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What is SEND?

A child has SEND if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision, in addition to what is provided for their other peers, to be made for them. Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) can affect a child’s ability to learn. They can broadly affect their:

  • Ability to understand/process information socially and in learning
  • Reading, writing, numeracy
  • Ability to concentrate and focus on a task
  • Emotional or mental health –maintaining a positive self-esteem and feelings -leading to anxiety or low mood
  • Behaviour – learning to regulate their emotions; and social interaction – the way they talk to adults and other children
  • Sensory / Physical ability, including visual, hearing, motor coordination, spatial awareness or medical.

SEND Policies

What other learning needs are there?

Children may have other learning needs such as English as an additional language or having missed gaps in education for various different reasons. The Inclusion Team, comprising of the SEND Team and Student Support Team also provide support for students who are Children in Care or previously looked after children and those which have medical needs.

Who can I talk to about my child’s needs?

If you have concerns about your child’s progress, you can initially speak to your child’s Tutor or Head of Year. If you are concerned your child is still not making progress, you can contact Ms Lynett, the school’s Special Educational Needs Coordinator who has responsibility for SEND.

You can contact Ms Lynett (SENCO) on (0117)9763000 or via email at [email protected]

Local Offer

At John Cabot we are fortunate to draw students from both South Gloucestershire and Bristol Local Authorities. Both Authorities have published their Local Offer of SEND at the following sites.

Local Offer South Gloucestershire

Local Offer Bristol

Identification of Additional Needs

All staff at JCA are committed to supporting students with additional needs. We look to identify difficulties as early as possible to ensure that appropriate provision is put in place. Additional needs are identified in the following ways:

  • Observations by subject teachers, Heads of Year and the wider school staff
  • Identification through tracking pupil attainment and pupil progress meetings
  • Discussion with parents and carers.
  • Discussions with the students themselves
  • Discussion with other schools on transfer or transition.

As with all schools we follow the graduated response as outlined in the SEND Code of Practice and we involve outside agencies where appropriate.

Provision of Support for Additional Needs

Our aim is that all students at JCA receive high quality differentiated lessons and for those that require it, additional support is available where necessary.

Students who are on the SEN Register will have a personal Pupil Profile.  These Profiles are accessible by all teachers and support staff.  Parents can email with any concerns and if a bespoke meeting is required, then arrangements can be made.

If a student is identified by assessments, staff, parents or external agencies as needing additional support or interventions, we will work hard to make sure this compliments their learning and ensure that parents are kept informed. Where support is identified this will be allocated in line with the need of the pupil or EHCP. If a student has an EHCP they will be allocated a ‘Lead’ LSA to allow clear identification of communication lines between the students, subject teachers, the SENCO and Home.

Parental Involvement

Liaison with parents is crucial to providing a holistic support network for a child’s education.  Parents should not hesitate to get in contact with us at the school or particularly in the SEN department if they have any concerns or questions.  We will always aim to respond as quickly as possible.  We also advise parents to make the most of any opportunity to engage with staff at the school; from Parents’ Evenings, to school trips and productions.

JCA benefits from external support from a range of agencies, including:

  • Educational Psychologists through the Cabot Learning Federation as well as the two local Authorities own Education Psychology services.
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) Learning Improvement Service (SEND Support)
  • Health agencies such as Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Community Paediatrics.

Social and Emotional Needs

As well as supporting students with learning and/or medical needs JCA is committed to supporting children’s social and emotional development through all areas of the curriculum. We support children’s development in school through our vertical pastoral support system and where needed higher tier support.


Transition of children into our school is planned and supports the child to feel safe and ready to join JCA. The induction plan includes:

  • Meeting children and staff in their primary setting in where necessary attendance at review meetings.
  • Meetings/discussions around the students need with parents
  • Where necessary an enhanced transition programme including possible extra visits before becoming a full time member of the school community.

Useful links

South Glos Parent and Carers support group

Bristol Parent and Carers support group

Murmuration SEND parent group



Platypus Training

[email protected]  Corina has four Autistic children and recently has recently set up her own business after years of working with Children’s Services in South Glos. and she has a Facebook page too. Corrina charges for her work, but the first session/consultation is free, and this is may all be that’s needed.

Awaiting Assessments

Whilst awaiting an Autism assessment for child/young persons parents can now access workshops which are available in person or online which explore aspects such as behaviour and communication/sensory issues.  This will enable opportunities to meet and hear from other families in a similar situation to yourself: leaflet .

BASS -Bristol Autism Support 

Providing information, support and training for parents/carers of children in Bristol and South Glos. Includes info relevant to those with or without a diagnosis.

Includes lists of groups and activities that may be of interest Clubs and groups for autistic young people in and around Bristol – Bristol Autism Support   in addition to Resources – Diverse (diverseuk.org)

JIGSAW Thornbury 

Support families who have children who are 0-25 years and have any additional needs or disability. This can be anything from learning needs such as dyslexia to complex disabilities or medical problems. Many children who come have no diagnosis. Weekly support group for parents, carers and children + training courses on a range of topics.

The Curly Hair Project 

Workshops / events / information / support for families of children with ASD. National project with local link and courses run locally.

NeonDaisy | Autistic Girls | Bristol

Friendship and inspiration to help autistic girls bloom -info and resources.


provides information for families with children affected by a neurological condition aged under 16 years (for example; neuro-genetic conditions, Celebral Palsy, Epilepsy, Developmental Delay, Autism, ADHD, Learning Difficulties). Families can hire sensory equipment and books from their library and access advice from their sleep service.

Helpline Tel no: 0800 328 1159 or [email protected]

Mental health/Wellbeing support

Young Minds national charity offers confidential online and telephone information and support for anyone worried about the emotional, behaviour, or mental health of a child/young person up to 25 years of age, including ADHD, Autism and Asperger’s. Parents Helpline: 0808 802 5544