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Special educational needs and disability policy

Adopted: June 2017
To be reviewed: June 2019

Philosophy and definition

SEND is seen as a whole school responsibility and, as such, is the responsibility of everyone. All teachers are teachers of special educational needs.

All students at the Academy are entitled to support for their learning needs enabling them to develop skills, knowledge and understanding to their full potential and maximum personal benefit. We define special educational needs if a child has a greater difficulty compared with the majority of children of the same age.

This may be characterised by:

  • Short-term difficulties in understanding, a temporary drop in self-esteem and minor emotional problems, low basic skills or specific learning difficulties supported by literacy  and/or numeracy programmes.
  •  Very weak basic skills, emotional and behavioural difficulties, or specific learning difficulties supported by programmes created in conjunction with external agencies or by an education and health care plan.

A person is disabled if they have ‘a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect in his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.’  Not all students with a disability will have special educational needs, and not all students with SEN will have a disability.

Aims

  • To ensure that all members of the school community support students with special educational needs and disabilities and that SEND students are integrated into the life of the school.
  • To ensure that all students identified as having special educational needs or disabilities have, as far as possible, equal access to all aspects of the curriculum, with modifications made to the curriculum if appropriate.
  • To improve the literacy and numeracy skills of students with general and specific learning difficulties both as an end in itself and as a means of providing maximum access by such students to the rest of the curriculum.
  • To develop differentiation in all lessons to improve the educational opportunities of all     students, regardless of ability.
  • To meet the special educational needs of students with physical disabilities as far as is practicable in terms of the layout and resources of the Academy.
  • To increase the confidence of students with SEND, encouraging them to be involved in their own provision.
  • To communicate with parents about all aspects of the special needs provision made for their children and to seek to develop this partnership.
  • To deploy learning support resources effectively.

Duty to have regard to the Code of Practice and other guidance

The Academy will have regard to the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice (2014), The Children and Families Act (2014)  and any guidance issued by the Secretary of State. All statements of special educational needs will be converted to become education and health care plans.

The role of the SEND co-ordinator

The special educational needs disability co-ordinator is responsible to the vice principal (academy standards). The responsibilities of the SEND co-ordinator include:

  • The day-to-day operation of the Academy’s special educational needs and disabilities policy
  • Drawing up a strategic plan for the development of SEND provision at the Academy
  • Ensuring that the SEND report is updated annually in collaboration with the SEND governor, parents and students
  • The management and deployment of support staff, including the SEND lead practitioner
  • Liaising with and advising fellow teachers and members of the support team
  • Initial assessment and diagnosis of students including liaison with primary feeder schools
  • Advising and arranging INSET with regard to SEND issues
  • Taking the lead in managing provision for students in Key Stages 3, 4 and 5
  • Updating and overseeing the records of all students with educational needs and disabilities
  • Informing staff of students’ needs and support plans
  • Monitoring and reviewing IEPs
  • Working in partnership with parents of students with educational needs and disabilities
  • Liaising with external agencies including the Cluster, the educational psychology service, and other support agencies, medical and children’s social services and voluntary bodies
  • Arranging and chairing the annual review of pupils with education and health care plans
  • Making referrals for education and health care plans and providing sufficient evidence
  • Making special arrangements for SEND students undertaking assessments and GCSE examinations with subject teachers and examinations officer
  • Monitoring the progress of students in terms of the development of basic skills
  • Monitoring the progress of students across the curriculum using evidence that comes from the half termly data tracking.
  • To ensure an efficient performance management process is in place for support staff

The role of teaching staff

  • Being familiar with students’ individual needs
  • Devising strategies and identifying appropriate methods of access to the curriculum
  • Planning for and working with students to provide appropriate support and ensuring differentiated work allows them to progress
  • Working with support staff to enhance the learning experience of all SEND students
  • Identifying students who will require access support for external examinations

The role of support staff

  • To take responsibility for supporting named students with identified special needs and/or education and health care plans
  • To support the student(s) in class and/or withdraw in order to meet their targets
  • To keep accurate records of each students progress using the recording devices provided by the SEND lead practitioner and the Academy data tracking system
  • To liaise with the SEND lead practitioner
  • To participate fully in further training provided by the Academy
  • To contribute to the annual education and health care plans and any achievement review meetings.

The role of the governing body

It is the role of the Academy’s governing body to be up to date and knowledgeable about the SEND provisions available, including how funding, equipment and personnel resources are deployed. The nominated governor for SEND is Jackie Pountney. It is her role as governor to ensure that the SEND provision is an integral part of the academy development plan and that the quality of the SEND provision is continually monitored.

Identification

The principal sources of information for identifying students’ special educational needs are:

  • Information from parents
  • Education and health care plans and other records of SEND and provision from students’ previous schools/primary schools
  • Information provided by the EHCP co-ordinator
  • Standardised test scores
  • Key Stage SATS data
  • Information from teaching staff relating to basic literacy and numeracy skills
  • Previous teaching records
  • Current teaching records
  • Staff discussions with the SENDCo
  • Specialist expertise from external professionals eg educational psychologist

Curriculum

All students, including those with special educational needs, have an entitlement of access to the national curriculum. The senior leadership team of the Academy will ensure that a broad and balanced curriculum is in place. It is the responsibility of each curriculum leader to monitor the appropriateness of the curriculum for students with SEND. They must seek the advice of the SENDCo if there is uncertainty over the depth of content and its delivery.

Dis-application from the national curriculum will only be considered when there are compelling reasons to do so. These reasons must always relate to increasing achievement for individual pupils.

The SENDCo is responsible, in consultation with the examinations officer, for seeking special consideration for students with SEND during public examinations.

Provision

Provision of support is determined on a needs basis, remembering that every student is an individual and differs in the extent of their individual difficulties and the provision they need. In general the SEND department provides the following support:

  • Staff expertise and time
  • In-class support by learning support assistants
  • Inclusion in special literacy and numeracy recovery programs
  • Withdrawal for extra reading, maths or other intervention to plug skills gaps
  • Diagnostic testing and regular progress testing
  • Supporting subject staff to produce their own differentiated materials
  • The issue of specialist equipment
  • The completion and maintaining of individual education plans
  • The preparation and chairing of education and health care plans reviews
  • Coordinating contact with, and referral to, external agencies

Communication

The SEND co-ordinator will meet regularly with members of the support for learning team and curriculum leaders to discuss the progress of named student(s).

The SEND register is updated regularly and made available to all staff members electronically and hard copies are also available. The IEPs for each student are updated twice each year and are available electronically.

External support

We have commissioned the following support services in collaboration with the Thetford Cluster:

  • Speech and language therapy services
  • Sensory support team
  • ADHD support
  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • CAMHS
  • Travelling Children Services
  • Educational psychologist
  • School nurse
  • Counselling service

Facilities and physical access

Our buildings are fully wheelchair accessible and we have the following facilities:

  • Ramps
  • Lifts
  • Fire evacuation equipment for wheelchair users
  • Disabled toilets
  • Wet room
  • Hoists
  • Physiotherapy space
  • Trained staff
  • ICT facilities
  • Learning support rooms equipped with specialist resources
  • Height adjustable tables

In addition we provide a “safe space” for vulnerable students to use at break and lunch times, as they feel appropriate. We also offer a homework club Monday-Thursday until 4.30pm.

Admissions

The Academy will ensure that students with SEND are admitted on an equal basis with others in accordance with its admissions policy.

Where a local education authority proposes to name the Academy in an education and health care plan made in accordance with section 324 of the Education Act 1996, the Academy will consent to being named, except where admitting the child would be incompatible with the provision of efficient education for other children; and where no reasonable steps may be made to secure compatibility.

In the event of any disagreement between the Academy and the local education authority over the proposed naming of the Academy in a statement, the Academy may ask the Secretary of State to determine whether the Academy should be named. The Secretary of State’s determination  shall, subject only to any right of appeal which any parent or guardian of the child may have to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST), be final.
If a parent or guardian of a child in respect of whom an education and health care plan is maintained by the local education authority appeals to SENDIST either against the naming of the Academy in the child’s education and health care plan or asking the Tribunal to name the Academy, then the decision of the Tribunal on any such appeal shall be binding and shall, if different from that of the Secretary of State under paragraph 7 above, be substituted for the Secretary of State’s decision.

Where the Academy has consented to be named in a child’s education and health care plan, or the Secretary of State or SENDIST have determined that it should be named, the Academy shall admit the child notwithstanding any provision of Annex 2 of this agreement.

Monitoring, evaluation and review

The evaluation is ongoing and reported to the governors annually. Analysis of SEND students’ performance data will include:

  • Progress and attainment
  • % achieving IEP targets
  • Number of exclusions
  • SEND student attendance
  • Number of students on or off SEND register
  • Lesson observations
  • Feedback from teachers, support staff, parents and student
  • Minutes of key SEND meetings
  • Evidence of impact of SEND training for SEND staff

Transition arrangements

The general procedures for receiving and transferring students are in line with the agreed Admissions policy.

In support for these arrangements the following additional information and documentation is provided by the SENDCO to the receiving Academy for students with special educational needs:

  • Individual education plans
  • Review of individual education plans
  • Education and health care plans
  • Assessment details
  • Reports

Complaints procedure

Parents/carers are encouraged to communicate low level concerns to Emma Greenaway, lead practitioner, in the first instance. For more serious issues, the SENDCO or college assistant principal can be contacted, as appropriate to the problem.

If the outcome is felt to be unsatisfactory, reference should be made to the vice principal. Where appropriate, annual reviews can be brought forward or case conferences called, including all agencies involved.

Complaints may also be addressed to the governing body if parents/carers still find themselves not satisfied.

If a parent/carer has a grievance with the LEA, the appropriate responsible office should be contacted and the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal will hear appeals if the matter remains unresolved.