Provision for pupils with special educational needs is very good and improving. For further information, please contact our SEND Manager, Dawn Mallon, either by telephone (01623 792327) or through email at:


The following gives an overview of our provision. More detail is available through our SEND policy, available on our policy page, or through Nottinghamshire County Council: SEND Local Offer.


  • What kinds of special educational needs does the school make provision for?

The Joseph Whitaker School makes provision for all types of SEND including learning difficulties, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyper Activity Disorder, physical impairments such as hearing impairments. However as the school site is on several different levels it may be difficult to make provision for pupils with significant physical disabilities.


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

Information is passed on from our feeder primary schools and we have termly meetings with all the SENCOs in the family. Parents are always welcome to pass on any additional information either via phone, email or at the Y6 transition evening or admission meeting if entering at any other time. Parents are invited attend drop in sessions at the SSC on a fortnightly basis for additional support or advice when needed.  Please contact our SEND Manager Dawn Mallon on 01623 792327 or . Staff will also highlight if they think a pupil may have SEND and appropriate assessments will be done and results fed back to parents.


  • How does the school evaluate the effectiveness of its provision for pupils with special educational needs?

Effectiveness of provision is measured against whether pupils are making progress and meeting the five outcomes of Every Child Matters:

    • stay safe
    • be healthy
    • enjoy and achieve
    • make a positive contribution
    • achieve economic well-being

If the young person is on the SEND Code of Practice at School SEND Support the school will meet with the pupil and parent once a term to review provision and measure progress against agreed outcomes. We endeavour to make these meetings person centred with the views of the young person and parents at the heart of the process.


The majority of pupils have SEND that can be met within the classroom setting with reasonable adjustments. In this case progress is monitored by the class teacher and Head of Faculty / Progress Leader, however the SENCO reviews the progress of all pupils with SEND termly and will contact parents and teachers should concerns arise. Parents are also welcome to contact the SENCO if they have any concerns which they feel relate directly to their child’s SEND.


  • How will both the school and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will the school/setting help me to support their learning?

The school tracks pupils’ progress termly and sends out a termly report for all pupils. In addition, as stated above, pupils with significant needs will also have a termly meeting with the school, usually a member of the SEND team. If agreed the school may request support from other agencies out of school e.g. health, social care, specialist teachers.


  • What is the school’s approach to teaching pupils with special educational needs?

All teachers are teachers of SEND and staffs receive regular training on meeting the needs of different learners. Information on each pupil’s needs is on SIMs and easily accessible to all staff.


In addition there are specialists within the SEND team to work with pupils 1-1 or in small groups on literacy, numeracy, social skills and behaviour management interventions including those specifically designed for pupils with ASD. Pupils may have to miss other lessons to access these sessions. These are agreed with the pupil and parents and we avoid core subjects (English, Maths and Science).


Pupils entering at well below age related expectations or with significant needs may access the ‘Bridge’ programme which focuses on basic skills and offers a half way house between primary and secondary. Pupils are taught a reduced curriculum in French and Humanities in SSC to allow for a greater emphasis on basic skills and social skills, if required. Pupils may be in this programme from a term up to two years. If they are on this programme it is agreed with parents beforehand.


  • How will the curriculum and learning be matched to my child/young person’s needs?

All staff are expected to differentiate appropriately to meet the needs of different learners, use a variety of strategies and take note of the specific information about that pupil on SIMs. Additional equipment will be provided if required e.g. use of a laptop, text to voice software. Additional adult support may also be appropriate, particularly if there are issues around health and safety in subjects like Science and Technology. Where appropriate access arrangements will be in place for class work and exams e.g. reader, computer reader, extra time and rest breaks.


  • How are decisions made about the type and amount of support my child/young person will receive?

Support is based on need not labels. The majority of pupils will be able to have their SEND needs met through a suitably differentiated curriculum and access to appropriate equipment. Pupils with below functional reading (reading age 9:06) will have additional literacy in the Student Support Centre until their reading is functional. Pupils with more complex needs may need additional funding which will be moderated through the family of schools. This is then used for additional adult support or specific interventions.


  • How will my child/young person be included in activities outside the classroom, including school trips?

We endeavour to take all pupils on school trips regardless of any SEND. The only exception to this is if we feel the pupil’s behaviour may put themselves or others in danger. Pupils with SEND have taken part in school productions, D of E, sporting competitions and clubs and gone on a range of trips including some abroad.


  • What support will there be for my child/young person’s overall well-being?

The pastoral team of tutors and Heads of House are responsible for the overall well-being of all pupils. If there are issues of well-being directly linked to a pupil’s SEND then the pastoral team will seek the advice of the SENCO and outside agencies where appropriate.

  • Who is the school/setting’s special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO) and what are their contact details.

In the year 2014-5 there was whole school training on the changes under the new SEND Code of Practice.Over the year 2015-2016 all new teaching staff have been trained on using ICT to develop greater access to the curriculum and improving students’ independence through the use of Read Write Gold and Clicker 6. In addition, all LSAs were given training on attachment disorders.All staff were also able to choose an area of SEN to have training on. This included ‘Understanding Autism’, ‘Understanding Working Memory’ and ‘Using Visual Teaching Aids for Lower Ability Learners’.In the academic year 2016– 17 there was training for our LSAs on ASD and Hearing Impairments, plus an opportunity for staff to choose a strand of SEN to focus on in detail, and develop their knowledge of, in the spring term.

Training during 2017-2018 included whole school ASD training and a focus on literacy.

In the last academic year staff have accessed SEMH training and Attachment Disorder training.

This academic year 2019-20 there has been training for our LSAs and SSC centre staff including the SENCO around brain trauma and the impact on learning.  There will continue to be training to develop the skills and expertise of teachers in ASC and attachment, ADD/ADHD, SEMH, Hearing and Visual Impairment, and Learning Needs by accessing knowledge within the team.  There has also been a number of training sessions around access arrangements and the role of the reader, scribe and prompter.


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

Education – Educational Psychology, specialist teachers

Health – School nurse, GP, Occupational Therapy, Paediatrician, CAMHS, CASY Counselling

Care – Social Care, Targeted Support, Flexible Short Breaks


  • How will equipment and facilities to support pupils with special educational needs secured? How accessible is the school?

Most equipment is bought through the SEN department budget e.g. ergonomic pens, non slip mats, IT programs, coloured exercise books. If more expensive equipment is required it may come through health or through additional funding.

Whilst the school is not suitable for a pupil with significant mobility difficulties we do have disabled access at the front of the school and by the sports college. There are meeting rooms close to both entrances. The school is happy to make any other reasonable adjustments for people with disabilities.


  • What are the arrangements for consulting parents of pupils with special educational needs? How will be I involved in the education of my child/young person?

The school also has parents’ evening throughout the year and the school SENCO is always present should you want to discuss any issues relating to SEN.


  • What are the arrangements for consulting young people with SEN and involving them in their education?

Each pupil at School SEN Support will produce a one page profile, which give staff information about their likes, dislikes, aspirations and how to help them move forward. They are also encouraged to be present at their review meetings.


  • What do I do if I have a concern or complaint about the SEN provision made by the school?

In the first instance please contact Louisa Holt, Lead Teacher for Inclusion (named SENCO) (see question 4 for contact details).

Should a parent feel that his/her complaint has not been dealt with satisfactorily by the SENCO he/she has the right to refer the matter to the Headteacher. Should a parent feel that his/her complaint has not been dealt with satisfactorily by the Headteacher he/she has the right to refer the matter to the Governing Body by contacting the Chair of Governors through the school.


  • How does the governing body involve other organisations and services (e.g. health, social care, local authority support services and voluntary organisations) in the meeting the needs of pupils with special educational needs and supporting the families of such pupils?


In addition to the above, the Spectrum WASP group for young people with ASD and / or ADHD offers a range of activities for young people and support for their parents. For further information please contact Sue Edwards at


  • How does the school/setting seek to signpost organisations, services etc who can provide additional support to parents/carers/young people?

A range of staff in school including Louisa Holt (Lead Teacher for Inclusion, named SENCO), and Gavin Brookes (Deputy Headteacher Safeguarding, Care, Guidance and Support) will signpost parents and young people to different services / organisations and complete the necessary paperwork if required. The Head of House will also access services for pupils.

The Local Authority also has a range of services identified on the Local Offer website: Nottinghamshire SEND Local Offer.


  • How will the school/setting prepare my child/young person to:


    • Join the school/setting?

All Y6 pupils from our feeder primary school come up on a Wednesday for PE and Technology so become familiar with the school throughout Y6. Y6 pupils with more significant needs may be invited to between one and three extra transition sessions in the Student Support Centre.


    • Transfer between phases of education (e.g. early years to primary, primary to secondary etc)?See above from primary to secondary. 

The SENCO liaises with the school’s Futures adviser to support pupils with SEND to move into post 16 education. She also liaises with local schools and colleges to pass on relevant information to post 16 providers e.g. areas of need and access arrangements.


    • Prepare for adulthood and independent living?

Throughout KS3 and 4 PSHCE lessons provide students with information, help, guidance and support around preparing for adulthood.  For example, there will be sessions on the options process, careers and writing CVs and letters.


In KS3 students work on building relationships and organisation skills, moving on to voting, citizenship and responsibility.  In year 10 there is the opportunity for work experience to take place over a week.  SEN students who require further support will attend 1:1 or small group sessions in SSC where they will have support to develop social and life skills.


  •   Where can I access further information?
    • The school’s SEN policy
    • Frequently asked questions
    • SSC information sheet
    • For information on dyslexia


Downloadable Documents