SEND / Individual Learning Support

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. You may also find the following links useful:

The Team

Laura Fairbank Acting SENCO
Catherine Workman Deputy SENCO
Dan Flower Deputy SENCO
Tom Betts Alternative Provision Manager
Aalia Bano Teaching Assistant
Poppy Fox Teaching Assistant
Pamela Fulton SEND Admin Support
James Gorman Teaching Assistant
Jessamyn Guiver Teaching Assistant
Cathy Johnson Higher Level Teaching Assistant - Inclusion
Louise Julian Teaching Assistant
Isabelle Kaye Teaching Assistant, Animal Therapy Lead
Hayley Lyford Teaching Assistant
Marlina Matte Teaching Assistant
Emily May Teaching Assistant
Kitty Millar Teaching Assistant
Emma Muzio Lead Professional ADHD (LAC/PLAC)
Leonie Offley Lead Teacher for Attachment
Dylan Owen Lead Teacher for SEMH
Charlottte Partridge Senco Support
Bal Sanghera Teaching Assistant
Paula Smith Teaching Assistant



Guidance for Families

Supporting Resources for you & your Child