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Special Educational Needs & Disabilities

   SENDCo - Ms Jacqui Dart

   01837 52866



Okehampton Primary School is an inclusive mainstream primary school. We work within Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust and with the Local Authority to ensure high levels of achievement, effective learning, progress and development for all pupils regardless of any special educational need. We are committed to inclusion and to meeting the needs of each individual. We aim to provide the highest quality of education for all children, using resources strategically and effectively. We have a duty to eliminate discrimination, harassment, bullying or victimisation and to advance equality of opportunity by removing or minimising disadvantage, meeting each child`s needs, taking account of disabilities and encouraging participation in the life of our community. We encourage children to be responsible and caring citizens, to actively oppose prejudice, celebrate diversity and work together in a cohesive community of learners. Each child has a voice.

We work closely with parents and carers to deliver the most effective education possible. We monitor the progress of all pupils. Some children with special educational needs can be identified at birth. Other difficulties only become apparent as children grow and develop. We aim to distinguish between pupils who may need some support within the classroom and within the differentiated curriculum and pupils with special educational needs. Pupils have special educational needs if they have a learning difficulty or disability that calls for special educational provision to be made; this is provision which is additional to, or different from, that which is normally available in a differentiated curriculum. In consultation with parents or carers, support for pupils with special educational needs is agreed, informed by further assessment to identify barriers to learning and to provide further information regarding the nature of the child`s difficulties. Pupils with additional and complex needs relating to communication and interaction; cognition and learning; social, emotional and mental health difficulties, sensory and physical needs attend Okehampton Primary School. For more detailed information on Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND), click here to visit the Government's website.


For a copy of Okehampton Primary School's SEND Information Report 2023-24, please click on the link below.

Okehampton Primary School SEND information report 2022-23

Communication and Interaction Resource Base at Okehampton Primary School. 

CAIRB: What’s it all about?


The CAIRB is a provision within the mainstream setting of Okehampton Primary School. The CAIRB is for students who have complex communication and interactions needs who can access and make progress in a mainstream school, following a mainstream curriculum.

Main aim

We pride ourselves on being an autism-friendly school and this is recognised throughout from the CAIRB to whole of the mainstream. All pupils within the CAIRB have an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP).

We are passionate about working cohesively within the support centre and across the mainstream setting ensuring that the educational experiences of students with Autism and communication & interaction needs are as positive as possible. We want to enable students to reach their academic potential and prepare them for life beyond our school.

We identify that students have the right to feel encompassed in their school community and want to empower them to have the confidence to face their challenges, maintain high aspirations and develop into independent learners..

CAIRB - How are places allocated? 


All applications for a place at the CAIRB have to be processed by Devon County Council's 0-25 Special Educational Needs Team.  Okehampton Primary does not control admissions to the CAIRB.  Parents and carers of pupils with an EHCP for communication and interaction needs can apply for a place as part of the review of the EHCP, stating why the CAIRB would best suit the needs of their child.  The 0-25 team will then consider the application, consult with the SENDCO at Okehampton Primary and make the final decision. 


There are only 8 places within the CAIRB and as of January 2023 all spaces are full. 

Quality First Teaching
Quality First Teaching promotes the effective inclusion of all pupils through high quality everyday personalised teaching. As soon as a pupil gives cause for any concern, the class teacher will meet with the Special Educational Needs and Disability Co-ordinator (SENDCo) to discuss these concerns. A record of the main points discussed will be written at the time of the meeting by the class teacher and SENDCo. Next steps will be identified and agreed, including a date for review and further planning. The pupil`s opinion will be sought and included in the plan of action where possible. The child`s parents or carers will be consulted, and their opinions will be included in the plan of action. Should it be deemed necessary, the advice of a specialist will be sought at this time. Review of the plan will normally take place after six weeks but if it becomes clear that the plan is not working, then the plan will be changed. All those involved will meet and provision will be adapted accordingly as soon as possible. If adequate progress is not made despite effective differentiation, an individual education plan will be completed with parents or carers and any outside specialists, if appropriate. Areas and summary of needs, short term targets, provision by whom and when, including targeted intervention, date for review and progress made towards outcomes will be recorded. A multi-agency approach will be adopted, with support for the child and family at the heart of the process. If adequate progress and attainment are not achieved, the SENDCo will work closely with the teacher and parents or carers to explore further specialist support and provision. It may be deemed that an Education Health and Care Plan, or EHCP, is appropriate. The school will work closely with experts from a range of fields to ensure the child`s needs are met through a personalised solution.


SEND Policy
The school`s SEND policy details the graduated response for meeting the special educational needs of pupils. Interventions are time limited, additional to whole class provision and have clearly identified targets on entry so that progress can be measured on exit. The class teacher and teaching assistant, teacher or SENDCo delivering the intervention collect entry and exit data which allow for consistent evaluation of impact: Have targets identified beforehand been achieved? Monitoring of achievement will continue afterwards, in order to evaluate progress and attainment without the intervention.

For a copy of our SEND policy and Accessibility Plan, please follow the page link below:

Parental/Carer Concerns
When a parent or carer is concerned or has a complaint, it is appropriate to speak to the child`s class teacher, the Head of School or the SENDCo as soon as possible, without conveying the worry or complaint to the child. A copy of the MAT complaints procedure is available online at the school`s website and a paper copy can be requested. All concerns are dealt with sensitively and in confidence. We want to work with you, the parents and carers of our children, in close partnership. You know your children best. So please do share any concerns with us promptly; do not let them grow into worries that can adversely affect you and your child. The school has contact details for local services and organisations that provide support for parents of children with special educational needs. If you need more support, please come into school to discuss what is available. The Local Authority`s Local Offer can be found at This provides information for parents.

Staff supporting children with special educational needs have received training in safeguarding, supporting children with challenging behaviour, autism, dyslexia, counting to calculate, Attachment Mentoring and Thrive. The training needs of all staff are linked with performance management and the School Improvement Plan. Parents and carers with special needs, expertise or first-hand experience of supporting children with special needs are encouraged to attend and to contribute to continuing professional development. For a copy of our current School Improvement Plan, please follow the page link, below:

Home/School Communication
Parents or carers of children with special educational needs will meet with their child`s class teacher and/or the SENDCo at least three times a year to discuss progress and ways of working together to support progress and attainment of identified outcomes. These meetings will be longer than those for children who do not have special educational needs. Some children and families have a home-school book to improve communication between home and school and to support the close partnership that develops.


Monitoring Progress
Progress and attainment are monitored using the child`s own documents; IDSR allows comparisons with national data for children with special educational needs and for children who do not have special educational needs. The focus for interventions is to accelerate progress and to narrow the gap between those children who are disadvantaged and those who are not. The progress of different pupil groups is tracked to identify strengths and areas for improvement; groups include pupil premium, pupils with dyslexia and pupils with private diagnoses for a range of special educational needs. Data from interventions, teacher assessments, regular assessment papers, Annual Reviews and EYFS Profiles inform planning, including the School Development Plan and training needs to improve our provision.

The Senior Leadership team monitors the progress of all pupils, including those with special educational needs. The effectiveness of provision informs the identification of priorities for improvement, with a focus on accelerating progress and narrowing the gap. Pupil progress and attainment, provision, the range and impact of interventions, attendance data for pupils with special educational needs and any exclusion data are analysed and next steps identified. The Head of School is responsible for managing the special educational needs and disabilities policy. The SENDCo is responsible for the day to day operation of this policy; co-ordinating provision for children with special educational needs; liaising with and advising colleagues; keeping records for children with special educational needs; liaising closely with parents and carers; contributing to the in-service training of colleagues and the development of a strategic support team; liaising closely with colleagues in the Multi Academy Trust, the Local Authority, external agencies, Health and Social Care and voluntary bodies.


Individual Plans
The SENDCo, class teacher and teaching assistant, if appropriate, work closely with parents and carers to develop individual plans for pupils who have special educational needs and who may need individual support or specialist provision beyond that provided by effective differentiation. In line with the Code of Practice, the child and family are at the heart of this process; each child and family is unique and we work together to tailor support for each individual to ensure provision is as effective as possible. Annual Reviews are person-centred and celebrate the achievements of each pupil as well as identifying next steps. The pupil`s voice is integral to the individual education plan and to review and planning next steps, as far as is possible.


Group and individual adaptations to the curriculum are explored purposefully and creatively to enhance learning opportunities and achievement. The range of interventions includes support to accelerate learning in mathematics, literacy and PE. The Thrive approach is used with all pupils to support well-being, improving emotional, mental and social development to facilitate an inclusive and caring ethos, leading to an increased capacity for learning both academic and life skills. Thrive is used to support children in small groups and to support individuals one to one. Difficulties at home which can impact on life at school are also addressed through Thrive.

A SENCo room supports children who need time out of the challenging classroom environment and children in the busy classroom who need distractions kept to a minimum. Forest School and the Arts both stimulate and calm to enhance learning potential. Special arrangements are made as necessary when children are taking SATs. All children, regardless of special educational need, are encouraged and expected to take part in school activities, including extra-curricular opportunities and school trips, both residential and non-residential. We welcome all children and will make every effort to accommodate pupils` needs and adapt our environment if necessary, working within the Multi Academy Trust and with the Local Authority to improve our facilities. Children with special educational needs are represented on our school council.


Clear processes are in place to support children who present with behaviour difficulties. We understand that behaviour is a form of communication and look beyond the behaviour to the reasons for it and focus support to meet these needs, whilst being mindful of the impact challenging behaviour can have on all children. Relevant frank and open discussions support children so that the effects of disruptive behaviour can be minimised. Advice from support services and close liaison with external agencies, combined with a consistent behaviour policy, help to ensure that our school family support and understand each other. The school works closely with a dyslexia specialist; the Behaviour Support Team; Communication and Interaction Team; Inclusion Team; Speech and Language Team; Educational Psychology; CAMHS; Integrated Children`s Services; Occupational Therapy; Health; Social Care; Family Practitioner Service; School Nursing Team; Educational Welfare; 0-25 County Special Educational Team and Early Help. Advice about removing barriers to learning linked to the four areas of need, is sought promptly where appropriate.

For a copy of our Behaviour Policy and other related documents, please follow the page link, below:


Transition is an important, exciting and challenging time for all children. Transition between classes and key stages at school is supported by consultation between colleagues who are passing on children and those who are receiving them; colleagues who support children and those who will be supporting them next. Parents come into school in the summer term to agree initial arrangements for the first few weeks of the new academic year and a date for review. The SENDCo meets with each class teacher, ensures that key information is shared and goes through individual records and documentation.

Transition from Okehampton Primary School to another school is supported through a transition plan which is tailored to suit the needs of individual pupils. Visits to and from the new school by teaching and support colleagues, the pupil, parents or carers are supported by meetings to discuss individual special needs and provision, to ensure as successful a transition as possible. Transition meetings are held with the pupil, if appropriate, parents or carers, current SENDCo and receiving SENDCo and any specialists who are involved, to discuss concerns and to make sure everyone is fully informed in order to achieve a smooth transition for the pupil and family, who are at the heart of the process. Transition planning begins as early as required. Clear links are established with receiving schools or settings.

Transition to Okehampton Primary School from other schools and settings is supported through individual transition planning where possible. If this has not been possible, all records are requested and the SENDCo makes contact with the person responsible for special educational needs at the previous school or setting to learn as much as possible in order to best support the child in their new school. Meetings with the parents or carers and listening to the pupil are integral to successful transition.

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