Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

At Langley Park Primary Academy, as a mainstream provision, we support and value the abilities of all of our students. We strongly believe that it is our duty to provide equal opportunities for every young person in our care and a safe and fully equipped learning environment, which caters to the needs of every student as an individual. We are committed to inclusion within the Academy curriculum and participation in all aspects of Academy life.

Langley Park Primary Academy, as a mainstream provision, adopts a ‘holistic approach’ to special educational needs. All staff work to ensure inclusion of all students. We are committed to ensuring that students with special educational needs can fulfil their potential and achieve optimal educational outcomes.

Our school SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) is Mrs Sarah Comins (Inclusion Leader and Assistant Principal) who is supported by Mr William Ashenhurst (Deputy SENCO) and Miss Helen Marchant (SRP Lead Teacher). Between them, they oversee and coordinate support for those children who may need an extra bit of help in overcoming barriers to their learning. They are assisted by Mrs Kelly Carter (FLO and Pastoral Lead) who supports our families and children on a daily basis.

The Principal and SENCO meet with class teachers at Pupil Progress Meetings (PPM) every term to discuss individual needs and support for any children who are struggling emotionally or academically. Together with the class teacher, classroom strategies and/or individual or small group support will be planned and shared with parents and pupils, to ensure the best outcome for everyone concerned.

To view our SEND, Accessibility and Equality Policies, please visit our Policies page.

View our SEND Information Report
  • Inclusion Lead: Mrs Sarah Comins
  • Working Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:15am – 4:30pm

Questions about your child’s progress

In the first instance contact will need to be made via the class teacher. Parents can either speak to the class teachers are collection time or by requesting a meeting via the school office: contactus@langleyparkprimaryacademy.org.uk or telephone 01622 250880

Our SENCO can be contacted via email: contactus@langleyparkprimaryacademy.org.uk

Should you have any concerns about the progress or development of your child please contact your child’s class teacher in the first instance. If your concerns continue, please feel free to contact the inclusion team using the details provided.

From the 1st September 2014, under Section 65 (3) (a) of the Special Educational Needs (Information) Regulations, all schools are required to publish an SEN Information Report on their school websites. This report must contain SEN information as is set out in the Schedule, as well as utilising the Local Authority (LA) Local Offer. Consequently, the report should meet the needs of SEN pupils as determined by school policy and the provision that the school is able to determine.’

Key websites for support and information

Specialist Resource Provision (SRP)

The SRP at Langley Park is a Specialist Resource Provision for pupils with a diagnosis of ASD/ASC and an EHCP.  A specialist resource provision is distinct from a specialist unit. An SEN Unit is a provision within a mainstream school where pupils are taught mainly in separate classes.  An SRP is a base within a mainstream school providing support and specialist facilities or resources as needed. Click here for further information.

An SRP is an appropriate placement for a child who is taught mainly within mainstream classes.  Langley Park has the capacity to support 15 children to access their mainstream curriculum and support towards EHCP outcomes. These places are funded by the Local Authority.

There are two bases at Langley Park to support children with a funded SRP place. Pip supports EYFS and KS1 pupils and Bramley supports KS2 pupils. Pip has an allocated outside learning area in common with all downstairs work spaces.

Take a look at our SRP Curriculum Statement 

For further information please see the following documents:

Frequently asked questions

Initially please speak to your child’s class teacher. If you would like to speak to our SEND department, please contact via our contact details which can be found in the ‘worried about a child’ section above.

We can only screen for dyslexia, and this will provide an overview of your child’s strengths and areas for development. Screening reports are then shared with teachers so they are aware of how to support your child through Quality First Teaching in the classroom. If dyslexic tendencies are identified, you will receive a copy of the report and information on how to support at home.

This depends on the referral – please speak to the SENCO for further information regarding your child’s referral. Currently, the initial wait time for an ADHD/ ASD appointment is 52 weeks, with a full ASD diagnosis taking 3 – 4 years.

Yes, we can refer your child for a diagnosis of ADHD (from age 6), ASD or other referrals needed such as Speech and Language or Occupational Therapy. These referrals are completed by the SENCO with the support of the teachers. You may prefer to discuss this with your GP as they can facilitate a referral for some services too.

This will be dependent on the level of SEND that your child presents with and support needed at home and at school. The process will require your child to have a personalised plan, if appropriate, that is reviewed at least 3 times and with some specialist involvement. They might be in receipt of Higher Needs Funding – which you would have been informed about via the SENCO. If you would like to discuss this further please contact Mrs Comins (SENCO).

As a school we have a curriculum that supports students with a variety of emotional difficulties. Each class has weekly PSHE sessions and as well as this they also access a well-being program called Zippy’s and Apple’s friends. We also have a pastoral support team who can offer a range of provision including lego therapy, dog therapy, Hamish and Milo well being program, ELSA support, Nurture support or play therapy. Please speak to your child’s class teacher for further information or if you have any worries about your child’s emotional literacy. The FLO can support families in accessing parent support groups and resources or webinars.

Higher Needs Funding (HNF) levels are dependent on need. The money school receives can be used in a variety of ways to support their needs and does not necessarily result in a 1:1.

The British Dyslexia Association says:

Dyslexia is a neurological difference and can have a significant impact during education, in the workplace and in everyday life. As each person is unique, so is everyone’s experience of dyslexia. It can range from mild to severe, and it can co-occur with other learning differences. It usually runs in families and is a life-long condition. It is a specific learning difficulty.

We are bound by the Kent (local authority) definition for Dyslexia. More information can be found on the Kent County Council website here.

Therefore, if your child has a significant weakness in single word spelling and/or reading (and has had good educational opportunities, teaching and interventions) then they may meet the Kent criteria for dyslexia.

For us to gain a better understanding of your child’s literacy skills (this is where weaknesses are most evident) we can run a ‘strengths and weaknesses’ screener. This identifies a possible dyslexic profile or dyslexic tendencies. It helps us identify weaker ‘cognitive’ skills such a phonological processing (being able to identify and manipulate the sounds in words) which can signify dyslexic tendencies.

We would then want to gather information from you and the class teacher, and look at a child’s work. A screener is a limited snapshot of a child’s ability – it is important we gather a full picture and look at interventions over time too.

Therefore, we can screen your child for a possible dyslexic profile and to help us identify possible interventions, but this is not the same as a dyslexia diagnosis. We cannot diagnose dyslexia in our school. This would need to be an independent certified assessor. It is an educational diagnosis that is life-long and results from high levels of psychometric testing that staff in primary schools are not qualified to use. A diagnosis is recognised under the Disability Discrimination Act (2010), permits an older child to have access arrangements at secondary school and adaptations in the workplace. This is private and comes at a cost. Assessors look for a discrepancy between a child’s general ability (like their IQ) and a child’s literacy skills.

Our teachers have dyslexia awareness training and can make adaptations to their teaching so that your child can access the curriculum like their peers. Very often, good strategies for dyslexic children are good for all children. Our focus is always on good teaching and good interventions, rather than the label.

Autism is a neurodevelopmental condition. Therefore, any diagnosis of autism is a life-long health diagnosis and is not educational. There is no ‘test’ for autism. Instead, a paediatrician will collate evidence about a child’s social communication skills, repetitive or restrictive interests and sensory differences so that a judgement against particular Health criteria can be made.

Why does the parent think this? What behaviour do they see at home? Does the class teacher see the same traits?

This is a school-based referral, where the school agrees that there are social/play/sensory differences that should be explored. Perhaps interventions have taken place to help the child with their social skills.

Once a referral by school is sent to the local Community Paediatrics team, parents can expect to wait at least 52 weeks before being notified about a paediatric appointment. ASD is not diagnosed at this appointment. Instead the paediatrician will observe the child and discuss the information given already with parents, before making a judgement about whether the child should move onto the social communication pathway.

The pathway lasts up to 3 or even 4 years. In this time, the paediatrician will collect more evidence from parents and school. The child is invited to a longer ‘joint communication clinic’ where a highly specialised speech and language therapist and a paediatrician work together to make a diagnosis, or not.

Once a child is on the pathway, the school will be advised to implement ASD strategies if they are not doing so already.

As above, this is a Health diagnosis. This is a behavioural disorder.
Same principles apply – school based referral to a Community Paediatrician. We need to see inattentive or hyperactive/ impulsive behaviour that is significantly different from the majority of the peer group and across different environments, to refer. Children cannot be referred until they are 6.

No test for ADHD. Instead information is collated from home/school and a certain ‘threshold’ must be met when comparing parent and school scores – and the child is observed in clinic. A Connors questionnaire is common.

Medication is a possibility depending on the severity of the ADHD and parent views.

Some children have a diagnosis of ‘ADHD–inattentive type’, which is the old ADD (no hyperactivity).

Dyscalculia is a specific maths difficulty. It is inherent rather than just being ‘weaker’ at maths. A child will display intrinsic difficulties with their quantitative understanding of number at a basic level – i.e. show them 3 counters, then 6, and they could not quantify that one set was larger than the other, nor could they give sensible estimates for each quantity.

This would be a child with very poor conversion of number.

We have very few children where this has been identified.

We cannot diagnose dyscalculia. This would fall to an Educational Psychologist or a certified assessor, and would likely be a private educational diagnosis.

Dyscalculia is specific – so a child is likely to be average in many aspects of schooling, apart from Maths. It probably could not be considered if a child has general learning difficulties, a bit like dyslexia.

The important thing is to understand a child’s mathematical gaps and work with them through intervention and class-based support.

This is also called Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD).

This affects a child’s gross and fine motor skill development and sometimes their sensory profile.

It can arise with other specific conditions – dyslexia, ASD, ADHD etc.

Does the teacher see functional difficulties with a child’s self-care skills? E.g. changing for PE, gross motor coordination in PE, fine motor skills – scissor and pen skills, knife and fork skills, handwriting? Does the child appear clumsy and less able to coordinate their movements than peers? Struggles to throw and catch in PE? We need to evidence 3 different functional areas that the child struggles with.

If we see the above, then the child probably has had/needs intervention anyway.

A DCD diagnosis is a Health diagnosis and requires a referral to an Occupational Therapist. The OT service needs to see that the school has put in appropriate interventions such as BEAM or Clever Fingers for up to 50 sessions, before a referral can be made. Therefore, gathering what is needed for an OT referral can take some time.

Once the referral is made, the wait can be 6 months before parent and child are invited to the clinic (if the referral criteria is met). The OT can then identify strengths and weaknesses and help parents and school develop a programme or strategies that will help the child compensate for their motor weaknesses.

We can run a speech link or language link screener. This identifies the speech sounds that the child might be muddling/substituting, or which areas of language (e.g. instructional, vocabulary, concepts, pronouns etc) they are weaker with. It helps us determine how severe a problem there may be, but it is a computer-based snapshot and it is important to talk to you as a parent and glean information from the teacher.

It can also help us identify additional interventions your child may need, which will also provide evidence to help us make a referral to the NHS speech and language therapy team, if intervention does not have impact.

Some children experience a speech or language delay – the difficulty is likely to resolve itself or ‘catch up’ or could be a disorder, which is where more specialist intervention may be needed.

We know that children with speech and language difficulties may go on to have difficulties with learning, particularly literacy, though this is not always the case.

Very few of our children need 1:1 support to make good progress.

The vast majority of children learn when teaching is responsive and adapted to their needs and work is differentiated, if appropriate. Class LSAs are used to help scaffold children’s learning if they find things more tricky.

Sometimes, 1:1 support can also lead to dependency on an adult (I can only learn when an adult sits next to me) and we all want your child to be an independent learner.

In some situations, we may need to apply for funding to provide a child with some key person support. This is called Higher Needs Funding, and is for children that require bespoke approaches. Applications for this high level of support are stringent and require lots of plan/do/review, evidence and proof of what is spent already on a child’s support.

Please note that an EHCP does not ‘come with’ funding attached or a certain number of hours of 1:1 TA support. This happened in the old system of ‘statements of SEN’, but is not the case now.

This is an Educational Health Care Plan. This used to be called a Statement of SEN.

About 1% of children in mainstream schools have an EHCP. Most children with an EHCP require specialist provision (special school) and an EHCP allows a parent this choice.

An EHCP is a legal document owned by the Local Authority. It sets out a child’s needs, the provision needed to meet those needs, and the school placement.

The criteria for an EHCP is stringent. Find out more information about the assessment process here.

A parent can apply for an EHCP for their child by emailing the dept at SENWest@kent.gov.uk.

It is so important the parent knows the school’s view, because the school provides a significant proportion of the evidence to the Local Authority. School and parents should be in agreement that specialist approaches are needed to enable the child to make progress. It is not about lots of diagnoses necessarily although any diagnosis is supportive.

KELSI contains documentation about the ‘pathway’ and timelines, but the whole process, from request to ‘decision to issue’ the plan is 20 weeks. Sometimes, if there is a lack of evidence, the process stops at 6 weeks.

If a parent is unhappy about a decision, they can appeal to the Local Authority.

A school can also make a request for an EHCP but need to be sure that they have sufficient plan/do/review (3 rounds of provision plans) and evidence of what has been in place (high levels of provision) not working. Schools are recommended to take an EHCP request to their local LIFT meeting so that specialists can determine if anything more can be done, before an EHCP is requested.

It is worth noting that quite a few outside agencies are giving the wrong message to parents about EHCPs. E.g. your child has an ASD diagnosis – have you considered an EHCP? This advice is often given without recourse to the severity of need that an EHCP justifies.

The school is bound by a definition of Special Educational Needs as set out by the legal framework, the SEN Code of Practice (2014).

A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.

A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:

  • has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or
  • has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions

For children aged two or more, special educational provision is educational or training provision that is additional to or different from that made generally for other children or young people of the same age.

Being placed on a school’s SEN register is not because a child receives a diagnosis of a condition – it must be because educational provision is consistently different for them to enable them to make progress in their areas of difficulty. Parents must remember that if their child has a Health condition or diagnosis, that this probably falls under the 2010 Equality Act and means that any school or educational provider must make reasonable adjustments for them, whether they are SEN or not.

We support children as their needs arise and teachers adapt work and their teaching delivery as necessary, maintaining interventions for those children that need something additional.

If your child moves onto the SEN register they will be classed as ‘SEN support’ and their teacher will identify long term Outcomes and short term targets on a record of outcome for them to work towards. Parents will discuss these and the progress being made at each parents evening.

Please contact Mrs Comins if you feel your child requires educational provision that is consistently different, or if you have any concerns with your child’s educational, social or emotional progress.