Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND)

SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) provision refers to the range of support and services provided to students with special educational needs and disabilities.

The aim is to ensure that every student, regardless of their individual challenges, has equal access to education and can reach their full potential.

The main areas within SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) are: 

Cognition and Learning 

This area includes difficulties with understanding, processing, and retaining information. It encompasses a range of conditions such as specific learning difficulties (e.g., dyslexia, dyscalculia) and general learning difficulties.

Students with cognition and learning needs may struggle with tasks such as reading, writing, memory, and organisational skills.

Communication and Interaction

Communication and interaction needs involve challenges in verbal and non-verbal communication, as well as social interaction skills. This area includes conditions such as speech and language disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and social communication difficulties.

Students with communication and interaction needs may have difficulty expressing themselves, understanding others, engaging in social interactions, or interpreting social cues. They may also encounter difficulties with changes to routine.

Social, Emotional, and Mental Health 

This area encompasses a wide range of emotional and behavioural difficulties that can impact a student's ability to learn and engage in school life. It includes conditions such as anxiety disorders, depression, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), conduct disorders, and attachment disorders.

Students with social, emotional, and mental health needs may exhibit behaviours such as aggression, withdrawal, defiance, emotional outbursts, or difficulties in forming relationships.

Sensory and Physical Needs 

Sensory and physical needs refer to difficulties related to the senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell) or physical disabilities that affect mobility and coordination. This includes conditions such as visual impairment, hearing impairment, physical disabilities, and sensory processing disorders.

Students with sensory and physical needs may require adaptations to the learning environment, specialised equipment, or support from professionals such as mobility instructors or occupational therapists.

Each of these areas represents a unique set of challenges that require tailored support and interventions to enable students to access education and achieve their full potential. Effective SEND provision involves identifying and understanding the specific needs of each student within these areas and providing appropriate support, accommodations, and interventions to facilitate their learning and well-being.

It is important to note that a student may have one or more of these areas of need.

Westside boasts of a comprehensive Support Centre, offering 14 different support and intervention pathways to meet the needs of each and every pupil.

Support Centre.pdf

Support Centre

In order to ensure that students with SEND are fully supported, we have the following key components of SEND provision:

Identification and Assessment: Students with SEND are identified through various means, including teacher observations, assessments, and collaboration with parents. Once identified, students undergo thorough assessments to determine their specific needs and the level of support required (whether this be support with their learning in the classroom, support for exams or pastoral support).

Specialist Support Staff: We have dedicated SEND staff, such as special education teachers, SNLSAs (special needs learning support assistants), and other specialists. These professionals work closely with students, providing targeted interventions and support both inside and outside the classroom.

Adapted Curriculum: Inclusive education involves modifying the curriculum to meet the diverse needs of students. This may include providing additional resources, using different teaching methods, or offering support to ensure that all students can engage with and understand the material. Some students may require support within the LSF, ALC or other intervention programmes that the Learner Support Centre has to offer.

Accessible Facilities: We have facilities that cater to students with mobility issues or other physical disabilities, ensuring that they can move around the school and participate in all activities.

Collaboration with Parents and External Agencies: Effective communication between schools, parents, and external agencies is vital for supporting students with SEND. Regular meetings, progress updates, and collaboration with healthcare professionals or educational psychologists contribute to a holistic approach to student support.

Inclusive Practices: Promoting an inclusive culture within the school helps create a supportive environment for all students. This involves fostering understanding, empathy, and acceptance among the entire school community.

Transition Support: We work to ensure smooth transition for students with SEND, especially during key phases such as moving from upper primary or to the College Of Further Education. This may involve additional support, visits, and transition meetings between schools.

In summary, SEND provision is a comprehensive framework designed to address the unique needs of students with special educational needs and disabilities, fostering an inclusive and supportive learning environment for all.

As the SEND Code of Practice states, every teacher is a teacher of SEN.

Therefore, we work closely with other members of staff in order to ensure that barriers to learning are removed so that students can access the curriculum and fulfill their potential.

At Westside  School, we have a holistic view of education.  We foster a learning to learn approach which gives students the tools they need to learn at school and to help them to thrive in life beyond school.

Teresa Crosskey


Claire Borrell

Assistant SENco