5. SEN information report

5.1 The kinds of SEN that are provided for

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

  • Communication and interaction, for example, autistic spectrum disorder, speech and language difficulties
  • Cognition and learning, for example, dyslexia, dyspraxia
  • Social, emotional and mental health difficulties, for example, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Sensory and/or physical needs, for example, visual impairments, hearing impairments, processing difficulties, epilepsy
  • Moderate/severe/profound and multiple learning difficulties

5.2 Identifying students with SEN and assessing their needs

We will assess each student’s skills and progress through regular assessment for learning and scheduled data capture windows through the academic year, 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.

Where a teacher identifies any of the above, a student support referral form is completed outlining which high quality teaching strategies have been utilised prior to the referral and outlining what the concerns are.

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.

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

We will formally notify parents when it is decided that a student will receive SEN support and share with them a copy of their student passport. Parents will also be kept informed of our SEN offer through our half termly SEN newsletters and once termly events to which parents are invited to discuss their children’s needs and the support they are receiving.

5.4 Assessing and reviewing students’ progress towards outcomes

We will follow the graduated approach and the four-part cycle of assess, plan, do, review.

The class or subject teacher(s) will work with the SENCo and progress team to carry out a clear analysis of the student’s needs. This will draw on:

  • The teacher’s assessment and experience of the student
  • Their previous progress and attainment or behaviour
  • Other teachers’ assessments, where relevant
  • The individual’s development in comparison to their peers and national data
  • The views and experience of parents
  • The student’s own views
  • Advice from external support services, if relevant

The assessment will be reviewed regularly.

All teachers and support staff who work with the student will be made aware of their needs, the outcomes sought, the support provided, and any teaching strategies or approaches that are required through the use of student passports and direct communication. We will regularly review the effectiveness of the support and interventions and their impact on the student’s progress.

5.5 Supporting students moving between phases and preparing for adulthood

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.

Where available, students will be released to complete induction days in their new setting.

Additional careers education, information, advice and guidance is provided for our students with SEN including support in seeking work experience, where appropriate.

For students moving to the academy in Year 7, additional transition is offered for the students and their families including visits to their primary school, discussions with their teachers and additional visits to the academy with opportunities to meet key staff.

5.6 Our approach to teaching students with SEN

We have an ambitious curriculum which aims to secure the best life chances for all of our students.

Teachers are responsible and accountable for the progress and development of all the students in their class.

High-quality teaching is our first step in responding to students who have SEN. This will be scaffolded for individual students.

We will also provide the following interventions:

  • Literacy interventions including Lexia, Lexonik Leap, Nessy, Lexonik Advance
  • Numeracy interventions including maths booster and maths whizz
  • Mental health interventions such as mentoring, counselling, drawing talking therapy and self-help workshops
  • Social interventions including circle of friends and Lego therapy

5.7 Adaptations to the curriculum and learning environment

We make the following adaptations to ensure all students’ needs are met:

  • Scaffolding our curriculum to ensure all students are able to access it, for example, by grouping, 1:1 work, additional support resources, content of the lesson, etc.
  • Adapting our resources and staffing
  • Using recommended aids, such as laptops, coloured overlays, visual timetables, larger font, etc.
  • Scaffolding our teaching, for example, giving longer processing times, pre-teaching of key vocabulary, reading instructions aloud, chunking content etc.

5.8 Additional support for learning

We have five student support officers and a teaching assistant apprentice who are trained to deliver interventions such as those identified in 5.6.

Student support officers / Teaching assistant apprentices will support students on a 1:1 basis when specified in their education, health and care plan

Student support officers / Teaching assistant apprentices will support students in small groups when they are completing planned interventions or require additional support in their lessons

We work with the following agencies to provide support for students with SEN:

  • Autism Inclusion Team
  • Educational Psychologist
  • Family Support Team
  • SALT
  • Education Welfare Office

5.9 Expertise and training of staff

Our SENCo is Leanne Sinclair and she has been in role since April 2022 and is working towards completing the NASENCo with Birmingham University. To contact our SENCo with any enquiries please email lsinclair@suacademy.co.uk.

We have a lead student support officer, five student support officers and a teaching assistant apprentice who are trained to deliver SEN provision.

We have one member of staff who is currently undergoing training to become an access arrangement assessor.

In the last academic year, staff have been trained in school counselling, drawing talking therapy, Lego therapy and a range of literacy interventions.

We use specialist staff for counselling through MIND.

5.10 Securing equipment and facilities

The equipment and facilities required is driven by the individual needs of our students. Through the academy budget, we provide a wide range of equipment to support children with SEN including, but not limited to:

  • Laptops to support with written work
  • Adapted chairs
  • A fully accessible site, including a lift, disabled toilet facilities and hand rails
  • A wide range of manipulatives to support children with their learning needs, as well as mental health and behavioural needs

5.11 Evaluating the effectiveness of SEN provision

We evaluate the effectiveness of provision for students with SEN by:

  • Reviewing students’ individual progress towards their goals each term
  • Reviewing the impact of interventions after a completed cycle (normally 6 weeks)
  • Using student voice questionnaires
  • Monitoring by the SENCo and other members of the senior leadership team
  • Using provision maps to measure progress
  • Holding annual reviews for students with EHC plans

5.12 Enabling students with SEN 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 clubs.

All students are encouraged to go on our residential trip(s) to Paris/Madrid.

All students are encouraged to take part in sports day/academy shows

No student is ever excluded from taking part in these activities because of their SEN or disability.

All students are given the opportunity to run for election to be part of the academy council

All student panels include a group of students representative of the academy population, including those with SEN

Students with disabilities are offered additional transition before joining the academy including a tour of the building out of academy hours to outline how they can access different areas. Where required, students are issued with a lift pass.

All areas of the academy building are accessible for students with disabilities, as outlined in our accessibility plan which can be found here.

5.13 Support for improving emotional and social development

We provide support for students to improve their emotional and social development in the following ways:

  • Students with SEN are encouraged to be part of the academy council or be form representatives
  • Students with SEN are also encouraged to attend the progress team break/lunch club to promote teamwork/building friendships
  • Pastoral workers work closely with the progress team and meet weekly with them to discuss individual students, their needs and how they are best supported

We have a zero-tolerance approach to bullying.

5.14 Working with other agencies

We work extensively with other agencies to ensure our students receive the support they need. Our staff will make relevant referrals to agencies such as family support, the early help team, the local policing team, CAMHS, the school nurse and social services.

Families are always welcome to speak to us regarding the support they may require and our colleagues will be able to signpost that help.

5.15 Complaints about SEN provision

Complaints about SEN provision in our school should be made to the SENCo in the first instance. They will then be referred to the academy’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:

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

5.16 Contact details of support services for parents of students with SEN

Families of children with SEN can seek support, advice and guidance through the academy, or by contacting SENDIASS who provide free, impartial, confidential advice and support around Education, Health and Social Care, information on which can be found here https://www.staffs-iass.org/home.aspx

5.17 Contact details for raising concerns

Parents who have concerns regarding their children, or the provision for them, should in the first instance contact their form tutor. Alternatively, the following members of the wider leadership team can also be contacted:

Cassie Knight – Head of Key Stage 3 cknight@suacademy.co.uk

Sarah Randle – Head of Key Stage 4 srandle@suacademy.co.uk

The academy can also be contacted through info@suacademy.co.uk and their query will be forwarded to the appropriate person or team.

5.18 The local authority local offer

Our local authority’s local offer is published here: https://www.staffordshireconnects.info/kb5/staffordshire/directory/home.page