Background Admin Area


    Updated: October 2017

    Produced in consultation with the governors, staff, students and parents/carers at Plantsbrook School.


    Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Information Report

    Want to know a bit about us?

    Clarifying SEND terminology

    How do we identify a child with having additional needs?

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

    What types of need fall into each category?

    What is High Quality Teaching?

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

    Top TA Tips For Additional Support

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

    How will we support your child during transition?

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

    How will you know how your child is doing?

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

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

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

    What other provision can you offer my child?

    How do you know if the provision works?

    How will you include my child in activities outside the classroom?

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

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

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

    Where can I find more information or advice?

    Where can I find Birmingham’s Local Authority’s Local Offer?

    What do the abbreviations mean?



    Want to know a bit about us?

    Plantsbrook School is a large, mixed-gender mainstream comprehensive Secondary School, housing around 1300 students, including 250 sixth formers in our brand new state of the art facility.  We are proud to be an inclusive school. 

    Supporting students with additional needs is an exceptionally rewarding part of education. The Inclusion Department, alongside the rest of our staff at Plantsbrook School actively encourages all our students to live out our school motto: ‘Be the best that you can be’ in and out of the classroom.  Plantsbrook is unique in the Birmingham area as we are currently the only secondary school to house a specialist resource base for up to 20 students with visual impairments. Access to the Resource Base is only through placement by the Local Authority and students must have an Education Health Care Plan/statement of need.


    The Inclusion department consists of a team of 21 teaching assistants, 15 of whom specialise in working with students with a visual impairment. The department is led by Mrs Lomas the Inclusion Leader/SENCo and is overseen by Ms Orchard, one of our Assistant Head teachers. We are assisted by Mrs White who is the Inclusion Administration Manager.  Our brand new facilities within the Inclusion department include student work rooms, a life skills room, a hygiene room, staff preparation/work rooms and meeting rooms.


    Clarifying SEND terminology

    Definition of Special Educational Needs (SEN)

    A child has SEN if they have a learning difficulty that calls for special educational provision to be made for them.  A learning difficulty means that the child has significantly greater difficulty in learning than most children of the same age.

    Definition of disability

    A child has a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment, and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities (i.e. lasts for 12 months or more).  The disability prevents or hinders the child or young person from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age.


    How do we identify a child with having additional needs?

    At Plantsbrook, we use a variety of methods including:

    • 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

    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, this table gives a good overview:

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

    Cognition & Learning

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




    Social, Emotional & Mental Health Difficulties


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

    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

    Top TA Tips For Additional Support:-


    Do people ever tell you that they can’t read your handwriting?  If this is the case, the likelihood is an examiner won’t be able to read it either!  Take active steps to improve your handwriting by doing the following:


    • Download and use this excellent resource (produced by the National Adult Literacy Agency via The Guardian – Teacher Network) which will help improve your handwriting.  It includes warm-up exercises to limber up your hands, a wide variety of tasks to get you back into the habit of writing clearly and a troubleshooting section offering solutions for common problems. 

    • Attend our handwriting drop-in clinics run by our lead TAs in handwriting (Mrs Horton and Mrs Fowler) in GM01:

    KS3 – Every Thursday 0815 – 0830

    KS4 – Every Friday 0815 – 0830


    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 their learning inside and outside of the classroom
    • They should be involved in creating their 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 support your child during transition?

    • Open Evenings for incoming Year 7 and 6th form students

    Primary into Key Stage 3

    • Inclusion Leader/ QTVI can attend Year 6 annual reviews of students with a statement or an EHCP if necessary
    • Meetings with primary class teachers and Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators to share appropriate information
    • Two calendared additional transition days managed by  the Inclusion department
    • Visits to primary schools by the pastoral team including the Achievement Co-ordinator or student welfare team.  In addition, for SEND students, a member of the Inclusion team will visit prior to the city wide induction day
    • Year 6 SEND students will have access to further information that will aid the transition process
    • Access to a member of the Inclusion team on Year 7 Induction evening for parents

    Key Stage 3 into 4

    • Option Evening for parents in year 9
    • Access to careers support

    Key Stage 4 and 5

    • Access to careers advice
    • Production of Learning Support Plan for colleges
    • Support from Teaching Assistants in visiting other placements where appropriate
    • Access to 6th Form mentor for advice


    • Liaison with careers advisor in school
    • Access to independent careers advice
    • Information about alternative educational  providers including training providers
    • Transition meetings are arranged and relevant information is shared


    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 visual impairment) where appropriate
    • Exam access arrangements where appropriate

    Key stage 4: Some students may be offered an alternative option allowing them additional time to support options taken and also an opportunity to work towards an alternative qualification in Entry Level English and Maths.


    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 whether 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 children 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 all 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
    • Visual Impairment Awareness, sharing good practice

    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) – all students within our resource base for the visually impaired have access to a QTVI.

    • Epi-pen and asthma
    • Specialist training for new technologies (Teaching Assistants working with pupils with visual impairment)
    • Level One Autism
    • Leading Good Autism Practice (AET)
    • Lead practitioner in Autistic Spectrum Condition
    • Speech and Language Strategies
    • Qualified first aiders
    • Health and safety
    • Braille (Teaching assistants working with students with VI)
    • Understanding And Managing ADHD (ADHD Foundation)
    • Independent Living skills and mobility support (Teaching assistants working with students with VI)
    • In addition, some staff have also been trained in:


      -Inclusive PE training programme

      -Including pupils with physical difficulties in secondary schools

      -British Sign Language



    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.  The school is able to refer to the School Health Advisory Service (school nurses) 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?

    In the first instance, contact your child’s form tutor or if it’s related to a specific subject, their subject teacher.

    The flow chart below shows our procedure when a concern related to SEND is raised:


    Subject teacher/ Form tutor

    Subject Leader

    Achievement Co-ordinator/ Inclusion Leader

    Assistant Head Teacher for Inclusion

    Head Teacher

    SEN Governor



    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 Mrs Angela Lomas 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.

    Although the Headteacher, Ms Tracy Campbell, has delegated responsibility to the SENCo and subject teachers to meet the learning needs of your child, she is still responsible for the day to day management of all aspects of the school, including the support for children with SEND.

    The Governing Body is responsible for making sure that the necessary support is provided for any child who attends the school who has SEND. Governors ensure that there is a named SEND Governor to oversee SEND practices and provision within in the school, and report back to the Governing Body.

    Our SEND Governor is Mrs Martine Laffan-Butler. She meets regularly with the SENCo and the Assistant Headteacher with SEND responsibility, Ms Nicola Orchard.



    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 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.



    Where can I find Birmingham’s Local Authority’s Local Offer?

    Birmingham’s local offer can be found at:



    What do the abbreviations mean?

    There 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

    Click here to download a copy of this report.

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