SEND Local Offer

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Information

This page provides information about Special Educational Needs and Disabilities support available for
students attending the Sacred Heart of Mary Girls’ School.


  1. How does the school know if young people need extra help and what should I do if I if I think my child may have special educational needs?
    On entry and other points of transition, the Sacred Heart of Mary Girls’ School (SHOM) liaises very closely with primary schools and other providers to ensure that our information is up to date and relevant. Where necessary, some individualised arrangements can be put in place for students who may be vulnerable over this period. Detailed plans and interventions will already be in place for young people whose needs are already identified on entry. If a teacher or parent/carer perceives that there may be a difficulty which has not been previously identified, they can speak to the SENCo by arrangement. The SENCo will then examine the most recent learning data, speak to all of the relevant staff and may undertake or commission additional assessments/ investigations. The views of parents and carers are important to us and vital to this process.
  2. How will SHOM staff support my child?
    SHOM staff will undertake to deliver quality first teaching, monitored by middle and senior leaders as part of the regular review and observation cycle. The SENCo is also responsible for ensuring that interventions impact positively in terms of outcomes for the student and represent best possible practice and value for money. Heads of Departments, Heads of Year or the SENCo are available to meet parents/carers by appointment to discuss such concerns. We never assume that “one size will fit all”and will always aim to be as flexible as possible in ensuring bespoke provision where needs warrant.
  3. How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
    Students are set according to ability in most core subjects. There is appropriate academic and social provision for gifted and talented young people and those whose learning may need significant support to facilitate progress. In order to maximise attainment in external examinations, we liaise regularly with examination boards to implement appropriate access arrangements. We maintain an inclusive approach to educating our girls, and therefore the majority of support is delivered within lessons.
  4. How will I know how my child is doing?
    All students are provided with a student planner with capacity for shared communication between home and school. It contains key contact details, and key dates in the school calendar. Student achievement data is gathered, collated and monitored regularly and shared with parents at our annual parent’s evenings, and via the annual and interim reports. This data will also be used to identify concerns around progress and interventions implemented. The subsequent data will be used to measure the impact of intervention. Other measures are routinely used to gauge progress against other needs e.g., attendance data and other scales of emotional well-being and engagement. Parents will have opportunities to discuss progress with teachers at scheduled consultation events or informally by appointment, telephone or e mail to individual teachers.We welcome and encourage ongoing communication between parents and school staff in order to ensure the best possible outcomes for our students. In addition, written feedback is provided termly as per the calendar. At SHOM we are very proud of our strong pastoral system, comprised of form tutors, subject teachers, Heads of Year and the Senior Leadership Team.
  5. What Support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?
    The form tutors are generally the child’s most consistent and stable point of contact. The form tutors can support students and their families on a day to day basis and can respond to most routine concerns or enquiries. Our Heads of Year / Pastoral Development Coordinators add to the support network and provide the ‘next step’ when it comes to support and advice in relation to both academic and pastoral concerns.Further to this, key members of the Senior Leadership Team oversee the support structures within the school and can also be available for consultation by appointment. We maintain strong partnerships with parents and firmly believe that working collaboratively will lead to the best outcomes for our students. In addition to bespoke consultations, all parents / carers are invited to join our parental support sessions held regularly throughout the year in keeping with the Every Child Matters agenda.
  6. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?
    See above. In addition, we have an excellent relationship with the Local Education Authority and regularly seek advice and guidance from The Educational Psychology Team and Learning Support Service. A counselling service (RelaTeen) has been commissioned and is accessible to all students. The school continues to work in conjunction with the Education Welfare Service in order to support and maintain high levels of student attendance and we also make use of a Home-Tuition Service as needed for students who are unable to attend school for significant periods of time. A NEETs advisor and Careers Education service personnel are regularly available at school for consultations. The school works closely with Local Authority
    health nurses and the Children and Adults Mental Health Service (CAMHS).
  7. What training have the staff supporting young people had?
    All staff at the Sacred Heart of Mary Girls’ School take part in an intensive induction, training and support programme on joining the school. Furthermore, all staff participate in a twilight programme of continued professional development throughout the year centred on catering for the needs of our students. We recognise that some individuals will have specific needs and look to develop suitable approaches to support in conjunction with external agencies.The SENCo, also a member of the Senior Leadership team, is an experienced and qualified teacher. He also holds the Post Graduate Certificate of SEN Coordination. All staff have access to training sessions throughout the year focused on improving the educational experience and outcomes for our students. The SENCo and Learning Support team are always available for consultation and advice on a case by case basis. As needed, the school will look to external agencies to provide specialist advice and training.
  8. How will you help me to support my child’s learning?
    OFSTED report. We welcome the support and involvement of parents in their children’s’ learning. Parent/carer liaison is routinely managed through the student planner. Parents/carers are encouraged to contact staff directly by telephone or by e mail. All staff are very happy to be very flexible in their liaison with parents to ensure that the appropriate support is in place for students both at home and at SHOM.
  9. How will I be involved in discussions about and planning for my child’s education?
    We aim to develop close and mutually supportive relationships with parent/carers from the point of transition. Where students have SEND, transition is usually extended, and in extreme cases, bespoke. We aim to involve parents as a source of expertise on the needs of their child. There are regular opportunities to engage with subject and pastoral teams to review progress and set new targets. There will also be other opportunities to discuss your child’s learning during annual reviews, IEP or provision map reviews. Parents and carers are represented on the governing body.In addition to our Parent’s Consultation Evenings, both parents and students are encouraged to attend Options Evenings to support the transition from Years 9 – 10, Years 11 to Sixth Form / College and Year 13 to Further Education. These evenings enable another opportunity for parents / carers to meet with staff to explore potential programmes of study for students.
  10. How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?
    We actively seek to ensure that ALL students are included in all activities including trips. All activities outside the classroom are individually risk assessed and where necessary resourced and supported to maximise the engagement in and the impact of the activity on all the young people who are participating. Trips are regularly used to enhance social skills or subject knowledge and are seen as a valuable element of the curriculum. In addition to trips organised throughout the year, we offer an Enrichment Programme in the Summer Term for all students in Years 7 – 13 to gain greater access to opportunities that will further enhance the delivery of the curriculum.
  11. How accessible is the SHOM environment?
    The accommodation is comprised of 4 main buildings which are all multi-storey and 3 one storey buildings which house Music, Business Studies and a conference facility. The 4 main  buildings do not have lifts, however two stair lifts have been fitted to enable access to our hall. There are disabled toilets in A Block, the 6th Form building and C Block. Adjustments have been made to make the site more accessible and ramps have been installed to facilitate access to the buildings. The site covers 4 –5 acres and the outside space includes a large grassed recreational area that is very uneven and therefore inaccessible to wheelchair users and challenging to those with physical impairments.
  12. Who can I contact for further information?
    The first point of contact for pastoral issues is the form tutor and for academic matters, the subject teacher. If further clarification or support is needed, the Subject Leader or the Head of Year are likely to be able to provide assistance. The SENCo is also available for consultation and appointments can be made via the school office.
  13. How will SHOM prepare and support my child to join the school, transfer to a new school or to the next stage of education?
    There is a comprehensive Induction Programme for all pupils joining Year 7 and all pupils joining the school ‘In-Year’are allocated a Buddy to support them in transition. There are ‘Settling In Meetings’for parents of pupils in Years 7 & 12 and there is a ‘Transition Evening’for Year 7 parents. Options Evenings and a ‘Higher Education Evening’prepare pupils for transition to KS4, KS5 and Post 18 education. There is a full CEG programme from Year 7 –13 which prepares pupils for the world of work and higher education. A NEET Advisor gives support to pupils from Years 9-11. We aim to ensure that transitions are positive and we implement a bespoke package if appropriate. We involve appropriate agencies at points of transition to ensure that the processes run smoothly with good outcomes. We are always keen to discuss and plan with parents/carers to ensure that the transition is a positive experience for them as well as the young person.
  14. How does the school know if children need extra help?
    What should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?We routinely use information provided for us by parents/carers, primary or previous schools and professionals from other agencies to plan interventions. In addition, subject teachers, Subject Leaders and the Learning Support Team regularly monitor attendance, learning data and other well-being indicators to identify the need for additional support. If you feel that your child has not received sufficient support, parents are encouraged to contact the school and share concerns which will always be thoroughly investigated.
  15. How is the decision made about how much support my child will receive?
    decision about how much support is allocated is dependent on the level of need and impact of interventions. If a young person is ‘statemented’ or the subject of an Education and Health Care Plan, we ensure that statutory requirements are met (as a minimum). We also seek and follow guidance from other professionals working with the child/ family and take on board the wishes and feelings of the young person and parents/carers.