Special Educational Needs and Disabilities


Nicky Griffiths - SENDCO and DSL for Safeguarding


My name is Nicky Griffiths and my role is Inclusion Manager.  I  co-ordinate the support for children who are having difficulties learning. I am also responsible for Safeguarding / Child Protection.

What is S.E.N.D?

S.E.N.D stands for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. Many children at some point during their school life  experience difficulties in learning. It is my job to help identify the problem and then find ways to support children and families.

Each November children who are not learning as well as we would hope are audited. This means teachers look at what they can do and match it against national expectations. If children are falling behind national expectations they may be placed on the Special Needs Register which identifies specific needs. The audit will focus on reading and writing and speaking and listening needs but we  also recognise children with social and emotional, medical  and physical needs .

Children will sometimes have an I.E.P. or Individual Education Plan written for them which sets targets to help them catch up and identifies who will help them and what help they will get.

I.E.P.s are written and reviewed termly. These will work alongside the class teacher`s targets.

Some children who have long term and more significant difficulties may have a Statement of Special Educational Needs. These children  have IEPs but also an Annual Review where everybody who is involved will meet and discuss progress and the next steps forward.

We are using Birmingham Access to Education Language and Literacy Toolkit to track the progress and plan future learning for many of our pupils with additional needs. Please Click here


What support might my child receive at Stirchley?

We have many different ways of supporting children at Stirchley Community School. Here are just some of the strategies:

  • Additional reading in school
  • Alternative phonic based reading scheme
  • Pre-tutoring of specific vocabulary and concepts before a lesson
  • Direct phonics ( to support literacy)
  • Pocket folders ( to support literacy)
  • Precision teaching( to support literacy & numeracy)
  • Speech therapy programmes
  • Occupational and physiotherapy programmes
  • Toe by toe ( programme to support dyslexia)
  • Personalised spelling programme
  • Task boards and visual timetables
  • Widget cards ( to support children with autism)
  • Language land ( to support language development)
  • SULP ( social use of language programme)


Introducing Rapid Write                       


Rapid Write offers a variety of resources to help pupils who may find writing a challenge.The course provides children with both fiction and non fiction tasks to help build and then develop literacy skills. It is designed to be used with small groups of children using colourful writing logs during  highly structured 30 minute lessons. Regular checks are made to ensure children and making steady progress.



Introducing Rapid Maths                         


Rapid Maths is an enjoyable tightly  structured course aimed at pupils who have difficulty with Maths and particularly number work. The course is split into 5 coloured levels: red, blue, green, yellow and purple. To begin with children practise counting and securing number bonds and progress through to more complex multiplication and division problems. To help develop their understanding of maths children are encouraged to practise skills several times.  Games and activities are used to provide extra practise in developing speedy recall of number facts.




Lyndsy Sanders is the Teaching Assistant trained to deliver both Rapid Write and Rapid Maths programmes. She regularly assesses children`s progress and reports to Class Teachers and Senior Management. Many children are making noticeable progress since taking part in these very popular programmes. The small groups are mixed in ages and the lessons are held in a quiet room dedicated to the Rapid Write and Rapid Maths programmes so displays and examples of work also help motivate children to succeed.



If you feel your child would benefit from any of these interventions please get in touch.

Outside Agencies

Often outside agencies can be very useful in helping identify and then supporting children with additional needs. They often come into school to work with individual children or offer ideas or interventions for school staff to try.



Pupil and School Support is a team within Access to Education (A2E)

A2E works in homes and educational settings to support children, young people and their families.
Pupil and School Support works with schools to help pupils with cognition and learning difficulties progress and achieve to the best of their abilities. Following an assessment of pupil needs they can support schools through training and modelling to build both their capacity and their ability to provide access to the curriculum and appropriate support for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). P.S.S works with schools to support the development of SEND policies and procedures and to assist  in the identification of successful provision to match the needs of all  pupils. They advise and suggest actions to support schools to deliver quality SEND provision.


Currently Tracey Kenny is the Pupil and School Support representative for Stirchley Community School.

We often ask PSS to assess and report on individual children and help write and review Individual Education Plans including Annual Reviews for children who have a Statement of Special Educational Needs. We can also request early identification for possible dyslexia.


The Looked After Children Education Service (LACES) in Birmingham comprises teams of teachers, learning mentors, instructors and professional support staff who work in partnership to ensure that Looked After Children (LAC) can fulfil their educational potential.

The service includes outreach teams offering peripatetic support & intervention and a split-site Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) providing onsite education options for LAC. LACES is part of Birmingham’s Virtual School for LAC which: “oversees the education of children in care in the authority, and those children in the authority's care who are placed out of the authority, as if they were in a single school”. The LACES representative for Stirchley Community School is currently Emma Dodd.


Communication and Autism Team is a team within Access to Education (A2E)

The Communication and Autism Team provides specialist support to children who are on the autistic spectrum. They can work alongside schools to provide bespoke interventions to help children with autism (ASD) and Aspergers Syndrome to manage a mainstream setting. Often a member of the team will observe children in school and write reports which can support in getting a diagnosis of autism. They will also meet with parents to discuss strategies which might help children in the home setting.

Our current CAT worker is Katie Oliver. She regularly visits school to support children who have a diagnosis of autism or children we feel are on the autistic spectrum. We are able to access Katie's support via a school referral form.

Karen Lane is our school ASD Lead Practitioner. Karen can help support children, families and school staff manage children who have autism. As part of her role Karen produces individual / customised resources and aids including social stories and comic strip conversations which support children develop a deeper understanding of feelings and emotions. She also supports children (and staff) with transitions from year to year within Stirchley or onto Year 7. She has produced “moving on” packs which enable Secondary Schools to have an immediate understanding of pupils difficulties and how best these can be managed. Karen also runs small emotional and social groups tailored to the individual or group needs of children. She attends regular updating training sessions organised by CAT (Communication Autism Team) who are a Local Authority service. This organisation also provides a range of support for parents and families through courses and events which Karen can signpost parents to. Anybody wishing to speak to Karen about any aspect of autism is welcome to get in touch via the school office.


At Stirchley we have close links with:

  • P.S.S.S – Pupil school support service 
  • CAT –The Communication Autism Team
  • BSS – Behaviour Support Service
  • S&LT – Speech and Language Therapy Service
  • The school nurses and doctors.
  • The BIG Community
  • LACES – The Looked after Children Education Service
  • IFST – The Integrated Family Support Team.

I am happy to speak to you about any concerns you may have regarding your children. I am available Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Pop into school and make an appointment or give the office a ring and I am often available to have a chat. We also have a linked governor for SEND - Ingrid Olsen


Below are some links to organizations which may provide you with additional information. 

http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/  ( dyslexia)

http://www.autism.org.uk/       (autism)

http://www.chadd.org/    (A.D.H.D)

http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/senparents    (parent partnership)

http://www.nbcs.org.uk/     (visual impairment)




Click on the link to look at an example of and individual education plan (IEP)

Below you will find information on various barriers to learning. If you require further help and support, do not hesitate to contact our Inclusion Manager Nicky Griffiths.


Asperger's Syndrome

Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder

Comprehension Dyslexia

Down's Syndrome


Hearing Impairment

Meares-Irlen Syndrome

Visual Impairment


Special Educational Needs from September 2014.

The government is changing the system for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) including those who are disabled, so that services support them better.

The new Children and Families Act Sept 2014 will extend the SEND system from birth to 25.

The Main Changes in the new SEN Code of practice are:

  • The Code of Practice (2014) covers the 0 – 25 age range and includes guidance relating to disabled children and young people as well as those with SEN.
  • There is a clearer focus on the participation of young people and their parents in any decision making.
  • There is a stronger focus on high aspirations and improving the outcomes for children and young people.
  • It includes guidance on joint planning between education, health and social care.
  • There is new guidance for education and training settings on taking a graduated approach to identifying and then supporting students with SEND.
  • For children and young people with more complex needs a co-ordinated assessment process and the new Education, Health and Care Plan ( EHC Plan) will replace Statements of Special Educational Needs .
  • There is a greater focus on support to enable those with SEND to succeed in their education and make a successful transition into adulthood.

SEN Definition

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

  • Has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age
  • Has a disability which prevents or hinders her or him from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream school.

There are still 4 categories of SEND but definitions have changed. The categories are now defined as:

1.Speech, language and communication needs (SLCN)

This category now includes children with Autism Spectrum Disorder who are likely to have particular difficulties with social interaction.

2.Cognition and Learning

Includes moderate learning difficulties (MLD), severe learning difficulties ( SLD) profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD) and now includes specific learning difficulties (SpLD) such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia.

3. Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties.

Includes behaviours such as being withdrawn and isolated as well as children who display challenging , disruptive or disturbing behaviour. These children may have underlying mental health difficulties such as depression or anxiety. Other children may have disorders such as attention deficit disorder ( ADD) or attention deficit hyperactive disorder ( ADHD).

4. Sensory and/or Physical Needs

Includes vision impairment (VI), hearing impairment (HI) multi sensory impairement (MSI) physical disability (PI). These pupils will require specialist support and/or equipment to access their learning.

There will be a single category of SEND – a move away from School Action and School Action Plus. Individual Education Plans are not statutory but there must be a plan in place for children identified as having special needs. Support for children should take the form of a 4 part cycle - Assess- Plan – Do – Review.


Education Health and Care Plans

In time these will replace a Statement of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. The plan covers from birth – 25 years of age. The plans are based on person centred approaches with consultation with parents and children being crucial. They will be organised through a multi – agency approach and be a collaboration of education and health and where needed social care. They are designed for children with the most complex needs.

Personal Budgets

For children with an EHC Plan there will be a personal budget available. Payments could be made up of a range from health – wheelchair or physical aids, social care in the form of respite payments or education – transport to special schools.




Stirchley Staff Training

Stirchley School staff take part in regular training on issues connected with Special Educational Needs and medical needs. All staff including our support staff are encouraged to take advantage of training opportunities.

Recent training includes:


  • ADD /ADHD – identifying and supporting pupils
  • Epipen and Asthma training
  • Dyslexia awareness
  • ASD – supporting pupils on the autistic spectrum

Keeping Parents Informed

Working alongside parents is crucial if children are to achieve their potential. Parents of children with special needs are welcome to meet with Nicky Griffiths. She is always available at termly Parents Evenings and she meets with parents and Class Teachers frequently to discuss concerns, arrange assessments or share progress. We have staff and outside agencies with a range of expertise who are also always happy to meet with parents.

Termly targets are set and reviewed and information about additional support children are receiving is shared with parents at Parents Evening meetings or sent home if parents are unable to attend.


Supporting children with ~Special Educational Needs Through Transition

Our aim is to find out as much information as we can before a child joins us here at Stirchley Primary School. Nicky Griffiths will speak to the SENDCO of the current school. We may arrange to visit a child at their school before they move to us. We will certainly meet with parents and collect as much information as possible to ensure a smooth start.

As children move through the school they may well have a Transition Book made for them with details of their new class and the people who will be working with them. These books go home during the summer holidays and are an aid for parents to use with children to prepare them for a new year group.

Our aim is for class teachers to meet and share their knowledge of children. When teachers meet they will not only share academic details but also little details such as where children sit best on the carpet!!

Paperwork relating to all our children is passed on to the next teacher so they are in the best position possible to start supporting children as soon as they arrive in class.


Tracking Progress

All pupils at Stirchley Primary School are expected to make the required progress regardless of whether they have additional needs. All pupils progress is tracked using the school`s assessment tracking system. Pupils are assessed regularly via marking of their work, observations, questioning and more formal tests or assessments.

Teaching Assistants will also keep records of progress individual children are making if they are taking part in an individual intervention such as Direct Phonics.

The progress each child is making is discussed at pupil progress meetings. At these meetings interventions and their effectiveness will be analysed and changes to the way a child is being supported may well be made.

Nicky Griffiths also meets with Class Teachers and Teaching Assistants to track the progress of children who have been identified with Special Needs.


 Extra Curricular Activities

All children have access to our extra-curricular activities. Where possible, adjustments will be made to ensure all children with SEND are fully included in these activities.

In addition Stirchley Primary School also provides additional activities for children with SEND in the form of:

  • Lunchtime clubs
  • Social Interaction Groups
  • Homework Clubs
  • Nurture Groups

Complaints concerning SEN

If you have a complaint concerning Special Educational Needs and Disabilities at Stirchley please see Nicky Griffiths who will do everything she can to fix the issue.

Parents can also request to meet with the SEND Governor, Ingrid Olsen or meet with Mr Clifford ( Head Teacher) or Steve McFall ( Chair of Governors)

We take complaints very seriously and will act upon these on an individual basis.


Birmingham Authority local offer

The local offer provides information for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their parents or carers in a single place. The local offer provides information on a number of things including:

  • Special educational provision
  • Health provision
  • Social care provision
  • Other educational provision
  • Training provision
  • Travel arrangements to schools, colleges and early years education
  • Preparing for adulthood, including housing, employment and leisure opportunities.

Birmingham`s local offer can be found at: wwwmycareinbirmingham.com