Sandy Upper School Head Teacher Personal Statement

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)


Inclusive provision is made for those students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) including cognition and learning, communication and interaction, social mental emotional health, sensory and/or physical and any looked after children who have been identified with SEND to ensure that they have equality of opportunity and aim to fulfil their potential.

Admissions arrangements for students with SEND are set out in the school’s admission policy.

Who Do I Go To If I Want To Talk About Send Support?

The SEND Department is managed on a day to day basis by Mrs Heather Smith (SENCO). She can be contacted on 01767 680598 or at

The following staff members work within the SEND Department: Mrs Cheryl Anderson (Learning Support Assistant - LSA), Mrs Lesley Fage (LSA), Mrs Alison Hawkins (LSA), Mrs Jill Wallace (LSA), Mrs Lee-Anne Hayes (LSA) and Mrs Carly Halls (Admin Assistant).

The LSAs have received the following training:

  • Effective questioning within the classroom to support those with SEND
  • Effectively supporting learners within the classroom to ensure good teaching and learning
  • Behaviour management training delivered by the Deputy Head at Oak Bank School
  • Two members of our department are trained in the teaching of the ‘Sounds-Write’ program – a synthetic phonics program to support spelling
  • Access arrangements for examinations
  • ‘The dyslexic brain’
  • Writing skills for reluctant writers
  • Developing inclusive approaches in the classroom
  • Moderate learning difficulties

The SENCO holds the following qualifications: BA Hons (Hertfordshire), Dip. RSA (Northampton), SpLD APC (Patoss). Recent training for the SENCO has included ‘Safeguarding Disabled Children’ and ‘Awareness, Responding and Managing Emotional Dysregulation in the classroom’.

There is close liaison between the House Achievement Leaders (pastoral staff), Examinations Officer and SENCO. Our House Achievement Leaders and Examinations Officer receive regular updated training relevant to their roles.

Miss Karen Hayward is the Principal and line manager to the Department and has overall responsibility for the SEND Department.

Students undertake baseline assessments on entry to the school and are regularly assessed by class teachers. This information is disseminated to staff, parents and students.

How can my child be helped?

Student’s needs are met using a graduated approach; students are identified (by teachers/Learning Support Assistants, parents/carers or the students themselves then assessed). If students require additional support a plan is put in place and carried through within the timescale set. The student’s progress is then reviewed. The support can be provided in a number of ways such as:

  • Differentiation of work (such as, by task, time scale, outcome, presentation, output) and/or questions by the teacher in the classroom
  • Learning Support Assistant presence in the classroom
  • Time in the SEND Department (such as, at lunchtime, after school, during registration, or due to a modified or reduced timetable)
  • Personal Achievement Plan (PAP) drawn up by staff, students and parents/carers and reviewed every six months
  • Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) followed and reviewed annually
  • Exam support and access arrangements
  • Mentor or Key Worker regular meetings
  • Specialist programs (such as, the reading scheme, a phonics program, handwriting scheme, touch typing program or social studies)
  • Pastoral Support Plan
  • Meetings with the School Nurse
  • Visual or Hearing Impairment Service involvement
  • Support from the Medical Needs Team
  • Sessions with outside agencies (such as, Relate, CHUMS, CAMHS, Educational Psychologist or the ASD Outreach Worker)

There may be occasions where students access some of the support above without being identified on the SEND profile.

Further information on SEND support in the school can be found in the school’s SEN policy.

What else is available?

  • Pupil premium and free school meals – for further information on this please visit Alternatively, ring the school on 01767 680598
  • School transport – for further information on this please visit Alternatively, ring the school on 01767 680598
  • Transition – The admission arrangements for students with SEND are set out in the school’s admissions policy. To support those with SEND, the SEND Manager meets with the middle school SENCos prior to transition to ensure effective information sharing and a smooth transition. Advice and guidance can be given on transition post 16 and those with an EHCP are closely supported through this stage. SEND information is passed to any new setting the student moves to.

All students meet daily with their form tutor and all students are eligible to join homework club or lunch and break club. A lift is available to access all floors, along with a toilet for the disabled.

Which other agencies can offer help?

The school works in partnership with parents/carers and with other outside agencies to identify the needs, provide support and monitor the progress of all students.
Further support can be sought from the following places:

  • This website gives links to pages and information on support that is offered locally through the Central Bedfordshire Authority.
  • This webpage hosts a number of links to information on thirteen different areas of need along with useful contact information and other sources of need and support.
  • Special educational needs and disability (SEND) parent, children and young person partnership service at Central Bedfordshire Council – this is a free confidential support service for parents and carers of children with SEND. They can be contacted on 0300 300 8088. Their website
  • Autism Beds - free drop in sessions for parents/carers who have just received a diagnosis to say their child has Autism. Their contact number is 01234 214871
  • The Avenue – this is a support group run by families for families with parents that understand the highs and lows of living with autism. Their website is and their phone number is 07425 551110
  • Carers in Bedfordshire – this offers parent carers drop in groups. They can be contacted at 0300 111 1919
  • Outside-In – is a local group that can offer support and information on ADHD and Autistic Spectrum Conditions. They can be contacted on 01462 813282
  • UKADHD provides information on local support groups for those affected by ADHD
  • CHUMS – is the Child Bereavement, Trauma and Emotional Wellbeing service and offers support to children and their parents/carers. They can be contacted on or on 01525 863924
  • British Dyslexia Association – This is a dyslexia friendly organisation and local groups can be found at this website

Complaints will be dealt with in line with the school’s complaints procedure but it is hoped close home-school liaison will minimise the need for complaints, giving rise to effective partnership working. Please do not hesitate to contact the school’s SEND Manger, Mrs Smith, if you would like to talk through any of this in more detail.

Further information can be found in our SEN policy, accessibility policy and equalities policy.

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  • Gill Deans - I have been a Parent Governor at SUS since January 2012. I am the link Governor for DSEN (Disability and Special Educational Needs) and Pupil Premium, and I am the Chair of the Welfare Committee. I have 4 Children, one is in her first year at University, (having attended SUS), one is in his final year at SUS, and I have 2 at Lower School in Sandy. Since May 2015 I have also been a Parent Governor Representative on Central Bedfordshire’s Children Services, Overview and Scrutiny Committee, giving me a better understanding of local and national changes and challenges. Back to the top

  • Tracey Stock - I’m the Chair of Governors at Sandy Upper School, Safeguarding Link and have been involved with the Governing Body for the last 10 years. The school has been through some extraordinary circumstances, some challenging, it’s now going from strength to strength and remains in the top 100 state schools in the country. I’ve been a governor in Sandy for seventeen years and have served on two lower schools and the middle school governing bodies. I live locally with my husband and our three children, our youngest son is in yr11 at Sandy Upper, our daughter is in her first year at uni and our eldest son works in Medical Recruitment. I’m a Deputy Executive Member for Corporate Resources for Central Bedfordshire Council responsible for Stronger Communities and a Ward Councillor for Beeston, Blunham and Sandy. Back to the top

  • Julie Devereux - I have been a Governor of Sandy Upper School for the past 20 months. Whilst I am a "Co-opted Governor", I am also a member of staff at Sandy Upper, having been employed for over 16 years in various roles. I am currently House Achievement Leader for House of Determination and Excellence and am totally committed to ensuring our students achieve well in order to maximise their life chances. I also have vast experience of safeguarding procedures and have also recently taken on responsibility for Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance. Being the mother of two boys in their early 20's I have also had experience of education, through to University, from a parent's perspective. I am passionate about Sandy Upper School, having been part of the recent, and sometimes difficult, journey - I strongly believe we deserve to maintain our current position in the top 10 schools list - I will certainly play my part in ensuring we achieve this. Back to the top

  • Denis Galvin - My name is Denis Galvin and I am a co-opted Governor at Sandy Upper School. My background is in Finance and I am currently the Head of Financial Performance at Central Bedfordshire Council where I have been for the last four years. I have also previously held Finance Director and other senior finance roles within the Royal Mail Group. I am a qualified account. I am married, with one daughter and two grandchildren and I live near Milton Keynes. My hobbies include rugby union and clay pigeon shooting. Back to the top

  • Catherine O’Brien B.Ed (Hons) MA - I am a well-qualified English specialist and hold an MA in English Studies in Education from the Institute of Education. I have been employed as Director of English and Whole School Literacy at Sandy Upper School since January 2014 and am delighted to say that GCSE English end English Literature results are outstanding. Prior to commencing employment at Sandy Upper School, I worked in similar roles and have a track record of raising achievement in different school contexts. I have been a governor for two years and currently sit on the Welfare Committee. Back to the top

  • Ian Smith - I have recently joined Sandy Upper School as a Co Opted Governor and look forward to using my knowledge and experience gained through employment in both private and public sectors. This includes working with the governing body and staff to provide benefits in all areas as well as improve working relationships with all public and private bodies. I have over twenty years’ experience in local government, both County and Unitary Councils with experience of dealing with all departments including highways, education and social care. Over three years on Blunham Parish Council, two as Chair and member of all committees. I have Private Sector experience including Construction, Highways and IT and I am a School Governor of John Donne Lower School (Parish Council representative). My professional experience; full Member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, Chartered Member of the British Computer Society and Full Member of the Chartered Management Institute. With over thirty years’ experience in the IT in both public and private sectors covering all areas from operations to procurement and finance/budget control to people and contract management. Expert knowledge of Procurement, contract and supplier management identifying efficiencies and managing supplier performance at all levels including PFI contracts over £130m. Back to the top

  • Tracey Hinson - I have spent most of my working life at Sandy Upper School, joining in 1991, and am the only remaining teacher who has worked under all of the Head Teachers the School has ever had. I have held a number of positions in the school and was promoted to Head of Science approximately 9 years ago. I have two daughters who have both studied at Sandy. Whenever I am planning or observing a lesson, evaluating strategy or employing a new member of staff I have one simple question; “Is this good enough for my child?” If the answer is “No” something needs to change. I have previously served two terms as a Governor at our local Lower School and took an active role in the selection of their Head Teacher. I am currently the Lay Chair of Elstow Abbey Parochial Church Council. Back to the top

  • Alistair Ramsay - I am the newest member of the Governing Body and joined SUS as a parent governor at the end of 2016. I have 3 children each attending a lower, middle and upper school in the area. I am passionate about young people and education. I want Sandy to have an end to end educational journey that enables every child to progress and reach their potential - I know SUS are excellent at achieving this. I have been a parent governor in the past at a lower school for six years and I volunteer locally for the charity Groundwork East in the local education and youth team. I have over 17 years experience in the Pharmaceutical Industry working in I.T. I am currently managing IT Systems for drug safety scientists. Back to the top

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