Darwen Aldridge Community Academy is an original sponsored academy which on establishment was jointly funded by its sponsor (the Aldridge Foundation) and the Department for Education. The Academy’s annual revenue budget is funded in the same way as any school through national funding formula.
Darwen Aldridge Community Academy is a Centre of Excellence for entrepreneurial education. It is an inclusive 11-18 school that provides for the students and citizens of Darwen continuous opportunities and a high quality environment for lifelong learning. The Academy opened in September 2008, housed in the buildings of the predecessor school, and started a new Sixth Form at the same time. It moved into new buildings close to the centre of Darwen in September 2010 and opened the adjacent Personalised Learning Centre in January 2011. Students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities make the same progress as their peers.
What is the Local Authority Local Offer?
The Children and Families Bill become enacted in 2014. From this date, Local Authorities and schools are required to publish, and keep under review, information about services they expect to be available for the children and young people with Special Educational Needs (SEN) aged 0-25. This is the ‘Local Offer’.
The intention of the Local Offer is to improve choice and transparency for families. It will also be an important resource for parents in understanding the range of services and provision in the local area.
The Blackburn with Darwen Local Offer can be accessed at:
What is the SEND Information Report?
The SEND Information Report uses the LA Local Offer to meet the needs of pupils with SEND as determined by school policy, and the provision that the school is able to meet.
Name: Brendan Loughran – Executive Principal / Jade Tumelty – Director of Learning Support (SENCO)
Phone: 01254 819500
Email: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
What kinds of Special Educational Needs are provided for and what support is available?
Darwen Aldridge Community Academy caters for a wide range of Special Educational Needs. These include:
Communication and Interaction Needs: This may include speech and language and communication difficulties or students who have autistic spectrum disorder.
Cognition and Learning Needs: This may include students who work at a slower pace than their peers including those with a specific learning difficulty (e.g. dyslexia, dyspraxia or dyscalculia.)
Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties: Students may experience a wide range of social, emotional and mental health difficulties which can manifest themselves in different ways. This may include mental health difficulties, anxiety, depression, self-harm, attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or attachment disorders.
Physical or Sensory Needs: This includes students who have a physical, hearing or visual impairment.
The Academy follows the National Curriculum however there are a number of specialist provisions available for students who need additional support to access mainstream education. The Academy uses information from Primary Schools alongside our own baseline assessments carried out on entry to identify students with additional needs. Students may access support from a number of internal and external services. These include:
- Foundation Curriculum at Key Stage 3. Students who enter below Level 3 of the National Curriculum are placed in a small teaching group for English, Maths, Science and Humanities with full time, specialist support and specialist teaching. The curriculum is differentiated and tracked back to ensure progress in the acquisition of basic skills. In September 2014 there was two Year 7 Foundation Groups, one of which focused on the social and emotional aspects of learning.
- Personalised Learning Centre. This is an offsite provision for Key Stage 4 students offered for a variety of reasons, including personal or relationship issues. It may be offered to students who have had difficulties in relation to behaviour, social and emotional skills. The curriculum is personalised to meet the learning needs of each individual student through specialist teaching and support. Students can also access provision at a local Alternative Provision School, ‘The Heights’ which provides vocational courses at Key Stage 4.
- STEPS. This is a provision which provides targeted intervention for vulnerable students who may require support for a range of personal issues including anger management, healthy eating/living or social skills development.
- Counsellors. The Academy has two full time counsellors who offer support for students and their families.
- Student Services Team. This includes pastoral managers, attendance welfare officers and general support for students and their families on a daily basis.
- Learning Support Faculty. This includes specialist teachers, higher level teaching assistants and learning support assistants who work across the academy ensuring that identified students achieve appropriate outcomes in Key Stage 3, 4 and 5.
- Visual Impairment Team. This consists of two dedicated and specialist staff who work closely with the local authority and are trained to provide support and suitable differentiation for students with visual impairments.
- Literacy Intervention. The Learning Support Faculty works closely with the English Faculty to provide a number of interventions to ensure high levels of progress including Read, Write, Inc., Indirect Dyslexia Learning, Accelerated Reader, Toe by Toe, Catch Up reading and Dockside reading programme.
- Numeracy Intervention. The Learning Support Faculty works closely with the Maths Faculty to provide a number of interventions to ensure high levels of progress including Every Child Counts, Catch Up numeracy, Power of 2 and functional numeracy by specialist teachers.
- Speech and Language Intervention. The Academy works closely with the local authority to provide bespoke training and packages for individuals and small groups. This year included whole school training for all staff to improve outcomes for students with language difficulties.
- Autistic Spectrum Disorder Support. The Academy has a number of teaching and support staff specially trained to work with students on the autistic spectrum. Provision includes small group work to develop social language, work on the acquisition of life skills and delivery of training for mainstream staff.
- Behaviour Support. The Academy has a Quiet Room provision which is an alternative to fixed term exclusion. It also works on a partnership basis with other schools in the authority. There are a number of specialist staff who provide support and training, including students mentoring, anger management and mediation.
- Intervention Leader. The Academy has its own intervention leader who provides tailored withdrawal sessions including motor skills, Mastering Memory, handwriting and Talkabout.
As well as a wide range of internal provision, the Academy has links with a number of outside agencies including:
- Advisory Teachers for Hearing Impairment, Visual Impairment, Behavioural, Social and Emotional Needs, Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Speech and Language.
- Educational Psychology Service
- Specialist Providers such as: St Thomas’ Centre PRU, Crosshill and Newfield Special Schools and The Heights
- Engage for students at risk of sexual exploitation
- Youth Offending Team
- Lifeline which is a free and confidential advice service for young people relating to alcohol and drug abuse.
- Brook which is a sexual advice service for under 25s
- The Wish Centre which provides support and advice for people experiencing or witnessing domestic abuse.
- Family Wise
- East Lancashire Child and Adolescent Services (ELCAS)
- Health Care Professionals
- Social Care Professionals
This is not an exhaustive list as students are referred as a need arises.
The Academy is committed to providing accessibility for all stakeholders which evolves with the communities’ changing needs.
There is lift access to all areas and ramps are available to aid movement around the Academy. In the event of an evacuation staff are trained to support the buildings users to leave safely. To ensure the Academy users have full access, we have used translators, sign language and braille for meetings to meet the needs of the community. Signs are printed in braille and there are high visibility strips on individual steps. The Blackburn with Darwen Visual Impairment mobility team were involved in ensuring that the Academy is accessible for students and other users with a visual impairment.
There are now fully accessible disabled toilets with hoist, changing bed and shower facilities.
What are the admissions arrangements for students with SEND?
Darwen Aldridge Community Academy will apply the published admission arrangements regardless of SEND (these can be found on http://www.daca.uk.com/policies). The Academy aims to provide a full education for all pupils regardless of ability or SEND status and therefore a student’s SEND status will not prevent a place being offered to a child. Under the School Admissions Code the school is required to admit all children whose statement of special educational needs (SEN) or Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC) names the Academy. The Academy is also fully accessible to students with physical disabilities.
Once students have received their place, the SENCo will visit Primary Schools to obtain all information about the student, introduce themselves to the student, provide contact details to parents and ensure that appropriate provisions are in place prior to their start. For some students additional transition visits will be arranged based on need working on a specially designed transition programme. Additionally the SENCo will attend year 6 annual reviews for students with an IPRA, Statement or EHCP.
What are the policies for identifying children and young people with SEN and assessing their needs?
The SEN policy for the Academy can be found on the school website which includes full information regarding identifying students with SEN and how their needs are assessed.
Identifying Special Educational Needs
In identifying children who may have special educational needs the Academy draws upon a range of assessment tools including:
- Baseline assessments on entry to the Academy
- Their performance monitored by the teacher as part of ongoing observation and assessment
- Standardised screening or assessment tools
- Assessment from outside agencies.
This is not an exhaustive list as identification and assessments are linked to the needs and requirements of the individual pupil. Both the child and their parents are fully involved in the identification and assessment process.
The Academy also carefully considers areas of need which are not categorised as SEND but may impact on progress and attainment including disability, attendance and punctuality, health and welfare, English as an additional language, being in receipt of pupil premium or being a looked after child. The Academy strives to ensure that the first teaching of the highest quality is applied in all of these circumstances where all pupils have access to an outstanding, personalised education which is differentiated to their needs and requirements in order that there is no gap between these students and their peers. The Academy also adopts the ‘reasonable adjustment’ duty under current disability and equality legislation as outlined in the Code of Practice 2014.
In accordance with the Code of Practice 2014 the Academy will not identify behaviour as a Special Educational Need. Any concerns relating to a child or young person’s behaviour will be described as an underlying response to a need which we will be able to recognise and identify clearly, for instance a social or emotional difficulty.
A graduated approach to SEND
Darwen Aldridge Community Academy adopts a graduated approach to SEND where a number of steps are taken before students are added to the SEND register and Inclusion booklet.
The levels of support a student receives as part of the graduated approach are as follows:
- High quality-first teaching.
- Students added at School Support, issued with a pupil passport and action plan. Support could include: LSA in-class support; withdrawal sessions or specific interventions. This is not an exhaustive list as support is decided on an individual basis.
- Students receive support from outside agencies and their suggestions are adopted and communicated to all staff and the parents/carers.
- A request could be made for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan) and support is received through high needs funding.
Managing pupils’ needs on the SEND register
Where students are added to the SEND register they will be added at SEND Support level. The Academy provides two levels of intervention within this single category – Level 1 and Level 2. In the majority of circumstances the pupil will join the SEND register at Level 1 unless the assessment concludes that more specialist provision from outside agencies is required. If a pupil’s need requires more support than is available at these two levels then a request for an Education, Health and Care Plan can be made. The support pupils can access at each level is personalised to the individual needs of the child and could include but is not limited to:
- Pupil added to the SEND register and Inclusion Booklet.
- Pupil Passport and Action Plan written.
- LSA support in lessons.
- LSA withdrawal sessions.
- Equipment related to need provided – e.g. coloured overlays, laptops, handwriting pens etc.
- Intervention sessions – e.g. literacy catch up, numeracy catch up, Mastering memory etc.
- Termly review meetings with parents/carers and pupil.
- Access to all support at Level 1.
- Access to an alternative curriculum - e.g. Foundation Group, Personalised Learning Cohort.
- Referrals to and support from outside agencies.
- More regular meetings with parents/carers and pupil on a needs basis.
Where both these levels do not provide appropriate support then pupils may referred and after assessment, be allocated with an Education, Health and Care Plan as outlined in the previous section.
To manage the graduated approach of support, the system the Academy uses for assessing, planning, delivering and reviewing provision is Pupil Passports and Action Plans. Each student on the SEND register (regardless of the stage) has a plan written which is a living record setting out exactly what needs have been identified from assessments, how to remove key barriers to learning and clear outcomes to be achieved within an agreed timeframe. The plan is pupil centred and is written in collaboration with the parent/carer in addition. Each pupil is assigned an LSA who is responsible for maintaining and updating the plan as well as leading review meetings with the parent/carer and pupil. There is a core expectation that the LSA has responsibility for evidencing progress according to the outcomes described in the plan. LSAs are accountable to the SENCO and all plans should also be agreed by the SENCO before they are put into practice.
The Academy also adopts the use of provision mapping as an overview of the support pupils are accessing, how funding has been allocated and how successful the support has been. Again this is a living record and is maintained and updated by the Co-ordinator of Learning Support post holder (s) who is/are also accountable to the SENCO.
This plan is reviewed termly where parents/carers are invited in to the Academy to discuss progress made. This provides the basis for the meeting and allows both the pupil and the parents/carers to air concerns and provide suggestions for future outcomes and support. Where it is highlighted that the pupil is underachieving or needs to access a higher level of support before the review date, additional meetings can be arranged to adapt the plan and do not have to wait until the review date set.
The level of provision outlined in the plan is decided after assessments have taken place. Provision is linked to areas of need and outcomes we aim to achieve. Parents/carers and the pupil are fully involved in these discussions.
Where the Academy cannot meet the needs of the pupil through its own provision arrangements (level 1) we will engage additional support and specialist services. This is identified through the Academy’s provision mapping which shows the levels of support pupils are accessing and the progress pupils have made. Further assessments may be necessary to identify which specialist service is required and then the local authority referral paperwork is completed where pupils have not made progress at level 1. This continues to be monitored and costed through the provision map and is overseen by the finance manager. It is the Academy’s aim that parents/carers and pupils are fully involved in all stages of this referral process.
Where the Academy identifies that additional funding and support is needed from the local authority high needs block due to insufficient progress at Level 2, a review meeting will be arranged with parents/carers, the pupil and all relevant outside agencies to inform and advise on initiating statutory assessment. The Academy, in consultation with all relevant parties will then request and Education, Health and Care Plan assessment to be undertaken.
Where pupils are identified as no longer needing to be on the SEND register, a meeting is initially called with parents/carers and the pupil where concerns can be aired and solutions provided. It is the Academy’s aim that the SENCO will then provide strategies to all staff regarding differentiation for them in lesson to ease this transition. The LSA who was responsible for the pupil should arrange a review date to monitor the pupil’s progress in the initial stages.
What are the arrangements for consulting parents of children with SEN and involving them in their child’s education?
The Academy’s whole school approach to consulting parents involves termly progress updates and an annual written report. Parents are also invited in for formal parent’s evenings and informal discussions throughout the Academy year.
Additionally the Learning Support faculty reviews progress termly through the use of provision mapping, pupil passports and intervention action plans. Parents are invited in as part of the review process to discuss progress and set future targets. For some students, more regular, informal updates have been the key to successful communication. This can be done by telephone or email. Parents are immediately informed if their child is to be added to the SEN register or if there are any changes in their child’s needs e.g. underachievement.
Students with IPRAs, Statements or Education, Health and Care Plans have a statutory annual review led by the school where all stakeholders are invited to discuss progress and identify future provision needs. From September 2014 the Academy will be adopting person centred planning within the annual review meetings.
To further involve parents in their child’s education the Academy has a Virtual Learning Environment named ‘ilearn’ which provides details of the curriculum, homework tasks and advice for students and parents/carers in preparation for assessments. Information to parents from individual subject areas will be provided through annual reports and parent’s evenings. Each child has the opportunity to read daily in school and parents are encouraged to support reading activities at home.
The Learning Support faculty provides suitable activities that students can take home and work on with the support of parents/carers. For further advice and support parents/carers can contact Jade Tumelty for individual strategies which will also be discussed in review meetings.
What are the arrangements for consulting young people with SEN and involving them in their education?
Students at the Academy are fully involved in all aspects of their education. Before 2014 students set their own targets and outcomes through their Individual Education Plan alongside their designated Learning Support Assistant. From September 2014, Individual Education Plans were replaced by Pupil Passports which were written by students including information about their needs, goals for the future and the help they feel they need. In addition students were be aided to write their own action plans which were outcomes focussed and include information as to how these outcomes will be achieved. Students are be invited to the review process with parents to review the progress they have made and set future targets.
Students who have IPRAs, Statements or Education, Health and Care Plans have an annual review to look at progress. Students are invited to this process and are encouraged to put forward their views on their education. From September 2014, the Academy adopted Pupil Centred Reviews which enables the child to have a greater involvement in their education.
What are the arrangements for assessing and reviewing children and young people’s progress towards outcomes, including the opportunities available to work with parents and young people as part of this assessment and review?
There are a number of stages in identifying and assessing students with additional needs. Primary visits are carried out throughout Year 5 and 6 to support transition and pass on information. Potential parents are invited to the Academy’s open evening in September each year where they have a chance to discuss their child’s needs with key staff in the Learning Support Faculty. Once at the Academy, a series of baseline assessments are carried out (reading test, CAT test, and individual faculty assessments) to identify any students that may need additional help in a particular area.
Referrals from staff and parents are welcomed at any time and the faculty uses a number of assessment tools to identify any areas of weakness which is addressed by intervention after being discussed with the students and parents/carers. Underachievement is identified by whole school tracking and the SENCO is involved in discussions with pastoral leaders to identify individual students and support.
Students are set targets on a termly basis and these are reviewed at the end of each term with parents and the young person. Students are re-assessed at the end of each term to look at progress towards outcomes as well as identify future needs they may have.
What are the arrangements for supporting children and young people in moving between phases of education and in preparing for adulthood?
There is a dedicated Pastoral Manager for Year 6/7 transition. The Learning Support faculty work closely with the pastoral team to ensure that all information about new students is passed on and vulnerable students are identified. The SENCO attends Year 5 and 6 reviews of potential students so can therefore meet parents and the students. Parents and students are invited to the Academy open evening early in September where the Learning Support faculty are available to discuss individual concerns.
A number of teaching staff deliver sessions in feeder primary schools, these include: Maths, PE, English and Modern Foreign Languages. All students who are attending the Academy attend for three transition days in July. Additional visits are arranged for students who may find the transition difficult. These visits are bespoke for the individual student’s needs. A number of Learning Support Assistants work with identified students within the primary setting in the Summer term.
There are 6 Pastoral Managers, 4 of whom stay with their year group from Year 8 onwards and one dedicated to the Sixth Form. They ensure that transition stages run smoothly and the consistency enables positive relationships with students and their families. Where possible, Learning Support Assistants will move up the school with identified students as they know the students’ needs and are able to communicate these to new teaching staff. There are close links between Pastoral Managers and the Learning Support faculty to ensure a holistic approach to support.
Parents are invited to attend the Academy’s options evenings for both the transition to Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5. Connexions are fully involved in planning for each individual student’s future and they attend statutory reviews from Year 8 onwards. Students agreed outcomes in their passports and action plans reflect their future ambitions including higher education, preparation for working life, independent living and participation in society. For students that do not access the Academy’s sixth form transition information is passed on to the relevant provider and taster sessions/visits are arranged.
In Key Stage 5 there is a dedicated support worker who offers both educational and emotional support for students post 16. They, the pastoral team and the SENCO liaise closely with secondary SENCOs during the transition to the sixth form to ensure that the needs of the student are met.
Students are given advice and support throughout Key Stage 5 to enable them to make suitable choices for further education. The pastoral team and the learning support team work closely together to ensure that students’ needs are communicated to the relevant educational providers.
What is the approach to teaching children and young people with SEN?
All teaching staff receive advice and guidance both on general strategies to support a child’s learning (e.g. dyslexia friendly classroom) and specific strategies for individual students. Quality first teaching ensures that classroom practice reflects the needs of the children. This is monitored regularly via observation, work scrutiny, learning walks and pupil tracking.
Learning Support Assistants work closely with teaching staff to plan and adapt learning activities for the needs of the different students.
In the classroom teachers provide programmes of work that are matched to each student’s ability. If, despite these inclusive strategies, the student is experiencing significantly greater difficulty in accessing the National Curriculum than their peers, increased levels of support will be provided. At the Academy we provide a graduated response that includes a range of strategies along the continuum of SEND.
How are adaptations made to the curriculum and the learning environment of children and young people with SEN?
Students in the Academy follow the National Curriculum. Some of the main differences noticed by the students are in how the curriculum is structured, the regular assessment and emphasis on themes of entrepreneurship. The Academy curriculum provides entrepreneurship both as a discrete subject and as a theme underpinning every area of the curriculum. In addition to the main specialism of entrepreneurship and the second specialism of sport, the following are strong themes in the structure and delivery of the curriculum:
- Numeracy and financial awareness (in particular through ICT and Mathematics)
- Literacy, communication and international themes (in particular through English and modern languages)
- Creativity (in particular through Creative Arts and the Humanities)
- Discovery, Research and Development (in particular through Technology and Science)
Students who struggle to access mainstream curriculum pathways are supported in a number of different ways. The first stage of differentiation is quality first teaching. All staff are provided with information and guidance on teaching and supporting each individual child and their differing needs via the inclusion booklet. If a child is still struggling to make progress the Learning Support department will provide training or additional resources for members of staff.
Stage two involves specific targeted intervention and support for individual students and/or groups of students. This may involve the use of specialist equipment, in class support or withdrawal intervention.
Stage 3 may involve an alternative curriculum such as Foundation Groups in Key Stage 3 or Personalised Learning Centre in Key Stage 4. Any changes to a student’s curriculum are discussed in full with the students and their parents/carers.
Further advice is sought where appropriate from outside agencies to ensure that the curriculum is appropriately adapted to meet the students’ needs.
The school environment is also fully accessible for students with disabilities as shown below:
- The academy is fully compliant with Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) requirements.
- The academy is has ramps and lift access to all floors and double door access on corridors.
- The academy has disabled toilets, disabled changing facilities and a wet room fitted with a hoist and height adjustable sink.
- The academy has a physiotherapy room complete with hoist and physiotherapy bed for students who require this in school.
- The academy has a sensory room for students who may need access to this or who have sensory difficulties.
- There is a specialist visual impairment team who differentiate resources, enlarging or braille where appropriate.
- All signs around the Academy are also in braille.
- Radio transmitters are worn by adults working with children who have hearing impairments to ensure
What expertise and training do staff have to support children and young people with SEN?
The Vice Principal who oversees Pastoral Care has previously been a SENCO and line manages the Learning Support Faculty. This ensures that Special Educational Needs provision is a priority for the Academy in all aspects of the curriculum and teaching and learning.
The Academy have a Director of Learning Support (SENCO) who is an English Specialist with a Master’s Degree in Teaching and Learning with a focus on Special Educational Needs. They have worked in the academy since its opening and have recently attended a number of courses relating to the current Special Educational Needs reforms. They keep up to date with legislation, policy and outstanding practice via the local authority, Academy SENCO network, Nasen and other training providers.
There are two Learning Support Co-Ordinators (Assistant SENCOs) who both have experience teaching in specialist provisions. One of these is an English specialist with a Masters degree. The other has worked as a Special Educational Needs Governor and delivered sports provision for students with Special Needs across Lancashire local authority. He also leads nationally on a project which involves students with additional needs becoming leaders within their chosen field.
The Academy has an intervention leader who has worked in both the primary and secondary sector. They oversee assessment, intervention and progress of targeted students. Her training is wide ranging across a broad spectrum of needs.
There are nine specialist HLTAs who teach and support across the curriculum. They have attended training in a specialist area to enable them to deliver lessons, interventions and provide support and training for staff. The specialisms include English, Maths, Science, Behavioural needs, Nurture, Life-long learning and Pastoral Support.
There are thirteen Level 3 Learning Support Assistants who each take a lead on a specific area and access both internal and external training to enable them to carry out this role. Specialist areas include Visual Impairment, Hearing Impairment, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Behaviour Management, sixth form, EAL and the Foundation Curriculum.
There are thirteen Level 2 Learning Support Assistants who provide support and differentiation for identified students. They work both within the Learning Support Faculty and mainstream classrooms. Training needs are identified for both individuals and the team as a whole.
There are six Pastoral Managers who provide daily support for students and their families. These are non-teaching staff who are available throughout the day.
All staff over the last three years have accessed training on differentiation, target setting for students with additional needs, behaviour intervention, Autistic Spectrum, improving memory skills, Read, Write Inc, provision for EAL learners, Speech and Language needs, dyslexia friendly classroom as well as improving literacy and numeracy across the whole curriculum. In addition to this all new staff receive a training programme including Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and specialist support workers offer training, support and guidance for faculty and individual improvement. All staff are regularly observed with a focus on outcomes for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.
How equipment and facilities to support children with special educational needs is secured.
Provision for students on the SEN Support register is managed by the SENCO based on statutory requirements of IPRAs, Statements or EHC Plans and through identification and monitoring of all students on the SEND register.
The Academy SEND budget is monitored via the provision map and general resources are procured through this budget. Additional, specialist resources, for example, radio aids for hearing impairments can be acquired through support from the Local Authority Inclusion Support Service or via NHS services where appropriate.
Where the student is in receipt of top up funding, a collective decision with parents/carers, the student and outside agencies can be made about what equipment or provision may be required and secured through this funding.
How is the effectiveness of the provision made for children and young people with SEN evaluated?
The Academy regularly evaluates the effectiveness of the provision made for the students through provision mapping, action plans and learning walks. Teachers and learning support assistants are observed on a termly basis with a focus on appropriate differentiation for SEN. Learning walks and work scrutiny are carried out more frequently to further evaluate the effectiveness of teaching and support.
Where additional provision is made the intervention leader monitors the progress made by the students on a lesson by lesson basis and on a termly basis to ensure that the provision is effective and matched to the child’s needs. Where students are not making progress, an alternative provision is decided along with parents and the child.
Students’ action plans and the provision map which highlights the support all children receive are updated termly (or more regularly if required) and shows where the provision has been successful and where it has not. If provision is not successful then again a more suitable provision is decided on.
How are children and young people with SEN enabled to engage in activities with children and young people in the school who do not have SEN?
Students with special needs and disabilities are fully included and encouraged to participate in all aspects of academy life. There is a full session 3 programme which can be found via this link: http://www.daca.uk.com/academy-events.
As part of the session 3 timetable the learning support faculty runs a homework club three days a week where students can access support for homework activities. One of the level 3 learning support assistants runs gym sessions after school which is open for all students.
There are frequent educational visits throughout the school year both within the UK and abroad. Many students with additional needs access these trips as part of their mainstream curriculum. Learning Support Assistants accompany students where appropriate to ensure that their needs are met. The Academy supports students that receive pupil premium and those with additional needs by funding the cost of trips. As part of the Foundation Curriculum the learning support faculty carry out a number of educational visits including an end of year visit to Blackpool Zoo.
Students with additional needs are fully involved in the student council (Young Chamber) working closely with the Academy leadership team to express views and implement changes within the Academy. The entrepreneurial specialism allows students to excel in their areas of strength which is celebrated alongside academic achievement.
Students with special educational needs have been involved in national and regional activities including boccia, STEM challenge, career academy and AfriDACA overseas visit to Uganda.
Students with additional needs have been fully involved with the interviewing of new staff and their views have been fully taken on board.
What steps have been taken to prevent students with SEND from being treated less favourably?
The table below outlines how we demonstrate ‘due regard’ to the general duty of the Equality Act 2010:
|Eliminate unlawful discrimination, |
Advance equality of opportunity
Foster good relations
Policies: SEN, Equality, Anti-bullying, Behaviour
Continuing Professional Development focusing on differentiation, reasonable adjustments, equality of access, teaching and learning to ensure progress for all and safeguarding.
Staff are reminded of reasonable adjustments required for all SEND students via the inclusion booklet, SEND register and SEND monthly bulletin
Regular liaison with governors which informs and updates on all areas of the school improvement plan.
Any incidents dealt with in accordance with the anti-bullying policy.
In‐ depth analysis of PEP data each term takes place at senior level in addition to individual teacher level.
Analysis is used to identify and issues with individual or group attainment.
Access Arrangements tested and applied for.
Auxiliary aids currently include: iPads, laptops, writing slopes, handwriting pens, coloured overlays, enlarging facilities, braille and any others as required.
PSHEE and SMSC topics are regularly adapted to reflect current and topical issues.
Lessons are regularly observed to
ensure accessibility and progress against Ofsted standards.
Pupil Passports are kept and updated regularly to ensure all staff are aware of relevant barriers to learning some students face and how they can support students with this.
Where required, the SENCo will coordinate external professional provision for individuals or groups.
Transition programme throughout each year with primary schools including summer school.
The entrepreneurial DAKAs are promoted in lessons (teamwork, determination etc.)
Enrichment opportunities provided for students at all stages including work experience.
PSHEE/SMSC schemes of work focus on tolerance and mutual respect.
Pupil Passports written with parents and student to ensure all are fully involved.
SEND parent forum event allows parents to see student’s progress and receive strategies and resources for use at home.
Each student on the register has a Lead LSA that they can talk to about any concerns they have.
What support is available for improving emotional and social development?
The Vice Principal oversees all aspects of pastoral care, child protection and support for students with additional needs. There are three assistant principals with specific responsibility for each key stage. Additionally there are teachers responsible for progress at each key stage who monitor progress and ensure positive outcomes.
Each year group has a pastoral manager who stays with that year group from Year 8 to Year 11. There is a designated transition/Year 7 pastoral manager and a designated sixth form pastoral manager. The pastoral managers are responsible for the students overall well-being and are available throughout the day for both students and their families. They take on responsibility to ensure students are safe, happy and can meet their full potential.
There are two full time counsellors based on site who are available for students and their families throughout the day. They are there to support students’ emotional needs as well as providing resolution for conflict.
STEPS is based within the learning support faculty and provides intervention for student’s emotional needs. Programmes include: social skills, anger management, life skills and self-esteem/self-worth workshops. Parents are fully involved in the planning process and encouraged to come in to celebrate their child’s success. Progress is reviewed at the start and at the end of each programme with the child, teacher and their parents.
A number of the teaching assistants have expertise and specific roles to support students with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties. This support includes: mentoring, withdrawal sessions to focus on social and emotional aspects of learning, in class support and support and advice for teaching staff.
One of our year 7 Foundation groups is specifically aimed at providing an appropriate curriculum for students who have both learning needs and social and emotional difficulties. Specialist teaching and support staff are allocated to the group. The support staff will also provide support in mainstream lessons to give consistency.
The Personalised Learning Centre is an offsite provision for Key Stage 4 students who may have had difficulties in relation to behaviour, social and emotional skills. The curriculum is personalised to meet the learning needs of each individual student through specialist teaching and support. Students can also access provision at ‘The Heights’ which provides vocational courses at Key Stage 4. Pastoral support is given by form tutors and a lead HLTA.
The Learning Support faculty has a base within the Academy where students can come if they need any support. There is always someone available throughout the day for the students or their parents/carers. The SENCO works with individual teachers to ensure they provide an appropriate curriculum to meet the students’ emotional and learning needs. Parents can contact the SENCO at any time for advice or support. The SENCO will also liaise with appropriate outside agencies to ensure the child receives the most appropriate provision.
How does the school and Governing body involve other bodies?
The Academy has links with a number of external agencies which include:
- Advisory Teachers for Hearing Impairment, Visual Impairment, Behavioural, Social and Emotional Needs, Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Speech and Language.
- Educational Psychology Service
- Specialist Providers such as: St Thomas’ Centre PRU, Crosshill and Newfield Specialist Schools and The Heights
- Youth Offending Team
- The Wish Centre
- Family Wise
- East Lancashire Child and Adolescent Services (ELCAS)
- Health Care Professionals
- Social Care Professionals
The Academy works alongside these agencies to plan for and provide support for students with additional needs. Outside agencies are also invited in as part of the review process to ensure a whole child approach.
The Academy also accesses global services from a number of providers including education, health and social care. The referral to these services are discussed with parents/carers and students. In addition, the Academy buys in services from a number of providers linked to the needs of the students.
Dealing with complaints
The Governing body, Principal, SENCO and all staff are committed to providing the very best education for all children. However, there may be occasions when a parent is not satisfied with their child’s provision. They should first request a meeting with the SENCO or class teacher to outline the area of concern. Should this not resolve the matter, the next step is to arrange a meeting with the Vice Principal and SENCO when the issues can be discussed and addressed. Should this not resolve the matter, the penultimate step is to arrange a meeting with the Principal. If there is still cause for complaint it will be forwarded to the Chairman of Governors and the correct procedures will take place in accordance with the Academy complaints procedure, the complaint being managed by the Principal.
Contact details of support services for parents of pupils with special educational needs
Special Educational Needs Information, Advice & Support Service (PP SENDIASS) (formerly Parent Partnership Service)
Contact Name: Philomena Strickland
Telephone: 01254 503049 / 01254 583957