Gospel Oak School is an outstanding learning community, where all students make outstanding progress irrespective of their starting point. Learning is challenging, engaging, purposeful and innovative allowing for creativity, a sense of fulfilment and a desire to succeed.
SENCO – Mrs Sarah Nash
Students and staff feel safe and supported to meet challenging goals; there is a tangible atmosphere of mutual respect. The school has high standards of behaviour as a result of student self-regulation and sense of pride in their community. Parents, students and staff have high aspirations; this is evident in the number of students who progress into good quality training and higher education. Students and staff feel that they are working together to make a better environment and leadership works to ensure that this culture is sustained and improved. There is an open and honest culture where expectations and accountability are clear. There is high-quality engagement with all parts of the community as the school makes a significant contribution to social improvement through volunteering schemes. The extra-curricular provision at the school means that talents are developed, further giving students new experiences.
The school believes that all students, whatever their needs, must receive the best possible education. We aim to provide every unique individual with opportunities to excel personally, socially and academically.
HOW DOES THE SCHOOL ENSURE THAT STUDENTS WHO NEED EXTRA HELP ARE IDENTIFIED EARLY?
Early identification of learners with SEND is essential. The school will use appropriate screening and assessment tools and determine student progress through:
- Evidence obtained by teacher observation
- Student progress in relation to objectives in the National Literacy/Numeracy Strategies.
- Standardised screening or assessment tools.
- Screening/diagnostic tests
- Reports or observations, both internal and external.
- Records from partner primary schools and previous school
- Information from parents and carers
- National Curriculum results
- External exam results
- Students’ work portfolios.
Support for students is available from outside agencies including:
- Educational Psychologist
- Consultant Specialist Teacher
- Behaviour Support Consultant
- Sensory Support Service
- Social Services
- Visiting School Nurse
- Child and Adolescent Health Service
WHAT SHOULD A PARENT/CARER DO IF THEY BELIEVE THEIR CHILD HAS A SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEED?
Initially you should contact the school’s SENCO, Mrs Sarah Nash to discuss your concerns. Mrs Sarah Nash can be contacted by telephone on 0121 556 1351 or by emailing:
You may also wish to arrange an appointment with your child’s GP if you feel that this is appropriate if your child’s difficulties are due to medical reasons. However, the SENCo may be able to help you to find other sources of support should you require these, such as health or social care.
HOW WILL SCHOOL STAFF SUPPORT STUDENTS?
A number of people are in place to support your child. Mrs Sarah Nash, SENCO acts as your first point of call for matters relating to SEN. Alongside this, the senior leadership team also consists of Mr. S Kearns, Vice Principal for Behaviour and Attitudes. Gospal Oak is also equipped with non-teaching pastoral Head of year, Achievement Assistants (Teaching Assistants) and tutors.
HOW WILL TEACHERS MATCH THE CURRICULUM TO THE STUDENTS’ NEEDS?
In many cases, students can benefit from very simple strategies such as changing their seating position in the classroom or the provision of large font text. Some students may require a combination of more specialized strategies. All students named on the register will receive individualized education plans to inform the teachers of appropriate strategies to support your child. Additionally, a range of strategies listed below may also be used as well as other interventions developed by the SENCO.
- Achievement Assistants support in class or in small group or 1:1 sessions
- Achievement Assistants Literacy Intervention
- Achievement Assistants Numeracy Intervention
- Accurate assessment and intervention from the SENCo or external agencies.
- Accelerated Reader Intervention
- Personalisation of the curriculum by the class teacher.
HOW IS THE DECISION MADE ABOUT THE TYPE AND FREQUENCY OF SUPPORT THAT A STUDENT WILL RECEIVE?
Support at the school is funded through the SEND Notional Budget. Support is then allocated on a needs basis, meaning that those students with the most complex needs will be given the most support. However, should this not be sufficient to meet the needs of the students, the school (with the support of the parents) may make an application for additional funding by means of an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).
HOW WILL THE SCHOOL MONITOR THE EFFICACY OF THE SUPPORT OFFERED TO STUDENTS?
The efficacy of support will be measured through the analysis of appropriate data. This will then be shared with parents/carers at Annual Review meetings where applicable, and at Progress Review evenings.
HOW WILL STUDENT PROGRESS BE SHARED WITH PARENTS/CARERS?
Student progress is shared through regular Progress Review evenings, written reports and frequent phone calls home.
HOW WILL STUDENTS BE INCLUDED IN ACTIVITIES OUTSIDE THE SCHOOL?
Our aim is to include all students in activities outside the school. This may require consultation with parents / carers in order to make the necessary adaptations and risk assessments may also be undertaken.
WHO IN THE SCHOOL HAS THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF SEND?
The SEND Governor:
The named governor with SEND responsibility is Jo Goodman.
The governor will:
- Oversee all elements of the school’s work relating to pupils with Special Educational Needs
- Act as a link between the school and the governing body on matters relating to SEND
- Act as a sounding board to the Principal and SENCo as required.
The Lead for SEN is Mrs Sarah Nash. The SENCO will:
- Be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the school’s SEND policy
- Ensures Individual Support Plans are in place where relevant
- Keep records on pupils with SEND maintaining files containing current and cumulative information such as specialist reports, past IEPs, and reviews
- Keep track of the number of pupils at different waves of SEND;
- Be responsible for ensuring staff are properly trained for their role in SEND provision and differentiation;
- Liaise with external agencies, including the educational psychology service and other support agencies, medical and social services and voluntary bodies
- Have regular meetings with parents and teachers to discuss the targets and strategies that form the ISP
- Leads on training and developing staff to meet the needs of all pupils.
- Determine the school’s general policy and approach to provision for children with SEND and maintains general oversight of the school’s SEND work
- Establish the appropriate staffing and funding arrangements for SEND provision
- Keep the governing body informed of developments in SEND provision
- Has a particular interest in pupils with special needs, monitoring their progress
- Ensure that their needs are being met across the school.
WHAT SPECIALIST SERVICES AND EXPERTISE ARE AVAILABLE AT OR CAN BE ACCESSED BY THE SCHOOL? WHAT TRAINING AND EXPERTISE DO STAFF MEMBERS HAVE TO SUPPORT THE ADDITIONAL NEEDS OF STUDENTS?
Inclusion Support (including Educational Psychology, Behaviour Support, Specific Learning Support) 0121 569 2777
Sensory Support (including Visual and Hearing Impairment) 0121 569 2777
HOW ACCESSIBLE IS THE SCHOOL, BOTH INDOORS AND OUTDOORS?
The school can be accessed at the main entrance. The school is in compliance with current legislation. There is a lift available to the first and second floors. The school’s accessibility plan is available from the school’s HR department.
HOW ARE PARENTS INVOLVED IN THE SCHOOL?
Parents are formally involved in Progress Review evenings, but also have the option to attend Open Evenings. Many parents receive regular phone calls from staff. Students who have an EHCP will have an Annual Review Meeting, which allows for parental contributions. During COVID restrictions, parents evenings have been hosted via an online platform.
HOW DO STUDENTS CONTRIBUTE THEIR VIEWS?
Student voice is an essential part of the Annual Review process. Feedback from students is also gained from their workbooks and their participation in class. Mentoring and Guidance sessions are also a crucial source of student opinions.
WHO CAN PARENTS/CARERS CONTACT IF THEY ARE NOT HAPPY WITH THE SUPPORT PROVIDED FOR THEIR CHILD?
All concerns are taken seriously as the wellbeing of our students is central to the school’s aims. In the first instance, please feel free to contact the Special Needs Coordinator, Mrs Sarah Nash can be contacted on 0121 556 1351.
HOW DOES THE SCHOOL CONTACT SUPPORT AGENCIES?
Sensory Support (including Visual and Hearing Impairment) 0845 352 7552
Inclusion Support (including Educational Psychology, Behaviour Support, Specific Learning Support) 0845 352 7552
HOW WILL SCHOOL STAFF PREPARE AND SUPPORT STUDENTS JOINING THE SCHOOL?
Before transfer to the school the lead teacher for transition and SENCo will:
- Ensure that the school receives the school records of all students transferring to Year 7 who have been identified by Primary schools as having SEND
- Ensure that the school receives information from other relevant agencies identified
- Ensure that copies of the statements and Individual Provision Maps of students transferring are received
- Will liaise with the Primary school SENCos and where possible should attend Year 6 annual reviews of students with statements to ensure a smooth transition and appropriate planning of IEP’s in Year 7
- Will meet with the parents/carers of children transferring to the school who are in receipt of a Statement to aid the process
- Will be responsible for supporting the collation of appropriate information (to include IEP’s) and resources for all teaching staff and learning facilitators so that they may:
- Use the information to provide starting points for the development of an appropriate curriculum for the student.
- Identify and focus attention on the student’s skills and highlight areas for early action to support the student within the class.