What kinds of special educational needs does the school provide for?

Rayner Stephens High School promotes the ethos of inclusion for all. Our school currently meets the needs of learners with additional and complex needs such as:


  • Moderate or Specific Learning Difficulties
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorder and associated learning difficulties
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health concerns
  • Speech Language and Communication Needs
  • Visual or Hearing Impairments
  • English as an Additional Language
  • Physical disabilities


We constantly strive to improve and adapt our inclusion provisions to ensure that learners needs are met.

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How does Rayner Stephens High School know if learners need additional support and what should I do if I think that my child may have special educational needs?

There are variety of routes into assessment of SEND and these differ from each individual need. We work very closely with our teaching staff to identify any areas of need and utilise internal and external methods of assessment.


These can be in the form of:

  • Reading, spelling and comprehension tests
  • Teacher curriculum assessments
  • Dyslexia and Dyscalculia screening
  • Specialist SEND teacher assessments
  • Educational Psychology assessments


In conjunction with the SEND Code of Practice, we will assess learners in the areas of:

  • Communication and Interaction
  • Cognition and Learning
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health
  • Sensory and or Physical Needs


 If you have any concerns contact the Assistant SENDCo Mrs Cowling, Trust Strategic Leader of SEND Ms J Gill..

Some families may wish to seek external assessment; in this case we would liaise with the external agency.

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What happens if my child needs additional support?

You will receive a phone call or letter from the school if there is any need for your child to receive additional support.  This could mean that they will be added onto the inclusion register.  If a learner is added to the inclusion register, they will have an Personal Incusion Profile that will be shared with you for your input before sharing this with their teachers.


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How will school staff support my child in the classroom?

When a learner is added to the inclusion register an Personal Inclusion Profile (PIP) is created and shared with all staff. All staff are updated regularly any additions to the register or changes in needs. Rayner Stephens High School’s focus is on delivering quality first teaching to all learners, enabling all learners to achieve in the classroom through differentiation, guidance and support.


  • Resources are adapted to take into account visual impairments
  • Seating plans are organised carefully to account for individual needs (e.g. hearing impairments)
  • Personalised strategies are shared by the Assistant SENDCO/SENDCo to assist with the teaching and learning of learners with a range of SEND needs including ASD, ADHD and specific learning difficulties


In addition to this, teaching assistant support there may be provided in lessons where learners require additional support, allowing the qualified teacher the opportunity of working closer with identified priority learners. Teaching staff work closely with the teaching assistants providing in-class support.

A range of interventions are put in place depentdant on need.

Regular INSET around different areas of SEND is provided in school by the SENDCo. Staff training in areas such as ASD is provided when required. Teachers and support staff are provided with regular email and bulletin updates about learners with SEND, and are provided with agreed strategies to best support their learning.

Exam access arrangements are put in place from Y10 and are continued until the GCSE Period if they are still required.

Annual reports are sent home and progress is checked termly (more often in core subjects). Progress and out comes are shared once a year at Parents Evening.

We offer Prince’s Trust which is an alternative curriculum to prepare them for working life. Learners complete a number of projects to develop work based skills and receive a qualification at the end. Dependant on need we can offer vocational provision, this provision is monitered by our inclusion team.


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How will the curriculum be matched to my child's needs?

Rayner Stephens High School offers a varied curriculum that can be adapted to meet the needs of your child. This can be in the form of:


  • Withdrawal from some tutor times and lessons for additional literacy and/or numeracy interventions;
  • Adapting the curriculum to take into account individual needs; 
  • Assessing learners entitlement to exam access arrangements 
  • Sending regular progress reports home in order to review progress and targets at Parents’ Evening.


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How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?

Any learners with an Education, Health and Care Plan will have an allocated amount of support that best meets their needs.  This is reviewed annually. Learners that are SEND support  will receive a waved approach to their support that is reviewed depending on their needs and  progress. This is then reviewed by the SENDCo who will coordinate the provisions and support Year 11 learners with EHCP plan will meet the positive steps team to plan to post 16 provision.


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What support will there be for my child's overall wellbeing?

The ASPIRE Centre is open before school for some learners, during break times and  lunch a facility is available for more vulnerable learners that is staffed by inclusion staff. . The well-being of all learners is a priority of all staff. The Inclusion team monitor and prioritize any concerns that are reported and act quickly and efficiently to deal with any concerns regarding learner wellbeing. Staff duty teams also operate in key areas of the school and grounds.

There is a medical register and when necessary health care plans are produced and used by staff.

Medication issued to a child must be in the original container from the doctors with the child’s name and prescribed dosage on it. All medicines are locked away and when given to the child, the person administering fills in the relevant form stating the child’s name, form, type, dosage, time and adds their signature. Medication held in school is checked termly to ensure it is stillin date.

In a medical emergency, a first aider would be called to attend the casualty in the first instance. This would be quickly followed by contacting the emergency services. Parents/Carers would be contacted and the first aider would remain with the casualty until medical aid arrives.

The school nurse attends school to give updates on Epilepsy, Asthma, Diabetes and Epipen training. Training is also carried out for new staff. Defibrillator training is carried out by an external provider to key staff. A number of staff are trained first aiders, with the training updated every 3 years. Any other training is provided when required to suit the needs of individual pupils.

Learners can access health and therapy services on the school premises provided by school staff and outside agencies including: CAMHs, health mentor, school nurse, Early Help, Branching Out. All of these services are run in conjunction with the Inclusion Team to ensure the promotion of emotional wellbeing and supporting learners with their needs.


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How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including physical activities and school trips?

Learners with SEND are encouraged to attend before school, break and lunch clubs and after school catch up sessions.

All trips and activities will have an exhaustive risk assessment carried out and support will be allocated to ensure that they receive a rich and varied curriculum.


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How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school, transfer to a new school or the next stage of life?

At Key stage 3, learners are introduced to the school through primary visits with staff and transition leader. The SENDCo or member of the inclusion team will meet with the primary inclusion staff to gather information on the learners and a transition package will be planned for the learners with SEND concerns. 


Transition includes:

  • Year 6 Induction Evening
  • Three day Year 6 Induction Days 
  • Additional visits to the school can be arranged and photographs or transition books are created

All needs of the learners will be carefully considered for transfers and joining.  We currently put together a personalised transfer package that will ensure links with the other school and the Inclusion team at every stage of the process.  New learners starting at Rayner Stephens High School with undergo an initial assessment of their educational needs to ascertain whether there are any Special Educational Needs or Disability.  Depending upon the outcomes, an integration plan may be established. When learners re put into forms, their SEND needs are considered.


At Key Stage 4, there is a comprehensive package of transition that links with colleges and training providers. We arrange enrichment activities and visits to all of our local colleges.  The SENDCo will coordinate the annual review meeting for any learners with an EHCP to target the learners next stages of life.


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How accessible is the school environment?

Rayner Stphens High School is a fully accessible school site and has disabled parking and full wheelchair access. At the heart of the school is the ASPIRE Centre. The Centre offers a nurturing and inclusive environment that is used as a hub for planning and meeting the needs of groups and individual learners


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How are parents and young people themselves involved in the school?

Here at Rayner Stephens High School, we are keen to ensure that parental partnerships are strong. We do this by:

  • Through the home/ school agreement signed by all parents
  • Encouraging learners to become student leaders, school council representatives,transition leaders, antibullying ambassedors and Mental health champions.
  • Holding annual parents’ evenings, and sending out regular surveys.
  • Encouraging parents to apply to be a parent governor and work on the governing body when vacancies arise.
  • Regularly having our SEN link governors involved in visits and meetings with the SENDCo.


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How do you involve other agencies in meeting the needs of learners with SEND and supporting families?

These are met by securing additional support and provisions from external agencies.  The wide range of services that we refer to are:

  • The Safeguarding Team at Tameside Children’s Services
  • The Early Help Team
  • A Common Assessment Framework (CAF), this secures support from other agencies for families and is often led by the school
  • The Aspire Team
  • Child Adolescent and Mental Health Services
  • Multi Sytemic Therapy Service
  • The School Nurse
  • Educational Psychologist.
  • Sensory inclusion team.


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Who can I contact for further information?

Local Authority SEN Advisory Team — 0161 342 4433

SENDIASS — 0161 342 3383 - tameside.gov.uk/sendiass


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What other support is available?

In order to access Tameside Local Offer, please visit www.tameside.gov.uk/localoffer


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