SEND & Focus Provision

Assistant Headteacher and SENDCo: Mrs. C. Medhurst

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities at Devonshire Infant and Junior Academies

Welcome to Devonshire Infant and Junior Academies SEND and Focus Provision Page. My name is Mrs Medhurst and I have responsibility for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) within our school. It is a privilege to support all of our children, parents and staff to work together to support our children become the best they can be.

As SENDCo (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator), I am responsible for managing the provision for children who require additional support. My role, in partnership with parents, staff, and outside specialists, is to ensure that the specific needs of all children are identified and appropriate support is put in place. To help your child to achieve their full potential we will always ask them what support they need from home and school. We will make sure they are involved in setting their own goals and targets (where appropriate). If your child requires a Support Plan, we will have a meeting with you and your child to ensure targets are shared and you are aware of the support in place for their needs as identified under the four broad areas of need; Cognition and Learning, Speech, Language and Communication, Social, Emotional, mental health or Sensory and Physical.

If you feel you need to speak with me, my details are below:

Mrs C. Medhurst

0121 558 1652 / 1654 / 


Devonshire Infant and Junior Academies have 10 Focus Provision places for pupils with autism across both schools. These places are available via the Local Authority who work with the Complex Communication and Autism Team, parents, pupils and school to determine whether Focus Provision is the appropriate placement for each individual (see below for more details).

Children are supported within our Sunshine and Woodland classes, where they will have access to a highly specialist team of staff, sensory input and individualised learning. All children within the Focus Provision are part of our mainstream school for as much as the school day as possible, and are included in all of our whole-school events.

As a school, we endeavour to include parents in the pupil’s education as much as possible and hold meetings each term either in person, via phone or virtually. We recognise that parents are the experts when it comes to knowing their children and we value their support and input.

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability which affects how people communicate and interact with the world. One in 100 people are on the autism spectrum and there are around 700,000 autistic adults and children in the UK.  
Credit: National Autistic Society
For more information about Autism, please come and join one of our parent  events with our inclusion team.

Click here for the National Autistic Society website, where you will be able to find more information and support for autistic children and adults.

Parents say:

That their children are happy and want to be at school and feel that their views are wishes are valued.

  • He loves coming to school and you were the only school that took the time to get to us and our child before starting.’ (Parent of Reception child).
  • ‘There is never a problem too big or too small. I can ask for help with anything.’ (Parent of Year 2 child and Year 4 child). 
  • ‘His independence is so much improved.’ (Parent of Year 1 child)
  • “Since coming to Devonshire, we have seen a huge difference in our child, he is happy at school and making progress in his communication and understanding” (Parent of Year 5 child).
  • ‘I know I can always call you and you will be there to listen’ (Parent of Year 6 and Year 2 child).
  • ‘If we could keep them here for high school, we would’ (Parent of Year 5 child).
  • ‘Thank you for all of your support’ (Parent of Reception child).
  • ‘We don’t want our child anywhere else.’ (Parent of Year 1 child).

Pupils say:

  • ‘Maths progress this year.’ (Year 2 pupil)
  • ‘I want you to help me when I am stuck.’ (Year 2 pupil)
  • ‘I work in class.’ (Year 2 pupil)
  • ‘Numbers – my favourite.’ (Year 1 pupil)
  • ‘Outside. Run run!’ (Reception pupil)
  • ‘Don’t want to be treated like a baby, I am a big boy.’ (Year 2 pupil)


We pride ourselves in the inclusive nature of our schools, children mix happily and are fully accepted into school life by staff and their peers.  We aim for children to integrate into learning and social times across both schools and we are happy to adapt and be flexible to ensure each child is settled, has provision to meet their specific needs and ensure they make excellent progress from their individual starting points.

Staff are employed and trained to work specifically with pupils within the Provision.  They receive specialised training that ensures all children’s needs can be met effectively. 

Each child within our Focus Provision has a team of key workers who know them well and can provide the support that is needed.

Staff will work with who class (no more than 13 children) small groups or 1:1 with a child depending on need or activity. They work under the close supervision of our Assistant Head teacher and SENDCo, Mrs. Medhurst.

Specialist resources we can offer include individual work stations, sensory integration equipment, social skills programmes,  total communication environment and purpose built sensory rooms.

Progress is carefully tracked using a range of different tools depending on the child’s individual development. These include: Sandwell Skills Ladders Curriculum, National Curriculum, Towards Independence Hierarchy and outside agency reports and programmes.

Timings for the day are the same as for main school, although we can be flexible to meet transport needs.

Each child has a specially designed learning programme which includes individual learning targets, social communication and interaction targets, sensory diets, forest school and specialised sports sessions.

Every child will access a broad and balanced curriculum. This means that all children are accessing lessons and provision related to the wider curriculum. Have a look at our Knowledge Organisers on our curriculum page to see what we have been getting up to. 

Our Woodland and Sunshine Classes are part of our whole school community and are included in all school events and days. We are also part of the mainstream classes, where appropriate for each individual child, on a weekly basis. 


Please do not apply through Local Authority Admission processes or directly to the schools. Firstly, discuss your thoughts with your child’s current school, or specialist working with them.

To access a Focus Provision Place and child must have an Education Healthcare Plan, and also have a formal diagnosis of Autism before a place can be considered.

During an Annual Review or CAM, agencies will discuss provision, and if appropriate, a request for a focus provision place can be made to Sandwell SEND. This will then go to resource panel who will review the request against their banding criteria for specialist provision. They will then make a decision whether they can offer a Focus Provision Place.

At this stage, SEND caseworkers, parents and Focus Provision schools will liaise to find the appropriate provision with spaces available.

Transition – Feeder schools and FP schools will work together with parents and external professionals to plan transition into the setting. This will be dependent on individual need.