Support for pupils with

Additional Needs

Thank you for your interest in St George’s School. We are an inclusive mainstream Independent school that welcomes pupils, staff and parents from many different cultures, faiths and backgrounds. Our class sizes are capped at 20, but we often elect to lower this cap depending on the dynamics of a given class or year band. The Lower School is one form entry, where alongside our qualified teachers you will find a teaching assistant in every classroom. Our teaching assistants support the delivery of the curriculum and are integral to the excellent pastoral care that the school provides.

We have an active, qualified SENCo who ensures a high quality of provision is in place for pupils with additional needs. She works directly with our pupils, delivers essential training for staff on both quality first teaching strategies and on meeting the requirements of the Code of Practice; she supports planning of the day to day curriculum, as well as carefully planning individual and group interventions. Our SENCo is responsible for both Individual Provision Plans as well as Class Provision Plans. She provides invaluable assessment information and supports the Senior Leadership Team to monitor the progress of pupils with SEND.

We have an onsite speech and language therapist; however they work in the main with our pupils that hold Educational Health Care Plans specifying the need for such support. Should you feel your child would benefit from assessment, advice for staff in the classroom or direct therapy, you should discuss this further at the point of application. If you already have information that applies to any communication and language needs, we ask that you submit this along with your registration form.

St George’s has many pupils of varying ability and need. In order to ensure the needs of all learners are catered for we invest in a wide range of both in house and external training. We genuinely believe in providing our staff with an excellent ‘tool kit’ to provide greater depth of understanding of the pupils we work with; staff training ensures a depth of pedagogy essential to quality first teaching.

We often work closely with external professionals (such as educational psychologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, the Communication and Autism Team, the Hearing Impairment Service etc), and aim to implement their recommendations both in the classroom and the wider school setting.

In the maintained sector each pupil has a ‘notional budget’ of £6000 allocated to meet their additional needs, with the LA providing ‘top up’ funding for children with a higher level of need. Top up funding is allocated through the CRISP process; Independent schools do not have access to CRISP.

The Independent School sector does not receive the notional budget or top up funding, and some of the provision your child requires may be beyond our core offer; therefore you need to be aware that you may be charged additional fees to meet your child’s needs appropriately.

Traditionally pupils access places in St George’s Lower School through assessment taster days and through the provision of information which confirms the child can manage both our academic and social curriculum, which is still the expectation. The school will endeavour to make reasonable adjustments in accordance with the Equality Act, however where a child requires additional provision beyond our core offer, we do charge for such provision as is standard practice in the independent sector.

Our SEND Information Report is available on our website and details which interventions and support form part of our core offer (available to all), and which are beyond (not available to all).

View our SEND Information Report here!
View our SEND Information
Report here!
Frequently asked

Questions

01 Who do I speak to about the provision the school offers?

Our SEND Information report is your first port of call. This details the provision we offer and helps you to understand our core and non-core offer. This should be read alongside our SEND Policy – both documents can be found on our website; should you require a paper copy or enlarged font please speak directly to our Admissions Team who will be happy to assist.

Pre-entry access to our SENCo is limited. As a busy school with a large Inclusion Department, our SENCo is kept very busy working with our current students, their parents and our staff. You will appreciate that we have many enquiries from parents of pupils with SEND and, if our SENCo were to meet all of them, they would have little time to carry out their essential duties. We offer several Open Days throughout the year and monthly tours. Members of our Inclusion Department are available during the Open Days and our SEND Administrator conducts the monthly tour. They will be happy to answer any queries you may have.

You may have further queries you would like to discuss with us; we will do our very best to answer you as soon as possible but as a busy school with a limited infra-structure we may take a day or two to respond. We ask that you consider any questions you have in advance as we cannot offer unlimited access to our Inclusion or Admissions Departments.

02 How do I apply?

You should fill in your registration form, and ensure you indicate that your child has SEND – there is a space to do this on the form. If you have any letters, reports or further information that would help us to understand your child’s needs better, please provide them at the point of registration.

03 Why do you need me to provide reports?

We need to understand exactly what your child’s needs are. Your child’s last school reports (including their IEPs for the last sixth months) are a good starting point. This will give us insight as to their ability, how they access the curriculum, levels of independence and social interaction.

Professional’s reports (such as those written by an Educational Psychologist, Occupational Therapist, the Community Paediatrician etc) will detail your child’s strengths and areas of need; they will also provide recommendations as to how best help your child access their academic and social curriculum. We need this information to ensure we have the provision your child requires.

If we feel there is not enough information available for us to make an informed decision about the provision your child needs, we may ask you to commission professionals reports such as an educational psychologist’s or speech and language report.

04 Will you read these reports before I register?

Quite simply – no. We have a high volume of applications and consultations for students with SEND; therefore, we only read pupil paperwork once you have registered.

05 My child’s school believe they can no longer meet their needs. Can you?

It is possible that your child has needs beyond the provision of their current setting; you should fully explore the reasons why the school feels they cannot continue to meet your child’s needs through dialogue with the school’s SENCo and Headteacher. It may be that they feel your child needs an EHCP. If this is the case they have a legal duty to support you in an application for EHCP assessment.

We consider each application individually and determine whether we can meet the needs of your child as they are known at the time. It may be that we can meet needs that other schools are unable to meet, or it may be that we would have the same difficulties as other schools. This depends entirely on individual circumstances.

06 Can my child repeat a year?

If the information we gather supports this request, and it is agreed by all parties that it is in the best interests of your child, then yes. Please be advised that the decision to hold your child back a year could cause complications if looking for secondary placement within the maintained sector at a later date. Being educated outside of a child’s chronological age group is a matter of discretion for the individual headteacher, and the decision of one school does not bind another.

07 Will my child automatically be offered taster days?

If through our information gathering (as detailed in Point 1) we feel that we are not an appropriate setting for your child then we would not offer taster days. We do understand that a child on paper does not always provide the full picture of the individual, but our liaisons with the current school and relevant professionals will enable us to understand whether or not it is appropriate to offer time in our setting.

08 Will my child be able to access 1:1 support on taster days

We cannot guarantee this. The support we have is shared amongst the class and allocated according to the teacher’s planning. Our curriculum must run for our current cohort with as little impact on resources as possible. If you feel that your child is likely to need this level of support you must make us aware prior to coordinating a date.

09 When will I find out if my child will be offered a place?

All applications for children with additional needs are considered at a fortnightly panel meeting. A member of our Admissions Team will inform you of the date at which your application will be considered. Not receiving all the information we need, or delays in response from your child’s current school, may prolong the process; it would be helpful if you could inform your child’s school that we will be in touch and request that they cooperate in information sharing. We will inform you of our decision in writing following the meeting of the Admissions Panel.

10 My child has not been offered a place, but I believe the school has children with similar needs sets and the resources to meet these needs.

As a small school our resources are limited and we have small classes with distinct dynamics. We make our admissions decisions based on a range of factors including existing class structure, numbers and needs amongst other things. We make decisions based on the best interests of the child and, if we have said no, then it is because we firmly believe that it would not be in your child’s interests to join us at that point in time. We never say no lightly. We would love to say yes to everyone but we simply cannot.

11 Who do I speak to if my child is refused a place?

If we decide that we are not the appropriate setting for your child we will also inform you in writing. The panel (which is made up of members of our Inclusion Department and Senior Leadership Team) will have considered all the information made available to them (including information from our staff with regards to the taster days). No one person can make a decision whether to offer a place or not in isolation, and therefore the decision will be final.  There is no right to appeal and we will not engage in discussions over such decisions.

12 I would like my child to be considered for a bursary or scholarship.

We have a limited number of means tested bursaries available each year. Our Admissions Policy provides you with more detail, and a member of our Admissions Team can provide you with information; please be content that your child meets the criteria for bursary consideration before you apply.

A limited number of scholarships are offered each year for academic excellence; the decision to offer scholarships is based upon how your child functions in our entrance exam as well as information from their current school. Parents cannot apply for scholarships.

It is worth bearing in mind that the support your child needs may be in excess of our core offer; this means there may be additional charges to the fees detailed on the web. Additional charges are not reduced in line with bursaries or scholarships.

13 Will my child automatically transfer from the Lower School into St George’s Upper School?

No. All students must apply for a place in our Upper School through the usual process.

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