SEND - Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

The Assistant Headteacher for Inclusion is responsible for managing 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 shows 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.

 SEND policy 


At Gildredge House, we aspire to:

·         Maintain a cohesive, inclusive community. We will provide the best possible learning environment for all students.

·         Develop a comprehensive understanding of every student's starting point and use this information to effectively meet their needs.

·         Work in partnership with parents – we are a team.

·         Provide timely, quality interventions to support student’s learning.

·         Provide pathways to success to ensure that all students meet their endpoints.

Who leads the SEND provision at Gildredge House?

Our Assistant Headteacher for Inclusion is the strategic lead of SEND provision at Gildredge House. Our Assistant Head- Primary School SENDCo coordinates SEND provision in the Primary phase of the school and our Secondary SENDCo coordinates SEND provision in the Secondary phase. The Assistant SENDCo supports the operational processes for both Primary and Secondary SEND provision. These members of staff work together closely to ensure the needs of students at Gildredge House are met.

Mr Tom Addems

Assistant Head Teacher for Inclusion

Mr Matt Stephens

Assistant Head of Primary & SENDCo

Mrs Hannah O’Driscoll

Secondary SENDCo

Miss Elizabeth Fender

Assistant SENDCo

 For Primary SEND communication, please use and for Secondary SEND communication please use

What needs are we able to support at Gildredge House?

Our school currently provides additional and/or different provision for a range of needs, including:

·         Communication and interaction, for example, autistic spectrum disorder, speech and language difficulties.

·         Cognition and learning, for example, dyslexia, and dyspraxia.

·         Social, emotional and mental health difficulties, for example, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

·         Sensory and/or physical needs, for example, visual impairments, hearing impairments, processing difficulties, epilepsy.

How do we identify students with SEND and assess their needs?

A student will be identified as having Special Educational Needs/Disabilities if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her. We will look to identify this need as early as possible so that appropriate provision can be put in place to meet the student's particular needs and promote positive outcomes.

Class teachers will support this process, through regular assessments of progress for all students, identifying those whose progress:

·         Is significantly slower than that of their peers starting from the same baseline.

·         Fails to match or better the students’ previous rate of progress.

·         Fails to close the attainment gap between the student and their peers.

·         Widens the attainment gap.

This may include progress in areas other than attainment, for example, social needs. Please note, slow progress and low attainment will not automatically mean a student is recorded as having SEND. 

We use assessments such as Language Link, Speech Link, Pearson Dyslexia Screening Test, Lucid Rapid and Lucid LASS to ascertain whether a student has underlying SEND.

Our Inclusion team will also provide our SEND students with support through:

·         Regular check-ins during unstructured time

·         Teaching Assistant (TA) support during tutor/class times if struggling to socialise with their peers

·         Delivering literacy and numeracy support interventions, led by the class teacher in Primary and in collaboration with subject specific Heads of Department for Secondary

·         Discussing identification, monitoring and review processes during SLT and Inclusion meetings, to Quality Assure procedures.

·         Nurture sessions are provided for identified students in the Primary Phase.

Transition into our Early Years cohort focuses on visits to family homes and preschool settings and communication between families and other professionals involved in the support of any student who needs additional intervention.

With regards to students joining us from other schools or transitioning from Year 6 to Year 7 from external Primary schools, we work closely with the Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENDCo) from each school to provide us with information on those that require SEND support or those that have an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP).

To ensure a smooth transition for these students, we use the information provided to create adapted timetables and support provision in the initial weeks of their enrolment. A select group of students will receive intervention support and class teachers will also be provided with information regarding how best to meet the needs of these learners. This information will be shared with staff via the Inclusion Register and weekly Inclusion Briefing.

Upon and prior to entry into the Secondary phase, students will complete a New Group Reading Test (NGRT) and Cognitive Ability Test (CATs) to provide us with further information, to identify students that may need additional support.

Any student who joins the Primary phase in-year can undertake a Language Link screening or other assessment-based tasks listed above. In identifying a student as needing SEND support, the class teacher, working with the Inclusion team, will carry out a clear analysis of the students needs. We also have an Internal referral process for staff who would like to make the Inclusion team aware of a student that may not be currently identified as SEND, whom they believe is showing signs of needing special educational provision.

 Where a student has been identified with an additional need within their preschool setting, we will visit them in their usual setting and liaise with the key-worker team. Pre-transfer meetings with parents, in preschool settings and school, take place to enable information to be passed on fully and the students’ needs are discussed to make sure that they are well provided for from the start of EYFS (Early Year Foundation Stage.) There are induction events during the summer term for all students who are joining the foundation stage in September and extra events will be offered, if it is felt necessary. The Inclusion Team will be responsible for collating any information from the previous school, setting up meetings with parents to discuss needs and meeting with professionals from the previous setting, to receive appropriate training, if necessary.

How do we consult with and involve students and parents/carers?

We will have an early discussion with the students and their parents when identifying whether they need special educational provision.

These conversations will make sure that:

·         Everyone develops a good understanding of the students areas of strength and difficulty.

·         We take into account the parents’/carers concerns.

·         Everyone understands the agreed outcomes sought for the student.

·         Everyone is clear on what the next steps are.

Records of involvement of specialists are kept and shared with parents/carers and teaching staff.

Where a student is looked after (LAC) by any Local Authority, we will work closely with relevant professionals. Matt Stephens (Primary phase) and Tom Addems (Secondary Phase) are our Designated Teachers for Looked After Children and therefore have insight into the needs of students who may be vulnerable due to their looked after status.

Parents/Carers of students with SEND can also request a meeting at any time with the AHT for Inclusion, Secondary SENDCo or Assistant SENDCo via or the Primary SENDCo through

For Secondary concerns or queries, parents may also book one of our weekly meeting slots on Edulink via the Parent Consultations tab, to have an Inclusion Consultation Meeting.

Inclusion Consultation Meetings have been made available for parents to book onto each week, to have a discussion with the Assistant SENDCo relating to any questions or concerns they have. If from the meeting it is felt that more time is required, then a formal face-to-face meeting will be arranged.

The Assistant Head for Inclusion, Secondary SENDCo and Primary SENDCo will also be made available within each year groups Parent Consultations Evenings, where parents are able to book a timeslot with them to discuss any concerns they may have, as well as making appointments with classroom teachers to discuss subject specific matters.

Parents/Carers are also encouraged to use the school website to access subject specific and whole school information, to ensure they are kept up to date on matters involving provision for their child both inside and outside of the classroom.

Parents/Carers may also receive email communication via EduLink and through letters sent home, to inform them of additional testing their child may be receiving and/or any updates that may need to be communicated by the Inclusion Team.

For Pastoral matters, our Deputy Head- Behaviour, Attitudes and Safeguarding, Heads of Year and Assistant Heads of Year may communicate with parents/carers to provide updates around any matters relating to pastoral factors.

We will formally notify parents when it is decided that a student will receive SEND support.

How do we assess and review student progress towards their outcomes?

Termly Progress and Academic Data Report Cycles provide us with an indication of where students are making progress in comparison to their benchmark score, which in the Secondary phase, is calculated using results from their KS2 reading and maths data. We are then able to use this data to have discussions with classroom teachers and Heads of Department around particular students identified as Pre-Key Stage or Working Towards in attainment.

For the Primary Phase, baselines are gathered from Early Years data, which then informs expected progress that should be made throughout the phases. Standardised assessments are carried out at the end of each long term to monitor attainment and progress; data is broken down to analyse SEND vs Non-SEND student progress. This information informs the interventions that are then carried out by students.

Parent/Carer Consultation Evenings are also an opportunity for parents to see the Inclusion leads regarding concerns raised by subject teachers. Parents/Carers are then able to provide us with the information discussed, so we can decide together the next steps for support.

Through Student Support Profiles (SSP), provided for our students highlighted as needing special considerations in lessons, all teachers and support staff will be made aware of their needs, support required, intended outcomes and any teaching strategies or approaches identified as particularly effective for that student. We will regularly review the effectiveness of the support and interventions and their impact on the students' progress.

With students requiring more tailored SEND support, we will follow the graduated approach and an Additional Needs Plan (ANP) will be created for them, utilising the four-part cycle of assess, plan, do, review. 

The class or subject teacher will work with the Inclusion leads to carry out a clear analysis of the students’ needs.

This will draw on:

·         The teacher’s assessment and experience of the student.

·         The students’ previous progress, attainment and behaviour.

·         Other teachers’ assessments, where relevant.

·         The students’ development in comparison to their peers and national data.

·         The views and experiences of parents.

·         The students’ own views.

·         Advice from external support services, if relevant.


If a student has an Education and Healthcare Plan (EHCP) then this statutory document will be followed. This document will include targeted outcomes for the student to achieve, detailed provisions in place to support these outcomes and will be collaboratively reviewed with the student, school and parents/carers.

How do we support students moving between phases and preparing for adulthood?

For the students in the Primary Phase that have historically, or will potentially find transition a challenge, they are invited into the school prior to the commencement of the new academic year. This is an opportunity for them to re-acclimatise to the school and their new classroom. They will have the opportunity to remind themselves of the key areas of the class/school that they will need to be aware of, whilst being in the school with fewer people.

Regarding Secondary transition, we run a comprehensive transition programme for students joining Year 7. Students with SEND will receive additional support during this process.

We run social skills intervention sessions with a selected group of year 7 students that have been identified as needing additional support with transitioning from a Primary setting to a busy Secondary one. We also run this group for our EHCP students in key stage 3.

All students coming to us in year 7 will have two transition days, to expose them to life at Secondary school before they return to us in September. It is also an opportunity for tutors and classroom teachers to identify any students that may require support from the Inclusion team when they start the academic year.

A Summer Camp is offered to all students transitioning from year 6 into year 7, where they will be involved in team building, practical and theory-based activities. Students yet to do so will also take reading age tests to ensure we have as much information as possible on their attainment levels upon their arrival.

Our high need SEND students from all year groups are invited in for a meeting and tour before the academic year begins, so they can be made aware of any changes that have occurred over the summer and can share any concerns and ask any questions they may have prior to starting the new year.

Students with SEND will also receive additional support from our Careers Advisor when moving between Key Stage 3-4, Key Stage 4-5, and Key Stage 5 to further education.

We work closely with the SEND Post 16 & INMS Education Division, by ensuring we follow the Vulnerable Learners Protocol to ensure a successful transition for our SEND students into post 16 education.

Our Careers and Community curriculum will also focus on a number of topics that aim to support successful preparation for adulthood, such as healthy relationships, personal safety and environmental issues.

We share information with the schools, colleges and other settings our students move to, to ensure that each students’ needs are known and can be met by their new education provider.


What is our approach to teaching students with SEND?

Wave 1- Quality First Teaching

Teachers are accountable for the progress and development of all the students in their class. Teaching staff will use strategies identified in SSP’s and ANP’s, as well as strategies outlined in our Empowering Every Learner Framework and our Inclusive and Adaptive Teaching Toolkit, to ensure that the needs of each student are being met and that students are challenged and supported to make effective progress.

Examples of strategies may include providing pre-teaching materials, other means of writing, appropriate seating arrangements, discreet questioning, processing time during questioning and explanations or being explicit with instructions, using visual resources to support this process.

High-quality teaching is our first step in responding to students who have SEND. This will be adapted for individual students.

Wave 2 – Interventions

A number of our students will have access to literacy, numeracy and social development-based interventions throughout the week. For Secondary students, these are delivered during tutor times or after school, to ensure all students access a fully broad and ambitious curriculum within their timetable. For Primary students, interventions are delivered throughout the school day, ensuring they continue to have access to a wide curriculum with their peer group.

These interventions are tracked and monitored on our centralised intervention tracking documents, with the intervention lead recording progress, attendance and attitude data following each session.

Within Secondary literacy or numeracy-based interventions, the intervention lead will work in collaboration with the Head of English, Head of Maths and/or our Literacy Coordinator. The subject specific leads will select the students involved, support with training the intervention leads with session delivery and will have bi-weekly meetings with the intervention lead to discuss the data and delivery of interventions.

In Primary, class teachers have the overview of the interventions that their students are taking part in. At the end of each term, assessments are carried out and this will inform progress that has been made; acknowledging whether the students need to continue in that intervention. Termly updates are sent to the Primary SENDCo to have oversight on the provisions in place.

Each intervention will have its own specific criteria that will indicate current attainment levels and levels of progress that warrant their enrolment onto the intervention. Students will take a baseline assessment at the start of each intervention, again at the mid-point and finally at the end of the intervention. This information will help us determine whether the intervention has made the desired impact on student progress or whether more needs to be done to support the student.

Once students have been identified as making desired progress to meet age related expectations within their area of need, they will return to attending tutor time regularly and other students identified as needing intervention will be selected and enrolled onto the specific intervention.

Wave 3- Personalised Support

When considering a personalised approach, we must first identify which of the areas of need this support will be tailored to:

Cognition and Learning

A very small number of students identified as having significant cognitive a learning difficulty may be provided with an alternative pathway, whereby they complete a personal development or life skills-based qualification at Key Stage 4, as an alternative pathway to selecting 4 GCSE options. At key stage 3, we encourage students to attend all timetabled lessons, however there may be the need for a short and intensive intervention delivered by both internal and/or external providers to support the student with their specific area of need.

Within the Primary Phase, classroom-based interventions are carried out to support Cognition and Learning. These are organised with the use of the end-of-term data and ensure that only students who need additional support are accessing it.

For those students who need significant additional support (both academically and SEMH), the Primary Phase also has the Sunroom provision. This enables students to be incorporated into small groups, learning at a more cognitively appropriate level, as well as providing more frequent support for Emotional Literacy.

Communication and Interaction

Social skills intervention is provided by the Inclusion team, and we offer these students a lunchtime or breaktime period each day in our Oasis Centre, where they can relax in a calmer social space and talk to Inclusion staff about how their day has been and any support they may need.

Language Link assessments are carried out for all students in the Primary Phase. Class teams will then carry out interventions to support the language needs of their students.

Social, Emotional and Mental Health

We supply Emotional Literacy Support in both phases of the school and social skills interventions for Secondary, as well as providing students with nurture passes when they may need a short moment to self-regulate outside of the class before returning. We also have a Place2Be counselling offer, for students to be referred to when in need of emotional support. Students will also have our Inclusion team and Pastoral team to hand if they require support with SEMH issues.

The Primary Phase has a Nurture Intervention that is available for students who need additional SEMH support. This is baselined using the Boxall Profile tool; this also monitors the progress being made within the intervention.

Physical/Sensory Needs

We have a sensory room for our Primary and Secondary students, that is used by students that need time away from the sometimes-overwhelming sensory aspects of school. Students can have timetabled sessions in this room, but can also use it during breaks, lunches or times when they are struggling to regulate their emotions. We also allow certain students movement breaks and access to specialist equipment needed to support their physical and sensory needs.

Access Arrangements

It is vitally important that our students get used to being involved in examinations, both to desensitise them to the exam-related anxiety and to provide classroom teachers with an accurate way of measuring student understanding and progress within content delivered in lessons.

To support this process, some of our students with SEND will receive access arrangements in order to meet their needs within the 4 areas of SEND outlined previously.

These arrangements must be the students’ normal way of working and we ensure that any student on our Exam Access Arrangement Register completes their classroom-based examinations in the same way they complete their KS4 examinations.

To ensure this process is as accurate as possible, we will follow the process below when identifying students that may need access arrangements:

·         Analyse Key Stage 2 transition documentation

·         Analyse annual reading age data

·         Use of Lucid LASS, to establish potential areas of underlying need

·         In-class support of access arrangement, to ensure this is their normal way of working and completing classroom-based exams

·         End of Key Stage 3- Formal assessments for external exams are carried out by external providers, to provide insight of whether an access arrangements formal application is required

·         Start of Key Stage 4- Formal application to JCQ to ensure specific access arrangements can be used during external exams at the end of Year 11

Students in KS2 undertaking the statutory end-of-year assessments can be provided with various levels of support, but this must match the Department for Education’s annual criteria. Discussions with class teachers, SENDCo and Parents will take place to ensure that any relevant support is outlined clearly to the student.

Specialist Equipment

Some of our students will require specialist equipment in order to access our curriculum and examinations in the same capacity as other students. Specialist equipment can include reading pens, laptops, overlays and buff-coloured paper.

To indicate if a Secondary student requires specialist equipment, we will assess the work they have completed, formally assess the student using DASH and/or WRAT 4, and then ensure that use of the specialist equipment is shown as the students' normal way of working.

If the equipment required was due to a medical issue, we would collate the relevant medical information to support the use of the specialist equipment.

What adaptations to the curriculum and learning environment do we make for students with SEND?

Staff in all phases adapt their approaches using the Empowering Every Learner framework. This framework is designed to support staff during the planning and delivery aspects of their lessons, so that each lesson has explicitly been tailored to our SEND students, in line with our Gildredge House 5.

We may also make the following adaptations to ensure all student’s needs are met:

·         A personalised curriculum, for example allowing a very small number of high-need students with literacy difficulties to be provided with alternative pathways so they can achieve alternative qualifications that are more personal development and life skill-based.

·         Adapting resources and staffing to meet student needs.


How do we involve students with SEND in their education at Gildredge House?

Students with Student Support Profiles (SSP) are included in this process by being able to read their profile and make decisions relating to the information they want their teachers to know regarding how they can be supported, their academic and personal strengths and any interests or hobbies they may have. 

Students with an EHCP are provided with opportunities to review their outcomes termly, through meetings with a member of the Inclusion team and within in year and annual review meetings.

These students are also made aware that at any point where they have an issue or concern that is bothering them, they can discuss this with anyone in the Inclusion and Pastoral teams, who will work together to ensure that the student is supported, and the issue resolved.

Student voice is conducted with students by a familiar adult. This can be used with visuals or through verbal discussions and contributes to the student's SSP and provision mapping.

What additional learning is available to students?

We have a team of Teaching Assistants who provide in-class support and deliver specific interventions as outlined previously.

Furthermore, we work with the following agencies that provide support for students with SEND, including but not limited to:

·         Child Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)

·         East Sussex Education Division- Team Around the School and Setting (TASS)

·         Communication Learning Autism Support Service (CLASS)

·         Communication Learning Autism Support Service + (CLASS+)

·         East Sussex Children’s Integrated Therapy Services (ESCITS)

·         Speech and Language Therapy

·         Occupational Therapy

·         Educational Psychologist Service

·         Alternative learning provision - Plumpton College, Sussex Downs, Cuckmere House, College Central, The Workplace

·         The Virtual School

·         Social Services

·         East Sussex Police

·         Post Adoption Service

·         Early Help team

·         Early Years iSEND team

How do we evaluate the effectiveness of our SEND provision?

We evaluate the effectiveness of provision for students with SEND by:

·         Reviewing students’ individual progress towards their goals each term.

·         Reviewing the impact of interventions at regular intervals.

·         Student voice.

·         Monitoring by the Assistant Headteacher for Inclusion and Assistant Headteacher- Primary SENDCo and our Secondary SENDCo.

·         Using provision maps to measure progress.

·         Holding annual reviews for students with an EHCP.

How do we support students with SEND to engage in the wider school community?

All extra-curricular activities and school visits are available to all students, including our before- and after-school clubs.

All students are encouraged to participate in residential trips.

All students are encouraged to take part in sports day/school plays/special workshops.

No student is ever excluded from taking part in these activities because of their SEND or disability.

Risk Assessments are carried out for each school trip and a suitable number of adults are made available to accompany the students, with 1:1 support if necessary. Parents/carers are involved in discussions where appropriate.

How accessible is the school and how does the school arrange the equipment or facilities students need?

Gildredge House is subject to the Equalities Act and is responsible for making reasonable adjustments and providing auxiliary aids and services to prevent any student with additional needs from being disadvantaged.

The school site is fully wheelchair accessible with wide corridors and doorways. We have a disabled toilet that is large enough to accommodate changing for wheelchair users and an internal lift to reach higher-level floors. There are disabled parking bays directly in front of the main entrance.

We take advice from outside agencies who come in to support us with environmental audits, to ensure that the school is safe for all students.

Part of our ethos is to support all students and their families, and we positively encourage partnership at all times.

Further information is available through our Accessibility Policy.

How do we support the emotional well-being of students at Gildredge House?

Wave 1

All staff are responsible for supporting students with social and emotional support.

In Secondary, within each year group the student will be placed into a specific tutor group, where their form tutor will be the students’ first line of support for any concerns they may have. The form tutor will also liaise with the students’ Heads of Year and Assistant Head of Year, to seek further support for these students' wellbeing. Parents/carers are encouraged to use the form tutor as their first form of communication, as these members of staff will see the students every morning of the school week.

Class teachers use information provided in the Inclusion Register and on SSP’s and ANP’s to inform the ways in which they may communicate with the student. This information provides the classroom teachers with a greater depth of information relating to the emotional and social difficulties that a student may be facing, to inform their approach.   

Wave 2

If the Primary Class teacher, Secondary Head of Year and/or the Pastoral team believe that further intervention is required, the following support interventions will be utilised:

·         Access to our onsite Place2Be counselling service - Secondary

·         Emotional Literacy Support Assistants.

·         Oasis Centre Coordinator Support - Secondary

·         Assistant SENDCo Support

·         Nurture groups - Primary

·         Behaviour and SEMH Practitioner involvement

Wave 3

If the Assistant Head for Inclusion, Assistant Head- Primary SENDCo or our Secondary SENDCo have been informed, by those involved within the Wave 2 support, that further intervention and support is required for a student, then the next phase of support for the student will be discussed with the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) during the weekly Inclusion Meetings that take place.

Within these meetings, support and guidance on further support that can be put in place to improve the wellbeing of the student will be discussed. If the student is accessing CAMHS support or support from any other external agency for SEMH issues, the Inclusion leads and/or Head of Year for that student will meet with these professionals and the students’ family to discuss effective support, in the form of a Multi-Agency Meeting.

Support may include 1:1 support sessions, emotional literacy courses or providing students with opportunities during specific timetabled lessons to work on developing their emotional regulation capabilities.

Which outside agencies do we work with?

If students arrive at Gildredge House already working with external agencies, they are invited into school for a meeting.

Where we believe we require external agency involvement to support a SEND student, following our graduated approach, we will seek external agency involvement. The first stage of this process would be to complete a Front Door Referral to iSEND, who will provide guidance on the next phases of support and if any other external agency involvement may be appropriate.

For other forms of support, we may contact agencies directly, such as for Speech and Language Therapy. We may also support parental requests by providing them with information they require to take to GP appointments or for use within initial meetings with CAMHS.

How do I make a complaint about SEND provision?

Complaints about SEND provision in our school should be made to the Assistant Head Teacher for Inclusion and/or Assistant Head Teacher – Primary SENDCo in the first instance. They will then be referred to the school’s complaints policy.

The parents of students with disabilities have the right to make disability discrimination claims to the first-tier SEND tribunal if they believe that our school has discriminated against their children. They can make a claim about alleged discrimination regarding:

·         Exclusions

·         Provision of education and associated services

·         Making reasonable adjustments, including the provision of auxiliary aids and services

What support services are available for parents of students with SEND?

Follow the link below for details of support provided by the local authority for parents of students with SEND:

·         East Sussex County Council special needs and disability local offer

·         SENDIASS

The information in this report is accurate now, but services and provisions are regularly reviewed and could change. All information will be updated as soon as possible to reflect any new service offer.