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Special Education Needs and Disabilities

For more information on the Cumbria SEND Local Offer, please click here.

Admission of SEND Students

Pupils with an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP), who choose to attend St Bernard’s Catholic High School on leaving primary school, will automatically be allocated with a place. In order to ensure that the pupil’s needs are met, on their transition from primary school, representation from St Bernard’s Catholic High School will be made at their Year 6 transitional EHCP review. The person(s) making representation from St Bernard’s will be one of the following:

  • Mrs Kaylea Pharoah – SENCo.

  • Mrs Sharon Wood – Assistant SENCo.

We will ensure that we liaise and establish effective communication between ourselves and the following people:

  • Pupil’s parents / carer.

  • Primary school staff, including SENCo and class teacher.

  • Specialist Advisory Teacher (SAT)

  • Relevant medical professionals including Specialist Nurses, Physiotherapist, OT and Educational Psychologist.

Enhanced Transition

All students who are allocated a place at St Bernard’s Catholic High School are invited to attend 3 induction days during the Summer Term to support their transition from primary to secondary school. In order to provide extra support for SEND students, with their admission and transition to St Bernard’s, an enhanced programme of induction is offered. This involves a series of additional visits, in the Summer Term, to help familiarise pupils with the school site, routines and staff. If you would like more information on our transition programme please contact Mrs Pharoah either via the school office, or by email:

In Year Transfers

If a SEND student is admitted through the school year then a meeting with parents/ carers will be arranged with one or more of the following people:

  • Mrs Kaylea Pharoah – SENCo.

  • Mrs Sharon Wood – Assistant SENCo.

Copies of all relevant documentation will be attained from previous schools, LA and professional bodies to ensure that the pupil’s needs are met on their admission to St Bernard’s.


As a Catholic School, we actively promote the values of respect and equality within all aspects of school life. Every member of our school community works together to ensure that St Bernard’s is a “place of learning, love and compassion”. The well-being of all of our students is our primary concern and it is essential that all of our students feel safe and secure to allow them to develop emotionally and academically. We have a strong team of nurturing and caring staff who work closely together to ensure all of our students receive the support that they need. This includes our House team where students have access their Pastoral Leader, Assistant Pastoral Leader and a Counsellor. As a school, we will collaborate with external agencies to ensure that students receive additional support and guidance as necessary.

In order to ensure that students with SEND are able to access all areas of the curriculum, class teachers ensure that their lessons are well planned and differentiated to meet the specific needs of all students. The SENCo and Assistant SENCo’s work closely with teachers to provide support and guidance in order to help inform the effective planning of lessons. SEND students are also provided with additional support, where necessary, by our team of Teaching Assistants. To further support teachers and teaching assistants in meeting the needs of all students, relevant CPD is made available, delivered by both internal and external experts.

Small group interventions are also led by our Assistant SENCO’s (HLTA) and our Literacy Director to help students develop their basic literacy and numeracy skills to access the wider curriculum. This is reviewed and monitored each term to see the impact these initiatives are having.

Specialist equipment (such as furniture and technology) is also utilised to ensure that students with SEND can fully participate in the school’s curriculum. The purchase and utilisation of specialist equipment is done with direct consultation of relevant professionals, including Specialist Advisory Teacher (SAT) and Occupational Therapist (OT).

Students requiring medication during the school day will need to contact Mrs Val Ritchie (Pastoral Support Manager/ DSL) in order to complete an administering medication form. This administering of medication is supervised mainly within the Pastoral Department. Relevant training and the planning of procedures, for dealing with the specific medical conditions of our students, is completed in consultation with the relevant medical professions. It is vital that students are supported in this way to ensure that their medical condition is not hindering their level of participation in wider school life. The Managing Medical Conditions and Safeguarding Policies provide more specific details.

In order to ensure that students with SEND are able to participate fully, in extracurricular clubs and trips, the SENCo and Assistant SENCo’s will work closely with staff, parents/carers and outside agencies to facilitate this. If adjustments are required to the trip or activity on safety concerns, then we will ensure that the desired learning objective is achieved. Risk assessments will be produced as necessary, along with additional TA support, to ensure that all students are fully included in all aspects of school life.


Ground floor rooms are available within all buildings on site. Lifts and stair lifts provide access to the first floor in both Neath and Riveaulx buildings. As identified within our Accessibility Plan, all major construction work within school takes into account any barriers to access and actively seeks to remove them in line with the Equality Act 2010. Disabled toilets are available in Kells, Furness and Riveaulx along with specialised shower facilities also available in Furness block.



It is essential that the views and opinions of all students are taken into account. We regularly seek student feedback on various aspects of school life and activities within school to allow for continued whole school development. Our pastoral system also provides students with a clear support structure including their Form Tutor, Pastoral Support Officer and Head of House. SEND students requiring pastoral support will have an individualised plan, devised in consultation with SEN Department, Pastoral Department and SAT, to ensure that their individual needs are met

Students with an EHCP complete a student passport so that they can share their views on how they like to learn and how they like to be supported. They also provide their views on how school is going before the annual EHCP review, this is done in a written format, however, students are also invited to attend the review and give their own opinions. The student’s views are integral to reviewing and modifying support to best meet their needs.

Parent/ Carer

Good communication between home and school is an essential way of ensuring that students are happy within school and are able to realise their full potential. Therefore, we encourage parents/ carers to contact us immediately if there are any concerns and as a school we will do the same. By communicating issues and concerns as they arise we can ensure that they are resolved as quickly as possible.

All students receive 3 progress reports, informing parents of academic performance and effort levels. One of these will be in the form of a written report and one will be supported with a parent/ teacher meeting. In Year 11 there will be an additional progress report due to mock exams. At all parent/ teacher meetings representatives will be available from Learning Support.

Parents/ carers of students with an EHCP will also be invited to an annual review. This will be an opportunity to feedback on the support their child is receiving in school. The views of the family and student are important in the process of reviewing and modifying the support students receive in school.

Additional advice for parents and carers of SEND students can also be accessed through the Cumbria Information, Advice and Support Service. The following link will take you to their website:


All students follow a structured careers programme aimed at raising aspirations and helping students to make informed decisions about their future. Students with an EHCP will receive additional support from Ian Killip (INSPIRA Careers Advisor) into reviewing the options open to them on leaving school. This support includes college and potential workplace visits.

This report should be read in conjunction with SEND Policy and Complaints Procedure.

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