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Support for Learning

La Sainte Union is a voluntary aided comprehensive school for girls aged 11-18 and boys in the Sixth Form.

Our Catholic identity is at the core of all we do, and we strive to provide a caring and secure environment in which each pupil can achieve and realise her or his own potential.

We have an SEN system in place which facilitates the transfer of those pupils and young people with statements of special educational needs to Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans.

The purpose of an EHC plan is to make provision to meet the special educational needs of the pupil or young person and to secure the best possible outcomes for them across education, health and social care and, as they get older, to prepare them for adulthood. During transition periods local authorities will transfer pupils and young people with statements onto the EHC plan system. The transition periods are from Year 6 to Year 7, Year 9 to 10 and Year 11 to 12 and from Year 13. At each stage parents, carers and pupils and young people are kept fully informed and appropriate meetings and arrangements are made to ensure a smooth transition between the key stages and on to higher education and employment.

For those pupils and young people who do not have a statement of SEN or and Education Health Care Plan, the SEN Code of Practice 2014 identifies four types of need as follows:

  1. Communication and Interaction - this may be because a child or young person has difficulty saying what they want, in understanding what is being said to them or they do not understand how to use social rules of communication. They may have difficulty with one, some or all of the different aspects of speech, language or social communication. Pupils and young people with Autism (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) including Asperger’s Syndrome are likely to have particular difficulties with social interaction. They may also experience difficulties with language, communication and imagination, which can impact on how they relate to others.
  2. Cognition and learning - support for learning difficulties may be required when pupils and young people learn at a slower pace than their peers, even with appropriate differentiation. Learning difficulties cover a wide range of needs, including Specific Learning Difficulties (SPLD); moderate learning difficulties (MLD) and Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD).
  3. Social, Emotional and Mental Health may include becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well as displaying challenging behaviour. These behaviours may reflect underlying mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression, self-harming, substance misuse, eating disorders or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained. Other children and young people may have disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  4. Sensory and/or physical needs – Some pupils and young people require special educational provision because they have a disability that hinders them from making use of the educational facilities generally provided. These difficulties can be age related and may fluctuate over time. Many children and young people with visual impairment (VI), hearing impairment (HI) or a multi-sensory impairment (MSI) will require specialist support and/or equipment to access their learning. La Sainte Union School has an updated Medical Conditions policy and where a pupil or young person has a medical condition and special educational needs, the educational provision is coordinated.

At La Sainte Union School we support and value the abilities of all our pupils and young people. It is our duty to provide equal opportunities for every person in our care and a safe and fully equipped learning environment that caters to the needs of every pupil and young person as an individual. We are committed to inclusion within the school curriculum and participation in all aspects of school life.

La Sainte Union School adopts a whole school approach to special educational needs. All staff work hard to ensure the inclusion of all pupils and young people with special educational needs so they can fulfil their potential and achieve optimal educational outcomes in the taught curriculum and by participating in extracurricular activities and school trips.

Aims of the Department:

We aim to provide every child with access to a broad and balanced education. 

Our aims are:

  • To ensure that all pupils and young people with SEN have their needs identified in order to support academic progression and continued good physical and mental health and wellbeing
  • To ensure that every child is protected from harm and neglect and that every effort is made to enable them to learn and grow independently
  • To ensure all pupils and young people can access a balanced curriculum, differentiated where appropriate
  • To ensure that all pupils and young people with SEN are able to fully access the curriculum by providing extra support or additional resources where appropriate and by removing barriers to learning.


As a school, we identify the needs of pupils with SEN as early as possible. We do this by gathering information from parents and carers, education, and health and care services prior to the child’s entry into the school.

We monitor the progress of all pupils and young people to aid the identification of pupils with SEN. Continuous monitoring of those pupils and young people with SEN by teachers helps to ensure that they are able to reach their full potential.

We make appropriate provision to overcome all barriers to learning and ensure pupils and young people with SEN have full access to the National Curriculum.

We work with parents and carers to gain a better understanding of their child, and involve them in all stages of their child’s education. This includes supporting them in terms of understanding SEN procedures and practices, providing regular reports on their child’s progress, and providing information on the provision for pupils and young people within the school as a whole, and the effectiveness of the SEN policy and the school’s SEN work. We work with and in support of outside agencies when the needs of pupils and young people cannot be met by the school alone. We create a school environment where pupils and young people feel safe to voice their opinions of their own needs.

La Sainte Union School has a designated SEN Governor who plays a full and active role in the work of the SEN team. There are currently five Learning Support Assistants, all of whom are graduates. The LSA’s who are linked to a designated department in school are line-managed by the SENDCo. The SENDCo works full time with one other full time teacher of SEN in addition to two part time SEN teachers. Colleagues in the SEN department provide in class support and are trained to safeguard the needs of pupils and young people with SEN whilst promoting their independence and resilience.

The school’s special educational needs information report is on the school website. The purpose of this is to inform parents and carers about how we welcome pupils and young people with special educational needs and disabilities to our school.

The SEN Information Report (formerly Local Offer) also sets out how we work closely with parents and carers in planning, supporting and reviewing their child’s progress and how we strive to remove barriers to achievement. For more information please refer to the school’s SEN information report on the school website.

For the school's SEN policy, please see School policies and statements.