At Platanos College we have an unshakeable belief in the ability of all of our pupils to achieve their fullest potential. We believe that our Mission Statement, ‘Attitude Determines Altitude’, is true for all of the children and young people who attend our school. Of course, we recognise that some of our pupils will need extra guidance and special support to become the best young people (both academically and socially) that they can.
Because of this, we have clear policies regarding how we support and teach children in our school community who have Special Educational Needs or Disability (SEND). These policies outline our commitment to making sure that all of our children, regardless of need, make the best possible progress whilst in our care. This commitment is driven by our core belief that Everybody can be Somebody.
To help you understand what we offer our children with SEND and how we support them, please see the questions below. If you cannot find the information that you are looking for, please contact the school using the number provided.
What areas of SEND does the school support?
The school supports pupils who have SEND relating to the following four areas:
- Communication and Interaction – needs relating to how pupils communicate and interact with others people including their peers and adults.
- Cognition and Learning – needs relating to how pupils process information, remember things and learn.
- Social, mental and emotional health – needs relating to mental health and emotional stability.
- Sensory/physical – needs relating to senses and body movement.
Some pupils may have needs that relate to more than one area. We understand that a pupil’s behaviour may be affected by their SEND and we endeavour to meet their needs as far as possible to help ensure that their behaviour remains of a high standard. This helps pupils to learn as effectively as possible and prepares them for the expectations of the world beyond school. Ensuring high standards of behaviour in all areas of the school is a key part of our vision that Attitude Determines Altitude.
Who is responsible for supporting pupils with SEND at the school? Who do I contact to discuss how my child is being supported?
The school’s Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) is responsible for co-ordinating all of the support offered to children with SEND and for making sure that this support is of the best possible quality. The SENCO oversees a team of Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) who support pupils in class. The SENCO also liaises closely with classroom teachers to ensure that teachers are supporting children with SEND to learn as best as possible, including providing specialist training for teachers where necessary.
The SENCO also liaises with external agencies such as, for example, Speech and Language Therapists, who may be brought to offer specialist support to particular pupils. A list of external agencies that the school works with can be found below.
The SENCO’s name is Ms Adamson. If your child has SEND or you are concerned that your child might have SEND you can contact the SENCO via the school's telephone number.
If you have any concerns regarding how your child’s needs are being met, you may also contact the Head Teacher. If your concerns continue, you may contact the school Trustee responsible for SEND.
How does the school know if our children need extra help or have SEND?
As we are a secondary school, many of our pupils with SEND have their needs identified at their primary schools. The key information regarding these pupils’ development is shared with us as they move to secondary school so that we are fully aware of their particular needs.
Sometimes, a pupil’s SEND only becomes apparent at secondary school. We know when a child may need extra help when:
- Concerns about their learning or social development are raised by teachers, parents/carers or the child themselves.
- Our assessment data shows that a pupil is not progressing at the expected rate for a child of his/her age in all or some subjects.
- Our pastoral team notice a sudden change in the pupil’s conduct which may be a consequence of SEND.
If I think my child might have SEND, what should I do?
If you are concerned about your child’s progress you should contact the school directly. Firstly, you should contact your child’s tutor or subject teacher if your concerns relate to a particular subject area. Once you have discussed your concerns with the tutor or subject teacher, further actions may take place following this discussion if necessary.
These next steps will involve members of the school’s Pastoral Team and the school’s SENCO. The kind of action that may be taken is outlined in later sections of this document.
How will the school let me know if there are concerns about my child’s learning?
Subject teachers and Directors of Learning will liaise with you if there are concerns in a particular subject area. If concerns are ongoing or in more than one subject area, you may be invited to meet with subject staff at the school, together with your child, to discuss their progress.
This meeting will enable us to:
- Plan any additional support for your child.
- Discuss with you any referrals to outside agencies to support your child’s learning.
- Listen to you concerns that you may have regarding your child’s progress.
Directors of Learning will often liaise with the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator to discuss further strategies for supporting your child in their subject area.
When SEND is identified, how are children with SEND supported at the school? How will I know what support they are receiving?
All subject teachers are committed to delivery of high quality personalised teaching. This means that they adapt their style of teaching and their learning resources in order to help all children fulfil their potential and work hard to ensure that all children’s learning needs are met, including those with SEND.
If we don’t feel your child is progressing well enough, classroom teachers will try new strategies to help your child learn more effectively. If, after some time, it is felt your child is still not making the expected progress, the SENCO may decide to offer them extra support from a team of Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) or arrange another kind of support.
For example, some pupils may be supported by external specialists such as a Speech and Language Therapist if this is judged to be necessary. Some extra academic support may also be offered. For example, if your child is struggling with their reading and writing, they may be offered some extra literacy support as part of a small group of students.
You will be kept informed about the support that your child is receiving through liaison with the SENCO and Pastoral Managers. Both you and your child will be involved in planning the support. The SENCO will closely monitor your child’s progress and ensure that the support offered is as effective as possible. If it is felt that your child is still not progressing well, your child may undergo some further assessment and will be placed on a Special Educational Needs Support Plan.
To create the plan, all of the key adults, including parents/carers, will meet and discuss what the issues are and what extra support should be put in place to help the child develop; the child themselves will also play an important role in this meeting and will give their own views regarding their progress. Outcomes will be agreed and the child’s progress will be closely monitored by the SENCO and Pastoral Team.
A formal review meeting will take place to see if the new support is helping. At the meeting, if it is decided that the support is not helping as we would like, the school may apply for an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP) for the child. We will collect clear evidence showing how the pupil is progressing and what support the school has already put in place. Lambeth will analyse the evidence provided and decide whether extra provision is needed. If they approve the application, the school will be able to access further funding and resources to help meet the child’s needs.
Who provides support to children with SEND at Platanos College?
The following list includes both full-time staff and staff from outside agencies that the school works with to support children with SEND:
- Educational Psychologist
- Child and Mental Health Care Services (CAMHS)
- Children Looked After Mental Health Services (CLAMHS)
- School Nursing Team
- Occupational Therapist
- Family Support Advisor
- Speech and Language Therapy Team
- Pastoral Leaders and the Pastoral Support team
- Learning Support Assistants
- Counselling services
- Larkhall Centre for Autism
How will my child be included in general school life and extra-curricular activities?
At Platanos College we are committed to Equality and Diversity. We are an inclusive school where pupils’ differences are celebrated. All staff actively promote equality and positive, harmonious relations between all of our pupils in all areas of school life.
We recognise that a child having high self-esteem is crucial to their general well-being and educational achievement. All teachers make every possible effort to include all learners within the social environment of the classroom whilst our pastoral team and support staff aim to ensure that all pupils are included in school life outside of the formal classroom setting, including taking part in social activities during break times.
There are a range of extra-curricular activities on offer at the school as well as a number of trips which take place throughout the school year. All pupils, including those with SEND, are strongly encouraged and supported to take part in these activities to help them gain life experience, develop friendships and build their social confidence.
Platanos College tackles any form of discrimination. We seek to remove any barriers to participation, access, progression, attainment and achievement for all pupils. We take seriously our contribution towards building a cohesive school community where all pupils can thrive.
To read our Equality and Diversity Policy, please follow the link on our ‘School policies’ section of our website.
What support do we have for you as a parent of a child with SEND?
At Platanos College we have regular Academic Review Days and Evenings and we are always available to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns you may have. We build positive working relationships with parents and share information regarding what is working well at home and school so that similar strategies can be used.
If outside professionals are involved in supporting your child, we will endeavour to ensure that information is shared with you directly. Where this is not possible, a report will be provided and/or the SENCO or members of the Pastoral Team will liaise with you.
Classroom teachers will adjust homework so that it is appropriate to your child’s individual needs.
We will also provide access to Parent Partnership and to other parent support groups where appropriate.
How is Platanos College accessible to children with SEND that relate to physical or sensory issues?
All areas of the ground floor, the playground and the Sports Hall are accessible to those with physical disabilities. Lifts may be used to reach higher floors. We ensure that teaching resources and equipment used are accessible, as far as possible, to all children regardless of their needs. After school and extra-curricular provision is also accessible to all children.Please refer to our Accessibility Plan for further details.
We work closely with external agencies such as Lambeth Hearing Support to ensure that we meet the needs of our pupils with sensory SEND.
How will we support your child when they are joining or leaving the school? Or moving on to another class?
During your child’s year 6, the Inclusion Coordinator will visit the Primary school to discuss the specific needs of your child with the SENCO and advisory teachers where appropriate. Where possible your child will visit us on several occasions. There will be an induction day for all children and several parent information evenings. In addition to this you and your child will have an interview with a member of the SLT prior to admission. There is also an induction week for all year 7s in September of each new year. Please refer to our Admissions Policy on admitting pupils with SEND.
We recognise that change can be difficult for a child with SEND and take steps to ensure that any transition is a smooth as possible. If your child is moving to another school we will contact the school SENCO and ensure he/she knows about any special arrangements or support that needs to be made for your child. We will make sure that all records about your child are passed on as soon as possible.
When moving classes within the school, information will always be passed on to the new class teacher. Our Pastoral Team and SENCO will monitor the transition and provide the child with the personalised support necessary for them to succeed.
Lambeth SEND provision
For information on the local SEND offer at Lambeth, please click here (external link).
We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all our pupils so that they can learn in an enjoyable and safe environment.