Park House School (Academy)

Last updated: 04/06/2020

Park House is an average-sized secondary school with 1015 students on roll.The majority of students are of White British heritage.  A much smaller than average – but increasing - proportion of students are from minority ethnic backgrounds (11.2%).  Compared to the national average, a small but also increasing minority of students speak English as an additional language (5.9%). The proportion of students with SEN support has risen to 6.8% but is still below the national average.  The proportion of students known to be eligible for free school meals is below average (17.4%), as is the deprivation indicator. 

An ambitious, values-focused vision for excellence in all aspects of the school’s activities is shared by school leaders and the Governing Body. This has resulted in significant long-term improvements in outcomes and provision and in 2016 the school was identified by the Minister of State as being placed in the top 100 non-selective state schools in the country for sustained improvement in good GCSE outcomes including English and Maths.    

The use of the Olympic and Paralympic Values to promote achievement, good behaviour and social, moral, spiritual and cultural awareness - noted as a distinctive feature and strength of the school - has been further developed through a structured Character Education programme based upon them. This has resulted in the school becoming the first in the country to be awarded the ‘Inspired by 2012’ brand by the Cabinet Office, establishing  a national profile for the promotion of SMSC.  We nurture young people who are morally secure, responsible, hungry for knowledge, caring and articulate.  As a result, their employability skills are outstanding, with 0% NEET.  Parents greatly value the rounded education provided for their sons and daughters. In addition the school has received the following external accreditation and acknowledgment for high quality performance and provision over the last three years:

•One of six schools in the country to have been awarded inaugural TeenTech Gold Status for creative and community-focused use of technology

•Headteacher’s shortlisting for TES Headteacher of the Year Award

•A Letter of Congratulation from the Minister of State on sustained improvement at GCSE which places the school in the top 100 non-selective state schools

•Selection by DfE to lead Leadership Diversity and Equality Partnership Programmes (2015-16 and 201-17)

•Selection as the national secondary school pilot for the Active Movement programme

•Selection as a Case Study in Demos’ Character Nation Report for the Jubilee Centre for Character Education

•Winner of the National Education Excellence Best Independent-State School Partnership Award

•A letter of congratulation from the Minister of State on Disadvantaged Pupil Results

•Youth Sport Trust Gold Partner School Award status

•Appointed Centre of Excellence for Learning in Computer Science for the South of England

The school also currently plays a leading role in wider system improvement as:

•Partnership hub for primary schools in support of effective use and impact of the sport premium

•Lead school for DFE Leadership Diversity and Equality Partnership Programmes in 2015-16 and 2016-17

Who to contact

01635 573911
Park House School (Academy)

Where to go

Andover Road
RG14 6NQ

Time / Date Details

Time of day

Local Offer

Local Offer Age Bands
12 to 14
15 to 16
16 to 18


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

The school puts in place the following definition:-

A child or young person has SEN if they have:

-a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them.

-a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age

-a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions

The school will assess each student’s current skills and levels of attainment on entry, building on information from previous settings and key stages. In year 7 students are screened on entry using CATs scores and a reading assessment. The school sets up transition visits for Year 6 students and is in contact with partner primary schools. All students in the school undertake six assessments per year, three of which used to track, monitor and evaluate progress.  If students make less than expected progress given their age and individual circumstances such as: 

·         Progress which is significantly slower than that of their peers starting from the same baseline

·         Achievement fails to match or better a child’s previous rate of progress

·         Achievement fails to close the attainment gap between the child and their peers


The school’s first response to such progress will be first quality teaching targeted at their areas of weakness.

This can include progress in areas other than attainment - for instance a student needing to make additional progress with wider development of social needs in order to make a successful transition to adult life. Persistent disruptive or withdrawn behaviours do not necessarily mean that a student has SEN. Where persistent disruptive behaviour is evidenced, an assessment will be undertaken to identify the causal factors such as undiagnosed learning difficulties, difficulties with communication or mental health issues.

Our overall approach to the identification of SEN is built into the regular monitoring of student progress which includes liaison with parents and the student concerned with their views being taken into account. If SEN is identified the results of any assessments would be shared and next steps such as a support and achievement plan would be put into place as appropriate.

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

If a parent or primary carer feels that a child has SEN then a discussion with the class teacher should be the first step. The class teacher will monitor progress and refer the concern to the Head of Department using the appropriate proforma copied to the Head of Learning and SENCo. The SENCo will work in conjunction with the class teacher to assess and plan as appropriate to the need identified. This may include working with external agencies.

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?

The class teacher and SENCo will oversee the support and achievement plan (SAP). This plan will be reviewed regularly and according to need with the student and parent or primary carer with both the class teacher and SENCo.

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

If there are changes to be made following a tracking point  to interventions or provision then the parent or primary carer will be consulted. The support and achievement plan will be reviewed regularly at a review meeting to enable parents and student to be part of the process.

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

Teaching assistants and class room teachers will be briefed on strategies to promote independent learning in their classroom practice. The agreed adjustments, interventions and support, as well as the expected impact on progress, personal development and / or behaviour, should be discussed at SAP review meetings.

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

The class teacher is responsible for differentiation within the classroom, however he/she may seek advice on specific aspects from SENCO, Deputy SENCo. Lessons will be planned to address potential areas of difficulty and to remove barriers to student achievement. There are six assessment points with three tracking points in each academic year to monitor and evaluate progress over the year. This triggers interventions and the ‘assess, plan, do, review’ cycle. Parents would be informed at the time of the review cycle. Homework is posted on the school website and differentiated.

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?

Staff and TAs are trained according to need and will gain support from visiting professionals as appropriate.

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

There are specific TAs who are specialised in a particular area of need who will also generally support students with complex needs. In addition there are departmentally-based TAs and additional Maths and English intervention staff. There are two full-time staff supporting students with emotional and social needs. The school provides a counsellor on site. Two full-time student managers support vulnerable students and their families.

2.7: What specific intervention programmes does the school offer to children with SEND and are these delivered on a one to one basis or in small groups?
Type / TitleIntervention Type
Social skills group Small group
Catch up reading Small group
Literacy support Small group
ELSA Small group
SNAP Maths Small group
Counsellor One to one
Restorative interventions Small group
ASD/ OT/ Speech and language interventions where identified by services One to one
Better reading/ Better writing Small group
2.8: What resources and equipment does the school provide for children with SEND?

Staffing and specialist equipment are provided according to individual student need. Reports from professionals are used to identify students who require specialist equipment to access the curriculum.

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

Examination access arrangements are provided for those students identified as being eligible in external and internal examinations in all year groups. Parents will be informed of the arrangements. This may encompass the use of a scribe, a prompter, small rooms and extra time.

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

There will be six assessment points with three tracking points in each academic year to monitor and evaluate progress over the year. This will trigger interventions and the ‘assess, plan, do, review’ cycle. The class teacher and Head of Learning and SENCo will oversee the support and achievement plan (SAP). This plan will be reviewed regularly and according to need with the student and parent or primary carer with both the class teacher and SENCo. Parents would be informed at the time of the review cycle. Each child receives a termly update. This may be by means of levels or grades or a full report once each year. Each child is tracked and monitored individually in each subject area so that more than expected progress, expected progress and less than expected progress. Where interventions have been delivered, there will be feedback to the parent and child about the impact and outcomes.

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

At review meetings there will be a discussion with the parent, class teacher or Head of Learning or SENCo and the child to set and agree new targets

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?

There is an open door policy and parents are invited to contact the school at any point in time if they are concerned about their son or daughter’s progress or well-being. If it is a subject specific concern the class room teacher should be consulted, and if the concern is of a more general  nature contact the Head of Learning or the SENCo.

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

The school uses a wide range of methods of communication on a regular basis. This will include regular reporting, newsletters, text messages and access to the VLE. The student planner is also a means of home-school communication.

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

Parents have access to curriculum information on the VLE and details about homework. Subject teachers will provide further details in specific subject areas if requested. Park House is proud of the relationships with families ensuring that potentials are reached. This includes termly meetings such as the SAP review.

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?

The school provides parental sessions for keeping safe on line. There are annual parents’ evenings for each year group. There are parental evenings for important transition year groups (eg., GCSE choices and sixth form choices), and advice can be sought from subject teachers, SENCo, Deputy SENCo and tutor on these occasions. In addition, after tracking points, the class teacher/ Head of Learning and SENCo will meet both the parent or primary carer and student. Where there is underachievement in one specific subject the class teacher and SENCo will deliver the meeting, and when more than one subject is involved the Head of Learning ad SENCo will deliver the meeting.

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

Approaches are student-centred. The child’s views will be sought at all stages of the review process.

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

Students are entitled to access the full curriculum offer which is fully accredited. This will include appropriate access to the Foundation Learning Pathway which encompasses a range of vocational options which are accredited by BTEC.

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?

The outcomes of students with SEN students will be analysed and compared to students who do not have SEN. A regular SEN review is held in school where the views of the pupils are sought. The school consults parents regularly about their views and opinions about the overall effectiveness of the school. Parents are able to share their views at review meetings. SEND is a standing item on the Governors’ Student Progress and Achievement Committee (SPAC).

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?

In school there are professionally trained ELSA staff that deliver small group ELSA programmes.

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?

A Student Manager deals specifically with social difficulties and use restorative practice to ensure better relationships between students. Practice is inclusive. All staff are made aware of the needs of students with specific difficulties. There is a safe base for students to use at break and lunchtime. There is also a quiet area in the student support centre. The views of students are taken on board to minimise difficulties. The support and achievement plan supports inclusive practice.

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

The school has a full-time school nurse and medical support is provided according to individual need.

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

All medicines should be retained in the medical centre and administered by the school nurse who will liaise with parents as and when necessary. The school nurse will inform all staff of individual student’s need. This is done in line with DFE guidelines.

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

The school nurse will co-ordinate extra care needs for students with SEN in conjunction with the community school nurse. This may include for example the assistance with equipment for hearing impaired students or support in managing diabetes.

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?

The following services are approached as appropriate:

Educational Psychology, ASD advisory teachers, Behaviour support team, Reintegration service, Sensory Consortium service, Specialist Inclusion Support Service, CAL team (Cognition and learning), CAMHs and CYPIT (speech and language therapy and occupational therapy) for a Statemented student or student with an education, health and care plan. In the first instance, parents will be consulted and if there is agreement that an external agency is to be consulted, then the student will be fully involved in the process.

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

The parent should contact the school such as the SENCo or the tutor. If the student continues to make less than expected progress, the school will consider involving appropriate specialists who may be able to identify effective strategies, equipment, programmes or other interventions despite evidence based support and interventions matched to the student’s needs. The decision to involve specialists will be taken with the student’s parents.

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

Each school has a named speech and language therapist, who will be able to provide a flexible, integrated and holistic service to the school.  The therapist will take in to account the learning environments of the children and provide targeted advice and strategies to teaching staff to support the development of speech, language and communication within the school.

The speech and language therapist will work alongside school staff to use a range of approaches within the school, which may involve discussion with school and family, assessment, training and demonstration, advice, direct therapy and/or joint target setting.

All of these changes support the SEND Reforms in that they enable the wider workforce to support children with special educational needs at every level; resulting in an equitable, accessible and empowering service which allows every child to achieve their full potential.

Changes to the Speech and Language Therapy Service across Berkshire will be introduced from 1 September. Changes to Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Dietetics will follow sometime after this.

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 your child has a statement of SEN or an EHC plan then the therapist can be contacted. All staff at Park House school received training in September 2014 about how best to meet the needs of students with Speech and language difficulties. Where there is a difficulty, all staff are alerted to the needs of a student and how best to meet the needs of the student. The SENCo and school nurse can be consulted for advice.

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

The school fully engages with a range of social care professionals to support young people and their families to achieve the best possible educational and other outcomes.

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

There is a combination of whole school SEN training to support teachers to help students according to their broad areas of need, and individual professional development to address individual staff need (as referenced in the Professional Development Travel Zones programme). This also includes attendance on West Berkshire courses and conferences. External agencies are invited to provide training on specific areas of need for example ASD.

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

In order to ensure the best possible match between students’ needs and the provision of support staff and following a recent review targeted training will be given in the broad areas of need. TAs have completed specific training on interventions such as SNAP training.

6.3: Do teachers have any specific qualifications in SEND?

The SENCo has completed the mandatory National SENCo Award. The deputy SENCo has a Diploma in Specific Learning Difficulties.

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

A number of teaching assistants are in possession of NVQs to support their role. There is a specific TA in possession of a certificate in specific learning difficulties.

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?

All children with SEN will be entitled to participate in school activities. Where deemed appropriate a teaching assistant used to working with the child would accompany the visit. Where concerns are raised, an individual risk assessment will be carried out and will be reviewed at an Equalities panel and parents will be invited to this meeting. This panel will decide whether reasonable adjustments can be made to enable the student to participate in the activity. The parents or primary carer would be informed of the outcome.

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

Parents will be invited to a pre-visit meeting if the visit is residential, so that individual needs can be discussed. The visit leader can be contacted in advance of the visit. For day visits, letters are issued giving relevant information and offsite forms. An offsite form will need to be completed as part of the trip to highlight specific needs of a child.

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

The majority of the school is single story and is accessible. The school site meets all requirements for the Equality Act (2010). Those classes that cannot be reached by a wheelchair can be moved to a more suitable environment as this involves a minimum number of classrooms. Please see the accessibility plan.

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

Auditory loop is available in the main school hall. The Council’s access officer and the Sensory Consortium Service’s advice is sought where appropriate.

8.3: Are there accessible changing and toilet facilities?


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

The majority of the school’s facilities are provided in single storey blocks.

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

The class teacher would be the point of contact for communication, and in these circumstances specialist advice would be sought with the support of SENCo and Deputy SENCo.

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

A meeting will be convened with interpreting services to ensure effective communication. The EAL co-ordinator will be the first point of contact.for students.  The co-ordinator will work closely with the ethnic minority team to advise on provision

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?

Extra transition visits for SEND students in Year 6 will be offered before the Year 7 day in the Summer term. This will give the students the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the school site, meet key staff and ensure the school has a good awareness of the child’s needs. The Head of learning for the new Year 7 group and SENCo will collect information about the students in visits to all the primary schools in the Summer term before arrival.

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 of the transition points for students in receipt of Education, Health and Care plans or Statements there will be a meeting arranged in Year 8, 9 and 11 to discuss future plans. All students are entitled to careers advice, together with information through parent information evenings.

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

Information will be forwarded to the school and transition visits to the new school will be carried out. Where appropriate the teaching assistant that normally supports the child will accompany the student during the transition visit.

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

The school SENCo will be contacted so that he/she knows about any special arrangements or support that need to be made for a child. All records and professional reports will be transferred to the new setting.

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

There will be an initial telephone call to make a first point of contact.  This will be followed up with forwarding appropriate documentation, and a meeting with the new school.

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

Students will be supported in their applications to further education, training and employment or independent living. Careers advice is an entitlement and transition visits will be supported by the school

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?

If the query is related to a specific area of the curriculum, then the subject teacher should be contacted. If the concern is more general, then the Head of Learning or SENCo should be contacted.

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

The Pastoral Team works closely with parents to develop a strong working relationship to support families.

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

The Parent Partnership Service is available ( as well as the Help for Families service.

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

The school encourages parents to complete Parent View, parent surveys and are made aware of the Complaints Procedure.

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