Villa Real School

We are a mixed day school for pupils aged from 2-19 years who have severe, profound, medical and complex learning difficulties. Some of our students also have Autistic Spectrum Condition, or Cerebral Palsy. 

When is it on?

Time of day

Who to contact

Contact name
Louise Burns
Contact position
Deputy Head Teacher/SENCo
01207 503 651

Where to go

Villa Real Road
County Durham

Other details

Age range
2-19 years old
Related links
Ofsted reports

Local Offer

Contact name
Jill Bowe
Contact telephone
01207 503 651
Contact email
SEND at Villa Real School

How do you identify Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)?

How does the setting/school/college know if children/young people need extra help and what should I do if I think my child/young person may have special educational needs?

At Villa Real School, all pupils have a statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education Health and Care Plan, so we know that they have additional needs. If you think your child should be getting more support than they are offered on a daily basis, please contact the school SENCO, Louise Burns.

How will you support my child with their special educational needs and disability?

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

Staff support children in a variety of ways, helping them to develop communication skills, independence skills, carry out multi agency targets and to reach their full potential in every way possible. Staff are well trained, committed, hard working and see each pupil as the individual they are.

Depending on individual level of need, some children may have one-to-one staffing, other will be taught in small teaching groups, no larger than 12.


How will you make sure my child's education meet their needs?

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

Each pupil has individual targets relating to their EHCP. These targets will be worked on daily, as will targets set by Speech Therapists, Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists.

The curriculum covers all subjects identified in the National Curriculum, with a focus on developing English and Maths skills at a level appropriate to each child. For every lesson, each pupil has their own learning objective that is set by teaching staff who know them very well and can challenge their learning appropriately.

Pupils in the lower Key Stages access the multi-sensory room, soft play, hydrotherapy, and hall for many sessions as well as regular horse riding, Forest School and outdoor education opportunities.

The upper Key Stages follow a Curriculum which covers all areas of the National Curriculum, allowing for a great deal of hands on learning which our pupils are really enjoying. All lessons are carried out with Communication as the focus so that all pupils can access the learning opportunities at the right level.

Accreditation opportunities are available through ASDAN and AQA including Step Up to English, Entry Level Maths and Science.

How will we know my child is progressing?

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?

Each pupil at Villa Real has a Home-School diary, class staff communicate in these on a daily basis to let you know what your child has been doing.

At Villa Real we work hard to make the school a welcoming one, so that you will feel comfortable enough to contact us to ask any questions you have about your child's learning.

As parents, you are welcome to organise meetings with your child's class teacher to look at the work being done in class and to discuss ways in which you can support this learning at home. 

Where it is felt appropriate, pupils will be given homework to complete with you on a regular basis including My Maths, LEXIA, Achieve3000 and Earwig.

How will you support my child's overall wellbeing?

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

We take a holistic view of each child, taking into consideration their every need, not just educational but social, emotional, physical and medical needs.

We have very good links to a number of outside agencies who they work with to ensure that each pupils gets the fullest provision possible.

School staff have a vast wealth of experience and expertise. Additional curricular activities offered such as outdoor education help to engage and motivate the hardest to reach pupils - they learn about real life skills during these sessions such as turn taking, sharing, being part of a team and sharing ideas. Pupils access a wide range of activities that encourage their social, moral, spiritual and cultural development such as whole school celebrations, sport events and special celebration days within school.

What specialist services and expertise is available at or accessed by the staff?

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

Staff are trained to a high standard in the many communication strategies that are used in order to adopt a 'Total Communication' approach.

We work closely with the Specialist Epilepsy nurses who provide guidance around medical management plans.

We work with a Physiotherapist three days a week, who works directly on delivering therapy programmes and advice where necessary and who also advise on specialist standing and seating equipment. Occupational Therapists advise on equipment, seating and positional issues. 

We also have close links with the Educational Psychology Service and have regular meetings to discuss additional needs that some  pupils may have. Staff from the Inclusion and Achievement SEND team spend time in school working with pupils who have a visual impairment. There are links with the Disabled Children and Families team at Social Services who offer a great deal of support to families and young people, they are an invaluable part of the wider community team. We firmly believe that these close links help them to provide the best provision possible for their pupils.

How are staff trained regarding SEND?

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

We pride ourselves on the Professional Development opportunities offered to staff. Staff work with pupils with a wide range of needs and so occasionally core groups of staff are trained in specific areas. All staff are trained in Manual Handling, this enables them to safely move pupils with have physical difficulties without putting themselves or the pupils at risk.

All staff are trained to Intermediate level in Team Teach, this training allows them to understand some of the difficult behaviours that pupils can present with, and the best ways to de-escalate and manage those incidents. A small group of staff are trained to an advanced level in Team Teach which gives them the skills to safely manage behaviours that can be more physically challenging.

All of the Special Support Assistants and Teachers are trained in understanding Epilepsy and how to administer emergency medication. They are also trained in Gastrostomy care as a number of pupils get their nutrition and medication via a gastrostomy site. A core group of staff are trained in safe use of Ambu-bag techniques as some young people suffer from respiratory conditions. That same group are trained in using the Suction device too, occasionally used for young people who have excess secretions. All staff have an advanced understanding of medical needs.

We have one Conductor Teacher and two qualified Conductors. Many staff are trained in Hydrotherapy, giving them the life saving skills necessary to use in case of an emergency, when delivering physiotherapy programmes in the pool. Most school staff have First Aid training, and the school are building up the number of people who have Paediatric First Aid Qualifications.

Regular internal training sessions focus on the range of SEND needs within the school including ASC, SLD and PMLD.  This extensive training programme and the experiential knowledge amongst staff makes our school a very strong team who can cope with a wide range of needs.

What activities outside the classroom will there be?

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

All pupils take part in community visits and outings throughout the year regardless of their needs. Pupils access activities such as horse riding, Forest Schools, climbing facilities on site and Outdoor Education. All classes are actively encouraged to participate.

How will you support my child's needs?

How accessible is the setting/school/college environment?

The school was purpose built in 2002, all doors are widened so that people in wheelchairs can access them easily. There are no stairs in school so every pupil can access every room.


My child is going to be starting or leaving soon, how will you help them?

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?

Once the school know that a young person has a place at their school, we visit them in their current setting and talk to the staff and the young person. The school SENCO will meet with parents and hold discussions around what they want for their child and the best ways that the new school can provide that support. We then supply the pupils with a book of photos of the staff and children they will be working with once they start to help them become familiar with new names. If it is appropriate to do so, the school will invite the pupil to spend some time at the school without their family so that they become familiar with their new environment.

Pupils can stay at Villa Real until they are 19, unless they transfer school. We hold a 'Moving On' fair every Summer which gives parents the opportunity to look at the Post-19 provisions available in the area. At the request of families, we would go for visits to the next provision with the pupil and share information with the staff from the new setting. we believe that a joined up approach to working provides the best results.

What is available to help my child with their education?

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

Resources are spread out evenly throughout the school and dependent on individual need. We have set budgets to purchase different kinds of resources, for example:

  • equipment to meet physical needs
  • electronic devices to aid communication
  • sensory resources and play equipment

The provision map allows the school to ensure that pupils receive everything they are entitled to and to identify any gaps in provision.

What support can I expect for my child?

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

If a Statement of Special Educational Needs or Education Health Care Plan specifies that a pupil requires ome to one support, we will provide that.

In Conductive Education classes, the school provide ome-to-one staff as much as possible to meet the demanding physical and medical needs of pupils.

In SLD and ASC provisions, the class sizes tend to allow for one-to-three support, with each pupil getting dedicated one-to-one time throughout the school day.

If this level of support is not enough, and that there are Health and Safety implications, then we would have discussions with the council to see if they can help the school to rectify the situation.

How will I be involved in my child's education?

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

We actively encourage all parents to keep close contact with them and pride themselves on the strong home-school relationships they have. Parents have a group called the VRSA who focus on organising fundraising events for pupils and they regularly catch up for coffee and informal chats. All parents are encouraged to come to whole school events and Praise Assemblies which take place on Friday mornings.


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Address: Villa Real Road  Consett  County Durham

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