My name is Mrs. Joanne O'Keefe and I am the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENDCO) here at St. Clare's.  I am responsible for co-ordinating provision for pupils identified as having SEND.  I work closely with our skilled team of learning support assistants and class teachers to ensure pupils with SEN make good progress.  If you have any concerns about your child possibly having additional needs or your child has been identified as having additional needs, and you would like to speak to me, please contact me directly via my email address or by ringing the school office to make an appointment. 


Telephone: 0161 740 4993

“Every child has an entitlement to personal, social and intellectual development and must be given the opportunity to achieve his/her potential in learning”

NASEN (National Association for Special Educational Needs) Mission statement.



St. Clare's R.C Primary School is committed to providing a safe, stimulating learning environment that meets the needs of all pupils, including those with special educational needs. There is a shared expectation that all pupils, regardless of their specific needs, should be offered inclusive teaching which will enable them to make the best possible progress in school and feel that they are a valued member of the wider school community.  Meeting the needs of pupils with SEN is a collaborative effort involving the pupil, parents and school staff. We aim to work closely with families to plan appropriate support and review progress.

At St. Clare's we have high expectations of all our learners and aim for all pupils to reach their full potential regardless of their gender, race, culture or background.  We recognise, however, that every child develops at their own pace: academically, physically, socially and emotionally and that some pupils have special educational needs (SEN) which require extra provision that is in addition to and different from the normal adapted curriculum.  St. Clare's is fully committed to providing an inclusive education for all children.  As such, our aim is to identify and assess children with special educational needs as soon as possible in their school journey.

Extra support may be provided for the following areas of need; language and literacy, numeracy, speech and communication, social skills, self-esteem and confidence, concentration, behaviour and motor skills. This support is often given in the classroom by the class teacher or learning support assistant but sometimes pupils are withdrawn from the classroom for individual or small group teaching in quieter areas of the school.


Outside specialists are also regularly called on to support children with special needs.

These include:

  • Educational Psychologist

  • Occupational Therapist

  • Speech and Language Therapist (SALT)

  • CAHMS (Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service)


Here at St. Clare's we ensure that all our pupils are inclusive in all lessons.  We adapt our teaching and learning using a graduated response to help ensure inclusivity.



SEND Parent Social

This term we held our first SEND coffee morning.  Parents met and enjoyed a hot drink and a pastry.  During the session, parents chatted with each other about their children, offered advice and signposted each other to events, charities and organisations across the city.  Our school governor, Sue Kane, came along and chatted with parents about our SEND provision and the support their children receive.  Look out for our next event in the Spring term. 





Matching Needs to Provision Tool


SEND Governors Reports


SEND Code of Practice

Useful Links for external support services for parents with children with Special Educational Needs  




Talbot House        

Family Fund

A-World Autism Support

Children's Adventure Farm Trust


Manchester City Council are committed to support SEND families through their Short Breaks Local Offer.  I regularly ask the school office to send out Information of upcoming events and what's going on in the city.  If you feel this would be of benefit for your child or family, please register to receive the Local Offer Newsletter by emailing: .  By signing up, you will get all the information about weekend/evening/holiday activities, which will be sent directly to you.  Alternatively, you can look at what is on offer across the city by clicking the link below.

  Manchester Directory


There is lots to do in the community to support you and your child and the link below has more information  


Junior PARs (Junior Physical Activity Service) is a referral service that professionals and parents can refer into for children whose weight is above a healthy weight.  More information about this service can be found here:  services in Manchester - What we do .  If you feel this is something that your child would benefit from and you would like school to support you with this, please get in contact with me or Mrs Sylvester at school.


– Young person must be a resident or have a GP practice within the Manchester postcode area

– Must be aged between 5 – 17- years old

– Young person must be above a healthy weight (>91st centile)

– Must not have a chronic condition that requires rehabilitation

– Must not currently be active to recommended levels.


To book a place, ask your GP or Health professional to refer your family to our services. Or you can contact a member of the team for more information.

Call:  0161 511 0300



Manchester THRIVE is a single point of entry, a front door approach to Manchester’s Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health offer.  It is a consistent diverse offer that supports the individual needs of children, young people and families to empower them to thrive within their own community.

The M-Thrive Team will meet with any child or young person in the community to discuss ways in which community-based services can be accessed to help and alleviate some of the difficulties that may be being encountered and or support with any emotional health and wellbeing difficulties they may have.

How M Thrive can help in the following ways:

  • Professional, friendly, approachable team members who are here to listen to you and help you

  • A clear pathway into emotional, wellbeing & mental health support

  • Early Intervention, Self-Management & Prevention

  • Offer a route to intervention services should this be needed

  • Enable services that families currently access to provide the appropriate support, prevent escalation or the need for a further referral

  • Person Centred Approach

  • Shared Decision Making – making the right decision about what support is the right support for you

  • Access to community resources such as art, sports, entertainment clubs & Signposting

  • Access to your local hub

The Aim of M-Thrive is to:

  • Alleviate any presenting difficulties

  • Build resilience, reduce stigma and raise awareness of positive emotional wellbeing and mental health.

  • Build confidence to manage your own well-being and go onto THRIVE

  • Help you access activities in your community

  • Single point of entry front door approach through a local hub


If you would like to access M-Thrive or it's service, please get in touch directly with them or ring school and speak to either myself or Mrs Slyvester.

The following is a list of Resources and Interventions that school use to support our pupils.


In the folders below, you will find a bank of resources that may be useful to support your child's specific learning needs. 


SEMH Resources                            Literacy Resources                      Maths Resources





Mrs. P Johnson is trained in ELKLAN and supports Speech and Language across the school.  This is her full-time role.  If you feel your child has difficulties in this area please email me and I can ensure your child's needs are reviewed and supported within school.