The Head of Individual Needs (SENCo) is responsible for managing and co-ordinating the support for children with special educational needs, including those who have Education Health and Care (EHC) plans.
Special Educational Needs Information
On this page we explain how we meet our duties towards students with special educational needs and disabilities. This reflects the information we provide to the East Sussex local offer which show the support that is available for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities in East Sussex.
We will review this information every year and will involve students through the Student Council and parents through Parent Voice Groups. If you want to give us your views about the report, please contact the School Office.
Mr J Mace, Chair of Governors
Who do I contact?
If you are thinking of applying for a place at Gildredge House, please visit the Apply section of our website. If your child is already at Gildredge House, you should talk initially to your child’s Form Tutor or Class Teacher.
The Head of Individual Needs (SENCO) is responsible for managing and co-ordinating the support for children with special educational needs, including those who have Education Health and Care (EHC) plans. The Head of Individual Needs also provides professional guidance to school staff and works closely with parents and other services that provide for children in the school.
Ms G Nicholson, Head of Individual Learning: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs D Williamson, Primary SENCo: email@example.com
Which children does Gildredge House provide for?
Gildredge House is an all-through Free School and we admit students from age 4 to 19. We are an inclusive school. This means we provide for children with all types of special educational needs. If you want a place for a child who has an Education Health and Care plan, contact your Assessment and Planning Officer at East Sussex County Council. If you want a place for any other child with special educational needs, you should apply as normal and your application will be considered in the same way as applications from children without special educational needs.
- East Sussex Admissions
- Information for Families (for admissions advice): 0345 60 80 192
Summary of how Gildredge House meets the needs of children with SEN and disabilities
At Gildredge House we follow the SEND Code of Practice 2015. We use resources available to us as a school to arrange the SEN support that a child or young person needs. We utilize funding and external support services to coordinate the effective support of all children with SEND. As a whole school we fulfill statutory duties under the Equality Act 2010 and the Children and Families Act 2014 towards individual disabled children and young people. We make reasonable adjustments, including the provision of auxiliary aids and services for disabled children, to prevent them being put at a disadvantage. As a whole school we formatively and summatively assess the needs of our students, incorporating a ‘plan, do, review’ cycle to ensure regular adaptation of the support our students require.
If the child is looked after by the Local Authority, they will have a Care Plan including a Personal Education Plan (PEP) and a Health Plan. Where appropriate we coordinate this with an additional needs plan and will involve parents and carers as well as foster carers or social workers in discussions.
How does Gildredge House identify children’s special educational needs?
We aim to identify special educational needs (SEN) as early as possible, so that our students achieve the best possible outcomes. A student has SEN when their learning difficulty or disability calls for special educational provision. That is provision which is different from or additional to that normally available to students of the same age.
Our students may have one or more broad areas of special educational need:
- Communication and interaction – including speech and language difficulties and autism.
- Cognition and learning – including developmental delay and specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia.
- Social, emotional and mental health difficulties – including difficulties with behaviour, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, an attachment disorder or anxiety.
- Sensory and/or physical needs – including visual and hearing impairment, dyspraxia, cerebral palsy and other physical disabilities or medical conditions which affect a child’s learning.
At Gildredge House we provide high quality teaching and this is likely to mean that fewer students will require such support.
We assess each student’s current skills and levels of attainment on admission to Gildredge House, building on information from previous settings and key stages where appropriate. We assess the student’s cognitive ability skills and reading ability. At the same time, we also consider evidence that a student may have a disability under the Equality Act 2010 and, if so, what reasonable adjustments may need to be made for them.
Class and Subject Teachers, supported by the Senior Leadership Team, make regular assessments of progress for all students. These allows us to identify students making less than expected progress given their age and individual circumstances. This can be characterised by progress which:
- is significantly slower than that of their peers starting from the same baseline;
- fails to match or better the child’s previous rate of progress;
- fails to close the attainment gap between the child and their peers;
- widens the attainment gap.
It can include progress in areas other than attainment – for instance where a student needs to make additional progress with wider development or social needs in order to make a successful transition to adult life.
At Gildredge House our first response to such progress is high quality teaching targeted at students’ specific area of need. Where progress continues to be less than expected, the Class or Subject Teacher works with the Head of Individual Learning to assess whether the student might have SEN. This assessment includes the gathering of evidence to support concerns including views of the student and their parents, guardians or carers. As a school, we put emphasis on the impact of higher level teaching and early intervention designed to secure better progress. The student’s response to such support can help identify their particular needs. The Head of Individual Learning will assess how a plan may be put in place and how that plan would be reviewed.
For some students, SEN can be identified at an early age. However, for other children and young people difficulties become evident only as they develop. All of our staff are trained to identify emerging difficulties and respond early. In particular, we believe that parents know their children best. We listen and understand when parents express concerns about their child’s development. We also listen to and address any concerns raised by children and young people themselves.
There are times when a child displays persistent disruptive or withdrawn behaviours. This does not necessarily mean that a child has SEN. Where we have concerns we will consider whether there might be undiagnosed learning difficulties, difficulties with communication or mental health issues. If it is thought that other circumstances may be contributing to the presenting behaviour a multi-agency approach may be appropriate. In all cases, we recognise the importance of early identification and intervention.
We take particular care in identifying and assessing SEN for children or young people whose first language is not English. We carefully look at all aspects of learning and development to establish whether lack of progress is due to limitations in their command of English or if it arises from SEN or a disability. Difficulties related solely to limitations in English as an additional language are not SEN.
How does the school teach and support children with SEN?
Students with SEN receive high quality teaching which can be ‘additional to and different from’ provision which is targeted at their specific area of need. Where progress continues to be less than expected the Class or Subject Teacher, working with the Head of Individual Needs, should assess whether it is appropriate to put further intervention in place, whether this be short or long term. This might include additional teaching, support staff within the classroom, external support involvement or in some cases, 1:1 intervention away from the classroom setting. This is reviewed in a timely way, in line with the individual review processes and as part of Governor reviews.
It is particularly important to the school that parents are involved in understanding and reviewing the impact of the support their child receives.
The quality of teaching for students with SEN, and the progress made by students is a core part of our performance management and professional development cycle for all teaching and support staff. Our school leaders and teaching staff, including our Head of Individual Learning, identify any patterns in the identification of SEN, both within our school and in comparison with national data, and use these to reflect on and reinforce the quality of our teaching and a strong focus on Achievement for All.
How will the curriculum and learning environment be matched to the child’s needs?
All of our students will have access to a broad and balanced curriculum which suits their individual needs. We set high expectations for all of our students. We adjust the curriculum for each child with SEN to make sure that they can access the subjects at their own level and make progress. This is called ‘differentiation’.
We will look at the child’s level of achievement and see what support they need to make good progress and reach their potential. We will talk with children and parents as part of the SEN support cycle.
You can find our more information about the curriculum for each Year Group on our Curriculum pages.
How are parents involved in reviewing their child’s progress and planning support?
In addition to the annual reports that all students receive which is outlined below, we are committed to working alongside parents and carers of students with additional needs to ensure that they feel involved with our support and can contribute ideas and suggestions to how our practice can be improved further.
Regular meetings are held with the SENCo in Primary and Head of Individual Learning in the Secondary areas that are part of the review cycle. Within these meetings current support is reviewed and planned. We also have support reviews during parent evenings which is also where we ask parents in general to give us feedback on a variety of topics.
Additional needs plans are typically reviewed three times each year, but we do review more regularly when the Head of Individual Learning deems this to be necessary. Students with an Education, Health Care Plans also have an annual review and these are reviewed in alignment with statutory guidance. The focus of these reviews is to ensure that students reached the relevant agreed outcomes and to stipulate the progress being made to reach these.
Gildredge House reports regularly on how students are progressing. We provide an annual report for parents on their child’s progress and interim reports so that parents are updated throughout the academic year.
We speak to parents regularly to set clear outcomes for their children and review progress towards them, discuss the activities and support that will help achieve them, and identify the responsibilities of the parent, the student and the school. We aim for these discussions to build confidence in the actions being taken by the school, and believe they can also strengthen the impact of SEN support by increasing parental engagement in the approaches and teaching strategies that are being used. Finally, they can provide essential information on the impact of SEN support outside school and any changes in the students’ needs.
These discussions are led by staff members with good knowledge and understanding of the student who are aware of their needs and attainment. This will usually be the Class Teacher or Form Tutor, supported by the Head of Individual Learning. These discussions provide an opportunity for the parent to share their concerns and, together with the Class Teacher or Form Tutor, agree their aspirations for the student.
How are children involved in reviewing their progress and planning support?
At Gildredge House, we encourage students with SEND to be as involved as possible with their own education and we provide a number of opportunities for students to do this as shown in the table below.
|Who is involved?||How often?|
|Self-Assessment||Student, Class Teacher / Form Tutor||Daily|
|PHSE and Community Sessions||Student, Class Teacher / Form Tutor||Weekly|
|Class Circle times||Student, Class Teacher / Form Tutor|
|Worry Box / Suggestions Box||Student, Class Teacher / Form Tutor|
|School Council||Class, Class Teacher / Form Tutor|
|Student Voice||Student, Head of Individual Learning, Class Teacher / Form Tutor||At least once a year|
|SEN Support Review Meetings||Student, Parents, Class Teacher / Form Tutor supported by Head of Individual Learning||At least twice per year|
How does Gildredge House prepare and support children to transfer to a new school / college or the next stage of education and life?
At Gildredge House, we ensure that arrangements are in place for supporting students moving between phases of education and in preparing for adulthood. These arrangements will take into consideration students’ ambitions, aspirations for further education, independent living and participation in society.
We are fortunate in having our own Careers Adviser who, as a member of our Support Staff, builds strong relationships with all students, with particular emphasis on those with additional needs. The co-ordination of SEN students at transition points either to college or work is overseen by our Head of Individual Learning in partnership with the Head of Year 11 or Head of Sixth Form. This typically involves attending handover meetings and involving parents in decisions regarding support that is required.
Reviews are held for students with EHC Plans in order to prepare them for life after school.
What training do Gildredge House staff have?
When we plan support for a child, we think about the knowledge and skills their teachers and support staff will need. If necessary, we plan training for the staff member or arrange an INSET training day.
Our whole school development plan is developed in light of rigorous self-evaluation processes which are ongoing throughout the year. Plans are reviewed annually and will dictate actions over the short, medium and longer term. These are ratified by the Governing Body at the first FGB meeting of each year.
The training needs which arise from the Development Plan are mapped and served by a variety of Learning Communities run by staff with expertise in that particular area. All staff are involved in this training and these are assessed for impact by the Deputy Head Teacher.
All our teachers are aware of their statutory duties in regards to the teaching of all students with additional needs. Our Head of Individual Learning is Ms G Nicholson, a qualified SENCO who undertook training at Canterbury Christchurch training in 2013 as part of statutory training for all SENCOs.
Support staff are regularly briefed about the needs of students with SEN and have access to information which enables all members of the school community to give the relevant support. Our Teaching Assistants have appropriate qualifications and experience in supporting within a classroom environment.
Other specialist staff have the relevant qualifications for working in their specialist field. We have a wide range of training available to us:
- East Sussex County Council training for schools
- Inclusion Development Programme
- Advanced training materials
How does Gildredge House measure how well it teaches and supports children with SEN?
We regularly and carefully review the quality of teaching for all students to make sure no-one under achieves. We look at whether our teaching and programmes of support have made a difference. We use information systems to monitor the progress and development of all students. This helps us to develop the use of interventions that are effective and to remove those that are less so.
We complete an annual self-evaluation of our SEN provision and use this to develop an action plan to further improve our SEN provision. A copy of our Action Plan can be found on our website.
We reglarly issue a parent questionnaire then summarise the results and feedback to parents. This information helps to inform the school development plan. We also invite parents to provide feedback at Parents’ Evenings, through attending Parent Voice forums and through the Ofsted parent view website. Gildredge House Ofsted Report.
How accessible is Gildredge House and how does the school arrange equipment or facilities children need?
We aim to make Gildredge House an accessible educational establishment for all. As a school we are subject to the Equalities Act. We ensure reasonable adjustments are made and provide access to auxiliary aids and services to prevent a disabled child being disadvantaged. We aim to make Gildredge House an accessible educational establishment for all.
The Disability Discrimination Act defines a disabled person as someone who has ‘a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities’:
- ‘physical impairment’ includes sensory impairments;
- ‘mental impairment’ includes learning difficulties and an impairment resulting from or consisting of a mental illness;
- ‘substantial’ means ‘more than minor or trivial’;
- ‘long term’ is defined as 12 months or more.
The definition includes a wide range of impairments, including hidden impairments such as dyslexia, autism, speech and language impairments and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). These are all likely to amount to a disability, but only if the effect on the person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities is substantial and long-term as defined above.
The Disability Discrimination Act also covers those with:
- severe disfigurements;
- impairments controlled or corrected by the use of medication; prostheses; an aid or otherwise;
- progressive symptomatic conditions;
- progressive symptomatic conditions;
- a history of impairment; and
- children under the age of 6 with impairments which, in an older person, would result in that person being covered.
Since December 2005, persons with HIV, cancer and multiple sclerosis are also covered at the point of diagnosis. But excluded are those with:
- an addiction to or dependency on: nicotine;tobacco; or other non-prescribed drugs or substances;
- seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever); and
- certain mental illnesses with anti-social consequences.
The school values the full range of its students and seeks to ensure that its practices are fully inclusive. Every effort will be made to ensure that ‘reasonable adjustments’ are made to accommodate disabled students, while bearing in mind the interests of other students. The school is required to make, under the terms of SENDDA 2001:
- improvements in access to the curriculum for disabled students;
- physical improvements to increase access to education and associated services (e.g. extra curricular activities); and
- improvements in the provision of information in a range of formats for disabled students.
There is an additional requirement for schools to explore whether or not students with behaviour issues may or may not have an underlying disability leading to this. For example, the following may be underlying reasons for poor behaviour: mental illness, mental health problems, learning difficulties, dyslexia, diabetes, or epilepsy. Gildredge House will take into account all these requirements when considering the inclusion and treatment of disabled students at the school.
The Governing Board will discharge its responsibilities towards disabled staff, students and those using the school’s services by ensuring that disabled people are not treated less favourably in the following aspects as relevant:
- accessibility to the premises and facilities;
- accessibility to the curriculum;
- accessibility of associated educational services;
- training of staff and students.
The school’s policy is to:
- promote equality of opportunity;
- eliminate unlawful discrimination;
- eliminate disability-related harassment;
- promote positive attitudes towards disabled people;
- encourage disabled people’s participation in public life; and
- take steps to take into account people’s disabilities, even where that involves more favourable treatment.
Please refer to our Equality Policy for further information.
How are children included in activities with other children, including school trips?
All students are included in all activities, extra-curricular opportunities and school trips. Through careful planning and reasonable adjustments, students with SEN engage in the activities of the school together with those who do not have SEN and are encouraged to participate fully in the life of the school and in any wider community activity.
We work with parents and students to listen to their views, feelings and wishes to ensure students with SEN engage fully in the life of the school and in any wider community activity.
What support is there for children’s overall well-being and their emotional, mental and social development?
All students at the school attend regular assemblies, take part in PSHE lessons, community and challenge sessions. Each student has a Form Tutor or Class Teacher who provides daily pastoral care and support.
Students can access support for emotional and mental health difficulties as we have a school counsellor, scheduled school nurse access and trained THRIVE practitioners. The school also utilises external services to support mental health.
We monitor and review the progress of our students social, emotional and mental health needs, with the child and parent to establish an ongoing level of support that meets the child’s needs. This is done as part of the SEN support planning cycle of ‘assess, plan, do’ review.
Children with SEN are safeguarded in line with County safeguarding advice disseminated to us in a scheduled Safeguarding Practice Review. We are therefore confident that we meet County expectations. Staff are aware of who our vulnerable students are, and also whether these students have any additional needs. Please refer to our Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy and Procedure for further information.
Particular care is taken to ensure the safeguarding of all children with SEND. Relationships with all staff are crucial to allow all children with SEN to build trust in staff and to feel that they are safe at Gildredge House. The school has a Designated Safeguarding Lead who is supported by a Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead. Heads of Year for each Year Group in Years 7-13 exist as pastoral leads and they lead teams of Form Tutors. In the Lower School, Class Teachers are responsible for the pastoral care for the children in their class.
We work with a number of external services to ensure our students can access support best suited to their needs: East Sussex, Behaviour & Attendance Service (ESBAS), Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, Early Help services, Targeted Youth Support, School Nurses service.
Please refer to our Behaviour and Exclusion Policy Reception-Year 4 and Behaviour and Exclusion Policy 2018 Years 7-13 and Anti-Bullying and the Prevention of Bullying Policy for further information.
What specialist services does the school use to support children and their families?
As part of the cycle of SEN support of ‘assess, plan, do, review’, we will consider whether we need to involve other services to make sure the child’s specific needs are met. Parents are always involved in any decision to involve specialists. These services can include but are not limited to Child Adolescent Mental Health Service, East Sussex Children’s Integrated Therapy Services (ESCITS), Speech and Language, Communication Language Autism Support Service, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Educational Psychologist, Teaching and Learning Centre, alternative learning provision (Plumpton College, Sussex Downs, Cuckmere House, College Central), charitable organisations, Virtual School, social services, East Sussex Police, Post Adoption Service and Early Help team.
Where can I get information, advice and support?
The ‘local offer’: www.eastsussex.gov.uk/localoffer
Parent Information Contact: Mr P Barber, Deputy Head Teacher: firstname.lastname@example.org
SEND information, advice and support service: Impartial advice and help for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and their parents and carers.
- Telephone: 0345 60 80 192
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.eastsussex.gov.uk/sendadvice
What do I do if I am not happy or if I want to complain?
If your child has a problem at school then we encourage you to speak with the child’s Class Teacher or Form Tutor as most complaints can be resolved informally. If you’ve spoken to a member of staff and you’re still not satisfied, then you can find guidance on making a formal complaint in our Complaints Policy and Procedure