Special Educational Needs

Here at Werneth we understand that every child is different and that we all learn in different ways. Through careful planning, differentiation and tailoring of the curriculum, we ensure that the needs of all pupils, including those with special educational needs and disabilities, are catered for within all areas of learning. We provide a range of interventions and support for pupils with SEND to complement the curriculum and ensure that all children are able to make progress and achieve their best.

See below for details of how we support the progress of students with Special Educational Needs.

To view the Council’s Local Offer click here.

View our SEN Policy >

Our SEN Plan

Who can I contact for further information?


Your child’s Class Teacher, the Inclusion Manager or the Principal.

Principal: Mr Conrad North

Assistant Principal responsible for Inclusion: Katy Gregory


Roles and responsibilities


Principal: Mr Conrad North

Responsible for:

  • The day to day management of all aspects of the school, including overseeing the support for children with SEND
  • Keeping the governing body up to date about any issues in the school including those relating to SEND

Inclusion Manager (SENCo)/Assistant Principal: Katy Gregory

The Principal hands responsibility for the day to day management of Inclusion to the Inclusion Manager. Responsible for:

  • Coordination support for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and developing the school’s SEND policy and practice
  • Making sure all children can access the curriculum and that their teaching helps them to make progress and is of high quality
  • Ensuring that parents are involved in supporting their child’s learning and that they are fully informed about the support their child is getting in school
  • Taking account of parent’s wishes and concerns and supporting the planning for a child’s next steps
  • Liaising with other professionals who may come into school to help to support a child’s learning and development e.g. speech and language therapists, educational psychologists, etc.
  • Supporting teachers and support staff in the school so that they can help all the children to achieve well

Class Teachers

Responsible for:

  • Ensuring that all children in their class have access to good teaching and that the curriculum meets every child’s individual needs
  • Checking on the progress of every child in their class and planning and delivering any additional help that individual children might need
  • Helping anyone working with individuals or groups of children to deliver the planned work/programmes of work so that they can make the best possible progress. This might be a Teaching Assistant, Key Worker or outside specialist help
  • Meeting with parents and together writing an action plan so that both home and school agree what should happen to support the child each term
  • Making sure that everyone working with individual children in school understands their individual needs or condition so that adjustments can be made to enable them to be included and make good progress
  • Following the SEND Policy in their classroom and with all children with special educational needs or disabilities that they teach

Assistant Principal: Miss Katie Malley

Offers advice to teachers on how to enhance a child’s well-being. She works closely with children who need additional support in developing relationships, settling into school, or with developing age appropriate social skills.

Teaching Assistants

Teaching Assistants work with teachers to help children to make good progress. Their work is guided and planned by the teacher. Sometimes they work with individual children or groups of children who need support with an element of their learning.

Key Workers

A Key Worker is a teaching assistant who is allocated to provide additional support for an individual child who has special educational needs or disabilities or who needs additional support with an area of their learning.

If you need any additional information we will be happy to help. Please phone the school or call in to make an appointment and we will be happy to show you around and to answer any questions.


How will Werneth Primary School support my child?


Parent’s view:

“Werneth Primary School provides for ALL medical and educational needs. It has excellent facilities. The school does the best for the child and provides extra support where needed. It involves parents in periodic reviews – both medical and educational. School understands medical conditions and how to provide support.”

At Werneth Primary School we celebrate the fact that every child is unique and different and, therefore, the educational needs of every child are different – this is certainly the case for children with special educational needs and disabilities.

We aim to ensure that all children in our school are happy, settled and enjoy each day with us. We are a very inclusive school. We want to make sure that each child can make good progress and achieve well. This means that we get to know each child and do our very best to meet their individual needs whether this is through providing extra support in lessons, adapting our curriculum or providing assistance for personal or medical needs.

What we offer will be different for each child. We will know what they need by talking to the people who know them best; their parents and people who already know them and their family. Once the child has started school with us we meet regularly with parents, carefully monitor the child’s progress and also take advice from external experts such as education and health professionals.

Parent’s view:

“This school has helped my children fully. This is why I want to say that all the teachers do as much as they can to help a child.”


What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?


Every child’s happiness is of utmost importance to all the staff at Werneth Primary School. When children are happy and settled they are ready to learn and grow.

All the children with additional needs who were involved in a recent survey said they are happy at school, like coming to school and knew several people to ask if they needed help with anything.

“I like coming to school because school is nice.”

“I like school because we get to do some drawing and we learn.”

Each class has at least one teacher and a teaching assistant who will get to know every child well. The relationship between them is really important to add to a child’s well-being. During the first few weeks in school there will be a focus on building these relationships.

Some children need additional support in developing relationships, settling into school, or with developing age appropriate social skills. Additional support in this area is just as available as it is for children who are having difficulties with learning to read or write.

Miss Malley, our Assistant Principal, works closely with children who need additional support in this area. She co-ordinates support for children at unstructured times (playtime and lunchtime).

Child’s view:

Miss Malley’s job is … “to listen to people and to help children.”

If your child is unhappy or unsettled the first person to speak to is the Class Teacher. If the problem continues please make an appointment to see the Principal, Inclusion Manager or Pastoral Manager and we will investigate further and seek solutions with you. If the situation cannot be resolved within school there are other agencies we can contact to help us, but this is very rarely necessary.

We have a set of school values and behaviour expectations that all children must follow and this helps children to do the right thing and impacts on the overall happiness of the school as a whole. See our school values, behaviour policy and anti-bullying policy.


How does Werneth Primary School know if a child needs extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?


Often children are identified as having special educational needs before they start at Werneth Primary School and then the school works with the people who already know them so that we can begin to put things in place before the child starts with us.

Parent’s View:

“When he started nursery at the age of 3 1⁄2 I knew he had special educational needs and he was given support straight away … I was very happy with the support provided.”

If a parent feels that their child has special educational needs there are lots of people in school that can help.

The child’s class teacher will get to know them really well and they are always glad to speak to parents about any concerns.

The Inclusion Manager has a lot of experience of working with children who have special educational needs, and their families. It is her job to make sure that the school is doing everything it can to meet the needs of individuals and groups of children, and to seek additional advice for parents and the teachers.

Child’s view:

“Mrs Naylor goes to people’s classes to see how they are doing.”

“She has meetings with my mum.”

Sometimes when a child starts at our school the well trained staff notice quite early on that they need more support than other children of the same age. Sometimes it takes a little longer. The teachers will share their observations with parents and through their discussions gather more information. The teacher will then talk to the Inclusion Manager who may be able to make some additional suggestions about how to help the child overcome any difficulties.

Parent’s view:

“I first noticed my child had special educational needs when he started nursery. I spoke to the nursery teachers first about my concerns and they helped me a lot. They referred my child on to get other support.”

All children’s progress is closely monitored by the class teachers, Principal, Inclusion Manager and other senior leaders in school, who meet regularly to discuss children’s strengths and difficulties. If we feel that a child is not making the same progress as other children we will observe them, assess their understanding of what we are doing in school and use tests to pinpoint what is causing the difficulty. We will then plan activities to help them to catch up and to make good progress.

Sometimes teachers can see that a child is having difficulties at school which cannot be overcome using the usual or additional methods that work for most other children. If this is the case the teacher will arrange to meet with parents to talk about what they have discovered, what has been tried so far and what they feel should happen next. If parents agree, referrals are then made to the appropriate agencies. This helps to pinpoint why the child is having difficulties and then provides parents and teachers with advice on what to do next.

Parent’s view:

“The class teachers and support teachers in school have helped us every step of the way. They sent us to see specialists and doctors, and give my child help in school.”


What are the external agencies, specialist services or professionals that are accessed by school?


Our school has very good relationships with the Health Visitors and School Nurse and they can very often provide good advice to parents and school about how to help individual children.

We work closely with Speech and Language Therapists, Educational Psychologists and members of Oldham Council’s Additional and Complex Needs Team (QEST).

We also have regular contact with Paediatricians, Consultants, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Dietitians, and Parenting Support Services.

A speech therapist’s view:

“The commitment you have shown to meeting (child’s) needs has been extra-ordinary. She has always been happy at school and the staff at Werneth have made sure they enriched her life…”


How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school, transfer to a new school or next stage of education?

Children in the Early Years:

  • We have very good relationships with local pre-schools, health visitors and the Early Years Special Educational Needs team
  • We hold ‘Stay and Play’ sessions in the nursery where you can come each week and spend an hour with your child getting to know the staff and familiarising your child with the nursery
  • Our staff will make a home visit to meet you and your child before they start with us at school
  • With your permission, we will contact any health professionals that you have informed us are working with you and your child so that we have all the information we need before they start
  • When a child who has already been identified as having SEND is going to start with us we visit the current setting and attend Review Meetings there. Their current nursery or pre-school usually brings the child to visit us too
  • We receive transition information for children who are already attending an Early Years setting
  • An extended transition is available for any child who needs it
  • Social stories are used if they will be helpful
  • Most children in the Early Years will settle very quickly but for those who need it we offer shorter days initially
  • A visual timetable (pictures showing the order of the day) and a structured daily routine are in place to help with settling in
  • Individual ‘hand-overs’ are used whenever needed
  • Parents are invited into the classroom every day to help with settling in and there is daily contact with the Early Years Staff and key workers

Transition to secondary schools:

  • Werneth Primary School liaises closely with the Secondary School to ensure that they have all the information that they need to make the transition as smooth as possible
  • The SENCO from the Secondary School usually requests a meeting with staff from our school so that we can talk about the child’s needs, strengths, interests and learning styles
  • A teaching assistant will escort your child for additional transition visits to the secondary school, if these are available to them
  • All information and personal equipment (e.g. specialist seating, communication aides, etc.) is transferred to the Secondary School prior to the child starting in September
  • Social Stories are used when necessary
  • The whole year group will be making preparations and talking about transition and your child will be fully included in this

Transition to secondary schools – children with Statements of SEND or EHC Plans:

  • For children with a statement of SEND or EHC Plan, the transition process begins at the Year 5 annual review
  • Whilst the decision about which secondary school to choose lies with parents, Werneth Primary School will support you to find the right secondary school for your child
  • The Inclusion Manager will help to arrange visits to Secondary Schools and if you wish will accompany you on these visits
  • Werneth Primary School liaises closely with the Secondary School to ensure that they have all the information that they need to make the transition as smooth as possible
  • Your child’s Key Worker will escort them for additional transition visits to the secondary school if these are available to them
  • Once the decision about placement has been decided and a new school allocated, the Secondary School SENCO is invited to attend the Year 6 Annual Review, where we will all be able to share information and make plans to assist the transition process
  • All information and personal equipment (e.g. specialist seating, communication aides, etc) is transferred to the Secondary School prior to the child starting in September
  • Social Stories are used when necessary
  • The whole year group will be making preparations and talking about transition and every child will be included in this

Previously anxious Year 6 child’s comment:

“Mrs Naylor takes us to Newbridge in her car to look at our new school. I like Newbridge.”

Transitions within school:

Moving classes can be worrying for any child. For some children with SEND it is a particularly difficult time and we want to make all transitions as smooth as possible.

  • We spend a lot of time with children who need the extra support, providing additional visits to the new classroom and giving them extra time with their new teacher.
  • If your child has additional key worker support we will discuss if it is in their best interest for the Key Worker to move on with your child. If it is, whenever possible, we will aim to do this.
  • Your child’s class teacher/key worker will have discussions with the new teacher/key worker about your child’s specific needs. All action plans, equipment and resources they need will be passed on ready for the change. The Inclusion Manager will also help with this.
  • The whole year group will be making preparations and talking about transition and every child will be fully included in this.
  • Social stories are often used to help and these may be used in school and at home.
  • When children have moved to the next class the new class teacher continues to draw on the expertise and advice from the previous teacher and may also need your help in settling your child.
  • It is important that you also build up a relationship with the new teacher/key worker so that you are comfortable and happy to share your thoughts, successes and any concerns.

Children joining Werneth Primary School in Key Stage 1 and 2:

  • Ideally before your child starts at our school there will be the opportunity for you and your child to come and have a look around, meet with the Principal, the Inclusion Manager and the Class Teacher. We will have the chance to talk about your child’s needs and what we can do to support him/her.
  • As long as we have notice of a child’s arrival at our school we contact the previous school to ask for any up-to-date advice to be forwarded to us so that we can put any special provision requirements in place ready for them to start with us.
  • With parent’s permission, we will contact any health professionals that we have been informed is working with the child or their family so that we have all the information we need before they start.
  • A class ‘buddy’ will help the child to follow the class routines and will help with establishing friendships.
  • Individual ‘hand-overs’ are used whenever needed.
  • Most children in Key Stage 1 and 2 will have been to school before and will settle very quickly but for those who really need it we offer shorter days initially.
  • A visual timetable (pictures to show what is happening in the day) and a structured daily routine are in place initially to help with settling in.
  • In the first few days the parents of younger children are invited into the classroom to help with settling in (where this is helpful to the child) and there is daily contact with the teacher or key worker.
  • Social stories are used if needed.
  • Lunchtime supervisors will be made aware to keep a special eye on individual children over the lunchtime period and support them when needed.
  • For children who already have a statement or Education, Health and Care Plan, the Inclusion Manager or member of staff will attend meetings at the current school prior to transfer and the support stated in the Statement/EHC Plan will be in place for the child when they start at Werneth Primary School.


How will both you and I know how well my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?


At Werneth Primary School staff are available in the playground just before and after school each afternoon so there are plenty of opportunities to share information or to make an appointment for a longer meeting if necessary.

Parent’s view:

“The school let me know how my child is getting on through meetings or contacting me by phone or letter and through daily contact with my child’s one to one support worker.”

We hold formal parents evenings twice per year and an annual report is sent out at the end of the year.

All children’s progress is closely monitored by the Class Teachers, the Principal, Inclusion Manager and other senior leaders in school, who meet regularly to discuss children’s strengths and difficulties. If we feel that a child is not making the same progress as other children we will observe them, assess their understanding of what we are doing in school and use tests to pinpoint what is causing the difficulty. We share any concerns we have with parents.

Sometimes teachers can see that a child is having difficulties at school which cannot be overcome using the usual or additional methods that work for most other children. If this is the case the teacher will arrange to meet with you to talk about what they have discovered, what has been tried so far and what they feel should happen next. If you agree, referrals will be made to the appropriate agencies. This helps to pinpoint why the child is having difficulties and then provides both parents and the teachers with advice on what to do next.

Reception child’s view:

“When I do well the teacher says, ‘High five’.”

Parents of children with SEN or disabilities are invited into school at least twice per year to have a longer discussion with the class teacher (and sometimes with the Inclusion Manager and other professionals who are working with the child). At this meeting we all celebrate the child’s successes and look at what we can do together to help the child make progress in all areas. We talk about if the child’s understanding and behaviour are the same at home. We take this into account so that we are all helping the child in the same way to make progress. At the end of our meeting we decide together on priorities for the term and an action plan is created so we are all clear of the roles we will play in making things better for the child.

Parent’s view:

“Does the school involve you in decisions about your child’s education?”

“Yes. We agree areas to focus on and share responsibility for my child’s development”

It is important that the children also know and understand what they are working on. Individual targets are shared with the children and successes celebrated as part of an ongoing process.

If a child has done something excellent they may be awarded star of the week or a smiley. Smilies are collected towards bronze, silver and gold awards.

In order to support parents with their child’s learning we also periodically run workshops about reading, phonics, and homework to name just a few. All parents are encouraged to attend these.

If parents feel they need any additional help in supporting their child’s learning at home, class teachers are always happy to offer advice.


How are parents involved with the school? How can I be involved?


Parents can be as involved as they wish in the life of the school. Our door is always open and if parents would like additional information about any aspect of school life we are more than happy to sit down with them for a chat.

We welcome parents into school as regular helpers (though not into their own child’s class) and parents are often invited to assist with their own child’s class trips and outings.

Parents are invited to their child’s assembly and to watch any performances that the children are taking part in. These may be with the school choir, class music group or seasonal productions.

Newsletters are sent out half-termly to inform parents of the class topics. More information for parents can be found on the school’s website.

Werneth Primary School Parents Support Group was established in 2014 and is a group of parents who meet regularly to talk about what is happening in school and what they can do to support the school’s work. They also host sessions specifically for parents of children with additional needs. This is an opportunity for parents who are experiencing similar problems and worries to meet up for a drink and a chat.

Workshops are advertised by the staff in the year group concerned and cover topics such as phonics, helping with reading, rhyme time challenge, health and well-being, safety on the web, to name just a few.

We ask that parents talk to their children every day about their school day in the language of the home, support them with their homework, listen to them read every day and help them to extend their interests. This is one of the best ways that parents can help their child and one of the easiest ways to become involved with the school.


How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?


At Werneth Primary School, we understand that one size does not fit all when it comes to education. All children have different starting points and our staff are trained to make resources and ‘work’ either easier or more challenging so that each child is able to learn at their own pace and in their own way. We look at where the child is now in their learning, what they need to know and do next and then use our knowledge of how they learn best to find the most effective way to help them to progress.

We know that all children learn best through first hand practical experiences and this is even more important for many children with additional needs. We match our activities, teaching styles and methods to how we know the individual child or group of children learn best.

Child in Year 6 who has additional needs:

“I like maths because I learn lots of new maths. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s hard. The teacher tells me how to do it then it’s easy and I know how to do it. I need help with sums they show me lots of ways to do it.”

We use a range of additional schemes and resources to support children who have additional needs.

We have an Every Child A Reader (ECAR) teacher who can advise on the best methods of teaching reading for individuals who are having difficulties.

For some children we use advice from other experts who can suggest different methods to help children learn.

Parent of child in Year 6 with additional needs:

“I am happy to see that my child can have the best possible equipment for her needs to gain a good understanding in her education.”

Staff are trained to adapt to a range of special educational needs and disabilities. We have experienced staff who can use approaches designed to help children with:

  • Specific learning difficulties (e.g. dyslexia)
  • Autism
  • Coordination difficulties
  • Memory difficulties
  • Visual impairment
  • Hearing problems
  • Speech, language and communication difficulties
  • Sensory processing difficulties
  • Social and emotional difficulties
  • Various medical conditions

We have teachers and support staff trained to use Signalong, Picture Exchange Communication System (PICS), various speech and language therapy methods, specific moving and handling techniques, gastrostomies, catheters and to deliver specific physiotherapy programmes. Our teachers and teaching assistants are always happy to learn new skills so that we can support all of the children in our care.

Parent’s view:

“I would encourage parents to send their child to this school. I am 100% happy with the way staff have helped me and my child.”


What training have the staff supporting children with SEND had or are having?


Staff are trained to adapt the curriculum to meet the needs of children with a range of special educational needs and disabilities. We have experienced staff who can use approaches designed to help children with:

  • Specific learning difficulties (e.g. dyslexia)
  • Autism
  • Coordination difficulties
  • Memory difficulties
  • Visual impairment
  • Hearing problems
  • Speech, language and communication difficulties
  • Sensory processing difficulties
  • Social and emotional difficulties
  • Various medical conditions

We have teachers and support staff trained to use:

  • Signalong
  • PECS
  • Various speech and language therapy methods
  • Social stories
  • BLAST (Boosting Language, Auditory Skills and Talking)
  • Numicon

They have staff who have been trained to support children with personal care and health needs including:

  • Feeding children who have gastrostomies
  • Supporting children with catheters
  • Delivering specific physiotherapy programmes
  • Using specific moving and handling techniques including the use of a hoist

Our teachers and teaching assistants are always happy to learn new skills so that we can support all of the children in our care.


How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?


Schools receive funding for all pupils including those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and they meet pupil’s needs from this. The Principal of the school and the Inclusion Manager will work with the teachers and other senior leaders in school to decide how the school’s resources will be used. Some children will take part in group programmes designed to help them with specific areas of the curriculum whilst some children will need more individualised support.

The parents of children with identified special educational needs and disabilities are invited into school regularly to discuss their child’s progress and to work together to identify next steps in their child’s learning. Any additional support or resources needed will be discussed at these meetings, or sooner if necessary.

Parent’s view:

“Whatever school are doing they ask us before they do it, with our consent. They explain everything thoroughly and then with our consent they follow it on.”

If a child needs additional support or resources that will cost more than £10,000 per year, the school can apply to the Local Authority for an Education, Health and Care Plan (which replaces Statement of SEND from Sept 2014).

If the assessments of a pupil’s needs identifies something that is significantly different to what is normally available within schools there will be additional funding allocated. Parents have a say in how this is used and the local authority will advise you if you are eligible for a personal budget which will be used to fund the agreed statutory plan.


How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?


All children are given equal opportunities to take part in activities outside the classroom and to take part in school trips/educational visits.

Pupils with Special Educational Needs and disabilities are always included in school trips and residential visits. We work closely with parents to ensure we fully understand the child’s needs and if necessary contact the appropriate specialists to make sure we haven’t missed anything. All outings are carefully risk assessed taking into account the needs of all children attending.

Year 6 child with additional needs:

“Our school is special because we can play and we’ve got good teachers. I like it because we go on trips.”

We provide the correct level of support to match the needs of the child. This may be as part of a very small group, one to one or more where needed.

Access and transport are carefully considered to make sure that nobody is left out.

Click here to see a list of the extra-curricular activities and clubs that we currently have in place.

There are often opportunities for additional activities that are available only for children with special educational needs and disabilities and we make the most of what is available to us. Last year the children took part in a project with the MADHLO centre and also went to a local secondary school to take part in disability sports activities.


How accessible is the school building?


Our school building is very accessible although it is on three levels. The majority of classrooms are on the same level.

The nursery is downstairs and is accessible from the lower ground floor at street level or via the internal lift.

We have a lift at both sides of the school building.

We have accessible bathrooms on all floors.

There are ramps up to the external doors that are not at ground level and there is access to the car park with space for disabled parking.

We have a specified medical room for any children who require additional treatments such as extensive creaming.

We have a sensory room equipped with bubble tube, soft cushioning, mirrors, projector and fibre optic strands as well as a range of sensory toys/equipment.

We also have a ‘nurture room’ that is used for children who need private space for feeding, medical needs or specified exercise programmes.

There are two rooms in school that are not accessible by children in wheel chairs. These are additional rooms (not main classrooms) and although ideal to be used by classes that are cooking or doing technology projects, this is not essential. Any lesson that would normally take place in these rooms can be transferred to another more accessible room in school, such as the main classroom. We would not want a child to be left out of any activity.


What if I am not happy with a decision or what is happening for my child?


The first point of contact should always be your child’s class teacher. If you need to talk to someone else an appointment should be made with the Inclusion Manager (Mrs K Gregory). Explain your concerns to them first and if you are not satisfied that your concern has been addressed speak to the Principal and ask to speak to the Governor’s representative for SEND.

POINT (Parent’s of Oldham In Touch) are a fantastic resource who can help you with any concerns you may have.

POINT “… aim to pro-actively represent our families, ensuring that parents and carers have greater choice and control to meet their current needs and have a voice in shaping future services.”