How we look after students

We are very proud of the pastoral support we offer at Exeter Mathematics School.

As a small school supported by a very large college, we are in a unique position to offer a close-knit, personalised, family atmosphere together with the very significant support network of the college.

All students have a tutor who meets with them regularly to support their progress.  We recognise that EMS is an academically demanding environment; care is taken to ensure that students receive support and are equipped with the skills necessary to enable them to thrive.

Our tutor system

Initially, students are assisted in adapting to the unique learning environment at EMS through our induction programme. Tutors aid students in building effective relationships with their teachers and peers; induction includes orientation of the school, Exeter College and the University of Exeter. Tutors also discuss with every student their academic goals and targets for their courses.

Throughout their time at EMS, students receive information, advice and guidance on varied topics: from university applications and living away from home, to managing workload and personal health.

The tutor is the key link between parents, subject teachers, and a whole range of support services, both with us and through our partner, Exeter College. Through their tutor, all students have access to;

a) A team of counsellors who provide confidential support for a range of issues – school worries, home concerns, personal problems or relationship difficulties

b) A student welfare advisor, who can also help and advise with issues surrounding childcare, benefits, attendance, supported housing and emergency accommodation.

c) For students in care or leaving care, there is support in place to offer advice, guidance, advocacy and financial assistance throughout their time at EMS.

d) A medical room on the Hele Road site that is open during term; students can attend with any health concern and gain advice and support from college nurses, who can also be contacted by telephone. The nurses also support tutors with the delivery of health education sessions and liaise with GPs and other health professionals on students’ behalf.


The safety of all students is very important to us. We have a dedicated safeguarding team, who work to ensure that students are safe in School, at College, and in their personal lives. All students are asked to have their student identification with them at all times whilst on college sites.

If you want to speak to someone about a safeguarding concern or have any questions about the pastoral aspects of life at EMS, then contact  Further Safeguarding information can be found on the Devon Safeguarding Children Board website.

Special needs and disabilities

Our Approach

We are committed to meeting the needs of all students to enable them to excel.  Part of this commitment is to identify and appropriately support students with SEND.  We work with students, parents and other professionals to identify needs, provide appropriate support and review it to ensure it is effective.


Students have special educational needs if they have a learning difficulty or disability which means that they need special education provision to be made for them, this is usually provision which is additional to or different from that normally available in a differentiated curriculum.

Needs may be physical, emotional, social or cognitive.  There is no “one size fits all”.  Essentially if students, or their parents, feel as though they may require additional support with accessing any element of their school life, we want to work with them to overcome their barriers to learning.

Identifying Needs

As part of the application process to join EMS, students and teachers are asked to let us know about any identified needs.  Students with identified SEND meet with a member of our support staff prior to joining the school.  This is not part of our selection process but is useful to ensure we are in a position to properly support students as they transition from their current school to EMS.

Once students are attending EMS, staff are extremely vigilant regarding needs that may not have been identified.  They get to know the students well, in order to provide individually tailored support.  Parents are also encouraged to get in touch and let us know of any concerns that they have.  It’s not uncommon for needs to be identified once a student has joined the school.

We use the expertise available at Exeter College to support our assessments of need. For example, when students show signs of having a Specific Learning Need, they are referred to Exeter College for a screening assessment.

Provision of Support

When a student is identified as having SEND, we take action to support effective learning by removing barriers to learning and putting effective provision in place. This SEND support takes the form of a four-part cycle known as the graduated approach – assess, plan, do, review.

  • Teachers, tutors and SEND coordinators all contribute to assess the needs of each student
  • With each student’s input and parent/carer’s where appropriate we decide whether to make a plan to put in place any additional support needed during class and exams.
  • Teachers, tutors and the support team are then responsible for implementing and doing the adjustments outlined for each student.
  • The provision of support for each student with SEND is reviewed termly or when changes are necessary.

Although there is a specific process as outlined above, our open door policy and approachable staff mean that those with SEND can always access support.

Key Staff

Joe Rowing (, is the school’s SENCO and works closely with Grace Strachan (, the Lead Pastoral Tutor, to coordinate support in school for which all staff members are responsible.

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