Dr Thomlinson Middle School SEND Information Report 2020/21

Updated and ratified by Dr Thomlinson CofE Middle School Academy Councillors on February 7th, 2020


This information should be read in conjunction with the Northumberland County Council Local Offer.  For further details please follow this link




1)    Who are the best people to talk to in this school about my child’s difficulties with learning / special educational needs or disability (SEND)

You could talk to your child’s subject teachers

Responsible for:

  • Checking on the progress of your child and identifying, planning and delivering any additional help your child may need (this could be targeted work or additional support) and letting the Special Education Needs/Disabilities Co-ordinator (SENDCo) know as necessary.
  • Writing Pupil Progress targets for your child and sharing and reviewing these with parents at least three times in the calendar year.
  • Ensuring that the school’s SEND Policy is followed in their classroom and for all the pupils they teach with any SEND.


You could talk to our SENDCo: Mrs Rebecca Moss (dtms@the3rivers.net)

Responsible for:

  • Developing and reviewing the school’s SEND policy.
  • Co-ordinating all the support for children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND)
  • Ensuring that you are
    i) involved in supporting your child’s learning
    ii) kept informed about the support your child is getting
    iii) involved in reviewing how they are doing.
  • Liaising with all the other people who may be coming in to school to help support your child’s learning, e.g. Speech and Language Therapy, Educational Psychology.
  • Updating the school’s SEND register (a system for ensuring that all the SEND needs of pupils in this school are known) and making sure that records of your child’s progress and needs are kept.
  • Providing specialist support for teachers and support staff in the school, so that they can help children with SEND in the school to achieve the best progress possible.


You could talk to our Head teacher: Mr Liam Murtagh

Responsible for:

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


You could talk to our SEND Academy Councillor: Mrs Elisabeth Bainbridge  dtms@the3rivers.net

Responsible for:

  • Making sure that the necessary support is given for any child with SEND who attends the school.


2)   What are the different types of support available for children with SEND in our school?

 Below we document our approach to teaching children and young people with SEND.

The Graduated approach to SEND

Most learners will have class teacher input, via excellent targeted classroom teaching.

For your child this would mean:

  • That the teacher has the highest possible expectations for your child and all pupils in their class.
  • That all teaching is built on what your child already knows, can do and can understand.
  • That different ways of teaching are in place, so that your child is fully involved in learning in class. This may involve things like using more practical learning.
  • That specific strategies (which may be suggested by the SENDCo) are in place to support your child to learn.
  • Your child’s teacher will have carefully checked on your child’s progress and will have decided that your child has a gap or gaps in their understanding/learning and needs some extra support to help them make the best possible progress.

Additional School Support – specific group work Intervention which may be:

  • Run in the classroom or a group room.
  • Run by a teacher or a teaching assistant (TA)
  • Specialist groups run by outside agencies, e.g. Speech and Language therapy

SEND Code of Practice 2015: School Support (SS) – This means a pupil has been identified by the SENDCo /class teacher as needing some extra support.  This may be provided by school staff, including a teacher or a teaching assistant or by a professional outside the school, such as:

  • Central services, such as the Local Inclusion Support Team.
  • Outside agencies such as the Education Psychology Service (EPS).

What could happen:

  • You may be asked to give your permission for the school to refer your child to a specialist professional, e.g. a Speech and Language Therapist or Educational Psychologist. This will help the school and yourself to understand your child’s particular needs better and be able to support them more effectively in school.
  • The specialist professional will work with your child to understand their needs and make recommendations as to the ways your child is given support.

High Special Educational Need – This type of support is available for children whose learning needs are severe, complex and lifelong.

This is usually provided via a Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). This means your child will have been identified by professionals as needing a particularly high level of individual or small-group teaching.

This type of support is available for children with specific barriers to learning that cannot be overcome through excellent teaching and intervention.

Your child will also need specialist support in school from a professional outside the school. This may be from:

  • Local Authority central services such as the Local Inclusion Support Team
  • Outside agencies such as the Speech and Language Therapy (SALT) Service.

For your child this would mean:

  • The school (or you) can request that Local Authority Services carry out a statutory assessment of your child’s needs. This is a legal process which sets out the amount of support that will be provided for your child.
  • After the request has been made to the Panel of Professionals (with a lot of information about your child, including some from you), they will decide whether they think your child’s needs (as described in the paperwork provided), seem complex enough to need a statutory assessment. If this is the case, they will ask you and all professionals involved with your child to write a report outlining your child’s needs. If they do not think your child needs this, they will ask the school to continue with the current support.
  • After the reports have all been sent in, the Panel of Professionals will decide if your child’s needs are severe, complex and lifelong. If this is the case, they will write a Education Health Care Plan (EHCP). If this is not the case, they will ask the school to continue with the current level of support and also set up a meeting in school to ensure a plan is in place to ensure your child makes as much progress as possible.
  • The EHC Plan (EHCP) will outline the number of hours of individual/small group support your child will receive from the LA and how the support should be used, and what strategies must be put in place. It will also have long- and short-term goals for your child.
  • The support (an additional adult) may be used to support your child with whole class learning, run individual programmes or run small groups including your child.


3)   How can I let the school know that I am concerned about my child’s progress in school?

If you have concerns about your child’s progress, you should speak to your child’s form teacher initially.

  • If you continue to be concerned that your child is not making progress, you may speak to the Special Education Needs/Disabilities Co-ordinator (SENDCo).
  • You may also speak to the school’s Headteacher
  • The school’s SEND Academy Councillor can also be contacted for support
  • Complaints from parents of children with SEND about the provision made at the school should be addressed, in the first instance, to the Headteacher
  • If you have pastoral concerns about your child we ask Parents/Carers to contact their form tutor in the first instance. We strive to listen to the views of all children and endeavour to support all children emotionally.  Or school policies address a variety of issues children might encounter including bullying.


4)   How will the school let me know if they have any concerns about my child’s learning in school?

If your child is identified as not making progress, the school will set up a meeting to discuss this with you in more detail and to:

  • Listen to any concerns you may have;
  • Plan any additional support your child may need;
  • Discuss with you any referrals to outside professionals to support your child.


5)   How is extra support allocated to children and how do they progress in their learning?

The school budget, received from Northumberland LA, includes money for supporting children with SEND.

The Head Teacher decides on the deployment of resources for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, in consultation with the school governors on the basis of needs in the school.

The Head Teacher and the SENDCO discuss all the information they have about SEND in the school, including:

  • the children getting extra support already,
  • the children needing extra support,
  • the children who have been identified as not making as much progress as would be expected.

From this information, they decide what resources/training/equipment/facilities and support is needed.

The school identifies the needs of SEND pupils on a provision map. This identifies all support given within school and enables the school to evaluate its SEN provision regularly with changes made as needed, so that the needs of children are met, and resources are deployed as effectively as possible


6)   Who are the other people providing services to children with SEND in this school?

School provision

  • Teaching Assistants working in the lessons with either individual children or small groups.
  • Teaching Assistants working with individuals or small groups providing intervention – according to need – through a variety of interventions, including Read Write Inc.; Maths Makes Sense; Nessy – a phonic reading programme; SALT (speech and language therapy)
  • Teaching Assistants offering support for children with emotional and social development through Nurture Groups or One to One Intervention.

Support Which Are Available to Mainstream Learners with SEND from External Partners and the Local Authority:

Schools Health Advisor Support learners – they advise staff on health related needs;

NHS Speech and Language Therapist (SALT) – they work ork with Learners who have been identified as having significant S&L learning needs;

NHS Children and Young Peoples Services  – CYPS support learners with emotional and mental health related issues including Autism and Attention Deficit Disorders etc.

NHS Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists – these professionals provide support advice and training for staff for learners who may have co-ordination or mobility issues.

The Northumberland County Council, Local Inclusion Team – LIST provide a wide range of services such as educational psychologists, bereavement counselling and inclusion support workers etc.

Northumberland County Council Sensory Support Services – these specialist staff who advise staff and work with learners with hearing or visual impairments.

Educated other than at School – EOTAS is local authority service supporting children who are unable to attend school for extended periods.

Education Services for Looked after Children – ESLAC is local authority service supporting children who are in the Care System

The contact of these support services can be found via the Northumberland County Council link at the beginning of this document.


7)   How are the teachers in school helped to work with children with SEND and what training do the teachers have?

We further the expertise and training of our staff to support children and young people with SEND in the following ways:

Our Headteacher and SENDCO support our teachers in planning for children with SEND.

  • The school provides training and support to enable all staff to improve the teaching and learning of children, including those with SEND. This includes whole school training on SEND issues, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), medical and physical needs and speech and language difficulties.
  • Individual teachers and support staff attend training courses run by outside agencies that are relevant to the needs of specific children in their class

-Specialist expertise is secured by the school from a number of external sources

8)   How the school makes adaptations to the curriculum and the learning environment of children and young people with SEND?

Our teachers plan lessons according to the specific needs of all groups of children in their class and will ensure that your child’s needs are met.

  • Support staff, under the direction of the class teacher, can adapt planning to support the needs of your child where necessary.
  • Specific resources and strategies will be used to support your child individually and in groups.
  • Planning and teaching will be adapted, on a daily basis if needed, to meet your child’s learning needs.

The kinds of SEND that are provided for:

Support for children with autism and social communication needs – all staff are aware of the needs of ASD learners through on going full staff training, most recently in July 2015. Information on their needs is distributed to all staff, and meeting time given to discuss the needs of individuals. Teaching staff will plan and differentiate appropriately for learners with ASD.

We work in close partnership with the specialist professionals from LIST, and where appropriate, with the Children’s and Young People’s Services (CYPS).  Each child is treated as an individual, and arrangements are put in place to support children both in class, and during unstructured times, with the provision of quiet areas or friendship clubs.

Support for children with learning difficulties (including moderate and specific like dyslexia) –  Pupils with a wide variety of specific leaning needs are supported via appropriate strategies and experienced staff.  For example those whom may have issues typical of some with dyslexia are supported firstly through inclusive quality first teaching which may include the provision of differentiated classwork. The pupil may also undertake specialist programmes, such as Read, Write Inc, Nessy, Precision Teaching or Toe by Toe.  The support is often in the form of 1:1 tuition or very small group work.  Other specific learning needs are met on a bespoke basis with advice sought when necessary from external professionals.

Support for children with physical, hearing or visual needs – Pupils may have a diverse range of physical and medical needs. The needs of each individual are dealt with on a bespoke basis and advice is usually sought from parents and health professionals.  A learner with physical or medical needs is usually identified after a diagnosis from a health professional who will normally recommend strategies to support. For example pupils who have mobility or co-ordination issues are supported by staff who follow a programme of exercises routines provided by the NHS physiotherapists or the occupational therapists, supporting these children.  In some cases learners who have medical conditions such as epilepsy, a risk assessment is in place and staff have received training and advice from the NHS epilepsy nurse.  For pupils with visual or auditory needs, support and guidance is given by the Sensory Inclusion Service.

Support for children with speech and language needs  – Children with speech and language needs are supported by NHS Speech and Language Therapists (SALTs). They may come in to school to work with learners who have been identified as having significant S&L learning needs, or provide programmes to be delivered by staff in school.  Pupils may also be referred to LIST Speech and Language Specialists.

Support for children with social, emotional or mental health needs – For some vulnerable learners additional support may also be required to help them to fully reach their potential. Dr Thomlinson Middle School provides a nurturing environment for those who require additional support in these areas. Pastoral Support for Leaners with Additional Needs may be provided by a trained Emotional Literacy Higher Level Teaching Assistant either on a one to one or small group basis, using a variety of interventions, including Thrive.

The school involves other bodies in meeting children and young people’s SEND and supporting their families.  External support can be provided by referrals to LIST, who have Educational Psychologists and behaviour support specialists in place. The SENDCo works closely with outside agencies to deliver recommended strategies. In some cases, referrals can be made to the Children’s and Young People’s Services (CYPS) to access specialist mental health services.

9)   How will we measure the progress of your child in school?

Through the measuring of the progress of your child we can evaluate the effectiveness of the provision we have made for children and young people with SEND.

Your child’s progress will be continually monitored by his/her teachers.

  • His/her progress will be reviewed each term and a report will be sent home detailing the areas in which your child is doing well and the areas in which they need to improve
  • Your child’s performance will be measured through their performance in Key Stage Two tests; all children are required to be formally assessed using Standard Assessment Tests (SATS). This is something the government requires all schools to do and are the results that are published nationally.
  • The progress of children with a EHC Plan (EHCP) will be formally reviewed at an Annual Review with all adults involved with the child’s education.
  • The SENDCo will also check that your child is making good progress within any individual work and in any group that they take part in.
  • Regular book scrutinies and lesson observations will be carried out by our Senior Management Team to ensure that the needs of all children are met and that the quality of teaching and learning continues to be high.


10)  What support do we give to Parents of children with SEND?

Our school’s arrangements for consulting parents of children with SEND and involving them in their child’s education are as follows:

  • Your child’s Form Tutor is regularly available by appointment to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns you may have and to share information about what is working well at home and school, so that similar strategies can be used.
  • Our Headteacher; Deputy Headteacher and SENDCo are available to meet with you to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns/worries you may have.

It is important that there are arrangements for assessing and reviewing children and young people’s progress towards outcomes.  Part of this process of assessment and review include the following opportunities to work with parents and young people as part of this process:

There are two sets of Parent Evenings during the year where you are able to discuss your child’s progress with all their subject teachers together with the SENDCo and the Headteacher

You will be invited to discuss your child’s progress at a meeting with the SENDCo during the academic year

  • All information from outside professionals will be discussed with you with the person involved directly, or where this is not possible, in a report.
  • Personal progress targets will be reviewed with your involvement regularly.
  • Homework will be adjusted as needed to your child’s individual requirements.
  • Your child’s homework diary is used to support communication with you; your child’s form tutor and your child’s subject teachers

– There will be at least one formal opportunity in the academic year for your child to be consulted on about their progress and how they are involved in their own education with the SENDCo

11)  How is Dr Thomlinson Middle School accessible to children with SEND?

  • The school is fully compliant with DDA requirements.
  • The school is on a split-level with easy access and double doors.
  • We have a disabled lift to ensure wheelchair users can access split level site.
  • There is one disabled toilet.


It is important that children and young people are enabled to engage in activities available with children and young people in the school who do not have SEND.

  • We ensure where ever possible that equipment used is accessible to all children regardless of their needs.
  • After-school provision is accessible to all children, including those with SEND.
  • Extra-curricular activities are accessible for children with SEND.
  • SEND learners are included in all school visits and residential trips whenever appropriate and additional support is often provided to ensure inclusion for all.


12)  How will we support your child when they join our school; when they move Year groups and when they eventually leave us?

The school is open to receive applications for admissions from the parents of all

children for all year groups. We must give priority to children in the care of the

local authority (looked after children) and those with a statement of special

educational needs or EHCP, which names the school.


We recognise that transitions can be difficult for a child with SEND, and we take steps to ensure that any transition is a smooth as possible.

The arrangements for supporting children and young people in moving between phases of education are listed below:

If your child is joining us at the beginning of Year 5

  • Our SENDCo will visit their school with our Deputy Headteacher when appropriate.
  • We have two transition days in the summer of your child’s Year 4 that are aimed at easing the transition between First and Middle School

If your child is joining us from another school at any other time:

  • Our SENDCo will visit their school with our Deputy Headteacher when appropriate.
  • If your child would be helped by a book/passport to support them in understand moving on, then one will be made for them.
  • Your child will be able to visit our school and stay for a taster session, if this is appropriate.

If your child is moving to another school:

  • We will contact the school SENDCo and ensure he/she knows about any special arrangements or support that need to be made for your child. Where possible, a planning meeting will take place with the SENDCo from the new school.
  • We will make sure that all records about your child are passed on as soon as possible.
  • If your child would be helped by a book/passport to support them in understand moving on, then one will be made for them.

When moving subject classes at the end of each academic year:

  • Information will be passed on to the new class teacher in advance and in most cases a planning meeting will take place with the new teacher. Targets will be shared with the new teacher.
  • If your child would be helped by a book/passport to support them in understand moving on, then one will be made for them.

In Year 8:

  • The SENDCo will discuss the specific needs of your child with the SENDCo of the child’s High School. In most cases, a transition review meeting to which you will be invited will take place with the SENDCo from the new school.
  • Your child will participate in focused learning relating to aspects of transition, to support their understanding of the changes ahead.
  • Where possible, your child will visit their new school on several occasions, and in some cases staff from the new school will visit your child in this school.
  • If your child would be helped by a book/passport to support them in understand moving on, then one will be made for them.

13)  How will we support your child’s emotional, mental and social development?

We recognise that is important for children to have support for improving their emotional, mental and social development.

In Year 5 and Year 6 all classes follow a structured PSHE (Personal, Social, Health end Economic education) curriculum to support such development.

We have the following extra pastoral support arrangements so as we can listen to the views of children and young people with SEND:

  • We have a Teaching Assistant who has received training in emotional literacy and will work with students on a one-to-one and a small group basis.
  • A Forest School nurture group for children to learn how to co-operate with one another in a small group and be responsible for looking after a living environment.
  • Lunchtime support through planned activities and groups via a Friendship Club that operates every lunchtime.

We strive to listen to the views of all children.  Any issues involving bullying are swiftly acted upon.  Such issues can be picked up during the above pastoral support or through our worry boxes that we have in every classroom or through discussions with form tutors.  All children receive regular training on the school’s anti-bullying procedures including “How we stop bullying – remember the stages”.

– 1:1 sessions and group sessions with our school chaplain

Breakfast Club and Brain gym are available for identified individuals at the beginning of the school day.

If your child still needs extra support, with your permission the SENDCo will access further support through the EHA (Early Help Assessment) process.


For details on the Local Offer published by Northumberland Local Authority please use the following web link:

Our SEND Policy and Accessibility Plan can be found on the Policies page.

For details on the Local Offer published by Northumberland Local Authority please visit their website.

Careers Programme Information