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Special educational needs and disabilities policy

Adopted: November 2018


‘Special Educational Needs Provision is education or training provision that is additional to or different from that made generally for others of the same age.’ (SEND Code of Practice) 

Great Yarmouth Charter Academy is committed to ensuring that pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) have access to a high-quality curriculum, including extra-curricular activities and clubs. Not all pupils with disabilities have special educational needs and not all pupils with SEND meet the definition of disability. This policy covers all of these pupils (see Appendix A). It has been developed in the light of current legislation and guidelines regarding good practice (Equality Act 2010, Supporting Pupils at School with Medical Conditions 2015, Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015, SEN and Disability Act 2001, Children and Family Act 2014)

Identification and assessment of SEND

Great Yarmouth Charter Academy is committed to early identification of special educational need and adopts a graduated response to meeting special educational need in line with the Code of Practice 2014. A range of evidence is collected through the usual assessment and monitoring arrangements as well using a triangulated approach that incorporates school view, parents views, child’s views and guidance from external agencies. If this suggests that the pupil is not making the expected progress, the class teacher will consult with the SENCo and SEN Manager in order to decide whether additional and / or different provision is necessary. See Appendix B - Triggers for school support and statutory assessments.

There is no need for pupils to be registered or identified as having special educational needs unless the school is taking additional or different action.


Great Yarmouth Charter Academy’s SEND aims and objectives are:

  • To identify pupils with special educational needs and disabilities and ensure that their needs are met
  • To ensure co-production of services is achieved through partnership between pupils, parents/ carers and outside agencies (where appropriate)
  • To ensure that pupils with special educational needs and disabilities make the best possible progress
  • To ensure that pupils with special educational needs and disabilities join in with all the activities of the school
  • To ensure that pupils with special educational needs and disabilities develop independence and take responsibility for their learning and behaviour
  • To ensure that pupils express their views and are fully involved in decisions which affect their education
  • To promote effective partnership and involve outside agencies when appropriate
  • The school culture removes barriers for SEN pupils through the use of SLANT, SHAPE and STEPS strategies

Identification of pupils with SEND

See Appendix B.

Meeting pupils' needs

Great Yarmouth Charter Academy will ensure the needs of pupils are met by:

  • Appropriate planning according to the stage of the pupils rather than age.
  • Appropriate teaching according by stage rather than age.
  • Targeted support by HLTAs and LSAs, under the direction of the teacher, according to the stage of the pupils rather than age.
  • Information to staff about pupils will be provided by Pupil Support Profiles (PSPs), data tracking systems, and within the SEND register.
  • Ensuring information on the PSP is followed and successes and areas for improvement are shared with pupils and reviewed by the teacher, SENCo ,and SEN manager.
  • Using learning support assistants (LSAs) cost efficiently to support individual pupils' progress.

Provision / action that is additional to or different from that available to all

If, despite significant support and intervention through school Ssupport, the school has evidence that a pupil is making insufficient progress, we may seek further advice and support (with the family’s permission) from outside professionals.

These professionals will be invited to contribute to the monitoring and review of progress. Pupils and parents will be fully involved and kept informed about the involvement of external agencies and proposed interventions. If the pupil still fails to make appropriate progress, despite this additional support and intervention, then we may seek additional advice from outside agencies (with the family’s support) to seek assessment for an education and health care plan (EHCP).

For pupils who have a SEND statement/EHCP, their progress and the support outlined in their statement will be reviewed annually and a report provided for the local authority. If a pupil makes sufficient progress a statement/EHCP will be amended or may be discontinued by the education authority if all objectives are met. If however it is felt that insufficient progress is being made an emergency review can be requested.

To ensure that pupils with special educational needs and disabilities make the best possible progress pupils’ progress will be tracked by:

  • Individual teacher assessment i.e. verbally, through marking, key objectives, and individual targets
  • Whole school tracking system
  • Refined tracking of progress of SEND pupils, based on intervention and other tests

To ensure that pupils with special educational needs and disabilities have every reasonable opportunity to join in with all the activities of the school and participate in lessons, some pupils will be supported in class by LSAs. Pupils may be withdrawn from mainstream lessons and will receive a personalised curriculum that complements the mainstream curriculum and is tailor-made to their needs.

Pupils who are unable to access the mainstream curriculum may be assessed in order to identify gaps in their learning or emotional and social development leading to limited or no progress.

  • Pupils will be withdrawn for short-term intervention programmes depending upon their individual need.
  • Learning support assistants are deployed according to low-attaining classes or individual needs.
  • All pupils with special educational needs have equal access to extra-curricular clubs and activities.

To ensure that pupils with special educational needs and disabilities develop independence and take responsibility for their learning and behaviour, pupils should be actively involved in discussions about their progress, including target setting and review arrangements, and have their views recorded. By actively involving pupils in their own progress, they will gain in confidence.

External services play an important part in helping the school identify, assess and make provision for pupils with special education needs. These services can be obtained through the LA and through SENDCo networks.

Implications for staff

All staff have access to the school’s SEND policy and are aware of the school’s procedures for identifying, assessing, and making provision for pupils with SEND.

All teachers are teachers of pupils with special educational needs. Teaching such pupils is therefore a whole school responsibility.

All staff have a responsibility to look at pupils’ PSPs and plan accordingly based on the pupil’s targets. These must be monitored by staff and necessary adjustments made when a pupil is not progressing satisfactorily. If current strategies are not resulting in the pupil learning, staff need to consult the SENCo and SEN manager to consider what else can be done.

Implications for parents

There is a need for parents to recognise school expertise, however we acknowledge partnership with parents plays a key role in promoting a culture of cooperation between parents, schools, the LA, and others. The partnership is important in enabling pupils with SEND to achieve their potential. Parents hold key information and have a critical role to play in their child’s education. They have unique strengths, knowledge, and experience to contribute to the shared view of the child’s needs and the best way of supporting them.

To ensure parents are informed of their child's special educational needs and that there is effective communication between parents and school:

  • Reports are shared with parents and they are invited to telephone school or make an appointment with relevant staff if they have any questions.
  • When pupils are assessed by an outside agency, the school will inform parents of the procedure and the role of the agency.

Implications for the governing body

The governing body will ensure that the school makes appropriate special educational provision for all pupils identified as in need of it. The governing body has agreed with the LA admissions criteria which do not discriminate against pupils with special education needs or disabilities, and its admissions policy has due regard for the guidance in the Codes of Practice (September 2014) which accompany the SEN and Disability Act 2001 and the Children and Families Act 2014.

Local offer

Details of the Norfolk local offer can be found at

Appendix A: What are special educational needs?

The Special Educational Needs Code of Practice describes them in four areas:

  • Communication and interaction
  • Cognition and learning
  • Mental health, emotional and social development
  • Sensory and / or physical needs.

Communication and interaction

Most children with special educational needs have strengths and difficulties in one, some, or all of the areas of speech, language, and communication. Their communication needs may be both diverse and complex. They will need to continue to develop their linguistic competence in order to support their thinking as well as their communication. The range of difficulties will encompass children and young people with speech and language delay, impairments or disorders, specific learning difficulties, such as dyslexia and dyspraxia, hearing impairment, and those who demonstrate features within the autistic spectrum; they may also apply to some children and young people with moderate, severe, or profound learning difficulties. The range of need will include those for whom language and communication difficulties are the result of permanent sensory or physical impairment.

These children may require some, or all, of the following:

  • Appropriate teaching arrangements
  • Help in acquiring, comprehending, and using language
  • Help in articulation
  • Help in acquiring literacy skills
  • Help in using augmentative and alternative means of communication
  • Help to use different means of communication confidently and competently for a range of purposes, including formal situations
  • Help in organising and coordinating oral and written language through a whole school literacy policy and a commitment to careful planning leading to concise and precise teaching.
  • Dupport to compensate for the impact of a communication difficulty on learning in English as an additional language
  • Help in expressing, comprehending and using their own language, where English is not the first language
  • Help at break and lunchtime

Cognition and learning

Children who demonstrate features of moderate, severe, or profound learning difficulties or specific learning difficulties, such as dyslexia or dyspraxia, require specific programmes to aid progress in cognition and learning. Such requirements may also apply to some extent to children with physical and sensory impairments and those on the autistic spectrum.
Some of these children may have associated sensory, physical, and behavioural difficulties that compound their needs. These children may require some, or all, of the following:

  • Appropriate teaching arrangements
  • Help with processing language, memory and reasoning skills
  • Help and support in acquiring literacy skills
  • Help in organising and coordinating spoken and written English to aid cognition
  • Help with sequencing and organisational skills
  • Help with problem solving and developing concepts
  • Programmes to aid improvement of fine and motor competencies
  • Support in the use of technical terms and abstract ideas
  • Help in understanding ideas, concepts and experiences when information cannot be gained through first hand sensory or physical experiences
  • Access arrangements

Mental health, emotional, and social development

Children and young people who demonstrate mental health difficulties or features of emotional and social difficulties, who are withdrawn or isolated, hyperactive and lack concentration; those with immature social skills; and those presenting challenging behaviours arising from other complex special needs, may require help or counselling for some, or all, of the following:

  • Appropriate teaching arrangements
  • Help with development of social competence and emotional maturity
  • Help in adjusting to school expectations and routines
  • Help in acquiring the skills of positive interaction with peers and adults
  • Specialised behavioural and cognitive approaches
  • Re-channelling or re-focusing to diminish repetitive and self-injurious behaviours
  • Provision of class and school systems which control or censure negative or difficult behaviours and encourage positive behaviour
  • Provision of a safe and supportive environment

Sensory and/or physical needs

There is a wide spectrum of sensory, multi-sensory, and physical difficulties. The sensory range extends from profound and permanent deafness or visual impairment through to lesser levels of loss, which may only be temporary. Physical impairments may arise from physical, neurological, or metabolic causes that only require appropriate access to educational facilities and equipment; others may lead to more complex learning and social needs; a few children will have multi-sensory difficulties some with associated physical difficulties. Many of these children and young people will require some of the following:

  • Appropriate teaching arrangements
  • Appropriate seating, acoustic conditioning and lighting 
  • Adaptations to the physical environment of the school
  • Adaptations to school policies and procedures
  • Access to alternative or augmented forms of communication
  • Access to different amplification systems
  • Access to low vision aids
  • Access in all areas of the curriculum through specialist aids, equipment or furniture
  • Regular and frequent access to specialist support

Appendix B: Identification / assessment and review procedures

The School follows closely the guidance and regulations outlined in ‘Special Educational Needs Code of Practice’ issued by the DFES (Effective from September 2014). This includes the new rights, duties and regulations introduced by the SEN and Disability Act 2001 and the Children and Families Act 2014.

Prior to a child being placed on the SEND register, the class teacher and or the family will already have raised cause for concern and the school will have begun the process of gathering information.

At this stage the class teacher will:

  • Discuss their concerns with the SENCo and SEN Manager and review the strategies already being used to teach the child.
  • Consult the child’s parents (and the child where appropriate) for further information.
  • Identify specific concerns and collect relevant evidence to support these.
  • Monitor the child’s progress closely, differentiating work when appropriate.
  • Review the child’s progress in conjunction with parents and SENCo and SEN Manager after an agreed period of time (usually termly).

School support

This stage is characterised by the need to provide interventions that are additional to or different from those provided as part of the school’s usual differentiated curriculum.

Parents will be informed by the SENCo and SEN manager that special educational provision is being made for their child. This will be done sensitively, in a way that encourages parents to contribute their knowledge and understanding of the child and to raise any concerns they may have about their child’s needs and the provision being made for them.

At this stage the SENCo and SEN manager will work closely with the class teacher to co-ordinate the child’s SEND provision by:

  • Ensuring that specific individual targets are identified and strategies put in place to achieve these.
  • Providing additional resources/support from the school’s SEND budget where appropriate (e.g. small group classroom support from a teaching assistant and/or specific SEND teaching support to develop literacy/numeracy skills).
  • Reviewing progress made by the child and taking appropriate action to support the child further if required.
  • The SENCo, SEN manager and class teacher receive specific advice for the child’s PSP from the appropriate agency.
  • The school is advised to offer additional support (e.g. SEND teaching/increased ancillary/teaching assistant support) and the child’s progress is then reviewed.
  • It is agreed that there will be regular involvement from an external agency in a monitoring role (e.g. advisory teacher/educational psychologist etc.)
  • The parents/school are advised to refer the child for a statutory assessment, with the possibility of a statement of SEN/education health care plan (EHCP) being issued.

Statutory assessments

When a request for a statutory assessment is made by the parent or the school to the LA, the child will have demonstrated significant cause for concern. The LA will seek evidence that any strategy or programme implemented for the child in question has been continued for a reasonable period of time without success and that alternatives have been tried.

Information will be requested from the school about:

  • The school’s provision through school support 
  • The pupil’s health (including the child’s medical history where relevant)
  • National Curriculum standard of attainment in literacy and mathematics
  • Other assessments from an advisory specialist support teacher or an educational psychologist
  • Views of the parents and of the child
  • Involvement of other professionals

Appendix C

Responsibilities of the SENCo and SEN manager include:

  • Co-ordinating provision for those children with SEND in line with the school’s policy.
  • Ensuring liaison with parents and other professionals in respect of the children with SEND.
  • Advising and supporting other practitioners within the school setting.
  • Ensuring that relevant background information about children is collected, recorded, updated and shared with all staff as appropriate.
  • Ensuring that all pupils are making progress commensurate with their ability.

Appendix D

Responsibilities of the governing body (in co-operation with the headteacher):

  • Determine the school’s general policy and approach to provision for children with SEND.
  • Establish appropriate staffing and funding arrangements.
  • Appoint a governing body member with special responsibility for SEND to monitor closely the school’s work on behalf of SEND.

Appendix E

Responsibilities of the headteacher (Mr Barry Smith):

  • Managing all aspects of the school’s work, including provision for those children with SEND.
  • Keeping the governing body fully informed.
  • Working closely with the school’s SENCo and SEN manager.

Success criteria

Annual success criteria and pupil progress will be reviewed by the governing body, headteacher, and SENCo and SEN manager.