Special Educational Needs

Ally Sprakes, headteacher at the Belham Primary School sitting on the steps of the school

We are an inclusive school committed to giving all our pupils every opportunity to achieve the highest of standards.

We provide education for all pupils through a variety of access strategies and the provision of resources and facilities as necessary.

All pupils' needs are considered and a range of flexible responses are available to accommodate and value their diversity. When necessary we support learning through appropriate external specialists, tailored to individual need.

“Creating an inclusive environment is the most important thing a school can do. An inclusive culture is a prerequisite for an effective school: it brings happiness, a feeling of safety and being part of the community, and, of course, it impacts positively on learning, both in the classroom and beyond."

Education Endowment Foundation

How we support SEND at The Belham:

Our SENDCos are Ms Sharon Baxendale and Ms Emma Chan. They are responsible for coordinating provision for children with additional needs, for developing, implementing and monitoring the school'sInclusion and SEND Policy and facilitating specialist staff training, and for ensuring that parents are involved in and informed about their child's learning and support.

To get in touch, please contact:

Emma Chan – echan7.210@lgflmail.org

Sharon Baxendale –sbaxendale.210@lgflmail.org

Sharon and Emma can also be contacted via the school office.

The Belham Primary School is a mainstream school and part of The Charter Schools Educational Trust (TCSET).  We have classes of up to 30 children led by a class teacher.  Through a 3-tiered approach to SEN support (See SEN Provision section), we make all reasonable adjustments possible to support a range of special educational needs (SEN)across 4 broad areas:


Cognition and Learning (C&L):

This might include difficulties with reading and spelling, learning new information and concepts, working with numbers, working memory and concentration. Such difficulties might include ‘Specific LearningDifficulties’ (i.e. dyslexia, dysgraphia) and moderate learning difficulties.


Communication and interaction (C&I):

Difficulties might include understanding or using language and communicating socially with others.  This might include conditions or disorders such as: Specific language impairment, autism (ASD/ASC) and speech sound disorders/delay.  


Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH):

This might include difficulties such as experiencing trauma, anxiety, stress, distress or anger that have an impact on accessing education.


Sensory and/or physical (S/P):

This might include sensory processing differences affecting movement and co-ordination, physical disabilities, sensory sensitives and sensory impairment (i.e. Hearing Impairment)


It is common for children to have special educational needs that span two or more of these areas.  If this is the case, SEND support is designed to best support your child’s need using the resources available.

For your child to access the best possible support, i tis important that SEND differences are identified early through appropriate methods of assessment.  At The Belham, our objective is to understand exactly what support individual children require using age and stage appropriate strategies.


Dependent on a child’s specific areas of need, assessment can take place in many ways, through different members of staff or external professionals (for example, Educational Psychologist,Speech and Language therapist and community paediatrician). Assessments and screening activities are always developmentally appropriate and we work closely with families to agree assessment methods.

At The Belham and TCSET, we have a 3-tiered approach to SEND support across the school. Depending on children’s strengths and differences, support will look different for individuals.  

Wave 1 – Universal Support

Our first priority at The Belham is to ensure the highest standard of inclusive teaching possible for all children, using of range of evidence-informed strategies. This forms Wave 1, of our 3-tiered SEND offer.  


This level of support will involvea range of strategies including a 5-a-daymodel of inclusive teaching:

1.     Precise instruction and explanation

2.    Supporting children to develop independent thinkingand learning strategies

3.    Effective visual, verbal and written ‘scaffolds’ toenhance access to learning.  

4.   flexible grouping of children

5.    effective use of technology


Wave 2 – Targeted Support

For children who require a more personalised approach to specific areas of learning, in addition to the Wave 1strategies, children may have access to group-based interventions. These sessions, run by SEND learning support assistants or teachers, include support for differences across the 4 broad areas of need such as: speech and language, specific literacy and mathematical skills, social skills, physical and sensory development and emotional literacy. Wave 2 support aims to enable children to make accelerated progress against their targets and to be working at the age-expected level.

The interventions vary term on term according to need and resources. The school SENDCo can provide information on current interventions on request as available interventions are subject to regular change according to pupil need and available resources.

Wave 3 – Specialist Support

For a small number of children, a highly personalised approach to learning is required, using recommendations from external professionals such as a speech and language therapist (SaLT),Educational Psychologist (EP) or specialists from other services. This type of support will vary hugely between individuals dependent on strengths and differences.  Children who might benefit from Wave 3 support will often have or require an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) in order for the school to provide the level of specialist support.


All support across the school is monitored and evaluated termly. This is to ensure that the support in place is meeting the needs of individual children.

At The Belham, we pride ourselves on providing high quality SEND support for our children through our tiered approach. We work with Southwark Local Authority and as a network of schools across the trust, to provide the best possible support for children with a wide range of difficulties across the 4 broad areas of need.  


We use our access to the specialised resources available to us carefully and according to need.  This includes deployment of teaching assistants and referral to external professionals. We have clear, internal criteria for the process of referral and escalation/de-escalation for children moving through the waves of SEND support. Access to specialist resources will be determined on a child-by-child basis and requires clear evidence that strategies at each wave have been exhausted before escalating further.  If you have questions about type of support your child might require, please contact the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) to discuss provision.  



Emma Chan – echan7.210@lgflmail.org

Sharon Baxendale –sbaxendale.210@lgflmail.org


Class Sizes:

The Belham Primary School is two-form-entry a mainstream school, from Reception to Year 6, with up to 60 children in each year group, 30 children in each class.


Teaching Assistants:

With the exception of Reception where ratios of adults to children are higher, throughout the school, classrooms are run by the class teacher and we do not have class-based teaching assistants as standard. Children with more complex needs might be supported a tour wave 2 and 3 levels of support by a teaching assistant or Higher LevelTeaching Assistant (HLTA) in a targeted or specialist level of support. Typically, children who require this level of support will have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) which provides additional funding from the child’s home local authority.



The Belham  is a mainstream school in a part Victorian/part”new build” building set across 3 floors each with lift access. Accessible toilets are available on all floors. For more information about accessibility, please check our accessibility plan.

As parents, you have vital and unique knowledge about your child’s strengths, differences, interests, likes and dislikes. At The Belham Primary School, we believe that you should be fully involved in every step of the SEND process, from initial identification right through to making decisions about support in place in school.  This process is known as the Assess, Plan, Do, Review (APDR) or Graduated Approach model. Communication between school and parents should be two-directional and the information below outlines what you can expect.



Assessment of needs or differences is the first step and may be initiated by the school, parents or health and care professionals (GP/social worker).


School initiated– If your child’s teacher has concerns, they will speak to you to ask for your thoughts and input. They will also speak also to the School’s SENCo for tips and advice.


Parent initiated– If you have concerns about your child’s learning or development, in the first instance, speak to your child’s class teacher. They will be able to give you feedback on how your child is progressing in class and you can develop a support plan for your child. Your concerns will be shared with the SENCo to monitor progress.


Health and Care Professional Initiated – If a concern is raised by a GP or health or care professional, due to patient confidentiality, they will usually only communicate the parents/carers.  It is really important that you share as much information about concerns raised or relevant diagnoses your child might have so we can put the right support in place.  Please inform your child’s class teacher if this is the case.


Further Assessment

For some children, more specific assessment including screening activities for specific needs or require referral to a qualified professional such as: an educational psychologist, speech and language therapist or paediatrician. You would always be contacted to ask for your consent or contributions towards referrals being made.


Plan, Do &Review

If your child has special educational needs, you (and your child, where appropriate) will be invited on a termly basis to review and co-produce your child’s education plan. This is an opportunity to meet your child’s teacher, discuss what is going well, and, sometimes, what’s not going so well and what support could be provided in the coming term.

In addition to  the information shared in the ‘Working with Parents section’, progress reports on how your child is doing will take place in range of ways:


Parent  Meetings:

These meetings  take place termly (3 times a year for those children with an IEP/Pupil Plan. These  are a perfect opportunity to meet your child’s teacher, discuss progress  against learning plan targets and to shape the planned support for your  child.  The SENCo can be invited to  this meeting, if you have specific questions – just be sure to make a note  when booking your appointment.  Copies  of learning plans will be shared after the meeting, once finalised.


School Report:  

You will  receive an annual school report.  This  will include your child’s assessment and progress information over the year.


School Social  Media:

At The Belham, we love to share what our children are up to! Many parents have shared how  much they enjoy seeing their children’s lessons and activities online –  giving them lots to talk about and discuss at home.  Follow the school Twitter and Instagram  accounts to get an insider’s view!

Twitter: @TheBelham  

Instagram: @belhamprimary

For some children, our universal and targeted level of support (Waves 1 and 2), are not enough to enable them to learn most effectively. For children with more complex or significant needs, amore personalised and specialist approach may be necessary and require an Educational, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). This is a legal document that describes a child’s special educational, health and care needs, the support they require and agreed outcomes to be achieved. The support in these plans must be provided by the local authority, meaning that an EHCP can afford a child extra educational support, as well giving parents more choice about which school their child will attend.  


An EHCP can only be issued after on cean EHC needs assessment has been completed. This can be requested by school or parents.


For more information about EHCPs generally, visit: https://www.ipsea.org.uk/pages/category/education-health-and-care-plans


For information specific to Southwark, visit:


A local offer refers to activities, services, events or support that is available to parents of children with special educational needs.  As a school, we are proud of our own ‘The Belham Local Offer’, open to families in our communities both who attend The Belham  and those who don’t. We also signpost families to the ‘Southwark Local Offer’.


The Belham  Local offer

At The Belham , our local offer is made up of:  

·     Parent SEND workshops - These run throughout the year and are interactive sessions where families in the communities are encouraged to attend to learn about and share ideas on the broad array of special educational needs. The schedule for these sessions will be published through the school website and emails.

·     Parent support – We have a small team of SEND leaders who are always on hand to offer support and guidance. Contact:


to organise a call or meeting.

·     Clubs and Activities – we have an array of after school clubs that children with SEND are encouraged to participate in.  Please be in contact if you are interested for your child to take part and we will discuss the support that might be necessary.

·     Specialist Advice – we have links with a network of experts and professionals across the broad areas of need.  We can help you find the advice you need from professionals in the field.

Southwark LocalOffer

To learn about the Southwark Local Offer follow this link: https://localoffer.southwark.gov.uk/


Southwark Information, Advice and Support Team

The Southwark Information Advice and Support team (SIAS) is an arms-length service which offers impartial advice to parents and young people. SIAS provide parents, children and young people with the information and support necessary.


SIAS was established to ensure that parents, carers of children and young people aged 0 to 25 years old with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) have access to information, advice and guidance to allow them to make informed decisions about their education and 16 plus choices.

For more information, visit: https://www.southwark.gov.uk/schools-and-education/information-for-parents/southwark-information-advice-and-support-team-sias

We seek to promote an active partnership with parents/carers and to involve you fully at every stage. Most concerns and complaints can quite properly be resolved swiftly and satisfactorily. Formal complaints are resolved through our complaints process.Our complaints process is detailed in our Trust Complaints Policy andProcedures document which can be found on our website.

Our policy is to work actively to support cooperation between local authorities and health services, to ensure education, health and care services for children with special educational needs and disabilities are jointly planned and commissioned.

Further information about support and services for pupils and their families can be found below.

Southwark Local Offer

Southwark Parent Partnership

Southwark Contact a Family - for families with disabled children

DfE SEND Code of Practice