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Supporting pupils with SEND transition to adulthood

The Lavinia Norfolk Centre at Angmering School – supporting pupils with SEND transition to adulthood

A joint initiative to support two SEND pupils to develop the functional speech and language skills for transition to adulthood has recently been implemented at the Lavinia Norfolk Centre (LNC) at the Angmering School. The initiative is a great example of joint working between health and education. The Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, Specialist Speech and Language Therapist who worked with the LNC team nominated the school for this celebration of inclusion.


The Angmering School is a maintained comprehensive school for students aged 11–19 years and has approximately 1,400 students, of which around 150 are in the 6th Form. The KS3, KS4 and KS5 curriculum provides both breadth and stretch for students as they progress towards GCSE/BTEC and then post-16 courses. The school is ambitious for every child and promotes a Growth Mindset to break down any barriers to progress. The school also provides a varied programme of extra-curricular activities. This enables students to follow their interests and develop a broad experience, which prepares them for adulthood.

The inclusive ethos of the school is epitomised by the Lavinia Norfolk Centre (LNC) where students with disabilities are supported to integrate fully into the daily life of the school. The LNC is a specialist support facility for students with physical disabilities and sensory impairments. There are currently 37 students with EHCPs in planned places in the LNC. 

All students are integrated in main school tutor groups with a learning support mentor and follow the school timetable in-line with their peers. All students have a learning support mentor and bespoke timetables which could include any of the following: Specialist small group teaching for English, maths and PE or supported study. The school also offers ASDAN (Award Scheme Development and Accreditation Network) courses. Students are supported with Learning Support Assistants in class and are given specialist IT upon transition into LNC with bespoke extras if required. For students with a physical disability the LNC has an on-site hydrotherapy pool and an adapted fitness suite with a physio tech on site 4 days a week and a physio 1 day a week.  Plans are written by NHS physios and implemented by specialist staff in school. The students generally receive 1 hydro and 1 physio session weekly. 

There are automatic doors and adjustable height tables around the school site for accessibility and all trips and clubs are inclusive for students to join if they wish. The LNC team liaise with many external professionals including occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, and wheelchair services to accommodate appointments at school to alleviate pressure on students’ families at home and time away from school. Students have county transport provided and often travel some distance. Students with sensory needs have specialist provisions including full time Qualified Teachers of the Deaf (QToD); Qualified Teachers of CYP with Vision Impairment (QTVI), as well as other experienced staff including audiology and braille specialists. The school has a number of Soundfield systems around the school and, despite the age of the buildings, works towards BB93 standards for room acoustics. 

It was Angmering school’s vision for preparing all pupils for adulthood which fuelled their joint work with the Speech and Language Therapy Service (SALT). Supported by the WSCC Special Educational Needs Assessment Team (SENAT), they worked together to develop a functional language programme initially for two pupils but then rolled out for more students.

Good practice explained

Equipping SEND students with language to function outside of school into adulthood was the cornerstone of the school’s focus. For two specific students moving into the 6th form provision, this became a priority. It was understood that the students would not be able to access A Level learning and the speech and language therapy support they had received previously was not available for post 16 students.

With restricted SALT capacity, the school approached their allocated SALT to develop a functional language programme for the two students. The school gained the support of SENAT for their strategic planning for this creative approach.

The programme developed from a holistic review of the students’ ongoing needs including daily living skills, emotional regulation and safeguarding.

Hear the Angmering team talk about how they developed this speech and language programme with the Speech and Language Therapy Service:


* Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Angmering team and SALT were required to sit at a safe distance apart which meant that two members are often out of shot. See below for the members of the team who shared their experience in the interview.

Specialist Speech and Language Therapist
Teacher in Charge of Lavinia Norfolk Centre
Lead SEND:PD, Lavinia Norfolk Centre

Overview of functional language topics covered in the programme


Non-Verbal Communication

  • Active Listening
  • Comprehension Monitoring
  • Memory
  • Emotional Recognition
  • Emotional Regulation
  • Self Esteem
  • Coping with Anxiety

Social Communication

  • Initiating Interaction à Informal on an individual basis
  • Initiating interaction à Informal within groups
  • Initiating interaction à formal interactions (e.g. with people in authority or someone unknown)
  • Maintaining a conversation
  • Ending a conversation
  • Fixing a breakdown in communication
  • LEGO based therapy
  • Asking Questions – open and closed questioning

Life Skills

  • Emergency Services
  • Making Appointments
  • Public Transport
  • Communication Passport (for taking with them after finishing Year 12)
  • Learning Styles
  • Researching Jobs

“When we learnt about making conversation I enjoyed acting with another person in class. It was important when having a conversation to have eye contact with that person and listen to what they were saying.

I also enjoyed the memory game by us all looking at a number of objects on a tray. Then I would take the tray outside and remove a few of the objects. They has to tell me what objects I had taken away. This was to test my friends memory.”

Student A, Year 12

“In speech and language I liked learning about emotions and it helps me to understand how I feel and what to do. I enjoyed the games like the story lesson when we listened to each other to make up part of the story.”

Student B, Year 12

There are more sessions planned to the end of this academic year. These are planned to include; interview skills, CV writing plus language needed in restaurants/cafes/shops.

As COVID-19 restrictions continue to be lifted, the team plans to implement some of the more practical elements of the programme. For example planning a journey on a bus / train and then carrying this out, making a doctors / dentist appointment etc.

Top Tips from The Angmering School for other schools

  1. Build and maintain strong working relationships with SENAT and your Link SALT. These links created a really honest and frank conversation for the LNC team to develop the vision for post 16 SEND transition support.
  2. Harness student and parent voice to ensure the package is robust and holistic.
  3. Ensure regular contact between the person delivering the Speech and Language Programme and the Speech and Language Therapist to review goals and progress.
  4. Try to have a flexible approach to deliver in the programme in a variety of ways and in ways that are meaningful for the students.

Links to the West Sussex Inclusion Framework

The multi-agency approach to transition to adulthood at the Lavinia Norfolk Centre in the Angmering School links to a number of Aspects and Dimensions within the West Sussex Inclusion Framework.

Within Aspect 1: The Environment, Culture and Ethos:

1.1 Inclusive vision, aims and values

  • Clear inclusive aims and values are evident in the behaviour of staff and children and young people (CYP).
  • Inclusion is understood as an on-going process of increasing participation, achievement and nurture for all.
  • Aims and values reflect that leaders are ambitions for providing high-quality education to all CYP.


  • The principles of co-production and collaboration are embedded within the life of the school. This results in extensive engagement and participation by the full range of stakeholders. The impact of this collaboration and co-production can be clearly identified within day to day practice.

1.6 Transitions

  • CYP are supported to manage transitions between schools and settings. This includes individual transitions that may take place during the school year.


  • Transition arrangements are planned for and tailored to CYP to ensure their individual needs are met and reasonable adjustments are in place prior to starting. For example, use of home visits, social stories, additional environment visits and one-page profiles, virtual tours and Meet the Staff film clips.

Within Aspect 2: Leadership

2.4 Partnership working/collaboration

  • The school enhances its provision and practice for all children and young people (CYP) through building relationships and partnership working and can evidence improved outcomes as a result.
  • Corporate responsibility for all CYP in the locality is evident in practice.
  • The school collaborates with a range of agencies and other schools to develop its capacity to improve outcomes for each CYP.


The school fosters productive and positive relationships with a wide range of other agencies in the local community to improve outcomes for CYP including, where appropriate:

  • Local schools
  • Forums and network Meetings (Behaviour Forum, SENCO Hubs and Networks)
  • School Effectiveness Team
  • Advisory Services and other support services, including Safeguarding in Education and Pupil Entitlement, Autism and Social Communication team / Learning and Behaviour Advisory team
  • Teaching Schools 
  • Hubs e.g. Maths Hub, English Hub, Science Partnership
  • Research Schools
  • Area Inclusion and Improvement Boards (AIIBs)
  • Educational Psychology Service (EPS)
  • The Special Needs and Assessment Team (SENAT)
  • SEND Information, Advice and Support (SENDIAS)
  • Ethnic Minority and Travellers Achievement Service (EMTAS)
  • Portage
  • Early Help and Children’s Social Care
  • National Health Service (NHS) and Therapeutic Teams
  • West Sussex Parent Carer Forum (WSPCF)
  • Alternative povision providers
  • Holiday, weekend and after school activity providers e.g. scouting organisations, Duke of Edinburgh Scheme, National Citizenship Service (NCS)
  • National and local support groups and organisations
  • Short break providers
  • Church dioceses and other relevant faith or organisations
  • Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) community groups

Within Aspect 4: Quality of education:

4.1 Curriculum design

  • The curriculum is geared towards ambitious outcomes for all and designed to give all children and young people (CYP), particularly the most disadvantaged, the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life.
  • The curriculum is designed to enable all CYP to develop a range of skills and abilities to prepare them for their life now and in the future, in their community and beyond. It is also designed with the needs of all CYP at its centre.
  • The curriculum is designed to incorporate a variety of ways that engage all CYP, including those operating at a younger developmental age.


  • Social and emotional learning is viewed as pervading all aspects of the curriculum with CYP being given opportunities to learn about the language of emotion and to practise it in a range of opportunities.
  • The curriculum is specifically adapted, designed and developed to be ambitious and meet the needs of all CYP. The curriculum is carefully planned and sequenced towards accumulating sufficient knowledge and skills for future learning and employment.
  • Preparation for adulthood starts at the earliest opportunity taking a coherently sequenced approach. Planning is personalised and includes travel training, preparation for employment, participation in society, keeping healthy and independent/supported living. Leaders are ambitious for CYP to have the skills and knowledge to lead a good adult life. CYP and parents are fully engaged in this process. For CYP with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), preparation for adulthood planning is evidenced in the Annual Review process.

4.4 Meeting needs of individuals

  • The school shows evidence of preparing for the inclusion of a wide range of individual children and young people (CYP).
  • CYP who are experiencing barriers to learning and participation are viewed as individuals with different interests, knowledge and skills.
  • The school outlines the arrangements for and identifies and assesses CYP in order to provide additional and different provision to meet individual needs.


  • The school proactively identifies cohorts or individual CYP who could benefit from a programme of alternative provision which takes place in and / or out of school. The provision is designed to ensure clear outcomes are planned and evaluated for impact with seamless reintegration.