Learning Development

The Learning Development department aims to support all pupils with their learning and performance at Westminster School, particularly those who require additional help or reasonable adjustment to access their full potential, including those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

We follow the SEND Code of Practice (2015) in our fully integrated, ‘graduated approach’ to learning intervention. At root, we work actively to ensure high-quality adaptive teaching and targeted intervention by subject teachers. If more help is required to enable the pupil to make good progress, the Learning Development department offers 1:1 academic mentoring or small group support to address specific needs. Screening may be helpful to see if the pupil is affected by a special educational need or disability (SEND). Following screening, the pupil may be diagnosed with a SEND, which may require reasonable adjustments to be made to mitigate barriers to learning, including exams access arrangements and/or regular 1:1 support from the Learning Development team.


"We nurture a culture of inclusivity, so that neurodiversity and disability are understood, supported and respected throughout the School."

The Learning Development department works with pupils to:

  • develop understanding of metacognition, the most effective ways to learn and how to revise
  • build confidence and skills, particularly in the fields of executive function and effective study habits
  • support specific SENDs, including dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD and ASC, sensory impairment and medical issues which may impact on learning
  • support university applications of SEND pupils, their transition to Higher Education and working life

We deliver assemblies, workshops for pupils, and – for those who need additional intervention to make good progress – individualised academic mentoring. We provide screening and diagnostic assessments for SEND. We call on the support of external experts, physicians, assessors and agencies to offer any specialist support that we cannot provide in-house.

The Learning Development department works with parents to:

  • ensure that we are fully apprised of any challenges confronting the pupil
  • triangulate the efforts and expertise of all those involved to best support the pupil, in and out of school
  • agree, activate and review a plan of support

We achieve these aims by working closely with the Housemaster who remains the primary point of contact with the parents. At times of decision-making and review, we arrange a meeting with the pupil, parents, housemaster and relevant members of the pastoral team so that we can reflect together and agree the best way forward.

The Learning Development department works with teachers to:

  • develop adaptive teaching strategies, based on educational research
  • develop strategies to build the confidence and the effective study habits of all pupils
  • support pupils with an identified SEND and those who present a profile of need
  • identify those who may have a SEND
  • agree on reasonable adjustments and access arrangements

Teachers are supported in their work with SEND pupils by regular CPD opportunities and strong professional relationships across the School.


"At each stage, we are fully committed to liaising closely with pupil, parents, teachers, the housemaster, the pastoral team and, where necessary, experts and authorities external to the school."

SEND Admissions

Westminster is a selective school, so all prospective pupils must sit our entrance examinations and interviews. The School takes great care to ensure that the process is accessible to pupils with different needs and backgrounds, and that appropriate and reasonable adjustments are made for SEND candidates.

Parents are asked to inform us of a pupil’s particular needs at the time of Registration, so that we can discuss and determine what support is necessary from the outset.

 Disability Access

The School is located within a World Heritage Site with many old buildings of more than one storey and without lifts. It is the School’s policy to address these issues as part of the buildings’ development and refurbishment programme wherever practical and achievable. Meanwhile the School makes all reasonable efforts to enable pupils with accessibility issues to enjoy a full educational experience by dint of local measures.

Feedback and concerns

We seek regular feedback on our SEND and Learning Development provision from pupils, parents, advisors and colleagues. All feedback is welcome as it helps us to develop and improve. Feedback on support of SEND candidates at admissions can be sent to the Registrar at registrar@westminster.org.uk . For current pupils, please contact the pupil’s Housemaster, or email the Head of Learning Development at SEND@westminster.org.uk.

For further information, please see the SEND Policy on the Policies and Reports page.

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