Merit Pupil Referral Service

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SEND and Local Offer

How will you know if my child needs extra help?

Merit receives detailed information about every student when they are referred to us from their mainstream school, this information will tell us if a child has a special educational need that needs support.


In addition to this, all Merit students are screened at the beginning and end of the academic year for spelling and reading. If there are concerns flagged by these tests, more detailed testing may be carried out. Should these investigations result in students requiring additional help, parents will be informed.


We are pleased to hear from parents who want to draw to our attention any concerns they may have about their child’s needs. The views of parents are paramount. Any concerns with specific subjects should be initially addressed to the subject teacher. If these concerns are more general, then our SENDCo Steven Winrow should be approached.


Additional needs may be identified by teachers, teaching assistants, or other staff within the school who may highlight particular concerns relating to progress. Such concerns will be discussed with parents and students to identify if extra help is necessary and the form it will take. The SENDCo has access to and reviews any assessments made of students during the course of the school’s ordinary assessment and reporting cycle as these often effectively highlight lack of progress. Possible SEND is perceived as part of a whole range of considerations when progress is not as expected.


How will you teach and support my child with SEND?

At Merit the emphasis is very much on students accessing the Merit curriculum where possible.


The vast majority of students should be able to make progress within the ordinary classroom context. Class sizes at Merit are small and every lesson has the support of at least one teaching assistant. This allows for carefully planned, individualised learning.

Additional support beyond the classroom can take a variety of forms including:


  • One to one support outside the classroom
  • Withdrawal of small groups for literacy, numeracy, social skills and art therapy
  • Support from a Teaching Assistant in the classroom
  • Disapplication from a subject (In rare circumstances with the agreement of the Teacher in Charge)
  • Support from the school counsellor
  • Homework clubs at lunchtime and after school
  • Tailored interventions according to need
  • Other department based interventions designed to enable achievement for all students working within a particular subject area
  • In exceptional circumstances, home tutoring may be considered


How will the curriculum and learning environment be matched to my child?

All staff are expected to differentiate to meet the needs of the students they teach. This will be based on information shared with them by the SENDCo at the point of referral. All Merit students have a one-page profile for teachers to access. All such information is subject to constant review and additional information is frequently sent out to staff in relation to specific students for a variety of reasons.


Assessments to determine Access Arrangements for external examinations are done in Year 11. In order to put in place Access Arrangements, the school has to demonstrate a history of need and this information may need to be gathered from staff before such arrangements can be approved.


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

Decisions regarding the amount and type of support available to a student are made by the SENDCo. Such decisions are taken based on assessments and other evidence which is gathered from members of staff, data and input from outside agencies and parents.


Specialist equipment and facilities 

The SENDCo will take the primary lead in securing equipment or facilities for students. This may be delegated to the appropriate teaching assistant or subject leader/ teacher if the equipment required is subject specific. Parents may know of suppliers of equipment/ facilities/ facilitators that may be beneficial for a student with particular needs. In such cases, recommendations are always welcomed but will have to be considered in the light of budget constraints and practicalities.


How will you help me to support my child's learning?

All staff and students are aware of the targets students should be meeting based on prior achievement. Progress against these targets will be assessed in a variety of ways including:


  • Effort and Attainment grades
  • Parents’ Evenings
  • Review meetings


Each member of staff will have their own clear picture of how a student is progressing within their subject area. Should there be concerns about the progress of a student, staff are not expected to wait until the next available scheduled report point to let parents know. Parents who wish to have more detailed and individual chats about their child’s progress or who feel that their child is not progressing, are encouraged to contact Merit in the first instance.


All staff have email addresses which are available from the school website.

We encourage all parents to take an active role in monitoring the performance of their child and to work with the school to ensure their child makes the best progress.



For students with EHC Plans, a yearly review of the plan will take place with the SENDCo although parents are welcome to come into school before this to discuss progress or raise concerns. This review will be based on comments from teachers, comments from TAs and also comments from the students and their parents. The review meeting will have the SENDCo, the relevant TA, the parents, the student and any outside agencies involved.

Our SEND Co-ordinator is Mr S Winrow


Telephone: 01782 928984