Birch Wood School’s SEN Information Report will be updated annually and monitored continually to reflect changes and plans within the school. The report states the current provision within the school, which includes the three sites of Grange Drive, Birch Wood Vale and Ashton House.

What are the kinds of special educational needs for which provision is made at Birch Wood School?

This is a maintained day special school for children aged 4-19 years. Children will be provided with an appropriately paced and differentiated curriculum.

Admissions to both sites are within the admissions policies on the website.

Within each site of Birch Wood School – the pupil’s identified needs will be complex and significant in the areas of Cognition and Learning, Communication and Interaction (autistic spectrum disorder and/or speech and language difficulties), Physical and/or Sensory and Social, Emotional and Mental Health  as described in the SEN Code of Practice.  Birch Wood School’s Autism provision is integrated throughout Birch Wood School and provides personalised provision designed to support pupils in reaching their full potential in a safe and nurturing setting.

More detail on our commitment to high quality educational provision for all our children is detailed in our Teaching and Learning Policy.

What are the school’s policies for the identification and assessment of pupils/students attending the school?

All pupils who attend the school will be under assessment or have an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

Further information on the admissions and assessment processes to our school can be found on our website within the Admissions guidelines policy. 

What is the provision for pupils/students at Birch Wood School and how is it evaluated?

All pupils attending Birch Wood School will have an EHC Plan. There may be agreement with the LA that a child or young person is placed pending the outcome of an assessment for an EHC Plan. Further information can be found within our Admissions guidelines policy found on the website.

Our provision is based on a strong vision that:

 An education at Birch Wood School ENABLES!

  • E– Empowering students for independent lives.
  • N– Nurture
  • A– Aspire and Achieve
  • B– Belonging
  • L– Love of learning grows
  • E– Engage and Interact
  • S– Safe and happy

We aim to:

  • Promote success by emphasising abilities, not disabilities.
  • Create a caring, stimulating, challenging environment, free from inhibiting pressures and restrictions, where pupils can grow in confidence and self-esteem.
  • Value the contribution of parents, governors, the community and other agencies by involving them whenever possible in the life and work of the school.
  • Provide joined up services under one roof.
  • Ensure that every pupil reaches their potential in all aspects of education.
  • Promote an atmosphere of openness, personal dignity and worth, tolerance and respect for others, regardless of disability, race, colour, creed, gender or age, promoting British values.
  • Encourage positive behaviour and attitudes.
  • Provide a broad, balanced, well-resourced curriculum.
  • Provide a wide range of relevant and motivating experiences.
  • Recognise achievements throughout the school, by the use of appropriate rewards.
  • Support the professional development of all staff.
  • Develop and work within clear policies and guidelines.
  • Encourage independence and involve pupils in making informed choices.
  • Equip pupils to use their leisure time effectively.
  • Integrate students with their peers and the local community including learning in a variety of situations and inclusion with mainstream schools.
  • To be committed to collaboration and partnership working to improve teaching and learning by working with colleagues in Leicestershire and beyond.

We have a strong commitment to:

  • Ensuring that e-safeguarding is paramount in keeping all members of the school community safe
  • Provide all staff with training and development opportunities to enable effective practice

Our key purpose is the construction, delivery and constant improvement of quality learning experiences appropriate to the needs of all our pupils/students.

Further details of all areas of our school curriculum and assessment processes can be seen on our website.

More information is available on work within our school through our ‘school offer’. We have liaised with our parents/carers on developing our school offer to ensure it includes useful information and answers their questions. We have also aimed to ensure the information is accessible to all with use of video, sound and symbols.

School staff details are on the website. The school contact details are also on the website.

Staffing levels are enhanced so that pupils are usually taught in classes of up to 12 with a teacher and at least one senior teaching assistant (at Grange Drive) and an appropriate number of additional learning support assistants to meet the needs of the class group. Within the Autism provision, there is a high staffing ratio to support the needs of the class group.

The school receives advice from a range of health professionals in order to meet the needs of the students as assessed by the appropriate professionals. We also work closely with our health and social care colleagues to implement the SEN Code of Practice. 

We have a school improvement plan and evaluate this throughout the year. There are link governors for all aspects of the plan and this supports the evaluation of our progress towards any aims. We also have a school validation each year to highlight progress and achievements.

What training do staff have in relation to the needs of pupils/students at Birch Wood School?

Birch Wood School is highly committed to the ongoing development of staff. The Senior Leadership Team (SLT) track all staff development ensuring it is up to date and statutory duties are met.

All staff have clear job descriptions which detail the required qualifications for each post in school. All staff have a core training programme related to their work – details of this are in our SEN Policy. Training is specifically related to the needs of children in our school and also as required by statutory guidance.

Other staff continue to gain a range of certificates to mark their commitment to courses such as Higher Level Teaching Assistant, Paediatric First Aid and Makaton.

We continue to commit to having qualified trainers in school for courses such as Makaton and Moving and Handling. We have a skilled team who work collaboratively to lead Behaviour and Safety. Safeguarding and PREVENT training are provided by our Head teacher, our Designated Safeguarding Lead, and our SLT, all of whom are Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads.

We always look for opportunities to bring highly regarded professionals in to the school and network with other special schools. Birch Wood School works closely with the 6 Leicestershire special schools. The Head Teacher meets half termly with the Leicestershire Special School Heads.

All of our teachers have undertaken specialist further professional development. This includes ASC specific training, Makaton, AAC device training, Training in Hearing and Visual Impairments, and training in First Aid.

Our Learning Support Assistant’s also have a range of expertise – including Physiotherapy, Sensory diet, Manual handling, Tube Feeding, Makaton, and ASC. This is not an exhaustive list and ongoing professional development is key to ensuring staff of all grades remain updated and skilled. Training is highly individualised and made specific to the child’s needs, particularly if a child has an additional need e.g. respiratory care or an alternative feeding method.

Two Assistant Head teachers are currently being supported with completing the National Professional Qualification for Headship. Four members of the Extended Leadership Team are currently being supported to complete the National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership. Two teachers are completing the National Professional Qualification for Leading Teacher Development. One Teacher is completing the National Professional Qualification for Leading Teaching. This will further develop inclusive teaching approaches and ensure provision is well coordinated for pupils with SEN and/or disabilities at Birch Wood School. It shows Birch Wood School’s passion to develop and empower staff.

What support is there for my child’s overall well-being?

We have a robust Safeguarding policy and protocol in place. Pupil’s health and well-being is paramount. Intimate care is conducted discreetly and with dignity; fostering independence whenever possible.

We work closely with medical practitioners if your child has a health need and will discuss with you a Health Care Plan and administration of prescribed medication. We also work closely with the Children’s Services Disabilities Team.

Within school we have staff trained in Emotional Literacy Support, Music Therapy and we have Health and Wellbeing Officers who will provide additional support and intervention. Birch Wood School is supported by an Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapist and an Occupational Therapist who liaise with the Senior Leadership Team and teachers to best support our young people.

We also work closely with Children & Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) if a child needs that level of support.

How will equipment and facilities be provided to support pupils/students at Birch Wood?

Grange Drive is a purpose built building and is fully accessible for wheelchair users being on one level. At Grange Drive, we have:

  • Immersion room
  • Therapy room
  • Hydrotherapy Pool
  • Dark Room

Birch Wood Vale School is a modern, well-resourced building on 2 floors with a wheelchair accessible lift. Birch Wood Vale School has also had outside development which includes an outdoor gym area, a sensory garden and a gardening area.

Ashton House is fully accessible and has enclosed play areas with gardening facilities. It has age appropriate play equipment and playgrounds. It has small class sizes with low arousal classrooms, including individual study booths.

Where appropriate, students can access the facilities from each site.

We have reviewed and enhanced curriculum resources in response to the new curriculum.

Our SEN policy details the wide range of provision for our children including the range of equipment and facilities for children with different needs. This policy can be found on our website and is reviewed annually.

All parents and families are welcome to visit the school prior to their child or young person attending the school by liaising with our Family School Link Worker.

What are the arrangements for consulting parents of children/young people at Birch Wood and involving them in the education of their child?

At Birch Wood School – parents are fully included in the process of working with their children/young adults.

This includes:

  • Initial visits to school
  • Introductory meetings
  • Daily home/school book for information exchanges and key messages
  • Parent/Carer and teacher meetings including update from professionals
  • Annual Review meeting and report
  • Coffee mornings
  • Parental Representation on Governing Body
  • Parent involvement in changes in school through informal and formal consultations

How is progress communicated at Birch Wood School?

There are parents evenings each term to hold a structured conversation to discuss targets for your child, progress within school and any general discussions that are needed between school and home. Progress is discussed at multiagency Annual Review meetings once a year. Home school communication takes place via email and progress is also shared via Kinteract. An Annual Review report will detail progress each year, as well as a progress report.

What are the arrangements for consulting young people at Birch Wood about, and involving them in, their education?

All children and young people in our school are treated with dignity and respect. There is full personalisation for the curriculum for each pupil/student in order that they can access and experience success through-out their school life.

The ‘Student Voice’ consists of 2 ‘Student improvements Teams’ (SITs), one at each site. Our Student Voice involves students to contribute and decide on aspects of school life relating to their needs.

The assessment and annual review process of EHC Plans includes the choices and views of pupils and families.

The curriculum is adapted so that is relevant and broad and helps children to become as functionally literate, numerate, communicative and as independent as possible in an environment that promotes positive learning experiences.

How will children be included in activities outside the school curriculum including class trips?

At Birch Wood every child will have the opportunity to access trips. Provision is again highly differentiated and if for example an activity is not deemed appropriate an alternative activity will be organised.

No child is ever excluded from activities at Birch Wood.

What are the arrangements made by the governing body for dealing with complaints from parents/carers of pupils/students in relation to the provision made at Birch Wood?

The process for all complaints is available on the school website via our Complaints Policy.

How does the governing body involve others – including health, social services, local authority services and voluntary organisations, in meeting the needs of pupils/students at Birch Wood and in supporting their families?

The governing body are aware of the wide range of staff working together within the school to support the children, young people and their families. Some staff are employed directly by the school, others have different lines of management as can be seen below. There is a consistent monitoring of practice to ensure that children and family’s needs are met through meetings and reports.

Classroom staff are employed directly by the school. This includes teachers, senior teaching assistants, learning support assistants and lunchtime supervisors. Administrative staff are also school employees. The school also employs its own Health and Wellbeing Officers and Family School Link Worker

Other professionals work for a range of agencies – some are based within the school, others have office bases elsewhere and work in school on particular days or as necessary.

Speech and Language Therapists, CAMHS LD team and Physiotherapists are employees of Leicestershire Community Health Trust. All these professionals work within school training staff, advising staff, working with children and young people who are on their case load.

Transport to school is organised by the Local Authority not the school. Transport staff are employed by the transport companies.

All contact numbers for support services, described above, are within the parent handbook. If families have a query relating to these areas it is best to contact the professionals directly. This ensures that any message/queries/concerns from families are dealt with in the most efficient way.

What are the schools arrangements for supporting pupils/students in transferring between phases of education or in preparing for adulthood?

All transitions are well planned for throughout school as children and students move from class to class and phase to phase. Parents/carers always have the opportunity to meet the new teacher and class staff.

Students are increasingly supported in planning for their transition from school to adult life. Staff from Prospects and the Transition Team work with pupils in school to get to know them and to advise both pupils/students and parents/ carers on what is available after leaving Birch Wood.

We continue to have strong links with local provisions including the Brooksby Melton College. Opportunities to visit the college campus are available for parents and students from Key Stage 4 onwards at Birch Wood.

Where is the information on the local offer published?

There is further detail on our website on our own school offer and this links to the Local Offer for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and their families on the local authority website:

www.leicestershire.gov.uk/education-and-children/special-educational-needs-and-disability