Inclusion & SEND

SENCO - Miss Laura Monaghan (NASENCO)

Headteacher - Mrs Joanne Lancaster (NASENCO)                                                                                               

‘Hill Top Primary Academy is committed to offering an inclusive environment which celebrates the strengths and diversity of our children’s needs. We believe that all children, including those identified as having special educational needs, have a common entitlement to an accessible curriculum that enables every child to thrive and reach their full potential’

SEND Local Offer

Reviewed (annually) September 2023

Frequently asked questions from parents and carers:

Click on a question below to see answers (Available to download on side bar)

In the first instance you should make an appointment to speak to the class teacher. The class teacher will be able to advise whether your child is working at the level expected for their age or whether they agree that further investigation is required. They may feel at this point that the SENCo needs to be made aware of your concerns and may arrange a further appointment for you to consult the SENCo to discuss ‘next steps’. The SENCo will be able to advise on which other Professionals may need to be consulted at this stage. This may include a Speech and Language Therapist; a member of the SENIT team or they may wish to carry out further tests themselves to ascertain the specific area of need.

The class teacher is responsible for overseeing and planning the education programme for your child. Should your child be showing less than significant progress then teachers would refer children to our school SENCo. The SENCo is responsible for co-ordinating provision for children with SEN and liaising with a range of agencies outside of school who can offer advice and support to help students overcome difficulties.

Children will continually be assessed so that their learning is progressive. Teachers will compare achievement half-termly and results compared with non-SEN children to ensure progress is comparative.

The Code of Practice states 'High quality teaching that is differentiated and personalised will meet the individual needs of the majority of children and young people. Some children and young people need educational provision that is additional to or different from this'

Teachers are responsible for planning appropriately so that each child is fully included within the curriculum and can access it at their individual level. For some children smaller steps will be used to ensure appropriate planning and progression is in place to help them achieve their full potential. 

In some cases, we work with other professionals such as SENIT, SaLT, specialist SEMH teachers, Educational Psychologists to ensure the curriculum fully meets the needs of an individual child.

The school is built on one level and is accessible to all – both able bodied and to wheel chair users. There is the provision of a disabled toilet in the main corridor that has a shower; this toilet is wheelchair accessible and is the only toilet in school with this capacity.

All doorways are wide enough to take a wheelchair pushed by another individual.

Manoeuvring around the classroom in a wheelchair is limited due to actual classroom sizes.

The outside field and Key Stage 1 playground can be accessed by means of an inclined pathway as an alternative to the steps.

Access to the wildlife area would have to be carefully managed by two adults.

Where a child has a support plan the classteacher will liase with parents at least termly to discuss and share progress - this is known as the Assess, Plan, Do, Review cycle. Each term the classteacher, sometimes with the SENCo or another member of staff such as support assistant,  will meet and go through the reviewed targets with the Parents explaining the achievements to date and the next steps. Advice will be given as to how the Parent can help the child at home with their learning. Parents have the opportunity to feed into the plan as it is important their wishes and views are taken into account before a new support plan is agreed.

If you or the class teacher has concerns regarding the social and emotional needs of your child then a referral will be made to the SENCo. It may be that a intervention such as 'Draw and Talk' is suggested as a first step for supporting with this. We have a trained member of staff within school who delivers Draw and Talk sessions. Dependent on the nature of the concerns, we work in partnership with the Leodis Support Service which is based at Woodkirk Academy, providing additional guidance and support for all students and families across the Multi Academies Trust. We work closely with pastoral staff in the Academy schools to provide ‘Early Help’ using a range of additional support services which include: Family Support (1:1 and parenting groups), Emotional Health and Wellbeing, Counselling and access to external commissioned services and resources. We offer support to address all issues which affect family functioning and wellbeing and act as a barrier to education. The Head Teacher and Deputy Principal are trained in issues related to Child Protection and are trained in initiating and leading Early Help Assessments.

We have a private Speech and Language team who come into school weekly to support with speech. language and communication needs across the whole school. They carry out assessments of needs and if applicable will set targets, interventions and specifically designed group work. They also provide training to our staff on a wide range of aspects. We work closely with our Leodis Support Service in which we can make referrals and access a range of support for pupils and families. The School Nurse is available, at our request, to give advice within her remit. Targeted Services that school can draw upon for those who need additional support are the educational psychology team, SEN and inclusion team, and attendance officers. 

The SENCo has completed the National Award for Special Educational Needs as well as the Headteacher. 

We draw upon the knowledge and expertise of our speech and language team to help in developing our knowledge and skills to support specific needs across a range of areas. The SaLT provide training and guidance for our teachers and support assistants in delivering interventions. 

Staff development training is planned dependent on the need within school. The most recent training has been to develop our knowledge around trauma informed practice. 

We have whole Trust INSET days which have previously been designed to provide further development and training for staff in supporting the progress of children with additional needs. 

All children have the chance to access all school trips and residentials. All of this is organised through consultation with the Parents/Carers and child where applicable. On residentials and some trips, it may be necessary for the Parent/Carer to accompany the child on the visit.

Transition arrangements are in place between each of the year groups within school and then from Year 6 to Year 7. We have forged very close links with our local high school and there are several meetings held between staff from both schools, where all relevant information is passed on, as well as additional visits put into place for any child who requires extra to that afforded as routine. At all times Parents/Carers can be involved in these hand over meetings between staff.

The Head teacher along with the Senior Management Team will analyse all assessment data submitted by class teachers each half term. Any child who is not making the expected progress or not closing the gap on their peers will be flagged up for discussion with the class teacher. A decision will then be made as to the best course of action to be taken and where necessary, if any interventions/specialised TA time is allocated.

There are two Parents Evenings held in the school year – the first in the Autumn Term and the second in the Spring Term. This is followed by a report on the child in the Summer Term. We also hold a ‘Meet the Teacher’ session in the second week of the school term. Parents/Carers are all invited to all these sessions. If Parents/Carers are unable to meet with staff on these occasions, staff will make a further appointment for Parents/Carers. For those children who are on a support plan, parents are invited into school to discuss and receive the plan at the beginning of each term. Parents have the opportunity to feed into the plan as it is important their wishes and views are taken into account. For those children who have an EHC Plan and/or receipt of funding, annual meetings take place with parents and all Professionals involved in addition to the termly meetings with the class teacher sharing their support plan. Parents are invited into school every term to see their child's work. 

School Office: 0113 3074750 or email:

Joanne Lancaster (Principal)

Andrea Salter (Deputy Principal)

Laura Monaghan (SENCo)

To make enquiries about your own child in school you should first speak to/make an appointment to speak to the class teacher.

Useful links to support your child at home with their learning

BBC SEND parents toolkit


AET - Resources and guides for parents

CAMHS - Resources to help with emotional well being needs

National Autistic Society - The leading UK charity for autistic people and their families

Key Documents

SENDIASS support children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their parents and carers. 

They do this by providing a free, impartial and confidential service through their website and online resources. Parents can also contact them through their helpline.

Telephone: 01133785020

Please see the One minute guide below for a summary

Children and Families Act 2014

The Children and Families Act 2014 brought together changes to legislation around services for vulnerable children, young people and families. The provisions in the Act which relate to special educational needs and disability (SEND) came into force in
September 2014.

Please see the One minute guide below for a summary

The Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice 2014