Special Education Needs & Disabilities


What is SEND?

A child or young person of compulsory school age is said to have Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) if they:

  • Have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age.
  • Have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.

A child under compulsory school age has SEND if they fall within the definitions above or would do if special educational provision was not made for them.


  • To ensure that all students have access to a broad and balanced curriculum.
  • To provide a differentiated curriculum appropriate to the individual’s needs and ability.
  • To ensure the identification of all students requiring SEND provision as early as possible in their school career.
  • To ensure that SEND students take as full a part as possible in all school activities.
  • To ensure that parents of SEND students are kept fully informed of their child’s progress and attainment.
  • To create an environment where students can contribute to their own learning, where they feel safe and listened to.


To support our aims, please find below frequently asked questions which provide more detailed answers to any queries you may have around SEND:

1. Who are the best people in school to talk to about my child’s special educational needs, disability or difficulties with learning (additional needs)?

  • Talk to your child’s Tutor about your concerns.
  • The Tutor may have discussed your concerns with the Deputy Prinicpal/SENCo or you may wish to discuss your concerns with her.
  • If you continue to have concerns, you should arrange a meeting with the Deputy Principal/SENCo.

2. Who will help my child with their additional needs?

  • Students with additional needs may need support from our 3 Wave Intervention Programme, staffed by Support Assistants, whether that is 1:1; small group in class or being withdrawn.
  • The support will target the individual needs of each student and will vary according to the needs.
  • Students may also receive support from Professionals provided by the Local Authority.

3. How will the school let me know if they have any concerns about my child’s additional needs?

  • If a subject teacher is concerned about a student’s progress, they may call you to discuss this and consider more ways to support the student. Concerns may also be shared during the weekly tutor phone calls every Friday, or as they arise within school.
  • Where students have not made the expected progress, they are targeted for extra support, via the 3 Wave Intervention Programme, to ensure that they achieve.
  • The progress of students with an Educational Health and Care Plan (ECHP) is formally reviewed at an Annual Review meeting with all adults involved with the child’s education/health and care.

4. How will the school consult students and parents/carers about additional needs?

  • We consult with students when making any changes to their educational provision.
  • We inform parents/carers about any extra provision that we are going to provide.
  • If a student requires additional support from our school support or any other external provider, we always contact parents/carers before making the referrals.
  • Our students and their parents/carers are partners with the school in the education process and by consulting everybody, we are able to get an informed picture of a need and therefore we are able to meet that need in an effective way.

5. How does the school ensure that teaching staff are appropriately trained to support my child’s additional needs?

  • All staff undertake regular Continuing Professional Development (CPD), delivered in-house and by external providers. Feedback is shared with appropriate staff throughout the school.
  • New staff, trainee teachers and newly qualified teachers receive specific sessions on students with additional needs as part of their school-based induction.

6. How will the teaching and learning be matched to my child’s needs?

  • Your child’s learning needs will be met first by the highest quality teaching delivered by his/her subject teachers.
  • Our curriculum is planned carefully and specifically to match your child’s needs and any additional needs.
  • It may also be appropriate to adopt different strategies or resources and to adapt outcomes to meet your child’s learning needs.
  • Additional specialist advice may be sought, e.g. Speech and Language, when appropriate and, when necessary, additional support may be put in place to support a student’s needs.

7. What types of support may be suitable and available for my child?

Your child will receive teaching of the highest quality from his/her subject teacher as a matter of course but there are also interventions available. Students might receive the following support: 1:1 withdrawal; 1:1 in-class; small group work.

Where appropriate, there will also be targeted work on the following:

  • Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL);
  • Anger Management;
  • Mentoring;
  • Resilience;
  • Assertiveness;
  • Sex and Relationships Education (SRE);

The following referrals to Specialist Services may also be offered:

  • Educational Psychology
  • Counselling Services-in-school, CAMHS
  • Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN)
  • Occupational Therapy (OT)
  • Careers, further education and training advice
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Additional needs and provision can be considered as falling in to four broad areas:

  • Communication and interaction
  • Cognition and learning
  • Social, mental and emotional health
  • Sensory and/or physical

8. How will you support my child to reach his/her learning goals?


  • Assess your child’s needs
  • Plan the most effective and appropriate intervention
  • Do the intervention
  • Review the impact on your child’s progress towards individual learning outcomes.

If appropriate, we will also provide specialist equipment, e.g. coloured filters, pen/pencil grips, concentration aids, tablet PCs.

Adequately trained staff will assess those students who may qualify for special consideration for external examinations.

9. What is an EHC Plan and who can request one for my child?

The purpose of an EHC Plan is to make special education provision to meet the special educational needs of a child or young person in order to secure improved outcomes for him/her across education, health and social care and, as he/she gets older, prepare for adulthood. An EHC Plan will contain:

  • The views and aspirations of you and your child
  • A full description of his/her special educational needs and any health and social care needs
  • A route to establish outcomes for your child’s progress
  • Specifications of the provision required and how education, health and social care will work together to meet your child’s needs. This may then lead to an EHC Plan.

10. How will you help me to support my child’s learning?

  • There may be suggested strategies or activities for you to do at home to support your child’s learning (Special Needs Assessment Profiles-SNAP B)
  • You can participate in one of the parent/carer workshops/training programmes in the school that will help you to understand the strategies used in school.
  • The staff may also support you with strategies, resources and ideas for supporting your child’s learning at home, particularly around online.
  • You can also have opportunities to meet with other professionals involved in supporting your child.

11. How is support allocated to children and how do they move between the different levels of support in school?

We know when students need support right from the time of their central induction, when they are assessed in a number of different ways in order to gather data on them, e.g. reading age, spelling age; visual, verbal and general IQ; testing for access (for support in public examinations). We then monitor progress in ways that might include all or some of the following:

  • Half-termly data drops
  • Daily Attendance, Behaviour, Achievement via SIMS
  • Termly analysis of Attendance, Behaviour, Achievement
  • Written reports
  • Informal and formal meetings/contact with Subject Teachers, Learning Support Professionals, Learning Guides, Tutors, Therapists, External agencies
  • Behaviour for learning
  • Child Development

Extra support is then put in place or phased out according to need. We know when support is required because of the following:

  • Information gained on induction and/or from previous school
  • Concerns raised by students, parents/carers, teachers, learning support professionals, therapists, external agencies
  • If limited progress is being made
  • There is significant change in progress and/or behaviour
  • Concerns are raised by external agencies

12. How will the school know that the support has made a difference to my child’s learning and how can I and my child be included in this review process?

  • Your child’s progress will be assessed in both terms of his/her regular learning within the class and with regard to the 3 Waved Interventions.
  • The impact of the support is carefully measured to ensure that the learning outcomes have been achieved and, if not, what adaptations are necessary.
  • It may be decided that a further period of support would be beneficial for your child.
  • You and your child will be kept well informed and encouraged to be actively involved at all stages of this support.

13. What support will there be for my child’s happiness and wellbeing at school?

  • The wellbeing and happiness of our students is crucially important. All members of staff take this aspect of school life very seriously.
  • All staff within the school community are available to provide support to match your child’s needs. This may include access to a trained counsellor.
  • We know how successful we are by regular analysis of student and parent/carer feedback.

14. How is my child included in all the same activities as his/her peers at school?

  • The Beacon of Light School offers an inclusive learning environment and is committed to providing equal opportunities for all of our students.
  • Enrichment activities, educational visits and overnight stays/residentials are available to all students.

15. How will the school support my child in transition?

  • We believe that transitions at any stage in a student’s educational career can be a difficult and stressful time for students and parents/carers alike, but we plan carefully for these times throughout the year in partnership with the Commissioning School.

16. Who can I ask if I have any other questions about my child at school, including complaints?

  • Any complaint about the special educational provision in the school should in the first instance be addressed to the Deputy Principal/SENCo.
  • If the issue(s) is unresolved, contact should then be made with The Principal, who may direct you to the school’s complaints policy and procedure.
  • In the unusual circumstances that the issue is still not resolved, it should then be referred to the Clerk to the Trustees.

17. Where can I find additional information?

Further information can be found at:

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