Special Educational Needs Policy



Policy Owner:

Standards Director

Approved by:

Trust Board

Last reviewed:

December 2020

Next review due by:

December 2021


Due to the evolving nature of Inspiration Trust, procedures behind this Policy will be reviewed and amended accordingly to reflect changes.

This policy does not form part of any employee’s contract of employment and it may be amended at any time following consultation.

1. Aims

Our SEND policy and information report aims to:

  • Set out how our schools will support and make provision for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND)
  • Explain the roles and responsibilities of everyone involved in providing for pupils with SEND

Our vision is for truly inclusive schools, where the needs of all children are met exceptionally well, including vulnerable learners, those from potentially disadvantaged backgrounds, those with special educational needs and/or disabilities and the most able.

Our approach to curriculum is inclusive and built on the premise that all learners have an entitlement to powerful knowledge and an excellent education. This is key to social justice.

Through excellent teacher training and development and the use of evidence based teaching approaches we ensure that all learners can access the curriculum, providing additional support where needed to meet children’s needs.

As part of our approach to inclusion we also champion equality and diversity, ensuring our schools are places where difference is celebrated. Our schools also prioritise pastoral support and pupils’ personal development and wellbeing to ensure they are able to achieve their potential. We believe that our schools can be truly inclusive whilst also having an academic vision where children achieve highly. Our ambitions are high for all learners.

2. Legislation and Guidance

This policy and information report is based on the statutory Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice and the following legislation:

This policy also complies with our funding agreements and articles of association.

3. Definitions

A pupil has SEND if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them.

They have a learning difficulty or disability if they have:

  • A significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or
  • A disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools

Special educational provision is educational or training provision that is additional to, or different from, that made generally for other children or young people of the same age by mainstream schools.

4. Roles and responsibilities

4.1 The SENDCO

The contact details for the SENDCO can be obtained from the school office or the school’s general enquiries email address. They can also be found on school websites.

They will:

  • Work with the principal, and the designated SEND governor on the school’s academy committee, to determine the strategic development of the SEND strategy and provision in the school.
  • Have day-to-day responsibility for the operation of this SEND policy and the co- ordination of specific provision made to support individual pupils with SEND, including those who have EHC plans.
  • Provide professional guidance to colleagues and work with staff, parents, and other agencies to ensure that pupils with SEND receive appropriate support and high quality teaching.
  • Advise on the graduated approach to providing SEND support.
  • Advise on the deployment of the school’s delegated budget and other resources to meet pupils’ needs effectively.
  • Be the point of contact for external agencies, especially the local authority and its support services.
  • Liaise with potential next providers of education, and also prior settings, to ensure pupils and their parents are informed about options and a smooth transition is planned.
  • Work with the principal and academy committee to ensure that the school meets its responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010 with regard to reasonable adjustments and access arrangements.
  • Ensure the school keeps the records of all pupils with SEND up to date.
  • Produce a SEND Information Report annually, which will be published on the school website.

4.2 The SEND governor

The SEND governor will:

  • Help to raise awareness of SEND issues at academy committee meetings.
  • Monitor the quality and effectiveness of SEND provision within the school and update the academy committee on this.
  • Work with the principal and SENDCO to determine the strategic development of the SEND strategy and provision in the school.
  • Review the SEND Information Report annually.

4.3 The principal

The principal The principal will:

  • Work with the SENDCO and SEND governor to determine the strategic. development of the SEND strategy and provision in the school.
  • Have overall responsibility for the provision and progress of learners with SEND.
  • Ensure this policy is followed.
  • Ensure the SEND Information Report is produced annually and published on the school website.

4.4 Class teachers

Each class teacher is responsible for:

  • The progress and development of every pupil in their class.
  • Working closely with any teaching assistants or specialist staff to plan and assess the impact of support and interventions and how they can be linked to classroom teaching.
  • Working with the SENDCO to review each pupil’s progress and development and decide on any changes to provision.
  • Ensuring they follow this SEND policy.

5. Types of, and Identification of, SEND 

5.1 The kinds of SEND that are provided for

Our school currently provides additional and/or different provision for a range of needs, including:

  • Communication and interaction, for example, autistic spectrum disorder, speech and language difficulties,
  • Cognition and learning, for example, dyslexia, dyspraxia,
  • Social, emotional and mental health difficulties, for example, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD),
  • Sensory and/or physical needs, for example, visual impairments, hearing impairments, processing difficulties, epilepsy.

5.2 Identifying pupils with SEND and assessing their needs

We will assess each on entry, through a baseline assessment approach, which will build on previous settings and Key Stages, where appropriate. At transition points we will also liaise with pupils’ previous schools, where they are joining us from a different educational provider.

Class teachers will make regular assessments of progress for all pupils and identify those whose progress:

  • Is significantly slower than that of their peers starting from the same baseline
  • Fails to match or better the child’s previous rate of progress
  • Fails to close the attainment gap between the child and their peers
  • Widens the attainment gap

This may include progress in areas other than attainment, for example, social or emotional needs.

Slow progress and low attainment will not automatically mean a pupil is recorded as having SEND, but effective steps should be taken to exclude the possibility of SEND as a barrier to more rapid progress.

When deciding whether special educational provision is required, we will start with the desired outcomes, including the expected progress and attainment, and the views and the wishes of the pupil and their parents. We will use this to determine the support that is needed and whether we can provide it by adapting our core offer, or whether something different or additional is needed. A pupil is recorded as having SEND only when additional or different provision is needed, outside our core offer.

6. Consulting and involving pupils and parents

We will offer varied opportunities for effective parent-school communication in order to involve parents in school and develop successful home-school partnerships. These opportunities will take into account the age of pupils and also the needs of the parent community.

We will have an early discussion with the pupil and their parents when identifying whether they need special educational provision. These conversations will make sure that:

  • Everyone develops a good understanding of the pupil’s areas of strength and difficulty.
  • We take into account the parents’ concerns.
  • Everyone understands the agreed outcomes sought for the child.
  • Everyone is clear on what the next steps are.

Notes of these early discussions will be added to the pupil’s record and given to their parents. We will formally notify parents when it is decided that a pupil will receive SEND support.

7. Monitoring and assessment

Assessing and reviewing pupils' progress towards outcomes.

Our aim is that all pupils access the right support and at the right time, to fully meet their needs.

We will follow the graduated approach and the four-part cycle of assess, plan, do, review.

The class or subject teacher will work with the SENDCO to carry out a clear analysis of the pupil’s needs. This will draw on:

  • The teacher’s assessment and experience of the pupil.
  • Their previous progress and attainment and behaviour.
  • Other teachers’ assessments, where relevant.
  • The individual’s development in comparison to their peers and national data.
  • The views and experience of parents.
  • The pupil’s own views.
  • Advice from external support services, if relevant.

The assessment will be reviewed regularly and should be updated at regular strategic intervals to allow for timely review of the provision and further planning.

All teachers and support staff who work with the pupil will be made aware of their needs, the outcomes sought, the support provided, and any teaching strategies or approaches that are required. Pupils are individuals and as such will have different needs. The appropriate

support will vary pupil by pupil. This is why it is essential to monitor impact and effectiveness. We will regularly review the effectiveness of the support and interventions and their impact on the pupil’s progress.

Support and interventions will be clearly recorded through provision mapping. Regular review of the impact of interventions and support will be captured on each school’s provision map. Provision maps will also include resources and costs so that the cost of interventions can be clearly reviewed and evaluated. Costs should include staffing costs where appropriate.

8. Teaching and providing effective support for pupils 

8.1 Supporting pupils moving between phases and preparing for adulthood

Transitions are important points in a child’s educational journey. This can be especially true of pupils who have a special educational need. We will share information with the school, college, or other setting the pupil is moving to.

We will agree with parents and pupils which information will be shared as part of this. We will also collect appropriate information from pupils’ previous schools or educational settings when they join us. This will include Early Years settings, such as nurseries and pre-schools.

Transition support may include:

  • Visits to pupils’ schools/settings.
  • Meetings with SENDCOs.
  • Parent information and engagement events.
  • Induction/taster sessions.
  • Additional induction sessions for pupils with SEND.
  • Welcome packs for parents.
  • Information shared through websites.
  • Open evenings/events.
  • Other events appropriate to the school and context.

8.2 Our approach to teaching pupils with SEND

Teachers are responsible and accountable for the progress and development of all the pupils in their class.

High quality teaching is our first step in responding to pupils who have SEND. Our teachers will plan carefully to ensure all pupils can access the curriculum effectively.

Additional support will be provided, based on individual pupils' needs.

We may provide the following interventions (this is not an exhaustive list and pupils would be offered interventions on an individual need basis):

  • Support from a classroom assistant.
  • 1:1 support.
  • Small group support.
  • Assistive technology e.g. reader pens, voice to text software.
  • Provision of specific support programmes (that have a good evidence base) e.g. RWInc, Lexia, Zones of Regulation.

8.3 Adaptations to the curriculum and learning environment

We make the following adaptations to ensure all pupils’ needs are met:

  • Adapting teaching to ensure all pupils are able to access it, for example, giving longer processing times, pre-teaching key vocabulary, reading instructions aloud, adapting activities etc.
  • Adapting our teaching resources and staffing.
  • Using recommended aids, such as laptops, coloured overlays, visual timetables, larger font etc as appropriate based on individual needs and an evidence base.

We believe that all pupils have a right to access a high quality, knowledge rich curriculum, regardless of SEND.

8.4 Working with other agencies

Our schools will work with a wide range of agencies, potentially including health and social care, the local authority and voluntary sector organisations in meeting pupils’ SEND and supporting their families.

They will always work in the best interests of the child and will facilitate, as far as possible, the work of other agencies, adhering to standards of data protection when sharing information and record keeping.

9. Monitoring arrangements for this policy

This policy will be reviewed every year, with input from the Trust wide lead for SEND. It will also be updated if any changes to the information or statutory requirements/legislations are made during the year.

It will be approved by the board of trustees.

Complaints about SEND provision

Complaints about SEND provision in our schools should be made to the SENDCo in the first instance. They will then be referred to the school’s complaints policy.

The parents of pupils with disabilities have the right to make disability discrimination claims to the first-tier SEND tribunal if they believe that our school has discriminated against their children. They can make a claim about alleged discrimination regarding:

  • Exclusions.
  • Provision of education and associated services.
  • Making reasonable adjustments, including the provision of auxiliary aids and services.

10. Links with other policies and documents

This policy links to our policies/documents:

  • Accessibility plan.
  • Behaviour policy.
  • Equality information and objectives.
  • Supporting pupils with medical conditions.
  • Schools will also produce an annual SEND Information Report which accompanies this policy. This should be published on the website and updated annually.