Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)

School Information Report


Welcome to our SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) information report which forms part of the Islington local offer for special education needs or disability.  Highbury Fields School has high expectations for all pupils and is committed to meeting the needs of pupils including those with SEND.  Our expectation is that students will make better than expected progress and will make successful transitions into adulthood; whether it be university, employment or training.

What do we mean by ‘special educational needs’?

At different times in a student’s development, a child or young person may have a special education need.  This might include literacy, numeracy difficulties or a physical disability as well as hearing impairment (HI) and visual impairment (VI).

The government’s 2015 Code of Practice defines Special Education Need (SEN) as:

“A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning or disability which calls for special education provision to be made for them.”

A child or young person of compulsory school age has a learning difficulty if they:

  1. Have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age; or
  2. Have 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 a mainstream school or post-16 mainstream institution.

We will work hard to ensure that any girl with special educational needs gets the targeted support she needs and makes excellent progress.  We monitor this progress very closely.

We aim to meet the needs of pupils whose needs fall into the following broad areas:

  1. Communication and interaction;
  2. Cognition and learning;
  3. Social, mental and emotional health;
  4. Sensory and/or physical needs;
  5. Medical needs.

What is disability?

The Equality Act 2010 gives the following definition of disability:

“A person has a disability for the purposes of this act if they have a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and adverse long-term effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.”

This definition of disability includes children and young people with long-term illnesses.  These children or young people do not necessarily have SEN but there can be a significant overlap between the two.  The school works hard to make sure that any student who has a medical difficulty will be fully supported.  We work closely with parents and health professionals to meet medical needs in school.

The school will make a reasonable adjustment for students who need special arrangements.  For example, we make sure that a student with a hearing impairment has the use of radio aids in the classroom.

The Inclusion Faculty comprises of ten well qualified staff who work in partnership with the teaching staff, the pastoral team and the wider community.  We aim to provide the highest level of targeted inclusive practice to enable all pupils to achieve and progress.  We value high quality teaching (Quality First Teaching) for all learners and offer regular professional development training for all staff.  We provide a wide range of interventions and extra-curricular activities to cater for the various learning needs of all our pupils.

Where can I find out more about the local offer and special education needs and what is available through Islington Council?


Who are the best people to talk to in this school about my child’s difficulties with learning/Special Educational Needs and Disability?

Head of Inclusion
Ms Sara Heaver

Deputy of Inclusion
Ms Sarah Mockler

Phone: 020 7288 1888


Responsible for co-ordinating the support and interventions for students with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND).

Frequently asked questions

What are the different types of support available for students with SEND at Highbury Fields School?

We aim to provide all students with attention to their individual needs, as a part of excellent classroom practice.  For your child, this means:

  • That the teacher has the highest possible expectations for your child and all pupils in their class.
  • That all teaching is based on building on what your child already knows, can do and can understand.
  • Different ways of teaching are in place so that your child is fully involved learning in class.  This may involve things like using more practical learning.
  • Specific strategies (which may be suggested by the SENCO or other professionals) are in place to support your child to learn.
  • Your child’s teacher will have carefully checked on your child’s progress and will have decided that your child has a gap in their understanding/learning and needs some extra support to help them make the best possible progress.

Clubs and Interventions

  • Broad in-class support from our subject specialist teaching assistants.
  • Small group literacy and numeracy intervention sessions for specifically targeted students.
  • Catch-up literacy classes to target the reading and spelling proficiency of targeted pupils.
  • Daily after-school homework clubs.
  • Quiet space at lunchtime and break time supervised by staff.
  • Specialist intervention from outside services including our link Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language Team, CAHMS Therapist and Outreach services providing support for hearing and visual impairments, Autism, Dyslexia and learning difficulties.
  • Examination access arrangements (including additional time, readers and scribes for eligible students).

How can I let the school know I am concerned about my child’s progress in school?

  • If you have concerns about your child’s progress you should speak to your child’s class teacher or Head of Year initially.
  • The Head of Inclusion is available to discuss interventions and specific learning difficulties or disabilities.

How will the Inclusion Team let me now if they have any concerns about my child’s learning in school?

If you child is identified as not making predicted progress, the school will:

  • Plan any additional support your child may require.
  • Discuss with you any referrals to outside professionals to support your child’s learning.
  • Listen to any concerns you may have too.

How is extra support allocated to children and how do they move between the different levels?

  • The school budget, received from Islington Local Authority, includes funds for supporting children with SEND.  A small number of children will have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), which may have funding attached.
  • Interviews, assessment data and information obtained from primary schools and transition initially inform our Inclusion Team of needs and requirements.
  • Ongoing assessment point data, progress and information sharing between departments within school, outside services, parents and our pupils inform the allocation of ongoing support.
  • All resources/training and support are reviewed regularly and changes made as needed.

Who are the other people providing services to children with a SEND in this school?

Directly funded by the school:

  • Head of Inclusion, Ms Sara Heaver
  • Learning Mentor Team
  • Autism Outreach Service
  • Additional Education Psychology Service
  • Outreach Sensory Service for children with visual or hearing needs
  • Speech and Language team (NHS)
  • School Nurse
  • Additional Child Adolescent Mental Health Service Therapy

How are the teachers in school helped to work with children with a SEND and what training do they have?

  • The Inclusion Team support the class teacher in planning for children with SEND.
  • We provide specific training for teachers for example, numeracy and literacy groups.
  • Individual teachers and support staff attend training courses run by outside agencies that are relevant to the needs of specific children in their classes.
  • Newly qualified teachers.

How will the teaching be adapted for my child with SEND?

  • Class teachers plan lessons according to the specific needs of all groups of children in their class, and will ensure that your child’s needs are met.
  • Specific resources and strategies will be used to support your child individually and in groups for example numeracy and literacy groups.
  • Planning and teaching will be adapted regularly if needed to meet your child’s learning needs.

How will we measure the progress of your child in school?

  • Your child’s progress is monitored by her class teacher.
  • Your child’s progress is reviewed every term by all departments and the Inclusion Team.
  • The Head of Inclusion will measure impact of all interventions undertaken by your child.
  • The progress of children with a statement of educational needs or a EHC Plan is formally reviewed at an Annual Review will all adults involved with the child’s education.

What support do we have for you as a parent of a child with a SEND?

  • The form tutor is regularly available to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns you may have and to share information about what is working well at home and school so similar strategies can be used.
  • The Head of Inclusion is available to meet with you to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns/worries you may have.
  • All information from outside professionals will be discussed with you with the person involved directly, or where this is not possible, in a report.

How is Highbury Fields School accessible to children with SEND?

  • The building is accessible to children with physical disability via lifts and ramps.
  • The school is additionally fitted with disabled toilets
  • We ensure that equipment used is accessible to all students regardless of their needs.
  • After school provision is accessible to all children including those with SEND.
  • Extra-curricular activities are accessible for children with SEND.
  • Most classrooms have a work station which can be adjusted for children with physical disabilities. 

How will we support your child at transition?

We recognise that transitions can be difficult for a young person with SEND and take steps to ensure that any transition is as smooth as possible.

If you child is moving to another school:

  • We will contact the school SENCO and ensure he/she knows about any special arrangements or support that needs to be made for your child.
  • We will make sure that all records about your child are passed on as soon as possible.

For transition to college, guidance and support is offered by our staff, from assistance with selection of colleges, to career pathway guidance, applications and college visits.