Information about Special Educational Needs / The Local Offer
Bishop Luffa is a successful mainstream school with an effective Support Team. Inclusion is integral to the school’s ethos, summed up in our motto ‘Always our best because everyone matters’.
The new Special Educational Needs Code of Practice came into force in September 2014. In line with new requirements, this information pamphlet is designed to help parents to understand clearly how pupils with Special Educational Needs are identified and supported. It addresses the questions, written in bold, that parents most frequently ask. The West Sussex Local Offer can be found on www.westsussex.gov.uk (https://westsussex.local-offer.org/information)
How does the school know if children/young people need extra help?
The school identifies children/young people with Special Educational Needs (SEN) in a variety of ways.
- Information is passed to the Pastoral Team, the Learning Mentor and the Head of Learning Support through their transition visits to primary schools.
- In September all Year 7s are assessed in spelling, writing and reading by the Learning Support Team, and the school also assess pupils through online tests called the Cognitive Ability Tests (CATS) which are marked externally. The results from these tests are shared with subject teachers so that appropriate planning and support in the classroom can be put into place.
- Within the graduated approach the class teacher is responsible for meeting all of the needs within the classroom. Heads of Faculty and class teachers in conjunction with Support allocate interventions and teaching assistants in the most effective way to meet needs and enhance progress. If a parent has concerns/questions about their child’s needs or the way in which these needs are being met they should contact the Head of Support.
The school also works in partnership with other agencies, and consultations with the Educational Psychologist are available. Partnerships with parents/ carers and families are developed, so that there is a clear route for information sharing.
What should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?
If a parent has concerns/questions about their child’s needs or the way in which these needs are being met they should contact the Head of Support.
How is the decision made about the type and amount of support my child will receive?
The amount of support a pupil receives is dependent on our assessment of particular needs, whether or not they have an existing statement or an Education, Health or Care (EHC) Plan. The support will be given in order to help achieve the best outcomes for the pupil. If a pupil is to be withdrawn from a class, parents will be consulted beforehand so that they are fully involved in the process. The school has a graduated response to support a child will receive. Withdrawal from a lesson is rare and is usually for a speech and language or social skills intervention.
The graduated approach includes support and challenge for very able pupils, with extension activities incorporated in teachers’ planning. Pupils' individual needs are identified through CATS scores, high achievement in subject areas, talent in sport or creative subjects, style of thinking and problem solving. Specialist interventions are mostly subject based. Motivation and challenge is a key factor to their learning.
Who can I contact in the school for further information/answers to questions?
A number of appropriate staff can help, depending on your question:
- For pastoral issues, the pastoral system is led by the Head of House. Each tutor group has a form tutor who is the first point of contact.
- For medical issues, the school nurse works five days a week during school hours.
- For concerns about safety and well-being, contact the Safeguarding Officer who is a member of the Leadership Team.
- For issues related to learning, please contact the Head of Support, Mrs J Collins-Ballands email@example.com
- For issues specifically related to SEND, the Support Department can help.
What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?
- Pupil Voice is extremely important at Bishop Luffa. All pupils have a chance to have their views heard through feedback sessions or the School Council.
- Pupils with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) are monitored closely by the Support Team for their learning and progress.
- Support also delivers Social Skills sessions to pupils who could benefit from these.
- For vulnerable pupils plans are put into place for extra support outside of the classroom such as lunch time or break time support.
- Homework club is open to any pupil that struggles with homework, or who prefers to complete it before going home. This is led by TAs.
- The school has a part-time Learning Mentor who allocates some time to vulnerable year 7 pupils during the Autumn and Spring terms. The Learning Mentor visits many of the primary feeder schools during the summer term.
- Heads of House and Form Tutors tend to deal with pastoral issues. However, for pupils with SEND, there is close communication between the Pastoral Team and the Support Team.
- The school has a full time nurse who is very aware of medical issues. The nurse regularly communicates with parents of pupils with specific needs or conditions (eg diabetes, epilepsy).
How will both you and I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?
The School assesses the progress of pupils with particular needs in several ways:
- The Support Team compiles a SEND Register which is shared with all staff. The Register includes strategies to support teachers in meeting a variety of needs within the classroom, so that all pupils can access the curriculum. Progress and attainment for pupils with SEN is shared with all relevant staff.
- Progress of pupils with SEND is assessed regularly by the subject teachers, Support Staff and Heads of House. The school systems for this process include regular assessments, House reports, reports to parents, and Parents' Evenings.
- The member of the Board of Directors with responsibility for SEND meets termly with the Head of Support to discuss the effectiveness of the school’s provision for pupils with SEN.
- In judging the effectiveness of our support, the School looks at improved access to/attainment in relevant subjects, and if appropriate, a more focussed approach to learning, or an increase in confidence in social skills.
- Parents will know how their child is doing in the following ways:
- Progress and attainment for pupils with SEN is discussed with parents at meetings or parents evenings dates of which are set in advance.
- Class teachers will contact parents if they are concerned about pupils’ progress. Pupils with Statements or Education Health Care Plans will be contacted by Support more regularly to discuss progress.
What training have the staff supporting pupils with SEND had or what training are they having?
Staff in the Support Team have specialist areas of expertise and training:
- Speech and language – Mrs C Parfitt
- Hearing/sight impairment – Mr C Cook, Mrs K Pegg, Mrs S Keighley
- Autistic Spectrum Disorder – Mr C Cook, Mrs K Jones
- Social skills – Mrs L Tabb
- Learning Mentor – Mrs C Youd
- Key Skills – Mrs C Youd
- Certificate of Personal Effectiveness – Mr G Horsfield, Mrs C Youd
- Lego Therapy – Mr C Cook, Mrs K Pegg, Mr G Horsfield
- HLTA Qualified - Mr L Eames
Skills and knowledge are kept up to date, and developed further according to need. Should a child be joining our school with a specific need that we have not met before, we liaise with agencies and experts drawn from West Sussex Learning (see http://www.westsussex.gov.uk/learning), the Blue Flag Teaching School Alliance (see http://www.noviosupport.org/ ) and further afield. Parents are also very much involved in partnership with the school.
All staff, teaching and support, are regularly trained in best approaches to supporting pupils with SEND in the mainstream classroom through INSET.
What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?
The school has connections with CAMHS, the Educational Psychology Service, Sensory Support , the Speech and Language Service, Social Services and the school also has a Pastoral Support Assistant. Relevant agencies provide necessary equipment and advice as appropriate.
How accessible is the school both indoors and outdoors?
All areas of the school except for the Art rooms are wheelchair accessible. Disabled toilets are positioned strategically throughout the school buildings. Recent adaptations to the environment give better support to pupils with visual impairment. The school successfully supports several pupils with a hearing impairment.
How are parents involved in the school?
Parents of pupils with Statements and Education, Health, Care Plans are regularly contacted by the Support Team to discuss progress, and to consider strategies to support with relevant issues which may be causing concern. For parents of pupils on SEN Support , the school follows the Graduated Response which entails careful planning for the pupil within the lesson, monitoring progress, and discussions with parents and Support if progress is not reaching the expected rate. Other strategies to support the pupil will then be considered.
A member of the Support team will contact parents, if subject teachers consider that assessment for exam access arrangements would enable a pupil to make expected progress. If parents wish to make such a request initially they need to contact the Head of House.
The member of the Board of Directors with responsibility for SEND is in regular contact with the Support Team, and is very supportive in all aspects of support for pupils.
Transition arrangements are put into place for vulnerable pupils either joining or moving on from Bishop Luffa.
The school has an active PFA and parents are welcome to join this.
How will my child be included in activities outside the school classroom including school trips?
- All the extra -curricular activities within school are available for all pupils.
- The Support Team runs a homework club after school, with Learning Support staff available to support pupils with their homework.
- All school trips are available for all pupils and support is put in place as appropriate, in discussion with parents
Contact Details of Staff in the Learning Support Team
Head of Learning Support:
Mrs Julie Collins-Ballands firstname.lastname@example.org 01243 832791
Faculty Coach for Learning Support:
Miss Kate Hurry email@example.com 01243 832735
The Local Offer website contains information and services for parents (and professionals) to access. The link is:
For information about what the Local Authority expects schools to provide for pupils with SEND