Cliftonville Primary and Pre-School is an excellent school the children are happy and thriving. Brilliant school, fabulous staff, great senior leadership team = a happy child! The dedication and hard work from the entire school team is outstanding and clear to see. I think you've all been amazing throughout the years, just want to so say thankyou & we appreciate everything you do for all of us . We love the school and are so impressed with all of the staff who work so hard constantly it is greatly appreciated by the children and parents and carers thank you. Presence of Teachers and caretakers at pick up and drop off really help you feel safe. The well-being of the pupils is outstanding. It is a lovely school with a welcoming feel and a positive atmosphere. Highly visible leadership team. A feeling of pride in the school. Supportive school for both parents and children. As parents we feel really proud that our son comes to such a great school, which we knew was fabulous whether OFSTED told us o



Who do I talk to about SEND?

Initially please speak to your child’s class teacher and discuss your concerns. If you would like to speak to our SEND department, please contact via our contact details which can be found in the ‘worried about a child’ on the main SEND page.

How do I know if my child has dyslexia?

We can only screen for dyslexia, and this will provide an overview of your child’s strengths and areas for development. Screening reports are then shared with teachers so they are aware of how to support your child through Quality First Teaching in the classroom.

Can you refer my child for a diagnosis?

Yes, the school can refer your child for a diagnosis of ADHD, ASD or other referrals needed such as Speech and language. These referrals are completed by the SENCO team with support of the class teachers.

Can my child have an EHCP?

This will be dependent on the level of SEND that your child presents with and support needed at school. The process will require your child to have a personalised plan that is reviewed at least 3 times and with some specialist involvement.

How can you support my child with understanding their emotions?

As a school we have a Wellbeing team that can support students with a variety of emotional difficulties. Please speak to your child’s class teacher if you have any concerns.

I think my child is dyslexic. What can we do?

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.

Our teachers have dyslexia awareness training and 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.

Although we cannot diagnose dyslexia, we are able to screen your child for a possible dyslexic profile and to help us identify possible interventions. To gain a dyslexia diagnosis your child would need to be assessed by an independent certified assessor. It is an educational diagnosis that is life-long and results from high levels of psychometric testing that staff in primary schools are not qualified to use. A diagnosis is recognised under the Disability Discrimination Act (2010) and permits an older child to have access arrangements at secondary school and adaptations in the workplace. This is private assessment and comes at a cost. Assessors look for a discrepancy between a child’s general ability (like their IQ) and a child’s literacy skills.

I think my child has autism. What can we do?

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.

As a school we are able to make a referral for an assessment with parents’ consent, however the referral process can take up to 3 years.

If a child is displaying traits of autism, our teachers will implement appropriate support strategies even if your child has not received a diagnosis.

I think my child has ADHD. What can we do?

As above, this is a Health diagnosis. This is a behavioural disorder.
Same principles apply – school can make a referral. Children with this need may display inattentive or hyperactive/ impulsive behaviour that is significantly different from the majority of the peer group and across different environments, to refer. Children usually cannot be referred until they are 6.
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.

I think my child has some speech and language difficulties. What can we do?

We can run a speech link or language link screener. This identifies the speech sounds that the child might be muddling/substituting, or which areas of language (e.g. instructional, vocabulary, concepts, pronouns etc) they are weaker with. It helps us determine how severe a problem there may be, but it is a computer-based snapshot, and it is important to talk to you as a parent and glean information from the teacher.

It can also help us identify additional interventions your child may need, which will also provide evidence to help us make a referral to the NHS speech and language therapy team, if intervention does not have impact.

Some children experience a speech or language delay – the difficulty is likely to resolve itself or ‘catch up’ or could be a disorder, which is where more specialist intervention may be needed.

We know that children with speech and language difficulties may go on to have difficulties with learning, particularly literacy, though this is not always the case.

I think my child needs an EHCP

This is an Educational Healthcare Plan. This used to be called a Statement of SEN.  

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 are stringent.

There is further information about EHCP on this website:

On this web page there is also information about the ‘pathway’ and timelines, but the whole process, from request to ‘decision to issue’ the plan is 20 weeks. Sometimes, if 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 LIFT meeting so that specialists can determine if anything more can be done, before an EHCP is requested. 


I think my child should be on the SEN register. Will this give them more support?

As a school we use the strategies outlined in The Mainstream Core standards to support the inclusion of all children

The school is bound by a definition of Special Educational Needs as set out by the legal framework, the SEN Code of Practice (2014).

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 by mainstream schools, maintained

nursery schools, mainstream post-16 institutions or by relevant early years providers.

For a child under two years of age, special educational provision means educational

provision of any kind.


Being 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.