How does Oathall know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?
Your child may have been identified as having special educational needs at Primary School or at their current secondary school if transferring beyond year 6.
This information will inform the additional support provided by the school. In addition, the school will conduct baseline assessments for year 6 students and others as necessary, on entry, to highlight any areas of concern and to identify any children with special educational needs. The school also uses standard entry test data and KS2 data to establish additional needs and this then informs support and interventions.
The school provides for all Special Educational Needs where mainstream is deemed appropriate.
Further diagnostic testing may also be conducted to identify a specific area of need and support will then be provided accordingly. Referrals are completed for involvement from outside agencies if deemed suitable. The Inclusion department work collaboratively with teaching staff and the leadership team to identify individual need and support each child effectively.
If you suspect your child may have special educational needs please contact Mrs Kelly O’Malley on 01444 414001 who will organise contact with our SENCO or other relevant Inclusion Faculty staff.
How does Oathall ensure that they know the needs of my child?
As part of the transition process, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinators from our feeder primary schools will meet with appropriate staff from within our Inclusion Faculty and the Schools Transition Assistant, Mrs J Newnham and Miss C Slade to share information on the needs of your child.
Any pupils with a history of SEND provision will have all relevant information transferred to the school. External services that may be supporting your child liaise with our Inclusion Faculty staff to ensure we are informed of a child’s needs and clarify the service they will provide at Oathall for your child. Children beyond year 6 have an individually tailored induction programme which includes a meeting with parents and an assessment of need before entry.
As part of the transition programme your child will have the opportunity to attend transition days at the school during the summer term of year 6. Pupils will have an opportunity to experience school life, explore the site, meet staff and get to know individuals at the school that will support your child. An after school `Summer School’ programme will be available for students with SEN, upon invitation.
How is teaching and the curriculum matched to my child’s needs?
Most students will follow a standard curriculum supported by Quality First Teaching. All staff are given training as differentiation in the classroom and we adhere to the concept of `every teacher is a teacher of SEN’ as per the Code of Practice. However, in some instances, the teaching and curriculum is adapted to meet the needs of a child. A range of interventions are put in place to meet the needs of individual students. These include literacy, numeracy, social communications, speech and language and `Managing Emotions’ sessions. These are given based on assessment of need.
It is policy and practice at Oathall to work with parents and in particular to engage young people in planning their provision and reviewing their progress at every appropriate opportunity.
In preparation for KS4 the curriculum of SEND students is reviewed and appropriate provision identified involving the child and parents. Additional qualifications in functional English and maths are provided as appropriate.
How do I know how my child is doing and how do you help me to support my child’s learning?
Students’ progress is monitored at three assessment points throughout the year, with a termly report sent to parents. Parents are invited to consult with staff at an annual consultation evening.
Letters will be sent to parents informing of any interventions provided by the school and where relevant, providing strategies to support your child.
Parents will be invited to attend and contribute to reviews and meetings at appropriate times for their child in accordance with Special Educational Needs Code of Practice 2014.
Students are allocated to tutor groups with the same teacher for the duration of their time at the school. The group tutor is the main point of contact for parents to direct concerns to and provides continuity for the child and parents. There is also a pastoral leader (Head of House) in charge of each house. Within this system, each house becomes a school within a school and allows pastoral staff to oversee the progress, care and guidance of individuals and groups of students. You are free to contact subject staff directly to discuss your child using the Staff Contact list on the school website www.oathall.org. Parents who require specific guidance about supporting their child’s Special Educational Needs can contact the SENCO through Mrs Kelly o’Malley on 01444 414001.
What support is there for my child’s overall well-being?
Every child has a Group Tutor who monitors their tutees’ welfare and well-being daily. An Assistant Head of House is attached to each House and can provide extra support as appropriate when children are referred by Group Tutors or Heads of House. Learning Support Assistants are attached to individual children as key workers with higher level of needs as directed by the SENCO. Children in the school can self-refer themselves by visiting our student services room where immediate advice or guidance can be given. `The Hub’ provides support for a range of students where appropriate.
Oathall has robust Child Protection and Safeguarding procedures which ensure children are kept safe. A Learning Mentor can be allocated and can provide interventions based on managing emotions as well as social communication.
If specialist and targeted support is appropriate this is provided. This includes social skills (Building resilience group) and Self-Esteem (Managing personal aggression group)
A pupil with specific medical needs will have a Health Care Plan drawn up in consultation with their parents and the school nurse, Mrs P Barker (who acts as the link between schools and other medical services). This link provides essential information about the student’s condition and the steps to be taken to manage the student’s medical needs and/or medicines in the school.
Mrs P Barker (school nurse) can be contacted for confidential advice and support on 01342 325513. The school has named first aiders who are aware of specific needs through Health Care Plans.
To promote emotional well-being the school encourages ways to ensure a student’s social involvement in school life by engaging them in leadership activities, school council and extra-curricular clubs and activities.
The specialist services available or accessed by the school
The school provides a range of specialist services delivered by staff at the school as well as accessing external specialist services. Access to these services are co-ordinated by the Inclusion Faculty leader.
Specialist services provided by school:
- Learning support – SENCO, Learning Support Assistants
- Pastoral support – Heads of House, Assistant Heads of House, Group Tutors
- Careers support – Work Related Co-ordinator
- Mentoring and Guidance –Learning Mentors/Behaviour and Engagement Co-ordinator
- First Aid/medical services – School Welfare Assistant
Specialist services accessed by the school may include:
- Alternative Learning Team
- Alternative Provision College Inclusion Team
- Careers Advisory Service
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service
- Children’s Social Care
- Early Help Intervention and Think Family
- Educational Psychology Service
- Ethnic Minorities Achievement Team
- Family Support Work
- Learning Inclusion Advisory Teachers
- Occupational Health Service
- Sensory Support Team
- School Nursing Service
- Social Communication Team
- Special Needs Assessment Team
- Speech and Language Team
- Traveller Education Service
- Virtual School for Looked After Children
- Young Carers Support Service
What training do the staff supporting children and young people with SEND have or are training for?
Staff supporting children and young people with SEND have a wide variety of qualifications and training to maintain a breadth of specialist support within the school.
Training and Qualifications:
- SENCO qualification
- SENCO regularly attends SEND locality meetings and briefings by the local authority regarding accessing support, sharing good practice and new legislation regarding SEND
- Appointed Deputy SENCO is embarking on formal SENCO qualification
- Holistix training for Early Help Plans
- Supporting students with particular types of SEND
- Training through our SEND Locality Group
- Restorative Justice Training
- Access arrangements courses
- Literacy training
- Designated person (Child Protection)
- Designated person (Children Looked After)
- Child protection training by all staff as required by legislation
- Dyslexia Qualification
How is my child included in activities outside the classroom including school trips and enrichment activities?
All trips and enrichment (extra-curricular) activities are available to all students. The school will ensure that appropriate support is provided where required. Where Special Educational Needs/Disabilities exist all cases will be assessed individually and discussions take place with parents to address any specific needs. Only in exceptional circumstances where a risk(s) may exist, may a child be unable to access a trip. Information about school trips and enrichment activities can be found on our website http://www.oathall.org
How accessible is the school setting?
Young people with SEND are enabled to engage in activities available for all students who do not have SEND by providing resources to access full participation. Identification of provision takes place through collaboration with staff, parents and the young person. For example:
- Access to laptop
- Low level hob for Design and Technology
- Digitised version of books and journals
- Enlargement of resources
- Coloured overlays
- Encouragement and support for extra-curricular activities and trips
- Peer Buddies
- Personalised pastoral support
- Visual timetables
Oathall Community College is equipped with disabled toilets and changing facilities for easy access and inclusion. Disabled parking is located directly next to the school entrance. Although Oathall does not have lifts to access first or second-floor rooms we have undertaken significant work to make all of the ground floor buildings accessible for anyone using a wheelchair. The newly refurbished maths & science building has accessible classrooms and science laboratories on the ground floor. Timetables can be adapted as appropriate. Parents and their children are welcome to visit the school with SEND officers to assess the suitability of accessibility of the Oathall site. The school has an Accessibility Plan.
How does Oathall prepare and support my child to transfer to a new setting in the next stage of education and life?
The school offer the following support to ensure that any transition to another setting at 16+ will be effectively supported:
- Independent Careers advice
- Moving on plans (S139a)
- Post 16 Options Evening for parents and students held in September
- Work Related Learning week for all year 10 students held in June
- Attendance at college open days and taster days
- Links to provide volunteering or work experience opportunities in the local community. Volunteering opportunities are available through our School Farm.
- Year 11 Transition Group
The School Work Related Learning Co-ordinator is the person in the best position to advise students and parents. The Work Related Learning Co-ordinator can be contacted on 01444 414001.
How are Oathall’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
Resources are allocated according to needs. In terms of in-class support, the resources are allocated in the first instance according to any statutory requirements that the school has. Thereafter, LSAs and mentors are allocated based on needs identified in reports from external agencies and from the outcomes of teacher, parent and student discussion/review.
Where the support required involves a physical resource then these will be considered on an individual basis following discussion/review (as above). If considered beneficial to the progress of an individual and is reasonable and practical, the resource will be provided.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
Students with an EHCP will receive support in accordance with the statutory hours attached to the EHCP and the objectives specified. All students with a EHCP or at ‘SEN Support’ will have a Pupil Profile created which summarises their needs and recommends strategies for all staff to be aware.
- Literacy and Numeracy will be allocated based on the standardised scores, established from on entry testing in year 7 and review testing during June of years 7 and 8
- The effectiveness of provision is evaluated using both hard and soft data
- The Educational Psychologist will provide advice and guidance on prioritising support for Oathall students
- The Speech and Language therapy service provide advice and targets to support individual students
- The Social Communication team also provide advice and targets to support individual students
- A Dyslexia specialist is employed on a part time basis to complete screening tests and produce reports where necessary. Review assessments are calendared where appropriate
- Classroom access arrangements are provided according to in house assessment and staff referral. External examination access arrangements can only be provided following assessment by our visiting assessor and Joint Council for Qualifications agreement
How are parents involved in the school? How can I be involved?
All parents are actively encouraged to participate in their child’s education. This may be through discussion/email with group tutors, subject teachers or year leaders. Parents are encouraged to contribute to their child’s EHCP/Pupil Profile in order to improve targets and focus support. The school has an active Parent Teacher Association. All parents are members and welcome to attend meetings and events. Parents are always welcome to volunteer their help within the school and have the opportunity of joining the Governing Body. Parents are welcome to bring a supporting adult to meetings.
Who can parents contact for further information or advice?
Parents interested in their child joining the college in the first instance should view the college website which provides an overview of the achievements, provision and the life of the school.
Enquiries about Special Educational Needs are best made to Miss C Slade, SENCO at firstname.lastname@example.org . Miss Slade will be happy to arrange for you to discuss how your child’s needs can be met at Oathall.
The Headteacher, Mr E Rodriguez would be happy to discuss any general enquiries and arrange an introductory tour of the college. Mr E Rodriguez can be contacted at email@example.com
Parents can also receive advice and support from the SEND IAS Special Educational Needs Information and Advice Service at:
How can I access information about the local authority’s offer?
The link below will take you to it.
Local Offer – West Sussex County Council
Resolving Disagreements and Complaints
Parent engagement and participation in SEND matters is an ongoing process. If disagreements about SEND provision arise, Oathall would wish to meet with parents and children at the earliest opportunity. The college believes it is only in a spirit of mutual openness that amicable resolutions can be found. If any concern does arise, please contact Ms E Green, Assistant Headteacher at firstname.lastname@example.org. Oathall does have a formal complaints procedure which can be accessed on the college website.
- CAT Cognitive Ability Test. Series of short tests that display a child’s ability profile
- KS2 data Results of year 6 (Primary School) assessments in English, mathematics and science
- SEND Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
- KS3 Key Stage 3. Years 7, 8 and 9
- KS4 Key Stage 4. Years 10 and 11
- Pupil Profile / Individual Education Plan
- EHP Early help Plan (Social care plan to coordinate the work of agencies supporting
- children and families)
- EHCP Education, Health Care Plan
- HCP Health Care Plan (Specific plan supporting children’s physical or emotional health needs in school)