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St Thomas More Catholic Secondary School

St Thomas More
Catholic Secondary School


Our purpose-built Emmaus Centre is a cutting-edge example of an individual student support centre which is designed to meet the needs of our current and future students, families and staff.

On the road to Emmaus, Jesus walked beside his followers, teaching them and showing them the way.  In our Emmaus Centre, our mission is to follow His example and help students who need that little extra guidance and support in all aspects of their school life.  We believe that all students have an equal right to the richness of life, whatever their level of understanding, ability or need.

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.  - John 10:10

SENCO: Mrs S Maynard (Tel 01234 400222 email:

The Emmaus Centre is open daily from 8.30am to 9.00am, at break and lunch times and from 3.35pm through to 4.30pm

We are in a privilege position to have such an experienced and dedicated SEND team, as well as the Emmaus centre, in which to support students.

Please find attached our SEND Policy at the bottom of the page

We will be launching our SEND coffee mornings shortly; these are open to any parent/ carer who wishes to come along and discuss their child’s needs with some of the SEND team. In addition, some of the coffee mornings will have a specific focus, with a guest speaker to discuss issues such as, autism, ADHD, mental health etc.

Our SEND newsletter will be sent out every half term with information about services, courses and details about Bedford Borough’s local offer. As always, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in contact.

The Latest SEND Newsletter can be found at the bottom of the page

The Individual Needs Department deals with every student on an individual basis whatever their level of need, whether it be physical, academic, sensory or linguistic. We create a programme aimed at supporting the young person in their learning and where necessary call on the help of outside agencies.

The Pastoral Support Department works with students who may be experiencing difficulties pastorally or with behaviour.  As a department we value each young person and work with them in removing any barriers to their learning.  This can be done through one to one support or working as part of a group. We seek to forge effective links with parents and carers in a bid to offer support to all.

Seclusion Support works with young people who may be at threat of exclusion in managing their behaviour for learning. The support is offered in the form of one to one work as well as group work before supporting students into their reintegration back into school in a new and positive way.

Inclusion support staff work with young people who are underachieving at school by identifying and addressing barriers and thus supporting students to achieve their potential. This work is done on a one to one basis or in small groups to build supportive relationships with students.

A number of other agencies are based in Emmaus such as Educational Welfare Service, Careers Advice and the School Nurse.

SEN Information Statement

This policy is drawn up with reference to the "Special Educational Needs and Disability - Code of practice: 0 to 25 years" June 2014, the Children and Families Act 2014 and “Bedford Borough Council Guidance on Special Educational Needs – a graduated response 2010” & “Guidance on Special Educational Needs in the Early Years: a graduated response 2010.”


We are committed to providing an appropriate and high quality education to all the children in our school communities.  We believe that all children, including those identified as having special educational needs and disabilities, have a common entitlement to a broad and balanced academic and social curriculum, which is accessible to them, and are to be fully included in all aspects of school life.

We believe that all children should be equally valued in school.  We will strive to eliminate prejudice and discrimination, and to develop an environment where all children can flourish and feel safe.

We are fully inclusive.  Part of our schools strategic planning for improvement is to develop cultures, policies and practices that include all learners.  We aim to engender a sense of community and belonging, and to offer new opportunities to learners who may have experienced previous difficulties.

This does not mean that we will treat all learners in the same way, but that we will respond to learners in ways which take account of their varied life experiences and needs.

We believe that educational inclusion is about equal opportunities for all learners, whatever their age, gender, ethnicity, impairment, attainment and background.  We pay particular attention to the provision for and the achievement of different groups of learners within our Catholic School Communities. For as St Paul wrote:

"There is a variety of gift but always the same spirit: there are all sorts of service to be done but always the same Lord working in all sorts of ways in different people, it is the same God who is working in all of them. The particular way in which the Spirit is given to each person is for a good purpose".

This policy describes the way we meet the needs of children who experience barriers to their learning, which may relate to sensory or physical impairment, learning difficulties or emotional or social development, or may relate to factors in their environment, including the learning environment they experience in school.

We recognise that pupils learn at different rates and that there are many factors affecting achievement, including ability, emotional state, age and maturity. 
We believe that many pupils, at some time in their school career, may experience difficulties which affect their learning, and we recognise that these may be long or short term.

We aim to identify these needs as they arise and provide teaching and learning contexts which enable every child to achieve to his or her full potential.

We see the inclusion of children identified as having special educational needs and disabilities as an equal opportunities issue, and we will also aim to model inclusion in our staffing policies, relationships with parents/carers and the community.  We are trying to move from an SEND approach that locates a problem with the child to looking at what additional provision we need to make for specific children.

The development and monitoring of the schools work on Inclusion is undertaken by the Catholic Life Committee (Directors) which meets half termly, and includes a parent director, teaching and non-teaching staff.

What types SEND are catered for in the school? 

We are inclusive. We work very hard to support all pupils within the school, who present with a variety of needs in a mainstream school. We do not have a ‘specialism’ in supporting pupils with a particular type of need; we support all pupils’ additional needs on an individual basis.

All schools have been awarded the Inclusion Mark.

How we identify? 

On entry to the Bedford Catholic Schools, pupils are assessed by staff, this assessment helps the SENDCos to determine the needs of pupils, alongside discussions with previous educational settings and discussions with staff.

SENDCos also use the “Bedford Borough Council Guidance on Special Educational Needs – a graduated response 2010” & “Guidance on Special educational Needs in the Early Years: a graduated response 2010” in order to assist in ascertaining the needs of pupils.

There is a rigorous Transfer Programme in place between the schools and pupils are supported by this when they move from setting to setting. This rigorous transfer programme also enables information to be shared between the schools to assist in the further identification of pupils with SEND.

Information relating to Provision 

We have systems for regularly observing, assessing and recording the progress of all children is used to identify children who may have additional needs.

This system includes reference to information provided by:

  • Half Termly data analysis
  • Baseline assessment results
  • Progress measured against the objectives in the National Curriculum
  • National Curriculum descriptors for the end of a key stage
  • Progress measured against the P level descriptors
  • Standardised screening and assessment tools
  • Observations of behavioural, emotional and social development
  • An existing Statement of SEND
  • Assessments by a specialist service, such as educational psychology, identifying additional needs
  • Another school or LA which has identified or has provided for additional needs
  • Information provided by parents, carers and the pupil
  • Information provided by teachers and departments

Based on the Trust Schools observations and assessment data and following a discussion between the class teacher, SENDCO and parent, children may be recorded as needing either additional support or learning opportunities.

Approach to teaching pupils with SEND 

In all Trust schools, pupils are taught by teachers across a variety to subjects. We view each teacher as a teacher of SEND. All pupils are entitled to access to teaching staff. Within lessons appropriate work is planned and set by teachers, assisted by the SENDCo where required. All staff have training on types and ways of supporting all pupils. – Teaching Assistants and Teachers have regular training on supporting pupils on the Autistic Spectrum and pupils with ADHD.

Adaptations to the curriculum & learning environment

Curriculum and learning environment adaptations are considered for individuals and groups of pupils depending on needs. These adaptations vary throughout the year and each year depending on the cohorts of pupils currently being taught. For example the needs of a pupil are assessed and a decision is made about appropriate intervention. The intervention may be academic or pastoral depending on the need of the pupil.

Additional support available

Each of the BCS schools have access to additional support in school. This support includes: behaviour, social skills, academic support, mentoring, support with attendance, support for families, exam support. The schools can also access Local Authority support and voluntary agencies as appropriate.

Activities available other than curriculum based

All pupils can access clubs at each of the BCS schools. Pupils are included on trips and outings. The Trust schools also have enrichment days in which all pupils are included. Retreat programmes run in the four schools which support the pupils’ spiritual development. 

Support for emotional and social needs of the pupils
Each of the Trust schools offers behaviour and social needs support. This can be classroom based, individual or small group based. These sessions are run by Mentors, Family Support Workers or TAs with relevant training. The SENDCo monitors this support. Each school also has staff trained to deliver “Rainbows” a programme for pupils who have suffered lose or bereavement.
Name and contact of SENDCo

The Coordinators take the lead role in relation to inclusion, and report as required to the Directors of the Trust on this area.  The Chair of the Catholic Life Committee is Ilona Bond.

Info on expertise and training on the staff 

All staff receive regular training in relation to differentiation and supporting the different needs of pupils. Staff attend staff meetings each week which always have an element of training in them. There are five training days across the academic year and again these are used for training. There are a number of staff in each school trained in “Rainbows”, supporting pupils with reading and phonics, supporting pupils with numeracy, supporting the behavior, social and emotional needs of pupils. SENDCos assess and monitor the needs of the pupils and school and instigate relevant training, this varies depending on the cohort of pupils currently in the school.

Equipment and facilities 


St. Thomas More Catholic Secondary School

  • Dedicated Student Support Centre – The Emmaus Centre
  • ICT equipment both hard and software available to support pupils
  • Two disabled toilets
  • Lift from the ground floor to the first floor in Science/Maths building
  • Reading materials for different reading ages
  • Numeracy equipment for different needs
  • Regular evaluation of what resources we have and what we need.


Arrangements for consulting parents 

Each OLICAT school consults with parents in a variety of ways;

  • Written reports
  • Parent’s Evenings / consultations
  • Written assessment details go home
  • Face to face meetings
  • Phone calls
  • Email

Arrangements for consulting young people 

The views of young people are very important. We do this in a variety of ways.

  • Meetings / discussions with pupils
  • Questionnaires
  • Pupil forums
  • Focus groups
  • Involvement in reviews as appropriate
  • Directors / School and complaints

The Trust Schools have one Board of Directors. The chair of Directors is Christopher Donnellan. The Chair is contactable through any of our Trust Schools. 

How other bodies – health, social care – are involved by the school / directors 

Each SENDCo is very experienced at working with different outside agencies. There are a variety of agencies that we work with. These include:

  • Educational Psychologists
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder Team
  • Speech & Language Therapy Team
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service
  • Hearing Impaired Team
  • Visual Impaired Team

This list is not exhaustive and the Trust Schools are committed to communicating and working with professionals involved with a child or family to ensure a joined up approach to support.

Contact details of support services for parents

Bedford Borough Parent Partnership Service
Borough Hall
Cauldwell Street
MK42 9AP

Tel: 01234 276267

Transfer arrangements
Trust schools work very closely together regarding transfer and transition. This is supported by dedicated transition plans and regular contact between the schools.