Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

We are an inclusive school. We welcome all children, regardless of ability, disability or learning need. We see each child as an individual. We recognise, accommodate and meet the learning needs of each pupil and are committed to offering an inclusive curriculum to ensure the best possible experience and progress for all, regardless of needs or abilities.


A child has special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) if they have a learning difficulty or disability which means that they find it significantly harder to learn, or to do activities which children the same age are able to do.

These children need extra help or support, or special provision made for them to allow them to use the same facilities as other children of the same age.

If your child has special educational needs or disabilities their needs will fall into one or more of the four main areas of SEN:

1. Communication and interaction

  • Speech, Language and Communication Needs
  • Autism

2. Cognition and learning

  • Specific Learning Difficulty
  • Moderate Learning Difficulty
  • Severe Learning Difficulty
  • Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty

3. Behavioural, emotional and social

4. Physical and sensory

  •  Visual Impairment
  •  Hearing Impairment
  •  Multi-Sensory Impairment
  •  Physical Disability

Children whose needs fall into a mixture of these four categories have complex needs. A child is described as having mild or severe learning difficulties depending on the degree of their needs and the impact they have on their lives.

We recognise that:

  • not all pupils with disabilities have special educational needs (SEN)
  • not all pupils with SEN meet the definition of disability
  • children may have SEN in some areas of learning or development but not in others; they may even be SEN for some things but gifted or talented for others.

We track the progress and attainment of all pupils at least termly, and have high expectations for all.

Special Educational Needs

Our staff team is passionate about meeting the needs for all learners. Mrs Alphey, our Headteacher, is an experienced SENCo and oversees our provision for all pupils. We prioritise staff training, so that teachers, teaching assistants and mealtime assistants are well equipped to cater for a variety of individual needs. We also aim to identify needs early, allowing us to intervene quickly to support a child’s development, calling in specialist support, assessment and advice where necessary. We regularly call on educational psychologists, speech and language therapists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, behaviour support advisory teachers, communication and interaction specialists and specialist dyslexia teachers to advise us on the most effective strategies and support programmes to use with individuals.

Children experiencing learning difficulties will have an individual programme of work developed for them in those areas where it is appropriate. Where this is the case, parents will be informed and invited to school to discuss their child’s programme with their class teacher. A child’s programme may be summarised in a ‘Provision Map’ or a ‘DAF 2a Plan’. Targets on these programmes will be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound). These programmes of support are reviewed at least twice a year with parents.

The Local Offer

Each local authority is required to publish their ‘local offer’. This is information on what you can expect to be available for children and young people who have special educational needs across education, health and social care services. Do follow the link below to find out more about what is available in Devon.


SEN Information report

Please click the link below to find out more about the provision we made for SEN pupils at Dunsford Community Primary School in 2015-16.

Dunsford SEN Information Report

Devon Information Advice and Support for SEND (DIAS) (formerly known as The Parent Partnership Service)

The Devon Information Advice and Support Service (DIAS) offers information, training and support for parents and carers of children (aged 0-25 years) with Special Educational Needs in Devon. Their support is impartial, independent, confidential and free. Our local Information, Advice and Support Officer is Liz Batchelor. Do follow the link below to find out more, or call 01392 383080 to leave a message for her. Alternatively send an email to devonias@devon.gov.uk



Devon County Council produce a newsletter for parents and carers of children with additional needs three times a year. The newsletters are really informative and have a wealth of information in them about support services and support groups locally. Do click on the link below to find out more.

DISCplus Newsletter

Accessibility Plan

At Dunsford Community Academy, our vision is that over time the school will be able to offer an inclusive learning environment which is equally accessible to all children.  We are committed to providing children with physical and medical needs an education of the highest possible quality.  It is based upon the principle that whenever possible children should attend their local mainstream school, unless this is against their parent’s wishes or incompatible with the efficient education of other children or the efficient use of resources.

Accessibility Action Plan 2015-2018

For further details, please contact our Headteacher.