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SEN Specialist Expertise

SENCO and SEN Staff


Our SENCO is Miss Alison Luke.

She has completed the National Award for SEN Coordination and holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Vulnerable Learners and Inclusion.


It is the SENCO’s job to:

  1. Oversee the day-to-day operation of the school’s SEN policy
  2. (As relevant Designated Teacher) ensure the needs of LAC pupils with SEN are met
  3. Advise teachers on using a graduated approach to providing SEN support
  4. Advise on the deployment of the school’s delegated budget and other resources to meet the pupil’s needs effectively
  5. Liaise with parents/carers of pupils with SEN
  6. Liaise with and be a key point of contact for external agencies
  7. Ensure that the school keeps the records of all SEN pupils up to date
  8. Work with the Head Teacher and School Governors to ensure that the school meets its responsibilities with regard to reasonable adjustments and access arrangements 

More details of the SENCO’s role can be found in our SEN Policy 


External Specialists and Other Agencies

As a school, we have built good working relationships with a wide range of people who provide services to children with SEND and their families. The external specialists we work with may:

We work with a number of other agencies to meet individual needs fully. These include:

  • Medical Practitioners
  • Educational Social Workers
  • The Education Welfare Service
  • Health Agencies and medical professionals
  • We employ a counsellor to support children as needed


SEN Funding

Every school in Durham receives it’s school budget from the Local Authority at the beginning of the financial year in April. All aspects of the school budget are monitored by the Governing Body every term. 


As part of the school budget, there is a ‘notional’ SEN amount. This is used to support children with SEND in a number of ways, for example by giving them access to additional targeted support from teachers or teaching assistants and by providing additional resources.

Children with SEND in our school will access support additional to that normally available in the classroom. They may work with a teacher or a member of our support team in a small group or they may require some 1:1 support to meet their needs. The support they receive may take place in the classroom and they may participate in interventions.

In addition, we use our SEN budget to make adjustments to our school environment as required. For example, it may be necessary to add handrails to aid mobility or mark steps with coloured paint to aid visually impaired children. In our classrooms, children may be provided with aids to help them to write such as sloping seats or boards, or with resources such as different coloured paper or additional access to ICT.

The resources that we provide are allocated on an individual basis depending upon the needs of each child. We constantly evaluate and amend the provision we have in place to ensure that we are meeting the needs of all of our pupils effectively. 


How we secure specialist expertise and additional funding

Our Additional Needs Budget is used to support children and young people with SEN. The effectiveness of our expenditure is monitored by the Senior Leadership Team and Governing Body.


This funding is used to support children and young people with SEND by:

  • Providing training to staff so they have up to date knowledge of SEN; 
  • Purchasing specialist resources that can be used to support children and meet their individual needs;
  • "Buying in" additional support to meet the specific needs of children. This could include EP assessment, Learning Support Assessment, Speech and Language Therapy.


If a child has complex special educational needs, we could also apply for additional funding from the Local Authority to meet the agreed outcomes in their SEN Support Plan or EHCP.

Schools are responsible for funding the first £6000 of support for children with SEN. When spending for a child exceeds this, we can request additional ‘Top Up Funds’ from the Local Authority. Generally this is for children with very high needs and in receipt of an EHCP. The use of these funds is discussed at the initiation of the plan, and during the review meetings to ensure best value is achieved.


If you would like to discuss your SEND requirements in detail please contact us to make an appointment.


Additional support for Parents and Carers is available from Durham SENDIASS