St Alban's Catholic High School

Learning Support

Departmental Aims

Our aim at St. Alban's is to ensure that the support provision for students with special educational needs gives them effective access to the school curriculum. This support varies on an individual basis but aims to ensure this inclusion, on a needs-led basis.  Inclusion may develop from part-time to full-time attendance on transition from primary school.  Transition plans are carefully negotiated between schools, parents/carers, students and other professionals. While some students require this more ‘in-depth’ approach,  all  SEN students have a plan based on an assessment of needs, either on arrival, or if some requirement is identified at a later date.

The SEN department provides student information and advice to teachers and other staff.  As well as details of the Year 7 intake in September, the SEN List is up-dated to provide current information concerning years 8 –13.

The deployment of Teaching Assistants is carefully structured to maximise student support and ensure consistency and expertise wherever possible. The team also has to be very flexible to ensure cover for special contingencies.

- Teachers are responsible for planning appropriate differentiation and the effective deployment of Teaching Assistants within their lessons.
- There is a close liaison between SEN and the Pastoral Managers.
- The TA team meet weekly to discuss student progress and issues are recorded in year books to monitor issues and actions instigated.

The aim of all the SEN staff, working in close liaison with teachers, is to provide opportunities for students to have access to a full school curriculum through appropriate support and guidance, to enhance experience and ensure inclusion in  activities for all vulnerable students.
The department also aims to maximise SEN Funding by conducting an efficient annual SEN Audit.


 The School Information for SEND

This document can be accessed here

Questions about this can be directed to Mrs Boosey (Learning Support Manager) at the school.
A copy of the latest SEND newsletter can be accessed here


 KS3 & KS4

There is an emphasis on support in KS3 where students are encouraged to become independent learners instead of becoming dependent on full-time Teaching Assistant support. This varies, however, and there are students who require closer support because of communication or medical issues. students should expect help when they need it but be prepared to work alone on tasks when they are working within their abilities. They should expect to be reasonably challenged but a Teaching Assistant will not do the work for them.

The Teaching Assistant is responsible for supporting learning. The teacher is responsible for discipline within the class with the Teaching Assistant in support.

It is expected that the need for support will diminish as the student moves through KS4 though this may not be true in all cases.

To prevent students being treated less favourably than other students, the learning support may be provided through:

  • TA support in class
  • Group or individual work with an SEN teacher, an HLTA or an experienced TA
  • Supervision for unstructured time
  • Specific software progs for Literacy/Numeracy
  • Social Skills lessons
  • Social Stories
  •  Visual timetables & Equipment Lists
  •  Circle of Friends meetings,
  • Key TAs for specific students
  • Positive Behaviour Targets with rewards
  • Individual Education Plans
  • Regular review meetings for specific students with ongoing transition issues
  • The identification of specific needs, liaison with outside agencies and professionals: SEN Planning Meeting once a term.
  • Referral, liaison and Transition meetings with the Connexions Advisors
  • Access arrangements for exams including monitoring and assessment, and the collation of evidence and application for the arrangements.
  • Alphasmart or laptop use
  • Support preparation for those requiring a scribe for exams
  • Liaison with Pastoral Managers and meetings with parents/carers
  • Annual Statement Review meetings for students with statements. Referrals for Statements or for Inclusive Resource involvement as required
  • Risk assessments for students with challenging behaviours/ special extra needs
  • Personal Care Team & Personal Carer
  • Work experience liaison and risk assessments
  • Activity Days & other events as required.  Involvement in school trips as negotiated with, and funded by departments. 
  • Liaison with staff and parents
  • Access to facilities has been made possible to the through the school's buildings such as ramps, lift maintenance and Technology room adjustments.



SEN Funding does not apply to 6th Form  students.  Statemented  students are supported according to their specific needs as identified in the Statement.  Funding for this has to be applied for on a termly basis from the Local authority.  An annual Statement Review Meeting is required.

SEN and Connexions liaise with students and parents/carers concerning Transition to HE.

Laptops are available for students with medical needs.

Exam access arrangements are organised according to specific identified criteria.

Personal Care is available as required.

If available, Teaching Assistants may accompany trips when this is the appropriate support. This can also apply to work experience if appropriate.


2014 Changes

Click here to see the letter from Edward Timpson, Minister for Children and Familes.