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SEN Team 

Ms I Goursaud

Ms J Cornwell Assistant SENCO
Ms M Plewa Assistant SENCO/EAL Needs
Sr Frances Learning Support Teacher
Dora Gyebnar Teaching Assistant
Aggie Zielinski Teaching Assistant
Metaxia Demertzi Teaching Assistant
Ioanna Papapanagiotou Teaching Assistant


Special Education Needs Information Report

St Thomas More is a mainstream Catholic secondary Academy.  We pride ourselves on being a fully comprehensive and non-selective school recruiting from a wide range of primary schools.  A child or young person has SEN (Special Educational Needs) if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them.  A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if they:

(a) have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age

(b) or have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.

 If a child is identified as having SEN, we will provide provision that is ‘additional to or different from’ the normal differentiated curriculum, intended to overcome the barrier to their learning.  SEN Code of Practice 2014.
We endeavour to visit feeder primary schools to facilitate transition and will seek to put in place transition support for those previously identified as having special needs, if we deem this appropriate.   We assess prior to admission to identify special needs but assessment and monitoring for SEN is regular and on-going for all students.  Extra help is provided if this is merited within the limits of our resources. We use the School’s mainstream funding and top-up SEN funding to furnish the on-going support that a child with SEN, requires.  Once a child has been admitted to St Thomas More, those with the most severe/complex needs will be prioritised for support, and parents of those who fall within this category, will be invited to bespoke school planning and review meetings.  Support is tailored to match the profile of four broad areas or need as defined in the SEN code of practice 2014: Communication and interaction, Cognition and learning, Social, emotional and mental health and Sensory and/or physical needs.  The wishes of the child will, of course, be taken into consideration at all times.  The SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator); a specialist teacher, can be contacted for assistance and there are a number of staff who support those identified as having special needs or disabilities (we do occasionally use the part-time services of an educational psychologist).  

All teaching staff have received basic training in special educational needs. Training is provided to all staff including teachers and TAs as the need arises and there is ongoing training for all staff as well as opportunities to further develop their skills. 

Pupils are placed in ability streams and setting is used to enable teachers to teach to the appropriate level. We assess the success that those with special needs achieve by benchmarking against expected progress from prior attainment levels at Key Stage 2. At the beginning of each term, parents will receive a curriculum booklet giving an outline scheme of work and indicating how parents can support their child. Every term we will send progress grades but if parents have any concerns they can contact the Head of Year or SENCO to arrange a meeting.


 At St Thomas More, we have a three-tiered approach to supporting SEN learning:  Universal (class-teachers make minor adaptations), Targeted (bespoke intervention) and Specialist (involving the use of external professionals).  We use the recommended graduated approach, supporting our students’ learning, to assess, plan, implement strategies and then review interventions, involving external expertise as needed. 

SEN students tend to be supported in class, however, occasionally students are withdrawn from the mainstream.  Those with more pronounced learning difficulties may be placed in a smaller teaching group in Years 7 and 8 but follow a standard curriculum based closely on the national curriculum.  Exceptionally, a small number of learners have a more personalised curriculum to match their individual needs, interests and abilities.  There is a special needs homework club every evening (Monday to Friday) to support students. Pastorally, SEN students are supported by a dedicated Head of Year.

Annual Reviews are held for students with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs). These reviews focus on achievements, the progress made towards the outcomes, support and future plans and are held with parents/carers, the student and any other agencies involved.
Our policy is to facilitate full access to the curriculum and meta-curriculum where feasible for SEN and disabled students so that they do not feel they are treated less favourably than other students.

The school is a mixture of Victorian build with a modern extension and although there is a lift, parts of the school might be difficult to access for those without full mobility.   SEN students are also encouraged to participate in a weekly youth club to facilitate mixing with their peers.  The school has a strong and effective anti-bullying policy.