Special Educational Needs and Disability Policy

Date created – 22/09/2020
Date reviewed by governors - 29/9/2021
Next review date – September 2022
* To be reviewed (annually) / and following any changes to legislation

This policy has been written with guidance and reference to the following documents:  

  • The Children and Families Act 2014
  • Articles 12 and 13 of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child  
  • The Equality Act 2010  
  • Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0-25 years (June 2014)  
  • Statutory policies for schools
  • To ensure the SEND Code of Practice, the Equality Act and the guidance in Removing Barriers to Achievement are implemented effectively across the schools. 

1 Introduction

This policy links with the SEND Code of Practice by recognising that: 

  • SEND Code of Practice now covers 0-25 years  
  • Single school SEND categories & Graduated approaches to provision  
  • Local Authorities will have a Local Offer and schools will contribute to that offer 
  • There will be Joint Commissioning roles between Education, Health and Social Care.  

Co-op Academy Grange recognises that there is a significant overlap between children and young people with Special Educational Needs and those with Disabilities, and that many such children and young people are covered by both SEND Code of Practice and equality legislation such as the Equality Act 2010 towards individual disabled children and young people.  We will make reasonable adjustments, including the provision of auxiliary aids and services for disabled children and those with medical conditions, to prevent them being put at a substantial disadvantage.   

2 Objectives  

  • To ensure equality of opportunity and to eliminate prejudice and discrimination against young people with special educational needs.  
  • To continually monitor the progress of all students, to anticipate and identify needs as they arise and to provide support as early as possible.  
  • To provide access to a relevant and exciting curriculum through planning and provision by Class Teachers, SENDCo, Lead Teachers and Senior Leaders.  
  • To make effective arrangements to support and care for our students so that their complex individual needs do not become a barrier to learning and progress.  
  • To enable young people to move on from school with the skills they need to become successful in their lives after school, whichever pathway they follow.  
  • To involve parents, and young people themselves wherever possible, in planning for any decisions that inform the young person’s preparation for adulthood.  

3 Definition of Special Educational Needs  

For the purposes of its policy the schools adopt the legal definition provided by the 1996 Education Act:  

“A child has special educational needs if he or she has a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.”  

The SEND Code of Practice states that a child has a learning difficulty if he or she:

  1. Has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of young people of the same age 
  2. Has a disability which either prevents or hinders the child from making use of educational facilities of a kind provided for young people of the same age in schools within the area.  
  3. Under the SEN Code of Practice 2014, the categories of need were redefined and are now:  
Current Previous 
Cognition and Learning  Moderate, Severe and Profound & Multiple Learning Difficulties, Specific Learning Difficulties  
Speech, Language and Communication Needs  Autism Spectrum Condition Speech, Language and Communication Needs  
Social, Emotional and Mental Health  Behaviour, Emotional and Social Difficulties  
Sensory and/or Physical  DifficultiesPhysical Difficulties Hearing Impaired Visually Impaired Sensory Difficulties  

We believe that young people may have special educational needs in some areas of their learning but that they can also be identified as gifted and talented in others 

4 Context  

The ‘Aims of the Academy’, which underpin Co-op Academy Grange SEND Policy are:  

  • To enable optimal social experiences for each student by using the full facilities of the Academy for the benefit of all students;  
  • To operate a ‘Gradual Response of provision’, yet giving equal consideration to each member of the Academy community;  
  • To establish a model community, recognising that all members have equal value, but with different needs and future paths.

5 Principles

Our schools aim to be centres of expertise in the fields of Autistic Spectrum Condition, Learning Difficulties and Disabilities.  

Co-op Academy Grange is committed to providing an appropriate and high quality education to all the young people that we serve.  We believe that all young people, including those identified as having special educational needs and disabilities, have a common entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum, which enables all relevant aspects of school life to be accessible to them.  We aim to provide an environment in which all individuals are respected and encouraged to reach their full potential. 

The Academy, as a learning community, is committed to ensuring success for all, in line with our Equal Opportunities policy. This means that in all work with young people we will aim to ensure that:  

  • Students feel safe  
  • Students are happy  
  • Students co-operate  
  • Students communicate  
  • Students engage in learning  
  • Students aspire to achieve  
  • Students show respect for others  
  • Students have pride in their school  
  • Students show an understanding of what equality means in practice.  

We believe that all young people should be equally valued at the Academy.  We will strive to eliminate prejudice and discrimination, and to develop an environment where all young people can flourish and feel safe. We aim to engender a sense of community and belonging, and to offer new opportunities to learners who may have experienced previous barriers. This does not mean that we will treat all learners in the same way, but that we will respond to learners in ways which take account of their varied life experiences, strengths and needs. We believe that educational inclusion is about equal opportunities for all learners, whatever their age, gender, ethnicity, difficulty, sexuality, disability, attainment levels and background.   

We pay particular attention to the provision for and the achievement of different groups of learners; 

  • Students who demonstrate some independence as learners because they have some understanding of abstract concepts and can access learning through spoken word and text. 
  • Supported learners who need a more concrete experience and often have an additional communication need. 
  • Students with more complex needs who rely on adult mediation to enable them to have a meaningful learning experience.  
  • Girls and boys when they need different types of curriculum or provision, for example through Sex and Relationships Education.  
  • Minority faith groups.  
  • Recently arrived communities such as economic migrants, asylum seekers and refugees.  
  • Students who need support to learn English.  
  • Students who are gifted and talented in a particular skill or area of interest.  
  • Students who are looked after by the local authority.   
  • Any students who are at risk of exclusion. 
  • Any students who are at risk of radicalisation or exploitation. 

We recognise that students learn at different rates and that there are many factors affecting achievement, including ability, emotional state, age and maturity.   

We are particularly aware that the needs of our students change as they develop between 11 and 16 years, and we try to ensure that we respect and reflect their changing age and maturity, for example in our responses to developing interest in romantic relationships and sexuality.  

Co-op Academy Grange sees the inclusion of young people with special educational needs and disabilities in the full life of the Academy as critical to the success of our Academy.  

6 Responsibilities  

The Senior Leadership Team of Co-op Academy Grange will ensure high quality education and support for all, when deciding how to allocate resources and to prioritise access to services and accommodation within the Academy.  

The Local Governing Bodies (LGBs) will identify a Named Governor for SEND who will fulfil their responsibility to scrutinise the work of the SENDCo and SEND team(s).  

All teaching and learning support staff have a responsibility to ensure that each student is given every opportunity to fulfil their potential within the normal classroom situation.  All staff should be aware of the learning support needs of all pupils they teach and should ensure that the needs of each pupil are addressed in accordance with the Teaching and Learning policy. 

7 Differentiated response in the mainstream setting 

In our mainstream setting we will provide differentiated approaches to the provision of support for students with SEND.  This is achieved under the leadership of the SENDCo who is responsible for: 

  • Liaising with and advising school staff about individual student’s profile of needs and supporting their planning for individual programmes;  
  • Giving clear guidelines for standard operating procedures when there is a need to do so;  
  • Co-ordinating specialist provision for students with particular categories of SEND;  
  • Maintaining the school’s SEND register and overseeing records of all young people with SEND;  
  • Liaising with parents of young people with SEND;  
  • Contributing to in-service training of staff;  
  • Liaising with external agencies including the Educational Psychology Service and other SEND support services, medical and social services and voluntary bodies;  
  • Consulting with SENDCos from other schools to ensure effective transition arrangements are made for students who are moving to the Academy.   

Wave One  

Full-time education in classes, with additional help and support by class teacher/subject teachers through a differentiated curriculum. This includes Wave One interventions, where all learners benefit, at key moments, from additional small group or 1:1 interventions within the classroom. These are either delivered by the class/subject teacher or another adult (HLTA, Learning Assistant, Learning Mentor)   

Wave Two  

Additional, time-limited, small group intervention programmes which target learners according to need, to accelerate their rates of progress and secure their learning. This ‘catch up’ intervention must help children or young people to master their learning so that when they return to their mainstream classes, their progress is maintained. In addition, in-class support is maintained as needed.  

Wave Three  

Some children or young people need a further level of support that cannot be delivered in the context of whole class or small groups.  Wave Three includes focused individual tuition, delivered by school based or external expertise. Such tuition supplements existing learning and does not replace it and must ensure that children or young people apply their learning to maintain the progress made when they return to class.  Where possible, this will be provided by a Higher Level Learning Assistant in conjunction with the class/subject teacher. Wave Three intervention might include other alternative specialised provision.  

The SENDCo, in collaboration with the subject leaders, pastoral leaders and senior leadership, will deliver and monitor the provision/interventions to ensure the children or young people make progress.  

Further specialist support 

We will request a Statutory Assessment from the Local Authority when, despite an individualised programme of sustained intervention within Wave 3, the child or young person remains a significant cause for concern. A Statutory Assessment might also be requested by a parent or outside agency. The Academy will have the following information available:   

  • The action followed within the SEND support models for individual need  
  • The child or young person’s Student Learning Plan and/or 1 page profile. 
  • Records and outcomes of regular reviews undertaken 
  • Information on the child or young person’s health and relevant medical history 
  • Academic progress 
  • Other relevant assessments from specialists such as Educational Psychologists 
  • The views of parents/carers 
  • Where possible, the views of the child or young person 
  • Social Services/Educational Welfare Service/Multi-Professional reports 

An Education, Health and Care Plan will normally be provided where, after a Statutory Assessment, the Local Authority considers the child or young person requires provision beyond that which the school can reasonably offer without further resources. However, the schools recognise that a request for a Statutory Assessment does not inevitably lead to an EHCP. Parents have the right of appeal and can contest such decisions, at which point the Academy would provide evidence as/when/if requested.  

Resourced Provision for ASC  

There is a RP which ‘bridges’ the space between mainstream and dedicated specialist provision maintained by Co-op Academy Grange. 

Grange RP follows the ‘traditional model’ of inclusion within the mainstream curriculum offer, and has places for up to 12 students with autistic spectrum conditions. 

8 Students working in other settings   

When students spend some of their time in other settings such as alternative provision, studying for academic and other vocational qualifications and completing work experience placements or internships, the SLT will ensure the key information with regards to their SEND and Disabilities is passed to the appropriate people so that the planning for their care and learning support is consistent and appropriate. The SLT will also ensure there is liaison with any external support services again to ensure there is consistency of approach and expectations are managed.  

9 Intervention and Support 

Interventions which are additional to those provided as part of the schools’ usual differentiated curriculum offer and strategies will be employed to enable the student to progress. These will be co-ordinated by the SENDCo and will be recorded in an Student Learning Plan.   

Support from external specialist services and agencies will be sought and referrals made as required, using local, regional and national specialists as the need arises.    

10 Partnership with Parents/Carers  

The best results are achieved where parents / carers, schools and LA services work in partnership. In working towards this principle, the school will do the following:

  • Assist parents/carers in their understanding of SEND procedures, school-based provision, and other support available for their child and additional sources of help and information, for example, voluntary organisations and childcare information services.  
  • Provide opportunities for mediation and discussion where necessary.  
  • Meet parental/carer preference for school placement subject to the requirement that the individual child’s special educational needs can be met; that the education of other young people will not be adversely affected and that resources are efficiently used.  
  • Ensure that assessment and review processes seek and take account of the views of parents/carers and the young persons (wherever possible).  
  • Provide clear and informative written advice for parents/carers about all aspects of the Code of Practice on the identification and assessment of young people with special educational needs and the range of different disabilities.  
  • Provide clear signposting of the support services available for young people with special educational needs within the school and the local area.  
  • Recognise that families have valuable knowledge of their child which service providers should encourage them to share.  
  • Encourage families to be actively involved in relevant training/planning appropriate to their child’s needs.  

This information is contained in the SEND information report, found on the website. 

11 Promoting High Expectations  

Co-op Academy Grange will set high standards for young people with special educational needs and disabilities, with an expectation that they will achieve their full potential. In working towards this principle, the schools will ensure that:

  • Young people with SEND have equal access to extra-curricular and extended school activities provided by Co-op Academy Grange The use of assessments provide effective measures of the performance of young people with special educational needs. We will moderate our assessments of attainment below the National Curriculum levels and make use of the Progression Guidance to evaluate the performance of our schools’ at individual, cohort and whole school level, in order to ensure that our students’ academic outcomes are good.  
  • The intended outcomes at Co-op Academy Grange are for students to:     
    • Aspire to high achievement
    • Respect each other and the society to which they belong
    • To value and pursue equality in all of its expressions.  

12 Expert staff  

Young people with SEND and their families, have a right to be supported by high quality, skilled professionals. Co-op Academy Grange has identified a priority for developing an ‘expert culture’, which will support this principle through ensuring staff have access to a professional development programme which directly addresses the development of expertise in the different fields of special educational needs and disability.  

This programme will be a comprehensive and appropriate staff development programme, which addresses the skills and knowledge staff will need to fully support and teach all learners who attend the schools. This will be available not only to teaching staff, but also to support staff and all those involved in delivering the experience of students in the Academy.  

13 Clear and effective procedures  

Procedures for identifying young people with SEND and for monitoring their progress will be clear, effective and straightforward. Any such procedures will take account of the Code of Practice on the identification and assessment of special educational needs. In working towards this principle, the schools will:

  • Focus on preventative work with young people.  
  • Ensure Education Health and Care Plans (and Student Learning Plans, if applicable) are reviewed regularly and the appropriate action taken where required.  
  • Ensure procedures are in place to ensure the views of parents/carers and young people are sought during the statutory review process, as well as those of the professionals involved. 
  • Offer a person-centred approach to review procedures with the most effective mode of contribution identified for each individual student.  
  • Monitor and evaluate the schools’ performance in relation to young people with special needs using feedback and surveys to gather their views and those of their parents/carers in addition to assessment data.  
  • Recognise that effective action for learners with SEND will often depend on close co-operation between the schools, families, health/therapy services and social care services. We are committed to implementing such cooperative arrangements so that services for individual young people and their families can be as seamless as possible.  

14 Planning, review and evaluation  

Individual teachers have day-to-day responsibilities with regard to planning and managing the care and learning for students with SEND in their group.  

The SENDCo is responsible for the co-ordination of specialist provision and interventions. Learning support provision is planned by the Curriculum leaders and Pastoral leaders working with the SLT, under the supervision of the Deputy Headteacher who will report to governors regularly about SEND and inclusion. 

The SENDCo will report to the LGBs annually about the scope and findings of the scrutiny work undertaken.