SEND Information Report

At Bedminster Down our aim is for all learners to access a broad and balanced curriculum in a safe learning environment where there will be clarity of provision for them. All learners are valued, no matter what the differences are in their abilities or behaviours and every child matters.

Bedminster Down is part of the Futura Learning Partnership. Bedminster Down fully supports the trust’s vision.

The trust is committed to improving outcomes for all pupils/students through providing an appropriate and high quality inclusive education to all members of the Academy community. The trust places inclusion at the heart of all its provision and seeks to develop a range of inclusive services to support learners with specific needs to ensure they are given the opportunity to fulfil their potential now and in the future. The trust is ambitious for its schools, pupils and students and believes that with the right support everyone can achieve their best, regardless of their circumstances or background.

Futura Learning Partnership SEND policy

For more information please see the trust’s SEND policy.

Contact details for key staff

Acting SENDCo: Miss S Adams

Tel: 0117 353 2800 Ext. 5028

IPS Administrator: Mrs S Cameron

Tel: 0117 353 2800 Ext. 5049

School Office

Tel: 0117 353 2800

We also have a team of dedicated Learning Support Assistants who support students across the course of the day emotionally and with their learning.

The named governor for SEND is Katie Maule.

  • Cognition and Learning
  • Social, emotional and Mental Health
  • Communication and Interaction
  • Sensory and Physical Impairments
  • Medical conditions which may affect learning

Students have a Special Educational Need or Disability if they need support in or have difficulty in accessing the curriculum that is in addition to or different from other students of their age. This can be a temporary or long term issue. We support students in the context of their own individual needs and in liaison with parents, carers and other professional organisations.

Our SEND strategy is based on the graduated approach and the principles of assess, plan, do, review.

We believe in an inclusive approach for all learners regardless of their level of need.

Where students need additional support due to SEND they are supported in a number of ways depending on the type of SEND and the level of need.

We pride ourselves on catering for a wide variety of needs by using effective adaptive teaching strategies in the classroom. In some cases, we support in class for our most vulnerable learners or if support is specified on an Educational Health and Care Plan (EHCP). Bedminster Down provides:

  • Swift and effective interventions for students with additional needs (e.g. social skills, emotional literacy, academic intervention)
  • High quality transition with the SENDCo of feeder Primary schools
  • Support and counselling for students suffering with anxieties, social, emotional and mental health needs and a safe space (IPS) for those students to have the support they require throughout the day
  • Key Adults for students with Educational Health Care Plans
  • Regular contact with parents and outside agencies to ensure the best outcomes for students
  • Dyslexic friendly learning environments with teachers who know how to help students with dyslexia in their learning
  • Support and training in SEND for all staff and a range of on-going CPD opportunities
  • Small group/1:1 targeted interventions in reading, maths and English with students who are not at age related expectations that are tracked and reported back to parents and carers
  • Social skills interventions
  • Regular support from the Bristol Autism Team
  • After school clubs to support our students
  • A safe place to come before school, break times and after school
  • The Haven is a lunchtime provision for KS3 and KS4 students

The majority of students with SEND are taught in mainstream classrooms. Teachers adapt their teaching based on the needs of the pupils from the information provided in the pupil passports and all pupils follow the main curriculum.

For some students who need additional and more bespoke support, intervention groups to support these learners are established such as Lexia, social skills, emotional literacy, speech and language therapy and numeracy.

All students are offered the same opportunities in terms of access to extra curricular activities and school trips and visits.

Bedminster Down liaises closely with the feeder primary schools. As soon as we know who is coming to us we ensure that every child is visited in their primary setting, provided they are living within reasonable distance. We speak to Year 6 teachers as well as the SENDCo to see what provision has already been put in place.

Should your child require extra support for transition, this can be arranged in collaboration with the primary school. We invite parents and students in over the summer break to visit the school whilst it is quiet and we create a pupil passport for the student, discussing strategies that will help support the student in lessons.

There are various approaches that Bedminster Down uses to establish the needs of learners. We establish the level of support required for our learners through the following:

  • If a concern is raised by the teachers, they then build a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate that a student requires intervention which is in addition to and different from other students of the same age group. This is known as the Graduated Approach.
  • Where student attainment and progress is significantly below expectations.
  • There is a significant or prolonged change in behaviour.
  • If a concern is raised by parents of a student that their child is struggling.

We receive notification of a diagnosis from an external qualified and certified practitioner e.g. a diagnosis of ADHD from a paediatrician

Each student is assessed individually and a personalised package of support is put in to place, dependent on need. Meetings are held between the SENDCo and parents when a need has been identified and actions will be agreed.  These will then be implemented and teaching staff will be advised of the student’s needs via the pupil passport which staff can access through the school’s MIS.  This will also be reviewed regularly.

Additional assessments from outside agencies are used for students with complex needs. This will be done when a full and comprehensive range of support in school has been pursued or where the level of need is significant or complex enough for the school to seek external professional support as soon as possible.

Provision for students with SEND is led by a qualified SENDCo. In addition, we have a team of Higher Level Teaching Assistants (HLTAs) and Learning Support Assistants who are able to support a number of learners. We currently have a member of the team training as an Autism Champion with Bristol Autism Team.

We encourage all parents and carers to actively contribute to the decisions and actions taken to support students, regardless of whether they have SEND or not.

Parents and carers of students with SEND support plans or EHCPs will be invited to attend all review meetings and any other meetings where parent/carer input would be of benefit. There will be regular communication from the SENDCo. If your child has SEND and you have questions or concerns, please contact the SENDCo. 

At Bedminster Down we regularly evaluate the effectiveness of our provision through the school’s cycle of monitoring the quality of education, including provision for SEND pupils. Provision is monitored and evaluated through a range of quality assurance procedures such as learning visits, reviews of student work, pupil voice and external scrutiny. We also welcome feedback from parents and carers as part of our monitoring and evaluation procedures.

Provided evidence has been submitted by your child’s subject teachers that suggest that they struggle with reading, writing and/or processing, we can carry out tests which indicate whether your child has dyslexic tendencies. However, we cannot provide a diagnosis of dyslexia. This can be organised by parents/carers though external organisations such as Dyslexia Action. Students who are dyslexic may receive targeted intervention work through small groups or access to a word processor. Coloured overlays are also available as well as coloured books if a student finds this helpful for reading and writing. Regular strategies are also discussed with staff to support students with dyslexia.

In exceptional circumstances, some students require access arrangements for exams such as extra time, a scribe or a word processor. Some students also require rest breaks.

In order for these access arrangements to be granted, evidence needs to be collected from subject teachers by the Individual Pupil Support (IPS) Team that proves that the nature of the special consideration is the student’s normal way of working. Bedminster Down School has to follow criteria set out by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ). A learning need such as dyslexia does not automatically mean that a student is entitled to access arrangements and in cases where a student does not use the arrangement provided, then it is rescinded. Further information can be found on the JCQ website.

Your child’s House Office will be the first port of call for any issues that may arise and our tutors are well trained in offering high quality help and advice. We offer a comprehensive and supportive pastoral system with dedicated House teams who support young people through what can be a difficult time in their lives such as the transition from childhood to adulthood and the pressures that that will bring. Individual Pupil Support is positioned on the lower ground floor of the school where our Speech and Language therapist and Educational Psychologist also work. For students with complex emotional needs we have Learning Support Assistants who offer high quality bespoke interventions depending on need.

As a school we recognise the importance of supporting students to be physically and mentally healthy. Students are supported with their mental wellbeing through pastoral support in school, through the School Nurse and through referrals to external agencies such as Mental Health Support Team (MHST), Primary Mental Health Team and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

You can contact our SENDCo who will liaise with the School Health Nurse to discuss any medical conditions or queries.

Students with a disability or who are taking regular medication during the school day will have a Health Care Plan that is overseen by our Safeguarding Lead.

In the rare case of a child being too ill to attend school or recovering from an operation, we may refer to the Bristol Hospital Education Service (BHES).

Where a parent of a child with SEND has concerns about the provision or support for their child, we would hope to be able to answer and resolve any issues quickly to support the progress and welfare of the student. In the first instance, any concerns should be directed to our SENDCo, Miss S Adams. In the unfortunate and rare case that these concerns cannot be resolved and a parent remains dissatisfied with the outcome or support, they should follow the complaint procedure as outlined on the school website.

General information and support

Please use the following link to access the Local Offer from Bristol Local Authority

The Bristol City Council guide to SEND support for educational settings can be found here.

The FLORA team provide information and advice for children and young people with additional needs and their parents and carers.

For more information, email with your name and phone number. The team will contact you within 5 working days.

You can also call FLORA on 0117 352 6020. They’re open:

Monday, 8:30am to 5pm

Tuesday, 8:30am to 5pm

Wednesday, 10:30am to 8pm

Thursday, 8:30am to 5pm

Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm

SEND And You (SAY) provides independent advice and support on things that relate to a child or young person’s special educational needs or disabilities. It’s free, confidential and impartial, and is for:

  • parents and carers of children with special educational needs or disabilities
  • children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities

They’re open Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4.30pm.

The Council for Disabled Children’s introduction to the information advice and support service has more detail about the different types of support on offer.

Children and young people with SEND can use the service independently to ensure their views are shared, they understand educational processes and can contribute to decisions about their future.

Parents and carers with parental responsibility can use the service to understand the rights, processes and policies in place for children and young people with SEND and for support in voicing their views.

Information, advice and support may include:

  • statutory work, which may lead to an education, health and care (EHC) plan
  • concerns and getting help early
  • SEND support in schools
  • accessing services to support education
  • signposting to other services
  • disagreement resolution
  • exclusions

Family learning courses about autism.

Parenting courses for all parents about:

  • young children
  • challenging behaviour
  • anxiety
  • teenagers
  • involvement in the criminal justice system

Bristol Parent Carers 

A participation group for families with children and young people with disabilities and special needs to help influence how services are run.

Carers Support Centre 

Carers Support Centre offers a range of services for parent carers with a child age 18 or younger. These include practical and emotional support, advice and information.


HappyMaps is for parents to find useful resources on behaviour and mental health for their children, from babies to young adults. There is general national information and also local information on counselling, charities, local CAMHS (Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services) and parenting groups for the South West.

Healthwatch Bristol

Helps families have their voice heard in decisions about health and social care services.

Bristol Autism Support  (BAS)

A not-for-profit social enterprise providing information, support and training for parents and carers of autistic children in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. You do not need a diagnosis of autism to access the support.

Off The Record for parents 

Mental health support. Find a downloadable parents’ pack, local parent carer support group and helpline.

The Autism Page

A collection of resources created by a local mother of an autistic child.

The Family Centre (Deaf Children) 

Supports families with a deaf child or a deaf parent. They run a range of activities, including family sessions, a kids club, a youth club, family sign language tuition.

Ups and Downs South West 

Local charity that deals with the health and education of children and young people who have Down Syndrome. They offer support to children and young people, their parents/carers and all linked professionals.

Murmuration Community Therapy 

Murmuration sets up nurture groups, which are small groups for 6 to 8 SEND parents nurturing connection and belonging, starting with an 8 week mental wellness course. Murmuration supports each group to continue as they wish, being there for each other as friends, connecting as families or continuing to meet as a group.

Your child could be at pre-diagnosis stage or you could be years into the journey. All are welcome, whatever the disability or neurodivergence.

New groups start regularly throughout the year, sometimes with specific parent groups. Get in touch to learn more and join the waiting list for the next start dates: