SEND Information

Under the new Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice (September 2014) our school is expected to provide SEN information with reference to:

  • Appropriate and Effective Teaching and Learning
  • Open and Honest Communication
  • A Partnership Approach

Click on the questions below to find out more:

Q1: Who are the best people to talk to in this school about my child's difficulties with learning/Special Educational Needs or disability (SEND)?

Our school has a SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS co-ordinator, known as the SENCo. Her name is Mrs Monica Powis.

If you would like to talk to her then you can phone school and arrange to meet. Mrs Powis usually works in school Monday to Thursday. The phone number to contact our SENCo is 0121 464 2613 or email

Q2: What kinds of different Special Educational Needs and Disabilities does our school provide for?

Cognition and Learning - Children who find learning, thinking and understanding harder than most other pupils. Some of the things children with these difficulties might find difficult are:

  • Take longer to learn important skills.
  • Find it difficult to remember things such as the important words for reading and times tables.
  • Find it hard to understand how to use letter sounds to read and spell words.
  • May need more time to think about their answers.

Communication and Interaction - Children who find it difficult to interact with the people and world around them. Some of the things children with these difficulties might find difficult are:

  • Talking to other adults and or other children, especially when in a group.
  • Talking about a topic they haven't chosen to talk about.
  • Making friends or keeping friends for a long time.
  • Following rules made by someone else.
  • Dealing with noises, smells or other sensations around them.
  • Understanding what other people mean when they are talking.
  • Getting equipment and books organised - especially homework.
  • Any change to the normal routine.

Social, emotional and mental health difficulties - Children who find it difficult to manage their emotions and behaviour in a way that affects their daily life. Some of the things children with these difficulties might find difficult are:

  • Following rules set by others.
  • Sitting still for very long.
  • Listening to and following instructions.
  • Understanding how they are feeling.
  • Making friends.
  • Dealing with their difficulties in a way that does not cause harm to themselves or others.
  • Taking responsibility for the things they do.

Sensory and/or physical needs - Children who have a disability that may make it difficult for them to manage their everyday life without changes to the environment or support. This may be because of hearing or visual difficulties, physical disabilities or other medical needs. Some of the things children with these difficulties might find difficult are:

  • Hearing what others in the classroom or school setting are saying.
  • Reading words on books, worksheets or whiteboards that are not made bigger or changed to help them.
  • Moving around without the aid of a walking aid or wheelchair.
  • Using pencils, scissors, knives and forks and other things that we need to use without changes or support.
  • Taking medication without adults helping them.

Q3: What are the different types of support available for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities at St. Gerard's School?

  • Teachers change what they are teaching or the way they are teaching to help the child learn more with the rest of the class.
  • Extra support can be given in a small group by an adult to help the child learn the things they are finding difficult.
  • Extra support can be given to the child by an adult for short times during the day to support them to learn specific skills.
  • Individual targets are set to show what the child needs help with in an Individual Education Plan (IEP) which will be shared with the parent.
  • Advice from a specialist support teacher or other professional will be called upon if required.
  • Support can be tailored to a child with particular needs upon consultation with the class teacher and SENCo.

Q4: How can I be involved with my child's learning and progress?

Our school has an open door policy, ensuring we are always approachable so parents feel involved in the education of their child. This is done in a variety of ways including:

  • Target setting so parents can see what their child is working on next.
  • Home/school books for some children to inform parents of about the child's day.
  • Curriculum overview published termly on our school website.
  • Weekly homework.
  • Home reading diaries.
  • Information on the school website.
  • Parents' evenings.
  • Inspire Workshops.
  • Parents' views on IEP/Annual Review document.

Q5: How will the school let me know if they have any concerns about my child's learning in school?

  • Liaison with class teacher in the first instance.
  • Scheduled Parents Evenings.
  • Termly review meetings and Annual Reviews (where appropriate).
  • Graduated approach to learning difficulties, using the 'Plan, Do, Review' model.
  • Open Door Policy of School.
  • SENCO advice and coordination.

Q6: What examples of provision are available at St. Gerard's School for pupils with SEND?

In our school we make provision for pupils with all types of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

We know that some pupils will have difficulties in more than one area and we will always do our best to meet their needs. All children in school have support within lessons through differentiation and quality first teaching strategies. This means that activities are planned according to the level the child is working at. This can include a variety of adaptations including changes to the physical environment, changes to teaching styles as well as levels of adult support.

Where possible we have installed ramps and handrails, so the ground floor is fully accessible. As a school we would always make adjustments to ensure that all children are fully included.

Q7: Who are the other people providing services to children with SEN in this school?

In our school if we feel a pupil needs more specialist help we can work with the following people:

Agency or service Who they work with How school can contact them
Pupil and School Support (PSS) Children who are working below the levels expected for their age. Staff in school to offer support, advice and training. Schools have an allocated PSS teacher who visits regularly. Parent are informed if they work with your child.
Behaviour Support Service (City of Birmingham School) Children with emotional, social or mental health difficulties that impact on their behaviour in school. Schools have an allocated worker who they will contact. Parent has to sign referral form.
Physical Disability Service Children with physical difficulties which impact on their access in the school setting. Schools have an allocated worker who they will contact. Parent has to sign referral form.
Communication and Autism Team (CAT) Children who already have a diagnosis of Autism or communication difficulties. Children who are being assessed for Autism or communication difficulties. Schools have an allocated worker who they will contact. Parent has to sign referral form.
Educational Psychology Service (EPS) Children with complex needs. An Educational Psychologist will always be involved with a child who is referred for an Education, Health and Care Plan. (Formerly Statement of SEN) Schools have an allocated worker who they will contact. Parent has to sign referral form.
School nurse Children with medical needs Can be contacted via school. Parent has to sign referral form. Makes school visits fortnightly.
Special Educational Needs Parent Partnership Service The Special Educational Needs Parent Partnership Service exists to provide advice and information to parents and pupils in Birmingham. This information is designed to explain special educational needs procedures, to help you understand the law and procedures that affect you and your child, and to provide information on other issues that may be useful. Special Educational Needs Parent Partnership Service, The POD, 28 Oliver Street, Nechells, Birmingham, B7 4NX. Email Address: Telephone Number: 0121 303 5004
Forward Thinking Birmingham Children with anxiety, depression, post- traumatic stress disorder, eating disorder, OCD Single point of access referral. Can be made by G.P. or school or family. Parental consent required. They offer a drop in service for families to self refer.
Speech and Language Therapist Supporting children with speech and language difficulties. Referral can be made through school. Parent has to sign referral form.

Q8: How do we know that provision is effective?

All children's progress, including those children or young people with special educational needs and disabilities, is tracked using the school's assessment tracking system; tracking of attainment of each child and progress made from KS1 baseline.

Pupils are assessed regularly using teacher marking, observations and questioning as well as more formal assessments such as curriculum tests and standardised tests. We also take account of feedback from the child, parents, teacher, Teaching Assistant, SENCO & outside agencies involved as well as attendance data.

In Birmingham we have access to the Birmingham Language and Literacy and Maths toolkits which support assessment when a child or young person is making small steps of progress.

In addition, for children with special educational needs we set individual targets that are reviewed at least three times a year. We also use a Provision Map across the school. These help the school to monitor how well interventions are working. The progress each child is making is discussed at pupil progress meetings with the class teacher and Headteacher.

Q9: How are the staff in school helped to work with children with SEND and what training do they have?

In our school we believe that all staff should be involved in supporting pupils with special educational needs, disabilities and medical needs so we make sure that staff have training to help them do this.

Staff training needs are reviewed on a regular basis dependant on the needs of our children and whenever a need arises. Recent training has included Safeguarding, Allergies and Epipen, Diabetes, Asthma, Epilepsy, Team Teach, New SEN Code of Practice.

As well as this various members of staff have been trained for different aspects of special educational needs and interventions including phonics, six pocket folders, teaching assistant maths support, barrier games and SENCo award.

Q10: How will the teaching be adapted for my child with SEN?

  • Class Teachers plan lessons according to the specific needs of all groups of children in their class, and will ensure that your child's needs are met.
  • Specific resources and strategies will be used to support your child individually and in groups.
  • Planning and teaching will be adapted on a daily basis if needed to meet your child's learning needs.

Q11: How will we measure the progress of your child in school?

  • Tracking of attainment of child and progress made from KS1 baseline.
  • Entry and exit data from interventions.
  • Feedback from Child, Teacher, Teaching Assistant, SENCO and outside agencies involved.
  • Termly formal assessment and school tracking system, pupil involvement and views on their progression.

Q12: How will we involve your child in decisions about their education?

We aim to involve all children in our school in the evaluations and implementation of their own education. For children and young people with Special Educational Needs we use a variety of strategies to support this including:

  • Child's target review meetings.
  • Involve child in setting their own targets, where appropriate.
  • Self-assessment at the beginning and end of learning.
  • Having a range of equipment available for the child to choose to use.
  • Ensuring the child or young person works with a range of different partners.
  • Membership of the school council.
  • One page profiles.
  • Visual timetables.
  • Use of TASC planning activities.
  • Learning breaks.

Q13: What support do we have for you as a parent of a child with SEN?

  • As part of our open door policy the class teacher is regularly available to discuss your child's progress or any concerns you may have and to share information about what is working well at home and school so similar strategies can be used.
  • The SENCo or senior leaders are available to meet with you to discuss your child's progress or any concerns/worries you may have.
  • All information from outside professionals will be discussed with you.
  • Your child's provision will be reviewed with your involvement each term.
  • Homework will be adjusted as needed to your child's individual needs.
  • A home/school contact book may be used to support communication with you, when this has been agreed to be useful for you and your child.
  • We will signpost you to parent support groups.

Q14: How is the whole school day made accessible to children with SEN?

  • Adjustments made to physical environment where necessary.
  • Specialist equipment bought by school or hired from PDSS.
  • Visual timetables.
  • Additional adult support where necessary.
  • After school clubs available to all children.
  • PE coaches trained in inclusion.
  • Educational visits are risk assessed to include all pupils.

Q15: How will we support your child when they are leaving this school or moving on to another class?

We aim to make times of transition as easy as possible for the children and young people in our school. If appropriate, when starting at our school we:

  • Meet with the child and their parents to talk about their needs and answer any questions about our school.
  • Meet with staff at the child's previous school or setting.
  • Provide the child or young person with a transition book that has photographs of the key staff and areas around school.
  • Read reports from people who have worked with the children.
  • Arrange visits to our school so the child gets to see it before they start properly.
  • Give any adults working with the child a one page profile describing the things that help to support them in school.

Based on needs, when moving to a new year group we:

  • Introduce the child to their new teacher and teaching assistant.
  • Provide the child or young person with an updated transition book that has photographs of the key staff and areas around school to look at during the school holidays.
  • Talk to the child and their family so we can answer any questions they may have about the new year group.
  • Give any adults working with the child a one page profile describing the things that help to support them in school.

When moving to a new school we:

  • Talk to key staff at the new school about things that help the child or young person to learn well and be happy at school.
  • Arrange extra visits to the new school.
  • Talk to the child and their family so we can answer any questions they may have about the new school.

Q16: What is the school's policy for SEN?

Our School SEN Policy can be found on the Policies page of this website.

Q17: How is the governing body involved with SEN provision?

In our school we have a governor who is responsible for special educational needs. Our newly appointed Governor is Miss Anne-Marie Hayes.

The job of the SEN governor is to meet with the SENCO. In these meetings the SEN governor make sure that children, young people and families are being supported by the right services from in and outside of school. The SEN Governor is involved in the whole school monitoring schedule.

The governors will challenge, support and advise the head teacher if appropriate provision isn't being made.

Q18: What can I do if I am not happy with the provision for my child?

If you have a complaint about the school's provision for your child which cannot be resolved with the class teacher or the SENCo, please contact the Headteacher, and we will do everything we can to address the issue.

Our school and governing body take complaints seriously and will act upon these on an individual basis.

For more information about the complaints procedure please contact the school office.

Q19: Where is Birmingham Local Authority's Local Offer?

By law, Birmingham Local Authority has to provide information on a website detailing all services available in Birmingham for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. This information is called The Local Offer.

The Birmingham Local Authority's Local Offer can be found at:


Also see: Accessibility Plan - 2018 to 2021 (pdf)