SEN Support

The kinds of SEN that are provided for

Our school is for students who have Social, emotional and mental health difficulties. We also provide additional and/or different provision for a range of needs, including:

  • Communication and interaction, for example, autistic spectrum disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome, speech and language difficulties
  • Cognition and learning, for example, dyslexia, dyspraxia,
  • Moderate and multiple learning difficulties


Consulting and involving students and parent/carers

When a student applies for a placement at IMHS we have a clear and rigorous assessment process, this begins with visit for students and their parent/carers, as well as any other professionals who are involved with the young person. We then begin our two-part assessment, psychological and academic.

Psychological: Students and parent/carers will meet with our CAMHS worker or school therapist who goes through family and academic history to get a better sense of what the needs of the family are and what works best for them. This can take up to three meetings and as part of this, we request permission to contact schools, social workers and any other services involved. 

Academic: You will meet with our Deputy Head teacher so we can better understand the levels student is working at. We focus on strengths and what are the gap areas to provide differentiated activities for each student if they start with us.

These conversations will make sure that:

  • Everyone develops a good understanding of the student’s areas of strength and difficulty
  • We take into account parent/carer concerns
  • Everyone understands the agreed outcomes sought for the young person
  • Everyone is clear on what the next steps are

We also have a range of strategies to ensure that parent/carers are actively engaged in their child’s education.

  • We hold planned structured meetings led by Tutors on three parent/carers days at the start of each term.
  • We maintain regular telephone contact with parent/carers, daily if helpful, led by our Tutors.
  • We provide out of hours support from our Welfare Team, usually via phone calls and sometimes through text messaging.
  • We have a weekly coffee morning run by our Parent Engagement Worker that all parent/carers are encouraged to attend. In these sessions, parent/carers share any strengths they have, e.g. crafts, sewing, cooking. We also run sessions in our Flat on food and nutrition and in our Salon on personal care.
  • We of course hold Annual Review meetings and formally notify parent/carers and relevant professionals of these.
  • We hold emergency reviews if circumstances change or further support and intervention is required.


Assessing and reviewing students’ progress towards outcomes

We follow the graduated approach and the four-part cycle of assess, plan, do, review

Prior to starting at IMHS, we carry out a clear analysis of the students’ needs. We hold pre-seminars with the Leadership Team to ensure that an appropriate curriculum is put in place. We then hold Seminars with the whole staff body so that there is shared knowledge of all the young people who come to us. This ensures that all teachers and support staff who work with the student will be made aware of their needs, the outcomes sought, the support provided, and any teaching strategies or approaches that are required.

Students are observed, supported and assessed and we have daily briefing and de-briefing meetings where important information is shared and acted upon. We regularly review the effectiveness of the support and interventions and their impact on the students’ progress.


Supporting students moving between phases and preparing for adulthood

We will share information with the school, college, or other setting the student is moving to. We will agree with parents and students which information will be shared as part of this while being GDPR compliant.

Preparing students at IMHS

  • We ensure that students come and visit us prior to agreeing to a placement, ensuring that they understand the ethos and approach of the school as well as what it physically looks and feels like.
  • Transition is bespoke and depends on circumstances. It can include students being supported off-site 1 to 1 before joining us, meeting off site with one student or a whole tutor group for breakfast, or to take part in sporting activities. Yr 6 students and some from other years are also invited in for an Induction day.
  • We put a significant amount of support in place for our Yr 11 and 6th form students to ensure that they successfully move to their next educational phase or work place. This includes visits to the new placements, establishing contacts with key members of staff and initial 1 to 1 support to attend placements, accompanying students either on public transport or by car.


Our approach to teaching students with SEN

Teachers are responsible and accountable for the progress and development of all the students in their class.

High quality teaching is our first step in responding to students who have SEN. This is differentiated for individual students.

Below are some of the key interventions we provide:

  • Literacy 1 to 1
  • Numeracy 1 to 1
  • Speech and language support, 1 to 1 or small group
  • Speech and language advice and guidance as well as assessment
  • Personalised timetable
  • Initial seminars on all students and refreshers where required
  • Close liaison with external providers
  • Educational Psychologist advice and guidance as well as assessment
  • Conflict resolution
  • TA support, both on and off site, both planned and dynamic
  • Life skills activity (farm trip, running the Green Parrot Café)


Adaptations to the curriculum and learning environment

We make the following adaptations to ensure all students’ needs are met:

  • Differentiating our curriculum to ensure all students are able to access it, for example, by grouping, 1:1 work, teaching style, content of the lesson, etc.
  • Adapting our resources and staffing and having an extremely flexible approach to match need
  • Using recommended aids, such as laptops, coloured overlays, visual timetables, larger font, etc.
  • Differentiating our teaching, for example, giving longer processing times, pre-teaching of key vocabulary, reading instructions aloud, etc.
  • Changing the learning environment where appropriate to include working out side of the classroom and off site if appropriate (Visiting museums, places of historical interest, following our ‘My London’ Curriculum etc.)


Additional support for learning

We have 11 teaching assistants who are trained to deliver interventions such as Conflict Resolution, Literacy, Numeracy and Speech and Language.  

Teaching assistants will support students on a 1:1 basis as part of planned interventions as well as being led by student need. 

Teaching assistants will support students in small groups as part of our Social Curriculum, as well as for planned off site interventions, such as doing woodwork at our local farm.

We work with the following agencies to provide support for students with SEN. It is worth noting here that our students come from a range of London and out of London boroughs, as such we will have contact with the same agencies but from different Local Authorities:

  • Action Tutoring
  • Children in Need
  • Child Social Care
  • Community Learning Disabilities Services
  • Doctors, Dentists, Opticians when required
  • Family Support Services
  • Leaving Care Teams
  • School Nurse
  • Sports Leaders UK
  • Tavistock and Portman Clinic
  • The Tower Project
  • YOS and YOT


Expertise and training of staff

We know that high quality CPD is vital in meeting the needs of our students. We have regular training as part of weekly support for staff, this focuses on a range of different topics, e.g. Teaching and Learning, SEN need and Safeguarding.

Our SLT and Welfare team manage SEN provision.

We have a team of 11 teaching assistants who are trained to deliver SEN provision. Two of these also deliver Literacy and Numeracy intervention and two focus on Speech and Language.

In the last academic year, staff have been trained in autism, bereavement, CSE, sensory needs, safeguarding,

We use specialist staff for a range of interventions; these are led by our CAMHS worker, EP, SALT and Welfare Team.


Securing equipment and facilities

We work hard to ensure that all is done to secure equipment and facilities to support out students. We do this through both national and local charities, e.g. The Big Lottery; Child in Need, food banks, as well as a range of London based organisations.


Evaluating the effectiveness of SEN provision

We evaluate the effectiveness of provision for students with SEN by:

  • Reviewing students’ individual progress towards their goals each term
  • Reviewing the impact of interventions
  • Using student questionnaires
  • Monitoring by SLT / Welfare Team
  • Holding annual reviews for students with statements of EHC plans


Enabling all students to engage in planned activities

All of our extra-curricular activities and school visits are available to all our students; we ensure that neither money nor staffing is a barrier. For example we work closely with Friends of Ian Mikardo to enable all our students to take part in trips, e.g. to Southend Adventure Island. If a student is lacking in confidence we will ensure 1 to 1 support is put in place, e.g. Shadwell Fire Brigade LIFE Course.

All students will be encouraged to go on our planned residential trip at Essex Outdoors Mersea.

All students are encouraged to take part in the full range of sporting activities, e.g. cycling, canoeing, and football. We have a set of bikes provided by Friends of Ian Mikardo and students who cannot ride are taught in 1 to 1 sessions to enable them to be able to engage in all cycling classes.

No student is ever excluded from taking part in these activities because of their SEN or disability.

If our students have a disability this is discussed as part of our assessment process and admission and induction are carefully planned. We discuss and refer to positive role models as part of our lessons and PSHER curriculum. If matters arise, we use conversation and conflict resolution to ensure that our students understand difference and the need for equality.

We work closely with Local Authorities to arrange transport to school if required; we also provide transport for off-site activities. We work with students who are not independent travelers and support them in becoming independent travelers wherever possible. All areas of the school are accessible to students with disabilities and we also have a lift in school.


Support for improving emotional and social development

All our students have SEMH issues and we us a range of strategies to ensure that we support and develop our students.  We do so in the following ways:

  • Supervised breakfast for all our students, with adult modelling of appropriate interaction.
  • Social Curriculum to enable students to choose what activities they want to be involved in at break and lunchtimes to promote teamwork/building friendships etc. e.g. sport, salon, quiet time.
  • Small tutor groups and classes with at least two adults present in the room. Conversation is central to all that we do.
  • Students are encouraged to take on additional responsibilities, e.g. to be school ambassadors, to be part of the recruitment process, to attend meetings with external agents, e.g. LBTH catering service.
  • We always listen to the views of our students and have dedicated Student Voice lessons as part of the curriculum. Ideas and comments from these lessons feed into our SLT meetings and changes are made as a result. E.g., new bikes bought for all students, student voice attendance at Catering meeting.
  • Students are expected to talk about incidents that they have been involved in, to understand what has happened and why and to focus on how to resolve any concerns. We actively use conflict resolution with individuals and groups of students, parent/carers are also involved in this process where appropriate.
  • We have a zero tolerance approach to bullying and a PSHE curriculum that supports this. E.g., We work with external organisations such as Diversity Role Models who have delivered training for all staff and workshops to students, we are also extremely lucky to have been able to secure a work experience placement with Diversity. 


Working with other agencies

We work with a range of outside agencies to ensure that our students are supported. Many of our students are already engaged with external services before they start with us and we also refer students where appropriate.

Where Child Social Care are involved we are actively involved in all CIN or CP meetings and are in regular communication, we share information and contribute to reports always focusing on the needs of our students.

We have a School Nurse who sees individual students as identified by Child Social Care as well as students who require specific interventions on such topics as healthy eating and sexual health. We have a CAMHS worker who works on assessments; she meets with students and their families as well as the external organisations that are engaged with the family or young person.

We work closely with a number of local authorities and by extension their support services. We directly liaise with SEND leads and caseworkers and regularly update them of any successes or concerns. As mentioned earlier our Welfare Team engages with transport to ensure that our students are brought safely to and from school. They also support families with additional services such as housing, benefits and food banks.

We regularly work with voluntary sector organisations in meeting students' SEN and supporting their families. For example the role of our Parent Engagement Worker is funded through Children in Need and our after school provision initially started as a Big Lottery project and is now run by Spotlight.


Complaints about SEN provision

We very much value and create opportunities for close working and communication with our parent/carers. That said if complaints about SEN provision in our school arise these should be made to the Headteacher in the first instance. They will then be referred to our complaints policy.

The parents of students with disabilities have the right to make disability discrimination claims to the first-tier SEND tribunal if they believe that our school has discriminated against their children. They can make a claim about alleged discrimination regarding:

  • Exclusions
  • Provision of education and associated services
  • Making reasonable adjustments, including the provision of auxiliary aids and services


Contact details of support services for parents of students with SEN

As previously mentioned we work with a number of Local Authorities. Please see below for information about support services available for parent/carers of Tower Hamlets residents. If require contact details for other Boroughs please contact our Welfare team.

Tower Hamlets Special Educational Needs section
5th Floor, Mulberry Place
5 Clove Crescent
E14 2BG

Tel: 020 7364 4880
Fax: 020 7364 4303


Parents’ Advice Centre (PAC)

30 Greatorex St,


E1 5NP

Tel: 020 7364 6489



Contact details for raising concerns

Trin Jefferson       Headteacher

Linda Cole              Parent Engagement Worker

Jane Clark              Red group tutor

Kulvinder Kaur   Green group tutor

Alison Curtin        Lilac group tutor

Justin Warren      Yellow group tutor

Kofi Mpiani            Blue group tutor

Karen Raftery      Orange group tutor


The local authority local offer

Our contribution to the local offer is:

Extended services, which includes a wide range of varied activities, swift and easy access to targeted and specialist services, parenting support and community access to facilities.

Our local authority’s local offer is published here: