“We look to the future with what we feel is a realistic optimism. The Church has a tradition of ministry to people with learning difficulties and disabilities, and this tradition will fuel the stronger, more broadly based efforts called for by contemporary circumstances. We also have faith that our quest for justice, increasingly enlisted on the side of individuals with disabilities, will work powerfully in their behalf. No one would deny that every man, woman and child has the right to develop his or her potential to the fullest. With God’s help and our own determination, the day will come when that right is realized in the lives of all people.”(Bishops’ Conference Statement of People with Learning Difficulties and Disabilities 1976)
As a Catholic School we recognise and affirm the dignity of all, as people made in the image and likeness of God. It is our Christian duty not only to hold and affirm this fundamental principle but to act upon it. The great majority of children grasp the opportunities offered in school, to grow to become self-disciplined, happy, mature young adults. Some young people, however, suffer disadvantages which limit their ability to access both the curriculum and extra-curricular activities. In caring for the most vulnerable and ensuring an inclusive framework in our search for excellence in all and for all, the Special Educational Needs Department work towards making our vision a reality.
Many young people find themselves in the position of needing additional support at some time in their school career; the pupil who is taking longer to read than his friends, the child who has been ill and absent for a long time, the child who breaks both wrists and needs help using a laptop computer. Then there are the children with permanent disadvantages to overcome. Physical disabilities which limit their mobility and stamina, sensory impairment, behavioural and learning difficulties across the whole range from being very gifted to the handicap of specific learning difficulties and all the associated problems of limited literacy and numeracy skills.
St Leonard’s recognises the need to make provision for these children to include them in every aspect of school life. For a Special Educational Needs Department to be effective we need full participation of staff, pupils, parents and governors so that effective provision is made to secure teaching and learning opportunities that meet the needs of all pupils as a fully integrated part of the school vision and the mission of the Church.
To read the SEND Policy in full please click here.
Our Core Offer
What we offer to all learners:
Teachers are responsible for the progress of all pupils in their class. The first step in supporting pupils who may have an additional or special need is to make learning accessible yet challenging. All are challenged to do their very best. This is enough for most pupils to make good progress.
All children are known well by their Tutor, with further support from their Head of Year and where appropriate, the SENCO. Tutors enjoy developing strong relationships with the children they work with every day. Good behaviour and organisation is rewarded. Sanctions exist to support consistently high standards of behaviour. To read the Behaviour Policy in full please click here.
Your child can express their views in several ways, including via their School Council representative or directly to pastoral staff
We manage medical needs by working closely with parents and healthcare professionals. We listen to and act on their advice, providing staff training when needed. To read the school’s policy on supporting pupils with Medical Needs in full please click here.
We run a wide range of extra-curricular clubs in which children with SEND are encourage to participate.
The Savio Centre and Courtyard Area are inclusive spaces, available for any child experiencing social difficulties.
Children are supervised by the Social Inclusion Manager and Learning Support Assistants.
SEND at St Leonard’s
The SEND Department is staffed by the SENCO and three other classroom teachers, six Learning Support Assistants, a Transition Coordinator, Social Inclusion Manager and a Learning Mentor.
The SENCO is Mr Martyn Capper. Mr Capper can be contacted by telephone at school or by emailing – email@example.com
The link Governor for SEND can be contacted by emailing – HeadTeacher@st-leonards.durham.sch.uk
Consulting Parents and Students
St Leonard’s puts working with parents/carers and students at the centre of its work. Students are involved with reviewing their progress and encouraged to express their needs and concerns with relevant staff. Students with SEND are encouraged to express any concerns they may have to the SENCo, their form tutor or any other member of staff with whom they feel comfortable to talk about their concerns.
Parents and carers are equally at the centre of supporting their children. They are involved in decisions about support for their child, including decisions to investigate a potential diagnosis, referral to external agencies, planning and evaluating support. They are encouraged to contact the SENCo or Head of Year at school if they have any concerns about their child. The SENCo is always pleased to discuss any concerns involving SEND with parents and carers.
‘All schools have duties under the equality act 2010 towards individual disabled children and young people. They must make reasonable adjustments to prevent them being put at a substantial disadvantage. Schools also have wider duties to prevent discrimination, to promote equality of opportunity and to foster good relations’ (from the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years. Published June 2014 for implementation in September 2014.)
St Leonard’s is an inclusive school and actively seeks to promote the inclusion of students with SEND and disabilities. We use our best endeavours to ensure that all students with SEND and disabilities are able to participate in the life of the school, both in their learning and in the wider provision and life of the school. Please see our accessibility plan.
Students with SEND are actively encouraged, supported and given opportunities to become involved with extra-curricular activities.
Looked after children
Any LAC students who have special educational needs have access to our normal provision and the support of Social services.
The local authority funds schools to support their SEND provision. Each individual school receives their own SEND funding from the local authority. Each school identifies specific interventions to use this fund and their impact is monitored and reviewed by the school.
All pupils follow the national curriculum at a level and pace suitable for their ability. Find out more about the curriculum at the school by visiting the department pages.
The school’s main focus is quality first teaching (QFT) where differentiation in lessons allows the individual needs of all students to be met. Where a student’s individual need requires further support, the school can provide a supported timetable as well as withdrawal work in small groups.
Additional support available within the school includes:
Timetabled ‘ KS3 Study Skills’ lessons in literacy and numeracy.
Team of Learning Support Assistants.
Rapid Reading programme.
Support of external agencies.
The appropriate use of rewards and sanctions.
A broad range of extra-curricular activities, including homework club and use of the Courtyard area, Library and Savio Centre.
Exam concessions where needed.
We, at St Leonard’s, use our professional judgement to ensure that the funding is distributed to have the greatest impact on our SEND pupils. We review this at school level to ensure maximum effectiveness and efficiency.
Number of SEND Students
12 & 13
Emotional, social and mental health
Cognitive and learning
Communication and interaction
Sensory and physical
Assessment, Planning, Doing, Reviewing
Many young people starting St Leonard’s may have been identified as already having Special Educational Needs / Disability (SEND). Those needs may have been identified by:
(b) a health visitor;
(c) a primary school teacher;
(d) a medical professional• Where a student fails to make progress despite high quality teaching we will investigate to assess their level of SEND / academic need with the support of relevant professionals.
Where a SEND is identified that requires a level of support that is additional to and different from provision that is normally available then the student will be identified on the school SEND register according to their level of need:
i. SEND Support (SS)
ii. SEND Support Plus (SS+)
iii. Statement of SEND / Education Health Care Plan
If you are concerned that your child has an unidentified special educational need than you should contact Mr Capper to discuss your concerns. firstname.lastname@example.org
Pupils access a broad and balanced curriculum which may be personalised dependent on level of need.
The SEND register and related documents such as Pupil Profiles are available to all staff via the school intranet and are therefore available in all teaching and office areas.
Pupils will have the opportunity to discuss information that they would like to share with staff.
The SENCO and Transition Assistant will attend Year 6 reviews in preparation for planning for transition.
Parents of pupils with SEND in Year 9 will be given the opportunity to discuss options choices open to them through KS4.
Pupils with Statements/EHC will have the support of a One Point Advisor throughout KS4 in order to prepare a Transition plan in preparation for moving to a different KS5 provider, training or employment.
Parents and carers will be advised initially if concerns are raised. Where support of an intervention is required then this will communicated to parents.
Pupils will be informed when and why they are taking part in an intervention. Their input to the Pupil Profile is essential.
Further information can be found within the school SEND policy. A paper copy is available on request.
Progress is tracked and monitored termly. The SENCO and relevant Head of Year will meet to review data and pupil progress. Where a student has made progress and no longer requires SEND support then, with the agreement of parents/ carers, they will be removed from the SEND register. Should a pupil not make sufficient progress then we will seek further advice and support. For more details please read our Confident Parents Booklet.
Parents will be informed via progress reports, reviews and parents’ evenings.
Support for pupils with SEND
SEND Support (“SS”) is used when there is evidence that despite appropriate, differentiated teaching a child is not making progress at school and there is a need for action to be taken to meet learning needs. SS can include the involvement of extra teachers and may also require the use of different learning materials, special equipment or a different teaching strategy.
If your child is at SEND Support these are some of the things you can expect from St Leonard’s:
your child’s subject teachers will be exploring ways to support them in class such as:
– changing the way lessons are planned and delivered
– matching activities to the ability / need of your child (differentiation)
– adapting learning materials such as worksheets, books and activities to suit your child’s needs
– your child may have access to small group support;
the teachers will work in partnership with the SENCO to find ways to support your child with their needs, including giving you ideas on how you can help your child at home;
school staff should set targets for your child, which will be shared with you, either during Parents’ Evening or a Review Meeting.
SEND Support Plus
• SEND Support Plus (“SS+”) is used where SEND Support (SS) has not been able to help your child make adequate progress. At SS+ the school will seek external advice from the LA’s support services, the local Health Authority or from Social Services.• If your child is receiving SEND Support Plus level of support these are some of the things you can expect from St Leonard’s:
continuation of all help your child receives at SEND Support;
teachers, teaching assistants and the SENCO will continue to work together to find ways to support your child in school;
the school should seek additional advice from outside specialists such as health professionals, specialist teachers or educational psychologists who would:
– carry out further assessment of your child’s needs
– provide advice to schools on how to best support your child
– suggest resources that would help your child make progress
you should receive copies of any planning to meet your child’s needs (Pupil Profile / Individual Education Plan / Provision Map – see page 5);
your views will be important in planning for your child’s education. Progress will be reviewed regularly either at Parents’ Evenings or during review meetings with the school SENCO.
Statutory Assessment & Education Health Care Plans
If your child’s needs are very complex and/or severe the school may ask the Local Authority to carry out a Statutory Assessment for an Education Health Care Plan (EHC)*.
*EHCs are replacing Statements of SEN. All pupils currently with a Statement of SEND will be reassessed for an Education Health Care Plan.
This is a very detailed assessment of your child’s needs. Parents or carers, the school and a range of professionals will all be asked to provide reports.
At the end of the assessment phase the Local Authority will consider the advice to help decide whether or not to issue an Education Health Care Plan (formerly a Statement of Special Educational Need) for your child.
As a parent/carer you also have the right to ask the Local Authority to carry out this assessment although it is usually best if you can do this with the support of the school.
Assessment is only appropriate for a small number of children. Your school SENCO or the Parent Partnership Service will be able to advise you about this.
If, as a parent / carer of a pupil attending this school, you require a paper copy of the information on this website, we shall provide this free of charge.