Frequently Asked Questions

As a community, we are committed to providing an exceptional education that acknowledges and celebrates the diverse learning needs of all pupils.

Our dedication to inclusivity goes beyond simple accommodation; it is integrated into our teaching philosophy, creating an environment where every pupil can thrive academically and personally. In our classrooms, each member is valued as a unique and vital contributor to the rich tapestry of our academic community. We emphasise a personalised learning approach that considers each learner's strengths, interests, and challenges. By doing so, we cultivate an environment where everyone feels seen, heard, and understood, empowering them to express themselves, share their ideas, learn from one another, and take ownership of their education.

Pupils’ behaviour is at extremely high levels; they are respectful, caring and courteous towards each other, mutually very supportive and mix well especially in boardingISI Inspection, April 2023

Meet our SENDCo - Mr Aled Leyshon

Aled Leyshon is the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator (SENDCo) at The Royal School. With over 20 years of teaching experience, he initially obtained a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) as a Physical Education Teacher and has served as a middle leader for over 15 years. Aled has worked as a SENDCo in both mainstream and specialist provision across all key stages. He holds the National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination from the University of Chichester and has completed the Certificate in Psychometric Testing, Assessment, and Access Arrangements. This qualification enables him to test pupils for access arrangements in public exams and apply to JCQ.

Every child is celebrated for who they are and what they individually can achieve.Lower School Parent

Our SEND support team:

  • Seven experienced LSA's 
  • Designated Safeguarding Lead
  • Welfare Officer and Lead First Aider
  • School Counsellor
  • SEND Key Workers/Mentors
  • Head of Admissions
  • What learning difficulties does the school cater for?

    Whilst this is not an exhaustive list, the following are catered for:

    • Dyslexia

    • Dyscalculia

    • Dysgraphia

    • ADHD

    • ASD

    As part of our admissions process, we request parents to inform us of any special educational needs or disabilities (SEND), any formal diagnosis, and medical requirements before visiting or applying to the school. Once we receive the necessary documentation, our Admissions Manager and SENDCo will review the information to assess whether we can provide adequate support for the child's learning needs.

    After a thorough review of the documentation, we will arrange a taster day at our school. This day is an opportunity for your child to experience life at The Royal through various activities and exploration. As part of the taster, your child will be asked to complete some informal assessments in Literacy and Numeracy to assess the level of performance. We are proud to be a non-selective school, these assessments are solely to understand your child's current level and what support they may need in the future.

    The Head of Admissions will contact the parents after all assessment feedback has been gathered to make a fair decision based on the range of evidence. A decision will always be made in the best interests of the child. If a pupil meets our entry criteria and a place is available, an offer will be made. If, however, the child meets our entry criteria but no places are available at the time of assessment, they will be offered a Waiting List place and kept informed. Written confirmation will be sent, along with an Acceptance Form and details of the Acceptance Deposit to be paid.

  • Does the school consider children who have an EHCP?

    Yes, we work closely with colleagues within the local authority and will need access to the applicant’s EHCP before starting the admissions process to ensure the school is the right fit for the child and we can meet all the child's needs. 

  • Who should I contact about child's educational needs?

    The main contact for SEND is the school SENDCo, Mr Aled Leyshon -

    If you are looking to join the school please contact our Admissions Team at - 
    or call 
    +44 (0)1428 605805.


  • How do you identify and assess pupils with SEND?

    There are several ways that a child can be identified, such as:

    • Accurate Screening: Before starting at The Royal School, all pupils are screened to identify any educational needs that may not have been previously identified. The school's SENDCo is a British Psychological Society member qualified to complete screening tests. 
    • Home-school partnerships: The partnership between home and school is vital in ensuring effective learning strategies for each child. To facilitate this, every child has a 'key worker' who communicates regularly with parents. If there is a potential need, parents are invited to discuss this with the SENDCo. A clear pathway and a pupil passport are complied as part of this meeting, and where appropriate, pupils are also involved in the decision-making process.
    • Feedback to the SEND department from teachers
    • Observations by the SENDCo or members of the SEND department
    • Specific information regarding how parents can support the learning of their child is shared

  • How does the school ensure that the teaching staff are appropriately trained to support my child's special educational needs or disability?

    At The Royal, every teacher is a teacher of SEND. A comprehensive training programme specific to the needs of our learners is in place with regular training sessions led by experts in their chosen field. Individual or small group training is also provided when necessary.

    As a school we are are part of United Learning, which is England's largest academy trust. Subject specialists work alongside the SEND Team and colleagues at United Learning to ensure that the curriculum and learning resources are adapted to meet the needs of all learners.

    A central repository of SEND resources, along with weekly staff clinics, enables staff to share best practices and observations, empowering them to continuously improve their skills.

    Where appropriate for specific individual need. The school will work with parents and third-party agencies to deliver bespoke training. This could include managing individual diabetes needs, for example.


  • How are all staff kept informed about my child’s needs?

    As a close-knit community, we take pride in knowing every child in our school. When a need is identified during the admissions process or whilst at the school, a bespoke learning journey is created to meet the child's needs. These journeys form part of a comprehensive Pupil Passport that considers the pupil's voice and is shared with staff, parents and pupils. The Pupil Passport is the foundation of support for every lesson.

    Pupils identified as having special educational needs (SEN) and/or disabilities are added to our school's SEND register, which is a complete record of all such pupils. Parents are informed when this is the case and the sharing of information is agreed with them.

    The SEND team communicates regularly with teaching staff to ensure that everyone is aware of the school's Special Educational Needs and how to support those needs in the classroom. Weekly SEND clinics led by our SENDCo focus on reporting on each child's progress and encourages discussion of new practices.

    The SENDCo and Senior Leadership Team frequently improve their knowledge and practice, which is then used to influence whole-school CPD (Continuing Professional Development) for SEND provision.

  • How will the school support my child's understanding of their learning differences, diagnosis, or self-referral for support?

    The school's inclusive culture empowers everyone to recognise learning differences; no stigma is attached to SEND. Pupils are more receptive to learning if they understand their needs and why specific strategies benefit their learning journey.  

    Through understanding and training, pupils can identify signs and seek support for early intervention. Members of the pastoral team work closely with the school counsellor to provide counselling services to the children within the school community—all pupils benefit from this service.

    All SEND pupils are matched with a key worker who will provide regular check-ins to ensure they are receptive to the learning style and happy. Happy children learn best!

  • How does the school fund SEND support?

    Appropriate adaptations are made to all lessons where a need is identified. Where a more bespoke provision is required, this will be agreed with the parents.

    Where funding is not available via an EHCP and there is a need for one-to-one or small-group intervention parents will be charged accordingly.

  • How will the school help me support my child’s learning?

    All pupils will be assigned a key worker or mentor who will communicate with parents and provide updates on their progress. Parents are welcome to contact the school if they have any concerns.

    Parents will be given a copy of their child's Pupil Passport, timetable, and teacher contact information.

    The SEND team organises coffee mornings each term, which parents are encouraged to attend. These sessions will have a particular focus each time, such as how to support a child with dyslexia.

    Parents are encouraged to use the School's subscription: 'Let's all talk mental health', which includes weekly seminars on various topics. Recent ones have included:

    • Autism & Teens: what to expect and how to help 
    • Helping Teens Cope with Exam Stress & Pressure
  • How will The Royal School support my child in the transition stages?

    Before starting their education at the school, prospective pupils are invited to attend a taster day. Based on the feedback received from the taster day, the school will determine the best way to facilitate the transition process for each pupil. This may involve additional taster days. To provide personalised support throughout the transition process, each pupil will be assigned a dedicated key worker or mentor who will play a pivotal role.

    As part of our transition process, we work closely with local primary and prep schools to understand each pupil's support needs. Our SENDCo meets with the child's current class teacher and SENDCo, where necessary, to discuss any specific requirements that children may have with the relevant teachers and staff. 

    If your child has an EHCP, the SENDCo will attend the annual review of an EHCP pupil in their current setting, further ensuring a smooth transition. As a parent, you will receive thorough information about these arrangements and be invited to participate in the reviews, ensuring that you are an essential part of your child's educational support network.

  • How will the curriculum and school environment be tailored to suit my child's needs?

    Where a need is identified, the curriculum will be discussed with the parents, SENDCo and Academic Deputy Head. The starting point for all conversations will be that we set high expectations and endeavour to ensure that all pupils can successfully access the whole curriculum. Where a bespoke curriculum is needed, it is agreed with parents, pupils, the SENDCo, and the Academic Deputy.

    Regular progress monitoring and a rigorous GCSE, A level, and BTEC options programme ensure that decisions are made at key transition points and that the voices of pupils and parents are heard. Timetable adaptations, like studying a reduced number of subjects at GCSE or dropping a language can provide additional support.

    Our Learning and Wellbeing Hub is situated at the centre of the school, offering pupils a dedicated space that supports their learning, physical and mental well-being. We maximize the use of our surroundings, including the open space and woodland.

  • What support can pupils receive while taking tests and exams?

    Our school's SENDCo is qualified to screen Year 9 pupils and above for access arrangements in public exams. We can apply to JCQ on their behalf. A EP report is not required as we have in-house expertise.

    For internal assessments up to Year 9, the SENDCo can provide support at their discretion. This may include extra time, use of a scribe/reader, rest breaks, or prompt. Arrangements will be determined based on feedback from external reports and input from teachers.

    From Year 10 onwards, the process for access arrangements in public exams changes. JCQ has strict rules and does not recognise any previous arrangements. Therefore, the SENDCo will need to complete a new assessment of the pupils' needs and apply to the exam boards.

  • How do you prepare pupils for adulthood as they go through your school and eventually leave your school?

    Everything we do, every single day, prepares our pupils for the future. Our Future Ready philosophy goes beyond traditional academic knowledge and focuses on fostering and developing emotional intelligence, practical skills, and critical thinking abilities. We aim to empower our pupils to become adaptable, resilient, and caring individuals who can thrive in an unpredictable future.

    In year 6, pupils start their Robotics, Engineering & Technology module, where they learn to build robots, operate drones, and construct and race a green-powered car from scratch. Year 7 pupils conduct career research in the National Health Service (NHS) and create job advertisements for a national competition. They also receive first-aid training to develop life-saving skills.

    Other modules across year groups include public speaking, budgeting, cooking, entrepreneurial skills (developed via the School's Dragon Den module), car maintenance, understanding mental health, the importance of well-being and study skills. All Sixth Formers are encouraged to step up to leadership roles when joining the Sixth Form as a mark of their maturity and greater responsibility. Owing to this, they are expected to contribute to the School and broader community. This includes peer mentoring and participating in committees that inform senior leadership decision-making.

    By the end of the programme, pupils have a solid foundation, preparing them for a successful future.

Key to Abbreviations

  • Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENDCo)
  • English as an Additional Language (EAL)
  • Learning Support Assistant (LSA)
  • Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND)
  • Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
  • Educational Psychologist (EP)
  • Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ)

"The quality of the pupils’ personal development is excellent."

Read our ISI Inspection Report