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Head of Learning Support (0.80FTE) Maternity Cover

Salary: £25,968 - £42,570 25,968 to 42,570 per Annum

Location: Wells, Somerset

Closing date: 14 June 2019


Head of Learning Support

Maternity Cover

(Two terms in the first instance)

September 2019


The School recognises that every pupil is different and that some pupils may require additional levels of support as they pursue their academic potential. The primary purpose of the Head of Learning Support is to lead on the development and delivery of a highly effective whole school learning support strategy which successfully identifies and addresses the learning needs of all pupils.

The Department

The Head of Learning Support leads and manages the Learning Support Team, working with those individuals to ensure that those pupils who require it are able to access and benefit from additional academic help and intervention; the Learning Support Team comprises of a Junior School Head of Learning Support, Pre-Prep SENCO and a team of part-time Specialist Teachers, Teaching Assistants and a senior school SEND Administrator. Close liaison with the Junior School, and Prep-Prep, Heads of Learning is essential. The department supports and enriches further still the excellent standard of teaching and learning at the School, helping colleagues to develop effective teaching strategies for all pupils and facilitating the sharing of good practice.


The Head of Learning Support and the Learning Support Team will work within the guidance provided in the SEND Code of Practice 2015 and regularly monitor the academic performance, attendance and social development of pupils on the SEND register. The Department will assess promptly any pupils who are identified as potentially having special educational and/or additional needs and track the effectiveness and impact of support and interventions that are put in place.


The Aims of the Department :

The current aims of the Learning Support Department are to promote an inclusive ethos; maximise the academic progress and personal development of all pupils; reduce and where possible close the achievement and progress gaps between different groups of pupils; ensure that all staff know their role in relation to these aims and in particular understand that high quality teaching, differentiated for individual pupils, is the first step in relation to supporting pupils who have or may have SEND.


In the context of this Job Description, pupils with special educational needs are deemed to include, but are not exclusively defined as:

  • Pupils with a statement or EHCP;

  • Pupils with identified specific learning difficulties;

  • Pupils with identified behavioural or social problems;

  • Pupils with a diagnosed disability;

  • ‘Looked After’ pupils;


  • The SEND register records the names and needs of pupils who experience barriers to learning that the School seeks to address with provision which is additional to and different from that which is offered through the School’s curriculum. A pupil’s place on the SEND register is reviewed at least annually.


The general duties of the Head of Learning Support at Wells Cathedral School include:


Strategic direction, leadership and management:

  • Support the vision, ethos and aims of the School through the work of the Department;

  • Lead on the development and delivery of a highly effective whole school learning support strategy ensuring the School fulfils its legal obligations with regards to all matters concerning SEND (as currently set out in the SEND Code of Practice 2015);

  • Developing, amongst colleagues, a culture of Learning Support being a core aspect of all teachers responsibilities.

  • Regularly review the School’s Learning Support Policy, ensuring its implementation enables pupils to achieve significant progress;

  • Evaluate the effectiveness of relevant School policies and their impact on pupils who have special educational needs;

  • Work with the Deputy Head (Academic) to ensure that the curriculum meets the needs of all pupils;

  • Deploy staff and resources effectively and efficiently advising the Deputy Head (Academic) of future needs and priorities for expenditure;

  • Promote the highest levels of achievement and self-esteem amongst all pupils;

  • In conjunction with Heads of Year, evaluate specific pupils’ progress and results, using performance data to inform departmental and individual pupil targets;

  • Lead staff in a regular review of progress against targets for these pupils;

  • Develop and maintain good relationships with parents, outside agencies and the local community;

  • Regularly assess the training needs and knowledge of staff in relation to Learning Support and arrange or provide any necessary training;

  • Maintain up to date knowledge of national and local initiatives which may impact upon policy and practice;

  • Work with the Director of Finance and Resources and the Deputy Heads to ensure that reasonable adjustments are made under the current disability Equality legislation, writing risk assessments where appropriate;

  • Be responsible for the financial management issues associated with the delivery of the SEND provision, in conjunction with the Director of Finance and Resources and the Deputy Heads.

  • Lead termly Learning Support meetings for department representatives to disseminate good practice;

  • Appraise all departmental colleagues on an annual basis;

  • Management of the peer mentoring support scheme.

  • Attend Heads of Department meetings, and other meetings as appropriate.


Teaching and Learning

  • Influence the whole Teaching and Learning Policy to promote aspects of inclusive teaching;

  • Identify and disseminate the most effective teaching approaches for those pupils with special educational needs, both in the class setting and through individual support;

  • Monitor teaching and learning activities across departments to ensure they meet the needs of pupils with special educational needs;

  • Lead INSET regularly and deliver appropriate training;

  • Support developments and initiatives to improve standards in literacy and numeracy as well as access to the wider curriculum;

  • Oversee and monitor the quality of PLPs and wave 1 and 2 profiles/plans, ensuring information is properly disseminated to the pupil, parents and relevant teaching staff;

  • Liaise with feeder schools to ensure continuity of support and learning when transferring pupils with special educational needs.

  • Development and delivery of a study skills and literacy programme to support pupils with SEND.

  • Be aware of the needs of pupils with English as an Additional Language, and work with the Head of EAL as appropriate.

  • Deliver specialist SEND teaching on either a 1:1, small group, or class basis as appropriate.   


  • Assessments, Testing and Monitoring

  • Carry out screening for SEND of pupils joining the school where appropriate as well as year group screening for specific year groups on an annual basis

  • Carry out individual pupil assessments and assess for GCSE and A Level access arrangements;

  • Write PLPs and wave 1 and 2 plans/profiles and ensure dissemination to staff;

  • Where necessary, and appropriate, referring pupils to external agencies, taking responsibility for this process and any associated administration required;

  • Set targets in conjunction with Heads of Department and the pastoral team for raising achievement among pupils with special educational needs;

  • Maintain records of pupil targets and progress to date;

  • Collect and interpret specialist assessment data;

  • Attend Open Mornings and Parents Evenings and maintain regular contact with parents, in conjunction with School policy, keeping them informed about their child's progress;

  • Ensure School conforms to requirements of examination boards for access arrangements in public examinations;

  • Liaise with the Examinations Officer and ICT department, to ensure appropriate arrangements are in place for candidates who are eligible for ‘access arrangements’, including completing required details on exam board systems.

  • Liaise with the Heads of Year and Deputy Head (Academic), to ensure appropriate arrangements are in place for pupils who are eligible for ‘access arrangements’ in internal examinations.


  • Other Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Recognise that SEND pupils may be more vulnerable to abuse. Ensure all members of the Learning Support Team are vigilant to detect any signs of pupils with special educational needs becoming victims of abuse, bullying and radicalisation and are fully aware of the School’s safeguarding and child protection policy and procedures. The Head of Learning Support will be part of the school welfare committee and will attend regular team meetings.


  • Wider School Contribution

  • It will be expected that the successful candidate will also carry out some classroom teaching in their area of specialism, and some potential involvement in our thriving co-curricular programme. As well as undertaking any other reasonable professional task as directed by the Head Master.

  • Further Information

  • Outline notes on the school and recent school results are also enclosed.  It may be possible to combine the post with a residential post within a boarding house and this can be discussed further at interview.  Additional awards are available to residential staff.

  • Interviews are scheduled to take place on Monday 17 June 2019.  An application form and the names of two referees should be sent to the HR Bursar as soon as possible, and no later than Frday 14 June 2019, 12 noon.

  • HR Department

  • The Bursary

  • Wells Cathedral School

  • Wells

  • Somerset

  • BA5 2SX