Hednesford Valley High

Hednesford Vallery High School

Life at Hednesford Valley High



The Special Educational Needs Report is a mandatory requirement for schools to publish their plans and provision to ensure that children and young people with disabilities are able to access a full and relevant education without being disadvantaged or discriminated against in any way.

The Hednesford Valley High School SEN Report will draw upon and reference existing documents, policies and provision that describe how Hednesford Valley High School meets its obligations with regard to legislation, and ensures that all children and young people, irrespective of their disability, has access to a full and dynamic relevant and meaningful education curriculum, care and health support.

Legislation and Compliance References
This report ensures compliance with the legislative requirements for SEN information reports, which are set out in schedule 1 of the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Regulations 2014 and paragraphs 6.79-6.81 of the SEND Code of Practice.


What types of SEN do we provide for?











Hednesford Valley High is a generic secondary special school providing education for students aged 11 to 19 year olds.

We have 184 students, years 7 to 11 are based on the Hednesford site.  The Sixth Form (16-19) class is base in a satellite classroom in Cannock Chase High School in Cannock.

We provide education for a range of SEN:- moderate learning difficulties (MLD), Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC), Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN), Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH), Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD), Physical Disabilities (PD), Hearing Impairment (HI), Specific Learning Difficulty (SPLD) and others.

For more information about the school, please look at our website:- www.hvh.staffs.sch.uk

How do we identify and assess students with SEN?



We do take students on Assessment Placements, but the majority of our students arrive with an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) stating their special needs and the necessary provision required.

Who is our special educational needs coo-coordinator (SENCO) and how can he/she be contacted.



Assistant Headteacher – Emma Perry – 01543 423717 (phone), e.perry@hvh.staffs.sch.uk (email)


Hednesford Valley High, Stanley Road, Hednesford. WS12 4JS (letter)



What is our approach to teaching students with SEN?






Hednesford Valley High aims to work with students to become as independent as possible in order for them to successfully access the adult world when they leave.



  • To ensure all students feel safe, secure and happy enabling them to succeed; working in partnership with parents/carers.
  • To create a suitable environment allowing students to achieve their full potential.
  • To equip all students with the skills, knowledge and confidence to lifelong learning and independence.
  • To equip students with social skills that allows them to become active members of the community.
  • To give students opportunities and experiences for healthy lifestyles and economic well-being.


We work with a child-centred approach to meet each and every Special Educational Need.

We safeguard students and provide a positive environment where both students and staff are given the opportunities to believe, succeed and achieve.


How do we adapt the curriculum and learning environment?


The curriculum is specially adapted to meet the wide ranging needs, both across the age spectrum and the disability and sensory range we cover.  The curriculum is always under review and updated each year.


Hednesford Valley High has three main Key Stages:-


Key Stage 3 – ages 11-14

Key Stage 4 – ages 14-16

Key Stage 5 – ages 16-19 – known as Sixth Form


There are 4 different arrangements within the school:-


Sensory Learning 

Study Learning 

SLD Learning 

MLD Learning 


The different detailed curriculum pathways and accreditation can be seen on the website www.hvh.staffs.sch.uk


The learning environment is always under review and changes are made to ensure the safety of all.


Sensory and Study learning are carried out in bespoke rooms and resources are taken to them to enable the routine and safe environment required by these learners.  SLD and MLD learning pathways make greater use of the specialist rooms and facilities across the school.


How do we enable students with SEN to engage in activities with other students who do not have SEN?









Hednesford Valley High has a strong belief that education in the community and the local environment forms essential learning and enables students to apply their formal learning in real contexts.


We actively encourage our staff to take class groups off-sites and have 4 mini-buses to enable access.


We enable students with SEN to engage in activities with other students who do not have SEN as follows:-


a)    Residential Trips in years 7, 11 and Sixth Form at outdoor residential centres and Staffordshire University – partnership with Liberty & NCS.

b)    Duke of Edinburgh expeditions in KS4 and camping sites.

c)    Trips out to theme parks, parks, Forest School in local parks, meals out in pubs, cafes and restaurants.

d)    Travelling on public transport, travel training and walking expeditions.

e)    Work experience in local parks, shops, indoor market, nurseries.

f)    Sixth Form students in satellite classroom at Cannock Chase High School (Mainstream Secondary) share the schools facilities such as the Sixth Form Centre, canteens and the site.

g)    Visits to places of worship such as churches, Buddhist temples.

h)    Shopping to purchase items needed to cook or for enterprise.


How do we consult parents with students SEN and involve them in their child’s education?









Parents/Carers Meetings


We have 2 parents/carers evenings a year, one at the beginning of the year with the tutor to find out how their child has settled into the new school year. 


The second is after parents/carers have received their child’s annual report and this can be with tutors and subject staff at parents/carers request.


Parents/carers have annual meetings with the form tutor and professionals both external and internal to review the Education Health Care Plan (EHCP)




We send out annual questionnaires to parents/carers and use the feedback to make changes to the work in school.  This is always shared with all stakeholders.


We have Communications Diaries to ensure that parents/carers know about homework and activities the students are involved in.


Parents/Carers are welcome to come into school at any time and someone from their tutor team, ESU or SLT will meet with them to listen to any concerns.  This is so we can work together to support students’ needs.


How do we consult students with SEN and involve them in their education?












Each year, each class selects a student to join the Student Leadership Team (SLT).  SLT meets with the Behaviour Support Manager who works in the Behaviour Support Unit.  The meetings discuss changes needed in the school and fundraising ideas to purchase resources that the students vote for.  The meetings are minuted and shared with the tutor groups.  SLT will be involved in planning school events and be responsible for entertaining visitors.




Each year, each class selects a student to join the E-Safety Team.  This group meets with Carol Felton, the Chair of Governors and Mrs Perry, Assistant Headteacher regarding E-Safety across the school.  Each student feedbacks to their tutor group and is involved in E-Safety assemblies with Mrs Perry.




Students attend the annual reviews of their EHCP and have a voice in their targets for the year and are made aware of their SEN.


How do we assess and review students’ progress towards their outcomes?











Progress in learning and developing skills for life are important as well as meeting their emotional and physical needs.


Students have 2 sets of outcomes as follows:




Interim yearly targets are set at the EHCP review by parents/carers and tutors.  Students have a number of IEP targets which are directly related to the objectives in the EHCP.




Students have clear annual subject targets using assessment without levels in KS3 and examination accreditation outcomes in KS4 and 5.  The IEP targets and subject targets are monitored and reviewed each term by members of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT).  The English and Maths targets are monitored and reviewed each half term by members of the SLT.


When students are not on course to achieve their targets, interventions are put in place to support progress and parents/carers are informed about this.


The student’s subject targets are analysed by SEN groups, gender, Pupil Premium, Free School Meals, age and ethnicity.  This information is shared with all staff, parents/carers, students and governors.  All Looked After Children (LAC) have a Personal Education Plan (PEP).  This plan involves putting strategies in place to help improve a child’s academic progress.  Grace Dimmock, Every Child Matters Co-ordinator attends the PEP reviews, which are held in school every term to review progress made and discuss interventions.  See Pupil Premium Report.  Data Analysis is added to the schools Self Evaluation Form (SEF) and informs areas to be developed in our School Development Plan (SDP).  These documents are available on request.  Please contact us at office@hvh.staffs.sch.uk


We compare our results to similar schools in Staffordshire because they would receive similar funding.  We review the schools data against National data in Analyse School Performance (ASP) and Inspection Data Summary Report (IDSR).  Our OFSTED report provides an independent appraisal of the school and its effectiveness – see our website www.hvh.staffs.sch.uk or http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/7023/860


How do we support students moving between different phases of education?










Starting a new school at any age or moving on to another setting can be a worrying time for parents/carers and children.  This process of transition is important to us at Hednesford Valley High, as we work hard with parents/carers to make this as worry-free as possible.  We encourage all new children and parents/carers to visit us, where we give a tour of our facilities and give an opportunity for parents/carers to meet the other children and staff around the school.  The needs of any new child are discussed in detail with parents/carers and professionals from the organisation they are moving from.  This means that everything is in place before he/she arrives.  We offer a friendly and flexible approach to induction which can include phased or part-time as required.  Children are assessed during their first half term, where any adjustments to provision may be discussed and agreed with parents/carers.

Transition into Hednesford Valley High – Year 6 to Year 7


Parents/carers and students can attend a transition open day in October when their child is in years 5 & 6.  This allows them to make informed decisions by visiting Hednesford Valley High in operation.


Once a student is offered a place they are visited by transition staff in their primary schools and a power-point is shared with them about the school.  This is then followed by an invitation to visit Hednesford Valley High for 2 days in the summer term with a parent/carers evening in between and a coffee morning at the end.


Students tutor bases are set up for them so they know where to go and where they can store their things.  Students are given a tour around the school, meet their staff teams and new tutors in their tutor group.  Students sample a range of subjects, break and lunch times with a free lunch and snack and buddies from year 7 to enable a smooth transition.  Students are given a transition booklet to help them start in September.


Year 7 further supports transition because students are taught in a number of subjects with a topic based approach similar to primary in one classroom and a TA goes with the group to other subjects such as Science, Food Tech, PE and Computing in specialist rooms.  The students also have the opportunity to take part in a nurture group if needed and all experience Forest School and have the choice to attend a residential.

The year 7 transition teacher and TA always return to year 7 each year.  In all the other classes the teacher and/or the TA remain the same as the class moves up through the school from year 8 to 11.  This ensures continuity for the students.  When students move to the Sixth Form, this is a new team with a different approach to support preparation for adulthood.

Transition into other year groups.

Families may move into the local area or a placement break down in a secondary school because the school cannot meet a students’ needs.  If there is space in a year group and the child’s needs can be met by the provision at Hednesford Valley High the Headteacher will offer a place at the school.  The student and the parents/carers can visit with professionals and make a final decision.  Once all have agreed on the place, the Headteacher gives a new parent/carer pack and discusses the individualised transition package for the student based on the visit and previous information.  This starts once the new parent/carer pack is returned.

Movement from Year 9 to Year 10

Parents/cares are invited to parents/carers evening to inform about choices.  Students are given an option booklet and are taken through it by their form tutors.  Year 9 students have a special assembly where staff give them presentations on new course choices and what they can lead to in adult life.


Students make choices with their parents/carers and return to the Deputy Head who then reviews the choices and makes decisions with SLT about which courses will run the following year.  Students and parents/carers are informed about their options in September.


Movement out from Year 11.


Students of year 10, 12 and 13 attend a Careers Fayre with their parents/carers to become fully aware of options they have available after year 11 in July.  Year 11 students and their parents/carers then get further information in an evening focussed on which way next. Information about additional local providers and the Open Days are shared with all.  Students and parents/carers can then make informed decisions after receiving information, guidance and advice from a number of providers in the Year 11 EHCP review so the information is sent to the Local Authority.



Sixth Form at Hednesford Valley High


Students need to complete an application form each year and return it to the Head of Sixth Form Mrs Perry, Assistant Head.  The students are invited to an interview with parents/carers and the Headteacher.  Students are then offered a formal offer which can be conditional based on areas to be improved or unconditional is on track with work, attendance and behaviour.


After students have completed all the work on accredited courses they do an induction into Sixth Form going to their new bases with their new teams.  They all then have an opportunity to attend a residential at Staffordshire University in Stoke.  This gives them the opportunity to meet other young people and try new experiences with different staff from NCS and Liberty and work in teams.  Students are taught about volunteering and when they return to school, they work on a local charity project with staff from Liberty.


Transition out of Hednesford Valley High


Students and their parents/carers gain a lot of information about various providers and the opportunities they give them on different training courses and internships after leaving Hednesford Valley High in years 11, 12, 13 and 14.  Once a place is found this information is shared with the form tutor when carrying out the review of the EHCP, this is then added and returned to the LA.


Professionals from the future placement can visit the student and HVH to observe and gain information about them.  Once the placement has been agreed by the LA, transition visits can start, sometimes with HVH staff to support if needed.


How do we support students preparing for adulthood?










Year 9


We give students who are ready the opportunity to start travel training to enable them to start accessing their local community.


Students have to make option choices about what to study in Year 10.


PSCHE has a focus on being a citizen in Britain and start the preparation for adulthood including the world of work.



Years 10 and 11:- KS4


MLD students go to Wolverhampton Vocational Training Centre to experience motor vehicle, painting and decorating, carpentry, brick laying and hair and beauty.  This allows them to think about what they want to do in the future and for some helps make decisions about which way to go at 16.


SLD students experience further units of work on Vocational Friday.




Students have career lessons where they study a course on Employability to help to prepare them about what they have to do to gain employment.


Careers Fayre


Students in KS4 and KS5 have the opportunity to attend a Careers Fayre in the Summer Term at the school so they can discuss different pathway with a variety of providers from college, training and employment.


National Record of Achievement


In Year 11, students put together a National Record of Achievement with some help from Mrs Cotton who supports them to write a personal statement.




Students are shown how to prepare for examinations and deadlines by teaching them revision skills, healthy eating and drinking and relaxation techniques by the ESU staff.


Sixth Form Evening


Students and parents/carers having an evening with a number of providers to give information on what to do and how to get there.


All students and parents/carers then have to make informed decisions when involved in the next EHCP review.  Students will then need to do applications with support to their post 16 designation, which would be followed by interviews and being offered a place.  Most MLD students leave school at 16 to local colleges and training providers.


Years 12, 13 and 14 – KS5


The sixth form curriculum aims to support students prepare for adulthood as follows:-


Literacy and numeracy skills needed in understanding language to access their environment and the purpose of money management and keeping it safe.  This work is examined by various functional skills qualifications.


Students are further supported to use Information Communication Technologies such as i-pads, phones, computers, digital scales, x-boxes, Wii’s etc for learning, communication and leisure.

Work-related learning and work placements develop independence, social skills, stamina, confidence, maturity and communication.


Leisure and community experiences enable students to access local amenities and understand what is available for adults to live their daily life.  Leisure activities give students a range of experiences to find out what they enjoy to keep fit and healthy thus to continue into adult life.


Life skills teach students basic housekeeping skills to enable independence, by keeping their homes clean and tidy, cooking nutritional meals and keeping themselves and their homes clean.  To use these skills to provide a café for students and staff once a week.


Horticulture to grow, harvest and cook vegetables and fruit.  To grow plants to sell and set up a company to provide gardening services to the local community and give students enterprise skills.


Travel training to develop knowledge and skills to travel safely in the local community.


Residentials – to enable students to plan and organise residentials to give them the opportunities to share life and living with their peers.  Students to cost and decide how to enjoy time together and have fun.


How do we support students with SEN to improve their emotional and social development?










We believe the emotional and social development is crucial for life.  We assess all students each year using the Boxall Profile to look at what support we need to give them, this is usually carried out by tutor teams.  Tutor team staff can also refer to the ESU or BSU.


Emotional Support Unit (ESU)


The ESU is a place that is open to all students, parents/carers and staff, the staff listen and advise.  The ESU is led by Grace Dimmock the Every Child Matters Co-ordinator who will decide what support is needed.  The ESU offers friendship groups, boys and girls groups, 1:1 support, relaxation, family SEAL, Forest Schools, Youth Club and break/lunchtime support, as well as home visits when needed.  The various groups offer precise emotional support to develop coping strategies and resilience as well as social skills.


In school, all staff play a key role in keeping children safe and all disclosures or concerns are acted upon in an appropriate manner by Grace.  The school’s safeguarding policy is available on our website or by request.  All Looked After Children have a Personal Education Plan (PEP) which involves putting strategies in place to improve a child’s academic progress.  Grace attends the PEP reviews which are held in school every term, to discuss progress made and any changes required for social and emotional development.


Behavioural Support Unit (BSU)


The BSU is there to support students to deal with frustration, anger, inappropriate behaviour and mental health.  Support is provided for students by 1:1 work, consequences for behaviour and strategies for mental health.


There is a focus on positive behaviour and developing correct behaviour for learning and social support.  The BSU does the Student of the Week, Prefects and organises the Anti-bullying day annually.


What expertise and training do our staff have to support students with SEN?











The staff work in SEN Teams as follows:- Nurture, Dyslexia, Moderate Learning Difficulties, Severe Learning Difficulties, Social, Emotional and Mental Health and Autistic Spectrum Condition.  This supports students with SEN and has been rewarded with a number of external awards:- Autism accreditation and Full Dyslexia award.  We also have NHS staff who keep our staff up to date on the medical needs of the students and train annually to ensure all staff in each team can meet the needs of their tutees.  The speech and language and physiotherapist teams put individual packages together for students which are actioned by the support staff as required.


All teaching and support staff were trained on reading by an EP in 2017 to enable all to work on this area.


All our teachers are qualified and experienced in Key Stages 2, 3 and 4, many are subject leaders and have responsibility for monitoring teaching and learning and resources.  We have vocational development officers who are graduates leading vocational learning out in the community with a wide range of community providers.  Ours HLTA’s are involved in teaching and learning and all our TA’s are trained to meet the needs of our students.


How will we secure specialist expertise?











We secure specialist expertise by continuously training of new and existing staff to ensure all are up to date and able to cater for the changing cohorts of students.  Staff observe each other within school and also go out to observe outstanding practice in other special schools.  Induction of all staff is crucial to their roles within school.  Training of staff occurs continuously both from staff within the school, external professionals and attending courses.


Most staff are trained in Pro-Act SCIPr and the school benefits from having our own trainer.  Most of the TA’s are trained first aiders and have regular refreshers as well as well as specific medication for individuals.


We have our own safeguarding trainer, thus staff and governors are trained annually on safeguarding to level 1.  We have 4 designated safeguarding leads with 3 deputy designated safeguarding leads, all refresh their training every 2 years.

How will we secure equipment and facilities to support SEN students with SEN?



We secure equipment and facilities to support SEN students by purchasing resources or making resources to support SEN students.  We work with a local mainstream secondary school to share their facilities and purchase additional resources as required to meet the students need.


We will bid for funding for larger projects when required to meet the needs of our students to access learning.  E.g. Life Centre and shelter projects.

How do we involve other organisation in meeting the needs of students with SEN and supporting their families?









We involve a number of organisations and experts in training our students on “Keeping yourself safe on the street and making good choices” and “Dealing with discrimination in the community”, Travel training, school nurse, physiotherapists, speech and language, NCS, Hednesford Park, local groups such as.


We support families by making the ESU open to them and giving them information during coffee mornings.  When families require support, Grace Dimmock makes referrals to the Local Support Teams, Social Services, Prevent Team, Building Resilient Families Services, to the local police team, Learning Disabilities Team, CAMHS, etc.


Our families have access to a Senior Paediatrician who carries out a clinic at HVH once each term.


We work with the Hearing Impairment service to ensure we meet the needs of our students with hearing impairment.  Weekly support from speech and language therapists and physiotherapists.  We have involved specialists from LA and AA to assess the work of the school in meeting the needs of the students.

How do we evaluate the effectiveness of our SEN provision?









We evaluate the effectiveness of our SEN provisions using the following reports:-


·         Review of School Development Plan

·         Evaluation of data analysis for different groups

·         Reports from external reviews – ASC accreditation and Full Dyslexia Award

·         Reports from Every Child Matters Co-ordinator - Grace Dimmock

·         Reports from Behaviour Support Manager 

·         Reports from SEN groups


The school governors work very closely with the Senior Leadership Team and all teaching staff to ensure they know how effective the school is.  The governors work through committees to ensure that the strategic objectives and school aims are achieved.

How do we handle complaints from parents of children with SEN about provision made at the school?






We handle complaints from parents/carers of children with SEN about provision made at the school by meeting together to discuss a way forward based on the knowledge and experience we have.  Form tutors are normally the first point of contact if a minor issue as they are best placed in school to know the child best.  More serious concerns maybe referred to Grace Dimmock, our Every Child Matters Co-ordinator or any member of the Senior Leadership Team.  Our complaints policy details how we address issues.


Parents/carers who believe their child’s needs are not being met within the school are asked to meet with the Headteacher to talk through their concerns.


Where appropriate, an early annual review can be arranged, with representation from the SEND team to formally review your child’s progress, current special needs and provision.

Who can young people and parents contact if they have concerns?



Young people and parents/carers can contact their tutor team, Grace Dimmock – Every Child Matters Co-ordinator, TBC – Behaviour Support Manager, The ESU team  – BSU team if they have concerns.  All the names can be found in each students Communication Diaries.


If there are serious concerns contact Grace Dimmock – ECM Co or Liz Hopewell – Deputy Head or Eirwen Hill – Assistant Head.

Where can the LA’s local offer be found?  How have we contributed to it?

The LA’s local offer can be found at localoffer@staffordshire.gov.uk

To speak to a person, ring the District Office on: (01543) 512050


Hednesford Valley High is a generic special secondary school which offers a good education to students aged 11 to 19 with an EHCP.  The school provides a good education for students with EHCP’s mainly from the local areas of Hednesford, Cannock, Huntington, Brownhills and surrounding area.


Hednesford Valley High provides good education for students with severe learning difficulties, moderate learning difficulties, on the autistic spectrum, dyspraxia, dyslexia, speech and language and those with complex needs which may include medical issues.  Most students are taught in their chronological age group except when they would benefit from being in a base classroom.


Hednesford Valley High receives children from primary schools into a nurturing environment and gradually teaches them to prepare for adulthood and life in the community as good citizens.


What support services are available to parents?

Parents/carers are always welcome to come into school to meet with Grace Dimmock our Every Child Matters Co-ordinator to find out what services are available to support their needs.  Grace can signpost parents/carers to the correct agencies and organise referrals when required.  This can be for parents/carers personal needs or for their children.


If parents/carers have concerns about medical needs they can see the school nurse Sandra Thompson to find out what services are available to support both their children’s needs and their own.


When parents/carers have any concerns about their children, they can come in and speak to Liz Hopewell the schools SENCo to find out what support services are available and she would support them to make the referrals.