A-Z Guide for parents and Carers

We hope that the A-Z guide for parents and carers has all the information you need. We try to keep it updated regularly.

Absences and attendance Attendance and punctuality are very important for your child’s education. At Duke of Lancaster, we aim for 100% attendance and morning registers are taken by 9:00am. If your child is unwell and unable to attend, please ensure that you contact the school office direct to let us know of the absence as soon as possible. We will contact the parent/carer(s) of any child that is not present for morning registration and for whom we have not received any notification of absence. We may also conduct a home visit if we feel it is necessary. We appreciate that your child may have historic difficulties relating to attendance and, if necessary, will create a build-up plan in collaboration with you and your child to work towards full-time attendance.

Admissions are managed by the Local Authority and information can be found on its website here:


All students will have an EHCP with communication and interaction as their primary need.

EHCP Reviews are completed by SENDAT’s Admissions and Review Team. An interim review can be requested if necessary.

Please feel free to email any questions.

All holiday absence requests for absences during term time must be applied for in advance by asking the school office for an absence request form. Holiday absences during term time will only be approved at the head of school’s discretion. We ask that you try to book any appointments (e.g medical) for outside of school hours. Where this is not possible and appointments need to be scheduled during the school day, please notify the school of any planned appointments.

Arbor Arbor is the system which the school uses to manage student information and communicate with parents. Parents/carers will need to use Arbor to:

  • Order school dinners
  • Make payments for school trips.
  • Order uniform badges
  • Give certain permissions/consents.
  • View certain student information (e.g. contact details/attendance)

You can download Arbor as an app or access direct through the parent portal on their website. You will be sent your login details and more information via email when your child starts with us.

Duke of Lancaster believes that every member of the SENDAT community has the right to:

  • Be treated with dignity, respect and empathy
  • Be themselves
  • Be safe and healthy (physically, emotionally and psychologically)
  • Learn without interruption

The following are our school rules which we expect all students to follow, and we appreciate parent/carer support in implementing:

Duke of Lancaster School Rules

  • To stay safe and behave in a way which allows others to be safe
  • To behave in a way respectful to all. This includes respecting the rights, thoughts and opinions of others, the property of others and the school environment
  • Listen to and follow instructions
  • Treat others with kindness and be polite

Be able to make and acknowledge mistakes, and allow others to make them as well.

There will be up to 9 students in a class and each class will have one teacher and two teaching assistants. Classes may be set by key stage rather than by year group.

Our classes are named after animals found native to Norfolk.

All students in Year 5 and above should have their own:


  • Pencil case containing handwriting pencils, colouring pencils, rubber, small ruler, black and blue biro

All year groups

  • Water bottle – named
  • Small school bag to carry equipment to and from school 

School will provide emergency supplies when necessary. However, it is good practice and an excellent independence skill for pupils to learn to come to lessons prepared for learning.

The school will communicate with you regularly through a combination of telephone calls, Class DoJo, emails, termly newsletters and updates on our website and social media pages.

Contact Information – Please find below useful contact information

School phone number: 01328 800880.  Absence option 1.  Main office option 2.

School email: office@dukeoflancaster.sendat.academy

Address:  Duke of Lancaster

Highfield Road



NR21 9DQ

Website: https://sendat.academy/dukeoflancaster/

Twitter: @DukeLancaster2

We will be re-launching our school council in the 2023 Autumn Term. The school council will be responsible for representing the student body and will be a voice for the students.

Your child’s curriculum will follow three separate ‘strands’ whilst at Duke of Lancaster.

  • Academic – this will mirror the mainstream curriculum and will offer qualifications such as SATS, GCSEs or entry level accreditations.
  • Personal Development – this will focus on social and emotional health, communication skills and PSHE (personal, social, health and economic) education.
  • Therapeutic activities – based on our Trauma Informed approaches and will be based on the needs of the child (such as art therapy, occupational therapy etc.)

Curriculum PathwaysOur school is committed to creating bespoke learning pathways. The Pathway Curriculum provides a broad and balanced education to prepare and develop well-rounded individuals who can go forward into their adult lives prepared for the work environment and capable of being independent and productive citizens. It is expected that the students at Duke of Lancaster will follow the red, yellow, and white pathways. More information about the different pathways can be found here:

Keeping children safe in education is an absolute priority in all SENDAT schools. The designated safeguarding lead is the person appointed to take lead responsibility for child protection issues in school. Duke of Lancaster’s DSL is Rob Speck (Head of School), Bianca Greenhalgh (Executive Headteacher) Georgina Agent (Family Support Worker- FSW), and Sharon Daniells (FSW).

At Duke of Lancaster there will be a wide variety of enrichment (or extra-curricular) activities made available to our students, including;

Duke of Edinburgh – The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme is open to those in Year 9 and above. The award is composed of four sections; Skills, Physical, Volunteering and Expedition and more information can be found here:


  • SENDAT 20 – SENDAT is committed to offering every student at a SENDAT school or provision 20 experiences. We expect that students who stay for at least 3 years will have been offered all the experiences, although we acknowledge that some students may not wish to take up every offer. For information about the 20 experiences please visit the SENDAT 20 website here:

If eligible, FSM funding means that families do not need to pay for their child to have school dinners. This saves families around £400 a year and gives between £935-£1320 (per child) of additional funding to the school to assist with educational supplies and projects.

To check if you are eligible, please follow the link below or request a form from the school office.


There are three levels of governance in SENDAT which are, Members, Board of Trustees and Local Academy Boards (LABs). The Members are in effect the ‘guardians’ of the governance of the trust, with the power to appoint and remove Trustees. The Board of Trustees has ultimate responsibility for running each academy and will deal with the strategic running of the MAT. The Board then delegates to Local Academy Boards certain responsibilities for their individual academies. The Duke of Lancaster shares its own Local Academy Board with Sunrise Academy.

Dear parents, carers, and students,

I would like to welcome you to Duke of Lancaster! Since opening in January 2023, I am very proud of the progress we have made as a team to create our school community. Having helped to open another special school in Norfolk, I know well the time it takes to establish all the different elements that we sometimes take for granted in schools that have been in existence for years. We are making good progress at Duke of Lancaster to create the safe, friendly, and purposeful environment I had hoped for.

I imagine that for some students joining Duke of Lancaster, there are a mixture of feelings, positive and negative, that may be the result of difficult experiences in past education settings. I am fully committed to supporting each student to access their right to an inclusive, engaging, enriching, and fun experience of school, that equips them with the skills and knowledge to lead an independent and successful adult life.

In my experience, the best outcomes for children and young people are achieved when the child, parents/carers, and school collaborate as a partnership and I’m a passionate advocate in placing the voice of the child and their family at the core of decisions made. If you ever need to speak with a member of staff about your child, please call, email, or make an appointment.

If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Best wishes,

Rob Speck

Head of School

There are many ways you can help your child prepare to start at Duke of Lancaster:

  • Have a look through our website and social media pages with them.
  • Read through this A-Z Guide with them.
  • Take a look at the virtual tour on our website.
  • Ask them if they have any questions that they want to ask and then get in contact with us for an answer if needed.
  • Attend any possible transition events.
  • Talk regularly about the move, encourage questions and address any concerns but focus on the positives of the transition.
  • Be open with us during review and admission planning meetings about the needs of your child and any concerns you have.

If your child becomes unwell/gets injured whilst at school a trained first aider will attend to your child. If we feel your child needs to be collected, we will call the priority guardians listed followed by the Emergency Contacts listed (if required). Please ensure the school office has the contact details of at least 2 different people in case of an emergency. If your child does need to go home, you will be asked to arrange for your child to be collected as soon as possible.

In the event of a medical emergency members of staff will accompany a child to hospital.

All injuries are recorded on our Medical Tracker system. Should your child receive a minor injury whilst at school you will receive an email notification, you will be contacted.

Being online is a key part of young people’s lives and social media, apps, games, and websites can be accessed through a variety of devices. Whilst this can provide wonderful learning and entertainment opportunities, technology can also expose young people to risk, so it is important to be aware of the potential dangers. More information about E-Safety can be found by following any of the links below:




Offering a healthy, balanced menu that young people will want to eat is an important role for SENDAT schools which we take very seriously. Our catering manager prepares menus which work on a 3-week rotation and the student council has opportunity to provide feedback to the catering team. School dinners need to be ordered in advance on Arbor. Students are welcome to bring a packed lunch from home if they prefer, please ensure there are no nuts, chocolate bars or fizzy drinks brought in.

The school recognises that some students may have bespoke dietary needs related to dietary or sensory issues and we will happily work with families to adapt the menu to suit the needs of the student.

There will be three lunchtime sittings.

Primary Students – 11.55am-12:30pm

Secondary Students – KS3 12:35pm-13.00pm.  KS4 13.00pm-13.25pm

All current menus can be found on our website here:

During the admissions process you will receive an induction pack which will include paperwork on any medical needs your child may have. Should these needs change, or new needs arise, please contact the school office.

We appreciate that some children will have devices on them for when they are being transported to and from school. Upon arrival at school all electronic devices must be handed to their class teacher. These will then be stored securely and returned to the student at the end of the school day.