Special Educational Needs & Disability

St Birinus School SEND information report

These pages set out information about our provision for children and young people with special educational needs & disability (SEND). They are updated annually and are available as a paper copy by request from the school.

Annual SBS SEND Report

About our school:

St Birinus School provides for students with a wide range of special educational needs including those with:

  • Communication and interaction needs; this includes children who have speech language and communication difficulties including autistic spectrum conditions.
  • Cognition and Learning needs; this includes children who have learning difficulties and specific learning difficulties like dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia.
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs.
  • Sensory and/or Physical needs; this includes children who have visual or hearing needs, or a physical disability that affects their learning.

Our Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) is Fiona Foster.
Our Deputy Inclusion Co-ordinators is Miss Ellie Jones.
They can be contacted on inclusion@st-birinus.oxon.sch.uk

Our governor with responsibility for SEND is Alexander Shepherd.


How do we identify and give extra help to students with SEND?

The school uses Oxfordshire County Council’s guidance ‘Identifying and supporting Special Educational Needs in Oxfordshire schools and settings’. 

The guidance sets out:

  • How we identify if a student has a special educational need.
  • How we assess students and plan for their special educational needs, and how we adapt our teaching.
  • Ways in which we can adapt our school environment to meet each student’s needs 
  • How we review progress and agree outcomes and involve you and your child in this.

We follow the The Oxfordshire County Council's guidance for Schools Special Educational Needs (SEN) support which can be accessed on their policy page here.


How do we work with parents and students?

We will always contact parents if we have a concern that a student may have a special educational need. We work closely with students with SEND and their parents to agree outcomes and how we will all work towards these, and then to review progress. We do this by holding regular review meetings, at parent evenings, using the pastoral support team and though scheduled phone calls.


Adapting the curriculum

  • We offer a broad and balanced curriculum for all students including those with SEND. Details are published on the school’s website. The way we adapt this for students with SEN and disabled students is set out in the School Accessibility Plan.
  • Teachers are informed of pupil needs through Pupil Profiles and teachers adapt lessons and curriculum based on needs, as required.
  • We have Teaching Assistants to support pupils in making progress in class across the curriculum.
  • We offer opportunities on specialist courses for young people in association with Abingdon College at Key Stage 4 (KS4).
  • Where required, we can access Alternative Provisions such as Meadowbrook for KS4 and On-Course for students at KS3.
  • For those with more complex educational needs and supported by an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), bespoke packages can be put in place. These may utilise other Alternative Provisions and involve 1:1 or small group work within the Learning Support Base.
  • We also offer bespoke work experience for those with specific needs.


What expertise can we offer?

  • Qualified SENDCo with more than 10 years' experience.
  • All staff have training in safeguarding.
  • Key staff have received training in the SEND Code of Practice.
  • All teachers place students with SEND at the heart of their planning.
  • Teaching assistants are trained to support the particular needs of the students they work with.
  • We have three staff trained as ELSAs (Emotional literacy support assistants).
  • A School Health Nurse.
  • A School Counsellor.
  • We buy in time from an Educational Psychologist who works across the Didcot Partnership of Schools.

We also have access to a range of specialist support services including:

  • SENSS, who support students with communication and language, sensory needs and physical needs
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
  • Oxfordshire School Inclusion Team
  • Therapy Services
  • Children’s Social Care

Information about these services and what they offer can be found on the Oxfordshire County Council SEN web pages

We always discuss the involvement of specialist SEN services with parents first.  We also work with other services and organisations that are involved with a family, with the family’s permission.


How do we know if SEND provision is effective?

The progress of all students is tracked with regular assessments in each subject, reported through two data reports per year (3 in year 11).

In addition, for students with SEND we regularly review progress towards agreed outcomes assessing whether the support that’s been in place has made a difference and what we need to do next. We evaluate this progress against age related expectations.

When we run intervention programmes for groups of students, we assess how successful they have been and use that information to decide on how best to run them in the future.

Information about how the governing body evaluates the success of the education that is provided for pupils with SEND is contained within the annual report to the Governors and is part of the spotlight students’ strategy.


How are students with SEND helped to access activities outside of the classroom?

All students are included in activities and trips following risk assessments where needed and in accordance with duties under the Equalities Act 2010. We talk to parents and young people when planning trips so that everyone is clear about what will happen.

There is information about activities and events for disabled students and those with SEND in Oxfordshire in the Family Information Directory:  Disability, SEN & additional needs https://fisd.oxfordshire.gov.uk/kb5/oxfordshire/directory/home.page

Oxfordshire’s accessibility strategy can be found on their policies page here


What do we do to support the wellbeing of students with SEND?

We place a high priority on well-being for all students at St Birinus School:

  • Key pastoral and learning support staff are trained in Mental Health First Aid.
  • Trained ELSAs available to support students with SEMH.
  • We have a non-teaching dedicated Safeguarding lead.
  • We conduct regular well-being assessments based on the Warwick Edinburgh Survey.
  • There is a weekly themed Ethos input on resilience, growth mindset and self-care.
  • Support from tutors.
  • SOS@SBS direct email address linked from the school website for students to raise concerns.

We listen to the views of students with SEND by providing a robust pastoral support system which includes tutors and student managers who liaise with the Learning Support team, class teachers, Key Stage leaders and Heads of Faculty.

We take bullying very seriously. We help to prevent bullying of all students including those with SEND by the application of the Behaviour Management Policy, Equality Plan and the Anti-Bullying Policy which are available on the SBS Policies page.


Joining the school and moving on

We encourage all new students to visit the school before starting. We offer open mornings, open evenings and all primary schools are visited by St Birinus School teachers as part of the transition process. There is a partnership-wide transition day for students moving sites and from primary schools. For students with SEND we offer extra bespoke visits and 1:1 support and liaison.

We begin to prepare young people for transition into the next stage of their education or training through a tight system of liaison and information sharing with our partner primary schools, KS3 and KS4 teachers and then KS4 and KS5 teachers. This is supported by the Inclusion team and the Pastoral Support team.


Contact details

If you are concerned about your child, please contact the SENDCo or  Deputy Inclusion co-ordinator 01235 814444 or via inclusion@st-birinus.oxon.sch.uk

If you would like to give any feedback, including compliments and concerns about SEND provision, we aim to respond within 48 hours.

If you would like impartial advice please contact (formerly Parent Partnership) via the link here

If you would like to know more about opportunities for students with SEND and their families, support groups or information about SEND, these are listed in the Oxfordshire Family Information Service Directory. https://fisd.oxfordshire.gov.uk/kb5/oxfordshire/directory/home.page

Oxfordshire’s Local Offer contains lots of information for parents. St Birinus School has contributed to the County’s Local Offer and has adopted new guidance and systems.


There is a Parent Guide to the SEND code of practice produced by the Department for Education which is linked here

Our current SEND, Accessibility and Equality policies are available on our SBS Policies page under School Life.


Learning Support Staff

Teaching Assistants

  • Mr S Davies
  • Miss G Hayward
  • Mrs S Lanzon-Miller
  • Miss R Leonard
  • Miss E Lovell
  • Mr K Madden
  • Mrs D McConnell
  • Mrs J Mills
  • Miss R Mainini
  • Miss S Mainini

House System

St Birinus has a vibrant House system which ensures that staff and students work together to create a positive school community where everyone is included.
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