SEND & Specialist Provision

Harlington School has reputation for excellent provision for students who require additional help and support. We meet the needs of a wide range of educational, language and medical needs, as well as hosting a Specialist Resources Provision for up to 7 pupils with physical disabilities and sensory impairment. We provide the best possible educational opportunities for our students with SEND and disabilities, and they are fully integrated into the school.

We provide support for our students to further develop their skills and prepare the students for their place in society by working in partnership with parents, other professionals, teachers and the wider community. We offer specialist expertise and promote self-esteem by encouraging a positive ethos where individual differences are valued regardless of race, religion, culture, sex, disability or age. There is a general ethos of inclusion which was commended in the last three OFSTED inspections. All students with disabilities are involved in every aspect of school life and inclusion is a strength of the school.

Students with SEN are fully supported by our team in the Learning Development Department and have access to the following provision;

  • A team of Learning Support Assistants offering support in class
  • A reading recovery programme for students with low reading ages
  • A study support programme for students who may be on bespoke timetable provision
  • A Homework Club that is open to all SEND students
  • An informal lunchtime club for vulnerable students and students with ASD who may find the large school playground environment overwhelming.
  • Assessment for examination access arrangements
  • Access to a wide range of educational professionals, including an Educational Psychologist, Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists and Physiotherapists

Access to the Hillingon SEND Local Authority offer can be found by clicking here.

Ms L Metcalfe is our SENCo and can be contacted by email on

Our Team

Students with a range of needs all work closely alongside each other in a very positive learning environment. Welfare Assistants are responsible for all aspects of care for physically disabled, visually impaired and hearing- impaired students. In addition to general welfare duties, our team supports student performance, assists with daily transport arrangements, manages personal care, and ensures the safety of students in lunch queues etc. They are also fully time-tabled for class support and work with all students with special needs, including those with learning difficulties, and those who speak English as an additional language.

Support is provided across the whole curriculum. In addition, a pleasant environment is available within the support unit at break times. LSA’s and Welfare Assistants have taken part in a range of training programmes provided by the Borough for Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, autism support and emotional regulation. Training and professional development is at the heart of what we do in Learning Development and we are proud to be actively engaged in CPD both in school and externally. The SENDCo and Deputy SENDCo have also provided whole school training.

Vulnerable students are escorted to and from lessons by LSAs. Lunches are also obtained by LSAs for pupils with limited mobility.

Educational psychologists assess students’ needs via referral. There is access for students with complex needs. Students may be referred to the school’s Mental Health and Well-Being officer for further support. Close liaison with parents, and health professionals e.g. paediatric consultants is offered. Furthermore, LSAs have undergone training to carry out physiotherapy within school with named pupils.

At Harlington, we offer a range of therapeutic interventions which are tracked to assess progress and encourage students to develop their confidence and social skills. Interventions include: Lego Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Zones of Regulation, Therapeutic Play and Emotional Literacy. These interventions are delivered by staff with additional qualifications e.g. Nurture UK accreditation, ELSA, Trauma-Informed practice trained. Students may also benefit from Handwriting and Touch-typing interventions.


Harlington School is suitable for all students with disabilities as all academic classrooms are fully accessible. The department has a purpose built, fully equipped physiotherapy room and facilities are in place for a physiotherapist to visit the school. The school has close links with educational psychologists, speech and language therapists, physiotherapists, members of the sensory impairment team and occupational therapists who work with students on a request basis.

The school has a minibus with a tail-lift to enable students with disabilities to undertake educational and recreational visits alongside their peers. Specialist equipment such as hoists, special chairs etc. have been purchased for use of named students under medical guidance and recommendation.

The SEND SRP facilities provide a ‘safe haven’ for students to access at break times, lunch times and during the school day as needed. Exit cards are provided for students with social, emotional or mental health difficulties who may need ‘time out’ of class. SRP facilities enable students with physical disabilities and SEND to have privacy whilst eating, changing for PE, and support access to transport, lockers, toilets etc.


Flexibility is employed regarding the curriculum and is decided on an individual needs basis i.e. if children have had surgery. In some cases, students have a late start to the school day with transport provided to ease physical symptoms of an illness or disability. Reintegration programmes are planned when appropriate. The LSAs dedicated to working with students with EAL are also deployed in specific lessons. This team includes staff who speak a number of different languages including Somali, Urdu and Polish. The EAL Coordinator is responsible for maintaining the EAL register, EAL resources and the provision of support for EAL students within school.

The department plays an important role in the transition from our primary feeder schools. All primary SENCos meet with a member of the Learning Development team to exchange information prior to students joining Harlington. Learning Development staff are deployed to the new intake for Induction Day to ensure that all students have a link adult for the day. Year 7 classes are allocated according to those needing high levels of support.

SRP – Specialist Resource Provision for Physical Disabilities and Sensory Impairment

We have space for up to 7 students with PD or SI (Sensory Impairment). Students who wish to access a place in our SRP can only be placed in the provision via the London Borough of Hillingdon. They must have either an EHCP that names the Harlington SRP or have an assessment placement allocated by the Borough. All SRP students are fully integrated into the school and are supported by our team of Welfare LSA’s. These colleagues have qualifications in moving and handling, personal care and braille provision. The school has physiotherapy and intimate care facilities. We provide support for our SRP students to fully access an appropriate curriculum and prepare them for their future life. We work in partnership with parents, SENDIASS, and health professionals to ensure that their medical, as well as their academic needs are met.

Please email our SENCo for more information on

Harlington Alternative Provision – HarlingtonAP

Occasionally, students may need the support and structure of a small, nurture group to help them to successfully integrate into a mainstream secondary school provision. Other students may have medical needs, or have previously been a school refuser, and require a permanent ‘small school’ provision. HarlingtonAP provides such a provision.

Each student who attends HarlingtonAP has an individual bespoke timetable, put together in conjunction with their parents or carers. HarlingtonAP runs social skills programmes, as well as a taught curriculum and enrichment programme. Our aim is to successfully integrate back into the main school after attending HarlingtonAP but a very small number attend HarlingtonAP on a full-time basis. When required, Harlington AP additionally oversees students who have been directed offsite to other educational providers to include offsite learning at a college placement. The school works in partnership with a number of other secondary schools to offer Day 6 or dual roll places in HarlingtonAP (subject to availability).

Please email our HarlingtonAP Manager for more information:

D.U. Designated Unit for Autism & Learning Difficulties

Compass is the name for a new Designated Unit within the London Borough of Hillingdon which opened in September 2023 and moved into a new build as part of Harlington School in November 2023.

Compass aims to be a centre of excellence for children or young people with a primary diagnosis of Autism. The purpose of the Designated Unit is:

  • to form an important part of a graduated approach to meeting needs locally to meet the needs of the children or young people within the Designated Unit, providing personalised support to enable them to make good progress in all areas of their development
  • to build capacity across the Provider, ensuring that all staff across the Provider have the skills and expertise they need to meet the needs of the children or young people when they are accessing the wider school curriculum and
  • to work with other schools across the local area to support them to meet these types of needs within their own schools, improving outcomes for children or young people across the local area and the London Borough of Hillingdon.


Compass has space for 16 students in total and places are allocated by London Borough of Hillingdon for children and young people with autism who will be able to access some mainstream secondary education during K.S. 3 and 4 in line with EHCP outcomes and as appropriate to individual needs.

Places available: Compass is full for 2024/25

Year Cohort Places Cohort Places Cohort Places Total
2023/24 Year 7 7 places   7
2024/25 Year 7 7 places Year 8 9 places 16
2025/26 Year 7 Year 8 7 places Year 9 9 places 16

English as an Additional Language – EAL

The fundamental aim of EAL is cohesion and integration, helping pupils for whom English is an Additional Language to become aware of their academic and personal strengths, becoming fully integrated members of the school community, who are proud of their identities. We support the development of well-rounded individuals, nurturing a sense of belonging and safety. We support a wide range of needs: different home languages, different cultures or religions, different experiences of education, and different grounds of entering the UK.

Ascension School

For students who arrive at our school from abroad, we offer an intensive support programme to help them to rapidly acquire English language speaking skills. Once they are confident in their verbal communication, they are fully integrated into the mainstream provision, with support in class.
The Ascension School is a specialist EAL provision for students whose Proficiency in English is

A – New to English upon arrival (in simple terms it means that they are unable to hold a basic conversation about their immediate interest like family, friends, or country of origin).

B – Early Acquisition, which allows them to participate in mainstream lessons with support.
Students are immersed in curricular comprising English, Maths, Science and Humanities, delivered by specialist EAL teachers. The aim of the Ascension School is to teach students literacy, numeracy, key words and key concepts from other subjects with the view of fully integrating them with the mainstream school as soon as possible.

Students also gain social and cultural confidence which will show in their ability to move around the school independently and create social relationships with their peers speaking in English. Upon graduation, students reach at least Proficiency in English,

Transition to Mainstream School

Moving from the Ascension School to mainstream provision is often a huge leap for many of our students. They move from a small size class of students with similar levels of English to an average class of students with varying levels. Additionally, these students are transferring from being taught by a small group of teachers specifically trained in meeting their needs, to having a different teacher in every lesson. Therefore, full support is given to aid this transition.

  • They are moved into classes where there is already support or students with a similar profile.
  • Teachers whose classes these students will attend are always provided with strategies, and a brief description of each student.
  • After a period of approximately 4 weeks a review is conducted to help monitor how the students have settled and progress made.

Key Stage 3 EAL English

EAL students are taught alongside each year group’s main English lessons and follow the same Learning Journey, however, lessons are designed in a way that is scaffolded to meet their particular needs, with supplementary focus on developing vocabulary, grammar and fluency. Students learn a variety of English literature with text as diverse as Binti by Nnedi Okorafor in Year 7, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck in Year 8, or Othello by William Shakespeare in Year 9. Students are provided with opportunities to learn how to produce a variety of non-fiction writing such as newspaper articles, blogs, formal and informal letters, book and film reviews and opinion-essays. This provision is a natural progressive strategy for Ascension School students.

Key Stage 4 EAL English

Students in Years 10 and Year 11 are offered small group English Language and Literature GCSE lessons which, just like its equivalent at KS3, mirrors the mainstream English Learning Journey. Students begin studying the texts for GCSE English Literature including: An Inspector Calls by JB Priestley, Macbeth by William Shakespeare and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. Students are provided with opportunities to respond to extracts and write about how characters and themes develop. Students are also encouraged to prepare for their GCSE English Language exam, practising the individual skills that underpin the qualification through the study of short stories thereby becoming confident in recognising and appreciating narrative structures. Students at risk of not completing the course are also offered a chance to be entered for Functional Skills, an entry level qualification. This is carefully monitored and takes into consideration their individual progress and needs assessment.


Students in Key Stage 4 who would benefit from having additional English lessons, are offered the opportunity to gain accreditation in ESL IGCSE. Students taking this programme receive three extra English lessons a week in Years 10 and Year 11. The programme covers the development of technical aspects of language: spelling, punctuation, grammar and sentence structure through a variety of diverse topics like Space, The World of Work, Leisure and Free Time, Travel, Transport, Emotions and Entertainment.

Community Languages: GCSE and A-levels

In the spirit of supporting our students’ cultural capital we offer an opportunity to achieve a GCSE and A level in Community Languages by supporting independent study and detailed preparation for the final exams for students at Key Stage Four and Key Stage Five. The curriculum available includes: Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Greek, Gujarati, Italian, Punjabi, Polish, Portuguese, Persian, Russian, Turkish and Urdu. Students may also be considered to take GCSE Community Languages at the end of Year 10, in certain circumstances, but usually this occurs in Year 11.
Please email our EAL Coordinator for more details: