SEND Information report

SEND INformation report

The Mendip School opened in September 2015.

The Mendip School staff and governors are committed to and passionate about the learning and progress of our pupils. We have high aspirations for our children and we aim to provide a high quality, relevant and balanced education for all our pupils that focuses on individual, personal and academic achievement.  Students are taught in small groups, usually with more than one member of staff in attendance. There is a happy and positive atmosphere in which children can fulfil their potential and grow in self-confidence with respect for the people and environment around them.

Through strong partnerships with parents and collaboration with a range of other agencies the school offers a caring and friendly learning environment in which pupils make outstanding progress.

The Mendip School is a special free school which provides 120 places for children of both sexes in the age range 4 – 19 years with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN).

For a child to be admitted, the school must be named, by a local authority, in the child’s Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

Parents wishing their children to benefit from our provision should ask their local authority to name our school in their child’s statement or EHCP.

Our school provides small teaching groups, usually led by more than one member of staff. All classroom staff have received specialist training in the teaching of children with ASD and SLCN. The curriculum is broad and balanced, differentiated according to need and aimed at creating an educational experience that prepares pupils for adult life. The curriculum offer also conforms to national government expectations. Our pupils represent a very wide range of abilities and in response the curriculum provides a number of pathways that lead to a variety of post school destinations. A strong emphasis upon a vocational approach to our curriculum creates opportunities for our pupils to develop those skills which will be important to them in adult life. For some pupils this may mean a focus upon independence skills whilst for others academic qualifications provide the key to access post-16 Further Education courses.

The Mendip School is one of three schools forming the multi-academy trust partnership known as The Partnership Trust. This status allows the school to be more autonomous and to focus on initiatives that raise aspiration and achievement for children and young people with ASD and SLCN.

  • How does the school know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?

All students at The Mendip School have a Statement of Special Educational Needs or Education Health & Care Plan (EHCP)

The EHCP/Statement review process allows for parents and professionals to review the needs of the young person, including education, support, health and care.

  • How will the school support my child?

The school works closely with a variety of professionals and support agencies to ensure that the needs of all children are met. Some of these professionals are as follows: Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Music Therapy, Doctors, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Nurses (general, continence, sexual health) and Social Workers.

We also have a dedicated Extended Services Coordinator: Extended Services includes a varied menu of activities, childcare, parenting support, swift and easy access to targeted and specialist services such as speech and language therapy and community access to facilities including adult and family learning.

  • Who will oversee and plan the education programme?

All students at The Mendip School will have a personal tutor who will work closely with the young people and the professionals listed above to ensure that each student has an appropriate and supportive programme of education across the Key Stages.

  • Who will be working with my child and how often?

As discussed above, each student will have a programme of education and support; therefore, the people working with our students will vary dependent on each individual’s circumstances.

  • How are the school governors involved and what are their responsibilities?

The governors have high aspirations for our children and aim to ensure that the school provides a high quality, relevant and balanced education for all our pupils that focuses on individual, personal and academic achievement.

Governors visit the school regularly and meet with pupils and parents to find out what is important to them.  Governors meet with staff with leadership roles to ensure they are well supported and held to account.  They ensure that the Principal sets challenging targets for herself and the teaching team.

  • How does the school know how effective its arrangements and provision for children with special educational needs are?

 Pupils and their families are asked for their views of the school often. The quality of provision available at The Mendip School is subject to inspection from the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED). Reports cover the breadth of the inspection which includes Leadership and Management; Outcomes for Learners and also the Pupil Safety and Overall Effectiveness. The reports are published at the following address:

  • Information about the school’s policies for making provision for pupils with special educational needs whether or not pupils have EHC Plans, including


  • Parents/Carers are encouraged to make a visit to the school at the earliest opportunity, preferably before the completion of a statutory assessment or Annual Review. The focus of the visit is upon parent/carer viewing the school.  The school does not comment on the appropriateness of the provision for the child.
  • If requested, key staff from The Mendip School will attend an Annual Review at the young person’s existing school.
  • A draft Statement of Educational Need/or EHC Plan is received by the school from Somerset County Council requesting consideration of pupil for admission.
  • If a place is available and everyone is agreed on the suitability of the referral, Somerset County Council is informed. Staff from The Mendip School may visit the home or school in order to observe the child in the classroom and liaise with staff who have knowledge of the child.
  • If the Governing Body in partnership with the Principal decide the school cannot meet the child’s needs the Authority is advised the reasons for this decision in a form that can be shared with parents.
  • The LA arranges transport in accordance with its own Home to School Transport policy.
  • An induction programme, appropriate to the individual child, will be drawn up to support transfer to The Mendip School. This may include:
  • visits by key staff between schools
  • additional visits/part-time placement to support move by child to The Mendip School
  • visits to coincide with mainstream secondary induction programme for Year 6
  • Requests for pupil admission from other LAs are made through Somerset Local Authority.
  • Information about the expertise and training of staff in relation to children and young people with special educational needs and about how specialist expertise will be secured.

Staff at The Mendip School are skilled professionals and bring a wealth of expertise and experience across the field of special education.

All staff undertake a compulsory rigorous training programme and professional updating at The Mendip School and are encouraged to undertake personal professional development throughout their careers. Training includes: Health and Safety, eSafety, Child Protection, Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA), TEACCH strategies, behaviour management and PROACT SCIPr (physical intervention and prevention); Makaton and Picture Exchange Communication Systems (PECS).

  • How will the school curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?

The Mendip School offers a broad and balanced curriculum aimed at creating an educational experience that prepares pupils for adult life. The curriculum offer also conforms to national government expectations.

Our pupils represent a very wide range of abilities and in response the curriculum provides a number of pathways that lead to a variety of post school destinations.

A strong emphasis upon a vocational approach to our curriculum creates opportunities for our pupils to develop those skills which will be important to them in adult life. For some pupils this may mean a focus upon independence skills whilst for others academic qualifications provide the key to access post-16 Further Education courses.

Primary Curriculum

All pupils at The Mendip School who are in Key Stage 1 or are Reception aged are placed within the ‘Foundation’ stage. The curriculum within this stage is based on the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum.

All pupils at Key Stage 2 have access to the full range of subjects within the National Curriculum plus Religious Education. Within this there is an identified programme of specific topics through which the subjects are delivered.

Secondary Provision

Key Stage 3 comprises students in Y7 and Y8 and Key Stage 4 comprises students in Y9, Y10 and Y11. The curriculum at KS3 covers all National Curriculum subjects. Students at Key Stage 4 follow a combination of nationally accredited courses which include the chance to pick options on 3 afternoons each week.  Pupils are able to study a wide range of subjects up to GCSE level.


Sixth Form Provision

When students have completed year 11 there are a number of options. Some students choose to leave school and go to FE college. Those who choose to join the sixth form at The Mendip School will have programme created for them, depending on their desired outcome. This means that their programme, including the number of years they spend in the sixth form, is decided on an individual basis. Students can stay at school until the end of the academic year in which they are 19 years old.

Mendip School aims to offer a post 16 educational experience aimed towards outcomes that prepare students for the next stage in their life whether it be starting work, following a course at FE College or moving into a supported living in the community placement.

The curriculum comprises a mixture of life skills/work skills/ personal and social development and Functional Skills qualifications in Maths, English and ICT if appropriate.

Each student follows a personalised programme that is reviewed on a regular basis.

  • How will both you and I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?

In addition to personal 1:1 contact between parents and staff at school; parents’ evenings; open evenings and information sessions the school liaises with parents regularly in the following ways:

 Annual Reviews: procedures

  • An annual review must be completed for each pupil within one year of previous review. They can be held after a much shorter time if necessary.
  • Tutors will meet with parents three times each year, one each ‘old’ term (or at least offer to meet with them). 2 of these meetings will be progress meetings and one will be the annual review.
  • The office team will plan the dates for all annual reviews before the end of the academic year and tutors will set progress meeting dates.
  • The office team will liaise with LPW/Connexions Personal Advisor before setting dates for pupils in years 9 and above.
  • Tutors/Parents are sent a list of invitees with option of including others they would like to attend. Tutors/parents will need to advise office team to send an invite.
  • The office team will start the process for each young person by sending out invites (attendees taken from previous review), a list of invitees and a parental contribution report for completion. This will take place at least 6 weeks before the planned meeting.
  • The school office will enter latest assessment information and last year’s targets and then give pages 2, 3 and 4 for tutors to complete. Tutors to enter the following information
  • Summary of attainment
  • Check levels of attainment
  • Review of last year’s targets – achieved/not achieved/ongoing
  • Set this year’s targets
  • School report.
  • Tutors will also be given a ‘Pupil Advice’ report to complete with the student and to be asked to submit the pupils ‘One Page Profile’.
  • Parents of year 9 pupils will be sent a blank transition form for them to peruse before the review.
  • Parents/carers of pupils in year 10 and above will be sent a copy of their previous transition plan for updating.
  • The school office will ask for reports to be sent back in to school at least 2 weeks prior to the review, including any reports from school staff.
  • The office will record responses to invites and log all reports received.
  • Copies of all reports received by the office, and tutors contributions will be sent out to invitees who are attending the review 2 weeks beforehand so that everyone has a chance to read them before the meeting.
  • An updated ‘blank’ will be given to the tutor before the annual review along with any reports that have been received to date. These will be the original copies of the reports and the office will keep photocopies.
  • The tutor is responsible for writing up the review meeting document and it should be given to the office within 3 working days of the meeting along with all original reports and any others submitted that the office has not seen.
  • Office staff will type up the review document and pass with all reports to the Principal for checking and signing.
  • For young people in year 9 and above the review document will be emailed to Personal Advisor who attended to check the review documents and transition plan and make any amendments. The transition plan will then be signed (pp’d) on their behalf by office and then forwarded with all reports to Principal for checking and signing.
  • When signed off office staff will photocopy and send complete copies (including copies of reports) to all those invited to the review. This signed copy will then be filed in pupil’s black file.
  • This process should take place within 10 working days from date of review.
  • How accessible is the school environment?

The Mendip School is fully accessible in terms of physical access, personal hygiene and is decorated in a purposeful low-stimulation environment.  There are changing and toileting facilities for young people using wheelchairs or aids.

The school makes arrangements for supporting pupils with special educational needs in transferring between phases of education or in preparing for adulthood and independent living. These are closely supported and managed with the support of the Key Stage Coordinators, parents, young people and Tutors.

  • Who can I contact for further information?

You can contact the school office on 01749838040

Our named SENCO is Natalie Hanna (Head of School)