Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs)

If you have a child with an EHCP and wish to discuss support or want to make changes to the EHCP 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 SEND and are considering an application for an EHCP then please also contact Mrs Beresford who can advise you on the process of applying for an EHCP. Initiating applications for an EHCP can be made through speaking to Mrs Beresford or by requesting directly from Dorset Council. If you wish to speak to the Dorset SEN 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 
2021 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 special educational needs and disabilities (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, slower processing 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.
  • 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 what support and interventions are already in place and what assessments may have already been carried out. SEND files and records are sensitively shared in this way.

The SENCO, member of the SEN team or DSL also organises additional visits for SEND and vulnerable children who appreciate another look round and to ask further questions in a smaller group. 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 are tested for spelling and reading age as and when required. This helps to further identify students who may require extra support, alongside information provided by the school which the student is leaving.

Students in Year 7 are screened for literacy difficulties and potential specific learning difficulties using Lexplore screening software.

Students already at The Swanage School may be identified as having possible SEN needs by parents or staff. The School cannot diagnose SEN 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. When possible SEN is identified a plan and review process will be put in place and the graduated response will begin.

Once a student’s SEND have been identified they are categorized by tiers (QFT, SEN or EHCP) and placed on the SEND register if they are SEN and require a specific SEN intervention or if  they have an EHCP. If needed, the school produces a Pupil Information Map (PIM) for any student that is SEN or EHCP that includes all key information and strategies to support them and information for TSS teaching staff to make sure that needs are highlighted.

External specialist advice is sought only where necessary and appropriate 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.

Once a student’s SEND have been identified they are placed on the SEND register (if deemed to need a SEN intervention) and tracked accordingly. The SENCO provides information for teaching staff to ensure that needs are highlighted across subject areas. Students with a statement or EHCP are monitored according to the annual review process and have a high level of SEN support.

Where required, some SEND students have a PIM detailing the specific provision necessary to ensure their inclusion. 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 to assessment of SEND. Teachers differentiate class work and teacher appropriately (Quality First Teacher) so that tasks are accessible according to the needs of individuals. If increased support is required SEN interventions (such as Lexia) can be put in place resulting in further differentiation plus teaching assistants or external professionals providing small group interventions, boosters and individual support. Where a high level of SEN support is required, some students will have an EHCP. This is usually where, after a graduated response, students are still struggling to make progress or have other difficulties that require high need support from Dorset Council provisions. All students with EHCPs have provisions that are specific to the needs on their EHCPs. All EHCPs go through an application process with Dorset Council.

Regular assessment of progress allows us to monitor students who experience difficulties so that the right support can be provided and updated. The school evaluates the effectiveness of provision by monitoring 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 house group. We offer guidance and support in friendship building, assertiveness and self-esteem. We also provide emotional literacy support (ELSA) and a counselling service. The expertise of Dorset Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) may be used.

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 SEND students 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
  • 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. This includes use of tablets and i-desks.  Where possible, assistive technology may be appropriate for some children with SEND. For example voice-activated programs may be used for pupils with dyslexia or hearing impairments. Children with dyslexia or dyspraxia may benefit from learning touch-typing and using ICT to correct spelling and to aid better presentation of work. 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 tutor to ensure that provision is being made and needs are being met.

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 a statement or EHCP will be involved in target setting and the annual review.

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.

At The Swanage School all Year 10 students participate in a work experience programme which involves either a work-based placement or a week of life skills and vocational activities. At their annual review students in year 9 or above with an Education Health Care Plan (EHC) meet with the Ansbury advisor. In years 9 and above the school may arrange an appointment with an Ansbury careers advisor where they meet Ansbury's criteria for support.

If a SEND student 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