SEND and Inclusion

Layston First School’s SEND Information Report 2021-22

School vision & culture

A warm welcome to Layston C of E First School from Susie Betley, SENDCo, deputy head and Mental Health Lead. We currently have 148 pupils on roll (150 PAN) with 12.8% of pupils with SEND which is just below the national average. We have 4 pupils with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs). Pupils on our SEND register may have moderate learning difficulties, specific learning difficulties (dyslexia, dyscalculia or dyspraxia), autism, ADHD, speech and language difficulties or social and emotional difficulties, or a combination of these.
What is our school vision for pupils with SEND?Layston First School is inclusive and nurturing. We believe that every pupil has individual and unique strengths and needs, and should aspire to ‘shine’. We want all our children to be safe, happy, independent, ambitious, healthy and resilient. However, some pupils require more support than others to access the curriculum and achieve this. We acknowledge that a proportion of pupils will have special educational needs (SEN) at some time in their school career. To help these pupils to achieve their full potential, we plan strategically to provide them with the best possible education, identifying needs, outcomes and provision. At Layston we support pupils to find strategies for dealing with their difficulties in a supportive environment and give them meaningful access to the National Curriculum (NC) by breaking down barriers to learning.
Identification & AssessmentHow do we identify pupils with SEND?In line with the SEN Code of Practice (2014) Layston deem a pupil to have Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) if their needs are ‘significantly different & more specialised than the majority of their peers’. For some pupils this will be the case for a short time, for others this may be true for the whole of their education. Annual planning meetings are held between myself as Special Educational Needs & Disabilities Co-ordinator and the Educational Psychologist as well as the local Specific Learning Difficulties Base, Speech and Language Therapist, and other outreach services. There are then regular follow up meetings throughout the year between myself and these agencies for strategic planning. Parents are always involved in conversations about their child. 

What should I do if I think my child has SEND or I am concerned?-Come and talk to us! We work in partnership with parents and are always happy to talk to and reassure you. All teachers are teachers of pupils with SEND. Therefore, your first port of call should always be your child’s class teacher. Ask to speak to them at a convenient time either by phoning the school office or when you see them at school. They will be able to listen to your concerns and give you an overview of how your child is getting on in class. If there are continued concerns I will become involved in the meetings and we can talk together about the best way forward. We are interested in your child’s views as well and welcome them to join in at least part of the meeting where appropriate.-If a pupil joins us already with the involvement of external professionals such as Speech & Language Therapy, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Specific Learning Difficulties Base etc. this will continue and we will liaise with the previous setting (school or nursery) you, your child and the relevant professionals to provide the best possible support.-If a pupil begins to shows that they have a specific difficulty with an area of learning and development that means their needs are significantly different & more specialised than the majority of their peers we will talk to you and your child to discuss ways of better supporting them, which may involve asking for an external professional’s advice.-If a pupil continues to struggle to make progress despite high quality teaching and support in school we will talk to you and your child. An assessment may then be made by the relevant external professional, through myself & with your consent.

How do we assess pupils with SEND?-All pupils in school are assessed informally on a daily basis against lesson objectives.-At least every half term all pupils in school are more formally assessed and the results analysed by class teachers with myself & the Head to inform future planning & support.-Pupils with SEND have SEND Planning Sheets. These contain small focused targets and strategies that are designed to remove barriers to learning and move your child’s learning forwards. I meet at least termly with the teachers to discuss your child’s progress and any useful strategies that may have been recommended by external professionals involved. These are then agreed with you and your child. You are a partner in this process and we welcome your opinions as well as your child’s so any changes to targets or strategies can be made.-We use a range of strategies to assess and support your child depending upon their needs.-Pupils receiving additional interventions will be assessed weekly or fortnightly, with Teaching Assistants and class teachers liaising closely on planning and delivery.-If specialist assessments are required I will refer your child, with your consent, to the relevant external professionals.-I meet termly with the SEND governor, as well as the Head Teacher to look at how we can be most effective in supporting pupils with SEND.-I am also the Mental Health Lead. Should you have any concerns about your child’s mental health, including anxiety and depression, please contact your child’s teacher and ask for a meeting with me.
Please see SEND policy for further information.
Parental Engagement

We are committed to working alongside parents and pupils to deliver the best quality education for your child.

How do we involve parents & how will I know how my child is doing?-Termly parents’ consultation meetings/annual report;-Invite you to parent chats & forums to involve you in moving school practice forward (risk assessments will ensure this is Covid-19 compliant and if not may be done remotely);-Have an ‘open door’ policy where you are regularly invited in for special events, opportunities to work alongside your child in class, informal chats, and opportunities to support reading in school (risk assessments will ensure this is Covid-19 compliant and if not may be done remotely);-Have an ‘open door’ policy should you want to meet with your child’s class teacher or other member of staff. Just phone the office or speak to the class teacher personally to arrange a convenient time;-Target set and review SEND targets alongside you and your child;-Provide home/school communication books where needed.-Have a Parental Engagement section on the school website on how best you can support your child’s learning journey.

Who can I contact for further information?-The school’s office number is 01763 271 235 if you wish to make an appointment with a member of staff, either myself or the class teacher.-The Hertfordshire Grid for Learning ( will also direct you to more information about Hertfordshire schools.-For support with mental health issues visit the website.-See also list below of useful contacts.
Tracking & Reviewing Progress
We offer:-Parents evenings in the autumn and spring terms, followed by an annual report on progress with another opportunity for you to speak to your child’s teacher if you wish in the summer term.-The SENDCo and head teacher analyse data on pupil progress termly to review and develop support and ensure all pupils are making expected progress.-Termly meetings between you and your child’s teacher regarding your child’s SEND targets.-An ‘open door’ policy to support partnership with parents.-Home/School communication books as needed.
Provision – support & interventions

What kind of support can parents expect for pupils with SEND?-We aim to keep pupils in the classroom to benefit from high quality teaching as much as possible. To enable this to happen we use Teaching Assistants (TAs) to support class teachers in developing your child’s independence. We support and scaffold learning, which means providing learning tasks that are personalised to your child’s needs so they can access it with increasing independence. We provide visual prompts, concrete resources, whiteboards and pens, writing frames, computer programmes, peer support, outdoor experiences and a creative curriculum.-We use the graduated approach of ‘assess – plan – do – review’ to constantly monitor the success of the strategies we are trying.-Where appropriate, small group or one to one work with a teacher or experienced TA can be offered.-Makaton signing is used across the school, in all collective worship and in classrooms as needed.-There is some flexibility of classroom layout and providing quieter areas for learning for pupils on the autistic spectrum or with other sensory needs.-iPads and Chrome books are used to support learning.-There are opportunities for outdoor learning across the curriculum through our Forest School wildwood sessions, sensory garden and enhanced outdoor learning areas.-Learning Partners & Buddies and are employed across the school.-We have a Breakfast & After School Club (subject to spaces & payment of a fee) run by Buntings Nursery.-We try and accommodate your child’s needs when on school trips too and can be flexible with the Year 4 summer residential trip.-We have a disabled toilet on site.-We can offer therapeutic sand play as well as Lego Therapy.

What specialist services do the school have access to?-Educational Psychologists-Speech & Language Therapist-Specific Learning Difficulties Base providing support, advice and resources-School Nurse-Nurture support

What training have staff had?-All staff are regularly trained in safeguarding and therapeutic responses to behaviour (STEPS).-Teachers and TAs regularly have training from the SpLD Base on supporting children with maths and literacy difficulties.-All teachers are trained to show children how to use a variety of concrete maths resources.-Mrs Betley has an Advanced Diploma in Special Education Needs from Cambridge University and is a Mental Health First Aider and has level 2 in Protective Behaviours and Mental Health;-Mrs Betley is trained to use the Wellcomm Screening and Intervention for speech and language.-All staff are first aid trained and key EYFS staff are also paediatric first aiders.-All teachers have Level 1 Mental Health training.-Autism Education Trust (AET) level 1 training is planned for all staff this year.
Medical Conditions & Individual Health Care Plans
What can the school offer my child with a medical condition?Please see the following policies: ‘Support for pupils who cannot attend school for medical reasons’ and ‘Positive Mental Health & Well-being’.All staff are trained in managing asthma and supporting pupils in administering their inhalers. Staff are also trained in using epinephrine/adrenaline autoinjectors (e.g. Epipens) to treat anaphylaxis. We are a nut free school. All children with inhalers and epinephrine/adrenaline autoinjectors must have Individual Health Care Plans (IHCP) written by the parent and kept in the office and with the child’s medication.We have had staff who have been trained in supporting children who are diabetic and require insulin. This training is bespoke to the child concerned and can be arranged with the child’s diabetes nurse when needed. Again an IHCP is essential.We understand that some children also suffer with chronic eczema and they are allowed to bring in named and labelled soap/cream to help reduce the irritation, which is kept by the sink in their classroom.If your child needs personal care we will meet with you to discuss the most appropriate way to manage this so that both you and your child are happy.
If your child has ANY ALLERGIES it is ESSENTIAL that school are informed IMMEDIATELY. Please contact the school, office 01763 271235.

What about my child’s mental health & well-being? Please visit the Positive Mental Health & Well-being section of our website (under Parents) for ideas to support your child and yourself, links to relevant websites and agencies and strategies to try. If you or your child are struggling please do come and speak to us. We can refer your child for mental health support if necessary. 

How will you support my child with their behaviour?If your child has difficulty managing their behaviour and self-regualting, we offer a therapeutic and nurturing response within the context of clear boundaries. All behaviour is seen as communication. This is in line with Hertfordshire’s preferred behaviour response using the STEP On programme. Should it be necessary individual behaviour plans can be put in place. We will work closely with you, and sometimes external professionals, to identify triggers and points of heightened anxiety. We will provide safe spaces, rewards, clear steps and therapeutic consequences, where they well learn pro-social responses and the strategies and language to manage their emotions. 
Please see Behaviour and Discipline policy
AccessibilityThe school is built on various levels so there are steps around the whole school, both inside and out. This currently makes it unsuitable for pupils who use wheelchairs. However, all stairs have handrails. We review our Accessibility Plan every 3 years in order for us to become as inclusive as possible.Please refer to our Accessibility Plan.
We have a disabled toilet and ramps to some doors.
Admissions & transitions
All admissions are made through county.
We recognise transition as significant in the lives of children and provide many ways to prepare them to move smoothly and confidently. There are close links between all the feeder schools in the area. Our Head of Early Years (& SENDCo if needed) visit local nursery settings for pupils who will be joining the school in Reception and the SENDCo and Year 4 teacher liaise closely with Edwinstree and Ralph Sadleir, our local middle schools. We will also liaise with schools out of the geographical area by phone and/or email to ensure all relevant information is passed on.Transition videos from each class teacher are posted on Tapestry (YR) and the school website (Y1-4) for children to watch and discuss with their parents. Individual; social stories can also be created for those who are especially anxious.
Useful Contacts:Support and information groups for parents of children with SEND 

Impartial Advice and Support Service 

Speech & Language Advice Line: 01992 823093

Educational Psychology Service Contact Line: 01992 588574

Well-Being Service for Parents – Single Point of Access Team: 0300 7770707
Related policies available on our website:(Statutory Information – Policies)
Child protection & safeguardingYES
Behaviour & disciplineYES
Equality & diversityYES
Accessibility PlanYES
Spiritual, Moral, Social & Cultural YES
Mental health & well-being YES
Support for pupils who cannot attend school for medical reasonsYES

Click the links below to download:

Herts for Learning – SEND Toolkit



-Reasonable endeavours leaflet:

External Service Offers:

Speech & Language: