What is the Gloucester House school offer?
In accordance with the Children and Families Act 2014 as a school we are required to publish information concerning students with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEN/D). Here we set out what we provide for children and young people with SEN/D throughout their time with us and explain how we support them on to the next stage of their education. Our SEN policy gives more detail about our day to day procedures.
What kinds of SEN/D does Gloucester House work with?
For over 50 years Gloucester House has pioneered therapeutic educational work with children. We are a very small school working with up to 21 children aged between 5-14 (Ks 1, 2 & 3). All of our children have some form of emotional, social and mental health difficulties, many have other SEN/Ds in addition to this, including social and communication difficulties, specific learning difficulties, moderate learning difficulties and mild sensory impairments. Visit our how we work page for more information on our school.
Local Authorities that fund the children’s places at Gloucester House also publish a local offer. The Local Authority local offer sets out a wide range of information about the specialist services, schools, colleges and organisations that can provide support and information for families of children and young people with SEN/D. It is likely to clarify the procedures for requesting an assessment for an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) – which replaced the SEN statement from September 2014. You will also be able to find information about:
- where to go for advice and guidance on SEN and disability matters
- leisure activities for children with SEN/D
- arrangements for resolving disagreements and mediation
You also can find additional information about SEN/D and support available to parents/carers through Parent Partnership.
Parent Partnership is an organisation funded by the Local Authority but is totally independent in terms of giving advice. You will find information about your local Parent Partnership on their website:
The council for disabled children – provides links and contact details for all Parent Partnerships in each county / borough across the country.
We have formatted this page as a series of questions to make it more user friendly; please click on one of the questions below:
Frequently asked questions
Who is in charge of special educational needs at Gloucester House?
The SENDCo is Shanaz Hussain, she is in charge of special educational needs at Gloucester House. Shanaz has a qualified for National SENDCo Award in 2021.
The SENDCo’s main duties include:
- Maintaining a record of any special needs, as stated in the statement/EHCP, in addition to SEMH
- Ensuring that resources are in place to meet these needs, in liaison with the LEA, case co-ordinator and teachers
- Amending the Education Healthcare Plan
- Arranging whole school INSET where necessary to meet these needs
- Liaising with the case co-ordinator, SALT and OT to ensure effective monitoring and assessment of individual programmes
- Monitoring and reviewing learning and behaviour regularly
- Convening annual reviews and reporting to referrers on completion of these
- Supporting transitions onto new placements
- Producing education health and care plan summaries for all children
You can also talk to your child’s class teacher and case co-ordinator about your child’s needs or any concerns.
How do you make sure the school staff have the necessary skills, knowledge and expertise?
We have a range of experienced and well qualified staff who are interested in and committed to progress for this group of disadvantaged children and their families. All staff receive a comprehensive induction package.
We offer an extensive range of CPD opportunities for all our staff members in house and by external training agencies.
We run regular training to make sure that clinical and education staff:
- Have an awareness of the different special educational needs and disabilities of children in Gloucester House
- Are able to plan and teach/support lessons which meet the needs of all children
- Understand the learning, social and emotional needs of our children
What additional support for learning and specialist services and teams contribute to the progress and wellbeing of children with SEN/D?
In the classroom working alongside the class teachers we have additional staff who provide support for learning, sometimes in small groups away from the main part of the lesson for a short period of time. Where additional need is identified we will add further support staff to the class team. These staff include:
|Staff||Available||Examples of what they do|
|Progress support workers||1 per class||In-class or out of class support working with a child/small group for general support and planned interventions focused on learning and progress.|
|Therapeutic support workers||1 per class||In-class or out of class support working with a child/small group for planned interventions focused on behaviour and emotional regulation, support children back into learning behaviour.|
|Support teacher||2 days a week||Some small, group or 1:1 support for particular interventions.|
As an integrated mental health and education provision Gloucester House also utilises the following people work as part of the multi-disciplinary team:
|Specialist Service||Frequency||Examples of what they do|
|Clinical nursing||More than one staff member||Case coordination/key work; group and individual assessment, support and interventions with children and families.|
|Psychotherapy||More than one staff member||Case coordination/key work; group and individual assessment, support and interventions with children and families.|
|Psychiatry||One day a week||Assessment, support and interventions with children and families and advice to the staff.|
|Social work||Half a day a week consulting to Gloucester House, plus access through Tavistock Clinic||Monitoring and advice in relation to child protection and cause for concern and advice/consultation to the staff.|
|Occupational therapists||Half a day a week||Assessment, support and interventions with children and advice and training to the staff and families.|
|Speech, language and communication service||Half a day a week||Assessment, support and interventions with children and advice and training to the staff and families.|
|School nurse||Termly visit and consultation||Assessment, support and interventions with children and advice and training to the staff and families.|
|Educational psychology||Access through Tavistock Clinic||Observation of children. Advice to staff, parents and children, support for assessments.|
|LA hearing impaired service/visually impaired service||By referrals for specific children||Support and advice to parents, children school staff on meeting the needs of HI and VI children and staff training|
|LA physical disability outreach service||By referrals for specific children||Support and advice to parents, children school staff on meeting the needs of PD, children and staff training|
|LA education welfare service||By referrals for specific children||Support and advice to parents, children school staff on supporting school attendance|
|Social care||By referrals for specific children||Assessment support and interventions with children and families|
How do we identify, assess and plan support?
All of our children currently have Education Health Care Plans (EHCPs) but we identify, assess, plan and support individual needs from referral onwards.
We gather information from parents and carers, previous schools and professional’s assessments including:
- Parents views and concerns
- Family history
- Educational psychologist reports
- School reports and assessments
- Other health and or care professionals
- We conduct our own baseline assessments when children join us
We continue to assess and monitor all through the child’s time in school so that we can look out for any additional special educational needs. If a child is not making progress, we will respond in a progressive way (similar to the waves of intervention used in most schools):
- Change teaching approach
- Put in additional support
- Specialist assessment
- SEN review
Alongside our multi-disciplinary team, we will always involve parents and carers in any discussions/decisions about whether their child has additional special educational need and the best ways to provide support.
What should I do if I think my child has a SEN in addition to social, emotional and mental health needs?
You can talk to your case co-ordinator, your child’s teacher or SENDCo. We will come together as the multi-disciplinary team will discuss issues raised and identify the possible next steps. When an additional need is identified we would use the progressive system outlined above to meet the need and improve progress.
How do we review your child’s progress?
It is very important for Gloucester House that ALL of our children enjoy success and achievement and make good progress in learning.
- Progress in all national curriculum subjects and personal social development using SOLAR for schools tool – based on the national curriculum programs of study broken down into in small steps
- Goal based outcomes and ICP targets set at termly meetings with child and parents
- EHCP Outcomes or SEN Statement targets
- Changes in Personal Handling Plans (PHPs) and risk assessments where applicable
We use the information we have about each child to plan a personal programme of SEN support. This is developed in partnership with parents/carers and the child. It will include short term targets and will describe how we will support your child to achieve these targets.
Once a term we review how well all children are progressing. We call this our Pupil Tracking Meeting. We talk with you about how well they have progressed at the Target Setting Meetings at the beginning of each term: we will review previous targets and agree new targets and sometimes different ways of supporting them.
We report formally once a year on the academic progress of all children each summer in addition to the child’s Annual Review. Parents/carers are invited to come in to discuss the annual education report with their child and class teacher.
How do we make sure that teaching and support help your child to learn and make good progress?
Gloucester House school leaders work with teachers and support staff to provide effective teaching and support for children with SEN/D in a variety of ways. These include:
- Carefully planned work taking account of the individual needs of your child, ensuring that all children are able to make progress
- Specially designed curriculum for children with social, emotional and mental health needs accommodating a range of learning styles
- Supporting the class teacher to take full responsibility for the learning and progress of all children
- Using a wide variety of teaching approaches, including guiding learning through demonstration; providing visual support material and a greater emphasis on hands-on making and doing tasks (kinaesthetic) activities
- Providing a stimulating, rich and interactive classroom environment
- Using regular, clear and rigorous assessments that help teachers to track pupils’ progress and identify gaps in their understanding
- Using our marking policy to make sure that children know how to improve their work
- Providing additional adult support from well-trained and well supervised support staff
- Making specialist equipment and digital technology available to support access and participation in learning
We help all children to develop their skills as learners – and to persevere when they find learning difficult.
You can read more about how we support good learning in our Learning and teaching policy
How do we make sure that children with SEN/D enjoy a broad and balanced curriculum?
We provide a curriculum that is broad, balanced, motivating and accessible to all children. We use the national curriculum to make sure that the curriculum experience is in line with the curriculum experienced across the country. We arrange educational visits, journeys and a residential.
We also adapt the curriculum to include children with SEN/D, for example:
- Providing quiet time out for a student with emotional needs
- Providing a visual timetable and clear explanations of tasks
- Providing assistive technology to ensure effective communication
We use student voice to ensure that the children have an input on what they would like to learn, utilising these ideas in our topic cycle.
How do we make sure that our school and classrooms are safe, accessible and stimulating?
We work hard to make sure that our school building and all classrooms are safe, stimulating and accessible. We have an Accessibility Plan though which we are making improvements to the school environment over time – for example we are improving the clarity of signs. It should be noted that we are not fully accessible for wheelchair users but we will move classes in order to welcome and include a child with long-term limited mobility. Making the building fully wheelchair accessible would not be considered a reasonable adjustment.
Specialists therapists provide guidance, advice and equipment for a child with particular access or support needs. We have a range of equipment designed to support the development of children’s coordination and motor skills. For some children we provide specialist equipment including remote viewers, alternative recording devices and laptop computers.
We have an in-house team that ensure the building is kept in good order to make it a safe and pleasant environment.
All staff are trained in de-escalation and physical intervention skills using the team teach system in order to avoid and deal with highly emotional situations and keep everybody safe.
How do we work in partnership with parents and carers?
We know that the active involvement of parents/carers in supporting the education of their child is one of the most important factors in ensuring a child’s success and achievement.
We know that parents/carers are the first educators of their child and that we need their knowledge to plan effectively.
Parents/carers are an integral part of the Gloucester House offer and work with us in groups as well as working with us individually concerning their child.
We will always involve parents and children in planning and reviewing progress.
We make every effort to communicate clearly and regularly with parents and carers of children with SEN/D about, for example:
- How we support their children
- Their achievements and their well-being; and
- Their participation in the full life of our school
We work in group and/or individual sessions with parents/carers to think together about the difficulties of and solutions to living in a family group with a child who has social, emotional and mental health difficulties.
We will also help and advise parents/carers on how to help their children make progress at home, for example in mathematics and reading.
We have parent carer afternoons once per half term which always include an opportunity for the parents to have some time together and some time with a member of SLT to talk about issues, the rest of the time is often about sharing and celebrating educational experiences and successes.
We conduct a parent carer (& child) questionnaire twice a year
We have a parent/carer representative on the schools steering group (similar to a schools governing body) who also sits on many of the interview panels
We welcome and value feedback on how well we are working with our parents.
We try to communicate in plain English and we will do our utmost to provide translation and interpretation services for parents/carers who have EAL.
We always work hard to make sure that our parents/carers are happy with what we provide for their child. However, we will address worries, concerns and complaints as soon as possible through face to face meetings where we will listen carefully to your concerns. If you feel that we have not been able to address your concerns satisfactorily, we have a complaints procedure.
If you would prefer to speak to an independent adviser, you may wish to talk to Parent partnership.
How do we listen and respond to children and young people with SEN/D?
We know that the only way we really find out if a child is happy, feeling safe and taking part in the full life of our community is for Gloucester House to be certain that it hears the voices of children, especially those most vulnerable.
We make sure that we listen to children in our school and respond to what they say in a number of ways, including:
- Clear policies and systems to support children in expressing any worries or concerns that they have: giving children the right to choose a preferred adult to talk to
- Talking to children and/or groups of children after lesson observations to understand their experience of the lesson
- Inviting children to make personal contributions to their Annual Review meetings
- Doing a twice yearly child questionnaire
- Encouraging children to respond to feedback given through developmental marking
- Agreeing with them individual targets
- Including all the children in our school council and community meeting
- Ensuring that every child has at least one identified adult with whom they can talk and share any worries or anxieties
- Ensuring that our safeguarding procedures are robust and that all staff are well trained
If you feel your child’s concerns are not being listened to or they say that they do not want to come to school you should;
Talk to your child about any worries or concerns they may have.
Contact the case coordinator and/or the class teacher and together we can address any concerns your child has shared or use all of our relationships with your child to encourage them in to the class.
How do we support children joining and leaving our school?
We always encourage parents/carers to visit if they are interested in their child coming here. When a child comes in to Gloucester House, a member of staff will make a home visit and where relevant, collect information and records from previous provisions. We plan carefully to help children to feel safe and settle in. We have a staged timetable as children come in to support this.
When a child comes to Gloucester House, we plan a range of support – depending on the particular needs of each child. This often involves the use of “buddies” to help her/him settle in to the new class and provide help to find their way around the school. Prior to arrival in whole team meetings we will discuss in detail the needs and ways of working with new children, so that all staff have the child and our plan in mind.
When a child moves class or school we organise “hand-over” meetings where teachers and support staff make sure that the new teachers and support staff have a clear understanding of the needs of the child and have a plan in place to welcome the child and meet their needs.
When a child moves to a new school we carry out transition work, including school visits including meeting key staff, to familiarise the child and parent/carer with the new building, staff and expectations. We would also invite the SENDCo of the new school to the last SEN Annual Review meeting for the child.
How do we support children’s health and general wellbeing – including their safety, attendance and positive behaviour?
The school takes the personal development and wellbeing of children very seriously.
We know that children are unlikely to flourish unless they are developing positive relationships, feel safe and are adopting healthy lifestyles. We have achieved Healthy schools status and address issues of health and well-being through PE and informal learning times (lunch and play).
We also know that often our children are particularly vulnerable when it comes to making and keeping friendships. We address this and many other issues regarding relating to others both through our PHSCE (Personal Health, Social and Citizenship Education) curriculum and through our ongoing work on interaction, relationships and reflection which is central to our therapeutic milieu.
We encourage children to develop confidence and resilience through teaching, social play opportunities a nurturing environment and through more targeted support where this is needed.
Everything we do is about positive behaviour, self-reflection and understanding and positive interaction this part of our philosophy of learning and our planned environment.
You can read more about our approaches and systems in our behaviour policy: (hyperlink needed)
We talk about all aspects of bullying in circle times, school council, community meetings and through the curriculum: we work hard to address the underlying issues behind bullying in Gloucester House.
We have a whole school policy on anti-bullying: (hyperlink needed) and involve parents in the decision to offer this support.
We have an up-to-date policy on how we manage medical needs: (hyperlink needed)
The headteacher has responsibility for health and safety concerns across the school.
We support all children to attend school regularly, for example thorough providing an enjoyable and stimulating curriculum and through home support where this is needed. Our policy on attendance describes why and how we promote high attendance for all children:
We provide specialist support and up-to-date training for staff on safeguarding, keeping children safe and meeting children’s emotional needs.
All of our staff have an up to date DBS check (Disclosure and Barring Service).
How will we know if we are successful?
We constantly monitor important evidence for success – we take action where we are not successful.
These are the things – the facts and data – we look at to make sure we are meeting the needs of children with SEN/D:
A. Their academic standards and good progress
B. Their behaviour
D. Their involvement in activities, visits and school life
E. Taking responsibility
F. Destinations and smooth transitions
G. Parent/carer feedback including complaints
We also want to understand the experience of children with SEN/D so we are looking at the best ways to do this – to ask about:
H. Children’s sense of inclusion
I. Positive attitudes to self, peers and school: positive friendships
J. Their personal resilience and confidence as learners
What do our stakeholders think of us?
Currently we feel the best way to answer this is to refer to reports from Ofsted and Challenge partners who come in to quality assess our work and our outcomes page of the website as this includes results of questionnaires from parents/carers and a range of other stakeholders.
What should I do if I have an unresolved concern or complaint?
If you feel that you have an unresolved concern or a complaint, you should discuss it with your case co-ordinator, you could also raise the issue with the headteacher, deputy headteacher, or SENDCo. We would always want to bring people together to talk through an issue and come to an agreed resolution. If you feel that a satisfactory solution has not been reached than there is a formal complaints procedure.