School Building


At Bristol Free School, students with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) enjoy the full curriculum, which is appropriately differentiated at subject level, as required for each student. The School’s overall approach ensures that every student is competent and confident in the core skills of literacy, numeracy and science. Our aim is, therefore, that every student should be accredited in core subjects by age 16.   

The responsibility for the achievement and performance of all students, particularly students with SEND, lies with the class teacher.  However, the Special Educational Needs Coordinators (Mrs Jenkins and Mrs Cook) play a crucial role in providing effective leadership and guidance in this highly important area.

In particular, the School supports students with SEND in the following ways:

  1. Every member of staff is trained in SEND issues and will know how to draw on specialist support in order to plan effective sessions for those SEND students and to ensure they are making expected progress.
  2. Every student is entitled to equal access to the curriculum – we see this as a crucial aspect of the inclusive ethos of the School. Where reduction of curriculum options is necessary for students according to their identified needs, this will be in consultation with parents and relevant professionals supporting the student.
  3. The School prioritises early identification of need and allocation of resources for students, drawing fully upon the experience, skills and knowledge of students’ primary school teachers.
  4. The School ensures that inclusive practice is of the highest calibre right across the School, and embedded in all school policy. The School seeks to remove barriers to learning at all times.
  5. The School’s SEND policy is developed with reference to all relevant legislation, codes of practice and subsequent guidance.
  6. In-depth, regular monitoring of progress for each student with SEND occurs, and is supported where necessary, by small group or individual work with expert practitioners.
  7. High quality decision-making about relevant ongoing support for each student with SEND is backed by research monitoring the progress of small groups of students representing a wide range of needs.

The Teaching Assistants have great relationships with the students and this puts them in an ideal position to support them also with their Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH). When the difficulties become significant and cause a long-term barrier to learning, then they are classed as a Special Educational Need. At that stage it may become appropriate for the students to be placed on the SEND register, particularly if we need to give consistent support to help the student overcome their difficulties.

Support is sometimes in the form of being a safe person to turn to, other times it is more structured provision, e.g. programmes recommended by our Educational Psychologist and other evidenced based interventions.

Examples of interventions and groups that we might draw on to support students:

SEMH support, social skills support (boys/girls group), lunchtime club, speech and language, core support, SEN homework club.

BFS Effective Use of: