Skip to content ↓

Special educational needs and disabilities policy

Adopted: December 2015, Revised: November 2018

Purpose and philosophy

This policy acknowledges the obligation to provide a broad, balanced, and challenging curriculum for all pupils. The governors of Cromer Academy value the abilities and achievements of all its pupils and are committed to providing, for each pupil, the best possible environment for learning.

The learning support department operates in accordance with the following principles:

  • All teachers at Cromer Academy are teachers of pupils with SEN.
  • All pupils can achieve their very best.
  • All pupils have a right to a broad and balanced curriculum.
  • All pupils should share in all aspects of the life of the school.
  • The department, pupils and parents should work in partnership.

Aims of the school SEND policy

  • To ensure that all pupils have access to a broad and balanced curriculum.
  • To ensure that the provision for pupils with SEN should match the nature of their needs within allocated budget.
  • To record, monitor, and note the outcome of the provision provided for pupils with SEN.
  • To ensure that SEN pupils are involved, where practicable, in decisions affecting their SEN provision.
  • To consult and work in partnership with parents of pupils with SEN.
  • To consult and involve outside agencies whenever necessary.
  • To integrate pupils with SEN into the life of the school, providing additional support as needed to achieve this.

Definition of special educational needs

Pupils have special educational needs if they have difficulty accessing the curriculum which calls for special educational provision to be made for them.

Pupils have difficulty accessing the curriculum if they:

  • Have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age; or
  • Have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of the same age in mainstream schools.

The purpose of identification is to work out what action the school needs to take, not to fit a pupil into a category. However, these four broad areas of need give an overview of the range which are planned for:

  • Communication and interaction, including ASD, Asperger’s syndrome and autism
  • Cognition and learning, including MLD, SLD and PMLD
  • Social, emotional and mental health difficulties, including ADD, ADHD and attachment disorder
  • Sensory and/or physical needs, including vision impairment, hearing impairment, and physical disability

Indicators of special educational needs

Special educational provision may be triggered when students fail to achieve adequate progress, despite having had access to a differentiated programme. Parents/carers and staff will be informed that the child has special educational needs and appropriate provision will be identified to meet the student’s individual need(s).

Lack of adequate progress may be indicated by:

  • Little or no progress despite the use of targeted teaching approaches and a differentiated curriculum
  • Working at levels significantly below age expectations, particularly in literacy or numeracy
  • Presenting persistent emotional and/or behavioural difficulties, which have not been managed by appropriate strategies usually employed
  • Sensory or physical impairments that result in little progress despite the provision of appropriate aids or equipment
  • Poor communication or interaction, requiring specific interactions and adaptations to access learning

The following are not SEN but may impact on progress and attainment:

  • Disability (the Code of Practice outlines the ‘reasonable adjustment’ duty for all settings and schools provided under current disability equality legislation – these alone do not constitute SEN)
  • Persistent disruptive behaviour where there are no causal factors such as undiagnosed learning difficulties or difficulties with communication or mental health issues
  • Attendance and punctuality
  • Health and welfare
  • EAL
  • Being in receipt of pupil premium grant
  • Being a looked-after child
  • Being a child of a serviceman/woman

Admission arrangements for pupils with SEN

The governing body believes that the admissions criteria should not discriminate against pupils with SEND and has due regard to the Code of Practice. Admission arrangements for pupils with SEND, but without an education, health and care plan (EHCP), do not differ from those of other pupils. However, in the case of a student in possession of an EHCP, the placement recommendations of the last annual review will be taken into account.

Assessment and provision


The school uses the graduated response as outlined in The Code of Practice (2014). To help with this process a variety of screening procedures are used, which are then disseminated to teaching staff.

New Intake Students in Year 7

  • Primary liaison
    • Feeder primary schools are visited/contacted throughout the year prior to transfer. Any student identified as having a ‘learning difficulty’ and who is on SEN support or has an EHC plan is referred to the SENCO.
    • The LA notifies school about students who are transferring with EHC plans in the spring of their Year 5.
    • Where practicable, the SENCO attends their annual review in Year 5 and 6 to ensure a smooth transition is made. Relevant information is disseminated to teaching staff before transfer via the Pupil Passport obtained from the previous school and observations made by the learning support department during transition.
  • Initial screening - may include all or some of the following, as applicable:
    • KS2 tests
    • Historical information held on the student
    • Reading, comprehension, spelling and writing tests
    • Access Reading Test (ART) reading comprehension and Young's single word spelling
    • Access Maths Test (AMT)

Additional screening used across all year groups as required may include:

  • Dyslexia screening
  • WRAT4 word, reading and sentence comprehension
  • Neale reading test
  • CTOPP 2 comprehensive test of phonological processing
  • DASH speed of handwriting
  • Word processing and scribe speed

Staff observation

  • Members of staff consult with the SENCO if they notice students who may need specialist help during the school year. Evidence for that concern must be produced, prior to any testing and/or additional intervention being undertaken.
  • The SENCO may then ask for additional diagnostic assessment to be undertaken by other professionals.

Referrals by parents or carers

  • A student’s parent/carer may express concern. Once information is gathered the process is the same as for staff referrals.
  • All parental referrals are acted upon.


Teaching students with SEND is a whole-school responsibility. Central to the work of every teacher and subject is a continuous cycle of planning, teaching, assessment and evaluation that takes account of the wide range of abilities, aptitudes and interests of the students. The majority of students at Cromer Academy learn and progress through these differentiated arrangements.

A graduated response is adopted for students identified as having SEND. A level and type of support is provided to enable the student to achieve. Provision is identified and managed by the SENCO and SEN Co-ordinator but will be planned and delivered by teaching and support staff.

Graduated response

Wave 1 – Quality first teaching by all teaching staff.

Wave 2 - Is initiated where students have failed to make progress as identified by the SENCO through the assessment arrangements.

Criteria for Wave 2 may include:

  • Low numeracy/literacy scores
  • Level 3 or below in Key Stage 2 SATs
  • Teacher’s observations
  • Primary teachers’ comments
  • Concerns from staff or parents
  • Students in possession of an EHCP or Pupil Passport

Provision from within the school’s resources is identified to help meet the student’s needs. Interventions may include:

  • Additional learning programmes such as Lexia, Spelling Mastery, Reading Groups and other tailored responses to support literacy
  • Smaller group sessions and extraction groups for English and mathematics
  • Small intervention groups for dyslexia, spelling, reading comprehension difficulties and social skills
  • Appropriate teaching groups/sets

Wave 3 - Where students fail to make progress, despite additional provision at Wave 2, the school seeks advice and involvement from external support services. They are requested to:

  • Provide specialist assessments
  • Give advice on teaching strategies or materials
  • Provide short-term support or training for staff

The Pupil Passport is revised and new strategies are put in place following the involvement of student and parents. Should the assessments identify that a student with an EHCP requires additional provision on a regular basis for an extended period then the school will apply for additional resources. Support and advice will be sought from across the Inspiration Trust.

Statutory assessment

If a student fails to make adequate progress and has demonstrated a significant cause for concern, the school and/or a parent/carer may decide to request that the LA undertakes a statutory assessment. This may lead to the student being provided with an EHCP.

Pupil Passports and reviews

The strategies that will be employed at Wave 2, Wave 3 and for students with EHCPs are recorded in the Pupil Passports reflecting provision that is additional to, or different from, normal differentiated provision. Not all students with SEND have a Pupil Passport but their progress is closely monitored three times a year.

The Pupil Passport is communicated to all staff who support the student’s learning, and to the parents or carers and the student. Pupil Passports are reviewed three times a year and updated as required.

Provision of an appropriate curriculum

Through their departmental development plans, the SEF and in conjunction with SEN statements, provision for students with SEND is regularly reviewed and revised. It is the responsibility of individual departments at the school to ensure that the requirements of the national curriculum are met for those students with SEND in partnership with the SEND department.

Provision of curriculum support

The learning support department can help subject areas in the following ways (although this is not an exhaustive list):

Curriculum development:

  • Planning with individual members of staff / departments

Support teaching:

This is achieved by working collaboratively with a subject teacher. The SENCO and members of the learning support department can assist by:

  • Teaching support, both in class and small group withdrawal
  • Helping to facilitate a wide range of teaching and learning styles
  • Evaluating and reviewing what has been achieved


Some students with special educational needs may be withdrawn 1:1 or within small group sessions or to use technological support; the withdrawal of students is kept to an absolute minimum, in accordance with Cromer Academy’s inclusive ethos.

In-service training:

  • The SENCO provides INSET for NQTs and other new staff at the school on Code of Practice procedures at Cromer Academy.
  • Individual departments can ask for INSET from the SENCO as required, for specific purposes or generic training.
  • Whole-school INSET, focusing on specific needs, is included, where appropriate, on staff training days and during twilight sessions.

Roles and responsibilities

The roles and responsibilities of school personnel with regard to special educational needs are given below. They are in accordance with the SEN Code of Practice (2014) guidelines and school job descriptions.

Governing body

  • In partnership with the Principal, the governors have responsibility for deciding the school’s general policy and approach to meet the needs of students with SEND.
  • Ensuring, through the performance management process, that the Principal sets objectives and priorities in the school development plan, which includes provision for SEND.
  • Monitoring the policy through the school’s self-evaluation procedures.
  • All governors are informed of the school’s provision, including funding, equipment and staffing.
  • Reporting annually to parents on the school’s policy through the website.

The Principal

  • Setting objectives and priorities in the school development plan, which includes SEND.
  • Informing the governing body.
  • Responsibility for the allocation of funding devolved directly from the LA.
  • Recruiting the school’s learning support team, which includes teaching assistants.
  • Line management of the SEN Co-ordinator and advocate on the SLT.


  • Disseminating information and raising awareness of SEND issues throughout the school.
  • Is responsible to the Principal for the management of SEND provision and the day-to-day operation of the policy.
  • Co-ordinating SEND provision for students.
  • Supporting the teaching and learning of students with SEND.
  • Monitoring departmental delivery of the SEND policy.
  • Recruiting the school’s learning support team, which includes teaching assistants.
  • Being responsible and accountable for whole-school SEND resources.
  • Liaising with parents and carers of students with SEND.
  • Liaising with and advising fellow teachers and support staff.
  • Liaising with schools including feeder primaries and specialist settings.
  • Liaising with other SENCOs, both locally and nationally.
  • Liaising with outside agencies.
  • Contributing to in-service training and external training (as appropriate).
  • Being involved in preparing the SEND report, which the Principal forwards to the governors.
  • Managing and developing the roles of teaching assistants, through training and performance management.
  • Co-ordinating screening and identifying students.
  • Co-ordinating SEND provision for students.
  • Supporting the teaching and learning of students with SEND.
  • Keeping accurate records of all students with SEND.
  • Drawing up, reviewing and monitoring Pupil Passports for those with SEND and others, as required.
  • Deploying and recruiting the school’s learning support team, which includes teaching assistants.
  • Liaising with parents and carers of students with SEND.
  • Liaising with and advising teachers and support staff.
  • Liaising with outside agencies.
  • Contributing to in-service training and external training (as appropriate).
  • Being involved in preparing the SEND report, which the Principal forwards to the governors.

Subject leaders

  • Ensuring appropriate curriculum provision and delivery clearly stated in their schemes of work.
  • Ensuring appropriate teaching resources for students with SEND.

Other teaching staff

  • “All teachers are teachers of special needs.”
  • Devising strategies and identifying appropriate differentiated methods of access to the curriculum, in conjunction with the learning support department.
  • Recognising that central to the work of every teacher is the cycle of planning, teaching, assessing, and evaluating that takes account of the wide range of abilities, aptitudes and interests of the students in their classes.
  • Ensuring Pupil Passports are considered in lessons.
  • Monitoring progress of students with SEND against agreed targets and objectives.
  • Being fully aware of the school’s procedures for SEND.
  • Raising individual concerns to SENCO.

Teaching assistants

  • Supporting students with SEND and the wider school population.
  • Planning and delivering individualised programmes where appropriate.
  • Monitoring progress against targets using Pupil Passports.
  • Assisting with drawing up individual plans for students and supporting information sheet development, as required.
  • Contributing to the review progress, either in person or with a written report.
  • Working with small groups in or out of the classroom, under the direction of the class teacher.
  • Supporting SEND pupils on educational visits and all other pupils where possible.
  • Jointly planning with teachers, where appropriate.

Arrangements for considering SEN-related complaints

If a parent is unhappy about the arrangements made to meet the SEN of their child they should in the first instance discuss the matter with the SENCO. The Principal will address secondary complaints.

The matter will be looked into by the school, in a reasonable period of time, in line with the governors’ arrangements for consideration of complaints.

Arrangements for inclusion

The school's policy is to provide all pupils with access to a rich and broad curriculum, which meets the needs of children of all ability and ages.

  • The use of setting and the differentiation of work enable this to happen.
  • The provision of additional support which enables pupils to access the curriculum has already been documented.
  • Pupils with an EHCP can be disapplied from national curriculum subjects. This is only considered in extreme circumstances when all parties, particularly the parents, pupil and appropriate services, request it.

As the school operates a policy of full access to the national curriculum and of curriculum support, pupils with SEN are included fully into the school curriculum. All pupils join in all activities, as far as is reasonably practical, both curricular and extra-curricular, except where an activity may constitute a problem for any pupil's health or safety.


In school

  • The SENCO liaises closely with the SLT, heads of department and key stage co-ordinators. Information and concerns are always discussed with the appropriate member of staff.
  • School systems and procedures provide the mechanism through which SEND issues are discussed and disseminated.


Cromer Academy actively seeks to work with parents/carers and values the contributions they make.

  • Parental views are recorded as part of the annual review procedures.
  • Parents are actively encouraged to help their child in many ways; for example hearing their child read, and learning spellings.
  • Parents are encouraged to attend parents’ evenings where their child’s progress is discussed with subject teachers.
  • Effective communication is achieved through regular contact with home either through letters, telephone calls or the student’s planner.
  • New parents can attend the open evening prior to transfer and make arrangements for additional visits through the SENCO.


Cromer Academy acknowledges the student’s role as a partner in his/her own education.

  • Students are actively encouraged to be involved in decision-making by attending all reviews and to be involved with negotiating and evaluating their targets.
  • Student views are recorded as part of the review process and their views are valued and listened to.

External support

The school aims to work in partnership with other agencies in order to provide an integrated support based on the needs of the student. The main external support agencies used by Cromer Academy include (this is not an exhaustive list):

  • Educational psychology and behaviour support service
  • Health service
  • English language support service
  • Visual impairment team
  • Sensory support services
  • Children's services
  • Education Otherwise
  • Social services
  • Youth and community service
  • Looked after children service
  • T2 Matthew Project
  • MAP – Mancroft Project
  • Douglas Bader short stay school
  • School nurse
  • Time for you (Benjamin Foundation)
  • Youth offenders team
  • Off-centre counselling

Between schools

The SENCO liaises with other SENCOs:

  • From local secondary schools to discuss local and national SEND issues at LA-run ‘SENCO network’ meetings
  • On the transfer of a student with SEND
  • At locally held SENCO conferences

Transfer arrangements

  • All documentation about special needs included in a student's record is transferred between schools. The SENCO deals with specific enquiries.
  • A minimum of one additional induction day is arranged as required for all students with SEND and vulnerability factors.
  • The records of students who leave at the end of Year 11 are kept and stored in school in accordance with the Data Protection Act.
  • Documentation relevant to the last review is forwarded to post-16 placements plus additional information if requested and permission granted.

Monitoring and evaluation of this policy

The degree of success of the policy and its implementation will be evaluated using the following indicators:

  • Recorded views of students and parents or carers, particularly at meetings.
  • Recorded views by teachers on students’ competence, confidence and social acceptability.
  • Measurable or observable gains from students, particularly in terms of set targets, screening tests and other assessments carried out where appropriate and examination results.
  • The SENCO reviewing procedures in consultation with subject leaders, and outside agencies.
  • Feedback from departments, outside agencies.
  • Number of complaints received.

In association with the Principal, the department produces an annual report which is included in the governors’ annual report to parents and carers.