Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Dare to be wise

Welcome to our SEND Information Report which is part of Durham County Council’s Local Offer for children and young people with Special Educational Needs.

At the Johnston we strive for excellence and aim to help all of our students achieve their full potential. The school is a happy, vibrant community where students work hard in their academic studies and are involved in a wide range of sporting, creative, practical and social activities. We recognise that all pupils are entitled to a quality of provision that will enable them to achieve their potential. We believe in positive intervention, removing barriers to learning, raising expectations and levels of achievement and working in partnership with other agencies in order to provide a positive educational experience for all our pupils including those with a special educational need or disability.

Our school recognises there are particular groups of pupils whose circumstances require additional consideration by those who work with them to support their SEND. We have appointed Designated Teachers for Looked after Children who work closely with the SENCO to ensure all teachers in school understand the implications for those children who are looked after and have SEND. This is also the case for students who have been adopted from care.

The community is committed to the academic and personal development of all pupils regardless of ability. We recognise the diverse and individual needs of all of our pupils and take into account the additional support required by those children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). We ensure that all pupils, regardless of their specific needs make the best possible progress.

There are now four broad areas of SEND, these are:

  • Communication and Interaction
    This area of need includes children with Autism Spectrum Condition and those with Speech, Language and Communication Needs


  • Cognition and Learning
    This includes children with Specific Learning Difficulties, Moderate Learning Difficulties, Severe Learning Difficulties and Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties


  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties
    This includes any pupils who have an emotional, social or mental health need that is impacting on their ability to learn


  • Sensory and/or Physical Difficulties
    This area includes children with hearing impairment, visual impairment, multi-sensory impairment and physical difficulties.



The information that must be included in our SEND Information Report can be found under the main SEND menu or the full report can be viewed from this link SEND Report. We will continue to add information on the website and welcome your feedback.

Adobe Reader

You may need a product like Adobe Reader (free download) to view our PDF documents on our website.

Definition of special educational needs:

Please click here to access the Durham Johnston SEND Information Report, which contains details about how Durham Johnston supports students with special educational needs and/or a disability.

The 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 or disability if they have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age or they 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.


Where a child or young person has a disability or health condition which requires special educational provision to be made they will be covered by the SEN definition.

The objectives of Durham Johnston’s SEND provision are:

  • To maintain and develop an inclusive ethos in which every student can grow to personal fulfilment and realise their full potential and character.
  • To ensure access to a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum for all students.
  • To identify students with additional needs and disabilities and to implement appropriate programmes/strategies to meet those needs as far as resources will allow.
  • To raise the self-esteem of students with additional needs and disabilities and to assist them to be autonomous learners.
  • To work with students to develop their independence.
  • To create an environment where school, parents/carers and outside agencies work together for the benefit of SEND students.
  • To support teaching staff in curriculum areas.    
  • To contribute to happiness and wellbeing in all areas of school life.
  • To ensure teaching and support staff are equipped to meet the needs of all SEND students.

Supporting SEND students at Durham Johnston School:

We aim to support our students with SEND and their parents and carers so that they can achieve their potential and increase their life chances.

Provision and support exists throughout the school for students with special educational needs and disabilities. SEND provision is an integral part of our overall school provision.  Teachers use the SEND data we collect from primary schools and our own information and assessments to plan lessons and differentiate provision for students with SEND. 

The provision may be in the form of extra classes, specifically designed extension opportunities, specific support or self-supported study, literacy enhancement programmes, one to one tuition, mentoring. We aim to be quick at identifying under-achievement and addressing it at individual or group level.

We offer in-class support with a team of highly dedicated Learning Support Assistants.

We are an inclusive school and have students with a range of SEND in our year groups.  The Learning Support Team strives to support students across the 11 – 18 age range by working closely with other departments to personalise the learning of SEND students and maximise their learning opportunities.  The department policy reflects current best practice in line with the Code of Practice for Special Educational Needs and other relevant legislation. 

The Learning Support Team’s work includes:

  • Providing focused in-class support/tuition/mentoring as far as resources will allow.
  • Screening all students for reading, comprehension or spelling difficulties in year 7.
  • Monitoring, assessing and observing students teachers are concerned about and providing expertise around individual student’s needs and strategies for supporting them. 
  • Partnership work with our primary feeder schools.
  • Preparing reports in relation to students’ needs for outside agencies. 
  • Managing any SEND referrals to outside agencies or specialists. 
  • Working in multi-disciplinary teams supporting SEND students with complex needs or who are vulnerable.
  • Delivering Literacy enhancement programmes.
  • Providing Access arrangements for examinations for students with SEND.

Mrs M. Farrell

Head of Learning Support