Specialist Provision

What is Special Education Provision?

Special Educational Provision, for a child or young person aged three or over means educational or training provision that is additional to, or different from, that made generally for others of the same age in schools, Further Education Colleges or other educational settings.

Special Educational Provision  for a child aged under three means educational provision of any kind.

Special Educational Provision takes many forms. For most children with learning difficulties and Special Educational needs this will be in their mainstream class or group. It can include group work or individual support that takes place inside or outside the mainstream classroom. It could also be attendance in a specialist provision, or a specialist school.

A parent may ask the following question:

“I’m really worried and the school/ nursery is concerned about my child’s progress. What can I do?”

All children are different. The first thing to do is arrange a meeting with the class teacher/ setting leader to discuss concerns and work out the best ways to support your child.

If your child doesn’t make progress despite well-targeted teaching, you or the teacher should speak to the person in your child’s school or nursery responsible for Special Educational Needs (i.e. the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator or SENCo) and together you may decide your child needs additional support.

What will happen next?

The SENCo will work with your child’s teacher or key worker to assess whether your child has the support they need. They will also do this by talking to you and your child, and looking at your child or young person’s work, progress and behaviour.

The school or nursery or college must tell you if they think your child has Special Educational Needs and about what action they plan on taking.

There are different stages for helping children with Special Educational Needs depending on each child’s needs. For most children their needs can be met within their local school and setting. If your child is doing well, they may not need to go to the next stage. If their needs are severe or complex, they may need the advice and support of outside agencies.

What if my child's school or setting is unable to help?

Your child’s nursery or school may decide that they cannot meet all your child’s needs. They can then ask for advice from the Locality SEND Team which is made up of specialists within the Local Authority. They will look at the problems facing your child and discuss how to help them.

The school or nursery must ask for your consent before they do this.  

The school must:

  • work closely with you and your child to identify your child’s needs and support,
  • take into account you and your child’s concerns, views, agreed outcomes and next steps,
  • include you in any decision to involve specialists,
  • share details of the support plan with you and agree a review date,
  • ask you and your child for your views when reviewing your child’s plan.
What Are My Rights and Responsibilities?

Parent/Carers:

  • can talk to nursery/school/college staff with any concerns,
  • should be consulted about decisions that affect your child,
  • have a vital role in supporting your child or young person’s education,
  • should have your views taken into account,
  • should be informed by school when they first start giving extra or different help for your child,
  • know that the wishes of your child should be listened to,
  • have a copy of your child’s Learning Plan/SEN Support Provision Plan /Education, Health and Care plan.

Don’t forget, this website contains lots of pages of helpful information and relevant links to help keep you aware of what is available and the processes involved; if you want to talk to someone who knows about Special Educational Needs, you can get help and advice from the Local Authority Parent Services.

What information should be available to parents from their child’s school or setting?

Information about Early Year’s setting can be found here.

For school aged pupils your school should provide you with the following:

A Prospectus

The prospectus normally contains useful information about the school (e.g. which subjects are studied, the length of the school day, details of the school uniform, out of school activities, health matters, etc).

Policies

Schools must have written policy statements on matters relating to the effective running of the school, including support for learners with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities.  This should be available on the school website or you can ask the school for a copy. 

School SEND Information Report

Schools and Academies must publish information on their website that gives information about how they implement the school’s policy for SEND.  This is sometimes called the school’s Local Offer or School Offer for SEND. You can ask for a copy if you do not have access to the website.  

Newsletters

Most schools send regular newsletters to parents giving information about school life (e.g. events and activities, school in-service training day closures (INSET), staff changes, etc).

Pupil reports

Schools have to send a written report at least once a year to parents of children of compulsory school age. The report should explain progress, the pupil’s strengths and weaknesses. The school report should not be used to raise serious issues with parents for the first time about their child’s progress.

Your child’s school records

As a parent, you have a right to access your child’s educational record. This covers information such as the records of the pupil’s academic achievements as well as correspondence from teachers, Local Authority employees and educational psychologists engaged by the school’s governing body. It may also include information from the child and from you, as a parent. (If you require such information about your child, you should make the request in writing to the headteacher).

Other records that may be included:

Pupils who have Special Educational Needs and require additional support from the school should have an Individual Plan.

This should describe:

  • what the child’s additional needs are,
  • how the school aims to meet those needs and the type of help that is to be provided,
  • targets for the child to work toward,
  • how the school will measure success and how often the plan will be reviewed.

It is essential that you and your child are consulted about the plan and for the plan to contain information about what parents can do at home to reinforce what is happening at school.

Schools should invite parents to attend or contribute to the review of the plan.

Parents’ evenings/consultations provide an opportunity to look at your child’s work and to discuss progress with the teacher(s). However, you may be limited to a 5 or 10-minute session with the teacher and if you have a lot to discuss you might find it helpful to write to the teacher before the meeting to let them know the issues you want to raise, or ask for an alternative appointment to allow more time for discussion.

Specialist Provision

The Special Educational Needs and Disability of children will normally be met in mainstream schools or settings. For some children and young people, it may be necessary to provide more support than can be provided by a mainstream school.

To support those with complex needs there are a number of Resource Bases attached to the foundation phase, junior, primary and secondary mainstream schools. In addition, there are Special Schools providing for those who need intensive specialist support.

Schools with Resource Bases for SEN

Resource Bases

All about Resource Bases

  • a resource base is a classroom based within a mainstream school providing education for pupils with complex needs,
  • resource bases have been set up to provide pupils with a broad and balanced curriculum that is highly differentiated in order to support them in achieving their full potential,
  • resource bases are attached to mainstream schools giving pupils the opportunity to be part of mainstream activities and lessons and to socialise with their peers whilst their individual needs are supported and met.

Who can access a Resource Base?

  • a Resource Base is suitable for pupils with complex learning needs,
  • when considering whether a young person is suitable for a placement, professionals will consider a range of criteria including medical diagnosis in some cases.

How can the Service be accessed?

  • the Local Authority is the Admissions Authority for all Resource Bases within schools,
  • admission criteria for the Resource Bases is set out in the Admissions Criteria Booklet,
  • a decision-making group within the Local Authority will discuss each pupil being considered for admission and recommend the appropriateness of the placement,
  • usually pupils will be admitted at the beginning of an academic year, but in exceptional circumstances, an extraordinary admissions panel will be convened to determine the appropriateness of the provision,
  • the referrals process starts in the Autumn term for the following September intake and places confirmed in March prior to entry.
Resource Bases - Who to contact

If you feel that your child has additional needs and would need a Resource Base placement, you can discuss this with the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) at your child’s school or setting. They will be able to give more information regarding suitability and application.

School

Phase

Need

Allens Croft Nursery

Nursery

Cognition and Learning

Allens Croft Primary

KS2

Cognition and Learning

Anglesey

Primary

Speech, Language and Communication Needs

Bartley Green

Secondary

Cognition and Learning

Billesley

Primary

Autism

Boldmere Infant School

Infant

Autism

Bordesley Green

Secondary

Hearing Impairment

Bournville

Secondary

Hearing Impairment

Cherry Orchard

Primary

Autism

Christ the King

Primary

Visual Impairment

Garretts Green Nursery

Nursery

Autism

Greenwood Academy

Secondary

Autism

Hamstead Hall

Secondary

Cognition and Learning

Hawthorn

Primary

Hearing Impairment

Hollywood

Primary

Autism

Lyndon Green Infants

Infant

Cognition and Learning

Lyndon Green Juniors

Junior

Cognition and Learning

Meadows Primary (The)

Primary

Speech, Language and Communication Needs

Ninestiles, an Academy

Secondary

Cognition and Learning

Paget

Primary

Autism

Percy Shurmer

Primary

Hearing Impairment

Plantsbrook

Secondary

Visual Impairment

Rookery

Primary

Autism

Small Heath

Secondary

Hearing Impairment

Stockland Green

Secondary

Autism

Topcliffe

Primary

Autism/Speech, Language and Communication Needs

Waverley

All-through

Cognition and Learning

Welsh House Farm

Primary

Cognition and Learning

Woodhouse

Primary

Autism

World’s End Infant

Infant

Visual Impairment

World’s End Junior

Junior

Visual Impairment

Wyndcliffe

Primary

Autism

Special Schools

All About Special Schools

  • a Special School is a school which caters for children and young people with severe, profound and complex Special Educational Needs; different schools specialise in different types of SEND (e.g. Autism, Severe Learning Difficulties, Social, Emotional and Mental Health Needs),
  • Special Schools provide a broad and balanced curriculum which follows the National Curriculum which is appropriately modified and differentiated for the needs of the individual child,
  • the whole spectrum of children’s needs is supported through the involvement of many Education, Health and Care professionals.

Where are the Special Schools?

  • There are currently 11 Primary, 9 Secondary and 8 All-through Special Schools across Birmingham. 

Who can access a Special School?

  • a Special School is suitable for pupils with complex Special Educational Needs,
  • when considering whether a young person is suitable for a placement, professionals will consider a range of criteria. Part of the criteria will be the student’s cognitive ability and their scores on standardised testing, as well as individual pupil profiles of needs.

How can the Service be accessed?

  • the Local Authority is the Admissions Authority for all Special Schools,
  • admission criteria for Special Schools is set out in the admissions criteria booklet,
  • a decision-making group within the Local Authority will discuss each pupil being considered for admission and recommend the appropriateness of the placement,
  • usually pupils will be admitted at the beginning of an academic year, but in exceptional circumstances, an extraordinary admissions panel will be convened to determine the appropriateness of the provision,
  • the referrals process starts in the Autumn term for the following September intake and places confirmed in March prior to entry.  
Special Schools - Who to contact

If you feel that your child has additional needs and would need a Special School placement, you can discuss this with the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) at your child’s school or setting. They will be able to give more information regarding suitability and application.

List of Special Schools

School Phase Need  
Baskerville School Secondary Autism  
Beaufort School Primary Severe Learning Difficulties, Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties, Autism  
Braidwood School Secondary Hearing Impairment  
Brays School Sheldon Primary Physical Difficulties, Severe Learning Difficulties, Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties, Visual Impairment, Hearing Impairment  
Brays School Tile Cross Primary Autism  
Bridge School (The) Primary Autism, Severe Learning Difficulties, Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties,  
Calthorpe Teaching Academy All through Severe Learning Difficulties  
Cherry Oak School Primary Autism, Severe Learning Difficulties, Speech Language and Communication Needs  
Dame Ellen Pinsent School Primary Cognition and Learning; Speech, Language and Communication Needs  
Fox Hollies School Secondary Severe Learning Difficulties  
Hallmoor School All through Moderate Learning Difficulties  
Hamilton School Primary Autism, Speech, Language and Communication Needs  
Hunters Hill College Secondary Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties  
James Brindley School – Dovedale Secondary Autism  
Langley School Primary Moderate Learning Difficulties  
Lindsworth School Secondary Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties  
Longwill School Primary Hearing Impairment  
Mayfield School All through Autism, Moderate Learning Difficulties, Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties, Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties, Severe Learning Difficulties  
Oscott Manor School Secondary Autism, Speech, Language and Communication Needs  
Pines School (The) All through Autism, Speech, Language and Communication Needs  
Priestley Smith School All through Visual Impairment  
Queensbury School Secondary Moderate Learning Difficulties, Autism, Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties  
Selly Oak Trust School Secondary Moderate Learning Difficulties  
Skilts School Primary Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties  
Springfield House School Primary Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties  
Uffculme School All through Autism  
Victoria School All through Physical Difficulties  
Wilson Stuart School All through Physical Difficulties  
Independent Special Schools and Colleges

Although the majority of children and young people with SEND will be able to have their needs met in either their local mainstream school or college, resource base or special school,a few may need something different.  There are a range of independent schools and colleges for children with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND).

Find out more about the Independent Special Schools and Colleges here.