Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

Welcome to our SEND pages. We hope you will enjoy reading about the variety of ways in which Exning Primary School is able to support students with a range of SEND to reach their full potential. If you have been directed to these pages because your child has recently been diagnosed with a Special Educational Need or Disability, we would like to begin by saying, "Don't panic." Although this will be a new and potentially daunting experience for many of you, we are here to help and support both you and your child in any way that we can.

Our SEND Policy can be found here 

Our SEND Information report can be found here


At Exning Primary School, all staff are involved in the teaching and support of children with SEND, but three members of our team have specific roles relating to this area:


Our Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) is Ruth Clifford-Turner

Ruth has been SENCo at Exning Primary School since 2012 and holds the National Award for SEN Co-ordination. She can be contacted by telephone through the school office, or by email on ruth.clifford-turner@exning.suffolk.sch.uk 


Our SEND TA is Heather Philpot.

Heather has been working in this role at Exning since 2013 and has a wealth of experience including qualifications in ELKLAN and she also and holds the National Award for SEN Co-ordination. 


Our Governor with responsibility for SEND is Alex Friend.

Alex has been a school governor for 4 years and has been our SEND governor since June 2022. She can be contacted via email: alex.friend@edu.exning.suffolk.sch.uk



Special Educational Needs and Disabilities at Exning

At Exning Primary School we welcome everybody into our community. We believe that child should be provided with the opportunity to achieve his or her full potential. Every child in our school has the opportunity to engage fully in school life, and all children, regardless of their level of need, is given the same opportunities as everyone else.

Every student at Exning Primary School will follow the National Curriculum, with Quality First Teaching designed to allow all learners to access the curriculum. However, some children may require extra support to allow them to achieve their potential, and this is where our SEND support is offered.

We are committed to narrowing the attainment gap between SEND and non-SEND students. This may include one-to-one or small group school interventions with a dedicated SEND Teaching Assistant, Classroom Teaching Assistant or Teacher. It may also include other learning or behavioural interventions developed on an individual needs basis.


Our Local Offer - Mainstream School (last update Nov 2023)

In September 2014, local authorities were required to publish information about services they provide for children with disabilities and Special Educational Needs. This is called the ‘local offer’. As part of this, we as a school are obliged to publish our school’s offer. On this page, you will find our Local Offer for our school, as which also include information about our local offer for our SEND Reception and KS1 unit - The Hive. Where elements are specific to one of the two settings, this will be stated.

The intention of the publication of the local offer is to offer choice and transparency for families, as well as providing a resource for professionals to detail the range of services and provision locally. With regard to Education, it will let parents/ carers of young people know how schools will support them and what they can expect across the local setting. This local offer will be reviewed and updated annually.

At Exning Primary School,  we embrace the fact that every child is different and, therefore, the social and educational needs of every child are different – this is certainly the case for children with Special Educational Needs and disabilities (SEND).

 For further information of Suffolk County Council's SEND provision, please click here 

In terms of what we offer children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities, this is different for every child and it is important to emphasise that, as much as possible, this provision is designed by the relevant Exning staff members working alongside the child, the child’s family and, where necessary, outside agencies (e.g. a Speech and Language Therapist or an Educational Psychologist). In The Hive, children work to an entirely individual curriculum which is specifically tailored to their needs.

How does the school provide accessibility arrangements for my child?

Our main school building is fully accessible to children with physical disabilities via ramps and also an electronic lift. There are two toilets for the disabled.  Children have access to a range of ICT equipment to support their physical and learning needs. We also ensure that classroom equipment used is accessible to all children regardless of their needs. In The Hive, we have a small sensory room, a designated outdoor area, separate school entrance and a fully accessible toilet with changing facilities.

How is the curriculum and teaching at Exning Primary School adapted for my child's needs?

All children at EPS have class teacher input via excellent targeted classroom teaching also known as Quality First Teaching. For a child who
has SEND this would mean: 

  • That the teacher has the highest possible expectations for your child and all pupils in their class.
  • That all teaching is based on building upon what your child already knows, can do and can understand.
  • Different ways of teaching are in place so that your child is fully involved in learning in class. This may involve things such as using more practical learning. 
  • Specific strategies (which may be suggested by the SENCO or outside staff) are in place to support your child to learn.

All children in school will be getting this as a part of excellent classroom practice when needed. In The Hive, we have a high staff-to-child ratio so that the curriculum can be entirely adapted for each child's specific needs.

What happens if my child needs more support?

Our school offers many different forms of additional provision for learning. This can include one or more of the following:

Additional in-class support – this is usually in the form of a small group with specific work to do in the classroom, usually led by the class
teacher or a briefed and able teaching assistant. The learning in these groups is likely to be linked to the lesson but targeted in a way to meet individual needs and to enable them to access the curriculum and progress in their learning.

Additional out-of-class support – this may happen outside of the classroom, usually led by our SEN specific teaching assistant who will run these small group sessions using targets given by the teacher, or from an outside agency.

This type of support is available for any child who has specific gaps in their understanding, not necessarily just for those children on the SEND register. 

Children may also follow a specific intervention programme to support their learning, for example:

  • Sound Discovery
  • Talking Maths
  • Language for Thinking
  • Colourful Semantics
  • Precision Teaching
  • Black Sheep Speech and Language
  • Boosting Reading Potential

This list is not exhaustive and the SENCo will seek our staff training as needs arise.

In The Hive, we have a high staff-to-child ratio so that the curriculum can be entirely adapted for each child's specific needs.

Individual Education Plans

Children on the SEND register will be given an Individual Education Plan (IEP) which will detail specific targets. These targets will be worked on at school and should be supported at home to provide a multi-faceted approach. You will be invited into school around the half term point of each term (October/February/June) to discuss the targets set, the outcomes of the target and the future targets that your child will need to work on. Teachers will liaise with the SENCo to discuss the progress of the children prior to these meetings, as well as speaking to the children themselves, so that the targets can be written in collaboration with parents/carers, children, teachers and the SEN team.

One-to-one support

This support may be appropriate for a child who has an EHC plan which outlines a specific number of hours of support the child will need. Usually this type of support is for children with severe, complex and lifelong needs and will probably include lots of specific focused work activities / curriculum programmes recommended by professionals from external agencies.
It is important to note here that your child may do some one-to-one work with a teacher or adult in school at any point but the one-to-one support we are referring to is when an individual has severe and complex needs and requires several hours of support daily.

‘What training do staff have at Exning Primary School to support my child with SEND?’

Staff at EPS have a wide variety of training and a great deal of experience and expertise in Special Educational Needs, behaviour, social barriers and emotional well-being. Our School SENCo and our SEND TA have the National SENCo Award. All members of staff are trained annually in safeguarding children.

The majority of our staff are trained in first aid, including the administration of epi-pens. Staff have regular Professional Development, including how to identify Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, as well as working with outside agencies to develop their skills in the provision for children with a range of needs, including autism, dyslexia, attachment disorder, speech and language difficulties and sensory impairment. Some members of staff have also had individual training around diabetes. We have teaching assistants who are trained to deliver Elklan - a speech, language and communication intervention . In 2020-21 our Staff CPD focus was on high-quality training for SEND and this is ongoing each year.

Staff in The Hive have also been trained in Makaton, PECS and the use of the Engagement model, as well as Attention Autism and Intensive Interaction methods.

External Agency Support
A child may have been identified by their class teacher and SENCo as needing some extra specialist support in school from a professional
outside the school. This could be from Local Authority central services such as:

  • Specialist Education Services (SES) - consists of teams to support Cognition and Learning; Communication and Interaction; Social, Emotional and Mental Health and Sensory needs. 
  • Sensory and Communication Team
  • Educational Psychologists (EPs) 
  • Other outside agencies and health professionals such as:
    - Speech and Language Therapy Service (SALT)
    - Occupational Therapy
    - Physiotherapy
    - School Nurse
  • Barnardos NDD Pathway can also be accessed for children for whom we would seek support/diagnosis for a neurological need, e.g ADHD, ASD. https://www.barnardos.org.uk/what-we-do/services/suffolk-neurodevelopment-pathway

All additional provision is overseen by the school's SENCo and is designed and implemented by class teachers, supported by our teaching assistants. As with individual targets, the most important point is this: additional provision depends on the needs of the child.

For details of planning, assessment and reporting of your child's progress, please see our SEND and Assessment policies.

Transition Arrangements

Transitions can be difficult for all children, but particularly children with SEND. We therefore have thorough procedure in place to ensure that any transition is a smooth as possible.

If your child is moving to another school:  We will contact the school SENCO and ensure he/she knows about any special arrangements or support that need to be made for your child. We will also make sure that all records about your child are passed on as soon .

When moving classes in school: Information will be passed on to the new class teacher IN ADVANCE and a transition meeting will take place with the new teacher, and where relevant, the SENCo. All IEPs will be shared with the new teacher, as well as information about progress, targets and interventions that the child has received. Teachers will update case studies detailing progress across the school. 

Approaching the end of Year 6: The Year 6 teacher and SENCo will meet with relevant colleagues from your child’s next school and pass on any necessary information about their needs. (giving children the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face where possible).

If relevant, your child will do focused learning about 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 too to offer additional support, answer questions and generally reassure them during this period of change.

Support and contact for parents

Your child’s class teacher is 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 similar strategies can be used.

Any outside agencies who produce reports for the school regarding contact with your children should also provide you with a copy of this.

The SENCO is also available to meet with you to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns/worries you may have.

For other external support, such as parent workshops and programmes, please visit out Support for Parents page.

We also meet termly as a Parent Forum to discuss issues relating to SEN in our school, as well as to update legal documents. Please contact Ruth Clifford-Turner if you would like to be a part of this forum. We also open the meeting space prior to the forum to allow parents to informally discuss their own children with each other.

Parents who feel that they may need additional support can contact Suffolk's SENDIASS service, who offer confidential and impartial advice on a range of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.


For more information on particular aspects of our SEND offer, please click on the links from this page.