S.E.N.D

Supporting Students with Additional Needs

Almost from the inception of the Academy we have worked on the basis that, while we will cater for the great majority of our students through the provision of highly-effective teaching, tutoring, mentoring and behaviour management systems, there will always be some who require additional levels of support.

That was the rationale behind the creation of the role of a Deputy Headteacher with particular responsibility for the work we do in supporting and challenging these students with additional needs. The new S.E.N.D code of practice includes important recommendations about the strategic role of the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) and in 2015 we extended this role to incorporate the strategic aspects. Miss Halsall now exercises this extended role.

Our distinctive approach to working with students with S.E.N.D is based on a number of key ideas and that it is possible to identify a number of categories of student who will require additional support (over and above that offered by our ‘universal’ teaching, tutoring, mentoring and behaviour management systems). These include, but may not be limited to:

  • Students with communication and interaction needs as defined by the 2014 Code of Practice (including speech and language needs and autistic spectrum conditions)
  • Students with cognition and learning needs as defined by the 2014 Code of Practice, including dyscalculia, dyslexia, dyspraxia, Irlen’s and moderate learning difficulties
  • Students with social, emotional and mental health difficulties as defined by the 2014 Code of Practice (including AD(H)D)
  • Students with sensory and/or physical needs as defined by the 2014 Code of Practice (including hearing and visual impairment and physical difficulties)
  • Students with medical needs (as defined by the 2014 guidance: Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions
  • Students who need to catch up in literacy and/or numeracy even though they do not have special needs as defined above and are, therefore, outside the scope of the Code of Practice.

While the Code of Practice process of ‘plan, do, review’ would underpin the way provision was made for each of these groups of students (and while some students might fall into more than one group), it does not necessarily follow that the same person needs to be responsible for the ‘planning, doing and reviewing’ for each group.

If we manage provision for these groups separately, there need to be some roles which operated across all the groups to ensure strategic coherence and efficient and effective operations. These roles might include:

  • Strategic Leadership (including the statutory responsibilities of SENCO)
  • Management of TAs (to ensure that these key members of the SEN team are effectively deployed, supported and challenged)
  • Data management (to ensure that planning and reviewing are evidence based and that value for money is ensured)
  • Pastoral support and administration (to ensure that managers and practitioners were able to focus on effective provision)

Putting these ideas into practice, we have developed the following model of SEN provision:

  • Deputy Headteacher: Miss Halsall (incorporating the role of SENCO)
  • Speech, Language and Communication, Learning and Cognition: Mrs Milloy
  • Social, Emotional and Health Sensory/Physical and Medical needs: Mr Dethick
  • Literacy Leader: Mrs Skarratt
  • Numeracy Leader: Mr Robinson

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