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St Joseph's College Academy

St Joseph’s College sets high standards and demands high aspirations from all pupils. We have a long and proud tradition of outstanding academic performance and results that consistently place us in the top rank of state and private schools nationwide.

Who to contact

Contact Name
Amanda Pearson
01782 848008

Where to go

London Road
Trent Vale
Stoke on Trent
Local Offer

Local Offer

Local Offer Age Bands
11-16 years
16+ years

Schools Extended Local Offer Response 

What kinds of SEND does the school provide for?

Children are identified as having SEND when they have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children the same age or have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of education facilities of a kind generally provided for children of the same age. (SEND Regulations 2014).

Students at St Joseph’s College have a range of difficulties including: Communication and Interaction; Cognition and Learning; Social, Emotional and Mental Health difficulties; Sensory or Physical difficulties.

The school has regard to the  Equality Act 2010 and the SEND code of practice 2014 when making adjustments to support those with SEN.

How does this setting know if their children/young person needs extra help and what should I do if I think my child/young person may have special educational needs?

When your child first joins St Joseph’s College, we use information from a range of sources to help identify SEND and other needs. These include information from: parents/carers; primary school teachers; end of key stage 2 levels; base line testing; subject teachers; specialist colleagues and external agencies.

Our class teachers, Heads of Department and Heads of Year, closely monitor the progress and attainment of all students, including those who have or may have SEND. The continuous monitoring of students during their time at St Joseph’s College will further help to identify pupils with a special educational need. This identification may come from tutors, subject teachers, support colleagues, Heads of Year, outside agencies, parents/carers or the pupils themselves.

All pupils access a differentiated curriculum. For some, this may not be enough. If it is felt that a pupil, despite adjustments made by the class teacher, has significant difficulties compared to their peers, further assessment may be required.

Assessment is arranged depending on the area of need; some assessment may be conducted internally or it may be necessary to involve external agencies. Where this is required, parental permission is gained. We follow a staged and graduated approach to identifying and assessing needs, using the ‘Assess, Plan, Do, Review’ model.

The school establishes a SEND register which is shared with all staff. Students at ‘School Support’ or those with an EHC Plan will have a Pupil Passport. These are shared documents and are drawn up in consultation with the pupil and their parent. Staff use the information on the passport to inform their lesson planning, teaching and student learning activities.

Some pupils require a targeted intervention. These are planned onto a provision map and interventions are delivered by Learning Support Practitioners. Interventions may include small group or individual work.

If you think your child might have a SEND, you could contact their form tutor, their Head of Year or the school SENCO, Mrs Pearson.

How will the setting support my child/young person?

The school supports children/young people with SEND in various ways.

Our teachers have high expectations of all students, including those with SEND. Adjustments to lessons are made as part of Quality First Teaching where various strategies are employed to support students in the classroom. All teachers and support staff are told about your child’s individual needs and will adapt their lessons to meet these requirements.  Core training on meeting needs through quality first teaching was been delivered by the Local Authority SEND Service, following the introduction of the SEND Code of Practice (September 2014).

Interventions: these are targeted towards pupils who have been identified as requiring support at School Support or because they have an EHC Plan. The SENCo organises this support and it is usually delivered by LSPs employed by the school.

Other interventions/booster sessions, offered by subject teachers, may be available throughout the year. These are not necessarily aimed at pupils with SEN/D but may include them, if required.

Where required, support and advice is gained from external agencies. This might be the school counsellor, educational psychologist or a health professional, for instance. Appropriate permissions are gained if we involve any external agencies.

When your child is approaching the start of Key Stage 4, if we think it is needed, we will assess and apply for exam Access Arrangements according to the Joint Council for Qualifications exam regulations.  Access Arrangements are only allowed if there is a history of need and where the arrangement has been their normal way of working in the centre. We are unable to base a request for access arrangements solely on privately commissioned reports or because parents feel they might be needed. Careful consideration is required so that candidates are not put at an unfair advantage over their peers. The school has a specialist assessor and it is through their involvement and consultation with subject teachers, that decisions will be made.

How will teaching approaches and the curriculum be matched to my child or young person's needs?

The school has high expectations of all students, including those with SEND. The school endeavours to provide an inclusive curriculum which will support the development of the whole child and help them to achieve the best possible outcomes in life.

Students at St Joseph’s College follow a traditional curriculum. For some learners, a more personalised curriculum to match their individual needs is required. This may include: a reduction in option choices; additional literacy and/or numeracy support; social and emotional support. Where there is a possible barrier to learning, access and participation and there is a significant gap between a pupil’s progress and that of their peers, additional support is put in place.

How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will you help me to support their learning?

All students, including those with SEND, are assessed on a regular basis, in accordance with the School’s Assessment Policy. Teachers monitor progress and attainment throughout the year which is communicated to parents/carers by progress reviews twice yearly for years 7, 8, 9 and 10 and three times yearly for years 11, 12 and 13. On receipt of a report, parents are invited to contact the school if they wish to discuss it.

There are formal opportunities for parents to consult with staff about their child’s progress during the year. Year 7 and 8 have a parents’ evening once per year; the other year groups have 2 parents’ evenings per year. Other meetings with parents/carers to discuss their child’s progress take place and are arranged on an individual basis. SEND review meetings are arranged for those pupils at school support or for those with an EHC Plan. The form tutor and a member of the learning support team are available at these meetings to discuss how pupils with SEND are progressing.

The school quality assures the effectiveness of teaching and learning for all students, including those with SEND. The outcomes of these evaluations are used to create and implement development plans for all aspects of school life.

Progress and attainment data for students with SEN is routinely analysed: this data may inform decisions made about any provision required.

Pupil Passports for SEND pupils at School Support or those with an EHC Plan are written involving the pupil and parents. They are shared with teaching staff as required.

We welcome the involvement of parents/carers and want to keep you up to date and involved with your child’s progress. We do this through: parents’ evenings; notes in planners; email; telephone calls; appointments made with Heads of Year; Annual Reviews and the SEND review meetings.

The school provides information for parents through: newsletters; information on the website; information days; Parents’ Evenings and letters home.                

All students with an Education Health Care Plan have an Annual Review. SEND students who are on the SEND register will also have the opportunity to have two face to face meetings: one at the appropriate parents’ evening with a member from the SEND department, and one by invitation, with the student’s form tutor and a member of the SEND department.

We need you to support us and your child by encouraging them to fully engage with their learning and any interventions offered by:

  • Helping them to be organised for their day (including wearing the right uniform, bringing the right equipment and books)
  • Ensuring full attendance and excellent punctuality
  • Checking that they have completed their home learning
  • Checking and signing the pupil planner each week (where their home learning and comments from teachers will be found)
  • Attending parents’ evenings
  • Attending any review meetings specifically arranged for your child
  • Supporting your child at home by encouraging them to complete any relevant support programmes we have put in place.
What support will there be for my child's/young person's overall wellbeing?

St Joseph’s College seeks to develop the whole person in a well ordered community where everyone is valued and respected.

At St Joseph’s College, we pride ourselves on our excellent pastoral care.  We provide a high level of student support and guidance.

As part of the support available for your child’s overall well-being, the first port of call will be their form tutor.  Each year group has a head of year who will oversee and further support your child.  These levels of support create a strong relationship with staff throughout each key stage.

There are additional members of staff who are able to provide pastoral support, these include: Inclusion Manager, Learning Mentors, School Counsellor, Child Protection Officer. We also have excellent relationships with a number of external agencies for example: CAMHS, Changes, Base58, IFIS, Educational Psychology Service, LA Inclusion Services.

Mental health and well being are a school priority. Pupils receive regular awareness raising sessions to help them to know what mental health difficulties people face and how they can gain support or help each other.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting?

The Learning Support department is made up of the SENCO, Assistant SENCO and Learning Support Practitioners.

Within this team we have staff who hold certain, specialist qualifications related to SEND:

Miss K Jackson (Assist. SENCO)- Post Graduate Certificate in Asperger Syndrome

Mrs C Slattery – (Deputy Head Teacher)- Post Graduate Certificate in SpLD Dyslexia (specialist assessor)

Mrs Pearson (SENCO) National SENCO Qualification for SENCOs; Master of Arts Degree in Inclusive Education and Special Educational Needs; Specialist Leader in Education (SEN).

Miss Barnett (LSP)- Post graduate specialist tutor and assessor qualification

The SENCO is a designated specialist leader in education.

What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND have had or are having?

Staff involved in teaching and supporting students with SEND have received training on the SEND Code of Practice and in supporting vulnerable students and making adjustments as part of quality first teaching and learning.

Specific training has been delivered to staff on supporting students with ASD. Workshops to explore how to overcome barriers to learning for individual students have been held on a case by case basis.

Whole staff/groups of staff training has included:

  • Core training from the Local Authority on meeting the needs of vulnerable students & quality first teaching
  • Behaviour Support
  • Supporting students with ASD
  • Attachment
  • Adoption
  • Case studies for removing barriers to learning for pupils with Asperger Syndrome ; ASD; Mental Health difficulties
  • Code of Practice & meeting needs for trainee teachers
  • Working with Additional Adults
  • Memory awareness training

LSP training has included:

  • Inference training
  • Precision teaching
  • Social Stories & Comic Strip Conversations
  • Access arrangements
  • Better Reading Partnership
  • Supporting students with ASD
  • Mental Health awareness

The SENCO regularly attends the city SENCO forum. This provides updates regarding current SEN policy and practice at a local and government level.

Staff who are new to the school follow an induction programme which includes training and information on SEN. Trainee teachers receive SEN and inclusion training, delivered by experienced professionals within the school, as part of their teacher training.

Additional training can be sought from specialist organisations from within the Local Authority as well as Health and Social Care Services.

How will my child/young person be included in activities outside this classroom including school trips?

A wide range of academic and extended school clubs are available at St Joseph’s College. They are open to all students, regardless of ability or need.

The school runs a supervised study club after school until 6:00pm; this is available to all students to attend (cost attached).

The school runs a summer school scheme which is made available to those about to transfer to the college from primary school. This is something which may benefit those with additional needs as it helps to ease the transition to secondary school (cost attached).

The extended school timetable is available on the school’s website.

All children in the school are encouraged to take part in extra activities at break time, lunchtime and after school. Pupils with additional needs may have suitable activities signposted to them based on what they might be interested in and how this might help to support them in developing skills outside of those addressed in the curriculum.

Day and residential trips are open to all children. Your child’s specific needs will be discussed if they wish to join such a trip so that appropriate planning, including risk assessments and consideration of staff pupil ratios, can be established. It is important that anticipatory action is taken in advance of trips so that pupils are able to access them alongside their peers. Parents are encouraged to contact the school to discuss their child’s individual needs for trips.

How accessible is the environment?

The school is an old but well preserved site that is split into different buildings. There is a lift on the main site which students with physical disabilities can access. All main stair cases have hand rail support on both left and right sides. Disabled toilet facilities are available on the main site, and the Fortiter, Fideliter and Olsen buildings  The Fortiter building is a purpose built sports' facility with full access and facilities for the physically disabled. The Brothers' House is part of the main site but a separate building. This is an old building with stair cases but no lift. Some lessons take place here but careful consideration is put into time tabling to meet individual needs.

How will the setting prepare and support my child/young person to join the next stage of education and life?

We visit each pupil in their primary school in the year before they start year seven. Pupils are also invited to the school on set days to prepare them for secondary school. The head of year 7 monitors transition from primary to secondary school and liaises with the SENCO, Deputy Head in charge of pastoral, Inclusion Manager. This ensures that a thorough transition is made for all students and any existing additional needs can be highlighted and planned for in advance.

There is also access to summer sessions during the summer holidays to provide further familiarisation with the school site, their peers and some staff members. For some students, where necessary, there may be additional transition visits to aid the move to secondary school. This is usually pertinent to students with statements or EHC plans. For transition between secondary school and our sixth form, we have taster sessions in each A level subject for both internal and external students as well as an open evening to talk to A level teachers. Other activities are also held of the first few days of sixth form before lessons start to aid transition.

We work very closely with the careers service, with a careers advisor being present in school two days a week to work with students across the age range. These meetings are more frequent for students who have additional needs and require closer transition planning. It is also possible, by prior arrangement for parents to attend these meetings. The careers advisor will also be present and prepare with the young person for all reviews from year 9 and above, if there is an EHC plan in place.

How are the setting's resources allocated and matched to children's/young people's special educational needs?

The SEND department is made up of a SENCO, Assistant SENCO and 4 LSPs. Resources are allocated according to need and additional interventions are funded to support individual pupil’s progress. Pupils identified as having an SEN are supported in the classroom by the teacher and where necessary, by an LSP. The school has the capacity to access additional support from the LA advisory teams and the Educational Psychologist Service as necessary. Pupils with EHC Plans receive support in accordance with their need.

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

Identification: we use information from a range of sources to help identify SEND and other needs. These include information from parents/carers, primary school teachers, end of key stage 2 levels, base line testing, subject teachers, specialist colleagues and external agencies.

If we believe your child has an SEND that has not previously been identified, you will be contacted, usually by the SENCO, to discuss our concerns and what possible actions are needed to support them.

How will our child and young person be involved in the decisions about their learning?

We recognise that all pupils have the right to be involved in making decisions and exercising choice in their education where that is possible. Students are encouraged to take part in Pupil Voice activities in school; to regularly evaluate their work and learning in lessons; attend review meetings and contribute to setting outcomes. Open dialogue between pupils and key adults, such as the form tutor and head of year, is encouraged.

Pupils are expected to become involved in a range of aspects of life at St Joseph’s College, including music, sporting, and drama activities as well as on the student council and in the many trips and retreats that take place throughout the year.

Pupils with SEND are involved in devising their pupil passport so that they are able to identify their barriers to learning and say what teachers and support staff can do to help them to overcome such barriers. Pupils are also asked to share their outcomes and are consulted about when the most suitable time to attend intervention sessions are, where this is possible.

For pupils with an EHCP, feedback is gathered from the pupil about their views in advance of the meeting to which they are invited.

Evaluations take place to determine the pupil’s views on what does and does not work for them.

How will we be involved in the decisions about the learning of our children and young people?

Identification: we use information from a range of sources to help identify SEND and other needs. These include information from parents/carers, primary school teachers, end of key stage 2 levels, base line testing, subject teachers, specialist colleagues and external agencies.

If we believe your child has an SEND that has not previously been identified, you will be contacted, usually by the SENCO, to discuss our concerns and what possible actions are needed to support them.

For those pupils with an identified SEND, at School Support or an EHC Plan level, a pupil passport or profile will be written in consultation with both the parent and child. This provides an opportunity to propose and discuss the type of support it is felt would benefit your child, as well as sharing desired outcomes for them.

You will be invited to parents’ evenings as well as a review meeting to discuss your child’s progress. At the review meeting you will meet with a designated teacher, usually the form tutor, as well as a member of the SEN department, to engage in a dialogue about your child. You will have the opportunity to bring up any concerns within this meeting. In addition to this, you can contact the school at any point if you have concerns about your child or would like to discuss their education. You may wish to speak to the head of year, the form teacher or a member of the SEN department.

How are parents involved in the setting? How can I be involved?

Parents can contact the school with any concerns about their child. Progress and targets are shared with parents throughout the year through school procedures but also through the SEND review cycle. The review cycle for SEND involves parents and student as an integral element. Parents can contact the SENCO or Head of Year to discuss their child’s progress if they have concerns.

Parents’ evenings are well attended and there is a very strong and active PTFA.

Regular liaison with home takes place through the school planner, letters and via the school website.

Parents are able to make additional appointments to discuss their child with staff if the need arises.

What do I I do if I want to make a complaint?

In the first instance, contact the subject teacher or your child’s form tutor who may refer your concerns to a more senior member of staff if needed. The school’s complaints procedure is available on the website

What other support Is available to parents and how can I contact them?

British Dyslexia Association


Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)


Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) Autistic Spectrum Disorder Service


Disability Service


North Staffs Asperger/Autism Association


Stoke on Trent SEN Monitoring and Assessment Service (SENMAS)


Stoke on Trent (SENDIASS)


Young Minds


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