SEN & Disabilities / Accesibility Plan

SEND Information Report June 2023

Our vision

At Vale Special School we put your child and their needs at the centre of everything we do. We believe in quality teaching, learning and care, effective communication, and celebration of success.

All of our children (aged 2-16years) have special educational needs and disabilities, with learning needs ranging from moderate/severe to profound and multiple needs. Our special school is situated on four sites of mainstream schools and depending on each child’s need we offer a tailored programme from a range of provision.

We are proud of the fact that on all sites, visitors comment on our friendly ‘family’ feel.

What types of SEN does the school provide for?

We are an all age (2-16yrs) day special school for pupils with a range of special educational needs:

  • Learning difficulties (Moderate, Severe, Profound and Multiple, Global Development Delay)
  • Physical disabilities (eg Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, Muscular Dystrophy)
  • Medical conditions  (eg Epilepsy, Rhett’s syndrome, Down’s Syndrome, Sotos Syndrome, Chromosome disorder)
  • Sensory impairments
  • Communication difficulties

Our school is situated on four mainstream school sites, allowing the benefit of best practices of a special school and supported opportunities, experiences and challenges of mainstream provision.

Which staff will support my child, and what training have they had?

Vale School is a special school and therefore all staff working in the school will have specialist training tailored to meet the needs of the children they are working with. Depending on your child’s needs, they will be placed in a class with children with similar needs. Each class has a class teacher with experience and expertise in teaching children with SEND and a class team of Special Needs Assistants to support with teaching and learning and care needs. Additionally, the school nurses, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists and physiotherapists are all based on site and they work very closely with class staff teams providing training and support. A wide range of other professionals, including dieticians and social care professionals work in close partnership with the school.

 In a special school, we do not have a designated SENDCO as all staff are SEND professionals. If you wish to discuss how your child’s needs are being supported within the school, you should contact the class teacher in the first instance.

What should I do if I think my child has SEN? / How will the school know if my child needs SEN support?

As Vale School  is a special school, Vale School provides education for children who already have identified special educational needs and disabilities. All the children at Vale School will be receiving specific, tailored SEN support, beyond the level that is offered in a mainstream school. The children that attend Vale School usually have an Education Health and Care Plan, which will provide a detailed description of their SEND needs in Section A. However, if you feel that your child’s needs are changing significantly or that they are developing new needs as they grow up, you should make contact with the child’s class teacher in the first instance. The class teacher will then liaise with other relevant professionals to see if any further assessment is required.

How will the school measure my child’s progress? / How will I be involved in decisions made about my child’s education?

We assess every child’s progress on a regular basis and link the assessment to future planning for every child. We have termly meetings to discuss your child’s progress and how home and school can work together on supporting your child. These meetings produce a personal support plan (PSP) document, which will be a chance to record your child’s progress towards their EHCP objectives and set new targets. In addition, each year, an Annual Review meeting is held, where parents and professionals can discuss the child in detail and ensure that they have the correct provision to ensure they make progress.

Progress is assessed using a bespoke framework based on the engagement profile, pre key stage and key stage standards. If you have any questions regarding your child’s progress or how they are assessed, please contact the class teacher in the first instance.

How will my child be involved in decisions made about their education?

We will try to involve children at Vale School as much as possible in decisions about their education. Where verbal and at an appropriate development stage, children and young people can attend their PSP and EHCP meetings to give their views and perspectives. Staff can capture preferences from non-verbal children using a variety of communication systems, including Makaton and picture and symbol based communication programmes. If the child or young person does not wish to be involved or is unable to do so, staff and parents will advocate for the child, using their knowledge of their likes and dislikes.

How will the school adapt its teaching for my child?

At Vale School we tailor and adapt our teaching to meet children’s learning needs and their communication, physical and emotional needs. Every child is challenged to achieve through appropriate goals and teachers ensure that strategies and activities are appropriate and enjoyable.

  • If your child has profound and multiple learning difficulties they explore the world around them through sensory approaches e.g. touch, smell, taste and exploration. They learn to make choices, express their likes and needs, develop a sense of security and establish positive relationships.

  • If your child has severe learning difficulties they access learning through functional activities, structured play and life experiences. There is a strong emphasis on developing independence skills and understanding expectations and making appropriate choices.
  • If your child has specific learning needs, they work within the range of national curriculum subjects for their key stage. Teaching is modified to reflect their developmental level and special educational needs. The teaching activities will focus on your child’s skills in all subject areas with an emphasis on developing independence.
  • If your child can access mainstream classes then we offer this through partial or full inclusion into our partnership mainstream schools. They are supported by our highly trained inclusion team in lessons.

How will the school evaluate whether the support in place is helping my child?

The PSP and Annual Review meetings will be an opportunity to review provision for each child and make any changes that are needed if the child is not making progress in a particular area. The school will also monitor teaching and learning and SEND provision through regular monitoring activities, such as looking at assessed work, either in books or on Tapestry, learning walks or observations of classrooms and pupil trails, conducted with teachers.

How will the school resources be secured for my child?

We are a Local Authority Maintained special school so therefore all funding is allocated to meet the needs of children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities. Each child’s needs are assessed   individually and resources are allocated according to their need. Resources and specific equipment is bought either by the school, the Local Authority or the Health Service, depending on needs and recommended by specialist professional input. The Annual Review process is the primary method by which requests can be made to the Local Authority for increased resourcing. If there are queries in between Annual Reviews, please contact the class teacher in the first instance.

How will the school make sure my child is included in activities alongside pupils who don’t have SEND?

Due to the nature of the school, the children will spend a lot of their school day with children with similar special educational needs, in order to give children and young people a peer group of those at a similar level to them developmentally. All of our sites have the opportunity for our Vale children to spend time in the mainstream environment with support from Vale staff. This will vary depending on their need: some children are fully included in mainstream partner schools, whereas some children access social and enrichment activities.

How does the school make sure the admissions process is fair for pupils with SEN or a disability?

The admissions to Vale school are managed by Haringey Local Authority Special Needs services in conjunction with the school. For more information, see our admissions policy.

How does the school support pupils with disabilities?

Vale School has a great deal of experience in managing children with disabilities. The school is specially adapted to support the needs of our children with disabilities and we have access to specialist equipment and expertise. We are also able to meet the needs of children with disabilities in the following ways:

  • We have a paediatric school nurse on site, who ensures all health issues are addressed promptly and effectively. They work closely with the consultant paediatrician, who holds medicals at school and follows up with other health professionals to support children and their families.
  • Dieticians see children and their parents at school to meet children’s nutritional needs.
  • Team of physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists, who work closely together, ensure the physical and communication needs of pupils are met.
  • Where children have therapy programmes to follow, therapists give ongoing training to school staff, enabling them to carry out  programmes with the children safely and effectively.
  • We have close links with the Disabled Children’s Team and a social worker attends  regular meetings to ensure all children and their families have the input from social services they need.

How will the school support my child’s mental health and emotional and social development?

            Vale School provides a warm and nurturing environment for children with SEND. We will set targets for your child’s social, emotional and mental health as well as their communication and interaction to help them develop in these areas. Communication and interaction strategies are supported by our team of Speech and Language therapists. Each child who is not yet an independent communicator has a communication profile with strategies to help support communication.

            Children at Vale School have lots of opportunities to socialise with their peers both in Vale and in our mainstream partner schools. We provide a lot of support in class and in other social situations for children to meaningfully interact and play together. Our excellent knowledge of our students and their usual behaviours allows us to identify when students are not behaving as they usually do and seek professional advice and assistance if required. We have close working relationships with our CAMHS professionals and regularly discuss our children’s wellbeing with them.

What support will be available for my child as they transition between classes or settings or in preparing for adulthood?

Between years

As children at Vale are grouped by developmental stage and need, they may stay in a familiar class for a number of years. Where children do move between classes, teachers will conduct a thorough handover of strategies for working the child. The child will have lots of opportunities to meet and spend time with their new class before the move takes place.

Between schools

When your child is moving on from our school, we will ask you and your child what information you want us to share with the new setting.  

We have good relationships with many local schools, including the local sixth form provisions where our students typically move to. We will arrange a number of transition activities, including visiting the site, meeting new key staff and ensuring readiness for the next stage of education.

We provide all our pupils with appropriate advice on paths into work or further education. We work with the pupil to help them achieve their ambitions, which can include goals in higher education, employment, independent living and participation in society. 

What support is in place for looked-after and previously looked-after children with SEN?

Catherine Williams is our designated teacher for children who are looked after. She will work with our class teachers to ensure that they understand how a looked-after or previously looked-after pupil’s circumstances and their SEN might interact, and what the implications are for teaching and learning.

Children who are looked-after or previously looked-after will be supported much in the same way as any other child who has SEND. However, looked-after pupils will also have a personal education plan (PEP). We will make sure that the PEP and PSPs or EHC plans are consistent and complement one another. 

What should I do if I have a complaint about my child’s SEN support?

In the first instance, please discuss any concerns with the class teacher or the member of leadership team responsible for the site your child attends. If you are not satisfied with the school’s response, you can escalate the complaint, using the school’s complaint policy.

What support is available for me and my family?

If you have questions about SEND, or are struggling to cope, please get in touch to let us know. We want to support you, your child and your family.

To see what support is available to you locally, have a look at the Haringey local offer, which can be found here:

Our local special educational needs and disabilities information advice and support services (SENDIASS) organisation can be found here: