How do we identify a child with having additional needs?

  • Using information received at transition from previous educational settings.
  • Liaison with relevant external agencies.
  • Analysis of previous assessments and school based assessments.
  • Medical/Health diagnosis.
  • Concerns raised by parents, pupils and/or staff.

I am thinking about choosing Plantsbrook for my child's school - what do I need to do?

Visit the school. Meet the staff (including our Inclusion Leader/SENCo and our Head of Vision Resource Base/QTVI) and some of our students on dedicated Open Evenings or Open Mornings.

This is a great way to a get a good ‘feel’ for our school and whether it is right for your child.

For primary to secondary transfer, students without an EHCP but with a SEND need would follow the same procedure and time line for application to secondary schools through the LEA school admissions process.

For students with an EHCP looking to transfer to their chosen secondary school, the time line is moved forward and more information can be found here:

For students who are not transferring from primary school and are looking to transfer from another secondary school, they would be advised to contact Plantsbrook and ask about the number of students on the waiting list for that particular year group first. An application to the school can be made through the LEA. More information on this can be found here:

For students with a vision impairment who are looking for a place within our resource base, applications need to be made via the Local Authority as it is a requirement that any student who is applying for a place within the resource base already has an EHCP.

If your child is looking to transfer from their primary school, you would need to follow the same process as stated above for a child with an EHCP but ensure you apply through the appropriate LEA paper work that states you are applying for a place within the resource base.


What types of Special Educational Needs can we support at Plantsbrook?

We provide SEND support for students who have significant difficulties in the following four areas:

  • Communication and Interaction
  • Cognition and Learning
  • Social, emotional and mental health
  • Sensory and/or physical needs

There are times when students have more complex needs that span across more than one of the areas above, and we will always endeavour to do our best to meet their needs.

What types of need fall into each category?

Although, by no means exhaustive, these lists give a good overview:

Communication & Interaction

  • Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC)
  • Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN)

Social, Emotional & Mental Health Difficulties

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Adjustment Disorders
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (‘OCD’)

Cognition & Learning

  • Moderate Learning Difficulty (MLD)
  • Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty (PMLD)
  • Severe Learning Difficulty (SLD)
  • Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD)
  • Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, Dyslexia & Dyspraxia.

Sensory and/or Physical

  • Hearing Impairment (HI)
  • Visual Impairment (VI)
  • Multi-Sensory Impairment (MSI)
  • Physical Disability (PD)

What is High Quality Teaching?

Following statutory guidance published in the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years (DfE, 2014) where it states that ‘Special educational provision is underpinned by high quality teaching and is compromised by anything less’ we have produced our own ‘High Quality Teaching’ collaborative document which underpins the variety of strategies we use within our classrooms to support the needs of our SEND students.

All of these strategies work to remove barriers to learning by differentiating appropriately and using approaches which enable students to be taught effectively.

The information below is a guide to show examples of how we can vary the support offered to our students within the four areas of need:

How can I help to support my child's learning and be involved in planning for my child's education?

  • Listen to your child and spend time with them finding out what they do at school.
  • Share any concerns they may have with us
  • Check their homework regularly via Show My Homework and ensure they are using it too.
  • Visit the school website and read the fortnightly newsletter.
  • Encourage your child to attend any additional support clubs (e.g. for homework/revision)
  • Encourage your child to engage in extra-curricular activities.
  • Read any reports sent home and support them in meeting their targets.
  • Attend all meetings such as open evenings, parents’ evenings and review meetings.
  • Contribute your views to your child’s Pupil Profile that is available to all staff.
  • Use a colour coded timetable.

How will my child be involved in planning for their education?

  • It’s important that your child takes responsibility for their learning and makes the most of the High Quality Teaching and any other learning opportunities offered.
  • They must keep on top of thier learning inside and outside of the classroom.
  • They should be involved in creatingtheir pupil profile and voicing their honest opinion about what helps them learn, through student voice and participation.
  • They must undertake any relevant assessments that will inform the provision offered.
  • They should consider their options carefully when choosing subjects suitable which are suitable for them.

How will we match the curriculum to your child's needs?

  • Differentiated and personalised learning opportunities through High Quality Teaching strategies used in the classroom.
  • Use of personalised pupil profiles that are available to all staff.
  • Additional in-class support by teaching assistants in appropriate lessons.
  • Subject specific intervention sessions.
  • Specialised equipment provided for certain students (e.g. students with a vision impairment) where appropriate.
  • Exam access arrangements where appropriate.

How will you know how your child is doing?

  • Students are assessed regularly by their subject teachers to monitor and track progress made.
  • We measure student progress against national expectations and age related expectations.
  • Data is published and shared with parents/carers via interim reports and also the annual school report.
  • Information is shared with parents during the annual Parents Evening.
  • Staff will make contact via telephone/letter/email if there are any concerns arising
  • Subject teachers can refer any of their students who they may have additional concerns to their Subject Leader, Achievement Co-ordinator or the Inclusion Leader at any time. Appropriate action will be taken and parents informed at point of need if any further intervention is needed.
  • We offer an open door policy where any parent/carer is able to make an appointment to meet with a tutor, Achievement Co-ordinator or Inclusion leader to discuss their child.
  • We endeavour to work effectively as a team around the child, communicating openly and honestly with parents/carers as to the best ways in which school can support your child and ways in which you can also support at home.

If your child is on our SEND register they will be part of our provision map. For the majority of students, teachers will be able to use their ‘High Quality Teaching’ strategies to meet their needs. For students with more complex needs, a ‘Pupil Profile’ will be created which incorporates appropriate strategies staff members can employ to best support your child. These are reviewed regularly with the input of parents/carers and your child.

How will we make decisions about how much support your child will receive?

  • Student progress is tracked and monitored throughout the year.
  • Teaching Assistants are effectively deployed across the curriculum depending on the changing needs of all of our SEND students
  • Change in a student’s circumstances which has an effect on their well-being may lead to certain interventions being arranged
  • Students with a statement or EHCP will have appropriate support based on their specific and personalised needs produced in their documentation.
  • Students without a statement of need or an EHCP will have differentiated teaching and learning within the classroom using High Quality Teaching. Students will be monitored throughout the year to judge wheather additional interventions are needed.
  • Recommendations resulting from assessments by outside agencies.

How does the school allocate resources to match the needs of students with SEND?

  • All teachers are teachers of SEND students and are trained to use High Quality Teaching strategies to ensure needs are met within the classroom
  • Effective deployment of Teaching Assistants
  • Small group support at point of need.
  • Exam access arrangements where applicable and appropriate.
  • External agency support where applicable and appropriate.
  • Availability of specialist equipment and resources where applicable and appropriate.

What training/expertise does our staff have in supporting with SEND?

We follow a training plan for all staff which includes whole school training on SEND issues. All staff are subject to performance management reviews.

Individual teachers and support staff can also attend training courses run by outside agencies that are relevant to the specific needs of SEND children within our care.

Examples of training received by staff in school include:

  • High Quality Teaching strategies
  • Safeguarding and Child Protection training
  • Teaching and Learning, sharing good practice
  • Book and marking strategies, sharing good practice
  • Autism awareness and sensory overload
  • Level One Autism
  • Leading Good Autism Practice
  • Visual Impairment Awareness, sharing good practice
  • Braille
  • Independent Living skills and mobility support
  • Specialist training for new vision technologies
  • Speech and Language Strategies
  • Qualified first aiders
  • Epi-pen and asthma
  • Health and safety
  • Understanding And Managing ADHD
  • Inclusive PE training programme
  • Including pupils with physical difficulties in secondary schools
  • Understanding Children and Young People’s Mental Health
  • British Sign Language
  • General barriers to exam success
  • Speech and language – How behavioural difficulties may be masking an underlying communication need
  • Speech and language – How can we support our students in their vocabulary
  • Enable don’t Disable
  • Attachment Disorder
  • Managing Sexualized Behaviour in an Educational Setting
  • Practical ways to support a student with Cerebral Palsy
  • Dyslexia Awareness
  • ADHD training
  • Understanding challenging behaviour

In addition, some staff have also been trained in:

  • SENCo national qualification – Our Inclusion Leader is fully qualified and accredited with the National Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator Award
  • Mandatory Qualification for Teaching Students with Vision Impairment (QTVI) – Our Head of our Vision Resource Base is a QTVI.

Our Lead TA for Autism has received training in:

Autism Tier 1, Autism Tier 2, Autism and mental health, Attachment disorder, Bullying and ASC and Transition and ASC.

Our Inclusion Leader/SENCo has received training in:

Level 3 Strategic Autism training

Our Inclusion Leader/SENCo has achieved a Certificate of Competence in Educational Testing

What other provision can you offer my child?

Pastoral Support (overall wellbeing):

Plantsbrook embodies our school motto of ‘be the best that you can be’. We recognise the importance of a sound and effective pastoral system that complements our excellent academic systems. We recognise that there will be some students that will need more emotional support than others.

This may vary during their time with us. Our school offers support for children who are encountering emotional difficulties through the pastoral system which primarily includes their form tutor and Achievement Co-ordinator but may be provided by other staff depending on their individual needs. If your child is in need of additional emotional support, a referral can be made by the Achievement Co-ordinator to the Student Welfare Team.

In order for us to support your child, it is important that parents/carers communicate any changes with us. You can arrange mutually convenient times to speak to class teachers or other staff about issues which may be affecting your child via the school’s main office.

Telephone: 0121 362 7310


Specialist Services:

The school is supported by the Local Authority through Access to Education, which consist of four specialist services: Communication and Autism, Educational Psychology, Pupil and School Support and Sensory Support. Although the school nurse team has now been taken out of all schools in the local area, we are still able to refer to the School Health Advisory Service and other agencies depending on individual needs.

How do you know if the provision works?

  • Your child is happy in school and is making expected progress.
  • Staff, Parent and Student feedback.
  • Parent and Student meetings (including parents evening)
  • Monitoring student progress
  • School will gather and share information about the progress of your child throughout the year through regular assessment opportunities in individual subjects. This will indicate if further
  • interventions/ strategies are needed.
  • Specialist assessment where appropriate.
  • OFSTED reports

How will you include my child in activities outside the classroom

  • Extra-curricular activities at lunchtime and after school are available to all. Form tutors will communicate what is available and details are put in the first term’s newsletter to all parents/carers.
  • Risk assessments are carried out and procedures are put in place to enable all children to participate in out of school activities.
  • Where appropriate pre-visits are made to ensure suitability of venue and activities and reasonable adjustments are made to ensure that all students are able to participate.

My child has not previously been highlighted as SEND but I feel my child has additional needs. What should I do?

You can email your concerns to our Inclusion Administration Manager, Mrs White

She can then contact your child’s teachers and collate information to see if further investigation is needed.

Who are the people providing services to children with SEND in this school?

Subject teachers are responsible for:

  • Providing high quality teaching which differentiates and caters for students’ needs.
  • Checking on the progress of your child and identifying, planning and delivering any additional help your child may need
  • Regularly assessing and reviewing progress which is shared with parents/carers throughout the year
  • Ensuring that the school’s SEND Policy is followed in their classroom and for all the pupils they teach with any additional needs.

The Inclusion Leader

The Inclusion Leader or Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) at Plantsbrook School is Mr Adrian Rackham who can be contacted through the school office.

Telephone: 0121 362 7310


Our philosophy for Inclusion is for our SEND students to be happy and safe within their learning environment, and to ensure that every child has accessibility to their education no matter what their needs are.

We encourage everyone to work as a team around the child, thus ensuring they are able to fulfil their potential.

The SENCo is responsible for:

  • Overseeing the day-to-day operation of the school’s Inclusion policy and co-ordinating provision for students with SEND to ensure that students’ needs are effectively met.
  • Ensuring effective liaison with parents/carers of students with SEND so they are kept informed about provision for their child and actively encouraged in supporting their child’s learning and reviewing their progress.
  • Liaising with other schools, educational psychologists, health and social care professionals, and independent or voluntary bodies that may help support your child’s learning.
  • Being a key point of contact with external agencies, especially the local authority and its support services
  • Liaising with potential next providers of education to ensure a pupil and their parents are informed about options and a smooth transition is planned
  • Working with the Headteacher and School Governors to ensure that the school meets its responsibilities under the Equality Act (2010) with regard to reasonable adjustments and access arrangements
  • Ensuring that the school keeps the records of all pupils with SEND up to date (we use provision mapping and pupil profiles to do this)
  • Providing professional guidance to colleagues with the aim of securing high quality teaching of pupils with SEND.

What should I do if I have a complaint regarding SEND?

We are proud of our ‘open and honest’ communication and the positive relationships we build with our parents/carers. However, if you feel that after trying to resolve any SEND issues with the SENCo and/or the Head teacher your concerns have still not been addressed and you would like to take the matter further, please refer to our standard school complaints procedure which can be found on our school website under ‘policies’.

Where can I find more information or advice?

In addition to the school there are other sources of information and advice. These are a few examples that have been useful to parents/carers:

‘The Waiting Room’ (TWR) is a website that aims to provide Birmingham and Solihull citizens with the best access route to both local and national services in the UK. Through a minimum number of clicks you can find the right services to meet your needs with the services being available within 24 Life Domain areas. TWR makes it easy to link directly to appropriate websites or even call organisations directly straight from your phone or by Skype on your PC.

The Birmingham Special Educational Needs and Disability information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) provide impartial and confidential advice and support to children and young people with SEND and their parents / carers.

0121 303 5004

Forward Thinking Birmingham (formally known as CAMHS) provides mental health support for children and young people from 0 – 25, and their parents/carers. Referrals can be made by the young person, parents/carers and organisations including schools.

0300 300 0099

Parent /carers can contact the School Health Advisory Service (School nurses) directly, or referrals can be made through school.

0121 465 5457

Information and advice about autistic spectrum conditions can be found from many websites including: (

Information and advice about ADHD can be found from many websites including:

Our Place Community Hub, based in Sutton Coldfield offers advice and support services to the local area, including employment support, counselling and talking therapies as well as specific support groups.


This is a nationally recognised charity that works to support people with sight loss

0303 123 9999 (

National Deaf Children’s Society

This is the national charity dedicated to creating a world without barriers for deaf children and young people. (

British Dyslexia Association (BDA)

This is a national organisation that offers advice and support for dyslexia. (

What do the abbreviations mean?

Here are many terms used in school and the world of SEND which are be abbreviated.

Below is a glossary of some of the most used SEND terms that may help you navigate around:

ADD Attention Deficit Disorder

ADHD Attention Deficit & Hyperactivity Disorder

ASC Autistic Spectrum Condition

ASD Autistic Spectrum Disorder

BESD Behavioural Emotional & Social Difficulties

CAT Communication and Autism Team

CAF / fCAF Common Assessment Framework / family Common Assessment Framework

CAMHS Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service

COP Code of Practice

CP Child Protection

CT Class Teacher

DCD Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (e.g. dyspraxia)

EAL English as an Additional Language

EHCP Educational Health and Care Plan

EP Educational Psychologist

FSM Free School Meals

HI Hearing Impairment

HQT High Quality Teaching

LAC Looked After Child

LA Local Authority

MLD Moderate Learning Difficulty

OT Occupational Therapist

PP Pupil Premium

PSS Pupil and School Support

QFT Quality First Teaching (now known as High Quality Teaching)

SaLT Speech & Language Therapy

SEN Special Educational Needs

SEND Special Educational Needs & Disability

SENCo Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator

SHAS School Health advisory Service (School nurses)

SpLD Specific Learning Difficulty (e.g. dyslexia, dyspraxia)

SS Sensory Support

TOD Teacher of the Deaf

QTVI Qualified Teacher for Vision Impairment

VI Vision Impairment


If you require a copy of this SEND information report in larger print or in braille please email your request to