Lode Heath Academy is an inclusive school which values the individuality and uniqueness of all students. We want to give all our students every opportunity to achieve their best.  This includes all young people, regardless of their gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, physical status and ability. We want all our young people to feel they belong to the community of Lode Heath. We have an inclusive ethos with high expectations and suitable targets for everyone, a broad and balanced curriculum for all young people and systems to identify barriers which may stop our young people from learning and getting the most out of life at school.

At Lode Heath, we welcome everybody from our local community.  We believe that our school should provide every young person with the opportunity to achieve their best.  Parents, when considering Lode Heath as a choice of school for their child must understand that we are a mixed ability mainstream school with limited resources and no specialist provision. This is when compared to specialist schools or those schools which have an additional resource centre. 

Every student at Lode Heath has the opportunity to follow a broad curriculum in Years 7 to 9 as well as following an appropriate GCSE or Vocational Curriculum options and Post-16 options pathway.

We are committed to making sure that young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disability achieve and make as much progress as their peers, with a focus on narrowing the gap in attainment between them.  One of the ways that we attempt to do this is through the use of intervention clubs to support pupils during the school day and in making effective social relationships. It is our policy, wherever possible, not to withdraw young people from lessons so all students have a fully inclusive experience, however, we also recognise that at times, some students require specific short-term intervention which cannot always be delivered within the classroom. We expect all young people regardless of their ability to undertake a full and broad curriculum.

We strive for excellent attendance at Lode Heath with young people wanting to come to school as they enjoy the lessons and make good friends. 

Please click below headings for more information:

Please click below headings for more information

The SEND and disabilities for which we make provision at Lode Heath

At Lode Heath, we have a fully inclusive ethos with all students having access to a broad and balanced curriculum delivered through high quality teaching. A small number of our children do have special educational needs, approximately 10% which is below the national average of 15%. We have regard to the definition of Special Educational Needs and/or Disability as stated in the Government’s Code of Practice: "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 him or her.” (Special Educational Needs and disability code of practice: 0 – 25 years, 2014). Children have a learning difficulty if they: Have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age or have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of the same age in mainstream schools. (Special Educational Needs and disability code of practice: 0 – 25 years, 2014) A disabled person is defined by the Equality Act 2010 as: Someone who has ‘a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities

Although we do not have any specialist teachers in school on a daily basis, we do have access to a specialist language and communication teacher who works across the multi academy trust as well as access to specialists working for external agencies. We support our children well through a focus on quality first teaching and effective differentiation. This helps to ensure that young people can access the curriculum and take part within the mainstream mixed ability classes throughout the school.

At Lode Heath, we work with children who have literacy difficulties and needs connected to Dyslexia; Autistic Spectrum Conditions; Speech, Language and Communication Difficulties; Sensory Difficulties, as well as a small number with Physical Conditions and Hearing Impairments.

There are four types of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, decided by the Department for Education:

1. Communication and interaction (how we communicate with others, this includes speech, understanding and expression of language both verbal and written as well as understanding and using social communication. Difficulties may include autistic spectrum conditions, speech and language difficulties)

2. Cognition and learning (How we think, process and learn new ideas often based on past learning and experience. Difficulties may include Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, and Dyscalculia)

3. Social, emotional and mental health (How we cope with social interaction, emotional regulation and resilience. Difficulties may include Anxiety Disorders, Attachment Disorders)

4. Sensory or physical (Effective use of our body and Senses. Difficulties may include cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, Hearing or Visual Impairment.)

If a child has Special Educational Needs and/or Disability, then their needs will fit into one or more of these categories.

Identifying students with SEND and assessing their needs

On transition students who have been identified as having SEND at Primary School are transferred at the appropriate level of support. As well as this, on becoming part of Lode Heath, we will assess each student’s current skills and levels of attainment on entry, including baseline testing on reading, comprehension and spelling, this information is shared with teaching and support staff. Prior attainment measures are also used including SATS data.

Class teachers also make regular assessments of progress for all students and identify those whose progress:

  • Is significantly slower than that of their peers starting from the same baseline.
  • Fails to match or better the child’s previous rate of progress.
  • Fails to close the attainment gap between the child and their peers.
  • Widens the attainment gap.

This may include progress in areas other than attainment, for example, social needs.

Slow progress and low attainment will not automatically mean a pupil is recorded as having SEND.

We work closely with our teachers so they have a good understanding of the difficulties children with Special Educational Needs face. Through this training, we also address the typical signs and characteristics of various additional needs ensuring all staff are aware and able to identify areas of difficulty early.

If a student is not making progress despite quality first teaching, Lode Heath follows the advised recommendations in the SEND Code of Practice 2014 of the graduated approach – assess, plan, do, review to further identify and meet needs. If a student continues to not make adequate progress or a specific area of need is noted, the SENCo, in discussion with parents/carers and the student may seek the support of external agencies for further assessment or intervention.

Consulting and involving students and parents

At Lode Heath we recognise the importance of involving students and parents in relation to their general education as well as any SEND. Information about progress in individual subjects can be discussed at parents’ evenings with subject staff, but parents can also meet with staff during the year to discuss progress or areas of concerns by prior appointment.

We will have an early discussion with the pupil and their parents when identifying whether they need special educational provision. These conversations will make sure that:

  • Everyone develops a good understanding of the pupil’s areas of strength and difficulty.
  • We take into account the parents’ and students’ concerns.
  • Everyone understands the agreed outcomes sought for the child.
  • Everyone is clear on what the next steps are.
  • We will formally notify parents when it is decided that a pupil will receive SEND support.
  • The SEND Department give parents a chance to feedback through the parent voice questionnaire which highlights areas of strength and weakness within the department and used to improve our practice.

The views of young people are very important at school and we like to hear what they think about lots of different parts of school life. We use many different ways to hear their views:

  • The school has a student council, where children are elected each year to represent their class. We discuss with the student council about whole school plans, how to support charities and these children are able to express the views of others in their class to senior leaders throughout the year.
  • There is an annual child questionnaire where we find out what children think about school. The results of this questionnaire are used by the Senior Leadership Team to improve the school.
  • If a child takes part in an intervention programme, then they will contribute their views to the review of progress at the end.

If your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan, their views will be sought before any review meetings.

Assessing and reviewing students' progress towards outcomes

All children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disability will be assessed the same way as their peers, which is explained in our Assessment policy. We set individual targets for each student, to promote progress.

How your child performs against these targets, what they currently are achieving and their attitude towards their learning are reported to parents through a whole report once a year, a parent’s evening once a year and grade reports each term.

We check how well we are supporting young people to make progress through a number of ways. We observe students in lessons to see how they are getting involved in their learning during lesson time, by looking at their exercise books and folders to see the standard of their work in class and at home, by listening to young people in focus groups and student voice and by using questionnaires at parent’s evening.

For students with SEND, Lode Heath will follow the graduated approach and the four-part cycle of assess, plan, do, review.

All teachers and support staff who work with the student will be made aware of their needs, the outcomes sought, the support provided, and any teaching strategies or approaches that are required. We will regularly review the effectiveness of the support and interventions and their impact on the student’s progress.

If a student has an Education, Health, Care Plan then an annual review will be held during the academic year. The views of the student, parents and staff are collated and discussed at the meeting as part of the monitoring of progress against outcomes and targets.

Supporting students moving between phases and preparing for adulthood

We will share information with the school, college, or other setting the student is moving from/to. We will agree with parents and students which information will be shared as part of this.

Prior to starting at Lode Heath, liaison is carried out between Lode Heath staff and Primary placement staff to ensure information regarding SEND, needs, effective strategies and interventions or outside agency involvement are passed on.

A planned induction programme takes place for students in the Summer Term, for students deemed to be more vulnerable, there is opportunity for attendance at an additional day to the ‘new starter day’.

There is an opportunity for parents to attend a meeting at school where they receive general school information, as well as this there is the opportunity for parents of students with SEND to meet with the SENCo.

All children who join the school after the official start of the year in September are screened on entry, to check for any areas of need and to provide information to staff about their strengths and additional needs.

A ‘student buddy’ is chosen to support your child for the first few days of being at Lode Heath. The buddy takes your child to lessons, introduces them to other children, answers questions and lets teachers know how well your child is settling into school

We always make contact with your child’s previous school to ensure the transfer of information and your child’s school file.

Students moving into Key Stage 4 will choose options for their GCSEs, during this time they will be given guidance and support in choosing the options most appropriate to them. Students with SEND and especially those with an EHCP will receive extra support at this time.

In Year 11 all students have 1 to 1 career guidance to support their decisions regarding post 16. Young People with an EHCP will begin discussing this from Year 9 onwards to better prepare them for the next phase. Students are encouraged to visit a range of post 16 settings and open days.

Our approach to teaching students with SEND

Lode Heath supports the view, laid out in the SEND Code of Practice that ‘high quality teaching, differentiated for individual students is the first step in responding to students who have or may have SEND. Additional intervention and support cannot compensate for a lack of good quality teaching.’

Our teachers have the highest expectations for your child. All teaching is based on building on what your child already knows, can do and can understand. The teachers will put in place different ways of teaching so that your child is fully involved in learning in their class. This may involve things like using more practical learning or additional writing frames. The teacher will also put in place specific strategies (which may be suggested by the SENCo or specialists from outside agencies) to allow your child to take part in the learning tasks. All young people in school receive this and therefore have the opportunity to access a broad and balanced curriculum.

Through a creative and well-developed training programme, our teachers have developed lots of ways to check the learning and progress of students. Teachers will identify any gaps in understanding and or learning and if your child needs some additional help.

Where possible all needs are met within the classroom situation, either by the mainstream teacher or collaboratively with other members of staff or external agencies. There are times however, when a young person may need specific intervention which cannot be carried out within the classroom. When these happen they take place in short term blocks and every effort is made to ensure students do not miss out on classroom learning. Interventions may include: reading, spelling, comprehension, receptive and expressive language difficulties.

Adaptations to the curriculum and learning environment

Lode Heath is proud to welcome every disabled young person who has been offered a place at our school via the Solihull Education Authority admissions board.

The school works hard to ensure that every disabled young person joining the school has the same great opportunities and positive experiences as every other member of the class, subject of course to any health and safety considerations.

It must be noted that Lode Heath is a large school. Your child will be expected to access around 15 different classrooms each week. Whilst it is possible for us to consider timetabling many of these lessons on a particular floor, there are certain facilities that are not accessible on lower levels. In addition to this there are many specialist classrooms across the school that will result in your child having to walk long distances between lessons. The specialist nature of certain subjects means that the necessity to walk large distances between lessons is unavoidable. Lode Heath does have a number of lifts for the use of students with physical mobility difficulties who need to access upper floors.

We make the following adaptations to ensure all students’ needs are met:

Differentiating our curriculum to ensure all students are able to access it, for example, by grouping, 1:1 work, teaching style, content of the lesson, etc.

Adapting our resources and staffing, this may include the use of support staff where appropriate.

Using recommended aids, such as laptops, coloured overlays, visual timetables, larger font, etc.

Differentiating our teaching, for example, giving longer processing times, pre-teaching of key vocabulary, reading instructions aloud, using visual aids, providing writing frames, etc.

Additional support for learning

Expertise and training of staff

Every school has a development plan that includes training needs for all staff to improve the teaching and learning of all children including those with Special Educational Needs and/or Disability. This may include whole school training on Special Educational Needs and/or Disability issues or to support children in school with one particular need, such as autism, dyslexia, etc. The purpose of whole staff training is to share knowledge, strategies, and experience, and ensure consistency of our school’s approach for children with a Special Educational Needs and/or Disability. Teachers and support staff also attend training courses run by outside agencies that are relevant to the needs of specific children in their class. The SENCO also works closely with specialists from external support services who may provide advice or direct support as appropriate.

Our SENCO has 23 years experience in this role.

We have a team of 6 part time learning support assistants who are trained to deliver SEND provision.

We have access to a specialist Language and Communication Teacher one day a week.

staff have been trained in:

  • Dyslexia
  • Dyspraxia
  • ADHD
  • ASC
  • Physical disabilities
  • Hearing impairment
  • Visual impairment
  • SEMH
  • General SEND strategies
  • Speech, language and communication impairment

Securing equipment and facilities

Our school has a duty to provide auxiliary aids and equipment in accordance with the needs assessed for young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disability. This will be completed in consultation with external specialist services.

Please refer to Solihull Local Authority’s Local Offer for more information. The link to the page is

Evaluating the effectiveness of SEND provision

We evaluate the effectiveness of provision for students with SEND by:

  • Reviewing students’ individual progress towards their goals each term
  • Reviewing the impact of interventions via baseline and end of intervention assessment.
  • Student voice.
  • Using student questionnaires
  • Monitoring by the SENCO
  • Using provision maps to measure progress
Holding annual reviews for students with EHC plans

Enabling students with SEND to engage in activities available to those in the school who do not have SEND

At Lode Heath all students are encouraged to take part in

  • Extra-Curricular Sports
  • Competitions, both regional and national
  • School Club Links
  • Charity Work
  • Music
  • Drama
  • School Visits

The timetable for these activities is sent out at the beginning of each term as well as ongoing letters and notices.

No student is ever excluded from taking part in these activities because of their SEND or disability.

Support for improving emotional and social development

It is important to remember that we also want the same as parents, in making sure your child is happy and successful at school. In order to do this it is essential that we apply the same encouragement, rewards and sanctions which is consistent and well communicated.

Keeping in close contact is really important in making sure your child is happy. If any problems occur at school, at home or both, you should contact your child’s Head of Year, particularly in difficult circumstances. Nipping negative signs, however small, in the bud is best way to avoid problems growing.

Your child can only reach their best if they feel happy and safe at school. We believe that all children have the right to education free from bullying. We operate zero tolerance of bullying. Further information can be found in our policy on ‘Anti-bullying’.

Working with other agencies

We work with a number of external agencies, which support both the school and your family. They include:

  • Solihull SISS HI, VI and PI Service
  • Solihull SISS Autism Service
  • Engage
  • Children Mental Health Services (Solar and Forward Thinking Birmingham)
  • Solihull SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) Information, Advice and Support Service for Parents
  • Service for children not currently accessing education
  • School Nurse
  • Audiology

If you have any queries about these external agencies, please do not hesitate to contact the SENCo. However, please note that many of these external agencies are purchased on a year to year basis, and may change to reflect the majority of needs in the school.

Complaints about SEND provision

We endeavour to do our best for all young people but if there are any concerns we encourage those concerned to approach your child’s Head of Year or SENCo and a response will be made as soon as possible.

Please read our complaints policy for further information

Contact details of support services for parents of students with SEND

We support the use of Solihull SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) Information, Advice and Support Service for Parents. Additional service information will be sent home, as and when we become aware of them.

Here is a link to their website:

You can email them with this address:

There is further information available in Solihull Local Authority’s Local Offer. The link to the page is

Contacting Us

Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) Mrs Annabelle Pattison

0121 704 1421

Assistant to SENCo Mrs Ward

0121 704 1421

Senior Assistant Head teacher with Responsibility for SEND Mrs Sally Summers

0121 704 1421

Governor with responsibility for SEND details-not appointed at present

Assistant Head teacher with responsibility for Pupil Premium and Pastoral care

Mr Mohammed 0121 7041421

The local authority local offer

The Solihull Local Offer website has information about the services that are available. The link to the page is