Special Educational Needs

Special Educational Needs

SEN Information Report (School Offer) for children with specialised educational needs and disabilities (SEND)


1. How does the school know if children/young people need extra help and what should I do if I think they may have special educational needs?

  • A detailed transition process and working closely with our primary feeder schools provide us with in-depth knowledge that is shared with all staff.
  • We operate a Year 7 screening programme using CATs, reading, spelling and numeracy tests.
  • New entry testing for young people who join us part way through any year forms the basis of identifying SEND on transition.
  • Subject staff can raise concerns at any point of any year.
  • Tracking information from reports at the end of the autumn, spring and summer terms are used to identify underachievement.
  • If parents/carers have concerns they can contact the Head of Inclusion.

Students with concerns can also drop in to see the Head of Inclusion or SEN facilitator – in the base (next to H1).

2. How will school staff support my child/young person?

  • Every child/young person’s education and progress will be overseen and monitored within the whole school system. Your child/young person’s form tutor and Student Development Leader will have an overview of progress within all subjects.
  • Quality first teaching in all classes – all teachers are teachers of SEND.
  • All teachers will be told about your child’s individual needs and will adapt their lessons to meet these. Differentiated teaching in lessons means your child can access the lessons fully.
  • Most of our students follow a traditional curriculum, however a small number of learners have a more personalised curriculum to match their individual needs, interests and abilities.
  • Extra support will be allocated by heads of faculties according to the child/young person’s level of need.
  • Robust screening in Year 7 establishes baseline scores across the whole year group, intervention is then planned if areas of concern are identified.
  • Supported homework clubs are run by faculties; and students can get support from both teaching staff and Inclusion support staff to complete homework.

When your child/young person is approaching the start of Key Stage 4 if we think it is needed we will assess and apply for exam access arrangements according to the Joint Council for Qualifications exam regulations.[/

3. How will I know how my child is doing?

  • The school will send home individual reports each year which will show target levels, progress towards target and report on classwork and behaviour.
  • The Student Development leaders, faculties and Head of Inclusion will monitor and review your child’s levels and if necessary put intervention in place.
  • Parents/carers are invited to contact relevant subject staff in order to discuss progress in addition to the standard reporting arrangements.
  • ‘Show My Homework’ (SMHW) displays homework set and deadlines.

We will keep you up to date and involved with your child’s progress through:

  • parents evenings with subject staff and information evenings with a specific focus for different year groups
  • notes in planners
  • email
  • telephone calls

annual reviews (for those with an Education Health Care Plan)

4. How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s/young person’s needs?

  • Individual Learning Passports that are shared with all staff – these give a profile of strengths/interests, barriers to learning and support that the child/young person feels would help them to learn. These are devised by Inclusion Support staff in consultation with the child/young person.
  • High quality teaching that is differentiated (adapted) and personalised to meet individual needs. Developing differentiation strategies across the school is a key focal point.
  • Small group interventions led by a suitably experienced, trained Inclusion support leader or assistant that specifically target an area that needs development.

Monitoring of progress through school tracking systems and pupil progress meetings

5. What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?

  • At Fearnhill we take our pastoral responsibilities seriously. We pride ourselves on providing a high level of student support and guidance.
  • Each Key Stage has a Student Development Leader and non-teaching assistant who oversees the emotional well-being of their children/young people.
  • Each child/young person is a member of a tutor group that meets each day with their form tutor.
  • Bullying is taken extremely seriously and children/young people are encouraged to report any such incidents to any adult in order that they can be dealt with.
  • We have a school counsellor who may offer more specific support.
  • The school also operates a mentoring scheme so that individuals can access support from nominated members of staff.
  • The school has trained staff who can administer medication and support children/young people in living with medical conditions.
  • Some children/young people access focused intervention from our inclusion team.
  • If your child/young person finds lunch or break times difficult we have clubs in a safe and supervised area of the school.  The library is also available.
  • Children/Young people are encouraged to express their views via the School council.

6. What training have the staff, supporting children and young people with SEND, had or are having?

All teachers are teachers of SEND, they will have had appropriate and regular training.

  • We provide in house training and a cycle of CPD for all teaching and support staff as relevant.
  • We have a Inclusion department which is made up of the Head of Inclusion, SEND facilitator and a number of Inclusion support leaders and assistants which are attached to different faculties. Within this team we have staff who have a range of experience and training covering various SEN needs.
  • Staff who are new to the school follow an induction programme which includes training and information on SEND.
  • Training is provided to all staff including teachers and Inclusion support staff as the need arises and there is ongoing training for all staff as well as opportunities to further develop skills. Speech, language and communication training took place for all staff this year led by the Speech, language and communication therapist attached to the school.
  • In addition to this, Inclusion support assistants participated in more specialised speech and language training last year, in conjunction with our partnership school – The Highfield.
  • We have a named Autism lead at Fearnhill – Mrs N de Fraine and she can be contacted by phone or by email.

As a school we can call on support from specialist organisations from within the Local Authority.

7. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?

  • The SEN facilitator holds the Level 4 Specialist teaching assistant award.
  • Several Inclusion support assistants hold or are working towards Level 2 or Level 3 NVQs in supporting children with SEND.
  • We have an Inclusion support assistant who has received accredited specialist speech and language training.
  • We have an Inclusion support assistant who has completed their Level 1 award in British sign language.

For some children we can get support from the:

  • Autism advisory service
  • Hearing impaired advisory service
  • The Grange SpLD base
  • Educational Psychology service
  • Speech and language therapy service
  • ADHD nurse.
  • North Herts Education Support Service
  • Connexions-careers advice

The school employs a fully qualified counsellor.

8. How will you help me to support my child/young person’s learning?

You can support your child by encouraging him/her to fully engage with their learning and any interventions offered by:

  • Helping them to be organised for their day (including bringing the right equipment and books)
    • Encouraging full attendance and good punctuality
    • Supporting completion of homework
    • Checking and signing their planner
    • Attending parents meetings
    • Attending any meetings specifically arranged for your child

In addition to this, we would ask that if you know that your child needs help with a specific skill that you contact the SEN facilitator for details of any work that you could do with them at home.

Links to external support are available on the school web site.  The Head of Inclusion is always available to meet with parents to discuss support.

9. How will I be involved in discussions about and planning for my child/young person’s education?

  • You will have an opportunity to discuss individual subjects with subject teachers at parent’s evening each year.
  • Parents are informed if interventions are going to take place and meetings /discussion can be held as necessary with the Head of Inclusion.
  • The Head of Inclusion is also available at each parent evening and information evening.

A parental survey is sent to parents/carers of students with SEND on a bi-annual basis.

10. How will my child/young person be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?

Fearnhill is a fully inclusive school and all efforts will be made to accommodate any student who wishes to participate in extra-curricular activities, both in school and outside.

  • Appropriate provision and reasonable adjustments will be made where necessary
  • Medical support will be put in place where necessary
  • Additional adults with expertise in the support your child/young person needs will accompany them to provide support if necessary
  • Risk assessments to ensure the safety of all pupils

Trips arranged to support classroom learning, eg theatre trip, art trips, geography field trips etc, are open to all students and all are expected to attend.Other trips eg Ski trip are advertised in school and on the school website and students can apply to go.

11. How accessible is the school environment?

  • The building is fully wheelchair accessible, with small lifts on the ground floor to enable access to all departments and a lift up to the first floor.
  • The Student Support Centre (SSC) has a ramp to allow access into the building.
  • There is visual signposting across the school.
  • There are disabled changing and toilet facilities.
  • Technology rooms, including Catering have height adjustable work stations.

Other classrooms have height adjustable tables for wheelchair users.

12. How will the school prepare and support my child/young person to join the school, transfer to a new school or the next stage of education and life?

  • We liaise with junior schools and provide additional transition support if it is needed.
  • SEND students will have advice for their options during Year 9 and the opportunity to seek career advice. Their options interviews will take place with the Head of Inclusion and their parents will be invited to be present
  • SEND students will have the opportunity to seek careers advice in Year 10 and Year 11 and if additional support is needed this will be put in place.
  • All students in Year 10 have the opportunity to take part in a week long work experience placement.
  • If students have an Education, Health and Care Plan the Head of Inclusion will attend an interview at a post 16 placement if requested.
  • The Head of Inclusion attends the local Secondary SENCO forum on a termly basis and transition to local colleges is planned with the college personnel. 

13. How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s/ young people’s special educational needs?

  • Securing and employing lnclusion leaders and support assistants.
  • Facilitating staffing ratios whereby children/young people with SEND have access to smaller groups and class sizes in all year groups.
  • Accessing specialist training events, advice and equipment where necessary.
  • Exceptional Needs Funding provided by application to County in exceptional circumstances.

14. How is the decision made about how much support my child will receive?

  • Robust Year 7 screening procedures allow us to allocate extra support based on the level of need.
  • Some decisions about additional support will be made by the Maths and English curriculum areas (1:1 English and Maths tuition at KS4).
  • Some decisions about extra support will be made by the Head of Inclusion. There are clear thresholds as to when the Inclusion Support department will be involved with a student; and the screening process in Year 7 across the whole year group supports us in making consistent and transparent decisions over the allocation of extra support.
  • Support is put in some lessons but the aim is always to encourage independence and parents will be consulted about support.

Advice from external agencies can determine support allocations.

15. Who can I contact for further information

  • The first point of contact within the school is usually the child/young person’s form tutor or the member of staff teaching them a particular subject.
  • However, the Head of Inclusion is always available to discuss concerns for SEND students either by email or in person – please telephone the school to make an appointment.

In the case of complaints, any member of the school’s Senior Leadership Team are


16. How can I find information about the local authority’s Local Offer of services and provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disability?
The local authority’s Local Offer can be accessed at www.hertsdirect.org/localoffer