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Copleston High School

SEND (Special Education Needs and Disabilities) Local Offer

Changes in the Children & Families Bill mean that on 1st September 2014 a new SEN Code of Practice came into force. Children are now at the centre of planning and decision making for their needs.

The principle points of this new legislation are:

  1. Young people and their families must be involved in discussion on the support that they need in order to share their knowledge and to feedback on the pupils’ progress.
  2. Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP) will replace statements of Special Educational Need. From September 2014 new assessments will follow EHCP guidelines. Current statements will remain in place until pupils have made the transition to EHCPs; this must take place within three years.
  3. School Action & School Action Plus categories will ceased to exist but they were be replaced by a single school-based category for children who need extra specialist support.

Details of the Local Authority’s Local Offer can be found at


Support for students through the Learning Support Department

We have a long tradition of promoting and achieving inclusion for all young people who join the community of Copleston.  The staff of the Learning Support Department work with students, parents and colleagues across the school to ensure that all young people at Copleston have the best learning environment to allow them to learn and develop to their fullest potential.  The staff have extensive experience of working with students with a wide variety of additional needs such as:

  • Literacy e.g.dyslexia
  • Numeracy e.g. dyscalculia
  • Physical  e.g. cerebral palsy
  • A.S.D
  • A.D.H.D
  • Hearing or visual impairments
  • Communication and language difficulties
  • B.E.S.D (behavioural, emotional or social difficulties)

We also have expertise within the department in inclusion for students who have English as an additional language and who may face barriers to learning as result.

There is a very wide range of support available and we aim to offer support that is student-centred and flexible to meet individual needs. It may include any of the following

  • One to one reading and spelling tuition
  • Access to specialist computer programmes to boost literacy
  • Lexia Club
  • Successmaker sessions
  • Break and lunchtime supervision
  • Lunchtime club
  • Friendship groups and buddying
  • Social skills groups
  • Language enrichment sessions
  • Life skills
  • Access arrangements for exams
  • Support with transition to further or higher education
  • In-class support
  • 1x1 withdrawal teaching/support sessions
  • Physical support
  • Vocational Support
  • Time out

The Learning Support Department works closely with many other professionals from outside schools: family GPs, CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service), Community Paediatricians, School Nurses, the Education Welfare Service, EOTAS (Education other than at school) and Advisory teachers from the Local Authority.

At the centre of all that we do, is the student and we place a high priority on the students’ views and feelings about the support that they receive.  We have students in the school who have additional learning needs such as ASD or dyslexia who are also gifted and talented, and perhaps bilingual.  For us, therefore, flexible support for every individual is key.


What kinds of special educational needs are catered for at Copleston?

The main areas of need that we currently support are: ASD, ADHD, Sensory impairments such as hearing and vision difficulties, SpLD (dyslexia), Dyspraxia and complex combinations of needs.
We respond to all students in our catchment area who have special educational needs to the best of our ability.

How does the school know if students need extra help and what should I do if I believe that my child may have special educational needs?

A student may be identified as having Special Educational Needs (SEN) at any time during His / her education. This may be a long term difficulty requiring continuing support or a short term difficulty requiring a specific intervention.

Information about your child’s special educational needs comes from a number of sources:

  • Primary school liaison
  • Cognitive Abilities Tests
  • Screen tests for reading and spelling
  • Observations
  • Learning support / teacher feedback
  • Parental concern
  • Student self-referral
  • Pastoral Team concern
  • Teacher referral

How do you consult parents of children with SEN and involve them in their child’s education?

  • All parents are welcome to discuss any concerns about their child with the pastoral team, in the first instance. They can also make an appointment to see Mrs Pilkington (SENCO) directly.
  • For students who have known SEN difficulties but who do not have an EHC Plan for complex and severe need, regular contact to discuss and review SEN provision is welcome, either through the pastoral team, or directly to the SENCO.
  • For students who have either a statement or an EHC Plan, at least termly contact will take place, including an Annual Review meeting.
  • A forum for parents of SEN students has been set up under the new Code of Practice reforms.  Parents are welcome through the forum to help steer the school's development with its provision for SEN students.

What arrangements are made for involving young people with SEN in their education?

Student Voice is very important to us.
Students’ views are regularly gathered on Teaching and Learning and also the environment. Each year group has a Council made up of two members from each form and these feed into the Whole School Council (Years 7-13).
Students’ views are collected prior to the Annual Review / Transition Plan meetings and students are always invited to these meetings.
Students are involved in the target setting process for IEPs (& their replacement)

What arrangements are made for assessing and reviewing young people’s progress towards outcomes and how are parents and students involved in the process?

For students on EHC Plan or who are statemented, the process of Annual Review & Transition Planning (from Year 9 upwards) reviews and assesses pupil progress. Parental involvement with pastoral teams and SENCO for Target Reports, PSPs, external, staff and peer mentoring, TAC & CIN meetings reviewing progress and challenges directly with the student. Detailed tracking, monitoring and reviewing is carried out for all students at Copleston. The students are at the centre of the process. There are three progress checks, which are sent home to parents / carers. The annual Consultation Evening for each year group is attended by subject teachers and SENCO.

What arrangements are made for supporting students in moving between phases of education and in preparation for adulthood?

Students with EHC Plans or statements contribute their views and opinions through the Transition Planning process and are at the centre of the discussions. For all other students with SEN, the IAG team and the SEN Department work closely with the Pastoral Team to ensure that transition planning, Work Experience, Apprenticeships, Advice & Guidance, Pathways choices and related matters are fully addressed.

What is the school’s approach to teaching young people with SEN?

“Quality First Teaching” is the first means of inclusion for all students in the school (quotation Code of Practice).
Provision for pupils with special educational needs is a matter for the school as a whole.  In addition to the governing body, the school’s Principal, SENCO and learning support team, and all other members of staff have important operational responsibilities.  All teachers are teachers of pupils with special educational needs. Teaching such pupils is therefore a whole-school responsibility, requiring a whole- school response.

How are adaptations made to the curriculum and the learning environment of students with SEN?

A wide range of strategies for inclusion are used at Copleston and with each new student with unique combinations of special needs and abilities, SEN staff and mainstream staff work together to devise and develop tailored, personalised support. Adaptations might include the provision of coloured overlays or backgrounds on OHPs, adjustable table tops, pencil grips, enlarged font on printed materials, the provision of ICT and the careful structuring of lesson content and delivery to ensure maximum engagement in learning for the full range of learning styles.

Overhead projectors and interactive whiteboards allow classroom teachers to use very multi-sensory methods in delivering information to students and information can be highlighted, enlarged etc. very easily in a low key way using this technology. 
Teachers and TAs have regular training on inclusive practice for students with a wide range of SEN including the behaviour issues that can arise from Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) needs.  Many strategies used by teachers as part of Quality First Teaching such as matching tasks carefully to pupils' levels and abilities, structuring lessons to include a wide range of learning styles, structuring the learning carefully, keeping instructions very clear and consistent, stepping the learning carefully, are inclusive for all students including those who have SEN. 
For students who have physical impairments such as difficulties with vision and hearing, our site is adapted using ramps, highlighting of key areas etc and this is carried out by our site team working in conjunction with Local Authority Advisors, students and parents and the school's SENco to ensure that we minimise barriers to inclusion and access presented by the environment.

What is the expertise and training of staff to support young people with SEN and how is specialist expertise secured?

All staff are regularly trained in inclusion strategies to use in the classroom to ensure Quality First Teaching. In addition, we have two specialist LSAs, who are trained in inclusion for ASD students, part of a wider, highly experienced SEN team. The Learning Support Department also signposts to the following:

  • Educational Psychology Service
  • Educational Wefare Service
  • School Nurse
  • Speech and Language Sevice
  • Suffolk Young Carers
  • County Inclusion Resource
  • Sensory Support Services
  • Integrated Delivery Team (formerly CAMHS)
  • ICT Outreach (Thomas Wolsey)
  • IAG
  • Integrated Team
  • 4YP Counselling
  • Family Support
  • Suffolk Autism
  • Equalities Team
  • Claydon Outreach
  • Behaviour Support Service

The SENCo is a highly experienced teacher with many years experience of teaching and providing pastoral support to the full spectrum of students' abilities. The SENCo works in consultation with mainstream teachers, pastoral teams, students and parents to discuss measures to support students' needs at first within the school's own resources, and then by agreement with parents through written referrals out to partner agencies.  This is always done with parent's agreement and the school aims to be very supportive to parents in helping them to access appropriate services.

How does the school evaluate the effectiveness of the provision made for students with SEN?

The school seeks regular feedback through half termly Parent Forum, email contact (through website or direct to staff), via specialist focus groups.
There is regular student voice sampling. Staff are involved in frequent Learning Walks. Performance Management review meetings are held for LSAs.
Students’ progress is monitored through rigorous tracking throughout the year.

How are young people with SEN encouraged to engage in activities with students who do not have SEN?

This is a key focus for us as a school. LSAs are trained to foster engagement and inclusion within lessons. The Quality First Teaching approach fosters direct interaction and engagement of SEN students in their learning and with their peers. Where barriers exist, teachers use a wide range of strategies, equipment, teaching styles and resources, imaginative, creative and careful grouping alongside direct LSA support for individuals and groups.
In addition, it is anticipated that the students' questionnaires and termly Parents' Forum meeting will act as an opportunity for the school to gain parental feedback on its effectiveness in this aspect of its inclusion work.  At the first meeting of the Parents' Forum, the need  for all students to feel comfortable enough to be open about their additional needs was raised and the school recognises its duties under the Equality Act to ensure that every student feels valued, safe and secure and to be able to engage in the full range of school activities.

What support is offered for improving emotional and social development of students with SEN?

The Learning Support Department works extremely closely with pastoral staff in order to support all students’ emotional and social development and well-being. Staff are highly trained and experienced in recognising the additional challenges that some SEN students face in their daily lives at school and the impacts that these can have on their social and emotional well-being. Every pupil has support from a large pastoral team, including their form tutor, Pastoral Support Worker, Assistant Head Of Year, Head Of Year, and Director of Learning. In addition to this, students with SEN may have chat times, social skills groups, lunchtime club, which are offered by the Learning Support Department. Daily informal social and emotional support is offered by LSAs. Both SEN and HOY teams can further refer students to a wide range of organisations and services who can offer further specialist support.
The school strives to create an ethos and environment where all students feel secure and confident enough to engage fully with the life of the school.  It recognised the importance of celebrating the achievements of students in the school who have overcome significant barriers to attainment and succeeded and to recognise the effort and personal strengths that this has involved.
As for all the preceding sections, communication is key and we invite all parents to raise any issues or concerns with us directly at an early stage so that they can be resolved.


  • ADHD - Attention Deficit Disorder
  • ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder
  • BESD - Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulty
  • Dysc - Discalculia
  • Dysp - Dyspraxia
  • Dysg - Disgraphia
  • H.I. - Hearing Impairment
  • Irlen - Irlen Syndrome
  • MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty
  • Mute - Selective Mutism
  • OCD - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • ODD - Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • SPD - Semantic Pragmatic Disorder
  • SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty / Dyslexia
  • SLCN - Speech, Language, Communication Needs
  • Stam - Stammering
  • V.I. - Visual Impairment
  • TAC  -Team around the Child
  • CIN – Child in Need
  • EHC Plan – Education & Health Care Plan
  • IAG – Information Advice & Guidance
  • SEN – Special Educational Needs
  • IEP – Individual Education Plan
  • SENCO – Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator
  • LSA – Learning Support Assistant
  • AHOY – Assistant Head of Year
  • HOY – Head of Year
  • PSW – Pastoral Support Worker
  • DOL – Director of Learning
  • BSS – Behaviour Support Service