SEN Information/School Offer

Our vision

At Vale Special School we put your child and their needs at the centre of everything we do. We believe in quality teaching, learning and care, effective communication, and celebration of success.

All of our children (aged 2-16years) have Special Educational Needs, with learning needs ranging from moderate/severe to profound and multiple needs. Our special school is situated on four sites of mainstream schools and depending on each child’s need we offer a tailored programme from a range of provision - mainstream inclusion with support through to specialist small group teaching and support.

We are proud of the fact that on all sites, visitors comment on our friendly ‘family’ feel.

Type of school

We are an all age (2-16yrs) day special school for pupils with a range of special educational needs ;

- Learning difficulties (Moderate, Severe, Profound and Multiple, Global development delay)

- Physical disabilities (eg Cerebral palsy, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy)

- Medical conditions  (eg Epilepsy, Rhett’s syndrome, Down’s Syndrome, Sotos Syndrome, Chromosome disorder)

- Sensory impairments

- Communication difficulties


Our school is situated on four mainstream school sites, allowing the benefit of best practices of a special school and supported opportunities, experiences and challenges of mainstream provision. In order to meet the range needs most effectively, the provision we offer is also varied, for example,

- a child who is able to access a mainstream curriculum with the addition of specific support may attend our Vale Inclusion Scheme - at Belmont Infant and Belmont Junior School – they would spend the majority of time in their mainstream class

- a child with complex needs may attend the Primary Department  co-located with Lancasterian Primary School – they would have small group teaching with other children with similar needs, with appropriate inclusion opportunities.

-a secondary aged student will attend our Secondary Department which is co-located with Northumberland Park Community School , they would have a programme tailored to their individual needs, ranging from specialist teaching to full mainstream inclusion.

Our Ofsted rating is Good Vale School was inspected by OFSTED for a Section 8 short inspection on 23rd September 2015. They said… 

·    This school continues to be good. The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection.


·    Members of staff at all levels develop strong relationships with the pupils in their care. The care, guidance and support provided have continued to be of the highest quality. As a result, pupils feel safe and secure in school. They enjoy school and are happy to be there.

·    Parents and pupils are secure in their knowledge that the school is a safe place, and that there are people who will help if support is needed. 


·         Governors know the school well. They attend training, are well informed about the progress pupils make and make regular visits to check on the school’s work for themselves.


·         Leaders and managers have ensured that the safeguarding of pupils is at the heart of their work [and the] joined-up approach is strength of the school’s work. Staff are well trained.


·         Teachers plan lessons that engage and motivate pupils. They ensure that activities are pitched at the right level so that most pupils make at least good progress.


·         Leaders and managers are determined to ensure that each individual pupil achieves the best he or she can. They work with a wide range of partners to ensure each pupil’s needs are addressed through a holistic and consistent approach. 


·         The school uses a range of approaches to improve the communication skills of pupils. They have introduced some new strategies …which have had a significant impact on the ability of some pupils to communicate their needs and make choices.


·         Pupils are included in mainstream classrooms and activities whenever possible in a meaningful way that promotes their independence and extends their learning. Inclusion opportunities are tailored for individual pupils to ensure they achieve well.


·         Pupils’ attitudes to learning are excellent. They are pleased to see their familiar staff members when they arrive in school. They are actively involved in lessons, and make good progress

 For the full report letter please follow this link:




How we know if a child/young person has special educational needs

If you think that your child needs a special school place, please contact Vale School for a visit on 0208 801 6111.

- Admissions to Vale School usually come through the Haringey Special Educational Needs Panel.

- Children are likely to have a statement of Special Educational Needs, but they can be admitted on an assessment place if they have not yet received one and it is appropriate.

- We carry out an initial assessment of your child’s needs with parents/carers, school staff, therapy staff and school nurse to identify the best support for them.



What we do to help children/young people with special educational needs


As a special school, our provision is designed and adapted to meet the needs of every child.

- We very carefully plan and tailor teaching and learning to the needs of the individual child

- We manage therapy, medical interventions and programmes through education and health staff working together with children and their families.

- A typical Vale class will have about 8 pupils per class, with a staff class team of a fully qualified teacher and at least two special needs assistants.

- The school nurse, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists and physiotherapists are all based on site and they work very closely with class staff teams.

- Dieticians and a variety of other health, education and social care professionals may be involved when and where appropriate.

- We have a Hydrotherapy Pool on the Vale @ Lancasterian site and children from across the school will access hydrotherapy sessions according to their needs.


How we adapt our teaching for children  with special educational needs

At Vale School we tailor and adapt our teaching to meet children’s learning needs and their communication, physical and emotional needs. Every child is challenged to achieve through appropriate goals and teachers ensure that strategies and activities are appropriate and enjoyable.

- If your child has profound and multiple learning difficulties they explore the world around them through sensory approaches eg touch, smell , taste exploration; they learn to make choices, express their likes and needs, develop a sense of security and establish positive relationships.

- If your child has severe learning difficulties they access learning through functional activities, structured play and life experiences. There is a strong emphasis on developing independence skills and understanding expectations and making appropriate choices.

- If your child has specific  learning needs, they work within the range of national curriculum subjects for their key stage. Teaching is modified to reflect  their developmental level and special educational needs.  Pupils in this group typically spend some time in mainstream classes with support. The teaching activities will focus on your child’s skills in all subject areas with an emphasis on developing independence.

- If your child can access mainstream classes then we offer this through partial or full inclusion into our partnership mainstream schools. They are supported by our highly trained inclusion team in lessons.


How we decide what resources we can give to a child person with special educational needs

We are a Local Authority Maintained special school so therefore all funding is allocated to meet the needs of children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities. Each child’s needs are assessed   individually and resources are allocated according to their need. Resources and specific equipment is bought either by the school, the Local Authority or the Health Service, depending on needs and recommended by specialist professional input.


How we check that a child/young person is making progress and how we keep parents informed

- We assess every child’s progress on a regular basis and link the assessment to future planning for every child

- We have half termly meetings to discuss your child’s progress and how home and school can work together on supporting your child. - Every child has an Individual Education Plan (IEP) which is updated at each meeting.

- We track children’s progress throughout the year and over the years and discuss this with parents

- Every child has an Annual Review meeting, where parents and professionals can discuss and review their  progress

- We hold regular meetings for parent groups to support them in particular aspects of their child’s needs.


Support we offer for children’s health and general wellbeing

- We create a nurturing environment for small groups of children with familiar, caring staff. Staff are well trained and skilled in understanding and responding to physical and emotional needs.

- Staff follow our procedures in administering medications and the school nurse guides and trains staff in ensuring that correct and safe procedures are followed

- We have a paediatric school nurse on site, who ensures all health issues are addressed promptly and effectively. She works closely with the consultant paediatrician, who holds medicals at school and follows up with other health professionals to support children and their families.

- Dieticians see children and their parents at school to meet children’s nutritional needs

- Team of physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists, who work closely together, ensure the physical and communication needs of pupils are met

- Where children have therapy programmes to follow, therapists give ongoing training to school staff, enabling them to carry out  programmes with the children safely and effectively

- We have close links with the Disabled Children’s Team and a social worker attends  regular meetings to ensure all children and their families have the input from social services they need

- We take safeguarding seriously and it is at the heart of our policies and practice

- Intimate care is carried out by trained staff, with an emphasis on safety, dignity and comfort

- We focus on understanding and supporting every child and we celebrate good behaviour

- We ask children for their views through questionnaires

- We have a school council where children can give their opinions and ideas about the school


Specialist external services we use when we think extra help is needed

We access many external services in order to support our children and we work in partnership with a range of health professionals and services. Children and their parents have access to:

- Full time school nurse

- Physiotherapists

- Speech and language therapists

- Occupational therapists

- Hydrotherapy or swimming


Vale pupils have access to a dedicated consultant paediatrician and have annual medicals as required. Many Vale pupils also access dietician services and CAMHS LD (Children and Adolescents Mental Health services, learning disability team)

Vale pupils and their families have access to support from The Haringey Children with Disabilities Team, a dedicated, specialist team of social workers. We work closely with this team to support children and families.

We work closely with Haringey Educational Psychology Services. We have partnerships with other schools and community organisations in order to enhance the life opportunities of our children. We work with a Creative Partners organisation, the Royal Academy of Dance and Haringey Music Services to enhance our Expressive Arts curriculum. Secondary aged pupils and their families have weekly access to the Open Door psychotherapy service.

Our school is the Youth Sport Trust Project Ability School for North London. As such the school is a specialist school for disability sport and has long standing partnerships with a range of sports organisations and clubs including Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, Panathlon and Middlesex County Cricket Club.


Staff training 

We have an excellent, thorough induction process for all new staff. All staff and regular and school based training to support pupils’

- medical needs (administering medication, emergency medication),

- physical needs (Postural management, Therapy programmes, specialist equipment),

- care needs (feeding including Gastrostomy feeding, personal care, behaviour management).

Staff also have regular training on

- Safeguarding(Policies and Procedures)

- Curriculum Development (Sensory Curriculum, Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum)

- Specialist training for Individual learning needs (Down’s Syndrome, Sensory Impairment, Literacy and Numeracy, ADHD)

- Pupils’ Communication and Language Difficulties (Makaton signing, Communication books – PODD system, Communication aids, Individual  programmes)

- Health and Safety (Manual Handling, First aid)