“The Special Support Centre (a resourced provision for pupils with special educational needs) is very well led and a strength of the school. Leaders are passionate about wanting the best for every pupil and relationships between staff and pupils are particularly strong. Teachers and teaching assistants know how to work well together to inspire and challenge the pupils and communicate well with parents. As a result, pupils with special educational needs supported in the Special Support Centre make good progress” – Ofsted, 2016
The Special Support Centre (SSC) at Oriel High School.
Placements within the SSC are determined by West Sussex’s SEN team in consultation with the school; there are currently 25 planned places for Year 7 – Year 11. SSC places are for students with Statements of SEN/Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs), who are identified as having severe SpLD (dyslexia) and/or a Speech and Language difficulty. Students registered to the SSC are included in mainstream classes across the curriculum however, they have taught sessions which replace the study of a modern language. In addition, students in the SSC receive support in targeted lessons elsewhere in the curriculum. Students with other SEN (with Statements/EHCPs or at School Support) do not have the taught sessions in the SSC, but are supported in lessons and may be withdrawn for additional teaching, according to need. All students in the SSC are supported through transition from Year 6 to Year 7 with a personalised programme such as additional visits as necessary.
SEN and Disabilities Information Report
Oriel High School is a comprehensive school and as such we aim to meet the needs of students with a wide range of abilities, including those who may have additional learning needs and/or disabilities. This SEND report is reviewed annually by the school.
How does the school know if students need extra help and what should I do if I think that my child has special educational needs?
Identification of students with SEN and/or disabilities (SEND) may be through:
- information from primary schools and the transition work which takes place
- information from parents/carers visiting the school prior to their child’s entry
- screening of literacy and numeracy skills on entry
- school staff, parents and/or students themselves expressing concern about a lack of progress, as evidenced by observations and assessment results
How will both school and parents/carers know how students are doing and how are parents/carers helped to support students’ learning?
The school uses an on-line tool (Go4Schools) for tracking and monitoring the progress of all students, including those with SEND – information on the curriculum, attitude to learning and assessment results are posted regularly by subject teachers. Students’ homework is also posted on-line (Show My Homework). Parents/carers are encouraged to access this information.
Regular Parent Information Evenings are held, details of which are posted on the school website.
If parents/carers wish to discuss any aspect of their child’s progress, they are welcome to contact:
- the subject teacher, if the concern is subject-based
- the Learning Community team, if it is about the student’s social or emotional well-being
- the Learning Support team, if they are concerned about overall progress
If a concern is first expressed in school about any aspect of a student’s progress or well-being, this will of course be shared with parents/carers, with the aim that everyone works together to support the student.
Staff roles and training
The member of the school’s governing body with responsibility for SEND is Mr Nic Allen.
The Director of Learning, SEND (SENCO) is Mrs Rusling (firstname.lastname@example.org) and the Assistant Headteacher, Mr M Harrison (email@example.com) is also the school’s Designated Safeguarding Lead and Designated Teacher for Looked After Children.
The Director of Learning, SSC who oversees the SSC is Mrs Claire Emsley (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Teachers in the Learning Support team have specialist experience and a range of relevant qualifications:
- Bsc (Hons.); PGCE; MA;
- Level 7 Cert. in Assessing & Teaching Learners with SpLD (Dyslexia);
- Elklan Level 3 Speech & Language Support for 11-16s;
- PGCiPP National Award for SEN Co-ordination;
Mrs Brenda Rusling – SENCo
- Cert.Ed; PGCiPP National Award for SEN Co-ordination;
- IQ Level 7 Organisation Postgraduate Award of Proficiency in Assessment for Access Arrangements
The school is fortunate to have a very well-qualified and experienced team of Learning Associates (LAs) and Higher Level Teaching Assistants (HLTAs), who provide in-class support and small group work for students with SEND supporting inclusion of all students. Mrs Sharon Davies (HLTA) assists Mrs Emsley with the organisation and delivery of the SSC provision. Mrs Jo-Ann Williams provides administrative support for the SSC whilst Mrs Tehmina Chaudhary provides administrative support for the whole team. All Learning Support non-teaching staff attend relevant training alongside teaching colleagues on INSET days and also have their own training sessions relating to particular aspects of their work.
Subject teachers and Learning Community staff in the school have had experience of a wide range of SEND and receive regular training on types of need which occur relatively frequently. Staff may also receive training in specific aspects of learning need, relevant to the student cohort. Induction for new staff includes meetings with the SENCO and Director of Learning, SSC, to familiarise them with aspects of SEND work within the school.
What specialist services or expertise are available at or accessed by the school?
Members of the Learning Support team support inclusion with experience of:
- specialist teaching for students with dyslexia, speech and language difficulties, general delay in acquisition of literacy and numeracy skills, including reading and spelling
- working with students with sensory impairment
- working with students who have mobility and other difficulties due to a physical condition, e.g. cerebral palsy
- working with students who have an autistic spectrum condition.
Specialist staff whose (part-time) services have been commissioned by school currently include a Speech and Language Therapist, an Educational Psychologist and School Counsellors.
West Sussex County Council services which may be accessed by school, for students with learning and/or pastoral needs, include but are not exclusive to:
- Educational Psychology Service
- Learning and Behaviour Advisory Team
- Sensory Support Advisory Team
- Social Communication Team
- Virtual School for Looked After Children
- Family Support Network / Think Family
together with other specialist teams within e.g. Children’s Services and the Police.
NHS provision which may be accessed by school includes:
- Speech and Language Therapy Service
- Occupational Therapy Service
- Physiotherapy Service
- School Nurse
School work closely with other health professionals, e.g. clinical psychologists and psychiatrists from CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service), but referrals to this service are usually made through GPs.
School staff also work closely with voluntary organisations who may be involved with students.
Any external agency will have their own criteria for access, which must be met.
Admissions and funding arrangements
Admission arrangements for children with SEND are in line with West Sussex County Council’s guidelines (see School’s Admissions Policy).
Funding received by the school is targeted to provide support for identified students, according to need. Support may include 1:1 additional adult support where the most complex needs are present; however, in most cases students are supported within groups, with the aim of encouraging their levels of independence and self-reliance.
Facilities for SEND and accessibility of the school environment
The Learning Support Department houses the SSC, with classrooms which are equipped to support and enable inclusiveness with styles of teaching/learning suitable for small groups, pairs or individuals and to facilitate independent study. These rooms are also used by visiting professionals, e.g. educational or clinical psychologists, advisory teachers, speech and language therapists, the school nurse, physiotherapists and occupational therapists, when working with students.
The Learning Support Department also acts as:
- a consultancy base for teaching and Learning Associate staff giving in-class support
- a resource centre for SEN materials and equipment
- a base for study support and an after school homework club for identified students.
The upper floor of the school is wheelchair accessible via a lift. Each subject area has access to adjustable tables, which enable students in wheelchairs to sit comfortably at them.
There are EVAC Chairs (for evacuating disabled students and adults) on five staircases and a number of staff have been trained in their use; this is practised during fire drills. There are three toilets suitable for disabled people around the building and additional changing facilities in the PE area.
Teaching and support staff have experience in working with students with hearing impairments, who use radio microphones and aids to enable them to hear their teachers and take part in class discussions with their peers.
Following an environmental audit by WSCC’s Sensory Support Team, school have made appropriate adjustments to help students and adults with visual impairments to move safely and independently around the building. Teaching and support staff have experience of modifying classroom materials (including enlargement and Braille) and using appropriate IT to enable students to work as independently as possible.
How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom?
We aim to make all reasonable adjustments to enable students with SEND to be included and participate in all aspects of school life, including extra-curricular activities, alongside their peers. For school trips, reasonable adjustments may include arranging appropriate transport and additional adult support. Parents/carers are involved in planning for such trips, including any individual risk assessments which may be prepared.
How will the school support my child in starting school and moving on?
Oriel staff work very closely with primary school colleagues to try to ensure that all students make a happy start to their secondary school career in an inclusive environment; information is gathered individually about their learning, social and emotional needs prior to entry. In the case of students who have been identified as having SEND during their primary school years, additional transition work will take place:
- parents/carers of prospective students with SEND are welcome to visit Oriel during Year 5 and/or Year 6 to discuss possible provision for their child with Mrs Rusling or Mrs Emsley
- for students with EHCPs, Oriel staff will attend Year 6 Annual Reviews whenever possible
- students identified by primary colleagues as requiring additional support on transfer will follow an individualised programme, such as additional visits, during the summer term of Year 6.
Oriel SEN and Learning Community teams co-operate to prepare a student profile about students with additional needs, and this is available electronically to all relevant teaching and support staff, so that they are aware of the students’ needs and strategies for working with them.
A key aim of Oriel’s provision is to prepare our students as fully as possible for post-16 education and adult life. The school arranges opportunities for advice and guidance for both students and parents/carers, through the PHSCE (Personal, Health, Social and Citizenship Education) curriculum, information evenings, guest speakers and visits to further/higher education establishments. In the case of students with SEND, Oriel staff collaborate with other providers, including local colleges, to identify suitable further learning opportunities and facilitate smooth transitions.
How will the school support my child? How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
Subject teachers and learning mentors are responsible for delivering high quality teaching, differentiated as necessary, to enable all students in their classes, including students with SEND, to develop skills and make progress. We pride ourselves on being and inclusive school.
Where a student does not make expected progress despite high quality teaching, they are given extra support, which may include seeking advice from the Learning Support Department. Specialist staff within the team may carry out observations and/or a range of assessments to help identify particular areas of difficulty. If a potential special educational need is identified, a graduated approach – assess, plan, do, review – is put in place to endeavour to remove barriers to learning. At this stage, the student will be regarded as being at School Support. A student profile will be agreed with parents/carers and the student, which will set out:
- the student’s identified need, strengths and areas for development
- strategies to be employed by those working with the student
- assessment information
- targets which apply across the curriculum, relating to the student’s particular area of difficulty – which are in addition to his/her personal targets for each subject
- details of access arrangements for public examinations, if appropriate.
The student profile is shared with relevant school staff.
Support is offered according to need and may take the form of:
- additional differentiation or intervention by subject teachers
- in-class support by Learning Associates for targeted groups of students. Remaining in class enables students who are experiencing difficulties to have the benefit of subject-specialist teachers and support from peers and specialist equipment, alongside further differentiation of the curriculum. Student contributing ideas with support is valued
- pastoral support by members of the Learning Community teams
- a combination of both in-class support and withdrawal on a small group or 1:1 basis, to enable the teaching of specific skills by specialist teachers or Learning Associates
- assistance with mobility, hearing, seeing or handling materials
- supported homework clubs at lunchtime and after school
If a student continues to make little or no progress despite additional support, and following discussion with parents/carers and the student, the school will consider involving specialists from outside agencies, e.g. Speech and Language Therapy Service, Educational Psychology Service. Recommendations from such specialists will be incorporated into the student profile.
It is intended that the majority of students with SEND will have their needs met by provision at School Support. However, an assessment for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) may be requested by parents/carers, by the school or by the student (if aged over 16 years). Details of the criteria which must be met before the Local Authority will consider making such an assessment are available from the school, or through West Sussex County Council Education Department (see Local Offer, below).
If a student receives an EHCP, the student profile and the provision made will reflect the objectives and targets detailed in the Plan. EHCPs are formally reviewed and reports sent to the Local Authority on an annual basis, in line with their policy.
During a student’s career at Oriel High School, he/she may be identified as having a particular difficulty which will affect their ability to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding in public examinations. If so, after discussion with subject staff and collection of evidence, specialist staff within the Learning Support team may carry out recognised assessments which can lead to the student being granted Access Arrangements by the examination boards, if their criteria are met. If granted, Learning Support staff work with Oriel’s Examinations Officer to ensure that suitable arrangements are made.
How will the school support my child’s overall well-being?
When the student joins the school they are placed in one of four Learning Communities.
A Learning Community consists of 10 mentor groups, each one containing students from Years 7 to 11. These groups meet with their mentors twice a day, for registration and a programme of activities. Each Learning Community is led by a Head of Learning Community with a Deputy and a Pastoral Co-ordinator.
The vertical pastoral structure is designed to enable younger students to feel confident and secure in the company of older students, who are encouraged to look out for their younger fellows. All students, including those with SEND, are encouraged to tell their mentor and/or Pastoral Co-ordinator if they are experiencing any worries or problems, e.g. bullying or other difficulties with social situations. The Learning Community teams are experienced in supporting students with emotional difficulties and knowledgeable about accessing more specialist support, should this be required. There are homework and games clubs at lunchtime supported by LAs as well as mentoring by LAs for targeted students. Peer mentoring is also encouraged.
The PHSCE curriculum includes the areas of Citizenship, Personal Health and Wellbeing and Financial Capability and Economic Wellbeing.
If a student needs to take medication during the school day, a Care Plan is agreed and medicines administered and recorded by qualified first aiders. Personal/intimate care may be arranged in accordance with school policy.
Evaluating the effectiveness of the provision made for students with SEN
The academic progress and wellbeing of all students, including those with SEND, are tracked and monitored by subject teachers and Subject Leaders, Heads of Faculties, Heads of Learning Communities, pastoral teams (including mentors) and the Senior Leadership Team. Students and their parents/carers are able to access the on-line tracking tool “Go4Schools”, which gives current and previous assessment data, so that progress over time may be monitored.
Information and Support Services for parents/carers of students with SEN
The West Sussex County Council Local Offer is available online at:
The Local Offer website also contains information about non-school based services which are available to students with SEND and their families.
The West Sussex SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (formerly known as the Parent Partnership Service) provides impartial information, advice and support to parents and carers of children who have SEN and/or a disability. The service aims to encourage partnership between parents, school, social care, the Local Authority, health and other agencies.
Further information available at:
https://westsussex.local-offer.org/information_pages/8-send-information-advice-and-support-service or telephone Helpline 0330 22 8555.
The West Sussex Parent Carer Forum (WSPCF) helps parent carers of children and young people aged 0-25 with additional needs and disabilities to improve and make positive changes to the lives of their families and others. They do this by providing information, support and training to enable them to take part in helping to shape local services and make a difference in West Sussex:
Complaints from parents of students with SEND, about the provision made at the school, will be handled in accordance with the published Complaints Policy.