How we identify SEND
At different times in their school career, a child or young person may have a special educational need. The Code of Practice defines SEND as:
“A child or young person has SEND if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them. A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if they:
(a) have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age:
(b) have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.”
The academy therefore makes provision for students with needs that include those in:
- Communication and interaction
- Cognition and learning
- Social, mental and emotional health
If a learner is identified as having SEND, we will provide provision that is ‘additional to or different from’ the normal differentiated curriculum, intended to overcome the barrier to their learning.
Learners can fall behind in school for lots of reasons. They may have been absent from the academy, they may have attended lots of different schools and not had a consistent opportunity to learn. They may not speak English very well, or at all; they may be worried about different things that distracts them from learning. At Staffordshire University Academy we are committed to ensuring that all learners have access to learning opportunities, and for those who are at risk of not learning, we will intervene. This does not mean that all vulnerable learners have SEND. Only those with a learning difficulty that requires special educational provision will be identified as having SEND.
Our SEND profile for 2018-19 shows that we had:
15% of children identified as having SEND and 2% of students have an Education Health and Care Plan.
How SEND is assessed at Staffordshire University Academy
Teachers, support staff, parents/carers and the student themselves will be the first to notice a difficulty with learning. At Staffordshire University Academy we ensure that any assessment of educational needs directly involves the student, their parents/carer and teaching staff. The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENDCo), or Lead Student Support Officer, will also support with the identification of barriers to learning. If concerns are raised with the Progress Centre regarding a student, either by teacher, parent or student, we will discuss these concerns and may ask further questions to help us decide the best way to assist. If a student is attaining at a low level, they may simply require additional support or intervention and this can be discussed with teaching staff.
For some learners we may want to seek advice from specialist teams. In our academy we have access to various specialist services. We have access to services universally provided by Staffordshire County Council, which are described on the Local Offer website available here.
Staffordshire University Academy have commissioned additional support for the most complex cases and access to these services are discussed with students, parents/carers and the Senior Leadership Team.
The Progess Centre is led by the SENDCo who is a qualified teacher and is currently studying the NASEND Award at University of Birmingham. The academy also employs six Student Support Officers (SSO) who deliver the interventions in the provision map as co-ordinated by SENDCo and Lead SSO. In order to meet the needs of the pupils at the academy staff within the Progress Centre are exposed to specific CPD led internally or by external providers. This includes regular updates to SEND issues and specific training to lead focussed intervention programmes.
What we do to support learners with SEND at Staffordshire University Academy
Every teacher is required to adapt the curriculum to ensure access to learning for all children in their class. The Teacher Standards 2012 detail the expectations on all teachers, and we at Staffordshire University Academy are proud of our teachers and their development. The Teacher Standards are available here.
Our teachers will use a variety of strategies and make reasonable adjustments to increase access to the curriculum, this might include using:
- Visual timetables
- Writing frames
- Laptops or other alternative recording devices
- Peer buddy systems
- Positive behaviour rewards system
Each learner identified as having SEND, is entitled to support that is ‘additional to or different from’ a normal differentiated curriculum. The type of support is dependent on individual learning needs, and is intended to enable access to learning and overcome the barrier to learning identified. Interventions may also focus upon wellbeing e.g. improving residence or emotional wellbeing. This support is outlined on an intervention map, which although does not detail individual learner names, describes the interventions and actions that we undertake at Staffordshire University Academy to support learners with SEND across the year groups. We modify the intervention map regularly, and it changes every year, as our learners and their needs change. The intervention map for 2019-20 is available upon request.
Our provision map is shared with Local Academy Council who are able to ensure that we monitor the impact of these interventions on learning across the academy.
Funding for SEND
Staffordshire University Academy receives funding directly to the academy from the Local Authority to support the needs of learners with SEND. For specific reasons the school can apply to the Local Authority for additional funding through the Higher Needs Support Block.
How do we find out if this support is effective?
Monitoring progress is an integral part of teaching and leadership within Staffordshire University Academy. Parents/carers, students and staff are involved in reviewing the impact of interventions for learners with SEND. We follow the ‘assess, plan, do, review’ model and ensure that parents/carers and students are involved in key decisions. Before any additional provision is selected to help a child, the SENDCo, teacher, parent/carer and learner, agree what they expect to be different following this intervention. A baseline will also be recorded, which can be used to compare the impact of the provision.
Children, parents/carers and their teaching and support staff will be directly involved in reviewing progress. This review can be built in to the intervention itself, or it can be a meeting held at least once a term, where we all discuss progress and next steps. If a learner has an Education Health and Care Plan (EHC plan,) the same termly review conversations take place, but the EHC plan will also be formally reviewed annually.
The SENDCo collates the impact data of interventions, to ensure that we are only using interventions that work. Intervention progress data is shared with student, parents/carers and teaching staff. Data is also monitored by the Local Academy Council, the Local Authority and Ofsted.
Other opportunities for learning
All learners should have the same opportunity to access extra curricular activities. Staffordshire University Academy offers a range of additional clubs and activities available on our website.
We are committed to making reasonable adjustments to ensure participation for all, so please contact our PE department to discuss specific requirements.
All staff at Staffordshire University Academy have regular training on the Equality Act 2010. This legislation places specific duties on schools, settings and providers including the duty not to discriminate, harass or victimise a child or adult linked to a protected characteristic defined in the Equality Act and to make ‘reasonable adjustments.’
The Equality Act 2010 definition of disability is:
“A person has a disability for the purposes of this Act if (s) he has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his ability to carry out normal day-to day activities.”
Section 1(1) Disability Discrimination Act 1995
This definition of disability in the Equality Act includes children with long term health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, and cancer. Children and young people with such conditions do not necessarily have SEND, but there is a significant overlap between disabled children and young people and those with SEND. Children and young people may therefore be covered by both SEND and disability legislation.
For more information about the Equality Act, the protected characteristics or duties on public bodies, please click here.
Preparing for the next step
Transition is a part of life for all learners. This can be transition to a new class in school, having a new teacher, or moving on to another school, training provider or moving in to employment. Staffordshire University Academy is committed to working in partnership with children, families and other providers to ensure positive transitions occur.
Planning for transition is a part of our provision for all learners with SEND. Transition to Staffordshire University Academy from primary schools will begin to be discussed, for students with SEND, in the summer term of their Year 5 to ensure time for planning and preparation. At the end of Year 9 the academy offers pupils with SEND a supported options process to help them with transition into KS4.
How can you support your child?
The following details and apps are available on the Staffordshire University Academy website to help you support your child:
- Details of other agencies
- Class Charts
- School Comms
You can also check your child’s planner for additional resources and communications from staff.
Who can I contact for further information or if I have any concerns?
If you wish to discuss your child’s educational needs or are unhappy about something regarding your child’s schooling please contact one of the following:
- Your child’s Form Tutor
- Your child’s Head of Year
Have your say
Staffordshire University Academy is a community where we can shape and develop provision for all of our learners ensuring achievement for all. This SEND report declares our annual offer to learners with SEND, but to be effective it needs the views of all parents/carers, learners, Governors and staff. So please engage with our annual process to ‘assess plan, do and review’ provision for SEND.
Making a Complaint
Staffordshire University Academy encourages parents/carers to contact the academy with any concerns/complaints regarding SEND. Your first point of contact would be:
Scott Williams (SENDCO) email@example.com
Telephone: 01543 224700
If you are not satisfied that your concern has been addressed then speak to the Principal and explain that you are not satisfied that your concern has not been addressed. You can also ask for the school governor’s representative.
If your concern is with the local authority then the SENDCo can advise on how to go about sharing your concerns with the relevant personnel.
Staffordshire connects – here you can find the link to the local offer
For support groups in the local area
Contact – 01543 224700