SEN Policy


Policy for Students with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities

The aim of the school, in making provision for students with special educational needs with or without a statement or EHC Plan, is to ensure that students have the right of access to a broad and balanced curriculum, which meets their needs.

Melior Community Academy offers a supportive and encouraging learning environment to all its students.  The school places equal value on and offers equality of opportunity to students with special educational needs.  All students have talents and abilities, which the school aims to nurture and develop.  The school celebrates achievements that represent the fulfilment of a student’s individual ability.  Within this general framework our main objectives are to ensure that the barriers to learning are removed so that:-

  • Students with special educational needs receive their entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum.
  • All teachers endeavour to meet and address the individual needs of students with special educational needs by ensuring that the teaching and learning strategies are matched with the learning needs of the individual pupil.
  • The curriculum is appropriate and accessible whilst offering opportunities for success and growth to students with special educational needs.
  • The school’s procedures for identifying, assessing and meeting the needs of students with SEND are followed.
  • Pupil progress is monitored and recorded in line with the schools policy.
  • Effective partnerships between pupils and their parents, the LEA and other outside agencies.

In order to fulfil these objectives, each department is required to plan a curriculum differentiated in pace and designed to meet a wide range of individual needs.  Departmental schemes of work are supported by assessment procedures that offer opportunities for all students to exhibit knowledge and learning and gain success.  Subject Departments and the Special Needs Department must work closely to ensure that information relating to a student’s special educational needs will be used to benefit the child.



The SENCO, Yvonne Smith is responsible for co-ordinating the provision of education for students with special educational needs. 



The SENCO, is the designated teacher responsible for the day to day operation of the school’s special needs policy.  The SENCO is supported by the SEN teaching staff and is responsible for:

  • Managing Teaching Assistants
  • Liaising with and advising fellow teachers
  • Co-ordinating the provision for children with SEND
  • Maintaining the Special Needs Register and overseeing the records of all students with SEND
  • Liaising with external agencies including the Educational Psychology service and other support agencies, health and social services, voluntary bodies and Local Authority Team.
  • Disseminating relevant information about a student’s special educational needs where appropriate
  • Informing parents of students with SEND of their support programme
  • Contributing to the in-service training of staff
  • Liaising with the Finance Officer, managing the SEND budget
  • Liaising with Inclusion Manager
  • Liaising with SEND Governor




The SENCO is a specialist teacher for students with specific learning difficulties and works across all the Key Stages to identify students in need of support and conduct all the tests for access arrangements; working closely with the Exam Officer.  

The SENCO also has specific qualifications and experience of working with children on the Autistic spectrum.


Other staff in Special Educational Needs

Mrs D. Dexter               SEN Support Officer

Mrs A. Peden               Teaching assistant, supports within the English department and assists with intervention programmes and pupil testing

Mrs J. Van Gelder       Teaching assistant, supports within the Humanities department

                                     and assists with intervention programmes

Mrs N. Burgess            Teaching assistant, supports within the English department and

                                     assists with intervention programmes.

Mrs D. Glover               Teaching assistant, supports within Nurture and within

                                     intervention programmes

Ms J. Haynes               Teaching assistant, supports within the Science department

Miss S. MacKenzie      Teaching assistant, supports within the Mathematics department

Mrs J. Major                 Teaching assistant, supports within the Mathematics


Mrs R. Armstrong        Teaching assistant, supports within the MFL department

Mrs J. Waddington      Teaching assistant/ Librarian

Mrs S. Crossland          Teaching assistant, supports PE and Games

Mrs A. Aldan                 Teaching assistant, supports within CDT

Mrs H. Wilkins              Teaching Assistant

Mrs S. Massen             Teaching Assistant

Miss S. Hurley              Teaching Assistant

Following a comprehensive and diverse training programme the Teaching Assistants have been trained to deliver specialist intervention programmes that are offered to some of our students. 



Students with special educational needs are admitted to the school in accordance with the normal arrangements, which apply for all students.  All children who currently have a statement of special educational needs or an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP), naming the school, will be admitted into the school.




At the Academy there are a number of rooms designated for pupils with special needs. There are 2 Nurture group rooms, together with smaller rooms for withdrawal work and counselling. In addition there are rooms used at break times and lunchtimes as a safe haven for our vulnerable students.




Most students arriving at Melior Community Academy with special educational needs will already be known and be within the stages identified in the Code of Practice. During the summer term the SENCO may visit primary schools to establish links with those needing additional support. There is an annual induction day for all Year 6 students. Additional visits may be arranged for vulnerable or anxious pupils. There is also an opportunity for parents to discuss proposed support and exchange information at the Transition evening. The SENCO is involved in annual review meetings for those anticipated to be transferring to Melior Community Academy from Year 5 upwards.


The results of the online New Group Reading Test (NGRT) and a Single Word Spelling Test, in addition to Cognitive ability tests (CATs), National Curriculum Levels and primary school records will provide further information.  From this evidence base we will have information on the most able as well as those with special educational needs. 

The academy choses to maintain a register of those pupils who have special needs. This is available electronically within school for staff to access.


Students in Year 9 and 10 may be tested and screened for exam considerations where necessary. Reports are produced for those identified and submitted to the Examination Boards. The specialist teacher (in this case the SENCO) tests and writes reports on all the students at KS4 who require access arrangements.  She works closely with the Exams Officer.


Where there is concern some students are screened for vision deficiency and visual perceptual difficulties.  Students identified as having either of these difficulties are referred to professional specialists and are given aids (coloured overlays, tracking rulers, monitor adaptations) to assist them with their difficulty. Other technical aids are provided as required e.g. netbooks.


Following identification and assessment the SEN Department offers the following:-

  • Catch-up Literacy- A programme which is delivered on a 1:1 basis for our students whose reading is below their chronological age by 6-7 years. This is a highly structured, phonic based programme which generally sees reading ages progress from between 6 months and 4 years.
  • Accelerated Reader – A programme which we operate both in class and on a withdrawal basis depending upon need. It is a very effective programme, tracking reading comprehension. It is best used with pupils who are 3 to 4 years below their chronological expectation and enhances reading comprehension age by 6 months to around 4 years.
  • Hackney Literacy Programme –An intervention programme for pupils who enter the school with a Key Stage 2 Level below 4. The aim of this programme is to rapidly bring pupils up to the expected Level 4. This programme is delivered in groups of up to 6 pupils.
  • Attack – Is an intensive spelling programme which we deliver to small groups of pupils whose spelling is below their chronological age. Generally we see pupils spelling age increasing between 3 months and 3 years.
  • Dyslexia Intervention – We use a variety of programmes to teach pupils to cope with their dyslexia. The most popular one is Beat Dyslexia. While dyslexia can never be cured we see pupils becoming more confident in their literacy skills and their reading and spelling ability are often improved. Given the nature of the difficulty this is often by small degrees and tend to slip backwards without regular input.
  • Sounds Training -  Aims to raise the reading and spelling ability of pupils who are falling 1-2 years behind their chronological age in these skills. Pupils who trialled this intervention at the end of last year were seen to improve by between 3 months and 3 years 7 months in their reading comprehension.
  • Dyscalculia screening for identified students with related intervention;
  • Targeted maths intervention -identified students to receive an additional one hour per week small group numeracy support and intervention- students are grouped to meet individual needs.
  • Accelerated Maths– A structured programme which test pupils to determine areas of weakness in their numeracy/ mathematical ability then constructs a programme of intervention to offer practice and support.
    • Toe by Toe – a highly structured phonics programme.
    • Typequick – a keyboard skills programme for dyspraxic students
    • The Rainbow Reading Programme
    • Other spelling, handwriting and Memory programmes can be made available where necessary.



Students with medical needs are identified and Medical Plans and Risk Assessments are produced.  Parents attend the meetings and the risks and provisions required to ensure the student can access the curriculum are agreed and put in place.




The school aims to provide all students with access to a broad and balanced curriculum.  A range of teaching styles, including differentiation, will be used.  The SEND Department have produced a numerous documents advising on suggested teaching strategies.  All staff have access to this material.


Members of the special needs team may be involved in the planning stage of courses and new work produced for students and can offer advice on differentiated approaches for students as well as readability levels of materials.


The match between a student’s ability and an appropriate curriculum is crucial.  Departments are encouraged to exercise and develop their provision for students with special educations needs in order to ensure full access to the national curriculum at the necessary level.



The philosophy of the SEND Department is that ‘Every Child Matters.’ (despite the change of government and re-naming of the documentation, this philosophy still exists). It is the intention of the school to integrate any students with special educational needs into mainstream classes along with their peers.  Increasingly we are taking in students with diverse needs who would have previously been educated in specialist schools/units.  Some of these students are of very limited ability and academic progress may be minimal.  Some of these children may be on the Child Protection Register or are ‘Looked After Children’. However, our aim is to provide a safe and secure environment to promote the happiness and well being of these vulnerable students.  The named responsible staff for ‘Looked After Children’ is Yvonne Smith (SENCO), and for Child Protection/ Safeguarding the person with responsibility is Mrs Denise Van den Berg.


At the beginning of each academic year, members of staff who are timetabled to teach SEN students are requested to read any documentation which is available on the School Intranet.  Teachers can then more effectively prepare to integrate these students into their planning.


The SEND Department will work closely with the senior member of staff and the governor responsible for the Implementation of the Disability and Discrimination Act and oversee the execution of the Melior Community Academy Accessibility Plan.  The SEND Department will devise appropriate programmes for those students who are identified as having special educational needs.



The successful realisation of the policy is a shared responsibility to be developed and delivered across the curriculum and pastoral care system.  The success of the policy should be observable in the following ways:-


  • Evidence from classroom practice e.g. employment of appropriate teaching styles, differentiation of tasks, and use of appropriate resources.
  • The fulfilment of statutory duties e.g. the SEND spreadsheet (we feel this is essential although no longer statutory), staged documents, provision maps, letters to parents. 
  • Performance Management – conducted annually for all teachers and teaching assistants.
  • Lesson Observations of SEND staff several times during the year
  • Analysis of student performance both against national data (Raiseonline) and internal monitoring.
  • Provision mapping of all SEND interventions for our student updated annually.


Evaluating the success and progress of statemented/ EHCP students will take place on a termly basis and at the annual review to which parents and various other interested outside agencies are invited.  All students on the SEND register are tested and reviewed every two terms.


Whilst individual students develop and progress at different rates, it is hoped that basic literacy and numeracy competencies will improve on an annual basis. 


In addition, regular meetings with the SENCO’s line manager (Miss G Broughton) and the Governor responsible for SEND (Mrs M Nixon) will be held to monitor the implementation of the whole school policy.


This policy is a working document and will be reviewed annually at the end of each school year to assess its effectiveness as will be the documentation associated with the staged procedures. 




Should a complaint occur, the problem will be dealt with initially by the SENCO. If the issue is not resolved the matter will be referred to the SENCO’s Line Manager or a member of the Senior Leadership Team.  In extreme cases complaints will be referred to the Principal and the SEND Governor.




In-service training and professional development are reviewed annually in the School’s Development Plan.  The SEND Department’s Development Plan will target and prioritise areas for in-service training and professional development across the department.


The SENCO will attend Network SENCO meetings from across the Authority to share in the development of good practice, will respond to staff needs and facilitate staff development programmes concerned with SEND.




The school has arrangements with SENDIAS -The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Advisory Team (formerly Parent Partnership), EWO- Education Welfare Officers, Careers and IPASS- Integrated Physical and Sensory Service  .  The SENCO also attends multi-agency meetings when appropriate.                                                                         



Parents may at any time, trigger a concern for their child.  Any concern initiated by a parent will be recorded on the Parent Conversation Log pro-forma and acted upon. 

Parents of students identified as SEND Support or with a Statement or EHCP will be contacted by letter in September informing them of the student’s inclusion on our register.  They will be involved in the decision making whilst their child receives support from the SEND Department.  When a child is to be removed from support the parent will be informed by letter.

Where a concern is registered, the school will write to the parent(s) concerned informing them and giving them the opportunity to share their views.

Parents of children with learning difficulties may be asked to play an active and supportive role in reading and spelling activities. 

If a student is experiencing behavioural problems the parent(s) may be asked to consider appropriate rewards or sanctions to support actions taken in school.

Parents are welcomed and encouraged to contact the SENCO.  They will be invited to take an active role in the setting and reviewing of student targets.



Liaison between the school and social and educational welfare services will take place via the SENCO / CP Co-ordinator who will in turn liaise with the appropriate member of staff.


Y Smith


October 2015