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The Individual Learning Support (ILS) department at Varndean School is a team of dedicated and caring specialists with a simple aim: to strengthen and support individuals and their families in managing the challenges involved in learning. Like all staff at Varndean School, we are passionate about learning, and we liaise closely with all subject teachers to ensure that they are aware of individual learners’ needs and the best strategies to use in class to support them. We also have close links to our small school bases.

Our policy is to support good teaching practice across the school so that every child is taught every lesson by a teacher who has the expertise to help learners with SEND (Special Educational Need and Disability) to achieve their potential. As the government’s SEND Code of Practice says:

"All teachers are teachers of SEND. We try to keep withdrawal of students from lessons to a minimum, as our aim is to keep learners with SEND in classrooms as much as possible, engaging in the same learning experiences as their peers."

However, we do take students out of certain lessons for specialist teaching and support if their academic data or specific educational needs indicates that a specialist intervention would help them to access their lessons.

We have a strong team of experienced teaching assistants who support both individual students and general learning in a range of lessons, and a number of specific departmental teaching assistants. There are three members of staff at Varndean School who gained attachment lead status in 2015-2016 and have led on coordinating support for young people who have experienced significant relational traumas and loss.

In 2014, the new Children and Families Bill became law. As part of the Children and Families Bill, Local Authorities have been directed to produce a Local Offer. The Local Offer provides clear and accessible information about provision that Brighton & Hove expects to be locally available for our children and young people from birth to 25 who have special educational needs and/or disability.

Varndean School has contributed towards this by producing its own offer, as a school, that will need to be regularly updated. For further details please see the local offer.

Our Local Offer and our SEND Policy covers all the information required by the SEN Information Report. Access the link to see more information on the Brighton and Hove City Council Local Offer.

The Team

Judith Ford Head of Progress and Learning
Pamela Fulton ILS Admin Assistant


The SPACE        

Emma Saadatzadeh Deputy Head of Progress and Learning
Dana Tester Teaching Assistant


Teaching Assistants

Faye Baker Gail Miles
Tom Hayes Hayley Lyford
Cathy Workman Louise Julian
Hayley Cutting Edgar Taljaard
Andrea Longueira Zuzanna Bus
Marlina Matte Dana Tester
Lucy Parke Emma Muzio
Alvaro Puertas Coloma  



Throughout your child’s time at Varndean School there may be changes made by the Local Authority which we will communicate to you.

Since September 2014 there has been a new Code of Practice with regard to Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). Local Authorities are in the process of changing their practise to meet the new requirements and this includes Brighton and Hove.

For students who were on the SEN(D) Register at school (or ILS register), SA and SA+ no longer existas a code on the system.  The Department for Education has removed SA and SA+ and instead replaced this with a single category of special needs, known as ‘SEN  Support’, which is shown on school SIMS systems as ‘K’. This means if you used to log in to the parent portal and saw SA or SA+ on your child’s record, you will not see that any more, instead there will be the letter K.

Please be reassured this should not mean your child’s current support package has to change –although for some where there has been progress it might alter in the future as has always been the case.

There will also be some changes to the way your child’s named need is recorded. Moving forward, there will only be 4 categories of SEND:-

  1. Communication & Interaction
  2. Cognition & Learning
  3. Social, Mental & Emotional Health – this used to be the category of BESD (Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties)
  4. Sensory and/or Physical.

You will be informed of any further changes throughout the year as and when they occur.