The Swanage School

The Swanage School is an Academy school, established through the Department for Education's Free School process. The school is run by fully qualified staff and overseen by an Academy Trust called Education Swanage.


01929 500599


Venue address
High Street
BH19 2PH


Opening times
Mon: 08:15-17:00
Tue: 08:15-17:00
Wed: 08:15-17:00
Thu: 08:15-17:00
Fri: 08:15-17:00

Service Details

Additional Information
Headteacher: Mr. Tristram Hobson. Academies are publicly-funded independent schools. Academies don’t have to follow the national curriculum and can set their own term times. They still have to follow the same rules on admissions, special educational needs and exclusions as other state schools. Academies get money direct from the government, not the local council. They’re run by an academy trust which employs the staff. Some academies have sponsors such as businesses, universities, other schools, faith or voluntary groups. Sponsors are responsible for improving the performance of their schools.
Related Links
• School admissions, transport, term dates and free school meals
• School performance tables
• Check for school closures
Age Range
11 years 0 months to 16 years 11 months

Ofsted Registered Details

Ofsted inspection result
Date of last inspectionInspection resultOfsted report
20/05/2015 Good View here


Wheelchair accessible
Fully accessible, lift to upper floor
Toilet facility information
Accessible toilets/shower/changing facilities

SEN & Disabilities Local Offer

Local Offer Description

The Swanage School is fully comprehensive human scale school that believes in learning and achievement for all. Learning difficulties are responded to by highly skilled and well-trained teachers and support staff, who have contact where appropriate to additional specialists and services through Dorset County Council, for example health professionals, educational psychologists and trained counsellors. At The Swanage School we endeavour to support pupils with SEND to reach their full potential and to be fully included in their school community.

SEND provision caters for the requirements of students with learning difficulties and physical and sensory disabilities. This is primarily achieved through quality first teaching but can also be through additional, temporary and/or extended support.  Parents/carers and students are an integral part of the support process and are involved at every step. We promote equality of opportunity through the Equality Act 2010 ensuring that SEND students have access to the curriculum and benefit from all that the school has to offer. 

SENCO contact name

Mr David Dawson

SENCO contact telephone:

01929 500599

SENCO contact email:

Contact Name
Dave Dawson
Contact Telephone
01929 500599
Contact Email
SEN Information Report
Swanage School

Local Offer - click to view

We link fully with our primary feeder schools prior to Year 6 transition time to ensure that information is shared. Our SENCO holds a meeting with every primary school SENCO and Year 6 teachers to discuss what support and interventions are already in place and what assessments may have already been carried out. SEND files and records are sensitively shared in this way. The SENCO also organises additional visits for SEND and vulnerable children who appreciate another look round and to ask further questions in a smaller group. Parents/carers are welcome to make an appointment with our SENCO through email on the school website or by attending an open day or Year 6 open evening.

All new students in any year are tested for spelling and reading age. This helps to further identify students who may require extra support, alongside information provided by the school which the student is leaving.

Once a student’s SEND have been identified they are categorised by tiers (0 to 4) and placed on the SEND register if they are tier two or above. The school produces a Pupil Intervention Map (PIM) for any student that is tier 1 or above that includes all key information and strategies to support them and information for TSS teaching staff to make sure that needs are highlighted.

If parents/carers are concerned that their child may have SEND then they should contact the SENCO.


 How will early years setting/school/college staff support my child/young person?

TSS uses a graduated response to assessment of SEND which determines which route we will use to raise achievement:

Tier 0 – Student has had historical SEND support which is no longer required. Recorded for future reference.

Tier 1 – Student has SEND (or possible SEND) identified and needs can be met through quality first teaching, subject based intervention or access arrangements. Progress in English and Maths will be monitored and students will not be recorded on the schools SEND register but the school will write a PIM to identify strategies that can be used in class to support them on a needs basis.

Tier 2 – Student has SEND (or possible SEND) identified and needs a specific SEN intervention, including and not limited to: ELSA support, Move to learn – learn to move, LIFT/Literacy intervention and advice/programs of support provided by outside agencies (such as CAMHS).

Tier 3 - Student has SEND identified and needs a multiple or significant SEN interventions (which in addition to the above may include teaching assistant support in a group or has a high level of need identified by an outside agency).

Tier 4 – Student has a statement of special educational need or an education and health care plan.

All teachers differentiate classwork and support students through quality first teaching which means that tasks are accessible according to the needs of individuals. In addition, teaching assistants provide small group interventions for students who are identified as needing support with literacy. Regular assessments of progress of all students allow us to monitor students who experience difficulties so that the right support can be put in place at the right time.

Teaching assistants are used to provide support through interventions such as literacy or ELSA and, where possible, are placed into classes where a group need has been identified. One to one teaching assistant support is only provided for students with very high needs, such as those who have a statement of special educational need or an education and health care plan. The provision of teaching assistant support is at the discretion of the SENCO. 

 How will the curriculum be matched to my child's or young person's needs?

The Swanage School aims to achieve this through differentiation and quality first teaching. We endeavour to support all students to access the curriculum and will provide extra support as described above where appropriate.  

 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?

The Swanage School monitors the progress of all students within the school and gives regular reports to parents/carers. The school has a new assessment system and all teachers are accountable for the progress of students in their lessons.

We provide support for parents/carers through regular reports, parent’s evenings and authentic assessment evenings. All parents have access to the parent portal where they can see progress and behaviour entries that are entered on the school system.

As well as progress, the school records any behaviour entries, both positive and negative through a system called progress so. Heads of House will respond to these records and provide extra support where appropriate. 

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

At TSS we have a well-established and positive system of pastoral support for all students, through tutors and Head of House. This includes ‘The Swanage School Way’ which is a charter to guarantee that students are known and treated as individuals; and that all aspects of development are encouraged - Intellectual, Physical, Creative, Emotional, Moral, and Spiritual.

House groups meet regularly to celebrate successes and to help each other. Tutors can have regular meetings with your child - and you - to discuss their progress and any concerns.

We understand that every child has individual needs and that those needs vary from day to day depending on what else is going on in their lives. We have structure to provide children with the care and nurture they need. The Hub is open at lunchtime for SEND and vulnerable children on a drop-in basis supervised by teaching assistants and staff on duty upstairs.

To promote positive friendships, we may use a ‘circle of friends’ and peer-mentoring involving the whole class or house group.  We also provide emotional literacy support (ELSA) and counselling on a regular or drop-in basis 

The in-house support team consists of a range of expertise, including:

Heads of House


School Nurse

School Counsellor

Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA)

Where support needs cannot be met inside school the school can refer to CAMHS, Dorset Family Matters, Community Paediatrics and Social Services amongst others.

The school has a stringent safeguarding policy to protect students. 

 What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting/school/college?

Further to highly trained professional teachers and higher level teaching assistants The Swanage School has the following specialist services in house:

·         ELSA – Emotional Literacy Support Assistant

·         School Counsellor

The Swanage School has access to outside agencies that include, but are not limited to:

Dorset County Council provision - HVSS (Hearing and Visual Support Services), Educational Psychologists, SENSS (Special Educational Needs Specialist Service), Social Services, Dorset Family Matters, Youth Workers.

Health and Care provision - CAMHs (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service), Shadows (substance abuse advice and support), Occupational Therapist, School Nurse.

External agencies- Equilibrium, Reach Out, Dorset Reading Partnership.

It is important for parents/carers who have a student with a statement of special educational need or an education and health care plan to be aware that although we are a small school, we do not have in house access to highly trained specialised provision or facilities that specialist providers may have. 

 What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND have had or are having?

SEND training is an ongoing part of teacher continuing professional development (CPD) at TSS which includes attendance at in-school workshops as well as on national or county sessions. All staff regularly participate in child protection training and refreshers.

Examples of staff training this year include:


Autism level 1Training


Awareness of Special Needs.

The SENCO is available for guidance across the school for learning approaches and subject specific. The school records details of which children are ‘Looked After Children’, Pupil Premium, Free School Meals or have English as an Additional Language

 How will my child/young person be included in activities outside this classroom including school trips?

TSS has a very wide-ranging choice of after-school clubs that are fully-accessible to all students. Teaching assistants may support these where appropriate. Alternative transport arrangements can be rearranged for example if a student taxi needs to pick-up at an alternative venue or at a later time at school. Individual arrangements are made with parents/carers and SEND children for school competitions, visits and residential trips.

 School excursions are risk assessed with particular attention to how SEND students will respond and access off-site learning experiences. Individual risk assessments are carried out for each situation in order to keep children safe and secure.

 How accessible is the setting/school/college environment?

TSS is a brand new building with facilities that are planned to make it easy to move around halls and classrooms and meeting spaces. The design has been developed from our curriculum plan and offers flexible spaces that mirror our innovative approach to teaching. The school provides appropriate facilities to include everyone by being accessible physically and educationally.

Students with a physical disability are able to access every point of the curriculum, e.g. low-level IT stations and cooking work areas are provided.

Our full-size 4-court sports hall has wheelchair access and changing facilities and shower room. The large assembly and dining hall with stage, classrooms, meeting spaces and flexible learning areas are all fully accessible to wheelchair users. There is a lift to the upper floor with wheelchair access to toilets on both levels.

The school has also been designed for those children who have a hearing impairment. Flooring coverings and stoppered chairs help prevent excess noise, soundproof boards provide good acoustics. Hearing loops are installed and materials are taken into consideration in classroom design in terms of acoustics, lighting and access.

The school’s health and safety policy and accessibility policies reflect the measures taken to adhere to SENDA (2001) which is fully compliant with the Equalities Act (2010).

As well as meeting each student’s needs in the classroom, it is sometimes appropriate to provide other resources and spaces. Additionally some students need specialist resources such as assistive technology. Students with sensory impairments may require specialist equipment to enable them to access the curriculum. Other specific difficulties such as ADHD or autism may require quiet spaces or rooms with less external stimulus in order to provide an appropriate working environment.

 How will the setting/school/college prepare and support my child/young person to join the setting/school/college or the next stage of education and life?

At TSS all Year 10 students participate in a work experience programme which involves either a work-based placement or a week of life skills and vocational activities. At their annual review students in year 9 or above with a Statement of Special Educational Need or Education Health Care Plan (EHC) meet with the Ansbury advisor. In years 9 and above the school may arrange an appointment with an Ansbury careers advisor where there is a chance the student may not be in education, employment or training when the leave the school.

If a SEND student is transferring to another school, the SENCO will liaise with the next school to ensure that the student’s information is shared so that support can be maintained. 

 How are the setting's/school's/college's resources allocated and matched to children's/young people's special educational needs?

All resources/training and support are reviewed regularly and changes made as needed.

Strategies and interventions are in place to support literacy and numeracy across the curriculum.  Teachers and teaching assistants make sure the classroom environment promotes subject-specific language and common keywords. Classrooms and learning spaces have well organised wall displays to support learning in all areas of the curriculum. Differentiated resources for students are provided by teachers where appropriate.  

ICT provision in the school increases access and support pupils with additional and special educational needs. This includes use of Tablets and i-desks provided by TSS in lessons where appropriate. Assistive technology may be appropriate for some children with SEND and the school has some laptops that students can borrow while in school (but cannot be taken home). The school also has use of a program called Read & Write which can read documents to students and support creating work through predictive text. Some SEND students may have an ICT assessment through the Local Authority where appropriate as part of their access arrangements for exams; for example, using a computer instead of handwriting. Tablets and i-desks provide an alternative mode for those children who struggle to put their work on paper. Visualisers and projectors/Tablets are made available for visually impaired children and computers with special aids are made available for pupils with physical disabilities. We aim to create inclusive classrooms that naturally incorporate a range of ICT to benefit all. It is important to note that TSS does not provide or purchase personal laptops for students.

Teaching assistants are used to provide support through interventions such as literacy or ELSA and, where possible, are placed into classes where a group need has been identified. One to one teaching assistant support is only provided for students with very high needs, such as those who have a statement of special educational need or an education and health care plan. The provision of teaching assistant support is at the discretion of the SENCO.

The Deputy Head Teacher and the SENCO discuss all the information they have about SEND in the school and decide what resources/training and support is needed including:

  • the children already getting extra support
  • the children needing extra support
  • the children who have been identified as not making as much progress as would be expected

The SENCO and Deputy Head Teacher then allocate resources ensuring they are cost effective and appropriate. The allocation of all SEND resources (including TAs) is at the discretion of the SENCO and Deputy Head Teacher. 

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

The SENCO will assign students with SEND with a graduated response using the tier system to allocate appropriate support which will be recorded on the PIM. Decisions taken regarding support will include the views of students and their parents/carers.

Students with a Statement or EHC plan are monitored according to the annual review process.

Support can also be established by our SENCO in response to parent concerns, subject teacher referrals or by the school’s regular tracking process.

Outside agencies are involved in this practice where students have been referred and the school will take and act on advice or support where appropriate. 

 How are parents involved in the setting/school/college? How can I be involved?

We aim to ensure that review meetings and Team Around the Child meetings are arranged at times which allow parents and carers to attend.  We listen to what parents/ carers tell us about their children and use that information to make sure everyone who works with a child understands their needs. Meetings can be formal or informal, and conversations by telephone, letter or email. Students and their parents are invited to have regular meetings the SENCO and/or their tutor to ensure that provision is being made and needs are being met. Copies of PIMs will be given as a record of the review of support. We promote parent partnerships to help parents/carers get the right access to a wider network of advice. We support and promote:

  • PAX Parent Forum
  • Incredible Years ADHD / Challenging behaviours
  • Strengthening Families programme
  • Living with Parents programme
  • Group Triple P
  • Dorset Parent Carer Council
  • The Xchange
  • SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (formerly Parent Partnership Service)

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