SEN Information Report and School Local Offer 2019-20
Welcome to the Bluecoat Meres Academy’s SEN Information Report for learners with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND). All governing bodies of academy schools have a legal duty under the revised Code of Practice (2015) to publish information on their website about the implementation of their policy for students with SEND.
Bluecoat Meres Academy recognises and celebrates the individuality and diversity of our students. It is a Church of England voluntary aided secondary school, committed to working together with all members of our school community. There are no restrictions on entry. Every student has an entitlement to a broad, balanced, relevant and differentiated curriculum. The academy is committed to giving all students every opportunity to achieve the highest standards. We have an inclusive ethos with high expectations where everyone can achieve their full potential. We seek to engender a sense of belonging to the academy and to boost self-esteem, self-confidence and motivation.
Our information has been seen and discussed with students, parents/carers, governors and members of staff. The provision that we describe below is consistent with recommended good practice within Lincolnshire County Council’s Local Offer. We would welcome your feedback and future involvement in its review, so please do contact us.
Bluecoat Meres Academy is proud of its diversity. It places great emphasis on its unique and varied community of learners. Everyone, regardless of faith, ability, ethnicity or background is valued and nurtured.
At Bluecoat Meres Academy we truly believe every child does matter. We are a fully mainstream secondary school who work closely with the Local Authority to develop our inclusive ethos further. Bluecoat Meres Academy is an inclusive academy where all students are made to feel welcome and valued. Our academy and trust vision sets out to ensure that all students enjoy high quality experiences through which they able to achieve their full potential irrelevant of their needs. We are committed to working together with all members of our school community. Inclusion for all and of all is central to what we are about.
The academy has a higher proportion of students with SEND compared to national averages. The percentage of students with SEND in secondary academies is 12.4% compared to 23.8% at our academy. We are proud of the work that all staff do to support the learning of students with a broad range of SEND. We cater for all students with needs such as:
· Learning difficulties that stem from cognition and learning needs e.g. moderate learning difficulties (MLD), dyslexia etc
· Communication and interaction difficulties e.g. Autistic Spectrum Disorder, language processing disorders/difficulties etc
· Sensory and physical difficulties e.g. hearing loss, visual impairment etc
· Social, emotional and mental health needs e.g. attachment disorder, low self-esteem etc
The most prevalent needs in the academy are Social and Emotional Health, Moderate Learning Difficulties and Specific Learning Difficulties. The academy has higher than average numbers of SEND students with ASD when compared to the national rate for all state funded secondary schools.
The academy continues to develop its expertise in supporting students with complex SEND.
Total number of students on roll 298
Number of students with statements (EHCPs from September 2014) 6
Number of students identified as SEN Support 71
Percentage of academy population with SEN provision 23.8%
Bluecoat Meres Academy is committed to early identification of students with special educational needs. The Learning Support Faculty works closely with the curriculum, pastoral and Pupil Progress Leader to ensure that students who may have special educational needs are identified and assessed so their learning needs are more fully understood.
A range of evidence is collected by the Learning Support team through an analysis of each subject’s assessment data. This data is captured at several points across the academic year. Additional assessment is collected through reading tests, CAT tests, PASS and specialist diagnostic screeners. The student is given target grades in all subject areas which is shared with parents/carers through the academy reporting system. As well as target grades students also receive Attitude to Learning grades (ATL) which reflect a learner’s behaviour and disposition in class.
If a student’s data suggests that they are not making expected progress the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) and Learning Support team will work with a range of staff with school to decide if additional and/or different provision is necessary. At school we measure children’s progress against National and age related expectations.
If a parent is concerned about a child’s progress this should be raised with the subject teacher, Heads of House and/or the SENCo. At Bluecoat Meres Academy key staff meet to discuss student’s needs in regular meetings around subjects, pastoral concerns or Learning Support teams. Teachers and other members of staff can refer students to the Learning Support team if they have concerns about a student’s learning, behaviour or well-being and if there is a need for extra help and support will be discussed and a support plan put in place.
Discussions with parents/carers take place at parents’ evenings and through appointments arranged at convenient times during or at the end of the school day. Staff ensure that assessment of educational needs directly involves the learner, their family and their teachers.
The academy will also seek support and guidance from specialist outside agencies with parents/carers support. We will also seek health diagnosis and guidance from local pediatricians.
The academy also works closely with its feeder primary schools to ensure that any information about student’s special educational needs is known in advance of their arrival in Year 7. A member of staff from the academy’s transition team will visit each feeder school to gather information about children. This knowledge is used to build a full and detailed profile of the new Year 7. Staff from the Learning Support team will visit students with an Education Health and Care Plan in their primary school to explore the support they will need when they transfer to the academy.
Staff work closely together to ensure they have a broad understanding of the difficulties students with SEND face. A coordinated programme of staff development ensures that all staff have the opportunity to be well equipped to support the needs of our SEND students.
In the spirit of the SEND Code of Practice we support the idea that high quality teaching, differentiated for individual students, is the first step in responding to students who have or may have SEND. Additional intervention and support cannot compensate for a lack of good quality first teaching.
If a student needs additional/different provision to support their learning we will consider all possible options of intervention before a referral is made for a statutory assessment. We will make referrals for statutory assessments in consultation with parents and/or carers and outside agencies that support the academy.
(a) How the academy evaluates the effectiveness of its provision for SEND students:
The academy is committed to continually improving and developing our provision for students with special educational needs.
The Learning Support team regularly evaluates its effectiveness through an annual faculty review led by a member of the senior leadership team at the academy. The review feeds closely into the faculty’s annual improvement plan, which ensures that the faculty continues to build on the effectiveness of its provision.
The Learning Support Faculty also closely tracks attainment data of students on the Inclusive Education Register to ensure that additional to/different from provision is impacting across the curriculum. In addition for students with SEND we regularly review progress towards agreed outcomes assessing whether the support that’s been in place has made a difference and what we need to do next. We evaluate this progress against age related and national expectations.
Analysis of SEND student performance data will include:
· are students performing on target with their learning
· Progress and attainment
· % achieving end of key stage targets, or making at least expected progress towards these targets
· Reading tests, CAT tests, screeners etc
· Attitude towards learning grades
· Number of exclusions
· SEN attendance
· Number of students with a EHCP
· Lesson observations involving SEND students
· Feedback from teachers, support staff, specialist teacher from LCC, other outside agencies, parents and students
· Evidence of impact of SEND training for SEN staff
Furthermore, regular observations are undertaken of academy lessons to ensure that high quality teaching is in place and that the provision provided is leading to student progress and achievement. Observations are also undertaken by the SENCo and members of the management team to ensure that any in-class support provided by Learning Support assistants is helping students to engage and make progress with their learning.
(b) The academy’s arrangements for assessing and reviewing the progress of students with SEND:
Students’ progress is regularly monitored through analysis of each subject’s assessment data. Students’ attainments are tracked using the whole academy tracking system (Go4Schools) and those failing to make expected levels of progress are identified. These students are then discussed in half termly progress meetings that are undertaken in local teaching and learning meetings with senior staff and discussed with the SENCo and Learning Support team.
Any interventions run by the Learning Support Faculty in which students are involved are closely tracked and monitored to ensure their effectiveness.
If students are not making expected progress, the Learning Support team will explore how to better support the student. Students will be observed in lessons and the SENCo/Learning Support Team will work with teachers to ensure that the learning is appropriate and effectively supports the student’s needs.
The SENCo may carry out additional testing if concerns are raised regarding student progress. The SENCo may also refer students to specialist teachers or educational psychologists for more in-depth testing.
(c) The academy’s approach to teaching students with SEND:
An inclusive approach to teaching and learning is promoted across the academy. Staff at the academy access regular high quality training on a weekly basis focusing on different aspects of teaching and learning such as differentiation, assessment for learning, data analysis, as well as sharing good practice for meeting the needs of all learners.
We believe that every teacher is a teacher of students with SEND. Subject staff implement appropriate personalization to meet student need in lessons through high quality teaching. Quality teaching, differentiated for individual students, is the first step in responding to students with additional needs. Subject teachers are responsible and accountable for the progress and development of students in their class, including where students access support from teaching assistants and specialist support.
The SENCo ensures that all staff have the relevant information regarding SEND students, including practical classroom strategies. This information is presented in the form of an accurate and up-to-date SEN register which includes information regarding each students SEN status, need and types of support offered. Individual Education Plans (IEPs) support this information detailing background information, potential barriers to learning and classroom strategies to support a student’s learning. This information is stored centrally and is regularly updated when appropriate, for example after a review meeting. SEN guidance and advice forms are available to all staff within the academy to provide support and strategies for the most prevalent special educational needs.
(d) how the academy adapts the curriculum and learning environment for students with SEND:
Every teacher is required to adapt the curriculum to ensure access to learning for every student within their class. The Teacher Standards 2011 detail the expectations on all teachers and we at Bluecoat Meres Academy are proud of our staff for the high aspirations they hold for all students and their striving to continually improve their practice to facilitate the best possible outcomes for our students.
Teachers use a range of strategies to meet student’s special educational needs. Lessons have clear learning intentions; we differentiate work appropriately and we use assessment to inform the next stages of learning.
As much as possible students will have full access to the National Curriculum, though at times small group teaching, one to one sessions or alternative provision might be provided if this better suits the learning needs of the student.
In order to have a curriculum that meets the needs of all students Bluecoat Meres Academy has:
· Setting of students by ability (in English, Maths and Science lessons) from Year 7 onwards
· Smaller classes for lower ability sets
· Literacy intervention programmes targeting reading stanines and comprehension skills
· Additional literacy support/ interventions for identified students in Years 7 and 8
· Additional in-class support for targeted lower sets from Year 7 to 11
· Small group withdrawal for specific academic intervention groups as required (Literacy, Numeracy, ICT interventions for students working at Level 2 or below)
· Social and emotional support groups if and when necessary
· Positive reward systems
· Specific subject interventions targeted around achievement and progress
· Specific Literacy Difficulty clinics for students diagnosed with dyslexia
· Language sessions for visually/hearing students to reinforce work covered in lessons with communication assistants or Teachers of the Deaf/Teacher of the Visually Impaired.
· An option for some GCSE students to reduce the number of subjects and have ‘catch up’ time to supplement the work they do in other GCSE subject areas.
· Alternative curriculum sessions for Years 7 and 8 students with complex and long term needs including SALT sessions, Life Skills, SRE, Social stories etc
· More bespoke curriculum pathway from Year 9 onwards following a Foundation Learning curriculum
· A personalised curriculum for students with specific strengths and weaknesses from Year 9 onwards following a combination of GCSE or BTEC subjects and Foundation Learning
Learning Support staff, pastoral team members and faculty staff in consultation with parents/carers will seek advice or support from external specialists. Additional strategies may be put in place and recorded in students’ provision maps.
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 the individual learning needs and is intended to enable access to learning and overcome the barrier to learning which has been identified. This support is described on a provision map, which monitors and tracks the interventions and actions that we undertake in the academy to support learners with SEND. This map is modified regularly and changes as our learners and their needs change.
Accessibility around the academy:
The following facilities are available for students and their parents/carers with physical difficulties:
· Disabled parking bays
· Wheelchair access to most of the lower floor buildings and classrooms
· Accessible toilets in all teaching blocks
· Disabled toilets on the ground and lower ground floors
· Installation of handrails and contrast edging on stairs and steps
· Evac chairs and emergency procedures for designated students
· Accessible break areas
· Accessible dining areas
· A private room for administration of medication in the Learning Support faculty/ first aid room and main school areas
(e) additional support for learning that is available to students with SEND:
At Bluecoat Meres Academy students with special educational needs and disabilities are provided with help and support according to their level of need.
The Learning Support Faculty has a range of resources which it uses to support students with special educational needs. Resources are allocated to students in relation to their specific needs.
As part of the academy budget we receive ‘notional SEN funding’ from the DfE. This funding is used to ensure that the quality of teaching is good in the academy and that there are sufficient resources to deploy additional and different teaching for students requiring SEN support. The amount of support required for each student to make good progress will be different in each case.
In some specific cases a very high level of resource is required. The funding arrangements require schools to provide additional funds for these students and above that the local authority should provide ‘top up’ funding for the school to ensure adequate resourcing is in place for the individual child to make progress. The academy submits information to the LA re the needs of students and the specialist interventions they require in order to access this ‘top-up’ funding.
(f) How will my child be included in activities of the school including academy trips?:
All students are included in all parts of the academy curriculum and this is the same for trips or visits off site.
A risk assessment is carried out prior to any off site activity to ensure everyone’s health and safety will not be compromised. If it were deemed unsafe for a student to take part in an activity, either additional resources will be provided or alternative activities which will cover the same curriculum experience will be provided in school.
A range of extra-curricular activities are offered during the school day and students with SEND are encouraged to take part according to their individual interests. A range of Learning Support Faculty enrichment clubs run at lunch time and after school to provide additional experiences for SEND students.
Students with SEND who may find break or lunch times difficult have access to the Learning Support base and staff are always on hand to support them.
A breakfast club is provided, by invite, to support students struggling with the early routine of secondary school life.
After school support is arranged with parents/carers personally when needs arise.
(g) support that is offered to ensure the well-being of students with SEND:
Wellbeing is supported through the following:
· each teacher has a knowledge and understanding of students in their care
· students with high levels of SEND have a named key worker from the Learning Support Faculty who are responsible for the co-ordination of the student’s leaning and social wellbeing while at school
· student’s medical needs are addressed in accordance with the statutory guidance on supporting pupils in schools with medical conditions, and medicines are administered in line with the academy’s Medicine policy
· students who have specific medical needs will have a Health Care Plan
· the Pastoral Team provide support for students and their families and liaise closely with the Learning Support Faculty
· signposting to external agencies to support the wellbeing of the child including The Working Together Team, The Healthy Minds Service,
· in-school interventions which may include access to a counsellor or outreach worker from the CAMHS team
· self-esteem groups
· social skills groups
· lunch time support
· behaviour support strategies including in-class support or support from Student Services
Mrs Jayne Robb – Director with SEN responsibilities
Mrs Alison Rogers – SENCo
Miss Kerry Davies – Assistant SENCo
First point of contact would be your child’s class teacher or Year Leader. If you require further information and support please contact the SENCo. In the event that the SENCo is uncontactable, the Assistant SENCo will be able to help and, further to this, if your child is on the SEN Register may well be allocated a Key Worker. Look at our SEND policy on the school website.
An on –going programme of training is in place to ensure that all teachers and support staff have appropriate skills and knowledge to support provision for students with SEND.
Recent training has been facilitated to some members of staff by Speech and Language Therapy, Teachers of the Visually impaired, Teachers of the Hearing Impaired, Police, National Autistic Society, the Behaviour Support Team, Travel training, LA Autism Team and Educational Psychologist.
Our SENCo actively engages in a range of opportunities to share best practice and keep abreast of current local and national initiatives and policy to support students with SEND. Teaching staff seek support and guidance from the SENCo and Learning Support team as required.
The academy also seek advice and guidance from local special schools and other relevant agencies to help school staff meet the needs of your child to review, evaluate and develop provision for students who have the most complex needs.
We have staff with specialized expertise, qualifications and experience including:
· Miss. K. Davies – the Assistant SENCo at Bluecoat Meres Academy has been working with SEN students for years. Miss Davies began her role as a 1:1 teaching assistant within the Bluecoat Meres Primaries, so her experience ranges from working with 4-16 year olds. Miss Davies has worked with students with a different range of Special Educational Needs, where she has delivered specialized interventions to track and monitor progress of students. Miss Davies ensures passion and determination is presented within her role of supporting the students.
· Mr. J. Bennett – the Pupil Progress Leader has experience of working with children for 7 years, where he has worked in different provisions supporting students who are disengaged with their learning, Special Educational Needs and Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs. Mr Bennett has previously specialized in re-integrating students who are at risk of permanent exclusion, back into mainstream education. Mr
Bennett has experience of being a Head of Year, where his responsibilities included monitoring attendance, Behaviour and achievement of students.
· Teaching assistants with specialist qualifications for supporting hearing impaired students ranging from BSL levels 1 -5
· Teaching assistants with specialist qualification in Braille to support visually impaired students
· Staff/mentors trained to use restorative approaches to manage conflict
· A set team trained annually in de-escalation and positive intervention techniques
We use our professional judgement to ensure that the funding is distributed to have the greatest impact on our students with SEN. We regularly review this to ensure maximum effectiveness and efficiency. We strive to ensure equity, transparency and clarity amongst all settings within the academy and ensure this clarity allows all staff to understand the allocation of resources and to assist in their decision making process.
The majority of SEN funding is spent on additional support staff. Most of this funding comes from the central academy budget and Local Authority ‘top up’ funding for students with high level needs through the EHCP process. Specialist equipment and resources are considered on an annual basis and appropriate funding requests are submitted to the academy. Additional resources can be requested or bid for from external agencies but these resources are finite and dependent on specific criteria.
Information about students with SEN is transferred from primary schools. The academy gathers information from all feeder primary schools through school visits by relevant pastoral staff and more detailed information either by attendance at Year 6 Annual Reviews or by visits by the SENCo and their team to the schools in the summer term. Any student identified as SEN Support or has an EHCP in Year 6 is referred to the SENCo and is added to the Inclusive Education Register for Year 7. Once the decision has been made to place a student on the register parents/carers will be informed by letter within 10 working days. Students in Year 6 who accepted a place at Bluecoat Meres Academy for Year 7 are invited to 2 transition days in July. These days give a taste of secondary school life, involve experience of lessons, information about how the academy runs and provides an opportunity for students to meet their new classmates. Parents/carers are invited to an ‘Intake Evening’ at the end of the two days, to learn about the activities their children have undertaken, to meet key staff and to receive information about the organisation of the academy.
· The SENCo will also meet with advisory staff or specialist teachers to ensure that provision is put into place to ensure a smooth transition at any stage that a student with SEND transfers to Bluecoat Meres Academy.
· Additional meetings support students and parents in making positive curriculum options in Year 8 for transition from Key stage 3 to 4 as well as Years 10 and 11 when students and their families are making decisions about Post 16 education and training. This includes visits to open days and further education fairs.
· All SEND students with complex needs receive 1:1 careers advice to help them plan possible routes for training or education.
We have a positive approach to behaviour management with a clear Behaviour for Learning policy that is followed by all staff and students. Every lesson, every student has the opportunity to receive a positive point from the teacher. Points are recorded on the academy database and monitored by pastoral leaders. This enables the team to identify students who may be falling behind their peers, to investigate and to address the reasons for this.
There are consequences for poor behaviour, which are outlined in the academy behaviour policy. As well as losing rewards, students can receive sanctions such as detentions, isolation from class or fixed term exclusions.
However, if a student is falling significantly behind their peers, and their behaviour is affecting their learning or the learning of others, then additional support may be provided.
· The Attendance Manager monitors students’ attendance, liaises with the local authority education welfare officer; helps parents/carers manage their child’s attendance at school and can support with outside agencies coming into school.
· Designated teacher with safeguarding responsibility
· The education welfare officer helps parents/carers manage their child’s attendance at school; overseas legal action against parents/carers whose children do not attend school; helps liaise with outside agencies that can support families in more difficult situations.
· The Student Support/ Learning Support team works with students when their learning is affected by their behaviour, providing emotional support, signposting to sources of guidance and advice, liaising with external agencies, overseeing action plans, arranging alternative provision.
· The Student Support/ Learning Support team work with students whose behaviour is affecting the learning of other students, to help them develop skills for understanding and managing their emotions, social and mental health for supporting learning at school.
Exclusion of young people at Bluecoat Meres Academy is seen very much as a last resort. Students are supported back into school by staff following any period of exclusion. For students with SEND senior staff will liaise carefully with pastoral staff and the SENCo and will make a decision with regard to any SEN the student may have. A decision to exclude a student with SEN is always taken very carefully indeed and will be the last resort after alternatives have been tried and failed.
The SENCo will maintain links with the LA support service, the Educational Psychology Service and other special agencies such as CAMHS, Speech and Language Therapy, and NHS practitioners. The pastoral team would be the normal point of contact with Educational Welfare and Social Care. Liaison within the academy will ensure appropriate personnel are informed of matters that affect them.
As an academy we believe that the Special Educational Needs of students are best met when there is effective collaboration and communications between Academy, other agencies, families and students. We aim to foster good working relations with all of these groups especially parents.
At Bluecoat Meres Academy we endeavour to communicate positively with parents by:
· Using parental knowledge – you are the ones who know your children best!
· Recognising the personal and emotional investment of parents
· Ensuring parents understand the procedures and feel supported with these
· Respecting differing perspectives and seeking constructive ways of reconciling different view points
· Respecting the differing needs parents themselves may have
· Recognising the need for flexibility in the timing and structure of meetings
The Academy will always seek parental permission before making a referral to other agencies for support for their child. Where parents do not wish to have their details passed on to third parties their wishes will be respected.
This SEN Information Report declares our annual offer to all learners with SEN, but to be effective it needs the views of all parents/carers, learners, governors and staff. For this reason we would ask you to please engage with our annual process to “assess, plan, do and review” so that, working in partnership, your child is supported to achieve the best possible academic outcomes and a happy and successful future.
We have an open door policy and you can ask for an appointment to speak with your child’s Head of House leader, class teachers, the SENCo or more senior member of staff at a mutually convenient time.
Liaise, formerly Parent Partnership Services, acts as an independent organisation offering support and advice to parents/carers who have a query or concern about their child’s needs.
Please refer to the academy general complaints procedure. The normal arrangements for the treatment of complaints at Bluecoat Meres Academy are used for complaints about provision for special educational needs.
If a parent or carer has any concerns or complaints regarding the care or welfare of their child, an appointment can be made by them to speak to the SENCo or designated Senior Leader. They can then look into your concern and give you a response, making clear any action or monitoring of a situation that may be necessary. At this stage, misunderstandings can usually be settled. Everyone benefits from the speedy resolution of a difficulty and from suggestions for improvement.
If no satisfactory solution can be agreed a more senior member of staff will be able to offer advice on formal procedures for complaint if necessary. This process is outlined in the academy’s Complaints Procedures document.
Parents/carers can request support from a parental support service. The complaint will be considered by the Head of School and Governing Body.
If the complaint is not resolved through the normal school processes, then a disagreement resolution can be contacted.
There are some circumstances, usually for children who have a statement or EHCP, where there is a statutory right for parents to appeal against a decision of the Local Authority. Complaints which fall within this category cannot be investigated by the academy.