Queen Elizabeth’s is committed to the principle of equal opportunity for all pupils irrespective of disability, gender or race and therefore seeks to meet any additional or special educational needs that pupils may have. The school has considerably improved access to all areas of the site in recent years and has a small, but experienced and dedicated, special needs department.
The SENCo (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) will visit primary school pupils during the transition process to secondary school, whose teachers have identified a need for additional support. Individual plans and support will be negotiated for these children. Pupils may be identified as having additional needs at any stage of their time at Queen Elizabeth’s and the same support structures are put in place for those children.
At Queen Elizabeth’s there is a whole school approach to additional needs and staff have regular training on aspects of learning and social interaction which can affect pupils. This promotes a sense of corporate responsibility towards the development of the necessary attitudes, patterns of organisation and curriculum differentiation required to address each pupil’s learning needs, including those of the most able. A strong pastoral and mentoring ethos allows staff to identify additional needs and develop appropriate strategies in consultation with parents. Pupils with additional needs achieve well at Queen Elizabeth's and are fully included in all aspects of the wider curriculum and extra curricular opportunities.
The school has its own counsellor who is available to support pupils and there are excellent links with other support services.
At Queen Elizabeth's we are fortunate in having staff who will volunteer to be trained in the administration of medication or medical procedures to support the inclusion of complex medical needs. All staff have a duty of care towards all pupils; however the responsibility for issuing or dispensing medication remains with parents in all cases. Parents are asked to sign a document giving permission for medication to be administered in loco parentis by any member of staff, in an emergency situation. Parents remain responsible for knowing the expiry date of any medication held in school and replenishing supplies as necessary.
The school Bursar is the member of the Leadership Group responsible for staff and pupil health and safety.
As a school we wish every pupil to take part in all aspects of school life where possible and to avoid placing anyone at substantial disadvantage where reasonable steps can be taken to avoid this. In order to facilitate this, meetings will be arranged with the pupil, parents, school staff and other agencies involved, to plan care and support for activities outside of normal lesson structure. School will then put in place the agreed steps which will be the safest and most proportionate means of avoiding the disadvantage.
University students with identified additional needs are able to apply for grants to provide them with supportive technology or extra mentoring during their degree course. Most universities will offer the assessments necessary to access these grants once students have taken up their place in the autumn. Students wishing to apply before this will need to produce evidence of need. You are advised to contact the Student Support Department of any university you apply to, in order to find out their requirements as early as possible. Schools are not able to access the correct types of assessment needed for grants and students may have to fund these privately.
If you have had access arrangements (such as extra time) in A Level exams you can apply for this when you go for an interview at a university. The university will give you a form to have signed by the school SENCo to verify the arrangements.
Occasionally pupils develop serious illness which means they cannot attend school regularly or full time for a period. Queen Elizabeth’s has established links with the local Health Needs Education Service (Hospital School) and is able to work closely with parents and the County Attendance Service to provide the best access to the curriculum possible in these circumstances. If your child is affected in this way, please speak with their Head of Year and the SENCo at the earliest opportunity.
Should your son or daughter incur a temporary injury such as a broken arm or which requires the use of crutches, school will make reasonable adjustments to help them continue to access as much of the curriculum as possible. This may include being taken upstairs in the lift or providing photocopies of lesson notes. Queen Elizabeth’s is not routinely able to supply pupils with a scribe or laptop to use in these circumstances, however, should you be able to provide a laptop from home for their temporary use you would be welcome so to do. If the school is able to provide a laptop for pupil use, parents or carers will be required to take responsibility for its safe keeping and cover the cost of any damage.
Priority for resources will, in all circumstances, be given to pupils in examination years.