Welcome to the new COBS website -
Welcome to the new look COBS website.......Still under construction
At City of Birmingham School we make provision for pupils who have social, emotional and / or mental health difficulties. We know that some pupils will have other Special Educational Needs in addition to this and we will always do our best to support them. The things we do may vary and actual support will be based on the specific needs of each pupil.
All children in school have extra help in lessons through differentiation and quality first teaching strategies. This means that activities are planned according to the level the child or young person is working at. This can include a variety of adaptions including changes to the physical environment, changes to teaching styles as well as varying levels of adult support.
If you’re interested in finding out more about SEN provision at COBS, please see the information sheet below:
You can also see our SEN and accessibility policies on our policy page (accessible from the menu above).
What is the SEN Local Offer?
The Local Offer for SEN is available on the Birmingham.gov website. The offer provides information for families and young people with SEN so that they can access support and advice all in one comprehensive place. Some families may not know about the local offer and have not accessed the website – we want to promote the site and help families to help themselves! Young people have created a short video telling everyone about the offer. Click here to watch.
SENCO: Dallas Goodhal, Strategic SENCO 0121 303 7706.
City of Birmingham School (COBS) is Birmingham City Council’s PRU, commissioned to provide interim education for pupils who;
In COBS we make provision for pupils who have social, emotional and or mental health difficulties but they may also have additional needs in the following areas; cognition and learning, communication and interaction, sensory and or physical needs. We know that some pupils will have difficulties in more than one of these areas and we will always do our best to meet their needs.
On entry we liaise with previous providers to ensure we have as much information as possible. All pupils are assessed when joining the school as part of their induction programme
We use a variety of different ways to assess whether a child or young person has special educational needs. Some of these ways include:
Once a child or young person is identified as having a special educational need, a graduated approach to support is taken. The child or young person’s needs will first be assessed, then support will be planned, carried out and reviewed. At the review any necessary changes will be made.
If you are concerned that your child has specific needs further assessments can be used, using specialists if required. If a teacher or parent/ carer thinks there is a further need which has not been identified they can speak to the Assistant Special Educational Needs Coordinator (ASENCO) who will gather further information and act accordingly.
According to their age students have a daily or weekly report sheet. These are filled in by staff and sent home so that parents/carers are aware of the achievements. The progress each child is making is discussed at review meetings between the class teacher or tutor and the parent(s)/carer(s). Other staff may contribute to these meetings including Teaching Assistants (TAs) and the Centre’s ASENCO. Written reports are also supplied three times a year. Parents and carers are welcome to discuss issues informally with staff by appointment or telephone and Parents’ evenings are held twice a year. Pupil data around attainment is gathered and monitored termly and this is used to identify concerns around progress so that interventions can be implemented if deemed necessary.
COBS will provide a safe, stimulating learning environment and each pupil will be valued as an individual. We will provide a broad balanced curriculum which enables the pupils to progress academically and socially according to their potential. No pupils will be discriminated against in studying any subject area within the school’s curriculum on the grounds of their SEND. Pupils are taught in small teaching groups with a teacher and additional support staff and are ensured of the highest quality teaching with learning opportunities being maximised.
All staff are committed to working together for the benefit of the young people at COBS. The school will provide a positive, caring approach where the achievements and successes of each pupil are celebrated whenever possible. The school believes that in order to support pupils appropriately it has to have a good relationship with parents/carers. Staff may telephone home on a regular basis to pass on information or simply to talk about the pupil’s day. All children in school have extra help in lessons through differentiation and quality first teaching strategies. This means that activities are planned according to the level the child or young person is working at. This can include a variety of adaptions including changes to the physical environment, changes to teaching styles as well as varying levels of adult support. Our school has a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator or SENCO who coordinates SEND provision across the school. Currently this is Dallas Goodhal. You can contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the Assistant Special Educational Needs Coordinator (ASENCO) based in the centre where a pupil attends.
ASENCOs can be contacted at the appropriate centre using the email/phone contact details listed on our website: http://www.cityofbirminghamschool.com/. The SENCO and the ASENCOs meet on a regular basis to ensure that all our pupils have access to the support they require.
All COBS staff are involved in supporting pupils with special educational needs and so we make sure that staff have training to help them do this. All staff have access to a designated ASENCO for support and advice around SEND.
All staff have training on Team Teach (Care & Control) and Child Protection every year. Staff have also been trained for other aspects of special educational needs including: Precision Teaching, Phonics, Dyslexia friendly classrooms, ASC, Person Centred Review facilitation, the National SENCO award, Friends for life, Attachment Disorder, Looked After Children Designated Senior Person and training on a variety of medical conditions.
There are regular trips and outings which are made available to all pupils. Trips are regularly used to enhance subject knowledge or as a reward. These are an invaluable element of the curriculum as they encourage the development of social and emotional skills. Risk assessments are carried out and where appropriate and possible, adjustments will be made to ensure all children with SEND are included in the activities.
The personal tutor or key worker is usually the child’s most consistent point of contact. All staff are experienced in dealing with pupils with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties and can respond to most routine concerns or enquiries. The school has developed strong links with support services and agencies and are aware of referral procedures should these be advised. We work with Think Family, the CAF team, School Health, CAMHS and the Attendance Court team. We can also sign post and refer to other specialist agencies to support pupils’ well -being.
Wherever necessary we aim to provide the most appropriate support by working with a variety of specialist services.
City of Birmingham School can signpost parents and carers to a variety of organisations but not all of these are able to work within a Pupil Referral Unit.
Please talk to the Assistant SENCO at your child’s Centre for advice about referral procedures to other organisations and agencies. These are listed in Appendix B.
In line with Equality Act 2010 COBS will discuss individual access arrangements and meet the need of presenting disabilities in partnership with the Local Authority.
We welcome support from parents and carers. They will be encouraged by staff to become involved in the learning process of their child, forming a positive partnership in which professional and home supports are complementary. Parents/carers are welcome to visit or speak to staff about any concerns and this is welcomed although it is advisable to ask for an appointment so that staff can be available to speak to you. There are SEND review meetings three times a year to discuss academic progress, targets and other issues of concern. Parents/carers are expected to be involved in all multi-agency meetings and EHCP meetings.
Opportunities for parental involvement also include use of report sheets, curriculum and homework updates, information on the school website, parent/carer workshops, drop ins and coffee mornings, signposting to other agencies, services and support groups, parent/carer questionnaires and academic reports. Parents/carers are also represented on the Management Committee.
Pupils are actively involved in in the implementation and evaluation of their own education. For children and young people with Special Educational Needs we devise an individual package using a variety of strategies that might include some of the following:
In our school we have a governor who is responsible for special educational needs. His name is Barry Bowles. He is in regular contact with the Leadership Team and visits the school to observe what happens in classrooms and meet with class teachers, support staff and pupils. The SEND governor makes sure that children, young people and families are being supported by the right services in school including the Special Education Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS). The governing body is aware of how special needs are being supported in the school and how well this support is working. The governors will challenge, support and advise the Head Teacher if they feel appropriate provision is not being made.
Our school and governing body take complaints seriously and will act upon these on an individual basis. If you have a concern or complaint about the school please speak first to the Head of Centre as we can usually resolve your concern or complaint more quickly this way. If this does not help then please ask about our Complaints Procedure. You can find a copy on our website.
The Head Teacher of all the Centres forming City of Birmingham School is Steve Howell. We have a Governor who takes a special interest in SEND matters, Barry Bowles who is also the current Chair of the PRU Management Committee . All these people can be contacted by phoning 0121 303 0272.
There are slightly different ways of considering concerns about the curriculum, exclusions, child protection , assessments and admissions of SEND pupils and we will explain these to you if necessary.
We aim to ensure that all transitions are positive as we want the transition to be successful for both the young person and their parents/carers. We involve and liaise with all other appropriate agencies at point of transition to help the processes run smoothly and with good outcomes. Not everyone needs additional transition support beyond that provided by the new educational setting.
When starting at our school we might offer some of the following:
Find out more about the local offer of support which is available for young people and those who have SEND by Birmingham City Council at:
The Local offer sets out provision which is available for children and young people with SEN and disabilities, aged 0 to 25, including education, health and social care services.
Should you wish to discuss anything further, the first point of contact is normally the Head of Centre or Assistant SENCO. Contact details for all centres are on our website at:
You may also choose to contact the school SENCO Dallas Goodhal (email@example.com)
Children or young people who have a diagnosis of Autism or communication difficulties.
School staff who work with young people with a diagnosis of Autism or communication difficulties.
School has two allocated workers who can be contact for advice/support and to access training.
Children or young people with complex needs.
An Educational Psychologist will always be involved with a child or young person who is referred for an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan.
School is allocated an EP where a student is undergoing assessment for an EHC plan
Children or young person with physical difficulties which impact on their access in the school setting.
School can contact PDSS for support with parent/carer’s written permission on the referral form.
Children or young people who are working below the levels expected for their age.
A Pupil and School Support Teacher will work with staff in school offering support, advice and training.
An allocated Pupil and School Support teacher regularly visits our school. They can be asked to assess individuals with learning needs and to provide training for COBS staff.
Children or young people who have particular sensory needs such as visual or hearing difficulties.
Pupils are usually referred following a medical diagnosis; however school can phone them for further support and general advice.
Children or young people with a high level speech and language difficulties.
School can complete a referral form which parents or carers sign to give consent. The family doctor can also complete this form.
Children or young people with physical difficulties that require regular exercise.
Referral through GP
Children or young people with medical needs that affect their learning in some way-e.g. where medication is needed.
School is in regular contact with an allocated School Nurse and can refer students for additional advice around medical issues as required.
Children or young people with: Emotional difficulties e.g. anxiety, anger, low self-esteem. Behavioural difficulties e.g. aggression, destructiveness, self-harm, over activity. Developmental difficulties e.g. difficulties: e.g. problems eating, sleeping or communicating. Relationship difficulties e.g. problems in the family, with peers, in school or community, problems with attachment and loss.
A referral to Forward Thinking Birmingham can be made by any professional working with the child or young person in a professional capacity
Special Educational Needs and Disability Information Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS)
The Special Educational Needs Parent Partnership Service exists to provide advice and information to parents and pupils in Birmingham.
This information is designed to explain special educational needs procedures, to help you understand the law and procedures that affect you and your child, and to provide information on other issues that may be useful.
Special Educational Needs and Disability Information Advice and Support Service The POD, 28 Oliver Street Nechells, Birmingham B7 4NX
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone Number: 0121 303 5004
Provide activities and events and support for families, an information helpline, offer training for parents of children with autism and the professionals who help them and run support groups and advice clinics.
Telephone number: 0121 450 7582
Helpline number 0303 030 0111
(Bereavement Counselling) The Winston’s Wish national helpline offers support, information and guidance to all those caring for a bereaved child or young person. General Enquiries: 01242 515157 Helpline: 08452 03 04 05 (Monday – Friday 9am to 5pm and Wednesday evenings 7pm to 9.30 pm)
Think Family aims to facilitate sustainable improvements to the lives of families by: Sustaining children in education and parents into training or employment, reducing antisocial behaviour and crime and improving parental capacity. The Think Family team will allocate a worker to support the family directly.
Referrals are made by professionals where a family meets the Think Family criteria
Children’s centres provide or can arrange access to a range of services for children aged 0 to five and their families Family Support Teams work with families who meet the Think Family criteria. In particular families where there is evidence of poor school attendance, worklessness and parenting capacity issues. They also work to minimise the impact on the well-being of children caused by parental domestic abuse, mental health, drugs and alcohol use and to prevent family breakdown. Safeguarding and Children in Care Teams undertake the statutory responsibilities of Children’s Social Care. This includes working with a child on a Child Protection Plan once assessment has been undertaken by The Bridge Child Protection Investigation Service.
The Family Support and Safeguarding Service can be contacted via the Children’s Information and Advice service on 0121 303 1888 who will signpost to the most appropriate team. Urgent safeguarding concerns should be reported via the Children’s Information and Advice service on 0121 303 1888. Further information is available at:
Malachi will allocate a worker to support families who have a child with emotional difficulties resulting in behaviour that impact negatively on learning. They provide practical and therapeutic support to the whole family. Referrals can only be made through schools that buy into this service.
(Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) CAMHS work with children or young people with: Emotional difficulties e.g. anxiety, anger, low self-esteem. Behavioural difficulties e.g. aggression, destructiveness, self-harm, over activity. Developmental difficulties e.g. difficulties: e.g. problems eating, sleeping, and communicating.
Relationship difficulties e.g. problems in the family, with peers, in school or the community, problems with attachment and loss.
A referral to CAMHS can be made by any professional working with a child or young person in a professional capacity. Please speak to the relevant Head of Centre in the first instance.
Children’s Centres Children's centres provide multi-agency services to meet the needs of children under five years old and their families. The centres are open to all parents, carers and children and many of the services are free. You can get help and advice on child and family health, parenting, education, child care, money, training and employment. Birmingham's children's centres are arranged into 16 localities where they plan and deliver services collectively across a large area. This ensures services and activities are where they are most needed.
Barnardo’s Barnardo's is a charity that works directly with children, young people and their families. Services include counselling for children who have been abused, fostering and adoption services, vocational training and disability inclusion groups. Barnardo’s can also work in the following areas: advocacy, alcohol and substance misuse, child poverty, education, mental health, parenting support, and young carers.
Address: Brooklands, Great Cornbow, Halesowen, West Midlands, B63 3AB Telephone: 0121 550 5271 / 6