Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

At Oaks Primary Academy, we believe all children have the right to access a full and meaningful school life. We are proud to have an inclusive learning environment that allows all pupils to experience the curriculum in a creative and engaging way and achieve their full potential.

To view our SEND Information Report, SEND and Accessibility policies, please visit our Policies page.

The IASK (Information Advice and Support Kent) website contains many useful parent advice leaflets for different areas of SEND.

  • SENCo: Mrs Clare Sculley
  • Working hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Questions about your child’s progress?

Initial concerns should be raised with the class teacher.

Our strengths:

  • Oaks Primary Academy is proud of its inclusive learning environment and the opportunities that it provides for all of its pupils through quality first teaching.
  • The needs of the children are at the centre of all the decisions made by the leadership team.
  • We use a graduated approach in identifying the needs of children by following the recommendations of SEN support as outlined on KELSI.
  • By following this graduated model, we are able to identify specific barriers to learning and ensure provisions and resources are always relevant to the need identified.
  • We will always work in collaboration with parents/carers and pupils when deciding provisions for their child. We realise it is essential to recognise the pupils as individuals with unique needs when making decisions regarding their education.
  • The continuous professional development (CPD) of Staff at Oaks Primary Academy is vital in order to meet the wide range of additional needs in the most effective way possible. The CPD across the school is specifically organised through vigorous auditing of staff’s current skills and the pupil’s needs.
  • The SENCO works closely with all professionals involved in a child’s provision to ensure multi-agency working around the child.
  • We recognise that pupil’s social, emotional and mental health needs and welfare are vital when ensuring all pupils are engaged in the curriculum.
  • Pupil’s achievements in their learning are recognised through specific praise and regular feedback through conferencing, as well as more formally, through a weekly celebration assembly of our Learner Profile Attributes.
  • Pupil’s social, emotional and mental health needs and welfare are vital when ensuring all pupils are engaged in the curriculum.
  • Opportunities to build pupil’s resilience are an integral part of the day-to-day teaching at Oaks Primary Academy.
  • Oaks Primary Academy has a Learning Mentor who provides support for children who have had a specific need identified. This includes play and Lego therapy, bereavement support, ELSA and 1:1 sessions.
  • We reward pupil’s achievements in their learning through a weekly celebration assembly

Frequently Asked Questions

Initially please speak to your child’s form tutor. If you would like to speak to our SEND department, please contact via our contact details.

We can only screen for dyslexia, and this will provide an overview of your child’s strengths and areas for development. Screening reports are then shared with teachers so they are aware of how to support your child through Quality First Teaching in the classroom.

Yes the school can refer your child for a diagnosis of ADHD, ASD or other referrals needed such as Speech and language. These referrals are completed by the SENCO with support of the pastoral team/teachers. You may prefer to discuss this with your GP as they can facilitate a referral too.

This will be dependent on the level of SEND that your child presents with and support needed at home and at school. The process will require your child to have a personalised plan, if appropriate, that is reviewed at least 3 times and with some specialist involvement. They might be in receipt of Higher Needs Funding – which you would have been informed about via the SENCo. If you would like to discuss this further please contact the SEND department.

Higher Needs Funding (HNF) levels are dependent on need. The money school receives can be used in a variety of ways to support their needs.

The British Dyslexia Association says:

Dyslexia is a neurological difference and can have a significant impact during education, in the workplace and in everyday life. As each person is unique, so is everyone’s experience of dyslexia. It can range from mild to severe, and it can co-occur with other learning differences. It usually runs in families and is a life-long condition. It is a specific learning difficulty.

We are bound by the Kent (local authority) definition for Dyslexia which can be found in their policy at:

Therefore, if your child has a significant weakness in single word spelling and/or reading (and has had good educational opportunities, teaching and interventions) then they may meet the Kent criteria for dyslexia.

For us to gain a better understanding of your child’s literacy skills (this is where weaknesses are most evident) we can run a ‘strengths and weaknesses’ screener. This identifies a possible dyslexic profile or dyslexic tendencies. It helps us identify weaker ‘cognitive’ skills such a phonological processing (being able to identify and manipulate the sounds in words) which can signify dyslexic tendencies.

We would then want to gather information from you and the class teacher, and look at a child’s work. A screener is a limited snapshot of a child’s ability – it is important we gather a full picture and look at interventions over time too.

Therefore, we can screen your child for a possible dyslexic profile and to help us identify possible interventions, but this is not the same as a dyslexia diagnosis. We cannot diagnose dyslexia in our school. This would need to be an independent certified assessor. It is an educational diagnosis that is life-long and results from high levels of psychometric testing that staff in primary schools are not qualified to use. A diagnosis is recognised under the Disability Discrimination Act (2010), permits an older child to have access arrangements at secondary school and adaptations in the workplace. This is private and comes at a cost. Assessors look for a discrepancy between a child’s general ability (like their IQ) and a child’s literacy skills.

Our teachers have dyslexia awareness training and can make adaptations to their teaching so that your child can access the curriculum like their peers. Very often, good strategies for dyslexic children are good for all children. Our focus is always on good teaching and good interventions, rather than the label.

Autism is a neurodevelopmental condition. Therefore, any diagnosis of autism is a life-long health diagnosis and is not educational. There is no ‘test’ for autism. Instead, a paediatrician will collate evidence about a child’s social communication skills, repetitive or restrictive interests and sensory differences so that a judgement against particular Health criteria can be made.

Why does the parent think this? What behaviour do they see at home? Does the class teacher see the same traits?

This is a school-based referral, where the school agrees that there are social/play/sensory differences that should be explored. Perhaps interventions have taken place to help the child with their social skills.

Once a referral by school is sent to the local Community Paediatrics team, parents can expect to wait 2-3 years before being notified about a paediatric appointment. ASD is not diagnosed at this appointment. Instead the paediatrician will observe the child and discuss the information given already with parents, before making a judgement about whether the child should move onto the ASD pathway.

The pathway lasts up to 3 years. In this time, the paediatrician will collect more evidence from parents and school. The child is invited to a longer ‘joint communication clinic’ where a highly specialised speech and language therapist and a paediatrician work together to make a diagnosis, or not.

Once a child is on the pathway, the school will be advised to implement ASD strategies if they are not doing so already.

As above, this is a Health diagnosis. This is a behavioural disorder.

Same principles apply – school based referral to a Community Paediatrician. We need to see inattentive or hyperactive/ impulsive behaviour that is significantly different from the majority of the peer group and across different environments, to refer. Children cannot be referred until they are 6.

No test for ADHD. Instead information is collated from home/school and a certain ‘threshold’ must be met when comparing parent and school scores – and the child is observed in clinic. A Connors questionnaire is common.
Medication is a possibility depending on the severity of the ADHD and parent views.

Some children have a diagnoses of ‘ADHD–inattentive type’, which is the old ADD (no hyperactivity).