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SEN Specialist Expertise

SENCO and SEN Staff


Our SENCO is Mrs V Simpson, who has SENCO accreditation. She can be contacted on 0191 5862915.


  • Relax kids – Mrs Evans and Miss Scully
  • Lego Therapy-Mrs Walker
  • Therapeutic Storywriting- Mrs Evans and Miss Scully
  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy-Mrs Evans
  • Movement programme -All learning support assistants
  • Listening Matters- Mrs Evans, Mrs Walker, Mrs Lee, Mrs Sullivan
  • Pastoral & Behaviour Manager - Mrs Evans
  • Family Welfare & Support - Miss Scully


At Acre Rigg Academy, we receive a notional SEN budget from the Local Authority.  This amount for 2020-21 is  £123,800.53.  This is used to support children and young people with SEND by offering a wide range of intervention and enhancement programmes within school and through our partnerships with other agencies and professionals within the Local Authority. This is monitored each term by the Governing Body.


We have Learning Support Assistants, who are partly funded from the SEN budget and deliver programmes or interventions designed to meet individual or groups of children’s needs. The budget is allocated on a needs basis. The children who have the most complex needs are given targeted support.


All children no matter what their needs are, receive daily Quality First Teaching. We aim to be inclusive by keeping children with SEND with their peers whenever possible. Therefore support is generally given in the form of a classroom assistant working alongside the children and class teacher. Interventions are also undertaken throughout the day.


If a child has complex special educational needs, we could also receive additional Top Up funding from the Local Authority to meet the agreed outcomes.


A Costed Provision Map would be developed in liaison with the parent or carer.


More details of the SENCO’s role can be found in the SEN Policy which you can find in the School Policies section of our website.


External Specialists and Other Bodies


The school enjoys good working relationships with a wide range of people who provide services to children with SEND and their families.


These include:

  • Durham SEND Information,  Advice and Support Service
  • Local Authority Special Educational Needs Inclusion Team
  • Collaborative work through Durham Communities of Learning and the Peterlee Partnership
  • Peterlee One Point Hub
  • Health Agencies, particularly Health visitor/School Nurse Service
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)
  • Speech and Language Therapists
  • Autism and Social Communication Team
  • EAL Team
  • Future Steps -Occupational Therapy
  • Sensory Team
  • Social Workers
  • SEND and Inclusion
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Medical Practitioners
  • Youth Offending Service
  • School Parent Support Advisor
  • School Counsellor
  • EP Consultants
  • Equalities Team
  • GRT Team
  • Butterwick Hospice
  • EAL Team
  • Cognition and Learning

How We Secure Specialist Expertise


Our Additional Needs Budget is used to support children and young people with SEN.  In 2019/20 this amount is £113,798.70.


Our Additional Needs Budget is used to support children and young people with SEN. If a child has complex special educational needs, we could also receive additional funding from the Local Authority to meet the agreed outcomes.


Agencies and Partnerships


Acre Rigg Academy work closely with any external agencies that we feel are relevant to individual children’s needs within our school. These professionals provide services to children with SEND and their families, particularly when a child is demonstrating further cause for concern or their learning need is more complex and persistent.


The external specialists may:


  • Act in an advisory capacity
  • Extend expertise of school staff
  • Provide additional assessment
  • Support a child directly
  • Suggest statutory assessment is advisable
  • Consult with all parties involved with the child


What specialist services are available at your school to meet my child’s needs?


We work with an extensive range of services and professionals to ensure we meet the needs of each individual. We encourage these professionals to visit school as often as possible to work with our staff and share their expertise. Wherever possible, staff implement programmes of work linked to these professionals e.g. speech and language programmes, exercises recommended by physical therapies etc.


What training do staff supporting children with SEND have?


Members of staff have Paediatric First Aid and Safeguarding Level 1 and 2 qualifications. In addition, our staff have a selection of training relating to Movement Difficulties Programmes, specific training from speech and language therapists as well as annual medical training from the School Nursing Service. The SENCO attends half-termly SEND training sessions with the Local Authority SEND and Inclusion team.


If you would like to discuss your SEND requirements in detail please contact the school to arrange an appointment.

'Teach and Inspire; Engage and Enrich'