Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)


Accessibility Plan

The ground floors of our current sites are accessible, however, there are plans for a new build on the Tooting site which will bring the school to the standard of being fully accessible.

Special Educational Needs (SEND) Information Report

As a Pupil Referral Unit we work within the Wandsworth guidance on Provision for children with SEN in schools which explains the ways pupils with different additional needs are provided for within the school. We also follow our ‘Equality and Disability’ policy.

Francis Barber PRU is part of the Inclusion service. We work with secondary-aged pupils who experience difficulties accessing schooling. This means that the young people may have:

  • Been unable to get a school place
  • Been permanently excluded
  • Refused to go to school
  • Put themselves at risk of exclusion

Young people are referred to Francis Barber through the following services:

  • Pupil Services
  • Education Welfare
  • Secondary Schools
  • Children Looked After Team
  • Special Needs Department

Francis Barber is an inclusive school with a strong commitment to supporting the young people to achieve the best possible outcomes regardless of their special educational needs. All young people are offered a provision that is best suited to their particular needs and are offered inclusive teaching which will enable them to make the best possible progress in school and feel that they are a valued member of the wider school community.

Francis Barber aims to be a place where pupils can:

  • Develop their potential in a safe and supportive environment
  • Make good progress with their learning
  • Work towards returning to school or prepare for college, employment or training.

At Francis Barber Pupil referral unit,  Nic Gibson is SENCo and Designated Safeguarding Lead. Nic is based at the Tooting site and can be contacted on (020) 8672 0771. Nic’s email address is ngibson2.212@lgflmail.org

Lisa Turley is the Deputy SENCo and Deputy Safeguarding Lead. Lisa is based at the Westdean site and can be contacted on (020) 8874 8251. Lisa’s email address is lturley.212@lgflmail.org

Marie Smith is the Pathways Coordinator. Marie is based at the Westdean Site and can be contacted on (020) 8874 8251, Marie’s email address is msmith430.212@lgflmail.org

What should I do if I am concerned about my child’s progress  or special educational needs?

It is important that you share relevant information relating to your child’s learning and previous support received when you attend an initial interview at Francis Barber. This will help us to plan for how we will support your child, what the best outcomes for them will be and how we will help them to achieve this.

All the young people at Francis Barber have an allocated keyworker. They are the first port of call for concerns which arise during your child’s time at the PRU. If you are concerned about your child’s progress or engagement in education it is important that you share this with their keyworker.

Concerns relating to learning, speech and communication and social and emotional difficulties will be shared with the SENCo and key stage coordinator. An appropriate intervention and course of support will be discussed with you and implemented.

In addition to discussing concerns with your child’s keyworker, you are also able to speak directly with the SENCo, key stage coordinator or Head of School.

How does the school decide whether a child has special educational needs and what extra help they need?

All young people who are referred to Francis Barber undergo a period of assessment, this usually last for one week. During this time we are able to obtain an accurate picture of the young person’s academic levels as well as a better understanding of their strengths and areas for development. We are then able to see what type of provision would be most appropriate and whether any additional support is necessary.

Schools will also share with us information about a young person’s past difficulties and support received. This allows for us to plan accordingly.

During this time we may consult with other professionals who know your child such as Child and Adult Mental Health Service (CAMHS), social services or the Youth Offending Team (YOT).

At times a particular need may present itself when the young person has been at Francis Barber for a longer period of time. We would then act to assess their needs appropriately, make any necessary referrals and put in place the right level of support.

When concerns are raised regarding a young person’s particular needs we will follow a graduated approach to addressing these needs. This will involve the following:

  • Discuss concerns with parents and seek further information.
  • Consider the young person’s educational history as well as support accessed prior to attending Francis Barber.
  • Consult with all of the staff working with the young person.
  • Observe the young person and gather information about the particular need.
  • Put in place relevant intervention or support
  • If necessary, refer on to a specialist service such as the Schools and Community Psychology service or Child and Adolescent mental health service.
  • We will review the young person’s progress and assess whether the support or intervention has been successful and whether further support is necessary.

There are two additional provisions within Francis Barber which relate to children with Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs). These are the Fresh Start programme and the Pathways Programme.

The Fresh Start Programme

Fresh Start is a programme for pupils in Years 10 and 11 who have an EHCP. Many of these pupils may have had a negative experience of education and as a result, they may have low self-esteem. The pupils on this programme will have been identified as pupils who are able to work in a small group setting with a high level of experienced adult support. Some of these pupils may require some sessions of extra support on a 1:1 basis or be educated for a part of the time away from the main site.

Fresh Start is a provision named on the pupil’s EHCP and is a permanent placement. Pupils referred to Fresh Start include those who are permanently excluded from mainstream or special schools and pupils who have an EHCP and have moved into the area or do not have a school.

The Fresh Start programme caters for pupils who may have Behaviour, Social and Emotional Difficulties, Moderate Learning Difficulties or for those who in general find schooling a challenge.

Referrals come from Wandsworth Special Needs Assessment Section.

On occasions Francis Barber will identify a pupil who meets the above criteria who would benefit from being on the Fresh Start Programme. In this case Francis Barber will apply to Special Needs Assessment Section to have this pupil placed on Fresh Start.

(See brochure for further information)

The Pathways Programme

The Pathways Programme is a separate department of Francis Barber which works exclusively with pupils with an EHCP who require a high level of support. These are pupils with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder and / or Complex Needs. These pupils require a great deal of individual attention and programmes based on their individual needs. Opportunities are provided for pupils to socialise together with the help from members of staff.

The Pathways programme provides short term provision for these pupils whilst the local authority seeks an appropriate permanent placement. Referrals to the Pathways programme include pupils who are permanently excluded from mainstream or special schools or pupils with an EHCP who have moved into the area or who do not have a school place. These referrals come from Wandsworth’s Special Needs Assessment Section (SNAS).

The Pathways Programme aims to be a place where pupils can have access to an education which is appropriate to their needs. They are able to develop their social skills and life skills in a safe and nurturing environment whilst working with experienced and skilled teachers and learning mentors.

(See brochure for further information)

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

Research shows that parental involvement has a significant impact on the progress that young people make in school.

All pupils have a keyworker who will maintain contact with home.

Reviewing pupils’ progress is an important part of education at Francis Barber. Parents and carers are invited for a review at the end of every term or more frequently if required. All students participate in setting appropriate learning and behaviour targets.

There may be times when more regular contact is necessary. This could be as your child prepares for a reintegration back into mainstream school, if they are undergoing statutory assessment so that they receive an EHCP or if there are increased concerns around your child’s progress or behaviour.

Some young people have a number of different agencies working alongside them. Where this is the case it may be necessary for you to attend Team Around the Child meetings (TACs).

If your child has a provision map these will be reviewed termly and the information shared with you. If your child has worked with a specialist service you may be provided with a written report of this involvement and any recommendations for future support.

We hold year 11 information and parents evenings for pupils and parents / carers. The aim of these evenings is to share information about your child’s progress, provide information about upcoming examinations and to support in preparing for post 16 education.

Young people will be provided with homework from subject teachers which relates to class topics. This will be an opportunity for them to extend their learning and encourage good study practice.

How will my child be involved and consulted?

Pupils will be involved in making decisions that impact them. There are a number of opportunities for them to share information and contribute to decisions about their outcomes.

Through keyworking sessions, pupils will be given the opportunity to reflect on the difficulties that have lead to them being referred to Francis Barber. Some pupils may require a more intensive package of support and will receive 1:1 mentoring to support them in developing these skills.

Concerns will be discussed with the young people and they will be given the opportunity to share their opinions and aspirations. Successful outcomes are achieved when the young people have taken ownership of the decisions about their futures. Pupils will be involved in process that lead to a reintegration back to school both without an EHCP and with an EHCP.

How do you assess and review my child’s progress?

All pupils are assessed on entry to the PRU. During the assessment they complete a series of tests which provide us with a baseline of their academic levels. They are assessed continuously throughout the term by their subject teachers. Levels are updated on a half termly basis. At the end of each term they will complete a series of assessment to gauge whether progress has been made.

Subject leaders, as well as the SENCo, analysis the assessment data termly to monitor progress and identify areas where further intervention or support is needed. The SLT is involved in overseeing the tracking of the data and ensuring that progress is being made.

Where areas of concern are identified, an appropriate intervention will be implemented. This will be monitored and reviewed after a fixed period of time.

The pupil will be referred on to a specialist service (Educational Psychology Service etc) when they continue to not make progress despite engaging with the support or intervention which has been put in place.

Non academic progress will also be monitored and reviewed. This will be in the form of the Behavioural Audit Form which is completed on arrival and again termly. This allows us to track improvements in managing behaviour and address any areas of concern. This will be shared with you at termly review meetings.

Pupils on the Special Educational Needs register will have a Provision Map. This allows us to monitor and review any additional support the young person is receiving and plan for future support.

As well as having End of term Reviews, pupils with EHCPs will have annual reviews. These will ensure that progress is being rigorously reviewed and that we are proactively planning for the next step in your child’s educational journey.

How is teaching and the curriculum adapted to my child’s needs?

All teachers are responsible for using a range of strategies and resources to make sure that pupils enjoy and achieve within the classroom. We aim to extend pupils and create opportunities for not only gaining curriculum knowledge but developing the necessary skills to be lifelong learners.

All teachers aim to deliver Quality First Teaching. Information about your child and their specific needs is shared with relevant staff. This ensures that they are able to plan lessons that will be delivered at an appropriate level so that your child has the best possible chance of making progress. The curriculum is broken down into small achievable steps in all areas with opportunities for repetition and consolidation of learning when necessary.

Some classes will have additional adults supporting them. These may be supported by a teaching assistant, learning mentor or by another teacher.

Pupils are grouped according to their key stage and specific level of need. Group sizes range from 3 – 10 pupils in a group. The size of the group will depend of the level of need of the pupils. We will discuss the reasons behind the grouping with you and your child as well as discuss reasons why it may be necessary to change these groupings.

How we support children with their literacy and numeracy development:

  • We adopt a whole school literacy and numeracy approach. We have a literacy coordinator as well as a numeracy coordinator who is responsible for promoting and raising the literacy and numeracy levels across the school.
  • Pupils with identified literacy difficulties will be offered a programme of intervention. This may be small group literacy lessons or 1:1 sessions where necessary. We use a variety of resources for these sessions. These include Read Write Inc and Rapid Read.
  • Pupils with identified numeracy difficulties will be supported through their maths lessons to improve in the areas they find challenging. Through their initial numeracy assessment, these areas will be identified and work will be targeted to develop these particular skills.
  • Where they continue to experience difficulties, they may be offered a fixed period of 1:1 support.

What support is there for my child’s emotional well-being?

Staff at Francis Barber are experienced in working with young people who display challenging behaviour and experience difficulties in managing their emotions. Through our keyworking programme, PSHCE curriculum and SEAL lessons, the young people are encouraged to reflect and build on their emotional resilience.

Where young people continue to experience difficulties managing their emotions, they may be offered 1:1 mentoring sessions. This provides them with a space away from the group to work intensively with a skilled mentor for a fixed period of time.

Some young people require specialist support to help them deal with the difficulties they are facing. Where this is the case they will be referred on to our specialist mental health nurse. This will be discussed with you and your child before this referral takes place.

We encourage the young people to form positive relationships with one another. This is done through our social curriculum. Our social curriculum takes place both onsite as well as at an offsite location. Onsite we encourage the pupils to play games and sport during unstructured times. We encourage pupils to arrive at school from 8.30 where they have the opportunity to have breakfast with the staff and other young people. The pupils receive a hot lunch twice a week. They are encouraged to share this meal together whilst seated at the table. This aids in developing appropriate social skills.

Activities at Future Skills, our offsite location, are designed to develop social skills and promote emotional well being. These include a selection of sporting, team building and confidence building activities.

Francis Barber aims to be a safe environment and a place where pupils can grow and develop. We take reports of bullying very seriously and act swiftly to address any concerns or allegations of this nature.

How do you promote positive behaviour?

All staff at Francis Barber have high expectations of the young people that we work with. We have a high ratio of adults to pupils which allows for a more intensive level of support in managing and promoting positive behaviour. Teachers explain their expectations clearly to pupils when they first join us. These are consistently reinforced. During unstructured times there is a high ratio of adults to pupils. Pupils are encouraged to take part in sports and games and staff are always on hand to model and encourage positive behaviour and peer relationships.

The young people are set regular targets by their keyworkers. These ensure that the pupils and staff are aware of the areas that they are focussing on. Some pupils may carry target cards with them to their lessons. These will be completed at the end of every lesson. This allows keyworkers to monitor behaviour.

All classrooms have visual reminders of the expectations.

Pupils are rewarded for positive behaviour through acquiring Good News slips. These are shared with the keyworker. Pupils are also rewarded for being punctual to school. Both result in the accumulation of vouchers for the end of the school term. Keyworkers keep regular contact with parents to feed back on positive behaviour.

Where young people continue to experience difficulties managing their behaviour, their keyworker will discuss this with the parent. If it continues to be unresolved, the Head of Year or Head of School will arrange to meet with you. We will attempt to uncover the cause of the negative behaviour and put in support for the pupil. This may be sessions with a learning mentor onsite or may require a referral to an outside agency such as the Target Youth Support Team.

It is our experience that challenging behaviour is dealt with more effectively when the parents and school are in a partnership together and are working to ensure the best outcome for the young person.

What training and specialist skills do the staff supporting children with SEND have or are having?

At Francis Barber we have a rich programme of Continuous Professional Development for all staff. All staff are skilled in working with young people who display a variety of Special Educational Needs. The teaching and learning team work hard to ensure that teaching is of a high standard. Regular training is delivered to ensure that teachers are consistently kept up to date with any develops in education.

Staff will also receive specific training in their subject area. When a member of staff receives training in an area they will then disseminate relevant information across the school in order to ensure that all staff and young people benefit from the training that has been received.

Whole staff training in relation to SEN has focussed on the following areas:

  • Working with young people with Speech and Communication Difficulties
  • Strategies for supporting young people with ASD
  • Working with pupils with Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties.
  • Supporting literacy difficulties
  • Provision Mapping

The SENCo has completed the National Accreditation for Special Educational Needs Coordinators.

Other training that staff have received is as follows:

  • Attachment Theory
  • Team Teach – positive handling approach
  • TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication handicapped Children)
  • Training the workforce to support special and additional educational needs and disabilities
  • Read Write Inc Training
  • Social Inclusion for young people with SEN
  • Teaching Approaches to support young people with dyslexia

We have also received training from the following services:

  • Schools and Community Psychology Service
  • Specialist Mental Health Nurse
  • Substance Misuse Support Service
  • Children’s Safeguarding lead in Wandsworth

The SENCo attends the termly SENCo forum where we are kept up to date with any development in the local authority in relation to SEN.

The Pathways Coordinator attends the termly ASD Forum.

What do you do to make the school environment and curriculum accessible for all children?

Francis Barber has classrooms on the ground floor which are fully wheelchair accessible. The common room, Science lab and kitchen are also accessible with a wheelchair. It has a disabled toilet available as well as a ramp at the entrance.

We have given careful consideration to the adaptations needed for young people with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder and work to ensure that the natural environment is kept as calm and ‘ASD friendly’ as reasonably possible.

Pupils are able to access ICT equipment in all classrooms. We have a number of iPads available to use at the teachers’ discretion. Where we feel it is appropriate, we may offer a young person the use of a laptop at home to complete school work.

Where necessary, we may apply for exam access arrangements. This is done to ensure that the young person has the best possible chance of success in their examinations. Some young people may be entitled to additional time, supervised rest breaks, a reader and/or a scribe. Depending on the access arrangements applied for we, would need to provide evidence supporting this application.

How will my child be included in activities outside of the classroom?

Francis Barber aims to be an inclusive school. We aim to broaden the pupils’ experience of the world by having a strong emphasis on outdoor education. Pupils can benefit from visits to museums, the theatre and other places of interest. During those activities pupils are encouraged to practice their social skills.

We complete a risk assessment for each new pupil that joins as well as risk assessing any trips outside of school. We will take into account your child’s specific special educational needs when planning any trips to ensure that it will be an appropriate and safe visit for your child.

We ensure that we have a high ratio of adults to pupils to ensure that trips are a safe and fun experience for all.

How will the school prepare my child to join the school or transfer to a new school?

All pupils attend an initial interview with their parents or carers. During this interview we ask that you share information about your child’s strengths and difficulties in education as well as other factors which may affect this. Your child will then be placed in our assessment group where they will spend about a week completing a series of assessments. This will aid us in getting to know your child and establish academic levels of achievement so that we can set their learning experiences at an appropriate level.

Our aim at Francis Barber for KS3 pupils and some of the year 10 pupils is to reintegrate them back into a mainstream or a specialist provision. Pupils without EHCPs will work closely with our reintegration lead on preparing for this transition. Many pupils will continue to be supported by Francis Barber once they have reintegrated back into mainstream school. Pupils with an EHCP will be supported through the process to find an appropriate school place. The SENCo will liaise regularly with parents and the local authority as well as the identified school. Information will be shared with the school and it may be suitable for the pupil to visit the school supported by a member of staff to prepare for this transition.

What specialist services from outside does the school use to help meet children’s needs and how do you work together?

Francis Barber works closely with specialist services to support our young people. It is our experience that young people make progress in addressing their difficulties when we adopt a collaborative approach. That is pupils, parents or carers, the school and specialist services working closely together with a shared outcome. We do this through arranging Team Around the Child Meetings where all the people and services involved can share information, set targets and review progress.

We work with a range of services both within the school and in the larger community.

At school we have the following services working with identified pupils:

  • Specialist Mental Health Nurse
  • School Nurse
  • School and Community Psychology Service
  • Connexions
  • Vulnerable Young Persons Development Worker
  • Youth Intervention Team
  • Substance Misuse Support Worker

We work closely with the following services within the local authority:

  • Literacy Support Service
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)
  • Family Recovery Project
  • Children Social Service
  • Targeted Youth Support Service
  • Youth Offending Team

What will you do if my child has medical needs?

Please share any medical needs with us at the initial interview. Together we will establish the best way to support your child with their additional needs. We have a school nurse who visits the young people on demand.  We will work alongside her to develop a care plan to best support your child.

What should I do if I am unhappy with my child’s support or progress?

  • Your first port of call for sharing concerns is your child’s keyworker. They will attempt to address any difficulties you or your child may be experiencing in relation to their education.
  • You are also able to share concerns with the head of your child’s key stage. If you feel that this does not lead to a satisfactory result you are able to address these concerns with the Head of School. If you still remain unsatisfied, you can raise this with the Head Teacher.
  • The Head of the Inclusion Service is Andy Hough. He should be contacted in the event of a concern that you feel has not been addressed adequately by the school.
  • In order to make a complaint to the local authority follow the link below:

How to make a complaint

Where can I go for further advice and support?

  • The Wandsworth Parent Partnership Service provides an impartial and confidential service to all parents of children with SEND. Visit their website at https://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/pps or telephone 020 8871 8061
  • The Wandsworth Parents’ Forum “Positive Parent Action” works with the Council to improve all provision for children and young people with SEN and Disabilities aged 0 to 25. If you want to get involved in influencing services visit their website at positiveparentaction.org.uk or telephone 020 8947 5260.
  • More information about the Local Offer of services and support for children and young people with special needs and disabilities in Wandsworth can be found on the Family Information website at http://wandsworth.childrensservicedirectory.org.uk/ Their helpline is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday on 020 8871 7899.

The information in this report is accurate now, but we regularly review and make changes to what we offer and keep this information as up to date as possible.

Feedback This offer is intended to give you clear, accurate and accessible information. If you would like to comment on the content of the offer or make suggestions to improve the information, please email: Lturley.212@lgflmail.org

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