Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

We offer the following SEND support to our pupils: 

  • Examination access arrangements 
  • 1 to 1 Inclusion Support Coaching 
  • YPAS Wellbeing Clinic  
  • Oakleaf Bereavement counselling 
  • Signposting to services and help organisations across the region for both students and families 
  • Educational Psychologist services 
  • Additional support and intervention across all subject areas 
  • Support sessions on study skills and curriculum support with a Learning Support Coach 
  • Support and representation of student and families with outside support agencies 

If you would like more details, please contact Lisa Dwyer, the SENDCO, on [email protected] 

Some Frequently Asked Questions to help you:  

How will you know if my child needs extra help?
We identify required actions for SEN students in terms of rates of progress to be achieved and access to learning. We also consider existing and identified SENDs, as well as previous school history. If a child has a diagnosed SEND (as defined in the SEND Code of practice 2014), the child is then placed on our Inclusion register and SEN support will be put in place. 

What should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?
Any concerns regarding specific learning difficulties and special educational needs should be directed to Lisa Dwyer, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator (SENDCo), in the first instance. She will assess if there is educational need first of all. It may be that once assessed that it is judged that your child may be best supported through the pastoral team or that further referrals or tests are required to outside agencies to see if there is an underlying cause. 

How will staff support my child?
There are a wide range of available interventions: in-class strategies, some interventions offered at lunch time or after school. Depending on your child’s needs, the school also liaises with outside services, such as CAMHs, YPAS, The Sensory Service and so on. Person centred planning is used in all stages of Special Needs support and Lisa Dwyer (SENDCo) is in overall charge of this. 

How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
All lessons are differentiated for a range of need, including special educational needs. As well as using their own professional knowledge, teachers are supported by the SENDCo and team of LSCs (Learning Support Coaches) to find suitable strategies for all pupils. 

How will I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?
Fortnightly RAG reports will give you an update on your child’s progress. You will also receive a full report and parents’ evening appointments with subject staff as a matter of whole school policy. Interventions that parents can help with at home can be discussed at parents’ evening. On top of this, parents with children on the SEN register will be invited to contribute at review points (depending on the stage this will be at least yearly and if not more often than that). Strategies to be used with your child will be discussed at the review points. If any extra concerns come up throughout the school year you are very welcome to contact Lisa Dwyer (SENDCo) via telephone or email. 

What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?
Our school has a comprehensive pastoral system which aids the holistic approach of the school. Your child will be assigned a form teacher, a Head of Year as well as an overall year leader from the senior leadership team.
In addition to this, we also have physical and mental health support via the school. The school also utilises external counsellors along with liaising with other health services, such as Child and Adolescent Mental Health and The Sensory Service.
Whilst most medicines are administered by the pupils themselves, prescribed medications can be delivered by first aid personnel.
Planning in strategies to be used for behaviour is also part of the personalised planning each year. Students and parents are involved at this review point. 

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by you?
Our SENDCo works closely with the following outside agencies in order to meet the needs of the pupils on the SEND register: Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHs), The Speech and Language Therapy Service, Occupational Health, Physiotherapy, Vision Support, Hearing Support,  Liverpool LA Sensory Service, Liverpool Educational Psychology Service, Special Needs Assessment Team (SENAAT), (external) School counsellors, School nurse and Education Welfare officers. As well as these, we also have staff with autistic spectrum specialist training and counsellor training within the school. 

What training are the staff supporting my child with SEND had or are having?
Lisa Dwyer (SENDCo) is a secondary school English teacher of over 30 years. She has the National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination as well as having attended various workshops and courses from a variety related fields, e.g. self -harm and suicide prevention, relationships counselling, the Future of SEND, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, ADHD and visual stress. 

The Learning Support team have bespoke SEND CPD training fortnightly after school to build on their knowledge and skill sets.  

How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?
Occasionally some conditions which lead to SEND can call for extra risk assessments on school trips, e.g. if a wheelchair is needed. If your child’s circumstances call for a teaching assistant or carer then they will also attend most trips with your child. The school endeavours to be as fully inclusive as is possible. 

How accessible is your school environment?
Lifts are available to all classrooms around the school for wheelchair and other disabilities’ access. There are disabled toilets on each floor of the school. EVAC chairs are provided for emergency situations where pupils will need to get downstairs without use of their wheelchairs/crutches. For auditory and sight problems, smaller rooms, headphones, exam reader pens, laptops, enlarged papers etc are available depending on need. 

How will you prepare and support my child to join your school?
The school arranges multiple open evenings every year for prospective parents and students. Students and their families will be invited to meet with the SENDCo ahead of joining the school and induction days will be arranged as and where appropriate. In some cases it is helpful for some students, especially those on the autistic spectrum, to do a private tour of the school during the summer term with the SENDCo.  

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
The SEN register comprises of two categories.  The highest category of need is represented by students who have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).  These students require additional resource, provided either out of the school’s own funding (EHCP Level 2) or via a combination of school’s funding plus ‘top-up’ funding provided by the Local Authority (EHCP Level 3). 
Some students will have additional needs that require extra support but this support will be at a level below that of an EHCP.  These students will usually have a diagnosis of a communication and interaction disability (ASC, ADHD); a physical need (sight or hearing impairment or co-ordination disorder); a cognition and learning need (low ability, significant processing difficulties) or a social, emotional and mental health difficulty. These students will receive targeted support in the classroom from their teachers.  They will also receive an individual plan in the form of a Pupil Passport- a document which serves to indicate their needs to teachers as well as summarise the key aspects of their needs and strategies that can usefully be adapted in the classroom.
EHCPs, and Pupil passports are all drawn up and reviewed in consultation with pupils and parents/carers and the local authority when applicable. 

Who can I contact for further information?
General questions surrounding your child’s education should be addressed to their Head of Year. If you have any questions, specifically about issues surrounding special educational needs, please feel free to address them to the school SENDCo, Lisa Dwyer, via the school. 

Can staff get extra help from experts outside if they need to? (e.g. advice and training on medical conditions)
If pupils develop or enter the school with disabilities or issues that we have little experience of, the SENDCo liaises with any of the specialist external agencies in our area as well as utilising the school nurse. In some circumstances a pupil’s GP or Consultant are also asked to attend review meetings.