Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Dare to be wise

  • Mr A O'Sullivan is the Head Teacher
  • Mr D Gibson is our designated SEN Governor
  • The head of learning support and SENCO is Mrs Farrell.


The role of the Head of Learning Support and SENCO

The Head of Learning Support and SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator), in collaboration with the Headteacher and Governing Body, play a key role in helping to determine the SEND provision within school. The key responsibilities of the SENCO include:

  • Overseeing the day to day operation of SEN policy
  • Advising on the graduated approach to providing SEN support
  • Liaising with and advising staff
  • Managing the Learning Support team
  • Co-ordinating provision for students with SEND
  • Ensuring that records are kept up to date and available as needed
  • Ensuring that systems for the early identification of students with SEND are used effectively
  • Liaising with parents/carers
  • Liaising with a variety of external agencies including the Local Authority’s support services, Educational Psychology Services, School Health; Social Services and voluntary bodies
  • Managing the Learning Support budget
  • Contributing to in-service training of staff
  • Organising review meetings and ensuring the subsequent cascading of information as required
  • Attending meetings, which may involve external agencies
  • Providing information to external agencies when necessary
  • Liaising with primary schools, other schools and potential next providers of education to ensure a student and their parents are informed about options and a smooth transition is planned
  • Working with the Headteacher and Governing Body to ensure that the school meets responsibilities under the Equality Act with regard to reasonable adjustments and access arrangements

The Learning Support Team’s work includes:

  • Providing focused, in-class support, tuition and mentoring as far as available resources will allow.
  • Screening all students for reading, comprehension or spelling difficulties in Year 7
  • Monitoring, assessing and observing students teachers with view to 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 to support vulnerable SEND students or those with complex needs
  • Delivering Literacy enhancement programmes such as Fresh Start Phonics and Guided Reading
  • Providing Access arrangements for examinations