Special Educational Needs (SEN) Report

All schools are obliged to create this document to ensure you have all the appropriate information about the provision we make for SEN. However, it is very difficult to put into words what we do so at The Dales School we are in the process of producing DVD’s that explain the curriculum to you in pictures. The first curriculum area we covered was: Physical Development and if you click you can see a DVD taken on our site demonstrating all the ways our pupils work on their physical development and if you click you can see a set of stills of all the physical development work which takes place off site.  Each DVD is approx. 4min long and I strongly advise you watch these before reading on as they give you a flavour of so much of our school. The three areas not yet covered by DVD’s are; Communication; Thinking Skills and Personal Social and Moral Education.


The Dales School caters for pupils with severe and profound learning disabilities and in the Sixth Form department the school has a generic intake of students including moderate learning difficulties. Pupils may in addition have physical, sensory and medical needs.


The school works closely with health and social care and in the case of any concerns in relation to a pupil referral is swiftly made directly to these bodies


As The Dales School is a special school ALL policies take into account pupil’s SEN.

a) The school regularly self-evaluates its provision and also ensure external professionals come into school to look at specific elements of the provision.

b) As all pupils have SEN the whole of the school’s assessment and reviewing procedure applies to all pupils. The school has adapted all assessment to take into account the pupils needs and our assessment system ensure even very small steps of progress can be celebrated. Click here to see a case study of our assessment for KS1, 2, 3 and 4.

c) From EYFS and up to KS 4 pupils have individual learning intentions across their curriculum to ensure that learning opportunities are given and progress recorded. In Sixth Form students work towards appropriate qualifications whilst at the same time have their own targets (see section 7).

d) Please click here to see the DVD which explains on site provision of Physical Development. Please be aware this does not contain footage from our hydrotherapy pool.

e) Please see section 10 how we involve specialists from the LA. 

f) We bring in external professionals such as various music groups and artists to work with our pupils. Please refer to section 6 which sets out equipment and facilities for our pupils.

g) In order to work on the emotional and social development of pupils we ensure personal targets are set in this area and that the whole school community is available to support pupils.


The Head Teacher is the official SEN co-ordinator. Please make contact via the contact us page.


 Staff are appointed on the basis of their qualifications and competence in SEN. The school’s job descriptions are regularly reviewed and job evaluated if needed. Click for copies of the JD’s.

In addition the school has an extensive programme of continuing professional development (CPD) for all staff to ensure they continue to develop their skills. For example all permanent staff and as far as possible all supply staff are trained in:

  • Moving and Handling and empathic handling which includes handling pupils in a way that is enabling, supportive and caring whilst promoting independence
  • How to manage epilepsy
  • Early communication including Makaton (sign language)

In addition we have staff trained in managing the following health conditions: Administration of oxygen, tracheostomy care, dystonia, diabetes, asthma, gastrostomy feeding, haemophilia and any other specific condition a pupil may have.

Our staff carry out feeding programmes in accordance with guidance from the speech and language therapist

Our staff carry out physiotherapy and postural management programmes with guidance from the physiotherapist. Much of this work is carried out by staff trained in MOVE - Movement Opportunities Via Education, click to read more about MOVE.


The physical building of the school is on one level but with a few steps. Much work has been done on making the site accessible. The school has a large hydrotherapy pool and a large activity hall with both standard and specialist PE equipment (see DVD), in addition the hall is set up with stage lighting and switch operated sensory lighting. The school also has a fully equipped sensory room with a vast selection of switch access.

Outside the school has large green playing field, raised beds for growing vegetable etc., wheelchair swing and big basket swing. We also have an adventure playground which we share with the mainstream primary school which is on the same site as us. There is a large bike track and the school has a range of adapted bicycles so that EVERY pupil in school has access to biking

School work closely with health to ensure any personalised specialist equipment is available for pupils. Examples of specialised equipment are: Specialist seating, Standing frames, Communication aids both high tech and low tech, Specialist toilet seats, Specialist slings, Specialist plates and cutlery, Specialist IT both hardware and software, including access to these.


The head teacher ensures all pupils have a person centred annual review.  At this review discussion takes place about the learning of the pupil and what outcomes we would all like.

In EYFS the pupils are assessed against the school’s own Early Years Assessment which is based on ‘Development Matters’. Click to view copy of ‘The Prime Areas’ and click to view a copy of ‘The Specific Areas’. Pupils are assessed within half a term of entering the school and then three times a year with a final assessment at the end of the EYFS stage. At the end of the academic year a full report on progress is compiled.

In Primary and Secondary the pupils have learning intentions set three times a year and parents are encouraged to take part in the evaluation of these. At the end of the academic year a full report on progress is compiled.

In Sixth Form targets are student led and evaluated by the individual student, groups of fellow students and staff. During daily pastoral time student’s talk about their targets and when they achieve aspects of this, staff will write out a slip and content gets discusses and displayed on the wall. In this respect the targets serve to develop student’s ability to understand where their learning needs to go and how well they are getting there. The discussion in pastoral time serves as a peer review and celebration of achievement. Our experience is that students find the targets highly motivating and for students who use alternative forms of communication their targets are often known by other students who are happy to comment on how well they are doing.

All recording feeds into the overall documentation needed for the students to achieve their ASDAN qualifications. Three times a year assessment of the student’s coursework is sent home.

All pupils in school have a home/school book used for daily communication. In some circumstances regular telephone calls are used instead of a home/school book or in addition to this. Staff are available each morning and afternoon for brief conversations and if longer time is needed staff are available for meetings.

Each class sends home regular newsletters explain what will be going on in class and how parents can support their child. Parents are encouraged to stay with their child for induction sessions in Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and this department as well as the primary department ensure there are opportunities for parents to visit the class on a termly basis.

The school has a ‘Scone Shop’ each Wednesday from 10.00 – 11.30 and parents, carers and people in the local community are invited in to this. In addition the school holds end of year theme day to which parents are invited.


The school aims for all pupils to attend their person centred annual review, for some pupils it is appropriate to attend the whole review for others just part of this. Often parents choose to advocate on their child’s behalf but sometimes a pupil may choose another adult to support them. Whenever possible pupils are involved in setting their own learning intentions/. Because staff get to know the pupils very well they ensure that the educational offer appeals to ALL pupils for each lesson enabling everyone to make progress


As all pupils have SEN the complaints procedure is the same for all. Click for a copy of The Complaints Procedure.


When a pupil starts at The Dales School all the health professionals automatically become involved and if needed, appropriate plans will be drawn up. Click to see the kind of support plans that may be required.

The school works close with many mainstream and special partners to ensure we create the best and most appropriate learning opportunities for our pupils. This means that sometimes learning takes place in a mainstream setting or a specialist facility such as an environmental centre or a leisure centre.

The school holds ‘Drop in for Coffee’ meetings for parents and carers, click for further information.

If pupils need additional sensory support then specialist teachers for the LA will be involved to ensure pupil’s needs are best met.

Personalisation is about meeting the needs of the individual not fitting the individual into the system. 

Personalisation is also about adapting services and resources we make available to create a provision which meet individual needs and enables C/YP to meet their agreed outcomes.

As part of our core provision, we make a wide range of specialist provision which is not typically available in mainstream schools and colleges. The particular choice of The Dales Special School, with this integrated specialist provision reduces the scope for a personalised budget. ref: SEND code of practice July 2014


The LA SEN officer for the school is Julie McClure, she is an Assessment and Reviewing Officer (ARO) and she can be contacted on 01609 798569.


When the school has a request for placement of a pupil we go, if at all possible, and visit the pupil in their current setting or at the very least, ensure we have all relevant and up to date information on all aspects of their needs. We strongly encourage all new pupils to come for induction visits perhaps with their current staff if possible.

We set up meetings with parent/carers to ensure we gain as much information as possible about the pupil so they can move on and progress in their learning without delay.

In EYFS we encourage families to come into school and spend time with us and their child so we can learn from them how best to meet their child’s needs. Click to read copies of EYFS newsletters

In Sixth Form there is great emphasis on independent living, vocational and careers education. Each year the school holds a ‘Passport to the Future’ event where providers of Sixth Form education and employment are present to support students and parents in making choices for the future. Click to read more about Passport to the Future.


Click to take you to North Yorkshire County Council Local Offer

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