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St Francis Church of England Aided Junior School

"Let your light shine bright"

Our latest Ofsted report has been punblished please follow the link in Key Informtion / Ofsted and Performance Click on NEWS above (NEWSLETTERS below on phones) for the latest updates from school including what we have been learning, achievements, routines and dates for your diary. Thank you for your continued support, Mrs. Lakey and your St Francis' family.

What areas of expertise do the staff have?

Staffing and any Specialist Qualifications/Expertise 


Mrs Lisa Lakey is our Headteacher and has achieved The National Award for SEND Coordination.


Miss Mason, our Positive Futures Worker, works with a range of agencies and families and offers coaching sessions to children. 


Mrs Roche and Miss Mason are the Autism Lead professionals in school.


Miss Fahey and Miss Mason manage any medical needs and writes care plans that run alongside SEND plans.


Mrs Pickett, Miss Mason, Miss Fahey, Miss Pounder and Mrs Roche are qualified in de-escalation techniques including Team Teach. All staff have received de-escalation training in the last 2 years.


Staff have experience in supporting children with the four areas of need using resources such as those outlined below:

Communication and interaction (SLCN, ASC) 

Elklan Speech and Language Level 3

Talkabout For Children tool by Alex Kelly

Creating Circles of Friends

ASD provision – tailored to individual need.

Speech Therapy provided by working alongside Speech and Language professionals

Cognition and learning (MLD, PMLD, SLD, SpLD) 

Subject specific assessment

Education Psychology Assessments – which may include memory, understanding, reasoning, logic, and general skills assessment.

Precision Teaching

Catch-up interventions

Social, Emotional and Health Difficulties 

Talkabout For Children - Alex Kelly

Relax Kids

Starving The Anxiety Gremlin – Kate Collins-Donnelly

The Incredible Five Point Scale  - Kari Dunn Buron and Mitzi Curtis

The Friendship Formula – Alison Schroeder

Your Fantastic Elastic Brain – JoAnn Deak

Perseverance diary

Self-esteem games for children

Sensory and/or Physical Difficulties 

Movement Programme baseline assessment

Handwriting and copying skills baseline assessment

SEND Specialist Expertise


SENCO and SEND Staff


Our SENCO is Mrs Lisa Lakey.

It is the SENCO’s job to:

  • Oversee the day-to-day operation of the school’s SEND policy
  • Liaise with the relevant Designated Teacher where a looked after pupil has SEND
  • Advise teachers on using a graduated approach to providing SEND support
  • Advise on the deployment of the school’s delegated budget and other resources to meet the pupil’s needs effectively
  • Liaise with parents/carers of pupils with SEND
  • Liaise with and be a key point of contact for external agencies
  • Ensure that the school keeps the records of all SEND pupils up to date
  • Work with the head teacher and school governors to ensure that the school meets its responsibilities with regard to reasonable adjustments and access arrangements.


More details of the SENCO’s role can be found in the SEND Policy which you can find in the school polices section of our website.


Other Specialist Staff

Our support team have extensive experience in:

  • Supporting the needs of pupils with Autism.
  • Supporting the needs of pupils with ADHD / ADD / ODD
  • Closing gaps in English and Maths skills.
  • Developing self-esteem and self-worth.
  • De-escalation at times of frustration.
  • Mindfulness techniques.
  • Growth mind-set discussions.
  • Developing Friendships.
  • Use of peer support and buddies.
  • Speech and language techniques
  • Supporting pupils with sensory issues including SPD


In addition, our support team have had training in the following areas:

  • Adapting PE lessons for inclusion of all children.
  • Eating difficulties in children
  • Lead the Brilliant Club
  • Lego Therapy
  • Level 1 in Understanding Mental Health disorders
  • Level 2 Supporting children who self-harm
  • Level 2 in the application of number and communication skills
  • Level 4 in Understanding Autism Disorders
  • Medicines in School and Care Plans.
  • Read, Write Inc. and letters and sounds
  • Support children with anger issues
  • Support children with Autism by developing good autism practise
  • Support parents awaiting an autism diagnosis
  • 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.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
  • These include:
  • North East Autism Society
  • Autism Team
  • Behaviour Support Service
  • Cognition and Learning Team
  • Durham SEND Information, Advice and Support Service
  • Family Workers
  • Educational Psychology Service
  • Emotional Wellbeing Team
  • Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Education Team
  • Looked After Children Education Service
  • School Counsellor
  • School Nursing Team
  • SEND Casework Team
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Occupational Therapists


How we secure specialist expertise

Our Additional Needs Budget is used to support children and young people with SEN.  In addition, we receive additional funding from the Local Authority to meet the agreed outcomes for children with complex special educational needs.


This is used to support children and young people with SEND by:

  • Staffing to ensure work related to outcomes on plans can be assessed, delivered and evaluated.
  • Staff training
  • Resources for teaching and learning based on specialist advice
  • Physical resources to break down barriers to learning
  • Additional teacher planning time to enable differentiated learning resources
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