Special educational needs and disabilities


Changing Lives

At Date Palm we recognise that each child is unique with his or her own personal talents, experiences, learning styles and should be valued for who they are. We are committed to provide an inclusive environment where all children with SEND are included in the curriculum, have resources, and education that promotes their intellectual and personal development. Our vision is to reduce barriers to learning and making change for the good of all students by celebrating and appreciating their ambitions, potential and progress.

👥 SEND Coordinator : Luthfa Begum
📧 Email Address : Luthfa.begum@datepalmprimary.com


Definition of Special Educational Needs (SEN) as taken from section 20 of the Children and Families Act 2014.

A child or young person has special educational needs if he or she has 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 they;
a) have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or
(b) have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.

A child under compulsory school age has special educational needs if they fall within the definition at (a) or (b) above or would do so if no special educational provision were made. Children must not be regarded as having a learning difficulty solely because the language or form of language of their home is different from the language in which they will be taught.

SEND Policy

At Date Palm we recognise that each child is unique with his or her own personal talents, experiences, learning styles and should be valued for who they are. We are committed to provide an inclusive environment where all children with SEND are included in the curriculum, have resources, and education that promotes their intellectual and personal development.

Provision Map

Our Provision Map is a tailored roadmap designed to support every child's unique learning journey. It encompasses a wide spectrum of needs, from enhancing Communication and Interaction skills to targeted Interventions. Professional Assessments and Reports guide our strategies, ensuring individualized support for Cognition and Learning. We address Social, Emotional, and Mental Health needs, fostering a positive environment. Additionally, our approach recognizes and accommodates Sensory and Physical requirements, ensuring a holistic and inclusive educational experience for every student


At Date Palm, we are dedicated to the timely identification and comprehensive support for Special Educational Needs (SEN) within our student community. Our experienced team employs rigorous assessments and collaborative efforts with parents and specialists to identify individual needs accurately. Once identified, we implement tailored interventions, supportive strategies, and personalized care, ensuring every child receives the assistance they require. Our commitment lies in fostering an inclusive, nurturing environment where every student can thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.

Parents SEND Coffee Morning

Our Parents SEND Coffee Morning provides a concise overview of our tailored support methods, including Quality First Teaching, Interventions, Teaching Assistant support, and Personalized Planning. It's an opportunity for parents to understand the specialized assistance we offer to ensure every child's unique needs are met effectively.

Local Offer

To find out more about SEND provision and services within Tower Hamlets please follow the link below to the Tower Hamlets Local Offer website

SEND Information Report

The SEN and Disability Information Report describes what help, support and
services are available for children and young people with Special Educational Needs
and Disabilities (SEND) and their families in our school.

Understanding Autism: Communication and Social Interaction Challenges

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others.
Autistic people see, hear and feel the world differently to other people. If you are autistic, you are autistic for life; autism is not an illness or
disease and cannot be ‘cured’. Often people feel being autistic is a fundamental aspect of their identity.
Autism is a spectrum condition. All autistic people share certain difficulties, but being autistic will affect them in different ways. Some autistic
people also have learning disabilities, mental health issues or other conditions, meaning people need different levels of support. All people on the
autism spectrum learn and develop. With the right sort of support, all can be helped to live a more fulfilling life of their own choosing

Social communication

Autistic people have difficulties with interpreting both verbal and non-verbal language like gestures or tone of voice. Many have a very literal
understanding of language, and think people always mean exactly what they say. They may find it difficult to use or understand:

  • Facial expressions
  • tone of voice
  • jokes and sarcasm

Some may not speak, or have fairly limited speech. They will often understand more of what other people say to them than they are able to
express, yet may struggle with vagueness or abstract concepts. Some autistic people benefit from using, or prefer to use, alternative means of
communication, such as sign language or visual symbols. Some are able to communicate very effectively without speech.
Others have good language skills, but they may still find it hard to understand the expectations of others within conversations, perhaps repeating
what the other person has just said (this is called echolalia) or talking at length about their own interests.
It often helps to speak in a clear, consistent way and to give autistic people time to process what has been said to them.

Social Interaction

Autistic people often have difficulty ‘reading’ other people – recognising or understanding others’ feelings and intentions – and expressing their
own emotions. This can make it very hard for them to navigate the social world. They may:

  • Appear to be insensitive
  • Seek out time alone when overloaded by other people
  • Not seek comfort from other people
  • Appear to behave ‘strangely’ or in a way thought to be socially inappropriate

Autistic people may find it hard to form friendships. Some may want to interact with other people and make friends, but may be unsure how to go about it.

You might find these websites helpful:




Understanding Dyslexia: A Common Learning Disorder

Dyslexia is a language-based learning disorder characterized by difficulties with specific language skills, particularly reading, writing, spelling, and speech. It is caused by differences in how the brain processes written and spoken language. Dyslexia is not related to intelligence or desire to learn, but people with dyslexia have trouble connecting letters with sounds, decoding words, reading fluency, word recognition, spelling, and organizational skills for language.

Common Signs of Dyslexia

  • Struggling to read age-appropriate books and materials fluently
  • Mispronouncing or transposing letter sounds and syllables
  • Difficulty learning sight words and homonyms
  • Trouble spelling even basic words
  • Messy handwriting and letter reversals
  • Slow written work with many errors
  • Poor comprehension and retention of reading
  • Difficulty organizing thoughts into writing

If your child exhibits several of these signs, dyslexia may be the cause of their struggles. The sooner it is identified and addressed, the more effective specialized support and intervention can be.

Expert Support at Our School

Our experienced faculty includes teachers specially trained to work with dyslexic students and deliver individualized instruction tailored to each child's needs. We utilize proven Orton-Gillingham based reading programs, assistive technology, classroom accommodations, and multisensory learning techniques designed for dyslexic brains. With the proper support, children with dyslexia can absolutely thrive in school and life.

Screening and Services

Contact our learning support team to discuss having your child evaluated for dyslexia and learning disorders. We offer comprehensive assessments and can recommend targeted interventions to get your child the help they need to succeed. By working together, we can ensure your child's unique learning needs are met.

You might find these websites helpful:

https:/ /www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/

https:/ /www.dyslexia.uk.net/

https:/ /www.helenarkell.org.uk/

What are Speech, Language and Communication Needs?

The term speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) describes difficulties across one or many aspects of communication including:

  • problems with producing speech sounds accurately
  • stammering
  • voice problems, such as hoarseness and loss of voice
  • problems understanding language (making sense of what people say)
  • problems using language (words and sentences)
  • problems interacting with others.

For example, difficulties understanding the non-verbal rules of good communication or using language in different ways to question, clarify or
describe things Some SLCN are short term and can be addressed through effective early intervention. Others are more permanent and will remain with a person throughout their childhood and adult life.
Speech, language and communication needs can occur in childhood as primary difficulties with speech, language and communication or secondary to other developmental conditions such as autism. They can also be acquired in adulthood.

You might find these websites useful:




Understanding Sensory and Physical Disabilities

Sensory needs, which can be hearing loss and/or visual impairment or sensory processing difficulties and physical difficulties, can occur for a variety of reasons, e.g . congenital conditions (some progressive), injury or disease. The important consideration in this area is the degree to which the difficulties impact on a child's or young person's ability to access educational opportunities.

Hearing Loss

  • Hearing loss can be sensorineural, conductive or mixed
  • The levels of hearing loss are mild, moderate, severe or profound

Vision Loss

  • Visual impairment is an eye condition that cannot be fully corrected by glasses or contact lenses. The levels of vision are mild, moderate, severe or profound.

Multisensory Impairment

  • Multisensory impairment occurs when there is a hearing loss and visual impairment, which are both educationally significant although they may be at different levels.

Sensory Processing Difficulty

Our bodies and the environment send our brain information through our senses. We process and organise this information so that we feel comfortable and secure. When a child has difficulty coping with these demands, they may have sensory processing difficulties.

A child may be under-sensitive or over-sensitive in the 5 areas:

  • Proprioception
  • Vestibular
  • Auditory
  • Oral Sensory
  • Tactile

Physical Difficulty

Physical/medical injures can be for a variety of reasons, e.g . congenital conditions (some progressive), injury or disease.
A child with a physical difficulty may have a diagnosed medical condition which affects them physically. There may be an undiagnosed condition where the child presents with delayed development or impairment with their physical ability and/ or presentation.

You might find these websites useful:

https://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/lgnl/health _ social_care/disabilities/sight_and_hearing_service.aspx


What are social, emotional and mental health needs (SEMH)?

Social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs are a type of special educational needs in which children/young people have severe difficulties in managing their emotions and behaviour. They often show inappropriate responses and feelings to situations.

This means that they have trouble in building and maintaining relationships with peers and adults; they can also struggle to engage with learning and to cope in classroom without additional strategies and interventions. Children with SEMH will often feel anxious, scared and misunderstood.

Typical characteristics of children with SEMH can include:

  • Disruptive, antisocial and uncooperative behaviour
  • Temper tantrums
  • Frustration, anger and verbal and physical threats / aggression
  • Withdrawn and depressed attitudes
  • Anxiety and self-harm

SEMH does not have to be a lifelong condition. With appropriate support children and young people can move forward and live successful lives.

you might find these websites useful:

https:/ /youngminds.org.uk/


https:/ /www.mentalhealth.org.uk/ a-to-z/ cl children-and-young-people