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Special Needs

Manor Mead School provides education for pupils with Severe Learning Difficulties.

The school is able to make provision for pupils who have the following additional needs:

  • Physical Disability
  • Communication Difficulties
  • Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties
  • Sensory Impairment; Hearing, Visual or both
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorder
  • Challenging Behaviour
  • Epilepsy and other additional medical needs
  • Sensory Processing Difficulties

Details of Manor Mead's Local Offer for SEND14 can be viewed on the SEND Local Offer page


The school building and site has the following provision:

  • secure, single storey buildings and grounds
  • ten classrooms with toilets adjacent to every classroom 
  • two Early Years Foundation Stage classrooms with adjacent outside play areas which are secure and safe for outside learning.
  • tracking and hoists for pupils with physical disabilities in all classrooms and their adjacent toilets, in the school hydrotherapy pool and changing rooms
  • ‘Assist’ buttons in each room which page a member of the Leadership Team and Nurse
  • four outside play areas; one with a sandpit and playhouse, a tarmac playground with bike shed housing a wide range of bikes for all abilities, a large ‘ship’ climbing frame in a fenced area off the playground, a musical playground with a roundabout
  • hydrotherapy pool with two attached changing rooms: this is also a multi-sensory pool
  • purpose-built Soft Play room with a ball pond
  • Medical Room: shared by the School Nurse and Physiotherapists
  • Cookery Room: with a main area for Food Technology and a screened-off section for ICT where pupils can be taken to work on computers individually or in small groups 
  • Library : children can borrow books to take home, the room is also used for individual/small group teaching

The school has additional specialist facilities:

  • Sensory Playroom: this is a large room which can be accessed through Blue classroom or the opposite corridor. It has black-out blinds and a variety of sensory equipment, all switch-operated. It also has facilities for 'messy' play and is used by the Early Years Foundation Stage classes when the sensory equipment is not being used by other classes.
  • ‘Multisensory environment’ around the swimming pool which enables the Pool to be ‘blacked out’ and then lit with coloured lights and music is played. The children are able to start the special effects by operating a waterproof switch in the water.
  • Dark Room which is painted dark green and has visually stimulating equipment, a computer and an ultraviolet light. This enables pupils to work on visual skills in a distraction-free setting.
  • Sensory Room which has a variety of equipment with tactile, visual and sound qualities. The equipment has been chosen to be interactive: pupils can press switches to change the special effects such as the colour of the bubble tube or the sound effect from the Auditory Panel.
  • Sensory Garden: this is a multi-sensory area rich in colour with raised flowerbeds, a pergola and a water feature.
  • 'Musical Playground': this is an area which has large free-standing musical equipment as well as a roundabout accessible to all children.
The school has a Variety Club Minibus with a tail-lift. This enables pupils to be taken to activities available in the local community and to go on Educational visits.  

Medical Support

The school has nursing support from two part-time Nurses and a full-time Health Care Assistant.

The nursing team aim to ensure the health needs of pupils are met, working closely with pupils, parents/carers, teaching staff and other professionals.

Community Paediatricians visit the school and see children with their parents for medicals: these provide an opportunity for parents to discuss their child’s medical needs with the Doctor and School Nurse.

 The School Dentist visits the school annually to check the children’s teeth and identify any dental work required.  


Physiotherapy at Manor Mead is provided by Therapists from Children and Family Health Surrey.

Therapists are in school for a set number of sessions each week. They assess pupils’ physiotherapy needs, write programmes as required for individual pupils and monitor and address their equipment needs. They can attend hospital or equipment appointments if necessary. They advise on Hydrotherapy swims. 

The Physiotherapists provide training for school staff to enable them to deliver children’s physiotherapy programmes daily.

Speech and Language Therapy

Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) from Surrey County Council provide regular onsite input to the school.

SLTs work with identified pupils who need support with their communication. The SLTs main aim is to assess / review these pupils and then provide support (to school staff and parents) to ensure each child is able to achieve their communication potential. This involves collaborating with teachers to set targets which can be actively incorporated into daily school life.

In addition to supporting pupils’ development of communication, SLTs with a specialism in feeding also assess eating and drinking skills if it has been identified a pupil requires futher support with their feeding. Therapists work closely with parents, school staff and health professionals at school to ensure a pupil is eating and drinking safely and is experiencing pleasurable mealtime experiences. As agreed feeding plan is provided and reviewed as necessary.  

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy support for the school is provided by Therapists from Children and Family Health Surrey.

They assess and sets programmes for pupils who have been referred to their service. The programmes are implemented by class staff and the Therapists review the programmes on their next visit to the school. The Occupational Therapists also provide training for all staff.

Moving and Handling

Children who are not independently mobile and need to be lifted in school are assessed by trained school staff supported by Surrey’s Moving and Handling Advisors.

They carry out risk assessments and advise staff on safe lifting procedures which usually involve using hoists to lift. All classrooms, toilets and the swimming pool are equipped with tracking and hoists. All staff attend training in Moving and Handling.

Behaviour Management

As a school we aim to provide an environment where staff have high expectations and positive attitudes so that children know they are respected and valued for themselves.

We recognise that many of our pupils need support as they develop to learn to behave appropriately.

When a pupil’s behaviour interferes with their learning or the learning of other pupils, a behaviour management plan is drawn up to ensure that behaviour is dealt with consistently. These are shared with parents.

Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at Manor Mead School. The Governors have agreed an Anti-Bullying Policy. The school also has a policy on Physical Interventions.

Educational Psychologist

The school has an assigned Educational Psychologist who works with the school staff to advise on Behaviour Management, to attend some Annual Reviews, and to assess children when required.

Where changes to a child’s educational provision are being considered, the Educational Psychologist must be present at the Annual Review.

Sensory Support Services

The Advisory Teacher for pupils with a visual impairment provides support for individual pupils and advises staff on approaches and equipment.

The Advisory Teacher for pupils with a Hearing Impairment also visits the school regularly to support pupils and staff.

Some pupils have support from the Advisory Teacher for pupils with a Multi-Sensory Impairment.

All Advisory teachers provide training for staff.

Provision after Manor Mead

Manor Mead is a Primary School, pupils leave at the end of Year 6 when they are 11.

Parents may express a preference for a school which can meet their child’s needs. The nearest appropriate secondary provision is Walton Leigh School in Walton-on-Thames and many pupils transfer from Manor Mead to Walton Leigh. The two schools work closely together to provide an induction for pupils transferring to Walton Leigh. If a pupil is transferring to another school, induction is arranged with that school as appropriate.

A Panel meeting is held for placements for pupils requiring secondary provision: this is arranged by Special Needs Management and they notify the parents of the outcome of the Panel.

Please also see our Special Educational Needs Information report