Little Heath (VA) School

Last updated: 23/08/2022

Little Heath School is a large 11 -18 years secondary school located in Tilehurst on the edge of the West Berkshire countryside.

We are a truly comprehensive school with an inclusive approach to education.

In February 2018 Ofsted found that 'strong leadership by the head of inclusion, including good liaison with feeder primary schools and parents and carers, ensures very effective provision for pupils who have SEN and/or disabilities. As a result, pupils who have SEN and/or disabilities make strong progress in school.

We treat every student as an individual and want to ensure that any gaps in education, due to a special educational need or disability, are addressed so that students can attempt to achieve in line with their peers.

Who to contact

Contact Name
Debbie Barnes
Contact Position
Inclusion Support Officer
0118 942 7337
Little Heath (VA) School

Where to go

Little Heath School
Little Heath Road
RG31 5TY

Time / Date Details

When is it on
Little Heath School is open from 8.15am - 4.15pm Monday to Friday
Time of day

Other Details



Inclusion Information

Dietary Needs

Has Provision
Our catering services are provided by Caterlink and their tri weekly menu offers vegetarian, gluten free and dairy free options

Local Offer


Little Heath School is a large 11 -18 years secondary school located in Tilehurst on the edge of the West Berkshire countryside.

We are a truly comprehensive school with an inclusive approach to education.

In February 2018 Ofsted found that 'strong leadership by the head of inclusion, including good liaison with feeder primary schools and parents and carers, ensures very effective provision for pupils who have SEN and/or disabilities. As a result, pupils who have SEN and/or disabilities make strong progress in school.

We treat every student as an individual and want to ensure that any gaps in education, due to a special educational need or disability, are closed so that students can attempt to achieve in line with their peers.

Contact Name
Trudi Cameron
Contact Telephone
0118 9427337
Contact Email
SEN Provision Type
Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties, Medical, Specific Literacy Difficulties, Speech & Language Difficulties, Behavioural, Emotional & Social Difficulties, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Physical Disability, Hearing Impairment, Moderate Learning Difficulties, Severe Learning Difficulties, Visual Impairment
Local Offer Age Bands
12 to 14
15 to 16
16 to 18
Needs Level


1. Identification of SEND
1.1: How does the school identify children/young people with special educational needs and disabilities?

The school works very closely with its partner primary schools in order to support and guide students who have Special Educational Needs and Disabilities before they join the school. This support continues during transitition and throughout their time at Little Heath.

Continual monitoring of all students allows us to identify any pupil who may need extra support once they have started with us.

At Little Heath School we identify needs in line with the 2014 SEND Code of Practice. These are Cognition Learning, Communicaiton and Interaction, Social (behavioural), Emotional and Mental Health difficulties and Sensory and Physical needs.

1.2: What should I do if I think my child has SEND?

Contact the school. Our Inclusion team, including the SENCo, are always happy to talk to any parent, whatever their concern. The Inclusion Support Officer, Mrs Barnes, can be contacted directly on 0118 9439592.


2. Support for children with special educational needs
2.1: If my child is identified as having SEND, who will oversee and plan their education programme?

Our SENCo and the Inclusion team work together to oversee all of the procedures that are partnered with Special Educational Needs. The Inclusion team will ensure that support is provided, progress is monitored and communication is on going.

A small number of student's will have an Education Health Care Plan which is overseen by the Local Authority and monitored within school. Little Heath School works with both the West Berkshire and Reading Borough local authorities.

2.2: How will I be informed / consulted about the ways in which my child is being supported?

Parents are crucial in the monitoring of their child at school. Parents will be involved from the very beginning of any SEND process and we will continue to communicate with them regarding their child throughout their time with us. Regular review meetings take place in order to facilitate this. Some pupils require a Support And Achievement Plan and parents views can be included in this document. 

2.3: How will the school balance my child's need for support with developing their independence?

Every child is unique, thus every SEND plan is different. Support is tailored to a child's needs and we carefully balance the needs of each child at every stage with the need to build up resilience and independent learning. Our Inclusion team is crucial in this process.

2.4: How will the school match / differentiate the curriculum for my child's needs?

Each child's curriculum is considered as part of their SEND need. A number of options are available including additional one to one support, smaller group work and tailored curriculum packages. We especially consider access to the curriulum at Year 6 - Year 7 and when option choices are made in Year 8. Our 'ready to learn' language allows all students to engage in their curriculum development whatever their abilities and needs.


2.5: What teaching strategies does the school use for children with learning difficulties, including autistic spectrum disorder, hearing impairment, visual impairment, speech and language difficulties?

At the start of each academic year the SEND register is sent to all staff. This document is updated regularly throughout the year. Each student who has any form of SEND can be included in the register. This allows members of staff to understand need and plan lessons effectively. The Teaching Assistant team support pupils both inside and outside of lesson time.

Teaching staff use various assessment tools including self, peer and formative assessment. We set aspirational targets to move learning on and encourage students to self review their work.

Strategies will include classroom learning, short term intervention packages and longer term planning - which in turn can include support from outside agencies and the local authority.

2.6: What additional staffing does the school provide from its own budget for children with SEND?

In terms of staffing, alongside the Inclusion team, as a school we have a team of Teaching Assistants whose skills range from supporting a child in lessons, to delivering one to one support, to modernising exam scripts for visual impairment to being involved with Local Authority review meetings. We also have a team of Technical Support Assistants who support departments like Art, Drama, Music, PE and Technology so as to ensure pupils with SEND have be spoke support in practical based subjects.


2.8: What resources and equipment does the school provide for children with SEND?

Our Inclusion department provides a large amount of support for our SEND students. This support ranges from specialised work packages for literacy and numeracy to emotional literacy support. We have a qualified ELSA. Alongside this are specialist staff to help during curriculum time as well as support before, during and after the school day. Physical resources include enlarged scripts, learning support materials and visual prompts are available.

2.9: What special arrangements can be made for my child when taking examinations?

Students can be nominated for Access Arrangements. The results of diagnostic testing, undertaken in house by our dedicated Access Arrangements assessor, is then processed in order to ascertain if support for examinations can be obtained - these can include a reader, scribe or rest breaks. This is a very formal process and evidence has to be provided to the JCQ in order for Access Arrangements to be granted to any pupil.

3. My child's progress
3.1: How will the school monitor my child's progress and how will I be involved in this?

As a school we continually monitor progress and report home throughout the year. Parents can track their child's progress through these reports. We hold annual Parents' Evenings and additional meetings for those student's with SEND as needed, parents are also invited to contribute to Individual Learning Plans.

3.2: When my child's progress is being reviewed, how will new targets be set and how will I be involved?

Targets grades are set based on previous learning. Pupils will be made aware of how they need to move their learning on in the classroom environment and discussions at home in regards to this are always useful.

3.3: ln addition to the school's normal reporting arrangements, what opportunities will there be for me to discuss my child's progress with school staff?

Parents can always contact their child's form tutor or Head of Year as well as the Inclusion team at school at any point if they would like an update or are worried about progress.

3.4: What arrangements does the school have for regular home to school contact?

We report home with progress reports during the academic year. The school will also contact home if needed and parents are encouraged to contact the school at anytime. We also share information about the school on our Facebook page. 

3.5: How can I help support my child's learning?

Parental involvement is crucial for every student and listening to your child read, helping with homework and advising on option choices or future plans are just some small ways that can make a real difference.

3.6: Does the school offer any help for parents / carers to enable them to support their child's learning, eg. training or learning events?

As a school we are always available to chat through any concern a parent or carer may have. We have a dedicated team of professionals in school who can support any pupil. Our Inclusion team can offer advice on what we, as a school, can do to help or signpost outside agencies that may be able to offer further help or intervention. We may point you in the direction of out of school services if necessary.

3.7: How will my child's views be sought about the help they are getting and the progress they are making?

Any child with an EHCP, and their family, is involved in decisions that are made about education during the Annual Review process, we adopt a child centred approach to pre and post paper work for Annual Reviews.

Alongside this, a number of pupils have Individual Learning Plans and these are also pupil centred and the pupil very often sets their own targets for progress and/or achievement.


We also involve pupils in their own progress, either during class based learning or via reflections on their progress reports. 

3.8: What accredited and non accredited courses do you offer for young people with SEND?

We work with our feeder primary schools to make decisions on what pupil's need on transition - whether this be closing gaps in learning, one to one support, or be spoke curriculum packages. These are all in house provisions.

Our Key Stage Four Curriculum Pathways provision currently offers a be spoke pathway as well as support for literacy and numeracy work.

3.9: How does the school assess the overall effectiveness of its SEN provision and how can parents / carers and young people take part in this evaluation?

As a school we are always seeking to improve our provision. We evaluate our SEND provision as part of our whole school review and evaluation process. Teachers are best placed to support us in this as they track all students progress over time.

4. Support for my childs overall well being
4.1: What support is available to promote the emotional and social development of children with SEND?

We support the social and emotional development of children with SEND as part of their individualised provision. We encourage all those involved with a student to let us know if any specialised support is needed. We want all student's to engage in their learning but if any pupil needs extra support in their emotional and social development whilst in our care we can involve specialist staff to help them.

4.2: What support does the school put in place for children who find it difficult to conform to normal behavioural expectations and how do you support children to avoid exclusion?

Difficulties with behaviour and engagement are identified as part of any SEND provision. We work with the student and their family to try and ensure that exclusion is the last resort. We work closely with local authority support groups as well as provide additonal in school provision.


4.3: What medical support is available in the school for children with SEND?

Any medical issue will be discussed at transition to ensure that support is put in place. We also have facilitates for our students which they are able to access if medical help is needed. We have a number of first aid trained staff and work with the school nurse service.


4.4: How does the school manage the administration of medicines?

If medicines need to be held by the school, our reception team will help to facilitate this.

4.5: How does the school provide help with personal care where this is needed, eg. help with toileting, eating etc?

Personal care will be discussed as part of any individual student plan.

5. Specialist services available / accessed by the school
5.1: What SEN support services does the school use, eg. specialist support teachers, educational psychologists, teachers for hearing impairment and visual impairment, ASD advisory teachers, behaviour support teachers etc?

Little Heath School uses a combination of outside agencies including EMTAS, the Educational Psychology Service, the Educational Welfare Service, ASD advisory teachers, the Sensory Consortium Service and the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHs).

5.2: What should I do if I think my child needs support from one of these services?

In the first instance parents and carers should contact their child's tutor, Head of Year or the SENCo/Inclusion team so that any support service can be discussed.

5.3: How are speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy services provided?

If parents, carers or the school feel a student requires therapy a referal can be made by the school or more commonly through the family GP.

5.4: What should I do if I think my child needs to be seen by a speech and language therapist, occupational therapist or physiotherapist?

If a parent or carer has any concern then they should discuss this with the SENCo. The school can support referrals made through the family GP.

5.5: What arrangements does the school have for liaison with Children's Social Care services?

The school works very closely with Children's Social Care services when necessary. Parental permission will be sought unless there is a concern around safeguarding.

6. Training of school staff in SEND
6.1: What SEND training is provided for teachers in your school?

As a school we deliver, implement and review our continual development programme for our staff body. As well as in school training we have access to training programmes provided by the Local Authority and West Berkshire network meetings. Wherever there is a training need we will ensure that staff are informed and guided.

6.2: What SEND training is provided for teaching assistants and other staff in your school?

Teachers and Teaching Assistants are trained throughout the year through whole school INSET programme. We also invite various organisations into the school for specific training needs- this has included the Autistic Spectrum Advisory service and the Children Looked After team.

6.3: Do teachers have any specific qualifications in SEND?

Our SENCo, Trudi Cameron, has a Postgraduate Certificate in Special Educational Needs and Disability (National Award for SEN Coordination).

6.4: Do teaching assistants have any specific qualifications in SEND?

Our team of Teaching Assistants includes those with specialisms in literacy, ASD, ELSA and in various subject areas.

7. Activities outside the classroom including school trips
7.1: How do you ensure children with SEND can be included in out of school activities and trips?

At Little Heath School all school activities and trips are available to all students. If an adjustment needs to be made to ensure that a student with SEND can access a trip then we will endeavour to do so.

7.2: How do you involve parents / carers in planning the support required for their child to access activities and trips?

Parents and carers can be involved in the planning stages as well as risk assessments, if needed, and can attend a parent information evening.

8. Accessibility of the school environment
8.1: How accessible is the building for children with mobility difficulties / wheelchair users?

The school is accessible for pupil's with mobility difficulties and wheelchair users.

Our new teaching block has now been completed and we have modern, specialist teaching rooms, a tiered seating main hall and access to all floors via a lift.

Although we are committed to ensuring that all pupils have access to all provision if you have a question in regard to this particular element of your child's need please do contact us.

8.2: Have adaptations / improvements been made to the auditory and visual environment?

The school site is highlighted in key areas like steps and railings are provided where needed. When required, school staff can wear devices to aid hearing impairment.

8.3: Are there accessible changing and toilet facilities?

Toilet facilities are available and accessible.

8.4: How do you ensure that all the school's facilities can be accessed by children with SEND?

Any student with SEND will have their needs considered as part of their Individual Learning Plan or EHCP. Alongside this the school will liaise with any necessary Local Authority agencies to ensure the site is accessible for all.

8.5: How does the school communicate with parents / carers who have a disability?

Parents and carers are encouraged to let the school know of any communication difficulties they may have. Each family is treated on an individual basis and strategies like sign language support at crucial meetings, bringing family or friends to meetings and events and asking for verbal or written alternatives to school email communication can be arranged.

8.6: How does the school communicate with parents / carers whose first language is not English?

If a parent or carer has difficulties in communication with English the school would encourage them to bring a friend or family member to help facilitate any meeting. If this is not possible, the school can attempt to access support as needed. 

9. Preparing my child to join a new school / next stage of education
9.1: What preparation will there be for both the school and my child before he or she joins the school?

As part of the transistion process any student with SEND will have their move to Little Heath School carefully planned and monitored. This may include extra visits and extra student and/or parent liaison meetings.

9.2: How will my child be prepared to move on to the next stage within school, e.g. class or key stage?

At each progression point we ensure that school staff are aware of any need a student has, so that support strategies are in place.

9.3: How will my child be prepared to move on to his or her next school?

If a student chooses to continue at Little Heath School their Individual Learning Plan goes with them. If a student chooses to attend another placement then we will do all we can to ensure the next academic placement is aware of any SEND and strategies used to support them. This can include a gradual integration to another placement.

If a student has an EHCP this will allow them to access to, amongst other things, Further Education.

9.4: How will you support a new school to prepare for my child?

The school will involve any new establishment with Annual Reviews where appropriate and can support with transition to a new provision. 

9.5: What information will be provided to my child's new school?

The SENCo is happy to make contact with a new school in advance of any pupil transition. The SENCo will then ensure that the student file is passed on.

9.6: How will the school prepare my child for the transition to further education or employment?

Our Sixth Form team will work closely to prepare any student with SEND for their next step in their educational career.

Any student with an EHCP will have Further Education provision considered in their plan.

10. Who can I contact to discuss my child?
10.1: Who would be my first point of contact if I want to discuss something about my child or if I am worried?

Any matter relating directly to SEND should be directed to the SENCo, Trudi Cameron or Debbie Barnes, Inclusion Support Officer.

10.2: Does the school offer any specific support for parents / carers and families (such as Family Support Workers?)

Little Heath School can offer support through our Inclusion team.

10.3: What arrangements does the school have for signposting parents / carers to external agencies which can offer support, such as voluntary agencies?

The SENCo and the Inclusion team can direct parents and carers to appropriate outside agencies

10.4: What arrangements does the school have for feedback from parents, including compliments and complaints?

At Little Heath School we encourage parents to let us know when we are doing things well and to seek any improvements of our provision when necessary. We are always willing to listen to any concern and want to work with our families to ensure the very best outcome for our students.

We are happy to respond to telephone calls, make appointments for parents to come in and see us and run Inclusion Open Afternoons during the school year (please see our website for details).

If a complaint needs to be made we would ask you to contact the Inclusion team in the first instance. If this is not an option then the school has a complaints procedure to follow.

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