A pupil has SEN where their learning difficulty or disability calls for special educational provision, namely provision different from or additional to that normally available to pupils of the same age.

SEN Department at SJWMS video

The School aims to give every student the opportunity to develop his/her potential to the full. It recognises too that all students have their own particular needs and seeks to ensure that each student is able to learn, experience success and feel valued in an environment free from obstacles and prejudice.

The School is committed to ensuring all students receive their full entitlement to a whole-school curriculum.

Mr Alderman – SENCo

To view our SEND, SEN Information Report, Accessibility and Equality Policies, please visit our Policies page.

  • SENCo: Mr C Alderman
  • Deputy SENCo: Mr L Bindon
  • Learning Support Assistant: Mrs S Hyder
  • Learning Support Assistant: Mrs R Nankervis (Mon-Thurs AM only)
  • Learning Support Assistant: Mrs V Lewis
  • Learning Support Assistant: Mrs H Kingham
  • Learning Support Assistant: Mrs C Carberry
  • Working Hours: Full Time (out of class)

Questions about your child’s progress?

Parents can email SENCo / Deputy SENCo with any concerns. The SENCo can be contacted via email sen@sjwms.org.uk.

Frequently asked questions

A diagnosis of dyslexia is recognised under the Disability Discrimination Act (2010). It is an educational diagnosis that is life-long and it permits a child to have access arrangements at secondary school and adaptations in the workplace later in life.

The British Dyslexia Association says:

Dyslexia is a neurological difference and can have a significant impact during education, in the workplace and in everyday life. As each person is unique, so is everyone’s experience of dyslexia. It can range from mild to severe, and it can co-occur with other learning differences. It usually runs in families and is a life-long condition. It is a specific learning difficulty. 

If you feel like you would like to explore your child’s possible issues with reading, writing, memory and organisation, we would strongly recommend using the Dyslexia Quiz free app (to download and use) with your child. This identifies a possible dyslexic profile or dyslexic tendencies and it also offers helpful videos and links at the end for support both inside and outside of school. You can then email the results to yourself to look through. 

If the scores indicate possible dyslexia or even just a specific learning concern, forward the data in the email to sen@sjwms.org.uk. We will then gather information from class teachers and look through examples of work. It is important we gather a full picture and look at interventions over time too. 

It is important to understand that whilst this app can screen your child for a possible dyslexic profile, this is not the same as a dyslexia diagnosis. We cannot diagnose dyslexia in our school. This requires an independent certified assessor (we do not currently have anyone able to do this in our school) or an educational psychologist. This can be done privately and comes at a cost (usually around £300). If you would like to look into this as an option, you can discuss this with the SENCo. 

Even without a formal diagnosis, our teachers can make adaptations to their teaching so that your child can access the curriculum like their peers. Very often, good strategies for dyslexic children are good for all children. Our focus is always on good teaching and good interventions, rather than the label. 

Useful local dyslexia associations for further support: 

Autism is a neurodevelopmental condition.  Therefore, any diagnosis of autism is a life-long health diagnosis and is not educational. There is no ‘test’ for autism. Instead, a paediatrician will collate evidence about a child’s social communication skills, repetitive or restrictive interests and sensory differences so that a judgement against particular health criteria can be made. 

There are two ways of referring a child to a paediatrician: 

  1. Parents can go to their GP to discuss their concerns. However, this is not always successful and depends on the willingness of the GP. 
  2. Schools can also make a referral. The school will need to agree that there are social/play/sensory differences that should be explored. 
  3. ASC referrals to NELFT have to be made by the school. 

Once a referral by school or GP is sent to NELFT, parents can expect to wait 2-4 months before being notified about a paediatric appointment. ASC is not diagnosed at this appointment. Instead the paediatrician will observe the child and discuss the information given already with parents, before making a judgement about whether the child should move onto the ASC pathway. 

The pathway lasts up to 1 year. In this time, the paediatrician will collect more evidence from parents and school. The child is invited to a longer ‘joint communication clinic’ where a highly specialised speech and language therapist and a paediatrician work together to make a diagnosis, or not. 

Once a child is on the pathway, the school will be advised to implement ASC strategies if they are not doing so already. 


As above, this is a health diagnosis to do with a child’s behaviour. 

Same principles apply – GP or school-based referral to a community paediatrician. We need to see inattentive or hyperactive/ impulsive behaviour that is significantly different from the majority of the peer group and across different environments, to refer. 

There is no test for ADHD. Instead, information is collated from home/school and a certain ‘threshold’ must be met when comparing parent and school scores – and the child is observed in clinic. 

A useful website to explore this further is ADHD Care Ltd of whom can be contacted and they share online screening tests that are a good indicator for whether or not your child’s concerns could be ADHD or not: 

Medication is a possibility depending on the severity of the ADHD and parent views. 

Some children have a diagnosis of ‘ADHD–inattentive type’, which is the old ADD (no hyperactivity).

Dyscalculia is a specific maths difficulty. It is inherent rather than just being ‘weaker’ at maths. A child will display intrinsic difficulties with their quantitative understanding of number at a basic level i.e. show them 3 counters, then 6, and they could not quantify that one set was larger than the other, nor could they give sensible estimates for each quantity. 

This would be a child with very poor conversion of number. We have very few children where this has been identified. 

We cannot diagnose dyscalculia. Much like dyslexia, this would fall to an Educational Psychologist or a certified assessor, and would likely be a private educational diagnosis (again, around £300). If you would like to look into this as an option, you can discuss this with the SENCo. 

Dyscalculia is specific – so a child is likely to be average in many aspects of schooling, apart from maths. It probably could not be considered if a child has general learning difficulties (a bit like dyslexia). 

The important thing is to understand a child’s mathematical gaps and work with them through intervention and class-based support.

This is also called Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD).  This affects a child’s gross and fine motor skill development and sometimes their sensory profile. It can arise with other specific conditions i.e. dyslexia, ASD, ADHD etc. 

Does the teacher see functional difficulties with a child’s self-care skills? E.g. changing for PE, gross motor coordination in PE, fine motor skills – scissor and pen skills, knife and fork skills, handwriting? Does the child appear clumsy and less able to coordinate their movements than peers? Struggles to throw and catch in PE? We need to evidence 3 different functional areas that the child struggles with. 

If we see the above, then the child probably has had/needs intervention anyway. 

A DCD diagnosis is a health diagnosis and requires a referral to an Occupational Therapist.  The OT service needs to see that the school has put in appropriate interventions before a referral can be made. Therefore, gathering what is needed for an OT referral can take some time. 

Once the referral is made, the wait can be 3-4 months before parent and child is invited to clinic (if the referral criteria is met).  The OT can then identify strengths and weaknesses and help parents and school develop a programme or strategies that will help the child compensate for their motor weaknesses.

Very few of our children need 1:1 support to make good progress. 

The vast majority of children learn when teaching is responsive to their needs and work is well differentiated. Class TAs are used to help scaffold children’s learning if they find things trickier. 

Sometimes, 1:1 support can also lead to dependency on an adult (I can only learn when an adult sits next to me) and we all want your child to be an independent learner. 

In some situations, we may need to apply for funding to provide a child with some key person/1:1 support. This is called Higher Needs Funding, and is for children that require bespoke approaches. Applications for this high level of support are stringent and require lots of plan/do/review, evidence and proof of what is spent already on a child’s support. 

Please note that an EHCP does not ‘come with’ funding attached or a certain number of hours of 1:1 TA support. This happened in the old system of ‘statements of SEN’, but is not the case now.

This is an Educational Healthcare Plan. This used to be called a Statement of SEN. Around 3.5% of children in the UK have an EHCP. Most children with an EHCP require specialist provision (special school) and an EHCP allows a parent this choice. An EHCP is a legal document owned by the Local Authority. It sets out a child’s needs, the provision needed to meet those needs, and the school placement. 

The criteria for an EHCP is stringent: https://www.medway.gov.uk/info/200311/ehcps

This is an incredibly long process and even once all of the appropriate paperwork is completed with apt evidence supporting it, it can be rejected before the child is even assessed. If you feel that your child meets the stringent criteria above, you can email senstaff@sjwms.org.uk for further guidance

It is so important the parent knows the school’s view because the school provides a significant proportion of the evidence to the Local Authority. School and parents should be in agreement that specialist approaches are needed to enable the child to make progress. It is not about lots of diagnoses necessarily although any diagnoses are supportive. 

KELSI contains documentation about the ‘pathway’ and timelines, but the whole process, from request to ‘decision to issue’ the plan is 20 weeks. Sometimes, if the Local Authority deem that there is a lack of evidence, the process stops at 6 weeks. 

If a parent is unhappy about a decision, they can appeal to the Local Authority. 

A school can also make a request for an EHCP but need to be sure that they have sufficient plan/do/review (3 rounds of provision plans) and evidence of what has been in place (high levels of provision) not working. Schools also need to take an EHCP request to their local MIT meeting so that specialists can determine if anything more can be done, before an EHCP is requested. 

This is why a parent request, supported by the school, can be quicker. 

It is worth noting that quite a few outside agencies are giving the wrong message to parents about EHCPs. E.g. your child has an ASD diagnosis – have you considered an EHCP? This advice is often given without recourse to the severity of need that an EHCP justifies.

We would encourage you to read the Inclusion policy on our website. 

The school is bound by a definition of Special Educational Needs as set out by the legal framework, the SEN Code of Practice (2015). 

A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her. 

A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she: 

  • has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or 
  • has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions 

For children aged two or more, special educational provision is educational or training provision that is additional to or different from that made generally for other children or young people of the same age. 

Having an SEN or being placed on a school’s SEN register is not because a child receives a diagnosis of a condition – it must be because educational provision is consistently different for them to enable them to make progress in their areas of difficulty. Parents must remember that if their child has a health condition or diagnosis, that this probably falls under the 2010 Equality Act and means that any school or educational provider must make reasonable adjustments for them, whether they are SEN or not. 

We support children as their needs arise and teachers adapt work and their teaching delivery as necessary, maintaining interventions for those children that need something additional. Being SEN or not SEN does not change this. 

If your child moves onto the SEN register they will be classed as ‘SEN support’ and their teacher will identify long term outcomes for them to work towards. These are usually approached in the termly APDR meetings in which student, parent and teacher views are synthesised. 

If your child is on the SEN register and you feel that they do not need to be on there, please contact senstaff@sjwms.org.uk.

If you would like more information on SEN services please visit:


Or you can also visit the Medway local offer website:


If you have any further concerns or would like to speak to the SEN team, please feel free to email sen@sjwms.org.uk and they will be very happy to help out in any way they can.