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Headteacher's Welcome

It is a pleasure to welcome you to Forest Park School, a Hampshire local authority maintained special school. We provide education for children and young people aged 2-19 years with severe, profound and complex learning difficulties. In addition, the majority of our pupils have co-occurring needs including Autism, Down Syndrome and physical disabilities.

Forest Park is split across two sites, one mile apart. We have a Primary School in Ringwood Road, Totton catering for around 100 children and a Secondary School in Commercial Road Totton, catering for around 40 young people with the most profound and complex learning difficulties.

At Forest Park we are committed to providing a highly personalised curriculum and stimulating learning environment, which starts with the individual needs of each child and young person. We seek to prepare every member of our school community for the next significant phase in their lives, whatever that might be. In addition, we are dedicated to ensuring that our pupils enjoy school, are happy, confident and proud of themselves and their achievements.

In school we are supported by and work in collaboration with, a range of professionals including School Nurses, Speech and Language therapists, Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists.

I hope you enjoy your journey around our website and look forward to welcoming you to our wonderful school at some point in the future.

Ashley Oliver-Catt

Special Educational Needs Report

Forest Park School Special Educational Needs Information Report


September 2022




What type of school is Forest Park?



Forest Park is a special school which caters for children and young people aged 2-19. The school is currently funded for 140 pupils.


The school is spread across two sites which are located one mile away from each other.


Forest Park Primary has 11 classrooms and caters for children aged 2 – 11 who have moderate, severe or profound and multiple learning difficulties.


Forest Park Secondary has 4 class groups and caters for young people aged 11-19 who have severe or profound and multiple learning difficulties.


All children who attend Forest Park must have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).


In some circumstances in may be possible to place a pre-school aged child with us whilst an assessment of their needs is being carried out but this would only happen following agreement with the school and Local Authority and if the general agreement is that Forest Park is suitable to meet a child’s needs. 


Class sizes are small with the average size being 10 children per class. This may be higher or lower depending on the needs of the children.


How does your education setting know if children / young people need extra help and what do I do if I think my child has special education needs?

All children who attend Forest Park are identified to have Special Educational Needs before starting at the school with us. Your child’s needs should be clearly identified in their EHCP.


Occasionally a child may start in the pre-school whilst undergoing assessment but it would be identified by this stage that a child has additional learning needs and that Forest Park is an appropriate setting for their level of need.


If your child is a pupil at Forest Park and you have any questions or concerns about their needs, we have an open door policy and are more than happy to discuss this with you and support you in any way that we can.



How will both you and I know how my child / young person is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s / young person’s learning?

We monitor your child’s progress against the targets and outcomes which are set out in their EHCP. To achieve this, Individual Education Plans (IEP’s) are written each term and sent home for your agreement.


We will also carry out an Annual Review of the EHCP at least every 12 months; this is the opportunity to discuss how things have gone over the past year and to set new targets.


We hold termly parents mornings/evenings to give all parents the opportunity to discuss their child’s progress. During the summer term reports are sent home detailing what your child has covered during the school year and the achievements that have been made.


Each half term a topic newsletter is sent home which outlines what your child will be learning and may include ideas for supporting your child’s learning.


Every week there is a celebration certificate giving in which pupils in school  celebrate their achievements. At the end of every term there is a celebration assembly that parents are more than welcome to attend.


All pupils are assessed using a combination of P levels for the most profound, I can statements for the majority and interim standards for the highest ability. Pupil progress meetings are held with class teachers and senior staff twice a year to discuss whether the children are making expected rates of progress and how to address any apparent gaps in learning.


Governors are involved in monitoring pupil progress and in monitoring progress against the School Improvement targets that are set each year.


How will the school staff support my child / young person?

Forest Park employs a total of 86 members of staff who support the children across the school day.


Each class is led by a teacher who is supported by a team of Learning Support Assistants (LSAs).  All of the class staff use their experience and knowledge to lead whole class, small group and, at times, 1:1 sessions with the children with teamwork being a key part of the school’s ethos and success.


In addition the school has 3 members of staff who support Emotional Literacy and behaviour.  Support includes group work and 1:1 sessions, both regularly and in response to one-off situations.  These members of staff liaise closely with families.

The school also employs a two part time School Home Integrated Partnership workers (SHIP workers) who can help families at home or respite centres to support children / young people in an identified area.


How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s / young person’s needs?

The Forest Park school curriculum is designed to be flexible in order that it can be tailored to meet the needs of each and every pupil. The curriculum offers meaningful and relevant access to the National Curriculum, and a strong emphasis on Personal, Social and Health Education and access to sensory experiences and therapies.

Our Early Years class follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum


As students progress through the school the curriculum focus changes to encourage further independence and more opportunities for using skills in the community.


Students from aged 14-16 work towards an externally accredited scheme called ASDAN Transition Challenge and from 16-19 on modules from ASDAN’s Towards Independence and personal progress. Students also undertake an AQA qualification in Horticulture.


As a school we understand the importance of setting appropriately challenging targets for all our pupils.


Decisions on access to pupil examinations are taken on an individual basis, depending on a pupil’s current working level and ability to access the tests.


Individual learning programmes are set up for some children who are working at a different level to the rest of their class or who currently find it too difficult to access learning alongside other children.  Children with specific needs, for example hearing or visual impairments, are further supported through the use of specially tailored resources, with staff working closely with outside agencies.


How is the decision made about what type of and how much support my child / young person will receive?

There are high staff to pupil ratios in all of our classes at Forest Park. With the support and input of outside agencies, the school will decide on the most appropriate class grouping for each child and the staffing ratio will be based on the needs of all the children/young people in each class. This may occasionally be changed in response to changing needs or mid year admissions


Pupils with additional or complex medical or therapy needs will be supported with a higher staffing ratio to ensure appropriate levels of care. 


Children with complex behaviour issues may be supported in smaller or 1:1 settings for some or all of their teaching, with opportunities for learning social skills being provided whenever possible.  In these cases the need for additional support is a joint decision, made by members of the SLT (School Leadership Team) along with Local Authority representatives and following discussions with a pupil’s family.


Pupils who have free school meals, have parents who work in the Armed services or are in local authority care receive additional funding called the Pupil Premium Grant. Objectives are set for each child for the areas where additional support is needed and the money used to provide relevant resources. For example, some children have needed additional emotional support and funds purchased additional hours for an Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA).


What support will there be for my child’s/young person’s overall well-being?

Both Forest Park sites have been described by parents as having a family feel and we really pride ourselves on the good rapport that staff have with pupils. Staff model appropriate behaviour and positive attitudes at all times.

Children are encouraged to be as independent as possible and we actively promote joint working with parents to build consistency between home and school.


There is 1 ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant). Social skills sessions are run on both sites for children who we feel would benefit from this type of intervention. We will discuss this with you if we feel that this would be beneficial for your child.


Assessments are made for some pupils to identify areas of emotional and social development that need to be supported.


We employ a SHIP worker who can work with families or respite centres to ensure there is consistency in approach across settings.


We monitor attendance of pupils and will contact parents if children are absent without explanation.


What training is provided for staff supporting children and young people with SEND?

All staff receive a comprehensive induction training covering key areas such as child protection, moving and handling, behaviour management, general feeding training and communication skills, including Makaton.


More specific training will be delivered by health colleagues if necessary, for example administering emergency medication.


If a child or young person starts at Forest Park with a condition we have not previously catered for we will do our absolute best to ensure we work with the family, health colleagues and any other professionals involved in order to train staff to be able to meet the child’s needs.


We work with a number of therapists who train staff in carrying out therapy programs. These include:

  • 3 health funded physiotherapists who are in school 1 day a week
  • 2 health funded Occupational therapists who are in school 1 day a week
  • 1 NHS Speech and language therapist who is in 1 day a week
  • 1 Hampshire County Council speech therapist who is in 1 day a week

All therapists assess children’s needs and set therapy programmes which are shared with staff and parents and they provide training. Physiotherapists and the Occupational therapist will also do home visits during school holidays if necessary.



  • Shallow water training is provided to ensure appropriately trained staff are supporting children when swimming
  • The school has a MIDAS trainer to train minibus drivers.
  • A feeding clinic is held at the school for children who meet the criteria for their service.

How accessible is your education setting (indoors and outdoors)?

The nature of our the pupils who attend Forest Park means that the school is fully accessible;


  • Both sites are wheelchair accessible and have accessible toilets
  • There are ceiling hoists in most classrooms and portable hoists for use in those areas without a ceiling hoist
  • Both sites have a Sensory room and hydrotherapy pool
  • The primary site also has a soft playroom.
  • Both sites have disabled parking facilities


  • The primary site has a large outside area which is covered in a safety surface to allow all year use.
  • The secondary site has both a playground and grassed field area.
  • Equipment such as specialist chairs and some physiotherapy equipment for individual pupils is purchased through the Joint Equipment Stores.
  • Wheelchair services hold wheelchair clinics in school and parents are invited to attend these
  • Software is available that will support communication skills e.g. Communicate in Print and Grid Player
  • The school has use of a Braille machine
  • Communication aids such as switches are available throughout the school and discussion with parents about specific communication aids will take place if they have been recommended.


How are parents / carers / young people currently involved in your school? How can I get involved and who can I contact for further information?

The involvement of parents, carers, children and young people is central to our success at Forest Park. Working together greatly increases the chances of success for our pupils and so we have an open door policy and welcome feedback from parents at any time – if we don’t know about an issue, we can’t help resolve it!


If you’d like to meet with someone or visit the school, call into the school office and we can arrange this.


Parents are involved through formal channels such as:

  • Annual reviews and parents evening
  • Parent Conversation meetings
  • An annual questionnaire
  • Parents sit on the Governing body.
  • Home/school books
  • Volunteering in school


There are also a number of less formal ways such as:

  • Coffee mornings
  • School plays
  • Supporting at school events and with fundraising

Pupils are also involved in their learning and progress through:

  • Annual reviews and as part of transition planning
  • The School Council
  • Actively seeking feedback about the curriculum
  • Assessing their work in class
  • If a behaviour support plan is needed

What steps should I take if I have concerns about the school’s SEND provision?

Parents are encouraged to talk to staff about concerns. We really would rather work with parents to resolve issues at the earliest possible stage.


In the first instance the class teacher is normally the first point of contact. The Leadership Team are all happy to discuss worries or concerns.


In the unlikely event that concerns have not been resolved please contact the Chair of Governors.


A copy of the full schools complaints policy is on the school website


How will the school prepare and support my child / young person to join the school, transfer to a new school or transition to the next stage of life?

We understand that for some of our children, change is really difficult but also that it can be stressful for parents.

To help ease this process we carry out the following:


Starting at Forest Park

  • Once a place has been confirmed staff will visit the child’s previous school, do a home visit and if possible, attend the annual review or Team around the Child meeting.
  • Liaison with other professionals will then ensure any necessary training is arranged.
  • Transition visits will take place and a transition book will provide information for your child about the school.


Leaving Forest Park

  • Every child at Forest Park has a key information sheet which outlines essential information about the individual. These are shared at any transition.
  • We work closely with the secondary schools we feed into. Information is shared and visits are made, supported by class staff. Parents are kept informed about how the transition is going.
  • For students leaving our secondary site a Transition Passport will be developed with parents help to outline essential information.
  • Students leaving our post 16 class will have had a detailed transition plan; this may include school supporting visits to new providers and gathering the students views on places visited. Some students will be referred to an Advocate who will assist in seeking the young person’s views and some students will have a Person Centred Plan involving key adults from their lives.


Where can I get further information about services for my child/young person?

The information in this report forms part of Hampshire’s Local Offer which can be accessed at the HCC website.