Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Policy

November 2020 | Governing Body | Date for review: November 2021

This policy has been written with regard to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice 2014 part of the Children and Families Act 2014 and the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Act 2001 (which came into effect in September 2002). It also takes into account the guidance set out by Salford Local Authority (LA) for SEND practices and procedures.


Students may be said to have Special Educational Needs and Disabilities if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them. A student has a learning difficulty if he/she

  • has significantly greater difficulty in learning or in accessing education than the majority of students of the same age
  • has a disability which either prevents or hinders him/her from making full use of educational facilities available in the Academy of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in a mainstream school
  • Students with a disability have special educational needs if they have any difficulty accessing education and if they need any special educational provision to be made for them.

General Principles behind the SEND Policy

Every student in the Academy has an entitlement to personal, social and intellectual achievement. All students are entitled to the opportunity to achieve their potential in learning. Those children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities should have access to high quality and appropriate education.

Objectives of the SEND Policy

  • To ensure students with special needs and disabilities can achieve success and progress according to their potential and which closes the achievement gap with their non-SEND peers
  • To ensure that these students are identified and assessed promptly so that provision matches need
  • To ensure that students with special needs and disabilities are given full and equal access to a broad and balanced curriculum
  • To make provision and provide interventions that are additional to / different from that made generally for other young people of the same age
  • To allocate appropriate resources to ensure that learners make the best possible progress
  • To ensure that there is open and effective communication with parents/carers and that they are fully included in meetings and reviews
  • To ensure that all students express their views and are fully involved in decisions which affect their education
  • To ensure that all staff are fully aware of the entitlements of SEND students and the Academy’s responsibility to them

Evaluating the Success of the SEND Policy

Student progress will provide evidence for the success of the SEND policy and this will be analysed carefully through:

  • Evidence of “Diminishing differences” in performance between SEND and Non-SEND students
  • Use of standardised tests
  • Evidence generated from SEND reviews

Identification of SEND

Usually, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities are identified initially through liaison with primary schools. Identification strategies include:

  • Observation at primary
  • Observation during transition visits
  • Teacher assessment
  • Discussions between subject staff, SEND staff or external agencies
  • Discussions with parents/carers
  • Discussions with the student
  • Results of standardised tests e.g. reading tests, spelling tests etc

Where there are concerns about SEND, parents/carers are informed by the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) and/or Head of Year. Information is gathered about a student’s needs. This may include learning difficulties or emotional and behavioural difficulties, student strengths and weaknesses, and any possible medical issues. This information is then used by the SENCO / Head of Year / subject teacher to target areas for development and plan appropriate strategies.

Transition from Primary to Secondary School

The Academy follows guidelines for the transfer of record systems and information between primary and secondary schools.

The transition team will contact teachers of year 6 students in primary schools to identify children who will need extra support. Visits to observe, talk to students and teachers and collect information are made.

A comprehensive programme of events at and visits to Co op Academy Walkden and visits to main feeder schools is well established for all students. Additional visits to schools are made by the SENCO or a representative. Additional visits to Co op Academy Walkden with parents, teaching assistants and /or teachers from primary schools are encouraged.

The SENCO or a representative will attend year 6 reviews of students with EHCPs and where requested, any multi agency meetings regarding other students with SEND. They may, where requested, attend Year 5 reviews or occasionally, even earlier. Any student with

an Education, Health and Care Plan is always referred to the Academy early in Year 6 to allow additional time for effective transition and to confirm that we are able to meet needs.

Key Principles of Curriculum Access

All teachers are teachers of special educational needs. Teachers will plan their lessons using differentiation of materials, tasks and outcomes so that all students have access to an appropriate, broad and balanced curriculum and to extra-curricular activities.

All subject teachers have a responsibility to see that that SEND policy is put into practice. Their responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring they are fully aware of students’ diverse learning needs and recommended strategies for responding to them
  • Overcoming potential barriers to learning
  • Identifying students who do not make expected progress
  • Liaise closely with any assigned teaching assistant to ensure effective deployment

Graduated Response

The Academy will adopt a graduated response to meeting Special Educational Needs that requires initial assessment and the use of available personnel and resources before bringing in specialist expertise to assess and support the student. When a young person is identified as having special educational needs, the Academy will intervene as described below. Such interventions are a means of helping schools and parents/carers match special educational provision to individual student needs.

If a student is known to have special educational needs when they arrive at the Academy, the Academy will:

  • Use information from the primary school to provide an appropriate curriculum for the student and focus attention on action to support the student within lessons
  • Ensure that ongoing observation and assessment is used to inform future planning for the student’s learning
  • Create a student profile to share with all members of staff

Student Profile

Strategies employed to enable a student to progress will be recorded within a Student Profile for students at SEND Support and those who have an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

The Profile includes:

  • A descriptive outline of the student’s needs
  • A description of the student’s area of strength
  • Targets set for or by the student
  • The teaching strategies suggested to be used
  • The provision to be put in place

Where a student has an Education Health and Care Plan, the Profile will be reviewed each year when parents’/carers’ views on their child’s progress will be sought. The student will also be invited to contribute to the review process and be involved in setting the outcomes.

SEND Support

SEND Support is a graduated response with Support Intervention Bands A, B and C. All SEND students who do not have an Education Health and Care Plan will be supported through SEND support.

Support Intervention Band A

This is characterised by good quality first teaching, sharing of information and a range of generic and/or evidence based interventions carried out within the Academy

Support Intervention Band B

This is characterised by the involvement of external services such as special needs advisory teachers, educational psychologists etc. A request for help from external services is likely to follow a decision taken by the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) and colleagues, in consultation with parents/carers, or it may follow a request for help from parents. These agencies may observe the child, so that they can advise subject and pastoral staff on targets and accompanying strategies, provide more specialist assessments that can inform planning and the measurement of a student’s progress, give advice on the use of new or specialist strategies or materials, and in some cases provide support for particular activities.

The triggers for Support Intervention Band B could be that, despite receiving Quality First Teaching to meet the students’ needs, the student:

  • Continues to make little or no progress in specific areas over a long period despite intervention put in place at theAcademy
  • Has emotional or behavioural difficulties which significantly and regularly interfere with their own learning or that of the class group, despite having an individualised behaviour management programme
  • Has sensory or physical needs, and requires additional specialist equipment or regular advice or visits, providing direct intervention to the student or advice to staff, by a specialist service
  • Has ongoing communication or interaction difficulties that impede the development of social relationships and cause substantial barriers to learning.

When the Academy seeks the help of external support services, the consent of the student’s parents/carers will be sought. The services will need to see the student’s records in order to establish which strategies have already been employed and which targets have been set and achieved. The external specialist may act in an advisory capacity, provide additional specialist assessment or be involved in teaching the student directly.

Support Intervention Band C (Request for an Education Health and Care Plan Assessment)

For a few students the help given through SEND Support may not be sufficient to enable the student to make adequate progress. It will then be necessary for the Academy, in consultation with the parents/carers and any external agencies already involved, to consider whether to ask the LA to initiate an Education Health and Care Needs Assessment.

Where a request for a Statutory Assessment is made to a LA, the student will have demonstrated significant cause for concern and the Academy will provide written evidence to the LA detailing

  • The Academy’s action/interventions
  • The Provision Map identifying the support the student has had records of regular reviews and their outcomes
  • The student’s health including the student’s medical history where relevant
  • Assessment and progress information
  • Educational and other assessments, for example from an advisory specialist support teacher or an educational psychologist
  • Views of the parents/carers and of the student through a ‘My Story’ document
  • Details of involvement of other professionals
  • Any involvement by the social services or education welfare service.

When the LA receives a request for a statutory assessment, it must decide within six weeks whether to carry out such an assessment and the whole process must be completed within twenty weeks.

Statutory Assessment of Special Educational Needs

This involves consideration by the LA, working cooperatively with parents/carers, the Academy and, as appropriate, other agencies, as to whether an assessment of the child’s special educational needs is necessary. A child will be brought to the LA’s attention as possibly requiring an assessment through a request by the child’s Academy, from a parent/carer or a referral by another agency. Where the evidence presented to the LA suggests that the child’s learning difficulties have not responded to relevant and purposeful measures taken by the Academy and external specialists and may call for special educational provision which cannot reasonably be provided within the resources normally available to mainstream schools, the LA will consider the case for a EHCP for the child.

The LA may decide that the degree of the student’s learning difficulty and the nature of the provision necessary to meet the child’s special educational needs is such as to require the LA to determine the child’s special educational provision through an Educational Health Care Plan. An Educational Health Care Plan will include:

  • The student’s name, address and date of birth
  • Details of all of the student’s special needs
  • Identify the special educational provision necessary to meet the student special educational needs
  • Identify the type and name of the school where the provision is to be made
  • Include relevant non-educational needs of the child
  • Include information on non-educational provision
  • Identify expected outcomes from the plan.

Inclusion  for Students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

As far as is practicable and advisable, all students, with and without SEND, should be fully included in all Academy activities. Where a physical or learning disability hinders inclusion in any activity, advice from appropriate professionals will be sought. Special equipment or support may be provided to enable access to the activity for the student.

In Class Support

Students who have an EHCP may receive in-class support to help them access the curriculum. This is usually provided by a designated Teaching Assistant (TA) Other individuals or groups of students without EHCPs may also receive in-class support. Teaching Assistants may work in a variety of ways to provide support to a wider number of students with special needs.

Withdrawal Support

Students may be withdrawn either from form time or from lessons so they can receive targeted small group evidence based interventions or one to one support. We aim to use form time to minimise lesson withdrawal as much as possible. The withdrawals might include:

Improving basic skills.

Speech and language small groups working on specific skills 1:1 reading intervention with a teaching assistant

Friendship groups Peer mentoring

Mentoring with a teaching assistant Work on numeracy skills

Social Stories /comic strip conversations Programmes of spelling and handwriting support

Programmes for students who experience social and communication difficulties; raising self-esteem; team-building activities.

Other strategies/provision for supporting students with SEN include:

Quality First Teaching

Known and quiet space for social times for identified students

Personalised teaching and learning strategies e.g. emphasis on the child’s preferred learning style

Provision of special equipment or resources

Additional time for adults to plan interventions and monitor their effectiveness Additional staff training around students’ with specific difficulties

Courses that lead to accreditation other than GCSE for a small number of identified students.

Student interviews from year 9 onwards with our internal Careers Advisory team, who also prioritise attendance at Annual Reviews for Key Stage 4 students with a EHCP.

Access to ICT and special adaptations as appropriate Application to exam boards for access arrangements

Differentiated examination papers for students with visual, hearing or physical disabilities

The Hive – Enhanced Resource Bases for students with Cognition and Learning Difficulties

The Hive is a provision for identified students with cognition and learning difficulties. The Hive is a hub for all students with Special Educational Needs in the Academy. We have a suite of small, well equipped classrooms with a large and welcoming social space. Students’ social and emotional needs are supported in addition to their academic needs here, as supporting the whole child is of utmost importance to us.

Seven students in every year group have an EHCP referring them specifically to the Hive at Co op Academy Walkden. They have a personalised timetable, and most learn Maths, English and Humanities in very small, highly supported classes in the Hive, and also access the rest of the mainstream curriculum with teaching assistant support. We encourage students to access as many mainstream lessons as possible to maximise their inclusion and progress. We also provide an intervention and enrichment programmes for these students. Close Monitoring and assessment with target setting is an integral part of the programme. Students in Years 9-11 are able to choose appropriate mainstream options and also follow additional alternative courses where appropriate.

The Hive has a Zone Leader, one other teacher, two Higher Level Teaching Assistants (HLTAs) and a number of Teaching Assistant level 2 (TA2s) who specifically work with the students referred to the Hive. They have additional training and responsibilities with regard to specific interventions and small class teaching methods necessary to support their progress.

Resources for the SENCO

  • The responsibilities of the SENCO include:
  • Determining the strategic development of the SEND policy and provision with the Principal
  • Day to day responsibility for the operation of the SEND policy
  • Keeping the Principal informed of developments.
  • Managing the SEND team of teachers and teaching assistants
  • Liaising with and advising fellow teachers
  • Producing the SEN Information report on an annual basis
  • Overseeing the records of students with SEND
  • Liaising with parents/carers of students with SEND
  • Establishing a Provision map for students with EHCPs
  • Monitoring the quality of teaching and standards of student achievement
  • Contributing to the in-service training of staff
  • Liaising with external agencies.
  • Linking with special schools and ensuring individual programmes of support and learning are discussed with the relevant pastoral and curriculum staff.
  • Transferring all SEND records and relevant documentation between receiving mainstream schools
  • Ensuring records for students with an EHCP will be transferred to post-16 establishments.
  • Attendance and representation at reviews, case conferences and consultation sessions
  • Liaising with Traded Services, ie. Speech & Language, learning support service, ASC team, visually impaired and hearing impaired teams
  • Maintaining close links with the LA through the caseworker appointed to the Academy

Role of the Governing Body

The governing body will challenge the Academy to:

  • Ensure that the necessary provision is made for any student who has special educational needs
  • Ensure that, where the ‘responsible person’ – the Principal or the appropriate governor – has been informed by the LA that a student has special educational needs, those needs are made known to all who are likely to teach them.
  • Ensure that teachers in the Academy are aware of the importance of identifying, and providing for, those students who have special educational needs and disabilities.
  • Ensure that a student with special educational needs joins in the activities of the Academy together with students who do not have special educational needs, so far as is reasonably practical and compatible with the child receiving the special educational provision their learning needs call for and the efficient education of the students with whom they are educated and the efficient use of resources.
  • Have regard to this Code of Practice when carrying out its duties toward all students with special educational needs and disabilities.
  • To support this the governors have access to the updated SEN information report.
  • To achieve the above, designated SEND governors will meet the SENCO and other key staff from the Inclusion Faculty where appropriate as required.

Parents/Carer Involvement

Co op Academy Walkden firmly believes in developing a strong partnership with parents/carers and that this will enable children and young people with SEND to achieve their potential. The Academy recognises that parents/carers have a unique overview of their child’s needs and how best to support them, and that this gives them a key role in the partnership. The Academy considers parents/carers of SEND students as valued partners in SEND processes.

Parents/carers of students with SEND will be informed where there is a concern about their child and be invited to contribute to the assessment of their needs. They will be invited to reviews of their child.

Parents/carers/carers will be supported in understanding the roles of other professionals who may need to be invited to assess their child.

Parents/carers and carers will have access to the SEND Policy and the SEN information report, both of which are available on the Academy website.

We encourage parents/carers to:

  • Communicate appropriately with staff in order to facilitate appropriate support.
  • Communicate on a regular basis, noting any concerns they might have about their child’s learning or provision.
  • Play an important part in the process of planning/reviewing their child’s Profile.
  • Participate in the Annual Review of their child’s EHCP
  • Fulfil any home-school agreements which are set in place.

Further information regarding SEND services available can be found on our website in the SEN Information report and the Local Offer. For Salford services, a link to the Salford Local Offer is also on the website.

Further advice about Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, parents’/carers’ rights and responsibilities and the roles of professionals are available from Salford Information, Advice and Support Service. This is a service provided by the LA. Support to parents/carers, and may include:

  • giving help and advice on individual circumstances.
  • interpreting and discussing information.
  • acting as a link to other agencies.
  • participating in reviews and meetings to assist parents/carers.
  • helping parents/carers in presenting their own opinions and wishes.
  • providing a direct link with the Local Authority.

Student Participation

Depending on age and appropriateness, students with SEND will also be encouraged to participate in the decision making processes affecting them. Students will be progressively more involved in decision making, developing outcomes and target setting. This can be achieved by:

Completing ‘students’ views’ sheets for review Attending and contributing to their own reviews.

Staff Training and Participation

Training needs are established through the Appraisal System.

The Academy will provide training on a regular basis, and those staff working closely with students with SEN receive training on a wide range of targeted SEND issues.

All staff new to the Academy will receive appropriate training from a member of the SEN team

The SENCO will provide training for newly qualified teachers as part of their ongoing training scheme.

Arrangements for Considering Complaints about SEND Provision

Any complaint about SEND provision should be addressed in the first instance to the SENCO who will be responsible for recording the complaint and the action taken. The complaint may be directed to the Principal. The complaint may be further directed to an SEND Governor. Should action need to be taken, Co op Academy Walkden’s complaints

procedure will be followed. Parents/carers may be advised of their right to refer matters to the Disagreements Resolution Service.

Arrangements for the Regular Review of the Academy’s SEND Policy

The SEND policy will be reviewed annually.


SENCOSpecial Educational Needs Co ordinator
EHCPEducation, Health and Care Plan
TATeaching Assistant
LALocal Authority
HLTAHigher Level Teaching Assistant
TA2Teaching Assistant Level 2
IEPIndividual Education Plan
ASCAutistic Spectrum Condition
VIVisually Impaired
HIHearing Impaired