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Additional Support

Access Centre

The Access Centre (ARP) at Raynes Park High School is Merton LEA’s specialist, secondary provision for students with a primary diagnosis of an Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) with a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP). The purpose of the Access Centre, is to support students to participate in the broad range of curricular activities of the main school with the appropriate level of support, whilst providing a place and staff expertise for some very specific and individual needs. The department also provides a centre of expertise within the school enabling all staff to develop the ability to cater for the individual needs of these students.

All students attached to the Access Centre are assigned a Key Support Worker (KSW) who works closely with the student and liaise regularly with parents/carers. The KSW will support the student for approximately fifty per cent of the week, providing time for the student to work with other members of the Access Centre team to promote their flexibility and independence as they grow and develop throughout the secondary education experience. Integration into main school lessons where they learn alongside peers with the support of the KSW is a fundamental part of the holistic development of the student.

The Access Centre liaises closely with the English Department to improve reading and writing. For those students who need extra support with reading and writing there are specialised groups which run in Years 7, 8 and 9. In Years 10 and 11, students can opt for a special study support option. There is access to integrated learning systems on the computer network for all years. A paired reading scheme is planned to support slower readers; an older student is paired with a younger student to read during one or two registration periods to benefit both students involved. This also supports the development of social interaction and communication.  

In addition, the Access Centre works closely with the Heads of Year (HoY) and Heads of Department (HoD). Regular meetings to raise awareness of individual needs and progress are central to the success of students with an ASC. Students may be supported in class or withdrawn for additional specialised support, for some students, both methods are used. Decisions regarding the curriculum are made in consultation with the student, parent/carer, HoY and class teacher.  The department is also involved in providing support to students with behavioural or emotional problems. The Access Centre makes full use of the Local Authority Support Services and liaises closely with Primary Schools to support secondary transfer and Post 16 provisions on completion of secondary education. Students have successfully sat and passed a full and varied range of exams including GCSEs and made a smooth transition to the next step in their education.

All admissions to the Access Centre are handled by the Local Authority and the school, working in partnership with the parents/carers. From Year 5, parents will be encouraged and advised to visit the Access Centre as part of the process of stating a school preference. Parental support and confidence is a key feature of a successful placement and the on-going development of the centre.

We welcome visits throughout the year; please call or email for an appointment.

Mr R Jones
Access Centre (ARP) Manager

Telephone: 0208 946 4112 ext.1132


The Access Centre is located in purpose-built premises on the site of Raynes Park High School.  The building itself comprises of three dedicated rooms for the delivery of Speech and Language Therapy (SaLT), Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA), ELKLAN and Lego Therapy. A small classroom for small group teaching and individual sessions and a large classroom for the students at break and lunchtimes is available. The premises also consist of a meeting room, a Time Out Zone, a changing room for PE, toilets, a cloakroom and a dedicated playground with seating and space for activities. These facilities not only provide a setting designed for learners with Autism, but also  a welcoming environment for students and a ‘safe haven’ when the need arises.

Access Centre Curriculum

All students attached to the Access Centre are entitled to a ‘broad and balanced curriculum’. It is expected that the students will largely attend mainstream classes with their peer group with an appropriate level of classroom support to facilitate their learning. In some cases, students are withdrawn from some mainstream lessons as and when necessary. During this time, the Access Centre staff will deliver an additional or alternative curriculum, such as literacy, numeracy or an enhanced personal development programme. In addition to the National Curriculum, many students will receive speech and language therapy (according to the provision set out in the Statement of Special Educational Needs/Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP)).

The Access Centre runs an alternative Physical Education (PE) programme for students who for a variety of reasons find accessing PE difficult. Students can engage in a range of activities that are designed to target their physical fitness, as well as social skills, and teamwork. Activities include sailing, golf, cricket, football, basketball and going to the Gym.

The Access Centre offers a variety of after school clubs which run on 3 days per week; these are Cooking, Homework and Rebound Therapy. Rebound Therapy uses trampolines to help students to promote balance, muscle tone, relaxation and sensory integration, whilst also improving communication skills. As demand changes we are able to offer other therapies or clubs such as Relaxation, Photography, Music, Art and Film Studies.

Access Centre Pastoral

The Access Centre prides itself on a strong pastoral support system, where all students are allocated a ‘Key Support Worker’ (KSW) who is the main point of contact between the Access Centre, the parents/carers and the wider school. The KSW monitors their key student closely forming excellent working relationships with the student and their family. All KSWs receive training on working with students with an Autistic Spectrum Condition; training which includes managing sensory sensitivity, trying to understand the function of particular behaviours and encouraging positive coping strategies. Identified KSWS are trained to deliver ELSA, ELKLAN, LEGO therapy and Rebound Therapy and many KSWs have specialised in a specific subject which provides high quality academic support for the students.

Challenging 'More Able'

Students with special abilities, talents or particular potential are identified as early as possible and appropriately challenged during their time at Raynes Park High School. Our teachers are encouraged to identify More Able students through ability rather than solely on achievement, thus ensuring that those who have perhaps struggled academically in the past are also included.


english as an additional language

There are an increasing number of students for whom English is not their first language. This linguistic diversity is a source of richness and celebration at the school, yet we recognise that many of these students require additional help in order for them to reach their full potential. The majority of this help is given in mainstream classes – our staff are aware of the diversity in the school and have the tools to deliver to students with varying levels of English. There is also a comprehensive Extended Learning programme and Saturday School to provide further support for these students.

SEND Department

Raynes Park High School: Special Educational Needs and Disability

The SEND department at Raynes Park High School ensures students with special educational needs or a disability are able to access the curriculum, learn and succeed to their full potential. 

The new facility, launched this year, provides appropriate teaching areas and facilities enabling  qualified staff to offer a wide range of support such as numeracy and literacy booster classes, social and emotional skills development or training for visually impaired students. 

We strive to ensure every student has the support and confidence to feel safe, learn and achieve to the best of their ability. It is expected that the students will largely attend mainstream classes with their peer group with an appropriate level of classroom support to facilitate their learning.  In some cases, students are withdrawn from some mainstream lessons as and when necessary.

Students with an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP) work closely with a trained Learning Support Assistant (LSA). Strong positive working relations and trust are built up over time both with the student and parents/carers. This promotes effective  ongoing communication that ensures all parties are working together to achieve the same goals. Ongoing review and assessment of need is shared with class teachers and other agencies so that the learning is tailored to the needs of the individual and the appropriate level of classroom support is in place. 

A number of students who do not qualify for an EHCP receive SEND support, particularly in Key Stage 3, to ensure students have the appropriate foundation of skills to support success at GCSE and beyond.

EHCP applications are handled by the Local Authority and the school, working in partnership with the parents/carers. From Year 5, parents are invited to the SEND department as part of the process of stating a school preference.  

If you have any questions or would like to visit please contact the school.

Ms J Fowler
Head of Inclusion
Tel: 020 8946 4112 ext 1132