Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs)

If your child has an EHCP and you wish to discuss support or believe that your child’s needs have changed, please contact our SENCO Mrs Beresford directly. Changes to EHCPs are normally made through the annual review process but some request for changes can be made directly to Dorset Council, Mrs Beresford can advise you on this.

If you have a child with special educational needs and disability (SEND) and are considering requesting a needs assessment for an EHCP, then please contact Mrs Beresford who can advise you on the process of application. Initiating a request for a needs assessment can also be made by requesting directly from Dorset Council. If you wish to speak to the Dorset SEND Team, you can find their contact details here and you can email them at senteam@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk or telephone them on 01305 224895.

For independent support and advice please speak to SENDIASS, their contact details can be found at the bottom of this page. 


The Swanage School 
2023 SEND Information Report

This document, combined with the Special Educational Needs and Disability Policy, constitutes the School's local offer.

This report sets out information concerning The Swanage School's provision for students with SEND. The information is updated annually.

Further information relating to SEND at The Swanage School can be found in our SEND Policy & Accessibility Policy (which can be found on our policies page) and the 2014 SEN Code of Practice.

About our school

1. SEND Provision within the school

The Swanage School provides for students with a wide range of special educational needs, including those with:

  • Communication and Interaction needs – students who have speech, language and communication difficulties, and students with autistic spectrum conditions.
  • Cognition and Learning needs – students who have learning difficulties and specific learning difficulties, for example dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia.
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs (SEMH).
  • Sensory and/or Physical needs – students who have visual or hearing needs, or a physical disability that affects their learning.

The above four SEND categories are definitions of special educational need found in the 2014 Code of Practice.

2. How do we identify and assess students with SEND?

We link with our primary feeder schools prior to Year 6 transition time to ensure that information is shared. Our SENCO or a representative holds a meeting with every primary school SENCO and Year 6 teachers to discuss support and interventions that are already in place, which assessments have been completed, specific diagnoses, and on-going support. SEND files and records are sensitively shared in this way.

The SENCO, member of the SEN team or DSL will organise additional visits for pupils with SEND and vulnerable children who require additional support during the transition process. Parents/carers are welcome to make an appointment with our SENCO through email on the school website or by attending an open day or Year 6 open evening.

Students in Year 7 are screened for literacy difficulties and potential specific learning difficulties using Lexplore screening software. On-going, regular assessment by all teaching staff highlights any potential SEND concerns and these are referred to the SENCO. The School can diagnose dyslexia through our specialist HLTA, and teaching staff will refer pupils for assessment based on classroom observations and evidence of dyslexia traits within their learning. The school cannot diagnose other SEN conditions but can identify strategies to support those with potential SEN and refer to specialist assessments where support is not successful, as part of a graduated response.

All pupils with SEND are placed on the SEND register and have a Personal Education Plan (PEP) that includes all key information and strategies to support them.  These are shared with all teaching staff to ensure consistent support for individual pupils across their curriculum. Targets for pupils with an EHCP are monitored by the SENCO and reviewed as part of the annual review process. Targets for pupils designated as SEN Support are monitored through review meetings with parents when required, and meetings between pupils and the SEND Team.

External specialist advice is sought only where necessary, appropriate and required to identify, support and assess SEND. This is detailed in section 5.

3. The school’s provision for students with SEND, including those with and without Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans

We promote equality of opportunity through the Equality Act 2010 ensuring that SEND students have access to the curriculum and benefit from all that the school has to offer.

The Swanage School uses a graduated response. Teachers differentiate class work and teaching input as part of our universal provision of quality first teaching (QFT,) to ensure that tasks are accessible according to the needs of individuals. Teaching staff also apply the individual strategies specified on PEPs as part of our universal provision.

If increased support is required, SEND interventions (such as Mirodo, individual support or small group support) will be implemented as necessary. Where a high level of SEND support is required, some students will require an EHCP. An application for a needs assessment is usually requested when students are still struggling to make progress following a graduated response or have difficulties that require high level support from Dorset Council provisions. All EHCP requests go through an application process with Dorset Council.

Regular assessment of progress allows us to monitor students who experience difficulties to ensure the right support is provided and monitored.  The school evaluates the effectiveness of provision by rigorous monitoring of progress and teaching practice.

For some students, emotional, social and mental health support is needed. With this in mind, we have structures to provide children with the care and nurture they need. To promote positive friendships, we may use social interventions and peer-mentoring involving the whole class or Crew group. We offer guidance and support in friendship building, assertiveness and self-esteem. We also provide emotional literacy support (ELSA) and a counselling service. External referrals to specialist mental health support through Dorset MIND or Dorset Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) will be made together with parents/guardians and other professionals when necessary. 

The Swanage School has a choice of after-school clubs that are accessible to all students. The Swanage School operates in modern buildings and provides facilities accessible to all, both physically and educationally. Full details can be found in The Swanage School Accessibility Policy on the website.

School excursions are risk-assessed with particular attention to how students with SEND will respond to and access off-site learning experiences. Individual risk assessments are carried out for each situation in order to keep students safe and secure.

The Swanage School's Health and Safety Policy and Accessibility Policy (which can be found on our policies page) reflect the measures taken to adhere to SENDA (2001), which is fully compliant with the Equalities Act (2010).

4. Our SENCO

Mrs Marie Beresford
Contact telephone: 01929 500599
Contact email: marieberesford@theswanageschool.co.uk

5. What expertise can we offer?

The Swanage School staff offer:

  • Trained Teaching Assistants and Higher-level Teaching Assistants
  • Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA)
  • Qualified Counsellor
  • Forest School

Staff training includes:

  • Safeguarding
  • Autism training
  • Dyslexia training
  • Acquired Brain Injury training
  • Differentiation
  • Awareness of special needs
  • Strategies for supporting students with Specific Learning Difficulties

The Swanage School accesses expertise from:

  • Dorset Council provision
    • Educational Psychologists
    • SENSS (Special Educational Needs Specialist Service)
    • Behaviour Support Services
    • Social Services
    • Family Partnership Zone
  • Health and Care provision
    • CAMHs (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service)
    • Shadows (substance abuse advice and support)
    • Occupational Therapist
    • School Nurse
    • HVSS (Hearing and Visual Support Services)
    • SALT (Speech and Language Therapists)
    • Community Paediatricians
    • Art Therapist
  • External agencies
    • The Koru Project
    • Youth Workers

6. Equipment and facilities we use to support SEND students

Differentiated resources are provided by teachers and additional support materials recommended by the SENCO for subject and student-specific support. The SENCO and Headteacher make decisions on resourcing and training.

ICT provision in the school increases access and supports pupils with additional needs. Assistive technology may be appropriate for some children with SEND and is used across their curriculum. We aim to create inclusive classrooms that naturally incorporate a range of ICT to benefit all.

The school's design means that all areas are accessible to those with additional physical needs. It also has students with hearing impairment in mind. Flooring coverings and stoppered chairs help prevent excess noise and soundproof boards provide good acoustics.

7. Parental Involvement

Parents are encouraged to be fully involved in their child's education and are welcome to contact The Swanage School. We listen to parents/carers and use this information to ensure those working with a student understands their needs. Meetings can be formal or informal, and conversations by telephone, letter or email. Students and their parents are invited to have regular meetings with the SENCO and/or their Crew Leader to ensure that needs are being met wherever possible.

We promote parent partnerships to help parents/carers access a wider network of advice. This is detailed in section 10.

8. Involving and consulting SEND students in their own education

Provision is discussed with the student every step of the way and students are encouraged to express their views and make suggestions regarding their education. Those with an EHCP will be involved in target setting and the annual review, and all pupils with SEND meet with the SEND Team to discuss their PEP and needs.

9. Arrangements made by The Swanage School relating to the treatment of complaints from parents of SEND students concerning their provision

The Swanage School will endeavour to resolve all problems and complaints informally. Please contact us. In the event that this is not possible, parents may refer to our Complaints Policy and Procedures which can be found on the policies page of our website.

10. The involvement of other bodies, including health and social services, local authority support and voluntary organizations, in meeting the needs of students and in supporting their families

In addition to involving the expertise of professionals referred to in section 5, we also promote parent partnerships to offer a wider network of advice. We support and promote:

  • PAX Parent Forum
  • Incredible Years ADHD / Challenging behaviours
  • Strengthening Families programme
  • Living with Parents programme
  • Group Triple P
  • Dorset Parent Carer Council
  • The Xchange
  • SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (formerly Parent Partnership Service)

11. The contact details of support services for the parents of students with special educational needs, including those for arrangements made in accordance with section 32

We are happy to provide contact details for any of the above groups. The Department for Education has produced a helpful document entitled 'Special educational needs and disabilities, a guide for parents and carers'. This can be accessed online and includes the above-mentioned arrangements in accordance with section 32.

12. The school’s arrangements for supporting students with special educational needs in a transfer between phases of education or in preparation for adulthood and independent living

From year 9 all pupils will meet with our careers advisor to discuss their next steps. Pupils with an EHCP will discuss next steps as part of the annual review process and pupils on SEN Support can discuss their next steps with the SEND Team. Pupils with an EHCP in year 11 will have their annual review within the first term to plan their transition. If required, SEND staff will accompany pupils to visit their chosen Key Stage 5 provision if they require additional transition support.

If a student with SEND is transferring to another school, the SENCO will liaise with the next school to ensure that the student’s information is shared so that support can be maintained.

13. Our local offer

This information, combined with our SEND Policy (policies) constitutes our local offer

SEND - More Information

For more information regarding Special Educational Needs and Disability, please see the SEND and Accessibility Policies on our policies page or contact our SENCO (contact details above) for a chat.


Dorset Special Educational Needs Information, Advice & Support Service (SENDIASS) may also be a useful source for help and advice. SENDIASS can be contacted on:

Email: dorset.sendiass@family-action.org.uk
Telephone: 01305 595477
Website: www.dorsetsendiass.co.uk