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Support for Students with Special Educational Needs (SEND)

At Burnley High School, we ensure that a child with SEND gets the support they need – this means doing everything we can to meet children and young people’s SEND. A guiding principle for the SEND department is to put the student and their family at the centre of what we do and to ensure that children with SEND engage in activities of the school alongside children who do not have SEND.

The SEND Code of Practice principles makes it clear that all class and subject teachers are responsible for meeting SEND and must make every effort to meet the needs of children and young people with SEND. Most children and young people with SEND have their needs met through universal, mainstream education provision.

Our SENCO is Mrs Joanna Garvey and she can be contacted on should you wish to contact her about any concerns.

Assess – plan – do – review

The SEN Code of Practice is specific about good practice once a potential SEND is identified. The four types of action needed to put effective support in place, through the ‘graduated: approach are:

  1. Assess: the class teacher and SENCO should clearly analyse a child’s needs before identifying them as needing SEN support.
  1. Plan: schools must notify parents wherever it is decided that a child is to be provided with SEN support, and involved in planning towards an agreed set of outcomes.
  1. Do: the class or subject teacher remains responsible for working with the child on a daily basis. Where the interventions involve group or individual teaching away from the main teacher, he/she still retains responsibility for the child’s progress.
  1. Review: schools must review the effectiveness of the support in line with an agreed date included in the plan.

By taking these four steps, schools will be following a “graduated approach” to meeting SEND needs. It is important to note that this cycle will be continually revisited for as long as the child has SEND.

All children will be monitored, their progress tracked and significantly differentiated learning opportunities will be provided. Parents/carers and pupils will always be consulted and kept informed of action taken to help their child and of the outcome and the school will use a range of evidence based interventions.

Our school is an inclusive learning community where each individual is respected and valued.  Our ethos unites our whole school family and collectively we recognise the role we all play and the strengths each person brings.

At Burnley High School, we believe that all students have the right to access and enjoy every aspect of school life, regardless of any special educational need or disability (SEND).

Transition Support for students with SEND

The focus on progression is especially important for students with SEND at transition from KS2. The SENCO ensures that detailed information on vulnerable students and those with SEND, is gathered as well as meetings with parents. This allows for provision to be in place prior to joining Burnley High School and enables a smooth transition and to ensure that the curriculum is designed around the students’ needs.  Transition between KS4 and KS5 for SEND students is led by the SENCO, facilitating bespoke taster sessions as well as CEIAG to allow continuous learning for all students.

There is nothing more important to us than meeting your child’s needs.

Our SEN policy and information report aims to:

  • Share our vision, values and broader aims of the school’s arrangements for students with special educational needs and disability (SEND)
  • Set out how Burnley High School will support and make provision for students with special educational needs and disability (SEND)

Useful Links

Frequently Asked Questions:

What specialist services and expertise are available at, or accessed by, Burnley High School?

  • Educational Psychology
  • School Nurse
  • Speech and Language Therapists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Physiotherapists
  • ELCAS (adolescent mental health service)
  • Paediatricians

What training and experience have the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had or are having? 

  • Visual impairment – LSAs and SENCO
  • Hearing impairment – LSAs and SENCO
  • Speech and Language – SENCO
  • Behaviour management –LSAs and SENCO
  • Safer people handling – SLT
  • Promoting better literacy – Nominated LSA, SENCO and SLT
  • Autism – LSAs and SENCO
  • Working memory –  training delivered by SENCO
  • Maximising the impact of TA support – SENCO
  • Promoting English with EAL pupils – SENCO and LSA

In addition, all staff delivering intervention programmes have received extensive training on Literacy Catch-up, Numeracy Catch-up, Dyslexia support, speech and language.


Pupils are provided with appropriate aids and adaptations are made as necessary to enable them to access the curriculum without disadvantage, thus having equality of opportunity to reach their potential. For example, most pupils are issued with an laptop where required and resources are enlarged prior to lessons for visually impaired students by designated teaching assistants.

A lift ensure that all areas of the building are accessible to all pupils.

Advice issued by speech and language therapists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists is distributed to the relevant staff to ensure recommendations and strategies can be incorporated into lesson planning.

Pupils with dyslexia are given coloured overlays and reading rulers for use in lessons and with homework.

Writing slopes and pen grips are available for pupils whose dyspraxia and/or poor motor skills makes it difficult to write neatly on a flat surface.

How does the school know if a child/young person needs extra help?

  • Extensive liaison with the primary school.
  • Information and advice from other professionals involved, e.g. speech and language service, occupational therapists, paediatricians.
  • Discussion with parents/carers, including visits to the school during the working day to look at provision and discuss priorities of need.
  • Expressions of concern from teachers who following our SEND referral guidance.

What should I do if I think my child/young person may have special educational needs?

Speak to the school in the first instance and the SENCO should be able to advise you on appropriate next steps. These may involve assessments being carried out within the school, or a referral being made to the appropriate service. Such referrals may be done by school or, dependent upon the nature of the concern, by the GP.

How will staff support my child/young person?

The Learning Support Department comprises a small team consisting of our SENCO, HLTAs and LSAS who work in a variety of roles to promote the learning and wellbeing of all pupils. The nature of the support provided is determined by the needs of the individual pupil.

Many teaching assistants work within whole class lessons, with the aim of removing the barriers to learning that pupils with SEN can experience. Our LSAs are assigned to a subject area and work closely with the subject specialist teachers to ensure that they can support the learning of our young person. This involves the differentiation and adaptation of resources, as well as ensuring, through additional explanation, that the pupil is fully aware of the desired learning outcome of the lesson, i.e. what the learning intention is and what is expected of them. Pupils completing work as independently as possible is an absolute priority at Burnley High School; teaching assistants will never complete the work for a pupil, as this would be detrimental to their progress, impacting negatively too on the acquisition and development of their independence skills.

Not all pupils with SEN have access to additional in-class support. It may be that they attend interventions, usually taught 1:1 for short session throughout the week. These include Literacy Catch-up, Numeracy Catch-up, Speech and Language (which is revisited in SLT Reading Club), Dyslexia Support and Motor Skills Practice (in Homework, Handwriting and Wellbeing Club). The purpose of these sessions is to give pupils the basic skills to enable them to access the whole curriculum effectively throughout the wider school.

How will the curriculum be matches to my child’s/young person’s needs?

In addition to extensive liaison with the primary school and with parents/carers, all pupils are assessed on entry to Burnley High School and this informs setting; at Key Stage 3, pupils are taught across 4 or 5 sets for all subjects. This enables pupils of similar ability to be taught together and that the curriculum is tailored to their ability levels with a relatively small range of ability within each set.

How will teaching approaches be modified to support my child/young person?

Work is planned and delivered at a level appropriate to the abilities of the pupils within the class. For pupils with specific needs, for example, dyslexia, visual impairment or hearing impairment, teachers follow strategies recommended by advisory teachers and the SENCO. Pupils are issued with resources to remove barriers to learning and ensure they are able to access the curriculum as fully as possible.

How will both you and I know my child/young person is progressing?

Regular assessment and monitoring takes place for every pupil across all subject areas and this is reported to parents/carers in the form of a mark sheet, full written report and a Parent/Carer Evening throughout the year.  These include effort grades and an indication of progress towards end of year target levels. Full written reports are issued annually and parents’ evenings take place annually too. In addition, as well as the full parents’ evening, usually held in April, year 7 pupils have a ‘settling in’ evening with form tutors and the head of year. This is usually held in October and is a valuable opportunity for any concerns to be shared, as well as for praise to be given. Year 11 pupils have an additional ‘Raising Achievement’ parents’ evening too. This is an opportunity to discuss current levels of attainment in relation to target grades, teachers’ expectations of pupils and how parents/carers can assist in ensuring their child reaches his or her potential.

Pupils who attend interventions are assessed three times over the year, enabling adjustments to be made to provision as appropriate.

Of course, parents/carers are always welcome to contact the school should they have concerns and, likewise, the school will contact home should it be deemed necessary.

What support will there be for my child’s/young person’s overall wellbeing?

Burnley High School has a very strong pastoral and safeguarding network. As a small school, our heads of year and form tutors know our pupils very well.  In addition, there are two designated safeguarding leads who work with vulnerable pupils, sometimes long-term, sometimes short-term, providing a safe environment where the aim is develop a relationship of mutual trust with a person in school. Should there be serious concern about a pupil’s mental health, a referral may be made, with parental consent, to the educational psychologist or to ELCAS (the child and adolescent mental health service).

Burnley High School treats all allegations of bullying seriously and all are fully investigated. Pupils are encouraged to let someone know immediately if they feel bullied and we regularly address the differences between peer fall-outs and bullying as well as how to recognise bullying and what to do if you are worried in our Personal Development Curriculum.

How will you prepare and support my child/young person during transitions?

In the summer term, our SENCO visits all feeder primary schools and meets with key staff there. This enables information to be shared and appropriate provision to be put in place prior to the September transfer. In addition, vulnerable pupils are invited to pre-induction day visits. This gives them the opportunity to meet their prospective form tutor and head of year, as well as to familiarise themselves with the school building and meet some of our staff; some of the more vulnerable pupils have several pre-induction day visits. Where appropriate, Burnley High’s TAs can spend time in the pupils’ primary schools, learning how best to support them and meet their needs, thus facilitating a smooth transition. Parents/carers are encouraged to visit Burnley High School too, to discuss their concerns and make clear their expectations for their child.

How are resources and equipment allocated and matched to my child’s/young person’s needs? 

Advice is sought from the relevant professionals to ensure that appropriate resources and equipment are in place prior to a child starting at Burnley High School.

How are decisions made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?

Communication and the gathering of information is key, so, in addition to transition meetings in the summer term, the SENCO attends all Year 6 statutory review meetings for pupils who have chosen Burnley High School as their preferred high school.

Provision in place at the primary school will not necessarily continue in the same form following transition. This is due to both the changing needs of pupils and the nature of a secondary school environment. For example, great importance is placed on pupils working independently, in preparation for independent living in adulthood, so only a very small number of pupils at Burnley High School have a teaching assistant working with them on a 1:1 basis fulltime. The role of the teaching assistant is to contribute to pupils’ wellbeing, to remove barriers to learning and to ensure the lessons are accessible to all, with the pupils themselves completing tasks to the best of their ability. This ensures that the integrity of what the pupil is able to achieve is maintained, enabling teachers to build an accurate picture of where the pupil is at in terms of their learning and so plan future provision appropriately.

Regular and lengthy discussions take place with all those involved with the pupil, to ensure the best possible package of support is in place.

Do you require impartial advice and support about SEND?

Please follow the links below for more information:

“I love BHS because it really does feel like a family. All staff and students know each other, are extremely supportive of one another and show amazing levels of respect throughout the school. There really isn’t another school like it!”

Miss Yates