Google Translate
Google Search

Contact information


SEND Local Offer

SEN Information 

Barrs Court School is a secondary phase Special Academy in Hereford and makes provision for pupils aged 11-19 years with a diverse range of special educational needs and disabilities. The school currently has 111 students on roll. The catchment for the school extends across the county of Herefordshire.


What kinds of Special Educational Needs does the school make provision for?

The range of learning disability the school makes specialist provision for includes provision for pupils who have identified needs that are complex and significant in the area of cognition and learning (severe learning difficulties or profound and multiple learning difficulties) as described in the SEN Code of Practice. The pupil may also have associated and additional complex needs in the areas of emotional/social and communication and interaction (autistic spectrum disorder and/or speech and language difficulties). In addition pupils may have sensory or physical difficulties. Many have additional complex needs. All of our pupils have a joint health, care and education plan or an educational statement of SEN. The school is currently commissioned by the Local Authority to provide 110 full time places. We currently have 111 pupils on roll.

Admissions to the school are within the Admission policy which is located on the website.


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 a statement of special educational needs or an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

We continue to work along the national guidelines of transferring all our pupils' statements of special educational needs to Education, Health and Care Plans. All our leavers (Yr.14s), to educational placements, in Summer 2015 left with an Education, Health and Care Plan. Families experience of the process working with the Local Authority personnel was positive.

This year 2015/16 we will be following the local Herefordshire LA transfer schedule plus some other identified and agreed year groups. All families of children that involved in this process will receive information on the process and be supported by school throughout.


What is the provision for pupils/students at Barrs Court School and how is it evaluated?

All pupils/students attending Barrs Court will have a Statement of SEN or an EHC Plan. Associated policies are accessible on our website.

Our SEND offer is encapsulated in the school mission statement and Strategic Direction Objectives:


 School Mission Statement    
To facilitate a welcoming, caring environment in which the educational and therapeutic needs of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) can be addressed effectively. The whole curriculum at Barrs Court School will be broader than the National Curriculum and access to the curriculum driven by individual pupil needs. Barrs Court School will treat each of its pupils with proper respect and ensure that their rights, needs, aspirations and personal preferences remain central to the schools organisation and they are empowered to benefit from a meaningful, contributing and rewarding adulthood. Barrs Court School will work in partnership with other key players in the field of SEN and endeavour to keep abreast of national initiatives to ensure that the schools specialist facilities, staff expertise and other SEN related provisions are of the highest quality possible so all pupils may benefit from equality of opportunity, regardless of the degree of their personal disability. Barrs Court School will strive towards recognition as a national centre of excellence and enable its pupils to benefit from a learning environment that is safe, relevant, inclusive and purposefully creative and enjoyable. 


Strategic Direction Objectives

  • To advance the education and therapeutic care of learning disabled pupils and promote the social inclusion of these pupils and their families by ensuring:
  • The Academy will promote innovative, targeted and creative solutions to overcome barriers to learning and so help achieve positive outcomes on behalf of its pupils.
  • Pupils are safe, healthy and benefitting from provision that facilitates optimal levels of personal achievement and well being;
  • Pupils are included, influencing, enjoying and engaged in the learning process;
  • Pupils are attaining at optimal levels when considered against peers of a similar ability and disability;
  • All members of the board of trustees, governing body and workforce are competent, empowered and effective in carrying out their respective roles, responsibilities and duties;
  • Partnerships and extended school provisions are helping facilitate the social inclusion of learning disabled children and their families.


To achieve our vision we aim to;

We continue to highlight different parts of our provision through our 'school offer'. It will develop each year and there will be more information available on work within our school. 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 where you will be able to access senior management or your class teacher.


Staffing levels are enhanced so that pupils are usually taught in classes of up to 10 with a teacher and at least one level 3 teaching assistant and an appropriate number of additional teaching assistants to meet 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 are working closely with our health and social care colleagues to implement the new SEN Code of Practice.


We have a school improvement plan and evaluated 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 evaluation each year to highlight progress and achievements.


What type of provision does the school make?

Type of Need

Examples of Support Available



Cognition and Learning

  • Classes of between 9 and 11 pupils with a high staff/pupil ration. Teaching assistants are provided for each class to further support the children’s learning and access to the curriculum, however our focus is on independent learning.
  • Staffing ratio is complemented by specialist training instructors and Higher Level Teaching Assistants who lead focus groups in partnership with outside agencies such as the Speech and Language Therapist, Physiotherapist etc. Additional instructors specialise in developing students’ skills through Work Experience and the Arts.
  • We adapt resources and the environment as required.
  • The personalising of specialist provision via the system known as Strategic Interventions and Response to Barriers (SIRBs)
  • Differentiated teaching according to the individual pupil’s level of ability.
  • We have established ability group teaching through streaming in Key Stage 4 and 5 for English and Maths.
  • Modified National Curriculum. Additional, specialist curricula dedicated to helping children overcome barriers to their learning and/or well being.
  • On-going assessments.


Communication and Interaction

  • We provide language enrichment groups for identified children.
  • We use a number of strategies to provide a total communication environment including Signalong,
  • We have the support of a qualified Speech Therapist who sets targets as a result of observations and reviews progress.
  • Focus communication groups by specialist ‘TIDS’

Social, Emotional and Mental Health

  • Pupil Profiles for all pupils.  Individual ‘Barriers to Learning’ are identified that relate to behaviour and are recorded in the profile. The personalising of specialist provision via the system known as Strategic Interventions and Response to Barriers (SIRBs)
  • Age appropriate rewards and sanctions systems. 
  • Staff skilled in supporting behaviour through regular training (MAPA)
  • Individual Behaviour Plans for any children requiring them.
  • Reviewed regularly to identify Plans’ to identify and meet individual needs



Sensory or Physical Needs

  • Excellent staff role models, positive modelling of appropriate behaviours
  • Focus on developing confidence and self esteem
  • Personal Social &Health curriculum is a core curriculum subject
  • Trained support assistants delivering medical support for children in class.
  • Medical appointments and Annual medical reviews carried out by visiting medical staff.

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


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 as a teaching assistant, senior teaching assistant or teacher - 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. Again this year we have newly qualified teachers starting with us in September 2015 and they have a weekly training programme to support their work in schools.

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 Signalong. We continue to commit to have qualified trainers in school for courses such as MAPA, Signalong and Moving and Handling. We also now have a Family  who delivers Safeguarding training.


How will equipment and facilities be provided to support pupils/students at Barrs Court School?


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.


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


At Barrs Court 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
  • Newsletters Curriculum General
  • Parent Mail
  • Parent/Carer and teacher meetings including update from professionals
  • Annual Review meeting and reports
  • Parent workshops and training
  • Coffee mornings
  • Parental Representation on Governing Body
  • Parent involvement in changes in school through informal and formal consultations


What are the arrangements for consulting young people at Barrs Court 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 School Council involves students to contribute and decide on aspects of school life relating to their needs.


The assessment and annual review process of statements of SEN and EHC Plans includes the choices and views of pupils/student.


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 Barrs Court?


The complaints procedure is also available on the website.


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 Barrs Court 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. The governing body consists of some professionals with backgrounds in health and public services and there is a consistent monitoring of practice to ensure that children and families needs are met through meetings and reports.


Classroom staff are employed directly by the school. This includes teachers, teaching assistants and lunchtime supervisors. Admin staff are also school employees.


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.


School Nurses, Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists, CAMHS LD team and Physiotherapists are employees of Wye Valley 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.


There are social workers for children/young people with disabilities who are Local Authority Employees and are based within the Children Specialist Services.


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 through-out 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.


Where is the information on the Herefordshire’s 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 offer pages on Herefordshire’s website -


 If you have any queries or requests for policies or information relating to this report please contact the Headteacher – Lisa Appleton on 01432 265035

3 2 0 5 9 Visitors