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SEND Information and Local Offer

1. What kinds of Special Educational Needs does the school make provision for?

Queensbury School is a Secondary Special School, which educates up to 250 students aged between 11 – 19, who have Moderate Learning Difficulties. Many of our students have additional needs such as communication disorders including Autism.  We recognise that our young people have a variety of complex Special Needs and we believe that they are effectively supported by bespoke interventions in order to assist them in achieving their full potential. The teaching methods and strategies we use aim to address our students’ individual needs and abilities and ensure both personal development and academic progress and include:

Types of NeedExamples of support in our schoolHow we check it is working
Cognition and Learning (specialising in Moderate Learning Difficulties)Smaller classes.
Favourable adult to student ratios.
Personalised targets for students.
Personalised learning support – work stations, one to one support.
Use of visual timetables/task timelines.
Ongoing CPD for all staff.
Learning Mentor support.
Regular assessment of personal targets.
Review of Statements/EHCP.
Monitoring and support by school team.
Autistic Spectrum Disorders (Communication and Interaction Difficulties)Speech and Language Therapist and Assistant.
Personalised learning support – work stations, one to one support.
Specialist Listening Programmes.
Use of Communication In Print/symbols.
Use of visual timetables/task timelines.
Partnership with Communication and Autism Team.
Ongoing CPD for all staff.
Learning Mentor support.
Review of targets by Speech and Language Therapist.
Regular monitoring of student progress.

2. How does the school identify and assess Special Educational Needs?

All students enter school with either a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education Health and Care Plan.

3. How does the school know how much progress is being made by pupils with Special Educational Needs?

All our students are base line assessed on entry to school. We then have systems in place for recording data, target setting and tracking progress. Targets are set and progress measured in line with National Expectations. Students also have Individual Education Plans with targets that are based on the child’s Statement of SEN or EHC Plan. These targets are shared with parents/carers and are reviewed and updated termly. Regular Parent’s Evenings, reviews of Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and Annual Review meetings of Statements of SEN or EHC Plans take place.  Judgements on progress are closely monitored by the Senior Leadership Team and Heads of Faculties through regular lesson observations, learning walks, scrutiny of lesson plans and students’ work in order to monitor progress and implement timely interventions.  Staff meet in Key Stage groups every half term to monitor progress.  Parents and carers are also able to arrange meetings at other times to discuss progress.

4) What extra-curricular activities can a pupil with Special Educational Needs access at School?

We regularly run a variety of extra-curricular/enrichment activities for our students which take place during lunchtimes and after school including lunchtime homework clubs, Social Skills groups, Art club, subject revision clubs, quiet lunch clubs specifically for our more vulnerable students, creative writing club, reading groups and sports club activities.  At lunchtimes we employ a sports coach, who helps to develop play skills with many of our students.  Students also have the opportunity to experience several residentials and educational visits as part of the curriculum. Our Post 16 students undertake Community Access sessions whereby they visit the local community/amenities to develop their skills in order to use these facilities as independently as possible. 

5) Does the School have a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator, if so who are they and how can someone get in touch with them?

As a Special School all school staff are aware of the requirements to meet the needs of students with SEN. The Headteacher(A), Mrs Watkins-McGirl is our named SENDCo. She can be contacted via the school office on 0121 3735731 or via email on enquiry@queensbury.bham.sch.uk.

6) What training do the staff in school have in relation to pupils with Special Educational Needs?

All of our teachers and support staff are experienced at working with students with SEND and we have staff that are trained in a wide range of strategies including TEACCH and Makaton. Students with specific needs are supported by key staff who have a range of qualifications.  All staff who are new to the school receive induction and training.  Throughout the year we have a schedule of training for all school staff in order to develop our provision in relation to school priorities.  Staff are also encouraged to take responsibility for their own professional development by identifying training opportunities wherever possible.

7) How does school get more specialist help for pupils if they need it?

Within school we have access to a team of professionals who can offer specialist advice, these include our Speech and Language Therapist and the school nurse and doctor. We work very closely with all professionals as well as parents to ensure we offer the best provision. We will also involve other agencies as appropriate, such as the Educational Psychologist, the Communication and Autism Team, Forward Thinking Birmingham (previously CAMHS) and Edwards Trust in order to help support students and develop staff skills through Inset training and the implementation of specific strategies.

8) How are parents of children and young people with SEN involved in the education of their child?

We aim to foster effective partnerships between home and school in all areas of our students’ development and offer several opportunities for parents and carers to come into school. Parents and carers are invited in for Annual Review and EHCP transfer meetings and termly Parents Evenings, special assemblies and fund-raising events. Students have a Home School diary to inform parents and teachers of events that may occur on a daily basis. School Newsletters are sent home every half term and parents receive text messages informing them of forthcoming events and appointments.  Our Home School Liaison Officer also holds regular parent support group meetings in school offering parents and carers the opportunity to meet key members of staff and discuss any issues or concerns they may have. We aim to meet with parents and carers as often as necessary in order to ensure that they are happy with the education their children are receiving.

9) How are pupils with Special Educational Needs involved in their own education?

Wherever possible we try to involve our students in their education by encouraging them to participate in EHC Plan/ Statement Review meetings, whether that is by talking to them outside of the meeting to ascertain views or by them taking part in the meeting themselves. Targets are negotiated and reviewed regularly with the student wherever possible so that they are actively involved in self-assessment activities. We have an active School Council where members are elected to the Council by their peers and they meet regularly to discuss school matters and make decisions about school improvement.

10) If a parent or a child with SEND has a complaint about the school, how does the governing body deal with the complaint?

Parents and carers are encouraged to contact the school in the first instance and speak to the Head Teacher as we will always try to resolve things by working together. It is rare that a resolution is not able to be achieved, but should this happen then the complaint is referred to the Chair of Governors (IEB) following the schools’ Complaints Procedure.

11) How does the Governing body involve other people in meeting the needs of pupils with special educational needs including support for their families?

The Governing Body (IEB) at Queensbury School are committed to supporting our students and their families both at school and in their home environment.  To this end, we have a Pastoral Team which includes Learning Mentors, Speech and Language Therapist, Travel Trainer, Work Related Learning Advisor and a Home School Liaison Officer whose specific responsibility is for Home School Liaison, including support for families whose first language is other than English.  The school buys in the services of a range of external agencies in order to support our students.  All children have regular opportunities to participate in a range of educational visits and residentials in order to support their learning.

12) Who are the support services that can help parents with pupils who have special educational needs?

SENDIASS are available to support parents and carers, offer advice and help to facilitate school visits.  SENAR are the department within the Local Authority who manage the assessment process.  We have a parent support group that meet once a month on an informal basis and includes opportunities for parents to access guest speakers and specific workshops to further develop their knowledge of their child’s needs.  There are a range of parent support groups in Birmingham offering support and guidance, and if parents or carers require further support or advice then we can suggest other appropriate agencies or organisations. Additionally the School Medical Service, Forward Thinking Birmingham (previously CAMHS), Children’s Social Care, The Family Support Service and Occupational Therapy offer support to our families on referral.

13) How does the school support pupils with SEND through Transition?

Transition for our students is an extremely important area and as such a specific Transition Day is held every July where prospective Year 7 students come into school to spend the day.  Prospective students take part in a range of activities, meet our Staff and familiarise themselves with the environment in preparation for September. This day also offers parents the opportunity to meet with key Staff who will be supporting their children.  If further visits are necessary in order to reassure students, these are arranged.  Prior to the Transition Day, our Assistant Head for Key Stage 3 visits prospective students in their current settings and if possible attends the Transition Review meetings.  The Assistant Head for Key Stage 3 also takes current Key Stage 3 students back to their feeder schools to visit, talk about their experiences at Queensbury School and reassure prospective students.  When transition occurs during the school year, arrangements for students are made on an individual basis. If a student is coming to us from a different school, we will often visit them in their current setting and if possible attend their Transition Review meeting. Sometimes, a series of short visits into our school are necessary in helping the student make a smooth transition into our setting.

14) How can parents find the Birmingham Local Authority’s Local Offer?

Birmingham’s Local offer can be found on the My Care in Birmingham website:

http://www.mycareinbirmingham.org.uk/