The Special Educational Needs and Disability department nurture a supportive, inclusive environment whereby each individual’s needs are endeavoured to be met. We are lucky enough at St. Thomas More to have a dedicated space for students to partake in a range of interventions and supportive strategies. Our aim is to ensure that all students enabled with the support that they need to do their very best, despite any differences. We, as an inclusive school community, fully comply with the duties outlined in the Equality Act 2010, as well as those in the SEND Regulations 2014, ensuring that we make our curriculum accessible for learners with disabilities and / or special educational needs.
Ms. Beck as a member of SLT, and the Head of Inclusion, is our (named) SENDCo and oversees the department. Mrs. Wren, Senior Assistant SENDCo. manages the department on a daily-basis with the support of a team of 14 Teaching Assistants, who have a range of specialties.
We support students with Education Health Care Plans and students on the Special Educational and Disability Needs register across the curriculum working very closely with teaching staff to ensure best possible outcomes. Although the majority of support takes place in the classroom as it is important that students are exposed to quality first teaching, if a student requires more specific interventions these will take place in the SEND suite- these interventions may include support for Dyslexia, weak reading/ comprehension skills or further support with numeracy.
The school currently has support from the following outreach services.
Speech and Language
The therapist carries out assessments and also works with small groups of students focusing on social skills, language skills etc. An LSA/TA is normally present and can carry on with this work if the therapist is unable to attend. The service has also worked with the SEN department to ensure their professional development is met, delivering and supporting staff.
The school receives a core service of 4 days but also commissioned this service for an extra 9 days. This represents 38 hours of work.
Planned use of time:
- Individual consultation with different students in the Spring term.
- Drop- in sessions for parents
- Staff training
They will come in and observe/ advise/ work with small groups and attend annual reviews when there is a need. This academic year we have 29 students with a diagnosis of ASD. They have worked directly with students this year, assisting students, staff and parents.
The Sensory Service continues to support the school with regular visits - they will observe and give strategies to teaching and support staff for students with VI and HI.
CAMHS have this year been commissioned to offer a number of core hours of support to all schools in the borough. During these visits the clinical psychologist will meet with either SENDCo/ heads of years to offer guidance about young people with emotional or behavioural problems – this is not a CAMHS referral but can be helpful in understanding behaviour and thinking about appropriate support plans, working directly with parents and families or considering onwards referrals to specialist services. They also deliver staff training throughout the year.
SEND at the school
The school currently has 31 students with Education Health Care Plans and 85 students on the SEN register dispersed throughout the school.
As of September 2023