Local Offer

Local Offer for Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)

'Inspiring each other and growing together to acheive our best'

Working in partnership with parent/carers, colleagues in health, education and social care, we aim to provide a stimulating, supportive and safe learning environment to assist  each pupil to develop the skills and confidence to achieve their potential.


  • Has a positive environment where learning is fun and enjoyable and achievements are celebrated;
  • Encourages and appropriately challenges all pupils to achieve their full potential;
  • Recognises and celebrates individual differences and promotes positive self image and worth;
  • Provides a caring, safe environment in which pupils are taught to respect themselves and others both in school and the wider community;
  • Promotes effective working partnerships with parents, carers and external agencies;
  • Equips pupils with the knowledge to make informed healthy choices and the confidence to take measured calculated risks;
  • Teaches all pupils to become effective communicators;
  • Promotes good behaviour through positive adult role models and high quality positive behaviour management;
  • Utilises the community to enhance the curriculum and enable pupils to practice their social skills in real life situations;
  • Develops pupil self esteem, confidence and independence in preparation for challenges ahead;
  • Has a reputation for providing sustained, high quality care, guidance and education;

Lancasterian is a maintained special school. As of January 2019, the school has 181 places. We offer EYFS to KS4 (3.5yrs to 16 yrs) provision on a single level in a well appointed and equipped school.

Classes are determined by pupils's ages, social-emotional development and learning priorities. We have high expectations for all our pupils and we aim to fully extend their academic, physical and social-emotional development. High levels of quality, skilled staff and individualised learning programmes ensure both the learning and social needs of each child are met within their class.

We put a high emphasis on inter-disciplinary working. We have onsite speech & language therapists, NHS occupational therapists, NHS physiotherapists, and a full time NHS nurse and work closely with social care teams and other local organisations to ensure the best outcomes for pupils.

Throughout their time in our school, pupils receive varying levels of support according to their changing needs and circumstances. The information in the table below is a guide to the expected levels of provision, dependent on need.


Whole School Response

Universal Quality First Teaching

Targeted support for individuals or

Small groups short/medium term

Specialised individual support

Medium/longer term

Learning/ curriculum

  • Use of total communication approach
  • Individual learning plans reviewed at least termly
  • Individual 'Pen Portrait' outlining key learning needs, revised annually
  • High quality planning for all subjects with differentiated outcomes for every pupil
  • Medium term schemes of work ensure a broad and balanced curriculum is on offer
  • Differentiated learning outcomes to meet learning needs
  • Three timetabled opportunities for parents to meet with staff per year
  • Regular, planned educational visits to enable pupils to transfer skills into real life contexts and learn in a variety of stimulating environments; all carefully risk assessed
  • Class newsletters outlining curriculum information are sent home on a half termly basis
  • Focus on positive behaviour management for all pupils through Behaviour for Learning Policy and practice.
  • Ongoing contact with parents through home/school diary
  • Ongoing assessment of pupil progress and attainment which is monitored termly
  • Analysis of 'P Scales' and 'National Curriculum' level data for whole school and individual pupils
  • Phonics Test & SATS where appropriate for individuals
  • Two KS4 Accreditation Pathways
  • Work related learning opportunities
  • Collaborative Therapy working
  • Detailed annual review report, with photographic evidence and highlighting the % annual progress in key areas
  • Interventions, e.g. reading, maths, literacy, Speech & Language AAC & social communication groups, Occupation Therapy fine motor groups.
  • Individualised learning programmes
  • Use of visual timetables
  • Detailed individual social stories for a range of activities and lessons
  • Individual charts with external motivators and reward systems used throughout each day
  • Individual protocols and / or risk assessments support effective management of those with significant health needs
  • Ongoing monitoring and analysis of Individual behaviour plans (IBPs) and Positive Handling Plans (PHPs)
  • Meetings with parents regarding specific issues
  • Relevant information shared at team, key stage or at whole school meetings to ensure consistency for pupils.
  • PEEPS (Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans)


  • Ongoing review of Individual Learning Plans
  • Daily contact with parents
  • Support from specialist health and therapy teams
  • Multi agency meetings to review effectiveness of support
  • Risk assessments relating to specific activities
  • Differentiated timetable and activities



Small class groups

1 teacher to 10 pupils is the average, with the number of Teaching Assistants appropriate to support the needs of the class

Support provided to meet personal care needs, medical needs and social needs

Multi- agency support

Weekly department & class team meetings to review pupil progress, ILP's, share information etc

Weekly whole school meetings to share information, review practice

On site NHS Physiotherapists (full time), on site NHS Occupational Therapists (OT) (full time), on site (school) Speech & Language Therapy Team (SaLT) (full time), on site NHS Nurse (full time)

Programmes and CPD ensures all    staff are aware of recent developments to meet pupils needs

Parent Support Advisor (full time)

Lead teaching assistants provide specialist support e.g. pastoral guidance (Senior Dept);  'Sleep Manchester' specialist trained TA; 'Riding the Rapids' behaviour intervention course specialist trained TA; ICT access assessments

Specialist staff support during lessons and class activities

Support/advice from  internal behaviour team

Programmes and guidance provided by Visual & Hearing Impaired Service, Speech and Language Therapists (SaLT), Occupational Therapist and Physiotherapist

Termly class& SaLT communication meetings

Targeted 1:1 support within the day

Regular multi-agency support and meetings

Termly inter-disciplinary meetings with Educational Psychologists, Clinical Psychologists, Paediatrician and School Nurse


Specialist teaching training, skills & knowledge

Small group teaching for all lessons, with some 1:1 activities

Class groups & intervention groups reflect pupils' learning needs

Structured environment within each class

Consistent routines and systems across the whole school

Lead teachers act as role models and mentors through their consistently outstanding class room practice

Teachers & Teaching Assistants experienced in working with a variety of medical conditions, e.g. CP, ABI, MD

Teachers & Teaching Assistants experienced in working with communication devices

Teaching Assistants specialising in working with pupils with HI and/or VI

Total communication approach to teaching & learning

1:2 or 1:1 support when appropriate to support learning

Additional visual clues and guidance

1:1 support provided to meet personal and social needs

Individual behaviour plans, rewards and motivators

Priority access to identified resources such as soft play room, sensory room

Environmental and physical resources

Clean, bright, well organised, spacious environment

Well resourced environment

High quality ICT facilities, including radio, ICT suite of iMacs and PCs, IWBs in each classroom, cameras, iPads & laptops as well as switch adapted equipment and specific curriculum equipment

Access to specialised areas such as soft play, multi sensory rooms, hydro pool and studio

Large external, accessible play areas

Access to a wide range of additional therapies/ enrichment activities, e.g. donkey riding, cycling, swimming,

Specialist equipment such as hoists, specialist seating, specialist cutlery

Specialist communication aids

Hydrotherapy sessions (assessed & delivered by NHS physiotherapists),

Warm water swim

Dedicated learning areas, resources matched to pupils behavioural, medical , physical, communication, social and learning needs with individual motivators and rewards


Welcoming learning environment in which everyone is valued

Positive adult role models with a 'can do' approach to learning and life

Focus on developing independence, confidence and self esteem

Personal Social & Health Education is a core curriculum subject

1:1 work with key identified staff to support emotional development

Emotional development and well being is a main focus

Increased joint working between parents, school staff and multi agencies

Frequently Asked Questions



What is the admission process at Lancasterian?

Parents/carers are able to contact school and request a visit in order to see if they think the school can meet their child's learning needs. This visit is normally carried out with Alison Randall, Head Teacher. Pupils are placed at Lancasterian following a parental/carer request and with agreement by Manchester SEN Admission's Team and the Head Teacher. Pupils should already have a statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education, Health Care Plan which describes their individual areas of special needs and informs his/her individual education plan. 

A settling in review is held six weeks after admission, to check appropriateness of placement and that needs are being met. A formal Annual Review is held once a year to discuss your child's progress. Any additional needs are discussed as part of the review and if appropriate, alternative or additional sources from within school or from outside of school are discussed.

How will Lancasterian support my child?

Classes have high staffing ratios and each highly skilled team is able to quickly identify requirements for additional support on an ongoing basis throughout the year and will discuss these with senior managers and parents. Class sizes average 10 pupils. The class teacher and Lead Teaching Assistants plan for the pupils. The class teacher is responsible for the overall assessment of pupil progress. Pupils are taught as a whole class, in small groups and 1:1 by both the class teacher and teaching assistants. 

We believe it is important for pupils to develop relationships with a number of adults and so we do not allocate specific assistants to work with identified pupils. All pupils work with every adult in their class team. At the beginning of each school year, we include photographs of the adults in each class team and the wider health and therapy teams, so parents can recognise who is working with their child. 

Each class has a linked NHS Physiotherapist, a linked Occupational Therapist employed by school and a linked Speech and Language Therapist, employed by school. The class team work closely with these specialists and can consult with them at any time. 

Class teams work closely with the school nurse, specialist hospital community nurses, e.g. STAR Team, Neuromuscular Nurse Specialists, Specialist Feeding & Swallowing SaLT, Orthoptist, Orthotist to ensure that pupils are safe and comfortable whilst at school and that their health needs provide limited barriers to them accessing the curriculum. 

The school Governors are ultimately responsible for the progress and attainment of all the pupils although they delegate this responsibility to the Head Teacher. Governors receive collated and anonymised data about the progress of groups of pupils and hold the Head Teacher to account for how good this is, in comparison to nationally similar groups of pupils.

How will the curriculum be matched to my child's needs?

Our curriculum is based on the Early Years Framework 2012 and the National Curriculum, which has been adapted by staff to enable all pupils to access each subject in a meaningful and purposeful way. Some pupils follow a multi-sensory approach to the curriculum to ensure learning is accessible and pupils pro-actively engage and make progress. Comprehensive plans have been produced for every subject or area of learning. 

Every child has an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) which includes differentiated (individualised) learning outcomes for Maths & English and individual expectations for their social skills and behaviour. 

Our pupils make progress in many ways, not only academic progress. We teach 'learning to learn' skills to help a child learn to sit, listen, and focus as part of a group as well as an individual. Pupils also have the opportunity to generalise and transfer their learnt skills to other settings through educational visits. Personal, social and health education is very important and an emphasis is placed upon all pupils becoming as independent as possible, as both a learner and a young person.  

An important aspect of our work is to help our pupils' develop their communication skills as well as meet their medical and physical needs. As required, pupils have personalised therapy programmes which can be shared for use at home.

How will I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child's learning?

A Home-School Diary is used to share essential information by both school staff and parents. On entry to school, parents/carers and staff commit to writing information in the books daily. Essential, personalised information will be shared via the book. Half term class newsletters are used to inform parents of class based activities. In addition these newsletters are included on our website. 

Copies of each child's ILPs are sent home once every term and there is an opportunity to discuss progress at Parent/Carer Consultations and at the Annual Review. From Year 5/6 your child is invited to join the Annual Review to share their views on school and their progress. Younger children contribute through pictures and written contributions. 

Assessments of your child's progress are made on a daily, weekly and half termly basis so the teacher always knows what each pupil in his/her class has achieved and what needs to be further developed. Once a term, each class teacher meets with the assessment leader to discuss each pupils' progress. 

Pupils do have varying levels of homework as they progress though the school which parents are asked to support. We run ongoing parent support sessions to which parents are encouraged to join. They generally run during the school day and focus on aspects of learning or communication, sleep, diet, housing issues, benefit queries. Parents can request additional support from Chris Panter.

What support will there be for my child's overall well being?

Pupils' well being and emotional health is as important as their academic progress. Class teachers plan for the holistic development of each child in his/her class, using detailed knowledge of each individual to promote their confidence and self esteem. On admission a one page 'Pen Portrait' summary, outlining a pupil's needs and abilities, is written for each child. This information is based on written reports received, information from parents and early assessments. 

Individual behaviour plans and expectations use a child's personal likes such as Disney characters, football etc which are incorporated as motivators and rewards. This increases the chance of the programmes success and adds to the child's enjoyment of school. When a child's behaviour becomes challenging, teachers are supported by senior leaders in understanding the behaviour and agreeing with parents as to how best to manage it in a positive and proactive way. 

Our first aiders support individual medical needs and staff are trained, where required, in the emergency administration of medicine. All personal needs are met by each class team, e.g. catheterisation, gastrostomy feeds, suction. The school Nurse administers the majority of the medications required by pupils. 

Parent/Carers can request a formal multiagency review is called if they are concerned regarding their child's health, well being or academic progress.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by Lancasterian?

Senior leaders, teachers and support staff are highly skilled in meeting the individual learning, behavioural, medical, physical, communication and social needs of pupils. 

Lancasterian accesses a range of specialist services including the Independent Development Service (IDS, Manchester Travel Training Partnership (MTTP), Lancasterian Outreach and Inclusion Service (LOIS), Manchester Sensory Support Service (MSSS), clinical psychology, educational psychology, social care and health services, which provide ongoing advice and support. 

On site therapists include Nurse (full time), NHS Speech and Language Therapists (1 day), NHS Occupational Therapists (1 day), NHS Physiotherapists (equivalent to full time on site). The school employs an additional Speech and Language Therapy Team (2 and a half staff ) and Occupational Therapy time, equivalent to one therapist full time.

What training do staff receive?

All staff receive comprehensive and ongoing training in meeting the needs of pupils with complex medical, physical, communication and learning difficulties.  

Mandatory training includes: safeguarding, manual handling, hydro evacuation, feeding and swallowing. Specific staff receive training related to administration of medication, using specific communication devices, positive behaviour management, minibus driving. 

The five annual training days and weekly one hour INSET (18 one hour INSET for all staff) are used to further extend staff knowledge and expertise and to work collectively on areas of whole school improvement. Class teams receive regular updates from medical and therapy staff. Individualised training in medical procedures is provided to support specific pupils. 

An induction programme of six half days is followed by a coaching and mentoring programme during which teachers observe and review lessons taught within Lancasterian to further develop their own skills.

How will my child be included in school trips?

As a fully inclusive school, all pupils participate in whole school, curriculum and off site activities. The extent to which each child participates and the levels of support received will vary between pupils and across time but we differentiate the activities and expectations to enable all pupils to take part. 

Parents are asked to give generic permission for their child to participate in activities in support of the curriculum i.e. a visit to a local church, shop etc. visits which last for a whole day or are further afield, involve detailed risk assessments and information is both sought from and shared with parents.

How accessible is the school environment?

As a purpose built special school, Lancasterian is fully accessible. The building is light, classrooms are large and the site is both safe and secure. 

We have many families whose first language is not English. Where required interpreters enable parents to fully participate in formal meetings such as Annual Reviews and our own bi-lingual staff often provide support at other times.

How will Lancasterian prepare and support my child to join the school?

Parents will be invited to meet the class teacher at a pre-admissions meeting, which is run by the Head Teacher or Assistant Head, the purpose of the meeting is to gain detailed information about your child. From this meeting each child has a Pen Portrait written on admission to provide staff with a summary of key information to help them get to know your child. The class teacher will observe your child at their current setting or attend the final Annual Review, if possible.   

A six week settling in meeting gives everyone an opportunity to review a pupils' progress and level of support. A further interim review meeting and Annual Review take place in the first year. The Home-School diary will share daily achievements and information. 

Your child will be invited to spend some time with their new class at Lancasterian. The number of times your child will visit varies but generally we have found a shorter transition to be most successful. 

For parents whose child joins at the start of the academic year, an individual meeting is held in June to share essential information about new classes. For parents whose child is joining us at a different time, this information is given on an individual basis. 

In July a 'meet the team' flier is produced with the new September class teams.  We have found this to be very successful in familiarising a child with their new team and reducing any anxiety about the new school/class.

How are resources matched to pupils' needs?

Each child receives support matched to their own level of need. With permission from parents, a request for assessment by the therapy teams will be made. They then conduct an assessment and support is allocated based on this report. Teachers carry out baseline assessments within six weeks of admission to write the ILP. The focus of support and resources is related to individual needs and circumstances.

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?

The class teacher determines the level of support for individual pupils from within the class team. For those pupils where assessments and tracking indicate additional support maybe required, discussions are held between the class teacher and senior leaders to determine what this might be. Typically, this support continues to be provided from within the class team, but may be targeted at specific times, i.e. break times. 

If the evidence suggests that even higher levels of support maybe beneficial, this is agreed by senior leaders as the resource is provided from within the school. Due to the high levels of staffing in each class this is not required very often and only in extreme situations, would additional support be requested from the Local Authority.

Who can I contact for further information?

If you have any questions regarding Lancasterian contact Alison Randall, Head Teacher. Considering a special school for your child can be very daunting time and we have parents who are happy to talk with prospective parents to share their experience and answer questions about Lancasterian from their perspective. 

The first point of contact for anything relating to your child's education is the class teacher. We encourage parents to contact us on an ongoing basis. Staff are always available to talk outside of teaching hours, or an appointment can be made for a mutually convenient time, please either telephone or write in the Home-School Diary. 

To speak to someone immediately please ask for a member of the senior leadership team at any time. 

Parents are invited to contact Chris Panter,  who can provide 1:1 advice on a range of issues such as parental support.



''It was a lot of good relevant information to take in''

''I had no idea so much goes on in school - how lucky we are.'' 


What should you do if you feel the Local Offer is not being delivered or is not meeting your child's needs?
Parents who believe their child's needs are not being met within school are asked to meet the head teacher to talk through their concerns.

What should you do if you feel the Local Offer is not being delivered or is not meeting your child's needs?
Parents who believe their child's needs are not being met within school are asked to meet the head teacher to talk through their concerns.

Where appropriate an early Annual Review can be arranged, with representation from the SEND team to formally review your child's progress, current special needs and provision.

How is our local offer reviewed?
The local offer was developed in consultation with staff and parents and will be reviewed by Governors on an annual basis, as from June 2014.


Files to Download