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Special Educational Needs & Disability Information Report

At Malden Oaks, we are committed to working together with all members of our school community. This Special Educational Needs & Disability Report (hereafter referred to as SEND) has been produced ready for consultation with students, parents/carers, Management Committee Members, and members of staff. We would welcome your feedback and future involvement, so please do contact us.

You can make your comments in writing or in person to:

 Ayse Meliz, SENCo                                          

Malden Oaks School and Tuition Service is committed to ensuring all students, regardless of their educational needs, have access to a curriculum rich in variety that offers them plenty of opportunities to succeed. Malden Oaks operates three sites;


Head of School


Lower School 

Sarah Bann 

Upper School

6 Oaks 

Alison Vigor

Nick Smith 

Tuition  - Kingston

Tuition - Richmond  

Sarah Pfutzner

Nicky McLachlan

Each of the Heads of School at these sites take on the day-to-day  SENCo responsibilities for the students attending that site, overseeing students’ provision and arranging Annual Reviews when necessary. These Heads of School are also the SEN Leads for each provision and should be contacted in the first instance for any SEN specific enquiries. For any other enquiries, the first point of contact should be the student’s tutor. 

Additionally, Malden Oaks provides a home tuition service for students with medical conditions that prevent them from accessing school and students not on the roll of a school who require interim SEN tuition.   

Our key priorities are to ensure the physical and emotional safety and wellbeing of all our students; to ensure all students take an active part in decision making about their learning and environment and that through a broad choice of subjects and activities, students can fully engage with their learning. Of paramount importance is that all students are encouraged to aim high, both on a day to day basis and in their aspirations for the future. Students with additional needs are represented in any Student Voice activities which regularly meet to discuss matters relating to their education and environment. Students were also consulted in the creation of this document.

We ensure that, in line with the Special Educational Needs’ Code of Practice, a child centred, outcomes based approach underpins the work we do with students with additional needs.  The following questions have been designed to give you as much information as possible but do please contact the SENCo should you wish to discuss anything further.

Information in this report is in line with

  • Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014
  • Special Educational Needs Code of Practice 2014
  • The Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014
  • The Special Educational Needs (Personal Budgets and Direct Payments) Regulations, Section 49
  • The Order setting out transitional arrangements, Section 137
  • The Equality Act 2010

This report should also be considered in conjunction with the following Malden Oaks policies:

  • Behaviour Policy
  • Assessment Policy
  • Equalities Policy
  • Safeguarding Policy
  • Complaints Policy
  • Accessibility Plan
  • Mental Health Policy



What are special educational needs?

The Special Educational Needs Code of Practice 2014 states that a child or young person has SEN 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 if they:

  • Have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others 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 others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.

High quality teaching that is differentiated and personalised will meet the individual needs of the majority of children and young people. Some children and young people need educational provision that is additional to or different from this. This is special educational provision under Section 21 of the Children and Families Act 2014.

What are the different kinds of needs at Malden Oaks? 

Our students have often experienced some difficulties learning within a mainstream setting. Some of these needs may be considered to come under the umbrella of ‘Special Educational Needs’ (hereafter referred to as SEN). Other circumstances, for example being permanently excluded from school, do not necessarily meet the criteria for being considered under ‘SEN’, but may more accurately be described as short-term difficulties causing a barrier to attendance at mainstream school. As an Alternative Provision school, the main presenting needs of our students fall within the ‘Social, Emotional and Mental Health’ description and this often contributes to difficulties maintaining concentration within the classroom which may result in low numeracy and literacy skills.

Malden Oaks teaches students with a variety of needs in small group settings. Many of our students are neurodivergent; some have been diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) or Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) whilst others may show traits without a formal diagnosis. Some of our students have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) which they may or may not be medicated for. Other students may have dyslexia or present with high anxiety, low mood or attachment difficulties. This is not an exhaustive list of the needs seen at Malden Oaks but our smaller groups facilitate stronger working relationships between students and staff and offer teachers the opportunity to really understand their students’ strengths and  support them with their difficulties, allowing a more personalised approach to learning.

At Malden Oaks, we can also make provision for every other kind of frequently occurring special educational need without an Education, Health and Care Plan, for instance, dyspraxia or speech and language needs. There are other kinds of special educational needs which do not occur as frequently and with which the school is less familiar, but we can access training and advice so that these needs can be met.

The school currently meets the needs of a number of students with Education, Health and Care plans with the following kinds of special educational needs:

  • Social Communication Needs e.g Autistic Spectrum Condition
  • Social Emotional and Mental Health Needs e.g. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Cognition and Learning Needs

Students with a variety of additional needs may also attend Malden Oaks whilst the Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP) assessment process is carried out.

Malden Oaks also provides a home tuition service for students whose medical needs prevent them from accessing their education in school.

Who are the best people at Malden Oaks to talk to about my child’s difficulties with learning/Special Educational Needs/Disability (SEND)? 

All staff at Malden Oaks are committed to the removal of barriers to the progress of disabled students and those with additional needs. All teachers will be able to speak with you about your child’s progress in their subject and if your concerns are about how their needs are impacting on a specific lesson, you should contact that teacher in the first instance. If your concerns are broader or you would like to explore other forms of support that may be on offer, you should contact the SENCo in the first instance.

Detailed below are the various members of staff involved with Special Educational Needs and their responsibilities.

SENCo: Ayse Meliz  

Responsible for overseeing the SEN provision for students at Malden Oaks and Line Managing the SENCo. 

Deputy SENCo: Chenese Mead

Responsible for:

  • Updating the school’s SEND register (a system for ensuring all the SEND needs of students in this school are known) 

  • Providing specialist support for teachers and support staff in the school so they can help children with SEND in the school achieve the best progress possible.

  • Overseeing the school’s Annual Review program for students with Malden Oaks named on their EHCP. 

Lower School SEN Lead- Sarah Bann 

Upper School SEN Lead- Alison Vigor

6 Oaks SEN Lead- Nick Smith 

Kingston Tuition SEN Lead- Sarah Pfutner 

Richmond Tuition SEN Lead- Nicky McLachlan 

Responsible for:  Coordinating all the support for KS3 students with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) and ensuring all students receive a consistently high quality response to meeting their needs in school.

Ensuring that you are:

  • Involved in supporting your child’s learning.
  • Kept informed about the support your child is getting.
  • Involved in reviewing how your child is doing.
  • Liaising with all the other people who may be coming into school to help support your child’s learning e.g. Speech and Language Therapy, Educational Psychology etc
  • Updating the school’s SEND register (a system for ensuring all the SEND needs of students in this school are known) and making sure that there are excellent records of your child’s progress and needs.
  • Ensuring that there are excellent records of your child’s progress and needs

  • Ensuring that all staff working with your child in school are helped to deliver the planned work/programme for your child, so they can achieve the best possible progress. This may involve the use of additional adults, outside specialist help and specially planned work and resources.
  • Supporting Young Carers
  • Supporting students who are learning English as an Additional Language.
  • Supporting Looked After Children (LAC) 
  • Supporting students during their induction period and with their transition to a new placement (including Post 16)
  • Working with the Exams’ Officer to ensure Access Arrangements are in place.  


Tutors & Class Teachers

Responsible for:

  • Checking on the progress of your child and identifying, planning and delivering any additional help your child may need (this could be things like targeted work, additional support) and letting the SEN Lead  know as necessary.

  • Ensuring that they follow the guidelines and any other information circulated by the SEN Lead, as detailed in this report and that students in their class can access the work set in class.

  • Supporting the SEN Lead  in providing any assessment details, successful strategies or data that can be used to contribute to reports used to support transition or for external professionals and Annual Reviews

Headteacher: Samantha Axbey

Responsible for:

  • The day to day management of all aspects of the school, this includes the support for students with SEND.
  • Giving responsibility to the SENCo, SEN Lead and tutors class but is still responsible for ensuring that your child’s needs are met.
  • Ensuring that the Management Committee is kept up to date about any issues in the school relating to SEND.

SEN Management Committee Member

Responsible for:

Making sure that the necessary support is made for any child who attends the school who has SEND. The current link member for SEN is Jill Braun who can be contacted at

If you are dissatisfied and wish to make a complaint, please see our Complaints Policy for further information.

What are the different types of support available for students with SEND at Malden Oaks?

We believe that all children and young people are entitled to an education that enables them to make progress so that they:

  • achieve their best
  • become confident individuals living fulfilling lives, and
  • make a successful transition into adulthood, whether into employment, further or higher education or training .

Malden Oaks aims to instil a sense of resilience in its students through ‘The 4 As’; Attachment, Altruism, Autonomy and Achievement. Opportunities to demonstrate these skills are afforded to students through the curriculum and also through programmes and initiatives such as Duke of Edinburgh and or Student Voice activities. 

All students are supported by their class teachers via excellent targeted classroom teaching, also known as Quality First Teaching. Special educational provision is underpinned by high quality teaching and is compromised by anything less. Additional intervention and support cannot compensate for a lack of good quality teachingWe work to ensure that our approach to teaching and learning is of high quality and personalised to meet the individual needs of the majority of children/young people. Students at Malden Oaks all receive the following:

  • Small group or individual teaching

  • A varied and engaging curriculum that will support them in identifying their own skills and progress in areas outside of traditional classroom learning 

  • The opportunity to build meaningful relationships with staff to make them feel more secure in taking risks with their learning which is where real progress is made

  • Teachers who view behaviour as a communication and not a problem to be solved or frowned upon 

  • The opportunity to start each moment/ class/ day afresh

We also guarantee that:

  • That the teacher has the highest possible expectations for your child and all students in their class.
  • That all teaching is based on building on what your child already knows, can do and can understand.
  • Different ways of teaching are in place so that your child is fully involved in learning in class. This may involve things like using more practical learning.
  • Specific strategies (which may be suggested by the SENCo or outside staff) are in place to support your child to learn.
  • Your child’s teacher will have carefully checked on your child’s progress and will have decided that your child has a gap in their understanding/learning and needs some extra support to help them make the best possible progress.
  • We will support your child and their mental wellbeing. Examples of this could be the following provision: CBT with our EP, Mindfulness Sessions with our EP, 1:1 Mentoring Sessions, sessions with the school nurse or counsellor.
  • All students are supported by the nature of the small groups and also through the relationships built between students and teachers. When necessary, specific reasonable adjustments will be made to enable your child to access a particular learning opportunity. If this activity is facilitated by an outside provider, we will liaise with them.

Some children/young people need educational provision that is additional to or different from this. This is special educational provision. The principle of early identification and intervention underpins our approach to identifying those students who need extra help. This is often put in place, even if special educational need has not been identified. This extra support will enable the student to catch up. If a student is identified as having additional needs, they will be added to the SEN Register.  Examples of extra support are:

  • Pre- teaching vocabulary
  • Precision teaching
  • Personalised timetables
  • Movement breaks

Experience shows us that students are best supported to make good progress through appropriately planned and delivered ongoing provision rather than shorter term or individual/group provision. 

Specified Individual support

This is usually provided via an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).This means your child will have been identified by the class teacher/SENCo as needing a particularly high level of individual or small group teaching which cannot be provided from the budget available to the school.

Usually your child will also need specialist support in school from a professional outside the school. This may be from specialist teachers or outside agencies such as Speech and Language Therapy.

For your child this would mean:

  • The mainstream school, for dual registered students, Malden Oaks for students only registered with us, parents or students can request that the Local Authority carry out a statutory assessment of your child’s needs. This is a legal process which sets out the amount of support that will be provided for your child.
  • After the school has sent in the request to the Local Authority (with information about your child, including some from you), they will decide whether they think your child’s needs (as described in the paperwork provided), seem complex enough to need a statutory assessment. If this is the case they will ask you and all professionals involved with your child to write a report outlining your child’s needs. If they do not think your child needs this, they will ask the school to continue with the support currently offered to the student.
  • After the reports have all been sent in the Local Authority will decide if your child’s needs are severe, complex and lifelong and that they need more support in school to make good progress. If this is the case they will write an EHC Plan. If this is not the case, they will ask the school to continue with the current support and also set up a meeting in school to ensure a plan is in place to ensure your child makes as much progress as possible.
  • An EHC Plan will outline the desired outcomes for your child and suggest strategies to be put in place to achieve this. It will also have long and short term goals for your child.
  • Once an EHCP has been agreed, your child will either return to their mainstream school with support or they may be offered a place in a more specialised setting.

We have a duty to make arrangements to support students with medical conditions. Individual healthcare plans will normally specify the type and level of support required to meet the medical needs of such students. We will have regard to the statutory guidance supporting students at school with medical conditions.

Any specialist equipment that may be needed to support a child with additional needs will be considered on an individual basis.

How can I let Malden Oaks know I am concerned about my child’s progress in school?

If you have concerns about your child’s progress in a specific subject, you should speak to your child’s class teacher initially.

  • If you are not happy that the concerns are being managed and that your child is still not making progress you should speak to the Head of School.
  • If you still feel the situation has not been resolved, you may speak to the SENCo, Chenese Mead
  • If you still feel the situation has not been resolved, you may speak to the SEN Lead, Ayse Meliz.
  • If you still feel the situation has not been resolved, you may speak to the Headteacher .

  • If you are still not happy you can speak to the school SEND Management Committee Member, Jill Braun.

All parents of students at Malden Oaks are invited to discuss the progress of their children on at least four occasions a year and receive a written report four times per year. In addition we are happy to arrange meetings outside these times. As part of our normal teaching arrangements, all students will access some additional teaching to help them catch-up if the progress monitoring indicates that this is necessary; this will not imply that the student has a special educational need.

If following this normal provision improvements in progress are not seen, we will contact parents to discuss this and what we will be doing to help us to address these needs better. From this point onwards the student will be identified as having special educational needs because special educational provision is being made and the parent will be invited to all planning and reviews of this provision. Parents will be actively supported to contribute to assessment, planning and review.

How does Malden Oaks track my child’s progress?

At Malden Oaks, subject teachers monitor the progress of all students regularly to review their progress. We also use a range of assessments with all the students at various points. As part of our induction programme, students undertake assessments which identify what additional support may be required to support their learning. The induction programme includes CAT Assessments and baseline assessments in the core subjects. This information, together with details on the referral form provided by the referring school, enables us to have a comprehensive understanding of each student’s needs before they are placed into teaching groups.

As the teaching groups at Malden Oaks are so small, never bigger than 6 at Dukes Centre or 5 at Surbiton, but more commonly only 3 or 4 students at each, regular informal assessment, as well as more formal assessment is easily conducted. Given the small numbers, on a day-to-day basis, staff will know exactly where any strengths or difficulties for each child lie and this also offers ample opportunities to focus on any gaps in the student’s learning.

Regular monitoring and review will focus on the extent to which planned outcomes have been achieved. The views of the student, parents and class/subject teachers will be taken into account. The assessment information from teachers will show whether adequate progress is being made.

The SEN Code of Practice (2014) describes adequate progress as:

  • Is similar to that of children of the same age who had the same starting point
  • Matches or improves on the student’s previous rate of progress
  • Which allows the attainment gap to close between the student and children of the same age

For students with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) there will be an annual review of the provision made for the child, which will enable an evaluation of the effectiveness of the special provision to be made. The collation of all annual review evaluations of effectiveness will be reported to the Management Committee.

Every student in the school has their progress tracked regularly. Every student at Malden Oaks has either a Special Educational Need or a short term difficulty of some kind. For this reason reviews are held four times a year as a minimum. Each review includes information about progress in every curriculum area as well as progress against the targets set at the previous review.

If these reviews do not show adequate progress is being made the support plan and planned outcomes will be reviewed and adjusted.

Students’ progress regarding their ability to manage their emotions or handle social situations is also monitored and commented on at reviews. 

How will the school let me know if they have any concerns about my child’s learning in school?

If your child is then identified as not making progress the school will set up am meeting to discuss this with you in more detail and to:

  • Listen to any concerns you may have too.
  • Plan any additional support your child may receive.
  • Discuss with you any referrals to outside professionals to support your child’s learning

Depending on the severity of the concerns, these may be communicated at any one of the four main review meetings or at additional meetings.

How is extra support allocated to children?

  • The school budget, received from RBK and LBR Local Authorities, includes money for supporting children with SEND.
  • Malden Oaks receives enhanced funding from the High Needs Block in order to provide small group specialist teaching. Individual referring schools also make a financial contribution on a sessional basis.
  • The Head Teacher decides on the budget for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in consultation with the school Management Committee on the basis of needs in the school.
  • Regular meetings take place between the Heads of School and the SENCo to discuss: 

  •    The students getting extra support already
  •    The students needing extra support

  •    The students who have been identified as not making as much progress as would be expected and decide what resources/training and support is needed.

  •    All resources/training and support are reviewed regularly and changes made as needed.

  •    What outcomes intervention and support will have on the student


Who are the other people providing services to children with SEND in the school?

Directly funded by the school:

  • SEN Team
  • Qualified SENCo
  • Vocational Curriculum Support Workers
  • Additional EP Time
  • Specialist teacher (for access arrangements assessment)

Paid for centrally by the Local Authority but delivered in school (as necessary):

  • Educational Psychology Service
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Physiotherapist
  • Hearing Impairment Advisory Teacher
  • Teacher for the Visually Impaired
  • School Nurse
  • Post 16 SEN Personal Advisers

How are the teachers in school helped to work with children with SEND and what training do they have?

The SENCo’s job is to support the class teacher in planning for students with SEND. This may be done through any of the following ways:

  • Facilitating 1:1 time with EP
  • SENCo Surgery
  • Team Child Meetings
  • Student Profiles
  • Solution Circles

The school has a training plan for all staff to improve the teaching and learning of students including those with SEND. This includes whole school training on SEND issues such as ASD and Speech and language difficulties. Recent awareness training has been completed in the following areas:

  • Supporting students through movement

  • Trauma & Adverse Childhood Experiences
  • Attachment difficulties
  • Exam access arrangements
  • ASC needs
  • De-escalation techniques
  • Equality and Diversity
  • Tourette’s
  • Attachment Needs
  • Pathological Demand Avoidance/ Oppositional Demand Avoidance
  • Self-harm
  • The underlying causes of specific challenging behaviours

Individual teachers and support staff may also attend training courses run by outside agencies that are relevant to the needs of specific children in their class. They are also able to attend consultation surgeries with the SENCo and with the Educational Psychologist.

How will the teaching be adapted for my child with SEND?

At Malden Oaks, we follow the advice in The National Curriculum Framework on how to adapt the curriculum and the learning environment for students with special educational needs. We also incorporate the advice provided as a result of assessments, both internal and external, and the strategies described in Education, Health and Care Plans.

The nature of our setting means that the style of teaching will already have been adapted to suit students who find more mainstream approaches difficult to access. Within the classroom, work will be differentiated and personalised for individual learners. Across the school, the broad curriculum aims to nurture a climate of success and engage students in their particular areas of interest.

‘All students should have access to a broad and balanced curriculum. The National Curriculum Inclusion Statement states that teachers should set high expectations for every student, whatever their prior attainment. Teachers should use appropriate assessment to set targets which are deliberately ambitious. Potential areas of difficulty should be identified and addressed at the outset. Lessons should be planned to address potential areas of difficulty and to remove barriers to student achievement. In many cases, such planning will mean that students with SEN and disabilities will be able to study the full national curriculum.’ (Code of Practice 6.11)

 As part of our requirement to keep the appropriateness of our curriculum and learning environment under review the Management Committee has recently made the following improvements:

  1. Creating a new space at Southwood where students can access further outdoor learning opportunities

  2. Creation of 6 Oaks

What support do we have for you as a parent of child with an SEND?

How will we support your child when they are joining or leaving this school?

We recognise that transitions can be difficult for a student with SEND and take steps to ensure that any transition is as smooth as possible.

At Malden Oaks we work closely with the educational settings accessed by the students before they transfer to us in order to seek the information that will make the transfer as seamless as possible. The majority of our students are dual-registered with their mainstream school and so we have regular communication with the staff there.

We also contribute information to a student’s onward destination by providing information to the next setting. For students on a short term placement, this will be via an ‘Exit report’. For those staying until the end of KS4, we will pass on all relevant information to colleges or other Post 16 providers.

Supporting students to have a positive move to a Post 16 destination is one of our key priorities. We employ a vocational curriculum support worker to give students intensive support through the application process. Other professionals e.g. specialist youth workers, may also be involved in supporting students.

We will always liaise with their next placement and where appropriate, a phased transition may be implemented.

The local authority’s local offer can be found here