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 Bristol Free School

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Special Educational Needs & Disabilities

Students with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) enjoy the full curriculum, which is appropriately differentiated at subject level, as required for each student.  The school’s overall approach is to ensure that every student is competent and confident in the core skills of literacy, numeracy, critical thinking and ICT.   Our aim is therefore that every student should be accredited in core subjects by age 16 or earlier.  

The responsibility for the achievement and performance of all students, particularly students with SEND, lies with the class teacher.  However, the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (Matthew Vincent) plays a crucial role in providing effective leadership in this highly important area.

In particular, the school supports students with SEND in the following ways:

  • Every member of staff is trained in SEND issues and will know how to draw on specialist support
  • Every student is entitled to equal access to the curriculum – we see this as a crucial aspect of the inclusive ethos of the school.  Where reduction of the curriculum options is necessary for a few students according to their identified needs, this will be in consultation with parents and relevant professionals supporting the student.
  • The school prioritises early identification of need and allocation of resources for students, drawing fully upon the experience, skills and knowledge of students’ primary school teachers.
  • The school ensures that inclusive practice is of the highest calibre right across the school, and embedded in all school policy.   The school seeks to remove barriers to learning at all times.
  • The school’s SEND policy will be developed with reference to all relevant legislation, codes of practice and subsequent guidance.
  • In-depth, regular evaluation of progress for each student with SEND occurs and is supported where necessary by small group of individual work with expert practitioners.
  • Annual reviews of progress for all students with SEND is fully integrated into whole-school reviews and target-setting. 
  • High quality decision-making about relevant ongoing support for each student with SEND is backed by research monitoring the progress of small groups of students representing a wide range of needs.