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Devonport High School for Girls

The Student Support Team is heavily involved in supporting students across all year groups providing bespoke support to meet students need. This specialist support includes SEN support, academic and pastoral mentoring, literacy support, counselling, behaviour and attendance support and links to outside agencies.

We know you want the best for your child and so would ask for your cooperation in keeping us informed of any circumstance that may affect them.
If your child is diagnosed with any new condition after they join us in Year 7 please remember to contact your Head of House to update us and allow us to work with you to support your child. If your child becomes ill and is unable to attend school we will work with you to ensure that their education is not disrupted if at all possible. We will support their reintegration back into school after illness with variety of measures to reduce any potential anxieties?

We know you will be keen to assist us in removing any potential barriers to progress as you are as keen as we are to see your child achieving their full potential in school. If you wish to seek advice about any matter of a confidential nature that may affect the wellbeing of your child, please contact Mrs Ruth Morgan who is the Assistant Head Teacher in charge of Inclusion and also the Designated Safeguarding Lead and also leads on Mental Health.

Student Support Team 

Mrs R Morgan Assistant Head Teacher / Safeguarding Lead
Mr A Thomas  Deputy Head Teacher / Inclusion
Miss J Ricks  EAL Coordinator / SAGECo / SENCO
Dr D Parry Senior Head of House
Mr E Lamb Head of Sixth Form / Assistant Head Teacher
Ms R Scott Head of House
Mrs L Stacey Head of House
Miss H Crowther Head of House
Mrs V Oliver Nurture Base Manager
Mr Rhys Evans Learning Support Assistant 
Mrs Elizabeth Beckett Higher level Teaching Assistant
School Counsellor Young Devon Counsellors

What extra support do we provide at DHSG? 

At DHSG we can offer a range of support to meet individual needs, the 4 broad areas of need include:

  • Cognition & learning needs
     - Dyslexia, specific learning difficulties etc.
  • Communication & interaction needs
     - Autistic spectrum Condition
  • Social & emotional mental health needs
      - ADHD, depression, anxiety, eating disorders etc.
  • Sensory & physical needs
     - Visual impairment, hearing impairment etc.

At DHSG, we use a person-centred approach to ensure we meet students’ individual needs through applying the graduated approach. We strive to build confidence and resilience while also developing the skills necessary to reduce barriers to learning.

Why and How? 

Students are supported in various ways to meet their individual needs and to build confidence and resilience alongside the skills necessary to reduce their barriers to learning. We seek to enable all children to achieve everything they can to the best of their ability and to prepare them for their future lives, careers and relationships.

We do this by:
• supporting students in lessons
• offering support and guidance
• providing enhanced transition
• linking with psychology services
• linking with outside agencies including the CIT, NHS and many more
• communicating needs to others
• enhancing links with home
• providing a place that feels safe and secure to air concerns
• linking with the school nurse and CAMHS and careers advice
• offering a place for meetings and therapies to take place
• forming a bond between teachers, home and students, carers and other professionals
• offering testing and screening, help and advice
• offering support groups for parents/carers to enhance knowledge and share support mechanisms
• linking to Plymouth City Council advisors in SEND
• providing extended exam technique sessions

Our nurture base is a place for help with home learning and access to advice or support. It also provides a safe environment to share and learn from one another. The Student Support Team work closely with teachers in the classroom to ensure a high-quality curriculum is delivered through a variety of techniques and personalised to meet individual needs. We have staff that are trained to provide the best support possible for your child, and we strive to allow our students to reach their full potential regardless of their barriers to learning. 

What does the Student Support Team offer?  

At DHSG the learning support team currently offer:

• SEN drop-in
• Home learning support drop-in
• Social skills groups
• Anger Management group
• Anxiety Management group
• Confidence and Self Esteem groups
• Young carers support group and guidance
• Exam technique advice
• Counselling service
• Careers advice
• Literacy support
• Support for those with eating disorders
• Extensive confidence and self-esteem courses
• 1-2-1 support for various issues
• Transition and extended transition to higher education

School SEND Information Report
The School SEND offer for Devonport High School for Girls

What does having a special educational need mean?

The Code of Practice (2014) states that,  A child or young person has SEND 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:

• have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age; 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. Where a child or young person has a disability or health condition which requires special educational provision to be made, they will be covered by the SEND definition.

Who is the person responsible for children and young people with SEND at DHSG? 

The SENCo at DHSG is Miss Ricks who will monitor, co-ordinate and evaluate provision for these students. She can be contacted at The SENCo has day-to-day responsibility for the operation of the SEND policy and co-ordination of specific provision made to support individual students with SEND and medical conditions, including those who have EHC plans. They also provide professional guidance to colleagues and will work closely with staff, parents/carers and other agencies. In addition, they will:

• engage with Collaborative Quality Assurance for SEND
• manage the day-to-day deployment of the Nurture Base Manager, Teaching Assistants and Learning Mentors
• lead on planning for supporting students with medical conditions, meeting with parents/carers and health professionals to produce a Health Care Plan to disseminate to staff
• advise on the graduated approach to providing SEND support
• lead with EHCP: requesting assessments, coordinating meetings and meeting statutory deadlines
• produce, review and update the School Information SEND Report annually
• work with the Local Authority on the Local Offer
• ensure that all records of students with SEND are accurate and up to date
• produce Pen Portraits for all teachers of those with SEND to guide differentiation
• contribute to staff training on SEND
• take a specific lead role with students who have ASC, Asperger’s, eating disorders or literacy difficulties/dyslexia
• administration of access arrangements and screening for specific learning disabilities
• analyse progress data after every Progress Review to identify patterns and implement targeted support for staff and students where progress patterns dictate
• meet regularly with the Assistant Head Teacher for Inclusion and contribute to the smooth running of the Student Support Team
• advise on the deployment of resources to meet students’ needs effectively
• liaise with parents/carers of students with SEND
• liaise with external bodies, agencies and specialists being a key point of contact
• be a key point of contact and support for transitions of students with SEND providing enhanced arrangements as required
• work with the Head Teacher and school governors to ensure that the school meets its responsibilities under the Equality Act (2010) with regard to reasonable adjustments and access arrangements
• liaise with the Designated Teacher for LAC/PLAC where students also have SEND
• be responsible for producing a SEND self evaluation and development plan

The Assistant Head Teacher for Inclusion: Mrs R Morgan
• responsible for the Student Support Team
• works closely with the SENCo as part of this team
• acts as a single point of referral for the team
• analyses whole school inclusion and progress data to monitor significant groups and vulnerable students
• uses this information to drive team decisions
• holds regular team meetings
• through team consultation, allocates referred students for appropriate support programmes
• liaises with the Head Teacher and governors concerning statutory responsibilities, resources and student outcomes

Head Teacher: Mr Lee Sargeant
Responsible for:
• the day to day management of all aspects of the school, this includes the support for students with SEND.
• ensuring that your child’s needs are met, although she will give responsibility to the SENCo and class teachers to achieve this.
• making sure that the Governing Body is kept up to date about any issues in the school relating to SEND.

SEN Governor: Mrs Roni Jay
• Ensuring that statutory provision is made for students with SEND at DHSG

At Devonport High School for Girls progress of all young people including those with SEND is the responsibility of: 

The Subject Teacher: by providing excellent teaching and differentiation for all students, including those with SEND. They will as part of this provision also:
• monitor the progress of your child, identifying, planning and delivering any additional help your child may need for them to achieve their full potential.
• ensure that the guidance given on the student’s Pen Portrait is followed and that targets are worked towards.
• ensure that the school’s SEND Policy is followed in their classroom.
• request intervention from the SENCo where current intervention is not working.

How does the school identify that a student has a special educational need? 

The SENCo and the Head of House responsible for KS2/3 transition will liaise with all primary schools to ensure that information on students is shared effectively.

• At the start of year 7 or on entry, the school will undertake relevant assessments of all students to ascertain their ability/difficulties and a profile of their needs. This information will be used alongside data from primary schools to ensure that students who may need additional support are identified.
• The SENCo liaises with all staff and monitors the progress of students identified as not meeting their required levels of progress as identified in the schools current tracking system.
• Students with additional needs are also identified to the SENCo by staff if they feel there are concerns about a students learning.

Once needs are identified, a graduated response to supporting the student’s need will be initiated... 

SEND support will take the form of a four-part cycle through which earlier decisions and actions are revisited, refined and revised with a growing understanding of the student’s needs and of what supports the student in making good progress and securing good outcomes. This is known as the graduated approach and consists of a four part teacher-led cycle of: Assess – Plan – Do – Review.

• All teachers of a student receiving SEND support will be made aware of the students' plan. Where a student is receiving SEND support, the parents/carers will meet with the school at least three times over the year. This will be supported by the SENCo.
• Where relevant, the SENCo will enlist the services of specialist professionals such as Educational Psychologists and Advisory Teachers.
• Details of each student with SEND including the nature of their learning disability, recommended teaching strategies, strengths and history of provision will be available to all teaching staff via the Pen Portraits.
• Students with SEND all have a personalised Pen Portrait which highlights the student’s areas of strength, needs and what intervention is necessary and how it is best delivered. All teaching staff will be made aware of this information and informed when any significant changes are made.

It is the responsibility of all staff to liaise with the SENCo should they have any concerns that a student may have unidentified SEND.

Who are the best people to talk to in this school if I think my child might have a special educational need? 

At this school we operate a graduated approach to student need. The vast majority of concerns can be dealt with by the Form Tutor who at DHSG is the first point of contact. If the concern persists the Form Tutor will signpost you to the most appropriate person or agency to support you. Within school this may be the student’s Head of House or the appropriate Head of Department, depending upon whether it is a pastoral or academic concern. If there are still concerns that needs are not being met or that progress is not being made, then any teacher can make a referral to the Student Support Team and seek guidance from the SENCo. Specialist individual support. This is usually provided via an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). This means your child will have been identified by the SENCo as needing a particularly high level of individual or small group support. This may mean that your child will also need support in school from a professional from outside the school. This may be from:

• Local Authority central services such as the Communication Interaction Team or Sensory Service (for students with a hearing or visual need)
• Outside agencies such as the Speech and Language Therapy Service. For your child, this would mean:
• the school (or you) can request that the Local Authority carry out a statutory assessment of your child’s needs. This is a legal process which sets out the amount of support that will be provided for your child.
• after we have sent in the request to the Local Authority (with a lot of information about your child, including some from you) they will decide whether they think your child’s needs (as described in the paperwork provided), seem complex enough to need a statutory assessment. If this is the case they will ask you and all professionals involved with your child to write a report outlining your child’s needs. If they do not think your child needs this, they will ask the school to continue with SEND support at school level and also set up a meeting in school to ensure a plan is in place to ensure your child makes as much progress as possible.
• the EHC Plan will outline the number of hours of individual/small group support your child will receive from the LA and how the support should be used and what strategies must be put in place. It will also have long and short-term goals for your child. This type of support is available for students whose learning needs are:
• severe, complex and lifelong.

What training or specialist expertise do our staff have around SEND? 

We place great value in the professional development of all staff. Our staff receive a comprehensive induction to working at the School and SEND training is part of this staff development.

The SENCo works closely with the Senior Leadership Team to ensure that a range of training opportunities are available to both teaching and support staff throughout the year. This training is adapted to ensure that it addresses the needs of current students. The school has ensured that staff are trained in providing support for students with Dyslexia and Autism, Visual Impairment, Hearing Impairment and the emotional well-being of students is regarded at all times. Trauma informed classroom practice.

What further external support may the school access to support students with SEND and their families? 

Careers South West
Educational Psychologist
Communication and InteractionTeam
Educational Welfare Officer
Occupational Therapy
Visually Impaired Advisory Service,Hearing Impaired Advisory Service
Multi Agency Support Team (MAST)
Youth Offending Team
Family Matters

In addition, Plymouth Information, Advice and Support for SEND, formerly The Plymouth Parent Partnership, is an independent and impartial organisation who can support parents/carers with Statutory Assessments, preparing for and attending meetings and accompanying them on school visits. They are also able to support parents/carers to reach agreement when issues are faced at school. They can be contacted on 01752 258933.

Early Help Assessment Tool (EHAT) is a multi-agency approach which is used to support those families who are facing challenges. They can be contacted on 01752 307160 (from September 2016 this will transfer to an “early help assessment” process).

How are parents/ carers and students with SEND supported to share their views and concerns and work alongside the school? 

DHSG recognises the need for parents/carers to be fully aware of their child’s progress and parents/carers are:

• invited in to meet with the SENCo three times a year to discuss the targets set for their child and any changes in circumstance.
• parents/carers are emailed or contacted by telephone on a regular basis and are encouraged to contact the SENCo if they have concerns.
• we have a variety of SEND Parent Forums which will allow parents/carers to meet and share concerns, information and support

Who is the person I should talk to if I have a concern about the support being provided for my child at the school? 

Regular communication between home/school is essential and central to your child’s progress. This might be in the form of a phone call, letter, text, or email, and we would encourage you to make contact at the earliest opportunity to discuss concerns.

• Your child’s Form Tutor, Classroom Teachers and Head of House are available to discuss progress, concerns, and share information about what is working well at home and school, so that similar strategies can be used.
• If you are not happy that concerns are being managed, please contact the SENCo direct (Ms Ricks) or the Assistant Head Teacher for Inclusion Mrs Morgan.
• Any formal complaints should be made through the Complaints Procedure as detailed on the school website.

Where can I find information about the Local Authority’s Local Offer for children and young people with SEND and their families? 

The Local Authority’s Offer for children and young people with SEND and their families is accessible through this link

How does the school support students with SEND and their families when they join or leave the school? 

We recognise that transitions can be difficult for a young person with SEND and take steps to ensure that any transition is as smooth as possible. We will liaise with feeder and local schools to offer additional meetings, visits and preparation for students who find transition more difficult. We will enlist the support of external agencies, particularly Careers South West to aid future planning, to transition into post 16 and post 18 options.

Please consult the following policy documents on the school website policy page, for further information: