From September 2014, all schools are expected to publish information about their provision for special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). This includes the 'Local Offer', which helps parents/carers understand what services they and their families can expect from a range of local agencies.
What kinds of Special Educational Needs does the school make provision for? What interventions and adaptations do we make and how do we know they work?
Type of need:
Social emotional and mental health difficulties
Significant proportion of pupils with ASC (approximately 50% of current cohort)
Examples in our school:
High adult to pupil ratios.
Personalised targets for pupils.
Experienced staff team
Input from other professionals including on-site Clinical Psychologist
P3 programme to support re-engagement
Adapted and enriched curriculum
How we check it's working:
Regular assessments of personal targets
Review of Statements/EHCP
Personalised targets and planning for individuals.
Pupil profiles and EFL data
Regular programmes of audit and remediation around environment, social mix and staff CPD
How does the School identify and assess Special Educational Needs?
All our pupils have SEND and either Statements of Special Educational Need or Education Health and Care Plan. We work very closely with two of our primary partner schools (Skilts and Springfield House) during Years 5 and 6 to ensure that our curriculum and residential components are adapted for and informed by the particular needs of students transferring from these provisions.
You can access our SEND Policy here.
How does the School know how much progress is being made with pupils with Special Educational Needs?
We have robust systems of baseline assessments, recording data, target setting and tracking of progress in place. Targeted intervention is in place for all pupils who we feel are making less than expected progress. Our targets are set in line with national expectations for pupils, taking account of their SEND. Regular parents evenings/review meetings take place and parents are able to arrange meetings at other times to discuss progress. We report via yearly reports to parents around attainment in all curriculum areas.
What extra-curricular activities can a pupil with Special Educational Needs access at School?
We run a variety of enrichment activities for our pupils, some of these are held at lunch time, and some after school. Some students access our residential provision, for up to 4 nights a week. In addition we also offer a range of off-site and residential activities for pupils during the time they are with us. Key to the ethos of the school is an understanding of the role that volunteering/work experience and character and team building exercises – the Three Peaks Challenge for example – can have on attendance and engagement and therefore, ultimately, progress and attainment.
Does the School have a Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator, if so who are they and how can someone get in touch with them?
As a Special School, all staff are aware of the requirements to meet the needs of young people with SEND. Our Deputy Headteacher, Gareth Tillott, has specific and named responsibility for the overarching support of and monitoring of SENCO activities.
What training do the staff in school have in relation to pupils with Special Educational Needs?
Many of our teachers and support staff have a great deal of experience working with children with SEND. For staff who are new to the school and the sector, we offer induction and training including physical interventions (PRIME), information and guidance around the predominate prevailing medical conditions staff will encounter and behaviour management strategies.
For all our staff we have a schedule of training across the year, both in terms of Safeguarding and pupil welfare but also to continually develop curriculum expertise.
How does school get more specialist help for pupils if they need it?
Within school we have access to a team of professionals who can offer specialist advice, these include speech and language therapists, police, family support workers and the school nurse. We work very closely with all the professionals as well as parents to ensure we offer the best provision. We will also contact other agencies, as appropriate, for example FTB, Social Care and Health, Educational Psychologists and the Communication and Autism Team.
How are parents of children and young people with SEND involved in the education of their child?
We meet with parents as often as necessary to ensure that they are happy with the education their children are receiving.
There are a number of opportunities, both formal and informal, for parents to come into school. These range from parents’ evenings, specific celebrations of success, Annual Review meetings, special assemblies and fund-raising events. Class teachers, senior leaders and Residential staff contact parents regularly on the phone or via email. We also arrange meetings with parents at any time of the year, at their request.
How are pupils with Special Educational Needs involved in their own education?
Wherever possible we will include our pupils in their education by encouraging them to participate in review meetings, whether that is by talking with them outside of the meeting to ascertain their views or by them taking part in the meeting itself.
We also have a student council who meet regularly and have the opportunity to influence decisions. Pupil preference also helps to mould and determine our curriculum, for example what elements of our ‘options’ programme at KS4 are successful or need developing and our Friday activities programme. Friday activities is a bespoke approach that seeks to capitalise on the facilities at Hunters Hill such as the woods and fields for ‘Forest School’ activities or the Farm where skills around animal care and other associated experiences come to the fore.
If a parent or a child with SEND has a complaint about the school, how does the governing body deal with the complaint?
We have a complaints policy. In the first instance we would encourage parents to contact the Headteacher, Rev Andrew Lomas or other members of the Senior Leadership Team to discuss the complaint.
How does the Governing body involve other people in meeting the needs of pupils with special educational needs including support for their families?
There is a strong team of pastoral staff who work closely with children and families to ensure that the needs of the children are met. One of our Governors has a specific remit to work with the Head of Care to ensure that our residential provision (itself monitored and regulated by a separate yearly OFSTED inspection) and it is through these channels that we both ensure the best practice on terms of communication and involvement with families and seek further opportunities to develop. Our trailblazing work with the ‘Pathfinder’ project (see website for more details) is another developing and critical aspect of our work to involve and help families.
Who are the support services that can help parents with pupils who have special educational needs?
Parent Partnership services are available to help parents through the assessment process and can also help facilitate school visits and offer advice. SENAR are the department within the LA who manage the assessment process.
There are several parent support groups in Birmingham who offer support and guidance, a number of these organisations have parents of children with SEND who work with them.
How do the school support pupils with SEND through Transition?
The arrangements for transition vary dependent on the developmental stage the pupils are at. On entry to school the transition is planned on an individual basis with the family. This usually includes an informal visit by parents, an observation at the current school placement and a formal visit to school with the pupil. We offer two induction days for September starters. Arrangements for pupils who start at other times of the year are made on an individual basis.
If a pupil is coming to us from a different school, we will always try to visit them in their current setting and if possible attend their final review.
Transition from school – Pupils in Year 9 and their parents/carers have discussions about their future after school and their hopes and aspirations. Many pupils transfer into a variety of College placements. Our Transition team (see school website) have dedicated and experienced staff who work closely with residential and school staff in order to secure the best outcomes for pupils throughout KS4 and beyond – ensuring appropriate qualifications, destinations and support for our students.
How can parents find the Birmingham Local Authorities Local Offer?
Birmingham’s Local offer can be found on the My Care in Birmingham website.