Local Offer & SEND Information


How does the school know if students need extra help and what should I do if I think a pupil may have special educational needs?

According to the SEND Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years (August 2014):

A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.

A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:

  • has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age; or
  • has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her 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.

(Introduction, Page 15. xiii-xv)

Student progress is monitored and evaluated regularly throughout the academic year.

If targeted teaching has not met the pupil’s needs, Subject Teachers will identify any students who are not making sufficient progress and will raise concerns about the student’s ability to engage in learning activities.

Following discussions with key staff (Achievement Leaders/SENCo/Subject Teachers) and parents/carers, additional support will be put in place. This may consist of individual or small group intervention including enhanced resources to help the student overcome any difficulties.

If parents/carers have any concerns regarding the progress of their child they should contact the Subject Teacher/s involved. You may be directed to the SENCo to discuss the identification, planning and delivery of any additional support. As a parent/carer, you will be primarily involved in supporting your child’s learning and access to the curriculum. You will be also be kept informed about the range and level of support offered as well as included in reviewing your child’s progress throughout the year.

How will school staff support my young person?

Ms J O’Connor the Head Teacher, is responsible for day to day management of all aspects of the school, including the provision made for students with SEND.

Mrs A Dove, Assistant Head Teacher, is the designated member of staff on the Senior Management Team with responsibility for the overview of all SEND.

Mrs L Manuel, Special Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) has an important role to play in collaboration with the head teacher and governing body, in determining the strategic development of SEND policy and provision in the school.

  • The SENCo has day-to-day responsibility for the operation of SEND policy and coordination of specific provision made to support individual children with SEND, including those who have EHC plans.
  • The SENCo provides professional guidance to colleagues and will work closely with staff, parents and carers, and other agencies.
  • The SENCo is aware of the provision in the Local Offer and be able to work with professionals providing a support role to the family to ensure that children with SEND receive appropriate support and high quality teaching.

The Learning Support Team includes:

  • 1 Specialist Teacher for Dyslexia Support
  • 1 Principal HLTA (Higher Level Teaching Assistant) / School Counsellor
  • 2 HLTAs (English and Science support).
  • 2 STAs (Senior Teaching Assistants)
  • 10 TAs (Teaching Assistants)

The Learning Support Team will provide regular support for students with SEND.

Subject/Class Teachers

Subject Teachers are responsible for the overall progress of students within their class. They will identify, plan and deliver any additional help your child may need and liaise with the SENCo as necessary.

Subject teachers will communicate and review specific targets with the student and parents/carers at regular Parent’s Evenings or Progress Meetings.

School Governors:

SEND Link Governor: Mr M Ridyard :

  • The Governors are responsible for supporting the school to evaluate and develop both the quality and impact of provision for students with SEND.

How will the curriculum be matched to my young person’s needs?

Class teachers plan lessons according to the specific needs of the students in their classes/groups. They will ensure that individual needs are met.

In addition, specially trained Learning Support staff can assist the teacher’s planning to support the needs of your child where necessary.

Students will receive support specific to their individual needs. This will include:

  • intervention/nurture groups
  • mixed ability groups and
  • high aptitude groups

Informal assessment, planning and appropriate teaching will be evaluated and adapted to meet your child’s learning needs.

We identify students for opportunities within a modified/alternative curriculum this includes:

  • Alternative qualifications (Entry Level Certificate Courses)
  • ASDAN/CoPE Youth Award Scheme
  • SERIS sessions
  • Work placements

The Learning Support Team supports subject teachers in planning and teaching students with SEND through the use of individualised Student Profiles. These contain relevant information concerning the student’s needs, recommended strategies and achievable targets.

How will I know how my young person is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?

At Dowdales School, our reporting arrangements include:

  • Regular parent/teacher meetings
  • Parents evenings
  • KS4 seminars for parents
  • SEND EHCP Annual Review meetings
  • Team Around the Child/Family meetings
  • Records Of Achievement
  • Summary Assessment profiles

Teaching and Learning is supported by regular communication between home and school through the school’s web pages, letters/newsletters, emails, parent/teacher meetings, KS 3 and KS 4 parent seminars, extra revision sessions for GCSE courses, homework club, Options Exhibition, contact with school’s VLE ( IT Virtual Learning platform), school calendar, the Student Planner and contact with Achievement Leaders for each year group.

Pastoral intervention for students with SEND in school includes:

  • Regular contact with School Pastoral team/ SENCo /Support Staff

Social Support for students with SEND in school includes:

  • Access to the School counsellor, Social Emotional Resilience in Schools programme, School Student Services and Form/Progress Mentors.

Medical Support for students with SEND in school includes:

  • Links to NHS Children’s Therapeutic Services (Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy Services, Community Paediatric Service, Multi-Agency Assessment Team for Autism, Child and Mental Health Service (CAMHS) and the Specialist Teaching Service for students with Hearing Impairment, Speech and Language difficulties, Physical and Medical needs and Autistic
  • Spectrum Conditions)
  • Completion of Student Medical/ Health Care Plans as needed with input from parents/carers.
  • Prescription Medicines are stored in a Locked cupboard in the reception office, prescribed drugs are logged daily.

What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?

Positive Behaviour is supported through Maintaining Standards policy work, early behaviour intervention meetings with parents, graded behaviour management strategies. These consist of detentions and internal exclusions.

Student attendance is promoted through the school’s attendance league, support from the Attendance Officer office, links to County Attendance Panels and alternative curriculum opportunities.

Student views and contributions are recognised within the school’s Pupil Voice, student representatives (Form Captains / school council meetings) Progress Mentors, Form teachers, Achievement Leaders, and regular meetings with parents.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?

We have a range of specialist staff working within the Learning Support Department. The department is fully qualified to support students with a range of needs including:

  • Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia)
  • Autistic Spectrum Conditions
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Speech, Language and Communication Needs
  • Social or Emotional needs

Our SENCo holds the National SENCo Award and a current Assessment Practising Certificate (PATOSS) qualification.

Identified students will be tested for the possibility of examination access arrangements.

How accessible is the school environment?

Much of the school is wheelchair accessible with ramped access at specified fire exits on the ground floor. There are separate disabled toilet facilities on the school site as well as accessible changing rooms in the performing arts building and sports hall.

Dowdales School has 2 lifts located in the main building. They comprise of 1 standard access lift and 1 small short-rise lift. Both lifts are suitable for wheelchair users. Stair lifts are also located in the main building. These provide access to the first floor for students with mobility difficulties.

Most classrooms are carpeted to improve acoustics. Subject Teachers are familiar with school’s wireless radio aid system which can be used to support pupils with Hearing Impairment.

A range of improvements have been made in auditory and visual environments including interactive whiteboards, specified seating areas in classrooms, and sound / projection facilities in the school hall.

Currently, there are 4 disabled parking bays (2 located in separate car parks adjacent to the school drive, 1 next to Ashburner House and 1 outside DASH – Sports Hall).

How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school or to transfer to a new school or the next stage of education and life?

Students will be fully supported during their transition from / to another school or higher/further education.

The structured transition process from primary includes:

  • Information packs/school prospectus
  • School Open Evenings
  • Primary Transition meetings (liaison between the class teachers/ SENCo /senior school staff)
  • Taster days
  • Pupil/Family Induction Meetings with Senior School Staff
  • Class/ school induction days.
  • Any extra visits deemed necessary

The structured transition process for transfer to another secondary school includes:

  • transition meetings
  • personalised individual site visits
  • prompt and safe transfer of relevant confidential paperwork
  • The structured transition process for transfer to higher/further education includes:
  • input and advice from school’s INSPIRA /Careers facilitator
  • collaborative support from representative school/college staff
  • prompt and safe transfer of relevant confidential paperwork

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?

The school’s resources are allocated and matched to the student’s special educational needs. These resources provide appropriate staffing for Teaching Assistants, Senior Teaching Assistants and Higher Level Teaching Assistants. Additional resources, particularly IT resources are also considered.

The SENCo is responsible for the operational management of the specified and agreed resourcing for special needs provision within school, including the provision for pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan.

The Headteacher informs the governing body how the funding allocated to support special educational needs has been employed.

The Headteacher, SLT Line Manager and SENCo meet to agree how to use funds, including those directly related to EHCPs.

The SEND funding school receives is intended to :

  • support the raising of standards and achievement of students with SEND
  • support early intervention
  • support equal opportunities and reasonable adjustments for SEND students
  • safeguard the rights and entitlements of students with an EHCP or those in receipt of SEN Support to ensure appropriate additional provision is made available.

Support is reviewed regularly within Annual Review meetings which inform future planning.

all stages of the SEN process the school keeps parents fully informed and involved. We take account of the wishes, feelings and knowledge of parents and encourage you to make an active contribution to your child’s education.

Staff work closely with parents throughout their child’s education. .

Parents are always welcome to contact the school and open communication is encouraged.

Who do I speak to if I am unhappy with the support my child is receiving?

Parents should, in first instance, contact the SENCo or the SLT Line Manager for SEND regarding any concerns.

L Manuel (SENCo) Tel: (01229) 469800 or email here

A Dove (Assistant Head Teacher) Tel: (01229) 469800 or email here

To view our complaints procedure click here