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Merley First School

Special Education Needs and Disabilities

At Merley First School, we are committed to offering an inclusive curriculum to ensure the best possible progress for all of our pupils whatever their needs or abilities. If you have any questions about your child's needs please contact our Inclusion team, either by ringing the school office or emailing


Our Inclusion Team:

Mrs Carolyn Waldron - Inclusion Lead

Miss Sophie Leftwich - SENCo (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator)

Mrs Fay Kearn - ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant)


What does the term Special Educational Needs (SEND) Mean?

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 them. A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if they:

  • have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age; 
  • or have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools.

Definition taken from the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice: for 0-25 years (2014)


What are the SEN Areas of Need?

The 2014 SEND Code of Practice outlines four broad areas of special educational need that include a range of difficulties and conditions:

  • Communication and Interaction Needs
  • Cognition and Learning Difficulties
  • Social, Emotional and  Mental Health Needs
  • Sensory and/or Physical Needs

But while many children and young people have difficulties that fit clearly into one of these areas; some have needs that span two or more areas; for others the precise nature of their need may not be clear at the outset. Please see the details listed on the diagram below to identify which special needs are listed under which broad area of need.

For further information regarding Special Educational Needs, please visit Initio Learning Trust’s Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Website by clicking here.


SEND Policies

Click the links below to access the documents.

The school's SEND policy contains details of the schools mission, values, vision and aims for pupils with extra support needs.

The SEND Information Report outlines the school's provision for pupils with SEND and how the school will implement its SEND Policy.

Use the attached document below to the school’s latest accessibility plan. The school buildings and grounds are designed to maximise access to all pupils, including those with disabilities.

The BCP Council SEND Local Offer provides information on services and activities for children and young people living in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole aged 0 to 25 with special educational needs and disabilities.

Admission Arrangements for Pupils With SEND - Under the school’s admission arrangements, pupils with SEND are treated no less favourably than their peers without SEND. 


Useful Links 

Initio Learning Trust SEND Page

The Initio Learning Trust SEND Page has been created by our Academy Trust to share information with parents and carers on all aspects of SEND.

BCP’s Family Information Directory
The Family Information Directory has details of childcare, local activities and a range of services for families. 

SENDiass 4 BCP 
Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service are a free, confidential and impartial service for children and young people with SEND who live across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole and their parents or carers.


Confidential, accurate and impartial advice and support to families living in Dorset with children and young people aged 0 to 25 with special educational needs and disability (SEND).