Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

Message from the Principal

On behalf of students, staff and members of the Governing Body, I would like to officially welcome you to our learning community.

I am incredibly proud to be Principal of Penistone Grammar School and of all that our school continues to achieve. We have a dedicated team of teaching and associate colleagues who work tirelessly to provide an excellent educational experience for our young people. I am constantly overwhelmed by the lengths our staff will go to, to ensure every one of our students can flourish. Our Special Educational Needs Team are experienced, highly trained and place the students needs at the heart of all they do.

I believe an effective, open and transparent partnership between home and school is central to delivering the best for our students. We have an innate drive to deliver nothing short of the best. This is only achieved if students, staff and parents work in close collaboration; something which we will encourage and embrace as we move forward together.

Above all, our school is a happy and welcoming place. We are a supportive community where students are encouraged and enabled to become independent, well-educated citizens with the ability and confidence to make good choices, contributing positively to the world around them. I look forward to working with you for the duration of your child’s time with us and cannot wait for us to witness together all the great things they will achieve.

Paul Crook (Principal)

  • What is SEND? (from the Definitions of Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) taken from section 20 of the Children and Families Act 2014.
    • A child or young person has SEND if they have a learning difficulty or disability, which calls for special educational provision to be made for them. A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if they;
      a) have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age;
      b) have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.
  • Different types of SEND

Please contact our SEND department in the first instance by filling in the enquiry form here.

We are part of the BMBC Local Offer. Barnsley's Local Offer is a single access point for information about services and support for children and young people from birth to 25, with a special educational need or disability (SEND), and their families. To find out more about what this means for you and your family, please click here.

Young people only get one opportunity to learn. We owe it to our students to ensure the curriculum is exciting, engaging and provides them with every opportunity to achieve educational outcomes that will make their future success inevitable.

Students participate in 25, one-hour lessons per week. We operate a two-week timetable which means students’ lessons are spread across ‘Week A’ and ‘Week B’.

In Years 7 and 8, our focus is to develop the foundations needed for successful learning across a range of subjects. Students will study English for 7 hours per fortnight; Mathematics and Science for 6 hours per fortnight; Languages (French and Spanish) for 5 hours per fortnight; PE and Technology for 4 hours per fortnight; History and Geography for 3 hours; Art, Drama, Music, Computing, Resilience (Year 7 only) and Religious and Citizenship Studies (RCS) for 2 hours per fortnight.

As they move into Year 9, we enhance our students’ knowledge, skills and understanding as we prepare them for the next significant step in their learning journey. Recognising the importance of English and Mathematics as the cornerstones for learning, we will increase the amount of time students spend studying these key subjects. Throughout Year 9 students will be provided with opportunities to consider future pathways and to decide which subjects they would like to specialise in as they move into Key Stage 4.

In Years 10 and 11, students take control of almost 40% of their learning, studying subjects that interest and enthuse them and which contribute to their longer-term goals and aspirations. At Key Stage 4, students will spend significantly more time studying core subjects: 9 hours per fortnight of English and Mathematics, and 10 hours per fortnight of core Science. We will continue to recognise the importance of developing our students as well-rounded and healthy individuals and to this end our students will participate in practical PE lessons and Personal, Social, Health, Religious and Careers Education (PSHRCE) (2 hours per fortnight).

Students that require additional in-class support will receive this from either their classroom teacher, a learning or curriculum support assistant. These specialised staff are highly trained and extremely experienced.

Supporting Our Students With a Successful Transition

Where it has been determined that the barrier to a student’s learning is as a result of a special educational need or disability, support will be led by either Mrs Corson or Mrs Smith, our Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCO). Mrs Smith will work alongside primary schools and parents/carers to co-ordinate within-class support and intervention for those students with additional learning needs, within our mainstream setting, whilst Mrs Corson will work closely with those families accessing our HeartSpace provision, a brilliant new addition to our school. The HeartSpace was introduced in September 2019 to ensure that even those students with the most complex of needs were able to benefit from all that Penistone Grammar School has to offer.

Regardless of need, together with a team of Higher Level Teaching Assistants and Learning Support Assistants, our leaders for Special Educational Needs will ensure that highly effective, tailored support is in place to overcome any obstacles that may act as a barrier to learning, ensuring every young person has every opportunity to meet their potential.

The support provided will be framed within a four-part process: Assess-Plan-Do-Review. This ongoing cycle will enable the provision to be refined and revised as our understanding of each student’s needs grow. Through this process, we will be able to identify those interventions which are the most effective in supporting students to secure good progress and outcomes, both within their learning and beyond.

If a child has lifelong or significant difficulties, they may undergo a Statutory Assessment Process which is usually requested by the school but can be requested by a parent / carer. This will occur where the complexity of need, or a lack of clarity around the needs of the child are such that a multi-agency approach to assessing that need, to planning provision and identifying resources, is required. The decision to make a referral for an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment (EHCNA) will be taken at a progress review and will combine information from a variety of sources.

Usually, students will arrive at Penistone Grammar School having already been identified by their primary or previous school as requiring SEND support and, if appropriate, with an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) in place. In this circumstance, the SENCO will work with the teachers, student and their family to learn as much about the student prior to them joining us. This will allow us to ensure that an adequate and appropriate level of support is in place from the first day. This may include inviting the student to additional visits to give them opportunity to get to know about the workings of the school individually or in a smaller group prior to the main transition days.

On occasion, within a few weeks of a student joining us, we may identify a possible SEND need that has not previously been raised. Where this is the case, the student’s subject teachers will take steps to provide differentiated learning opportunities that will aid the student’s academic progression and enable the teacher to better understand the provision and teaching style that needs to be applied.

Our specialised transition team start work in January to ensure all our students, including those with special education needs have a smooth transition journey to Penistone Grammar School. Mrs Smith will communicate with primary staff around the needs of each individual student, visiting school, observing students in their educational setting and meetings with parents. Students also undertake additional transition events to ensure they feel confident about the important next steps in their learning journey.

Supporting Our Students With a Successful Transition

Transition not only happens in Year 6; our Year 9 students transition from KS3 to KS4.

This is when our students start to make decisions about their future and which subjects will help them to realise their future goals. This is a challenging time for some of our students and lots of support is put in place for the whole year group to ensure that the decisions made by each student are the right ones for them as an individual. Our SEND students have an extra layer of support from the SEND department, their Achievement Leader, and the Student Support Officer as well as our Senior Leadership Team.

Extra meetings are offered before and during the process, to ensure that all avenues have been explored and that both students and parents / carers have all the information they require to make an informed decision about the subject that will be studied at KS4. Once this process is completed, all SEND students will have a one-to-one meeting with our SENCo, to discuss the option choices and their Post 16 pathway, to ensure everything is in place for the student to achieve their aspirations.

For students with an EHCP, we will invite a representative from Targeted Intervention Advice and Guidance (TIAG) to attend the Year 9 annual review. TIAG will then attend all subsequent reviews to support the student and parents / carers with any information and advice required around future careers and post 16 opportunities.

Supporting Students With a Successful Transition

Making the decision around Post 16 education is yet another transition and possibly a transition to a different educational provider. Making a decision about what to study next can be confusing and daunting.

As a SEND department, we understand the challenges to both our students and their families for this next step. Moving to college or post 16 centre and understanding the different levels of qualification, the entry requirements, the different methods of study and the different methods of assessment can all seem rather confusing. We are always happy to support.

Some students need the support of an adult in their careers interview, some will require time to sit with someone who knows them as a learner to discuss all the opportunities open to them at post 16. Whatever the query, we are always available to help. While we may not have the answer to all your questions, we will certainly find someone who has.

As a department we are all keen to make sure that our students have the best knowledge and understanding of the opportunities available to them for their next chapter in life. Where needed, we will work with the next educational provider, to make sure that they fully understand the needs of our students and what each one will need to ensure continued success in learning.

TIAG will continue to support our EHCP students through the application process for their next learning environment, whether that be the PGS Post 16 centre or a local college. This ensures that all needs continue to be met and that the next chapter in their education is a positive experience.


We work closely with Barnsley TIAG. The Targeted Information, Advice and Guidance Service (TIAG) provides independent and impartial careers guidance to encourage, support and enable young people to get into education, employment and training.

Drop-in sessions are held every Tuesday 10am - 2pm at Penistone Library (when COVID restrictions are not in place). You can find out more about TIAG here: https://www.barnsley.gov.uk/services/children-families-and-education/young-people/information-advice-and-guidance/

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