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Special educational needs policy

Adopted: June 2018

Special educational needs / disability (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 Hethersett Academy are entitled to support for their learning needs enabling them to acquire the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to achieve their full potential.

A student has a learning difficulty or disability if they have:

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


  • To ensure that all members of the school community support students with special educational needs and disabilities and that  students with SEND are integrated into the life of the school 
  • To endeavour to ensure that all students identified as having SEND have, as far as possible, equal access to all aspects of the curriculum, with modifications made to the curriculum if appropriate 
  • To endeavour to improve the literacy and numeracy skills of students with specific learning difficulties 
  • To develop differentiation in all lessons to improve the educational opportunities of all students, regardless of ability 
  • To endeavour 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 endeavour to increase the confidence of students with SEND, encouraging them to be involved in their own provision and decision making process
  • 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. 

Legislation and guidance 

This policy and information report is based on the statutory Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice and the following legislation:

  • Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014, which sets out schools’ responsibilities for pupils with SEN and disabilities
  • The Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014, which set out schools’ responsibilities for education, health and care (EHC) plans, SEN co-ordinators (SENCOs) and the SEN information report

Roles and responsibilities

The Executive SENDCO

The Executive SENDCO is Pamela MacDonald-Brown. She works across three academies in the Inspiration Trust.  She will:

  • Ensure that all statutory requirements highlighted in legislation are met and be the strategic lead for SEND development. 
  • Liaise closely with the Vice Principal. 
  • Line manage the Assistant SENDCO.

The Assistant SENDCO

The Assistant SENDCO is Heather Jolly. She will: 

  • Work with the Executive SENDCO and SEN governor to determine the strategic development of the SEN policy and provision in the school
  • Have day-to-day responsibility for the operation of this SEN policy and the co-ordination of specific provision made to support individual students with SEN, including those who have EHC plans
  • Provide professional guidance to colleagues and work with staff, parents, and other agencies to ensure that students with SEN receive appropriate support and high quality teaching
  • Advise on the graduated approach to providing SEN support
  • Advise on the deployment of the academy’s delegated budget and other resources to meet students’ needs effectively
  • Be the point of contact for external agencies and make appropriate referrals to ensure students’ needs are met.
  • Liaise with feeder schools to ensure students’ transition from KS2 is smooth and support is in place
  • Liaise with potential next providers of education to ensure students and their parents are informed about options and a smooth transition is planned
  • Work with the Executive SENDCO and governing body to ensure that the school meets its responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010 with regard to reasonable adjustments and access arrangements
  • Assess students for exam access arrangements
  • Monitor the progress of students with SEND using the evidence that comes from half-termly data collections
  • Ensure the school keeps the records of all pupils with SEND up to date 

The SEND Governor

Our SEND Governor is David Daynes. He will:

  • Help to raise awareness of SEND issues at governing body meetings
  • Monitor the quality and effectiveness of SEN and disability provision within the academy and update the governing body on this
  • Work with the Principal  and Executive SENDCO to determine the strategic development of the SEN policy and provision in the academy

The Principal

Our Principal is Gareth Stevens. He will:

  • Work with the Executive SENDCO and SEND governor to determine the strategic development of the SEND policy and provision in the academy
  • Have overall responsibility for the provision and progress of learners with SEN and or a disability

The Teaching Staff

They will: 

  • Demonstrate Quality first teaching to all students regardless of need.
  • Be familiar with all students' individual needs and differentiate work accordingly 
  • Devise strategies and identify appropriate methods of access to the curriculum. 
  • Work with the Assistant SENDCO to review each student’s progress and discuss and decide on changes to provision 
  • Ensure they follow this policy

The Support Staff

They will: 

  • Take responsibility for supporting named students with identified special needs and/or EHCPs
  • Support students in class and or withdraw students in order to meet their Academy targets 
  • Supervise and support students in Homework club
  • Attend and support Enrichment activities with students
  • Monitor the progress of the students with whom they work throughout the academic year
  • Liaise with the Assistant SENDCO
  • Be active in seeking further training provided by the Academy 
  • Contribute to the Annual EHCP meetings
  • Support with First Aid, when necessary

SEND Information 

The kinds of SEND that are provided for

Our school currently provides additional and/or different provision for a range of needs, including:

  • Communication and interaction, for example, autistic spectrum disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome, speech and language difficulties
  • Cognition and learning, for example, dyslexia, dyspraxia,
  • Social, emotional and mental health difficulties, for example, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder Sensory and/or physical needs, for example, visual impairments, hearing impairments, processing difficulties, epilepsy 
  • Moderate learning difficulties


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 EHCP of SEND made in accordance with section 324 of the Education Act 1996, the Academy will consent to being named, except where admitting the student would be incompatible with the provision of efficient education for other students; 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 an EHCP, 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 student may have to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST), be final. 

If a parent or guardian of a student in respect of whom an EHCP is maintained by the Local 
Education Authority appeals to SENDIST either against the naming of the Academy in the students’ SEND EHCP 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 student’s statement of SEND, or the Secretary of State or SENDIST have determined that it should be named, the Academy shall admit the student notwithstanding any provision of Annex 2 of this agreement. 


We will assess each student’s current skills and levels of attainment on entry, which will build on previous settings and Key Stages, where appropriate. Class teachers will make regular assessments of progress for all students and identify those whose progress:

  • Is significantly slower than that of their peers starting from the same baseline
  • Fails to match or better the child’s previous rate of progress
  • Fails to close the attainment gap between the child and their peers
  • Widens the attainment gap

This may include progress in areas other than attainment, for example, social needs.
Slow progress and low attainment will not automatically mean a student is recorded as having SEN.
When deciding whether special educational provision is required, we will start with the desired outcomes, including the expected progress and attainment, and the views and the wishes of the student and their parents. We will use this to determine the support that is needed and whether we can provide it by adapting our core offer, or whether something different or additional is needed.

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

  • Information from parents 
  • EHCPs of SEND and other records of SEND and provision from children’s previous Schools and or  primary Schools 
  • Standardised Test scores 
  • Key stage SATS data  
  • Information from teaching staff relating to very weak literacy and numeracy skills 
  • Previous teaching records 
  • Current teaching records 
  • Staff discussions with the SENDCo 
  • Specialist expertise 

Consulting and involving students and parents

We will have an early discussion with the student and their parents when identifying whether they need special educational provision. These conversations will make sure that:

  • Everyone develops a good understanding of the pupil’s areas of strength and difficulty
  • We take into account the parents’ concerns
  • Everyone understands the agreed outcomes sought for the student
  • Everyone is clear on what the next steps are

Notes of these early discussions will be added to the students record and given to their parents.
We will formally notify parents when it is decided that a student will receive SEN support.


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 pupils with SEND. They must seek the advice of the Assistant 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 students.  

The Executive SENDCO is responsible, in consultation with the Assistant SENDCO ( Access arrangements assessor ) and examinations officer, for seeking special consideration for students with SEND during public examinations. 


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: 

  • Support to staff
  • In class support by Learning Support Assistants 
  • Withdrawal for extra reading, maths or other areas for improvement 
  • Diagnostic testing and regular progress testing  
  • Work with students with emotional, social and mental health issues 
  • Working with subject staff to produce differentiated materials 
  • The issue of specialist equipment 
  • The preparation and chairing of EHCP reviews 
  • Coordinating contact with, and referral to external agencies


The Executive SENDCO and Assistant SENDCO meet regularly to discuss the progress of named students.

The SEND list is updated regularly and made available to all staff members electronically.  The EHCPs for each student are reviewed annually.

“Student passports” provide information for staff about how students learn. Those students with high needs carry them to give to staff.

External Support 

The Academy employs a Care and Guidance Manager and a Safeguarding Officer to support students further. The Academy also commissions the services of an  Educational psychologist and other specialist support. Contact is made with other Norfolk County Council departments as appropriate.  We also work with the following services provided centrally by the Local Education Authority and the Health Authority:

  • Speech and language therapy services 
  • Sensory support team 
  • ADHD support unit 
  • Physiotherapy 
  • Occupational Therapy 
  • Point 1
  • CAMHS 
  • Travelling Children Services 
  • Early Help Hub
  • Access through Technology
  • Medical needs team
  • Alternative provision eg St Edmunds Training Centre

Facilities and Physical Access 

Our buildings are 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 

Monitoring, evaluation and review

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

  • Progress and attainment of students
  • Number of exclusions 
  • SEND student attendance 
  • Learning walks
  • Work scrutinies
  • Feedback from teachers, support staff, parents and students 
  • Using provision maps to measure progress
  • Evidence of impact of SEND training for SEND staff 

Enabling students with SEND to engage in activities available to those in the school who do not have SEN

  • All of our extra-curricular activities and school visits are available to all our students, including our before and after-school activities.
  • All students are encouraged to go on our residential trips.
  • All students are encouraged to take part in sports day,school productions, special workshops, etc. No student is ever excluded from taking part in these activities because of their SEN or disability.

Transition Arrangements 

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

We offer additional transition sessions to those students in year 6 who may be more vulnerable or less confident.

We will share information with the school, college, or other setting the student  is moving to. We will agree with parents and students which information will be shared as part of this.

Complaints Procedure 

Complaints about SEND provision in our school should be made to the Assistant SENDCO in the first instance. Those complaining will then be referred to the school’s complaints policy.
The parents of students with disabilities have the right to make disability discrimination claims to the first-tier SEND tribunal if they believe that our academy has discriminated against their children. They can make a claim about alleged discrimination regarding:

  • Exclusions
  • Provision of education and associated services
  • Making reasonable adjustments, including the provision of auxiliary aids and services

The local authority local offer

We publish our SEND report on our website where there is a link to Norfolk’s local offer.