SEND Admissions Information

The Learning Support Department is committed to providing inclusive and empowering support for our pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). Teaching staff in the Learning Support Department are qualified in teaching pupils with a range of additional needs and work closely with staff to ensure that reasonable adjustments are made, in order for pupils to reach their full potential.

While it is the aim of the department that the majority of pupils’ needs are met within the classroom, through quality first teaching and – in some curriculum areas – support from Learning Support Assistants, there will be times where more tailored and focused support is required.

If your son has ever been assessed for, or diagnosed with, a Special Educational Need or Disability (under the areas of need in the SEND Code of Practice: Cognition and Learning, Communication and Interaction, Social Emotional and Mental Health or Sensory and Physical) please submit all – including historical – documentation in regard to this. This information should be submitted along with the application forms, to the Registrar; this is so we are able to understand any adjustments your son may require to access all aspects of school life. If you would like to speak to the Learning Support Department please contact the admissions office in the first instance to arrange an appointment.

At St James, for entry tests, we use standardised tests. Standardised tests give a snapshot of ‘raw ability’. Extra time & rest breaks are provided to candidates with specific requirements with supporting evidence. We do not provide a reader or scribe and laptops are not required because there is no free writing, all papers are a mix of multiple choice and short answers. Small rooms can be provided but an own room is only available in exceptional circumstances. Places at St James are offered on a holistic view of each child and school reports, interview and other supporting evidence will be taken into consideration when offering places; the standardised tests are only a small part of the whole picture. 

If a place is offered at St James, the school will put all relevant exam access arrangements and usual ways of working in place, in line with JCQ guidelines.  

Click here to find further information about the learning support department provision.

EHCP Plans

If your son has an EHCP, please submit the most recent iteration of this document on application. The school will look at this document and assess whether we are able to meet your son’s needs. Our decision will be based on present and historical iterations of this document and, while reports from the pupil’s current school will be taken into consideration, our judgment will be based primarily on this statutory document. It is important therefore that this document is up to date in regard to the pupil’s current needs and provision.

The school reserves the right to request additional hours of support and/or additional funding, if we deem that current hours and provision are not transferable in our setting. 

In some Local Education Authorities, it is expected that a certain amount of hours and /or support are provided by the school through notional funding. As we are an independent school, we do not have access to this government funding and so any shortfall in regard to the funding of hours and/or provision will need to be agreed to be met by the Local Education Authority or the parents/guardians of pupils. We will only accept applications from pupils with an EHCP in the year of entry.


We do not accept applications for pre-test entry for pupils with EHCPs or complex SEND. In order to understand whether we are able to meet pupils’ needs, we must have the most up to date information in regards to their current needs and any adjustments they require. It is therefore not possible to make a judgement about whether we will be able to meet the needs of your son so far into the future, especially as the development of young people and their needs is particularly rapid during this period of burgeoning adolescence, and, in our experience, a child’s additional needs can change significantly in a relatively short space of time.