Special Educational Needs & Disability
SEND Information Report
These pages set out information about our provision for children and young people with special educational needs & disability (SEND). They are updated annually.
About our school:
Didcot Girls’ School provides for students with a wide range of special educational needs including those with:
- Communication and interaction needs; this includes children who have speech language and communication difficulties including autistic spectrum conditions.
- Cognition and Learning needs; this includes children who have learning difficulties and specific learning difficulties like dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia.
- Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs.
- Sensory and/or Physical needs; this includes children who have visual or hearing needs, or a physical disability that affects their learning.
Our Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCos) are Laura May Tilling and Philippa Painting - both can be contacted on 01235 812 092 or email:
Our Deputy SENCo is: Sarah Newey. She can be contacted on 01235 812 092 or email:
Our governor with responsibility for SEND is: Ruth Elliot
The following policies are available on the school website:
- SEND Policy
- Accessibility Plan
- Access to Education for Students with Medical Needs
- Equalities Policy
How do we identify and give extra help to students with SEND?
The school uses Oxfordshire County Council’s guidance ‘Identifying and supporting Special Educational Needs in Oxfordshire schools and settings’.
The guidance sets out:
- How we identify if a student has a special educational need.
- How we assess students and plan for their special educational needs, and how we adapt our teaching.
- Ways in which we can adapt our school environment to meet each student’s needs
- How we review progress and agree outcomes and involve you and your child in this.
Click here to read it: Oxfordshire County Council’s guidance ‘Identifying and supporting Special Educational Needs
How do we work with parents and students?
We will always contact parents if we have a concern that a student may have a special educational need. We work closely with students with SEND and their parents to agree outcomes and how we will all work towards these, and then to review progress. We do this by holding regular meetings, at parent evenings, using student managers and scheduled phone calls.
There are also opportunities for parents and students to contribute to and be consulted on our policies on SEN and Equality.
We do this through Governors / Parent Governor, parent forums and from within the tutoring system.
Adapting the curriculum
- We offer a broad and balanced curriculum for all students including those with SEND. Details are published on the school’s website. The way we adapt this for students with SEN and disabled students is set out in the School Accessibility Plan We have highly targeted teaching groups in Maths and English based on prior attainment across all year groups.
- We have an ‘Inclusion Group’ for personalised and small group provision to maintain vulernable students in a mainstream setting and to achieve at lease 5A*-G at GCSE.
- We have subject specific Learning Mentors who run interventions and in class support to enable accelerated progress.
- We have Teaching Assistants to support pupils in making accelerated progress in class across the curriculum.
- We offer opportunities on specialist courses for young people in association with Abingdon College and Meadowbrook for KS4 and On-Course for students at KS3.
- We also offer bespoke work experience for those with specific needs.
What expertise can we offer?
- All staff have training in safeguarding.
- Key staff have received training in the adoption of the new SEND Code of Practice.
- Teaching assistants are trained to support the particular needs of the students they work with.
- A full time School Health Nurse.
- A full time School Counsellor.
- We buy in time from an Educational Psychologist.
We also have access to a range of specialist support services including:
- SENSS, who support students with communication and language, sensory needs and physical needs.
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
- Oxfordshire School Inclusion Team
- Therapy Services
- Children’s Social Care
Information about these services and what they offer can be found on the Oxfordshire County Council SEN web pages: Services to support children learning.
- We always discuss the involvement of specialist SEN services with parents first.
- We also work with other services and organisations that are involved with a family, with the family’s permission.
How do we know if SEND provision is effective?
The progress of all students is tracked throughout with regular data reports, updated profiles and provision mapping.
In addition for students with SEND we regularly review progress towards agreed outcomes assessing whether the support that’s been in place has made a difference and what we need to do next. We evaluate this progress against age related expectations.
When we run special intervention programmes for groups of students we assess how successful they have been and use that information to decide on how best to run them in the future.
Information about how the governing body evaluates the success of the education that is provided for pupils with SEND is contained within the annual report to the Curriculum and Staff committee of the Governors.
How are students with SEND helped to access activities outside of the classroom?
All students are included in activities and trips following risk assessments where needed and in accordance with duties under the Equalities Act 2010. We talk to parents and young people when planning trips so that everyone is clear about what will happen.
There is information about activities and events for disabled students and those with SEND in Oxfordshire in the Family Information Directory: Disability, SEN & additional needs
Oxfordshire’s accessibility strategy can be read here: Schools Accessibility Strategy (2013) - Oxfordshire County Council
What do we do to support the wellbeing of students with SEND?
We listen to the views of students with SEND by providing a robust pastoral support system which includes tutors and student managers who liaise with the Learning Support team, class teachers, Key Stage leaders and Heads of Faculty. We take bullying very seriously. We help to prevent bullying of all students including those with SEND by the application of the Behaviour Management Policy, Equality Plan and the Anti-Bullying Policy which are available here.
Joining the school and moving on
We encourage all new students to visit the school before starting. We offer open mornings, open evenings and all primary schools are visited by Didcot Girls’ School teachers as part of the transition process There is a partnership wide transition day for students moving sites / and from primary schools. For students with SEND we offer extra bespoke visits and 1:1 support and liaison.
We begin to prepare young people for transition into the next stage of their education or training through a tight system of liaison and information sharing with our partner Primaries, KS3 and KS4 teachers and then KS4 and KS5 teachers. This is supported by dedicated Student Managers.
Whom to contact
If you are concerned about your child, please contact either one of the Joint SENCOs or the Deputy SENCO on 01235 812092 or via email.
If you would like to feedback, including compliments and concerns about SEN provision, we aim to respond within 48 hours.
If you would like impartial advice pleae contact SENDIASS Oxfordshire (formerly Parent Partnership).
If you would like to know more about opportunities for students with SEND and their families, support groups or information about SEND, these are listed in the Oxfordshire Family Information Service Directory.
Oxfordshire’s Local Offer contains lots of information for parents. Didcot Girls' School has contributed to the County’s Local Offer through attendance at a training workshop and through adopting new guidance and systems.
Parent Guide to the new SEN Code of Practice produced by the Department for Education. A comprehensive guide but quite a long read at 59 pages. If you don't want to read this long guide, try these helpful flowcharts from Special Needs Jungle Parent-led information, resources and informed opinion about children and young people with SEN, special needs, disability, health conditions and rare diseases.