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Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

At St. Matthew’s, we strongly believe that all children are individuals and are entitled to receive the best quality learning experience. We have high expectations of all children and, where needed, put support in place at the earliest possible stage. Children at St. Matthew's with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) may have mild, moderate or severe learning difficulties, Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD), Physical Disabilities or Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) difficulties. The inclusive ethos throughout St. Matthew’s means that all children are respected and included, regardless of any additional needs they may have.

Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator

Overseeing all of the provision for children with additional needs at St. Matthew's is Mrs Maria Van Dam, the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo).  Please do not hesitate to make an appointment or pop in to speak to Mrs Van Dam if you have anything to discuss.



Early Identification of Needs
Upon entering school, either as a new starter or during important transition phases, staff monitor and support children as they settle into new routines or prepare for changes. If staff feel extra support is needed for an individual or small group they will liaise with the SENCo, whose job it is to oversee and co-ordinate all SEND provision within school, following guidance in line with the 2015 SEND Code of Practice. Initially, an informal discussion would take place with the class teacher to identify strategies to support each child within the main classroom setting.

School Support
If it is felt that a more formal level of support would benefit the child, the class teacher, along with other support staff and advice from the SENCo, would plan an appropriately differentiated curriculum for the child. This ensures that the child continues to receive high quality teaching and learning, effective support and use of appropriate resources or interventions, as necessary.


The image below is a Provision Map detailing many of the interventions and/or provisions we provide for children at St. Matthew's:

A Pupil Support Plan or PSP (previously known as an Individual Education Plan, IEP, or Individual Behaviour Plan, IBP) may be put in place to set achievable targets for each child. PSPs are reviewed regularly using evidence of the impact of any interventions. The class teacher tracks progress to ensure planning accurately addresses the individual needs of each pupil. The class teacher and SENCo meet each term to review strategies, interventions, progress and next steps. Where appropriate, children can be involved in setting their own targets and can review them alongside teachers. Parents are vital partners in the child’s journey through school and are invited to review their child’s progress at Parent’s Evenings and other drop-in sessions throughout the year.

The document below is an example PSP, based on a child with Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (DCD, also known as Dyspraxia):

External Agencies
Support for children may also be sought from external agencies, where necessary, in order to increase learning potential. Our school works closely with a number of agencies, including: Speech and Language Therapy (Chatterbugs), Occupational Health Services, the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), STARS (Autism), the Deaf and Hearing-Impaired team (DAHIT), local authority services e.g. school improvement, Educational Psychologist, Complex Needs Team, as well as cluster services e.g. behaviour support, family outreach/counselling etc. We also liaise with High Schools during Year 5 and 6 in order to provide transition support for pupils with SEND moving onto the next phase in their school career.


To see what's offer across Leeds for children with SEND and their families, you can follow the link below to the Leeds Local Offer website:

Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP)

For children with more complex learning needs it may be that an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) assessment is appropriate. An EHCP is a legal document stipulating an individual child’s needs and the provision and targets that will be put in place by everyone involved with the child, in order to provide the best outcome for the child. This was formerly known as a ‘Statement of Special Education Needs’ and was brought in as part of the new 2014 SEND Code of Practice. Having an EHCP requires the school setting, parents/carers and professionals involved to adhere to the provisions listed and ensure that the child’s needs are met. Anyone involved with a child/young person can request an EHC Assessment.  If you require any further information about this, please arrange a meeting with Mrs Van Dam (SENCo).

If the child’s parent/carer or the young person would like to request an EHC Needs Assessment, they can do this by filling in the EHC2 form, available in school from Mrs Van Dam (SENCO) or online at  (documents).

Reporting and Policies
The SENCo works in partnership with the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and Governing Body, who are responsible for monitoring and evaluating SEND provision throughout school. Our school policies (including the SEND policy) reflect the school’s commitment to inclusion, safety and general well-being for all children and staff. Please follow the link below to get further information about our policies.

All staff in school are trained, and have worked alongside other professionals, to develop their skills, knowledge and expertise in specific areas of SEN. Throughout the school year staff training days and meetings are scheduled to deliver whole-school training on specific SEN areas (e.g. Makaton training, Team Teach, Dyslexia and Autism awareness).

If you require any further information about any SEND concerns, firstly, contact your child’s teacher or please make an appointment to speak to Mrs Van Dam (SENCo) or Miss Crawford (Head Teacher), call 0113 268 1489 or email Mrs Van Dam.



Alternatively, you may find the answer to your query in our Frequently Asked Questions section below.