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Blackburn Central High School BCHS




We are a secondary school catering for pupils aged between 11-16.


BCHS is an increasing popular, growing and thriving community, who are very proud to have been awarded joint first most improved school in the country by the Department for Education.

We were judged to be a good school by Ofsted, with staff who ‘have been determined and successful in improving teaching and students’ achievement’.

There are no secrets to an excellent education: it entails good teaching and learning, strong support and hard work. We pride ourselves on knowing and caring for all our students whilst having high expectations and ambitions for them all.

We want the best for all our students, we want them to stretch themselves and reach further than they ever thought possible. Our motto is ‘striving for outstanding’ and this is something we aspire to for all our students in their academic and personal development.

We are very proud of all our students at BCHS. They are smart, successful, polite, well behaved and keen to learn. Positive relationships between staff and students are key to our success as we know young people are inspired to learn from the people they like and respect.

We invite you to experience BCHS with Crosshill for yourself either on an Open Evening or during the normal school day.

We welcome any parent or carer who would like to sample our vibrant caring community, please phone 01254 505700 and make an appointment.

BCHS with Crosshill provides every student with a caring, inclusive, safe and secure learning environment to encourage and promote a culture of academic excellence and outstanding achievement in all aspects of school life.

Students demonstrate mutual respect and tolerance for all, promoting fundamental British values.

We are committed to serving our community both at an individual level and in broader contexts. We recognise the multi-cultural, multi-faith, cosmopolitan, diverse and ever-changing nature of society in this country.

We also understand and respond to our role in ensuring that individuals and groups within the school community are not subjected to intimidation, radicalisation or illegal influence.

We pride ourselves on the quality of the education we provide, paramount to this is the development of young people who are safe, knowledgeable, respectful, responsible and decent members of a British and global society.

Our national success has been built on a solid base of putting students at the heart of everything we do, providing them with the very best life chances.

As a school we promise to:

  • Inspire and transform the learning of young people and their community.
  • Establish a provision that meets the learning, social, emotional and physical needs of young people to allow them the very best opportunities in life.
  • Provide personalised learning to support full social inclusion and integration.
  • Embrace the latest technologies to explore and develop new and transformational ways of teaching and learning.
  • A safe, happy and innovative environment where change is embraced and learning is continuous.

We ensure all of our students endeavour to fulfil their spiritual, moral, social and cultural potential during their journey through high school. We take advantage of any opportunity to develop links within our local community and encourage students to get involved, whether through supporting a local charity or a visit within the local community.

We strongly promote British Values throughout our school in an attempt to ensure all students value and respect others and are ready to become thriving members of our community.

Who to contact

Contact Name
Emma Bateman
Contact Position
01254 505700

Where to go

Haslingden Road

Other Details


Referral required
Other notes



This service is part of the Local Offer

Local Offer


We work hard to fully include all students within our school community. We cater for all students who can access the teaching and learning with support in our mainstream school. We can provide for students across the broad range of Special Educational needs including :

  • Communication and Interaction, such as for students on the Autistic Spectrum;
  • Cognition and learning, for students with specific learning issues such as dyslexia or dyspraxia;
  • Social Emotional and Mental Health, such as anxiety, depression or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); and
  • Sensory and Physical needs, such as sight or hearing issues, or physical issues such as hypermobile joints.

We recognise that students learning English as another language (EAL) also have different needs because they are learning in and through an additional language, as well as learning that language. We have a designated EAL Department who work with students from a range of backgrounds and ethnicities to help them to engage with the school curriculum.



Local Offer Age Bands
Parents & carers
11-16 years
Needs Level
SEN Provision Type
What specialist services and expertise are available at, or accessed by, the school/setting?

We work very closely and effectively with a number of agencies to support students:

  • Blackburn with Darwen SEND Support Services
  • Educational psychologist
  • Social Care
  • School Councillors (for wellbeing and mental health)
  • NHS Mental Health Support Team
  • Engage team
  • Prevent team
What training and experience have the staff supporting children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities had, or are having?

The SENDCO regularly updates staff with SEND student issues and how they can impact on wellbeing as well as learning and progress, so keeping SEND high in the staff’s priorities when planning lessons.

The school holds regular training for teachers and support staff to raise staff awareness of practical ways to adapt their lessons for SEND students. For example on areas of:

  • Speech and Language
  • Behaviour
  • Autistic Spectrum
  • Specific Learning Difficulties including dyslexia and dyspraxia
  • Moderate Learning Difficulties
  • Social, Emotional and Mental health
  • Visual Impairment
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Physical Difficulties
  • How to use Teaching Assistants Effectively
How do you know if my child/young person needs extra help?

Before a year 7 student arrives at BCHS, the SEND department will have read all the information provided by their primary school in order to plan how to meet any special educational needs. Our students are regularly reviewed and can be added to or removed from our SEND register depending upon their progress or other needs. These needs can be identified by teachers, the students themselves, parents, SEND staff, or outside professionals.

Parents, student and the school work closely together in identifying, sharing and discussing barriers to learning so that they can be overcome.  Any student who has been identified as underachieving is invited to a parental meeting with the Head of Year. If that child needs extra support the SENDCO will meet with the child and their parents to discuss intervention.

Every six months we test the reading age of year 7 to 9 students using the Accelerated Reader programme. At the beginning of year 10 we also test students who we feel may need exam concessions. We also run Dyslexia tests and work closely with our Educational Psychologist who completes a range of tests on identified students.

We hold coffee afternoons every six months where we invite parents in to discuss the specific needs of their child. We hold yearly review meetings with any student who has an IPRA or EHC plan.  Students who hold an EHCP or IPRA also fill out a student profile (called ‘All about me’) where they are able to identify ways of working with them which are most effective and set targets that are specifically linked to their SEND need.

What should I do if I think my child/young person may have special educational needs?

If you feel your child needs extra support then contact the school Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator (SENDCO) or the Pastoral Manager.

Our SENDCO is Mrs Emma Bateman. We are always available over the phone or via email to discuss any concerns a parent or student has.

Parents can contact Mrs Bateman by email or phone 01254 505700.

How will staff support my child/young person?

HLTAs and LSAs work within classes across the Curriculum to support the needs of all pupils on the SEND register. Bespoke interventions take place during progress time every day for 30minutes. Pupils identifed on the SEND register are closely monitored and supported.

Regular meetings between Pastoral Managers, the SENDCO and Achievement leads take place so that vulnerable pupils can be indentified quickly and then fully supported.

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

The SENDCO advises and informs teachers on which adaptations to teaching work well in supporting individual student needs and overcoming barriers to learning.

Our SEND students are fully involved in producing their personalised SEND profile which we call ‘All about me’. Students are encouraged to think about and describe their personal goals, strengths and weaknesses and how best we can support them in their learning. The profile is shared with their teachers and support staff. It is reviewed annually.

We have specially trained support staff called Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) who support students with IPRAs or EHCPs within classes.  The LSAs help teachers put in place the necessary changes to planning to meet special needs in the classroom. Our LSAs are highly skilled and valued members of staff who have detailed knowledge of the students and their specific needs. 

Students on the SEND register are closely monitored and can be supported by a range of small group intervention sessions such as :

  • Independent Dyslexia Learning
  • Speech and Language - Guided Talk
  • Spelling Programmes
  • Social Skills

These sessions take place during the morning Progress Time each day for 30 minutes.

In Key Stage 3 (Years 7 to 9) Foundation Learning groups have been created in order to offer a more bespoke curriculum and teaching to our students most in need.  These groups are smaller, with a maximum number of 12 students.

At Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11) we have a number of different pathways which include Level 1, Level 2 and GCSE options.

How will teaching approaches be modified to support my child/young person?

All our teachers ensure that they know the SEND information about the students in their classes. We feel it is very important that all our SEND students gain the social benefits of learning in a classroom environment, learning alongside other students who do not have SEND.  This is achieved by teachers adapting their planning to allow all students to learn as independently as possible. These adaptations could be :

  • changes to the format of learning materials, such as using larger font sizes; printing on different coloured paper or using dyslexia friendly backgrounds in Powerpoint presentations;
  • additional resources;
  • different learning activities;
  • allowing additional time for work to be completed;
  • use of sensory aids, for example radio transmitters for hearing aids;
  • changes to the layout of the classroom or seating plans.
How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing?

A range of ways will be used to keep you informed, which may include:

  • A note in a student’s planner
  • Formal Reports sent home twice a year
  • Email
  • Letters, postcards or certificates sent home
  • Additional meetings as required

The SEND team attends all Parent Consultation Evenings and we encourage parents of SEND students to come to speak to us and discuss your child’s learning and any worries you may have.

The progress of students with formal SEND statements (EHC Plan or IPRA) is formally reviewed at an Annual Review where the SENDCO, student, outside agency staff and parents all are invited to attend, contribute information for discussion and agree targets.

How will you help me to support my child/young person's learning?

We invite parents into school on a regular basis so they can see what work we are doing with these pupils and offer advice about how best to support the child at home.

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

Pastoral Managers and Progress Tutors regularly monitor attendance, punctuality and behaviour. The SENDCO works closely with our Pastoral staff to ensure that the emotional and social development of our SEND students is closely monitored. The school promotes measures to boost self-confidence and self-esteem, manage anxieties and prevent bullying.

Staff and students value the supportive relationships built at Blackburn Central High School. The mutual respect supports a happy and caring learning environment. Our school prides itself on the excellent teacher/student relationship.

Student Voice is extremely important, the Junior Leadership team are also responsible for making sure that all students have a voice and feel confident in raising issues that are important.

The school employs 2 part time counsellors who supports the students’ well-being.

The school employs a full time Attendance Officer who keeps regular contact with parents / carers if a student is absent. The officer meets with Pastoral Managers on a weekly basis and liaises with the local authority Attendance Team.

The school also has a behaviour support team who work closely with staff and students to monitor behaviour and help support specific students around school.

Our Access Provision rooms provide bespoke intervention packages that are accessible to all students. Students in this room may have a history of, or an emerging Social, Emotional, Mental health need. Students accessing this room will do so on a part time basis for up to two one hour sessions a week, depending on their individual need. This room is staffed by a qualified teacher and two highly experienced LSAs. The teacher and LSAs will design an intervention package around the individual needs of each child, but sessions may include; promoting positive mental health and wellbeing, anger management, relaxation techniques, actions and consequences. There are also specific sessions for students with ASD, such as communication and social skills. Students usually access the room for up to one term and are then reintegrated back into the main school population with the support of the LSAs. Parents, teachers and pastoral managers will be kept informed of the student’s progress throughout the whole process.

What activities will be available for my child/young person?

At lunchtime and after school there are numerous clubs and activities which all children are actively encouraged to take part in :

  • Various sports including Badminton, Football, Cricket, and Judo
  • Choir
  • School Productions
  • School Voice (Junior Leadership Team)
  • STEM club (STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths)
  • Subject Clubs – such as Maths, Art, ICT, and Drama
  • Homework Club

All these clubs are open to every student and LSAs will support an SEND student who may want to attend of these clubs.

How will you prepare and support my child/young person during transitions?

We work closely with all our feeder primary schools. Any personalised adaptations to support SEND students joining us will be put in place based on your child’s needs. The SENDCO will attend the primary school to meet the Year 6 teacher and the primary SENDCO to gather information.

Year 6 students who are identified as needing extra support will be allowed to attend taster sessions and we also hold ‘Getting To Know You Days’ where SEND students can meet our SEND team and view the facilities in advance.

Students at BCHS choose their GCSE option choices in Year 9. Our SEND students are provided with individual careers information and guidance in Year 9 to support their option choice.

Our Careers Officer continues to meet all SEND students in years 10 and 11. The careers team work closely with parents/carers, students and the SENDCO. The school liaises closely with colleges and will attend taster sessions with the students. The learning support staff will also attend interviews with colleges and the student, if necessary. The Careers Officer will attend the Annual Review of all EHCP /IPRA students in Years 9, 10 and 11. All SEND information for any student who has ever been on the register is forwarded to their chosen college.

If a student moves to a new school during the academic year all data and testing information is forwarded to the new school.

How are resources and equipment allocated and matched to my child's/young person's needs?

Our school is fully accessible with dedicated disabled parking bays and full access to the school. Internally we have two lifts, specialist changing facilities and toilets. Please see the Accessibility Policy.

In addition :

  • There is a school entrance where parents can wait for their children.
  • Students with SEND have an accessible entrance and exit.
  • Specific drop off and pick up points for SEN students (as appropriate).
  • Students actually handed over to parents where necessary.
  • Lift passes can be arranged for students if required.
How are decisions made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?

If a student is struggling to meet their expected outcomes, the SENDCO will review the adaptations made to teaching plans with teachers, with the student and other staff to decide if additional interventions from the SEND department are needed. We may suggest that your child needs some agreed group support in school. The SENDCO will tell you how the support will be used and what strategies will be put in place.

If your child has been identified as needing a more specialist input, referrals will be made to outside agencies to advise and support the school in enabling your child to make progress.

We can request assistance from the SEND support service team at Blackburn Council, who can provide specialised testing for things such as Autism and Dyslexia.  The school also sometimes seeks outside professional support from health or social services.

Before referrals are made you will be asked to come to a meeting to discuss your child’s progress and help plan possible ways forward.

If it is agreed that the support of an outside agency is a way forward, you will be asked to give your permission for the school to refer your child to a specialist professional e.g. a Speech and Language Therapist or Educational Psychologist. This will help the school and yourself understand your child’s particular needs better. The specialist professional will work with your child to understand their needs and make recommendations, which may include:

  • changes to the way your child is supported in class e.g. changing some aspects of teaching to support them better
  • Support to set targets which will include their specific professional expertise
  • your child’s involvement in a group run by school staff under the guidance of the outside professional e.g. a social skills group or sensory circuit
  • a group or individual work with the outside professional

If your child has an IPRA or EHCP we will work closely with parents/carers and students to advise on the most suitable support that produces the best outcomes as set out in the IPRA or EHC Plan.