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St Mary's Catholic Primary School

Growing Together in the Friendship of Faith

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SEND Specialist Expertise

In our school our Special Educational Needs Coordinator, Ms Stewart, (SENDCO):

  • manages the day-to-day operation of the policy;
  • co-ordinates the provision for and manages the responses to children’s special needs;
  • supports and advises colleagues;
  • maintains the school’s SEND register;
  • contributes to and manages the records of all children with special educational needs;
  • manages the school-based assessment and completes the documentation required by outside agencies and the LA;
  • acts as the link with parents;
  • maintains resources and a range of teaching materials to enable appropriate provision to be made;
  • acts as link with external agencies and other support agencies;
  • monitors and evaluates the special educational needs provision and reports to the governing body;
  • manages a range of resources, human and material, linked to children with special educational needs

More details of the SENCO’s role can be found in the SEND Policy which you can find in the School Policies section of our website.

We have teaching and support staff specially trained in:

  • Anna Freud Mental Health and School Link Programme
  • Attachment
  • Mental Health First Aid
  • ASC
  • Supporting pupils with Specific Reading & Spelling Difficulties
  • Supporting pupils with Specific Maths difficulties
  • Supporting pupils with Visual Perception difficulties
  • Gross and Fine Motor Development
  • Lego Therapy
  • Sensory Group
  • Social Group
  • Listening Matters - Connecting with Children 
  • Earth Handwriting
  • Team Teach

Staff are also committed to research to develop their knowledge and understanding of how to meet a child’s SEND as the need arises.


External Specialists and Other Bodies

The school enjoys good working relationships with a wide range of people who provide services to children with SEND and their families.

The external specialists may:

  • Act in an advisory capacity
  • Extend expertise of school staff
  • Provide additional assessment
  • Support a child directly
  • Suggest statutory assessment is advisable
  • Consult with all parties involved with the child


These include:

  • Durham SEND Information, Advice and Support Service
  • Local Authority Special Educational Needs Inclusion Team
  • Educational Psychology Service
  • Stanley One Point Hub
  • Health Agencies, particularly School Nurse Service and Health Visitors
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)
  • Speech and Language Therapists
  • Behaviour Intervention / Crisis Response
  • Durham Movement Difficulties Service
  • Virtual School for Looked After Children
  • Autism Spectrum Condition advisory team
  • Specialist Therapists – Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy
  • Other specialist health services as required, e.g. hearing, speech, vision, diabetes
  • Medical Practitioners – GPs, Paediatricians, Clinical Psychologists
  • Family workers and One Point Children Centre staff
  • Parent Partnership


How We Secure Specialist Expertise

Our Additional Needs Budget is used to support children and young people with SEND. In 2021-22 this amount is £51,800.40.

This is used to support children and young people with SEND by:

  • Specialist training for SENDCO
  • Enabling the school to employ members of staff to support children and run programmes of intervention
  • Resources to enable children to meet outcomes
  • Buy in the services of specialists
  • Buy into support packages
  • Purchase assessment and intervention tools


COL Budget:
The Community of Learning (COL2) to which St Mary's belongs, receives additional funding to meet the shared needs and priorities of partner schools. During 2017-18 and 2018-19 this funding was used to fund additional Educational Psychology sessions, access a Counsellor for one session per week and access a Speech Therapist and Speech Assistant to work with pupils in all of our schools. During 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22 our allocation of funding has been used to fund the work of our School Counsellor.


Pupil Premium and Sports Premium:

We use some of this funding to access services such as EWEL support, Mindful Movement and Relax Kids. We also have Sports Coaches who provide activities at breakfast club and lunchtimes.

Local Authority Budget:
If a child has complex special educational needs, we could also receive additional funding (TOP UP FUNDING / EHCP) from the Local Authority to meet the agreed outcomes. The additional needs funding is monitored by the Senior Leadership Team and Governing Body to ensure support is secured to meet needs and has a positive impact on outcomes for children with SEND.