Physical

Occupational Therapy

Some children who have sensory or physical difficulties may be referred to the Occupational Therapist. A plan may be devised by the therapist to be delivered at home and in school in order to support sensory and physical development for the child. Our trained Teaching Assistants carry our regular exercise sessions based on each child’s individual plan. Some needs can be met daily within the classroom by the child’s class teacher or by independent skills that are nurtured and developed alongside an adult.

Wellbeing/Sensory Room

Our newly installed sensory room offers a relaxing space for children to appease sensory needs and ease any built up anxiety and emotions. The room includes padded flooring for comfort, an interactive bubble tube, a sound spa with a variety of relaxing sounds that can be played, an infinity tunnel mirror which reacts to different frequencies and pitches of sound and a projector with a selection of colour changing wheels. Bean bags and cushions fill up the space to provide comfort and relaxation and a supportive beanbag and wobble stool caters for a variety of different postures and core strengths. A range of sensory toys are on offer so that all needs are catered for.

Sensory Garden

Our newly built sensory garden offers an open outdoor space for any child to enjoy who may be for many reasons feeling anxious or overwhelmed. This garden includes facilities designed to appease all the senses and creates a relaxing atmosphere which promotes a sense of calmness and well-being.

What arrangements are made to enable my child to benefit and take advantage of the full school curriculum?

All schools with Pegasus have an accessibility plan in place to ensure that pupils with SEN and Disabilities can take part in all aspects of school life. Access arrangements differ between schools but currently include:

  • Wheelchair access on ground floor levels;
  • Disabled toilet facilities (with hoists at BRIG);
  • Disabled parking space allocated at the front of the school;
  • Hearing impaired systems installed in classrooms;
  • Full access with lifts at WHJUN and BRIG

Schools have an accessibility plans which are updated annually.

Depending on the specific needs of your child, a more personalised access plan or individual health care plan will be drawn up in consultation with you. This will be reviewed and updated on a regular basis. Staff receive Epipen training delivered by the School Nursing Service. Where necessary, and in agreement with parents/carers, medicines are administered in school, but only where a signed Health Care Plan is in place to ensure the safety of both child and staff member.  A number of our staff have basic or paediatric first aid training, including specialism in first aid at work. Our policy supporting children with medical needs is relevant in these cases and can also be found on our website.

Croydon Council’s accessibility strategy can also be downloaded here. 

How skilled are staff in meeting the needs of my child?

Provision for pupils with SEND is included in our regular monitoring of quality teaching across the schools in the Trust which is undertaken alongside the MACS with responsibility for SEND.  This helps to identify priorities for our ongoing programme of CPD to support whole school inclusive practice and to support new and less experienced staff.

Our Inclusion Managers actively engage in a range of opportunities to share best practice and keep abreast of current local and national initiatives and policies to support pupils with SEND.  Our schools also seek advice and guidance from local and special schools and other relevant agencies to help school staff meet the needs of each child.

We have staff with specialised expertise and qualifications including:

  • Teaching Assistants with specialist training for supporting pupils with Autism;
  • Emotional Literacy Support assistants with enhanced knowledge and skills to support children to manage feelings and make positive relationships;
  • Teaching Assistants with specialist training in delivering Drawing and Talking;
  • Level 2 diploma in Understanding Children and Young People’s mental health;

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the schools in the Trust?

All schools with the Pegasus Academy Trust are located within the London Borough of Croydon and link with specialist services in the education department.  At times it may also be necessary to consult with outside agencies to receive their more specialised expertise. The school works with a number of external agencies to seek advice and support to ensure that the needs of all children are fully understood and met.

The agencies used by the school include:

  • Behaviour Outreach Team (Croydon): This service offer support and advice to mainstream schools which are experiencing difficulty with children who have ASD and challenging behaviour.
  • CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust).  Christopher Wren House,113, High Street, Croydon, CR0 1QG, Tel: 020 3228 0000 Website slam.nhs.uk) This service offers advice, assessment and treatment for children who have a serious mental health disorder or psychological difficulties. It can also offer support for their families.
  • Educational Psychologist. Our school works alongside trained professionals from the Octavo Partnership, allowing the Inclusion Manager, the teachers, the support staff, the parents and the children to assess children’s needs, set appropriate learning targets, give advice to staff about the best ways to help children meet the targets, support referrals to other services and applications for statutory assessment.
  • Croydon Children’s Occupational Therapy Service provides therapy, advice, equipment and adaptations for children who have disabilities or difficulties with everyday tasks. The service is based at the Crystal Centre but also work in a variety of settings including schools, nurseries, Croydon University Hospital and the child’s home.
  • Speech and Language Therapy (croydonhealthservices.nhs.uk
    and search for children’s speech and language therapy service or Call the main office at Sanderstead – 020 8714 2594): We receive support from the Local Authority’s Speech and Language Therapy service that makes assessments of individual children referred to them by the school, sets targets, reviews progress, engages with parents, works with some children in a clinic outside school and supports small group work in school.
  • Virtual School for Children who are Looked After (virtualschool@croydon.gov.uk): This service oversees and monitors provision for children who are in care of the Local Authority
  • Woodside Bereavement Counselling: A local charity providing bereavement counselling to families in the Croydon area. They provide bereavement support to adults, young people and children.
  • Mentoring from Valour Youth: This service aims to engage young people and challenge negative perceptions that they face about themselves which can lead to anti-social behaviour and which can later create barriers in their lives.
  • SENDIAS-SEN information and advice: SENDIAS provides independent information, advice and guidance for parents/carers of children and young people with SEND. They also provide mediation services.
  • Early Help Team: This team works with children, young people and families to identify their needs and will assist practitioners and managers to identify and understand the different levels of need and to consider the most appropriate response at the earliest opportunity.

How will the school help my child to move to a new class/year group or to a different school?

Children and young people with SEN can become particularly anxious about starting school or moving on to a new class or school. Our schools will seek to reduce any anxieties and ensure consistency of support by:

When joining the school in our Reception/Nursery class:

  • Early Years staff and the Inclusion Manager will contact pre-school settings to gather information about the level of needs of your child.  They will also make home visits to discuss your child with you. If the pupil has more significant needs and has support from other agencies, this may include more formal transition meetings where the needs and nature of provision are fully documented.

When moving between classes/phases:

  • Discussions will be held between the previous teacher and new class teacher to share all relevant information about pupils;
  • All pupils attend a transition session where they spend some time with their new class teacher and support staff;
  • For pupils on the autistic spectrum or with emotional/behavioural needs, a transition programme is carried out, which involves a greater number of visits to the classroom and teacher, a special book which includes photos of the staff who will be working with the pupil, the classroom and other significant places. This book is produced in consultation with the parents/carers and is sent home for the summer holiday.

When moving to another school:

  • Where possible, additional visits are arranged for pupils who need extra time in their new school;
  • Records will be passed on as soon as possible and contact will be made with the new school SENCO to pass relevant information on;
  • Where possible, secondary school staff visit pupils prior to them joining their new school;
  • Where a pupil may have more specialised needs, a separate meeting may be arranged with our Inclusion Manager, the secondary school SENCO and parents/carers;
  • Your involvement in the process will be crucial in supporting a successful move

How does the school involve children and parents in decisions about provision and support?

On an individual level, our schools values the views of both parents and children in both identifying key strengths and areas of need as well as planning and reviewing provision.

We will ensure that parents and pupils (as appropriate) are included in regular review meetings to discuss progress and plan provision. Where this is not possible or where more regular updates are required we will agree with you the best way to share information.

At whole school level the school are also keen to support parents with pupils with SEND and take their views on how we can continue to develop a positive experience for SEND pupils at our school.

Activities include:

  • Workshops and advice clinics to develop parent knowledge and skills in various areas of SEN;
  • Availability of the Inclusion Manager to discuss any issues or concerns;
  • Annual parent and pupil surveys to take views on current SEND practice and recommendations for further development.

How do our schools support SEND children with remote learning?

During the National lockdown and partial school opening from March 2020, a number of strategies were put in place to support SEND children who were learning at home. These included:

  • Differentiated resource packs delivered to homes to give children access to resources which were specific to their needs;
  • Visual support resources such as timetables and social stories for those children who needed additional support in these areas;
  • Printed learning packs for those without devices or the internet in the initial lockdown;
  • Chromebooks, where available, for those children who did not have access to a device at home;
  • Personalised learning packs differentiated to an appropriate level;
  • Weekly phone calls for those children who receive emotional literacy support in school;
  • Weekly phone calls for EHCP children who were unable to access school;
  • Weekly phone calls from the class teacher or TA for all children who were learning remotely;
  • Remote meetings for parents with the school speech and language therapist to support with strategies at home;

First published on 31st May, 2017 and modified 26th July, 2022

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