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Special Education Needs are catered for well in our School – Ofsted

We have a clear system of identification and support that means we aim to ensure all students get the support they need to make good progress.

The SEN team is led by the SENCo, Mr S Bardzil. It consists of the two learning Mentors and a team of Learning Support Assistants (LSA’s) led by two Higher Level Teaching Assistants (HLTA’s). Students are assessed and then support is put in place both in and out of lessons. (See SEN Policy below for more details on assessments and intervention). Where possible all support is in class and is based on communication of needs and strategies that can be used in the classroom. LSA’s often support teaching staff and students in lessons and where needed intervention in Student Support of the new Mendip block is allocated. External professionals work closely with the school to advise and support, and we encourage a close working relationship with parents and carers.

Student support is a particular strength of our school. We are fully inclusive and ensure that all students receive the care, guidance and support needed to fulfil their academic potential. We work with local primary schools, with Parents, other professionals and with the students themselves to ensure that individual needs are identified and then supported in the best way possible. We place great emphasis on transition into the school and supporting students when they leave to go onto work or college.

Our house system works as an extended family where students are in tutor groups arranged vertically. This means that students of all ages work together and support each other. Our pastoral team works with the tutors to make sure that students are successful in school in terms of their learning, attendance and behaviour.

Our student support centre delivers individual and small group intervention programmes, based on expertise of staff, assessments we do and advice from external professionals. We promote learning in a structured, consistent and positive environment, where the focus is on praising and rewarding students for what they have achieved.

We encourage students to take responsibility in the school and support each other through a variety of student-centred initiatives: Restorative Justice, Peer Mentoring, Learning to Lead; and the School Council.

SEN Code of Practice

There is currently a major National change taking place in the way in which children with special educational needs are supported in schools. The Children and Families Act and a New SEN Code of Practice are proposals that will see the complete overhaul of current systems.

The changes will have an impact on schools and children with special educational needs. The emphasis is first and foremost on ensuring quality first teaching and learning in the classroom with fewer children being labelled as having SEN. Instead, the new legislation emphasises that some children have simply fallen behind and require some support and intervention to bring them in line with their peers.

Those who do have additional needs will be provided for in schools by the single school-based category of SEN support. This replaces School Action and School Action Plus and is still considered to be a graduated approach. Those who have significant needs and are currently provided with a statement will become eligible for an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.

Local authorities (LA) are required to draw up and publish a local offer (LO) that covers provision in their own areas and provision they use outside their areas for children and young people with SEN and their families. The local offer extends to provision in schools. Schools are expected to include on their own websites more information about how they deliver the local offer including their arrangements for identifying, assessing and making provision for pupils/students with SEN.

The Mendip schools have worked together to elaborate on the local offer stating what is available in individual schools. We have put together a list of questions that is the same, but the answers for each school will be slightly different dependant on what the school offers.

SEN Information Report

​The information report and our local offer has information on how we support students at St Dunstan’s. Currently the school support students with the following DfE category of SEN need:

Specific Learning Difficulty, Moderate Learning Difficulty, Social, Emotional and Mental Health, Speech, Language and Communication Needs, Hearing Impairment, Visual Impairment, Autistic Spectrum Condition, Physical Disability and Medical Needs.

Somerset schools have put together a local offer which all schools follow, below is the link to this

We also have a own local offer which is specific to the support we offer here at St Dunstan’s. Click Here

Please click for SEN Policy