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Carmountside Primary Academy

Carmountside Primary Academy serves Abbey Hulton and the wider community, ensuring that all it's children are given as many chances in life as possible through a broad education focused on academic success, excellence in term of care and welfare, and ensuring talents and achievements are recognised whatever they may be.

Who to contact

Contact Name
Mrs J Cowden
Contact Position
Assistant Head responsible for Inclusion and Safeguarding
01782 234676
Secondary E-mail

Where to go

Woodhead Road
Abbey Hulton
Stoke on Trent
Local Offer

Local Offer

Contact Name
Mrs Joanne Cowden
Contact Telephone
01782 234676
Contact Email
Secondary Contact Email
Local Offer Age Bands
0-4 years
4-11 years

Schools Extended Local Offer Response 

What kinds of SEND does the school provide for?

The Special Educational Needs ‘Code of Practice’ 2014 (revised 2015) states that there are four main areas of need. These are as follows:

  • Cognition and Learning
  • Communication and Interaction
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health
  • Sensory and/or Physical 
  • The school provides for a range of needs within these areas.   Some pupils may have needs in more than one area and needs can change over time.

Carmountside Primary Academy will have regard to the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice 2014 (revised 2015) when carrying out its duties toward children with special educational needs and/or disabilities, and will ensure that parents are notified if SEND provision is considered necessary for their child. This is because the Academy recognises that partnership with parents is important in enabling children and young people with SEND to achieve their potential and that parents have knowledge and experience to contribute to the shared view of their child’s needs and the best ways of supporting them. All parents of children with special educational needs and/or disabilities will therefore be treated as partners and supported to play an active and valued role in their child’s education.

Carmountside Primary Academy has a small parent working group for SEND which meet 3 times a year to discuss practice, procedures and Parent Voice.

We welcome any parents that want to join the group to contact Mrs J Cowden or Mrs J Degg for further information.

How does this setting know if their children/young person needs extra help and what should I do if I think my child/young person may have special educational needs?

We know when pupils need help if:

  • concerns are raised by parents/carers, teachers or the child
  • limited progress is being made
  • assessments by the SENCo or other educational professionals
  • there is a change in the pupil’s behaviour or progress
  • medical diagnosis            

What should I do if I think my child may have Special Educational Needs?

  • The class teacher is the initial point of contact for responding to parental concerns
  • If you have concerns then contact Mrs Cowden who is the SENCO.
How will the setting support my child/young person?

We use a graduated response for supporting children. This begins with good quality teaching. Phonics is taught from Foundation Stage upwards and regularly assessed to ensure that progress in reading is as rapid as possible. Additional one to one support is given to those children who need it.

Those who need additional support in other areas may complete an intervention programme in a small group, which will usually be for 10-12 weeks. Some pupils who need intensive support may have one to one/small group support for part of the curriculum. Any advice given by professionals will be integrated into the curriculum. Teaching Support Assistants (TAs) support children’s learning including those with special educational needs or disabilities and those learning English as an additional language. Where additional needs have been identified, the Academy is able to access a range of outside agencies to support children.


How will teaching approaches and the curriculum be matched to my child or young person's needs?

Our aim is to provide a curriculum that is relevant and broad and helps children to become as functionally literate, numerate, communicative and as independent as possible in an environment that promotes positive learning experiences.

Teachers plan based on children’s needs against age related expectations, adapting and scaffolding work to closely match children’s ability and learning needs. When a pupil has been identified with special needs their work will be further differentiated by the class teacher to support removing individual barriers to learning and enable them to access the curriculum more easily. In addition to this, they will be provided with further support that may include specialised equipment or resources, ICT and/or additional adult help such as pre-teaching new vocabulary/concepts.

  1. Targeted small group work: Alongside Quality First Teaching, this group work, often called intervention group work, may be:
  • Delivered in the classroom or outside in a quiet area.
  • Delivered by a teacher or most often a Learning Support Assistant who has had training to deliver this type of intervention learning.
  1. School based Special Educational Needs support (which means your child has been identified by the class teacher as needing some extra support in school in addition to intervention group work)

For your child this would mean:

  • Your child will have a Personalised Development Plan.
  • He/ She will engage in individual work and/or group sessions with specific targets to help him/her to make more progress. Supported by the Teacher or Teaching Assistant.
  • This type of support is available for any child who has specific gaps in their understanding of a subject/area of learning.
  1. Specialist SEN support (which means that your child has been identified by the class teacher/SENCo as needing some extra specialist support in school from a professional outside of the school. This may be from:
  • Local Authority central services such as the ASD Outreach Team or Sensory Service ( for students with a hearing or visual need)
  • Outside agencies such as the Speech and Language therapy Service or the Early Years Speech and Language Therapy Service (SALT or EYSLES).

For your child this would mean:

  • Your child will have been identified by the class teacher/SENCo (or you will have raised your concerns) as needing more specialist input instead of, or in addition to, quality first teaching, School based provision and intervention groups.
  • You will be asked to come to a meeting to discuss your child’s progress and help plan possible ways forward to aid their progress.
  • You may be asked to give your permission for the school to refer your child to a specialist professional e.g. a Speech and Language Therapist or Educational Psychologist. This will help the school and yourself understand your child’s particular needs better and be able to support them better in school.
  • The specialist professional will work with your child to understand their needs and make recommendations, which may include:
    • Making changes to the way your child is supported in class e.g some individual support or changing some aspects of teaching to support them better
    • Support to set better targets which will include their specific expertise
    • A group delivered by school staff under the guidance of the outside professional e.g. a social skills group
    • A piece of group or individual work with an outside professional
  • The school may suggest that your child needs some individual support in school. School will discuss with you how the support will be used and what strategies will be put in place.
  1. Support provided through an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).
  2. This means that your child will have been identified by the class teacher/SENCo/specialist professional as needing a particularly high level of individual or small group teaching (more than 20 hours a week), which cannot be provided from the budget available to the school. This type of support is available for children whose learning needs are severe, complex and lifelong.

Usually your child will also need specialist support in school from a professional outside of the school. This may be from:

  • Local Authority central services such as the ASD Outreach Team or Sensory Service ( for students with a hearing or visual need)
  • Access to Outreach/alternative provision to support behaviour management
  • Outside agencies such as the Speech and Language therapy (SALT) Service.
  • Paediatrician

For your child this would mean:

  • The school (or you) can request that the Local Authority carry out a statutory assessment of your child’s needs. This is a legal process which sets out the support that will be provided for your child.
  • After the school have sent in the request to the Local Authority (with a lot of information about your child), they will decide whether they think your child’s needs, seem complex enough to require a statutory assessment. If this is the case they will ask you and all professionals involved with your child to write a report outlining your child’s needs. If they do not think your child needs this, they will ask the school to continue with the support currently offered.
  • After theses reports have been submitted, the Local Authority will decide if your child’s needs and support offer requires an EHCP.  If this is not the case, they will ask the school to continue with the support at school based/specialist level where monitoring of progress will continue, ensuring your child makes as much progress as possible.
  • An EHC Plan will clearly specify a child’s special educational needs, desired outcomes for the child in question, and the special educational provision to help the child achieve those goals.
  • An additional adult may be used to support your child with whole class learning, deliver individual programmes or carry out small groups including your child.
  • A specialist teacher may be employed to work with your child if recommended in the EHC Plan.
  • This type of support is available for children whose learning needs are severe, complex and lifelong and require more than 20 hours of support in school.
How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will you help me to support their learning?

You will be able to discuss your child’s progress at Parents’ Evenings, termly SEND support review meetings or annual reviews.

Your child’s class teacher will be available at the end of each day if you wish to raise a concern. Appointments can be made to speak in more detail to the class teacher and/or SENCo by visiting the school office.

How will you help me to support my child’s learning?

  • The class teacher is regularly available to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns you may have and to share information about what is working well at home and school so similar strategies can be used.
  • The SENCo is available to meet with you to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns/worries you may have.
  • All information from outside professionals will be discussed with you with the person involved directly, or where this is not possible, in a report. Programmes of study are normally provided that can be used at home for you to continue the support your child needs.
  • PDP’s will be reviewed with your involvement and will include pupil feedback each term.
  • Homework will be adjusted as needed to your child’s individual needs.
What support will there be for my child's/young person's overall wellbeing?

Carmountside has a nurturing ethos, we want to develop the wellbeing of all of our children so that they are happy, well rounded individuals who have a love of learning through which they can achieve and progress.

The school offers a wide variety of pastoral support for pupils who are encountering emotional difficulties. It is important that all children have a sense of belonging and feels safe, develop strong relationships with others, enjoy, respect, believe and achieve. This is done through a variety of ways, such as:

Pastoral Support

Pupils at the school are supported in many ways. Mrs Degg is our family support coordinator as well as having a team of Teaching Assistants who are on hand to deliver small group or 1:1 interventions aimed at developing social skills, emotional well-being, confidence, attention and listening, language, anger management and self-esteem which is all co-ordinated by our SENCo Mrs Cowden. These sessions take place throughout the day on either a timetabled basis or as is required following an incident. Our Family Support Coordinator also works closely with pupils and their families to provide appropriate support.

Behaviour support

The School uses a wide range of rewards to engage pupils including; regular praise from staff, stickers, certificates, Dojo’s. It is hoped that through consistent routines and clear expectations of behaviour that all pupils will make the right choices.

A range of strategies are in place to support pupils who are struggling with their behaviour. Class teachers will liaise regularly with parents to discuss triggers and possible interventions that may be needed. Pupils may have individualised targets set for behaviour which are linked to rewards that can be earned. Pupils who are refusing to follow instructions and who are making poor choices may be given time out in order for them to calm down. This is where a child may need to spend time in a different classroom/environment with work set by their own class teacher.

Pupils with medical needs

  • If a pupil has a medical need then a referral will need to be made to the school nurse hub to support us in implementing a care plan in consultation with parents/carers. This is then discussed with all staff who are involved with the pupil.
  • Staff receive appropriate training.
  • All medicine administration procedures adhere to the LA policy and the DfE guidelines included within Statutory. Guidance on supporting pupils at school with medical conditions. Where necessary and in agreement with parents/carers medicines are administered in school, but only where a signed medicine consent form is in place to ensure the safety of both child and staff member.

Members of staff such as the class teacher, Family Support and SENCO are readily available for pupils who wish to discuss issues and concerns.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting?

At times it may be necessary to consult with outside agencies to receive their more specialised expertise.        

The agencies used by the school include:

  • Children and Young People’s Services
  • Educational Psychologist
  • Educational Mental Health Practitioners/CAMHS (Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service)
  • EWO (Educational Welfare Officers)
  • Physical & Sensory Service to support pupils with hearing/visual Impairment
  • Special Educational Needs and Disability Service (SEND)
  • Children’s Therapy Team (Speech & Language/Occupational Therapy)
  • School Health Hub (Health Visitors/Nurses)
  • Early Years Forum.

School can contact the Local Authority Educational Psychologist service for advice. School work with a SEND advisor who may advise that your child, needs to be assessed by a specialist advisor within the local authority. 

What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND have had or are having?

The staff at the school have training opportunities to support their work with pupils with special educational needs. The training offered takes full account of the many and varied needs of the pupils we teach. Additional training for specific needs can be accessed from the local authority SEND service.

These have included sessions on:

  • How to support pupils who are on the autistic spectrum.
  • How to support pupils who have dyslexia or dyslexic tendencies.
  • How to support pupils with social and emotional needs.
  • How to support pupils with speech and language difficulties.
  • How to support pupils with physical and co-ordination needs.
  • Supporting behaviours that challenge
  • Being an effective LSA for children with SEND.

Mrs Cowden is an experienced SENCo and regularly completes many awareness and training sessions to continue to develop her knowledge and skills with SEND.

How will my child/young person be included in activities outside this classroom including school trips?

It is the aim of the School that all pupils will have opportunity to access a full range of activities both in and outside of school, including school visits. Where difficulties may arise in this, the School staff will liaise with parents to minimise issues and to reduce risks. We will always aim to make reasonable adjustments to ensure all pupils can fully participate.

Activities and school trips are available to all.

  • Risk assessments are carried out and procedures are put in place to enable all children to participate.
  • Appropriate staffing ratios to meet identified barriers.
  • However, if it is deemed that an intensive level of 1:1 support is required a parent or carer may be asked to accompany their child during the activity.
How accessible is the environment?

As a school we are happy to discuss individual access requirements.              

Facilities we have at present include:

  • Ramps into school to make the building accessible to all.
  • A toilet for disabled users.
  • Portable ramp to gain access into all room where necessary within the school.
  • Access to curriculum.
How will the setting prepare and support my child/young person to join the next stage of education and life?

We recognise that transitions can be difficult for a child with SEND and take steps to ensure that any transition is as smooth as possible.

If your child is joining our school:

  1. We will contact the previous school/setting to discuss your child and any special arrangements or support that they were receiving.
  2. We will obtain all records about your child and request they are transferred as soon as possible.
  3. Transition visits can be arranged if appropriate with feeder school.

On starting the Nursery class, Carmountside staff make home visits during the Summer Term before they start in September. This allows for positive transition work including discussions with parents and organising visits to our setting.

  • If your child is moving to another school:
    • We will contact the school SENCo and ensure he/she knows about any special arrangements or support that has been made for your child.
    • We will make sure that all records about your child are passed on as soon as possible.
  • When moving classes in school:
    • Information will be passed on to the new class teacher IN ADVANCE and in most cases, a planning meeting will take place with the new teacher. All PDP’s will be shared with the new teacher/Support Staff.
    • Transition mornings take place from Easter where the children will visit and work with the staff, share work and build relationships before the new academic year. Those pupils with additional needs will be able to access greater level of transition as best meets their needs.
  • In Year 6:
    • The SENCo and a member of staff from the year 6 class will meet with high school staff,  to discuss the specific needs of your child.
    • Your child will take part in focused learning about aspects of transition to support their understanding of the changes ahead.
    • Where possible your child will visit their new school on several occasions and in some cases staff from the new school will visit your child at Carmountside Primary Academy. Regular visits and meetings are planned into the curriculum time to enable pupils to experience their new school/staff and to get to grips with some of the big changes that face them.
How are the setting's resources allocated and matched to children's/young people's special educational needs?
  • The school budget, received from the Education Funding Agency (EFA), includes money for supporting children with SEND. The SEN budget is allocated each financial year, allowing us to provide Learning Support Staff for each class.
  • The Head Teacher and Governors decide annually the budget for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities on the basis of needs in the school or additional support and resources dependant on an individual’s needs. This includes ICT resources, additional staff and any other equipment.
  • The Head Teacher and the SENCo discuss all the information they have about SEND in the school, including:
    • the children getting extra support already
    • the children needing extra support
    • the children who have been identified as not making as much progress as would be expected
    • And decide what resources/training and support is needed.
  • All resources/training and support are reviewed regularly and changes made as needed.
  • If the school have used all the resources available to them, then they will consider making an application to the LA for receiving additional funding through a request for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) for your child.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?

These decisions are made in consultation with class teacher, SENCo, Headteacher and a discussion is held with parents. 

Decisions are based upon termly tracking of pupil progress and participation in class. These decisions can also be made as a result of assessments by outside agencies.

During their school life, if further concerns are identified due to the pupil’s lack of progress or well-being then other interventions will be arranged and parents will be informed.

How will our child and young person be involved in the decisions about their learning?

Children where appropriate will be asked by staff in school to discuss:

  • What they like and are good at
  • Things that are important to them
  • What they feel helps them to learn 
  • What they find hard

During the school year, child questionnaire will be completed and the child's voice will also be capture each time the PDP is reviewed.


How will we be involved in the decisions about the learning of our children and young people?

Involving parents and learners in the dialogue is central to our approach.

  • Parents/Carers of children with identified special educational needs are encouraged to contribute to PDP's. They will be able to discuss the support their child is receiving via a review which will be held three times a year.
  • Structured conversations are held and parents’ views are sought through the annual Review Process for pupils with EHC plans.
  • Parents are also invited to meet with professionals from outside agencies.

We consider the views of our parents / carers and children with the highest regard. We pride ourselves on building positive relationships with parents. We are open and honest with parents and hope that they are able to do the same with us.

How are parents involved in the setting? How can I be involved?

All parents are encouraged to contribute to their child’s education and we have an open door policy, where they can;

• discussions with the class teacher

• during parents evenings (2 times a year)

• during discussions with other member of the school community or professionals.

• PDP’s will be reviewed with your involvement each term with Mrs Cowden/Mrs Degg. Parents are encouraged to comment on their child’s PDP with possible suggestions that could be incorporated.

Carmountside Primary Academy has an ‘Open Door Policy’ and parents are welcome to speak to staff at a mutually agreed time, either face to face or by telephone. Regular newsletters are sent out to parents/carers. Parents’ evenings are held twice a year and there is an annual report on your child’s achievement. Parents are invited to attend class showcases to share their children’s learning

What do I I do if I want to make a complaint?

The initial point of contact is the child’s class teacher.

  • If concerns cannot be dealt with by the class teacher.
  • If you are not satisfied with the response from the class teacher then you can ask for an appointment with the SENCO – Mrs J Cowden or Mrs J Degg (Family Support)
  • If you still feel that your concerns have not been addressed, then you can make an appointment the Head Teacher Mrs L Challinor.
  • If any person feels that their complaint has not been dealt with adequately by the staff, they are able to write a letter of complaint to the Chair of Governors.
What other support Is available to parents and how can I contact them?

SEND information advice and support services is a service which provides free, accurate , impartial confidential, information, advice and support relating to Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) for parents/Carers, children and young people aged 0-25 years.

The Crescent Children’s Centre
Pinewood Crescent
Stoke on Trent
Telephone 01782 234701


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