The kinds of special educational needs for which provision is made at the school
There are four broad categories of need described in the SEND Code of Practice (2015) and Wilson’s is able to make provision for each of these:
Communication and interaction
Cognition and learning
Social, mental and emotional health
Sensory and/or physical
Information and Guidance: Points of Contact
Trust Board and SEN Trustee: The Trust Board is responsible for ensuring high quality policy and provision for pupils with Special Educational Needs. The SEN Trustee meets the SENCO regularly to support the evaluation of SEN provision in the school.
Head and Senior Leadership Team: Responsibility for monitoring and evaluating the progress of all pupils and for making strategic decisions which will maximise their opportunity to learn lies with the Head and the Senior Leadership Team. The SENCO is not a member of SLT, however the SENCO regularly liaises with a member of SLT to ensure that SEND matters are discussed regularly at SLT meetings.
SENCO: The school’s SENCO has overall responsibility for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (as defined in the 2015 SEN Code of Practice), including identification and coordination of provision. The SENCO will liaises with, advises and manages training for teaching staff relating to pupils with SEND and their needs, ensuring that individual plans written for pupils are put into practice. The SENCO is responsible for annual reviews and other key meetings about pupils with SEN. The SENCO manages the referral procedures to the Local Authority to request High Needs funding and/or an Education Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan) when it is suspected that a pupil may have SEND which will require significant support. The SENCO is responsible for the evaluation of the impact and effectiveness of all additional interventions for pupils with SEND. The SENCO is responsible for liaising with other agencies and professions when necessary to support a pupil with SEND.
Directors of Key Stage and Heads of Year: At Wilson’s the relevant Head of Year is normally the first point of contact for a parent wishing to discuss any concerns relating to their son. They have overall responsibility for monitoring the academic progress and wellbeing of pupils. They also liaise with teachers and other staff (including the SENCO) about any interventions that may be required. Occasionally, the Head of Year may recommend direct contact with the form tutor, who has day-to-day contact with your son.
Class teachers: the role of the class teacher is to monitor the progress of each pupil and liaise proactively with the Head of Year and/or SENCO about the additional needs of particular pupils. Lesson planning by classroom teachers must take account of the individual needs of pupils with SEND and to demonstrate high expectations and sensitivity towards these pupils; ensuring there is adequate opportunity for SEND pupils to working on agreed targets which are genuinely additional to or different from those normally provided as part of the differentiated curriculum offer and strategies”. (SEN Code of Practice 2015)
Designated Safeguarding Lead: The DSL is a vital point of contact whenever there is any concern about the welfare of a child.
Arrangements for admission of disabled pupils
In accordance with the school’s admission criteria places are generally offered to pupils in the rank order of the standardised score achieved in the entrance tests. However a boy who has demonstrated selective ability by passing the entrance examinations and who has an EHCP which names Wilson’s School is given priority admission.
The school is committed to ensuring fair access to the school for pupils of suitable ability. It is important that every child is given a fair opportunity to do well in the tests. The school will make appropriate adjustments for any candidate with a disability in accordance with the requirements of the Equality Act 2010, under the regulations governing School Admissions and with reference to the JCQ Guidelines for Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments. There is a process published on the school’s website that requires parents to submit supporting evidence if they would like access arrangements to be considered for their child for the entrance tests. The decision on the adjustment (if any) to be made is taken by a panel consisting of SENCOs from all of the schools which participate in the Selective Eligibility Test. For more information on the Admissions process please see here.
Assessment, Planning and Review
The school has very rigorous tracking procedures to monitor the progress of pupils. Where there is a concern that a pupil may not be making good or exceptional progress as a result of previously unidentified Special Educational Needs, London Borough of Sutton’s Graduated Support for Special Educational Needs is consulted to determine the type and severity of need. Data suggesting that a pupil is not making above expected progress may trigger an application for Education Health and Care Plan assessment.
Assessment and progress data about pupils with Special Educational Needs is subject to extra scrutiny on a termly basis by classroom teachers, Heads of Department, Heads of Year and the SENCO. Any concerns about progress are recorded and collated and may lead to additional review meetings.
Parents receive a termly report on their son’s progress, giving information about the assessments that their son has completed and the GCSE grade he is working towards, as well as indicating whether his current progress is a cause for concern.
Parents of pupils with Special Educational Needs are likely to be updated on their son’s progress more regularly than this – particularly if their son is not meeting expectations in one or more subject areas. This may involve formal meetings in school with the Head of Year or SENCO. Pupils with an Education Health and Care Plan have a full, formal annual review of their progress.
Any additional support that is made available to pupils with SEN is documented and evaluated regularly in conjunction with classroom teachers, the Head of Year and pupil support mentor (if appropriate).
It may be appropriate to involve external agencies in providing additional guidance and support, for example the Educational Psychology Service or CAMHS and the school does this when necessary.
We believe that listening to the voices of our pupils at Wilson’s is crucial if we are to provide the best possible school experience for them. As well as the school’s many structured opportunities for Pupil Voice, pupils with SEND are given opportunities to share their views during review meetings. One of the main purposes of the Pupil Support meetings is to listen to pupils and pass on a record of their views to other colleagues.
Curriculum and Teaching Methods (including groupings / interventions)
Teaching at Wilson’s secures outstanding outcomes for pupils, including those with Special Educational Needs. The school’s Teaching and Learning Excellence Criteria give full details of the expectations for classroom teaching at Wilson’s.
At Wilson’s, teachers’ planning for lessons is based around the prior attainment of individuals and groups within the class – this includes individual pupils with SEN. The link to the list of pupils with SEN is sent at least termly to every member of teaching staff. The list can be amended by the SENCO at any time, but review of the list is a standing item at meetings of the Directors of Key Stage. We also place on the same list students who do not meet the threshold for Special Educational Needs, but who we feel may require monitoring and additional guidance within their lessons.
Information about each student with Special Educational Needs is contained within an electronic folder accessible to all staff. This contains details of their condition or needs as well as records of meetings (where appropriate) and an up to date record containing details of actions and relevant advice. Our approach is very simple: we identify the potential barriers to progress and then how these are to be overcome in the classroom environment and around school.
Pupils with SEN may have objectives set for them within lessons that are ‘additional to’ or ‘different from’ those normally provided as part of the differentiated curriculum offer and strategies (SEN Code of Practice, 2015). In practice, this may mean that teachers may anticipate and encourage different outcomes from pupils who are working with the same lesson content. Some pupils may also have access to different resources (e.g. extension or support).
We use setting extensively at Wilson’s to ensure that lessons are tailored to the abilities of students. Furthermore, within many lessons seating plans are used and groups carefully selected to enhance the progress of individual students. This may, for example, allow a pupil to play a specific role within group work.
In some circumstances it may be appropriate to provide additional adult support within individual lessons or across the curriculum. We are able to make this provision at Wilson’s. Where we do so, it is with the intention in bringing about improved independence on the part of the pupil.
Some pupils meet regularly with a member of teaching staff to review academic progress. We call these ‘pupil support meetings’ and they may be used to provide additional guidance to teaching staff on the curriculum and teaching methods.
Tests and Examinations: Access Arrangements
The SENCO and Exams Officer are responsible for the administration of Access Arrangements for examinations.
Where there is a concern that a student may not be able to gain equal access to an examination, the SENCO makes arrangements for screening or a diagnostic/specialist assessment as appropriate. This may involve a specialist professional (e.g. educational psychologist). If parents have secured such an assessment themselves, the SENCO will meet them to discuss its recommendations.
The JCQ criteria are always used in decision-making about Access Arrangements. Parents are kept informed about the procedures and progress of an application for Access Arrangements when necessary. Access Arrangements are also made available to pupils with medical needs when necessary.
When a decision about Access Arrangements is made, these details are added to the SEN/Monitoring list and distributed to all staff so that they can become part of a child’s normal way of working in the classroom and internal examination environment.
Social and Emotional Support
Pastoral care is of fundamental importance at Wilson’s, which is a friendly and caring school. Class teachers, form tutors and Heads of Year are especially vigilant about the social integration of pupils with SEN. The Planner used by students is an essential part of the home-school communication. On occasion, additional visual prompts are made available for students who require them (e.g. a ‘What do I have? What do I need?’ card) to reduce the risk of damaged relationships with peers or teaching staff.
The school is a safe place at break and lunch times. Members of staff are on duty in all parts of the school and the Senior Leadership Team routinely walk through the whole school site during these times. Senior Staff are also highly visible before and after school (including at the bus stops). There is an extensive extra-curricular programme (including lunchtime and after school), which strongly enhances the school experience for many students (including those with SEN) and boosts opportunities for structured social interaction. The Library is open after school for pupils who wish to work in a quiet, safe environment.
The school nurse operates a drop-in which is available to all students in the school. Appointments can also be made. The school also employs a counsellor who is available to any pupil who wishes to express and clarify any distress that may be affecting his life and then support him in making changes.
When appropriate, we may request that our school-attached educational psychologist works with a pupil to improve their social skills and/or enhance their self-esteem within and beyond the educational context.
Specialist support (e.g. CAMHS or Speech, Language and Communication support) is engaged when necessary.
Accessibility to Premises and Facilities
No student is ever prevented from physically accessing the location of any lesson at Wilson’s. The school fulfils all duties under the Equality Act 2010. We are always happy to discuss the individual accessibility requirements of pupils, parents or any visitor to the school.
Due to the age and composition of the main school building (constructed in 1975), there is no wheelchair access to the first and second floor.
The Foundation Building (constructed in 2005) has a lift, which gives access to all rooms.
The new Lower School building has been constructed with an adjoining walkway which enables wheelchair access to the first floor via the lift in the Foundation Building.
Wheelchair access is available to all rooms on the ground floor throughout the school. When necessary, a timetable will be rewritten to ensure that all classes for a student who is unable to use the stairs are on the ground floor.
The school works with all of the following services on a regular basis:
Educational Psychology Service (Sutton: 020 8770 6780)
School Nurse (contact the school on 020 8773 2931)
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (Sutton: 020 3513 3800)
Children’s Social Care in a range of local authorities (Sutton MASH: 020 8649 0418)
When necessary, the school may also consult or refer to a range of other local services (e.g. the Autism Spectrum Disorder Service or the SEN team). Contact details are available from the school.
When a referral is made to any of these services, parents will usually be informed. Please see the school website.
We work hard at ensuring that the transition into Year 7 is a positive experience via an extensive induction programme to help new pupils feel at home. For pupils who are already considered by their school to have SEN, meetings or visits by the SENCO or Head of Year take place.
Where students with SEND move on to other schools, the liaison with the school will be thorough and the sending on of documentation will be prompt.
The vast majority of pupils at Wilson’s stay at the school until the age of 18 and so our main consideration will be ensuring effective transition to universities; this may involve additional support and guidance for pupils with SEN from our Higher Education Coordinator and liaison with university admissions departments where appropriate.
Where appropriate, careers advice and guidance is specially tailored towards pupils with SEND; transitional plans across Key Stages will be written and put in place as required.
A boys’ grammar school in the London Borough of Sutton (UK), Wilson’s School is:
committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment
a charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (no. 7536970). Registered office: Mollison Drive, Wallington, Surrey SM6 9JW