No. Admission to the School is through selection tests and in so far as it is compatible with the efficient use of resources, Handsworth Grammar School will attempt to meet the needs of those students with special educational needs and disabilities. We are committed to offering an inclusive curriculum to ensure the best possible progress for all of our students whatever their needs or abilities.
THE SENCo and Head of Year 7 liaise very closely with all of our feeder primary schools to ensure we have all necessary SEN information regarding each pupil. This is done whilst the pupil is in Year 6 to ensure the smoothest transition possible. We also work very closely with parents who are able to advise us on their child’s needs and strategies that have proved successful in the past. Finally, all staff at HGS are obliged to raise any concerns regarding a child, whether that be academic or otherwise. We are able to work closely with external agencies primarily from Birmingham City Council, Access to Education who are able to assess and diagnose those pupils requiring any additional support.
If your child is new to HGS then please speak to either the form tutor, Head of Year 7 or SENCo at the new intake evening where we will be able to listen to any concerns and create an action plan. This is the first step to gaining extra support for your child. The SENCo will then ensure that a teacher of special educational needs will assess the pupil, and if necessary, diagnose any needs they may have. We also work closely with the medical profession to ensure any disability or medical condition is fully diagnosed and supported. If your child is currently at HGS and you have a new concern regarding special educational needs please contact the SENCo directly via email. Alternatively, call the main school number and a message can be passed on from there.
At HGS you will have a termly meeting with the SENCo who will discuss the provision that is in place to support your child, as well as reviewing and setting targets for your child to work towards. At the meetings the most recent assessment data will be discussed and each subject teacher will provide a statement explaining how your child is supported in their subject. We are able to share the best practice between each subject to ensure continuity of support across the school. The school report that you receive during the year will also outline how your child has progressed and the support they receive. Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s form tutor is you have any queries.
Every teacher is a teacher of special needs. This means that each teacher will differentiate each lesson accordingly to support their needs. This ensures that each child, regardless of their special educational need or disability, will be able to fully access of all parts of the curriculum. When it comes to GCSE choices your child will be guided to choose the best subjects for them to ensure they are able to achieve the best possible grades.
Progress reports are sent home each term. A level (KS3) or a grade (KS4) is given for each subject as well as a score for effort. This indicates how they are progressing in their subjects as well as the level of effort that they are putting in. Progress is also reviewed at the termly meetings with the SENCo. It is not just academic progress that is discussed but also the holistic progress and development of the child. SIMS parent gateway will allow you to check their behaviour and merit tallies. Alternatively, please use email contact for teachers or form tutor to discuss progress.
At the termly SENCo meeting strategies that have been beneficial in school will be shared with parents, enabling a consistent and effective home-school relationship to be formed. We will provide you with ideas that can support your child when doing homework too. Additionally, we are able to put you in contact with other educational professionals who can give more specific advice and guidance for supporting your child’s special educational need or disability.
The biggest support system is that provided by the form tutor and the form network. Each pupil will see their form tutor on a daily basis and is there to provide holistic support. Your child will also be able to go and ‘drop in’ to see the SENCo she is available during the school day to speak to individual children on a one to one basis.
All staff have completed training in teaching and differentiating for autism. This is delivered by the Communication and Autism team who we work closely with. The CAT worker visits all children on the autism spectrum and works with them one to one to support any specific and individual needs. Additionally, they support parents and are able to provide links to support and network groups. Through the Access to Education programme from Birmingham City Council, we also have access to the specialist support from an Educational Psychologist and a specialist SEN teacher from Pupil and Schools Support. We also work with CAMHS (Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service) who are able to signpost and support both pupils, parents and staff.
All staff have specific autism training provided by the Communication and Autism Team. All staff are fully trained to support a wide range of medical conditions such as diabetes and epilepsy. Individual staff are trained in-house to support those children they teach and their specific needs.
All educational school trips are open to all pupils, including those with SEN. Staff at the sites we visit are briefed on the nature of the child’s need and how we need them to support them. Also, staff who know and have a good relationship with the child will accompany them on the trip to ensure they have a familiar face to speak to if they have any worries. Some pupils benefit from preparation where we can discuss any anxieties or worries about the trip and ensure these are put at ease. Going on educational trips is an essential part of school life and helps pupils build confidence and take part in a different learning experience.
We are based on a flat site making all parts of the school accessible, including the playground, the quad, sports hall and the various blocks. There are lifts in the main school to ensure pupils can access classrooms on the first floor and automatic doors to aid those in wheelchairs or with walking difficulties. We have a disabled toilet and ramped access to the front of the school too. During the recent renovation of our food technology room, a disabled access work station was built where the workstation can be lowered to suit the user. This has proved very successful.
The SENCo and Head of Year endeavour to meet the pupil, parent and staff at the previous school before they join HGS to ensure we have as much information as possible. It also gives us the chance to discuss any issues or concerns that pupils and parents may have and put an action plan into place before they arrive. This allows teachers to prepare and tailor their lessons and resources for the arrival of any child with SEN. If your child is transferring to another school or post-16 provision we will contact them to pass on all the information we have and to hopefully set up a meeting to ensure all issues are resolved before the transition occurs.
All staff and departments work to differentiate their own resource and budgets to ensure they are fully supported within their subject. The SENCo works with parents, staff and SLT to decide what additional equipment and support is provided. This is monitored to ensure it has the desired positive impact, and if so continued, if not other provision is sought. We also listen to the advice of the external agencies we work with and endeavour to implement the advice given.
We have always encouraged all parents to be very involved in all discussions about their child and planning for their child’s education. This is formally done at the termly meetings with the SENCo, but informal chats via telephone and email are welcomed to ensure that parents are fully involved throughout the academic year and not just at the meetings.
Contact your child’s form tutor with any initial concerns. This can be done by communicating via your child’s planner or email. To contact the SENCo please click here to send an email or contact the main school office on 0121 554 2794.
For more information on Special Educational Needs and Disability, please click here.
Please find the Special Educational Needs and Disability Policy inside our Policies section on the website.