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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.

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 are encouraged to contribute towards this process by meeting a representative from the SEN department during Parents’ Evenings.  Alternatively, 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



SEND Information report

Most commonly asked Questions for SEND