Heath Lane Academy opened in August 2016 following the merger of Heathfield Academy and William Bradford Academy. Heath Lane Academy is sponsored by the Midland Academies Trust and provides mainstream secondary education for students aged 11 to 19.
Heath Lane Academy currently has 155 students on roll who have Special Educational Needs including 5 who have Education Health Care Plans (EHCPs). All students with Special Educational Needs receive some additional learning support through the SENCOs and the SEND team.
All Leicestershire Local Authority (LA) maintained schools and academies have a similar approach to meeting the needs of pupils with Special Educational Needs and are supported by the LA to ensure that all pupils, regardless of their specific needs, make the best possible progress in school.
All schools are supported to be as inclusive as possible, with the needs of pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) being met in a mainstream setting wherever possible.
• Who do I contact if I have concerns about my SEND student or if I think my child has Special Educational Needs or a Disability?
The SEND team is made up of the following:
John Collins – SENCo
Sue Mitchell – SENCo
We also have 4 Progress Coaches who help students with EHCPs / SEND Support Plans and SEND within the classroom, as well as during break-time / lunchtime and in clubs run before and after school.
• What are the contact details of the SENCO and the SEND team?
SEND Co-ordinator, Mr John Collins.
Telephone: 01455 845061
SEND Co-ordinator, Mrs Sue Mitchell
Telephone: 01455 845061
SEND Link Governor, Mrs Kate Adair
Telephone: 01455 845061
• What policies do you have in place for identifying those pupils with SEND and assessing their needs?
Our SEND Policy is available to download on the Academy website.
A pupil has SEND where their learning difficulty or disability calls for special educational provision to be made for them, that is, provision different from or additional to that normally available to pupils of the same age. For some pupils, SEND can be identified at an early age. However, for other pupils and young people difficulties become evident only as they develop.
The identification of SEND is built into the overall approach to monitoring the progress and development of all pupils. Those with a responsibility for learning will take on board information from partner primary schools and national assessment bodies with regard to pupils’ skills and levels of attainment on entry. Subject teachers then make regular assessments of progress for all pupils identifying in particular where pupils are making less than expected progress given their age and individual circumstances. Where a pupil’s progress is causing concern, this may be characterised by progress which:
• 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
It can include progress in areas other than attainment – for instance where a pupil needs to make additional progress with wider development or social needs.
Broad areas of need as outlined in the SEND Code of Practice (2014)
These four broad areas give an overview of the range of needs that the school plans for. Individual pupils or young people often have needs that cut across all these areas and their needs may change over time.
• Communication and Interaction
• Cognition and Learning
• Social, Emotional and Mental Health
• Sensory and/or Physical
There are other factors that may impact on progress and attainment that are not considered SEN:
• Attendance and punctuality
• Health and Welfare
• English as an additional language (EAL)
• Being in receipt of pupil premium grant
• Being a looked after child (LAC)
• Being a child of a serviceman or service woman
• What are the arrangements for consulting parents / carers of SEND pupils and involving them in the education of their child?
The school is fully committed to a meaningful partnership with parents/carers of children with special educational needs where they can be as fully involved as possible in decisions and are provided with the information and support necessary to enable participation in those decisions.
The school will do this by:
• Making parents/carers feel welcome and actively listening to their concerns, wishes and aspirations for their child, instilling confidence and building effective partnerships.
• Providing all information in an accessible way
• SENCo available for meeting by appointment through the school office
• Publishing information about how the school implements the SEND Policy on the school web site following the information set out in the SEN information regulations (2015) and as part of the school’s contribution to the Local Offer. A link to the Local Offer is available on the Academy website.
• Subject teachers being available to be in dialogue with parents/carers, in addition to parent/carers evening appointments, to discuss concerns regarding pupils’ progress at the earliest opportunity, raised either by the subject teacher or the parent/carers themselves.
• Parents/carers of pupils with SEND will be involved in dialogue each year to set and review the outcomes of support, discuss the activities and support that will help students achieve them, and identify the responsibilities of the parent/carers, the pupil and the school. It will provide an opportunity for the parents/carers to share their views. This dialogue may form part of or be in addition to parents’ evening meetings and may be supported by the SENCo.
• The school will ensure that teaching staff are supported to manage these conversations as part of their professional development.
• Support and guide parents/carers in ways that they can help with their child’s learning and development at home.
• A record of the outcomes, action and support agreed through the discussion are kept and shared with all the appropriate school staff and a record will be given to the pupil’s parents/carers.
• Signposting parents/carers to wider support, information and services pertinent to their child’s SEND by ensuring they know how to access the Local Offer and the LA’s Parent Partnership Service (now known as ‘SENDIAS’).
• Planning in additional support for parents/carers at key times, for example, when considering and making a referral for a coordinated assessment for an EHC Plan and to ensure smooth and successful transition into the school or to next phase of education.
• Making use of media such as email to contact parents/carers and for parents/carers to contact school in line with the school’s communication processes.
• Seeking parents’/carers' views through periodic questionnaires and considering adjustments to practice in the light of analysis.
• Please describe how you would support a parent/carer with a concern or a young person who was worried about their learning
If you have any concerns about the learning of your child you could contact a number of people. If the concern relates to a specific subject, then you could contact the teacher of that subject. If the concern relates to a specific area than you may wish to contact a Head of Department. If the concern is behavioural, then you may wish to contact the pastoral lead.
For any general concerns regarding progress of SEND students, or, if you believe that your child has a Special Educational Need or Disability, then you should contact either John Collins (SENCo), or Sue Mitchell (SENCo). We would then discuss the concern and invite you into school for a meeting. After initial meeting and assessments we may then add your child to the SEND register. In this case, Parents/carers of pupils with SEND will be involved in written or verbal dialogue at least three times a year. Parents of students with SEND Support Plans or EHCPs will be invited to termly meetings to set and review the outcomes of support, discuss the activities and support that will help students achieve their targets, and identify the responsibilities of the parent/carers, the pupil and the school.
• What are the arrangements for consulting young people with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities and involving them in their education?
We believe that it is vitally important that students are involved in the planning and review of their own education. The pupil’s voice is included at every stage of SEND review process. They are interviewed from the start, whether they have a diagnosis and are already on the SEND register, or, if they are being assessed for a SEND.
Students are involved in the writing of their IEP, their annual reviews and any other changes to their SEND status. Students are met with regularly on an informal basis by the SENCos. More formal interviews with students take place at least three times of the year for students with EHCPs and SEND Support Plans and targets are set, and reviewed in line with the Academy reporting cycle.
• What arrangements do you have for assessing and reviewing the progress of pupils with SEND, and progress towards their outcomes?
Meetings or discussions with students will take place at least three times of the year and targets are set and reviewed in line with the Academy reporting cycle. Data is used to track and monitor the progress of SEND students on a termly basis.
More informal monitoring of student progress is completed through dialogue with teachers and Progress Coaches.
Underperforming students may be set additional targets, be put on a SEND report, or made to take part in additional interventions
• How do you support pupils with SEND transferring between phases of education or in preparing for adulthood and independent living?
The transition of students from KS2 to KS3 is completed with close links with the local Primary Schools. The SENCos visit the Primary Schools and liaise with the Primary SENCos to discuss the SEND students that will be transitioning to Heath Lane Academy the following September. This is completed in the spring and summer terms before transition.
We then arrange transition days where students with SEND visit the ~Academy in small groups to have an induction to the Academy. Students who would benefit from additional transition work are invited to visit the school at other times along with their parents. We also aim to complete IEPs with SEND students from KS2 before their arrival in September.
For students moving into FE / HE, employment, we provide careers and educational advice and guidance. We pass on the SEND information on students to their college / FE institute.
• What is your approach to teaching pupils with SEND?
We always try to ensure that the majority of Educational Needs for all students is met through Quality First Teaching.
Additional interventions may mean that some students receive support from Progress Coaches in lessons, or indeed out of lessons, with extra numeracy, literacy and Phonics. We have homework clubs and handwriting clubs, as well as literacy and numeracy interventions and paired reading schemes.
• How will you adapt the curriculum and learning environment for pupils with SEND?
All students are given the opportunity to succeed in as many activities as possible.
On entry to the Academy students will be placed in a mixed ability tutor group.
Academic setting arrangements in some subjects will take into account the following:
• Information received related to students' achievements including National Curriculum Key Stage 2 test results or teacher assessments.
• Reading and spelling ages
• Results of assessment carried out by Departments
• Advice from the SEN department at the students' previous school. Advice from outside agencies where appropriate.
Heath Lane Academy believes that every child should ‘Be the Best’ and in 'Quality from Teachers'. Teachers are aware of their responsibilities to differentiate according to the needs of students in their classes and in accordance with teaching standards.
Teachers are provided with a range of strategies and have access to regular staff training to improve their understanding of special educational needs and disadvantaged/vulnerable students.
Heath Lane Academy has a team of Progress Coaches who work closely with the teaching staff to enable students to fulfil their potential.
The provision for pupils is related specifically to their needs by:
• Differentiated resources
• Appropriate marking
• Individual Education Plans
• Specialist equipment and materials
• In class support for small groups by Progress Coaches
• Small group withdrawal
• Individual withdrawal for programmes tailored to meet specific needs of the pupil.
• Placing in appropriate groups
• Literacy and numeracy interventions
• Support from Outside Agencies
• What expertise and training does your staff have in relation to supporting / teaching pupils with SEND and how is this specialist expertise secured?
In-service training of all staff in relation to special educational needs remains a priority for the Academy
In recent years staff have received training on strategies to support students with dyslexia, autism, ADHD as well as behavioural and emotional difficulties.
In addition Progress Coaches have completed training on supporting students with reading, spelling dyslexia and autism.
Awareness raising training is also available more specifically for staff coming into contact with particular students e.g. training from the diabetic nurse or hearing / visual impairment team.
Liaison with other schools and outside agencies is an essential part of preparation for a new student starting at Heath Lane Academy. Transition opportunities form a regular part of the academic year.
In addition to expertise within the Academy we have access to a variety of other support services including:
Progress Coaches are trained in a number of areas and we have staff dedicated to the following:
• How will you evaluate the effectiveness of your provisions for pupils with SEND?
The effectiveness of the support and interventions and their impact on the pupil’s progress will be reviewed by the SENCos each term. The review process will include an evaluation of the impact and quality of the support and intervention. This review will then feed back into the analysis of the pupil’s needs. The subject teacher, with support from the SENCo where needed, will revise the support in light of the pupil’s progress and development. Any major changes to the support will be completed in consultation with the parent/carers and pupil. We will also adapt the support provided by Progress Coaches and may make changes to any additional interventions that we feel would improve provision for the student with SEND.
• How will you provide additional support to aid the learning of pupils with SEND?
Additional support is provided depending on the Special Educational Needs / Disabilities of the individual child. This may involve additional teacher interventions, Progress Coach support or support from external agencies. Examples of specialist agencies used by and that are available to be used by the school include:
• How will equipment and facilities, to support pupils with SEND, be secured?
The school may also make use of Pupil Premium Funding where a pupil is registered as SEND and is also in receipt of Pupil Premium grant to address the needs of these pupils and enhance learning and achievement.
Each term, in consultation with the Principal, curriculum/subject leaders and subject teachers, the SENCo will map the targeted provision in place for pupils on the SEND record to show how resources are allocated and to monitor the cost of the whole of our SEND provision. This targeted provision is paid for from the SEND / Pupil Premium budgets. Sometimes we may look for outside organisations to provide additional support where funding is available / the service is free.
In some cases, there is a charge for accessing specialist agency support; funding for which will come from the school’s notional SEND budget and will be monitored by the SENCo and the Principal.
Where pupils are made subject to an EHC Plan, the school will work in close partnership with any specialist agencies named on the Plan to provide support and specialist advice.
• How are pupils with SEND enabled to engage in activities available to their peers without SEND?
There is no discrimination – SEND students are invited to attend any activities / trips / interventions as their non – SEND peers. Where this may prove difficult for a SEND students we would make further support available so that they could access the activity wherever possible. If a student has an EHCP we would provide support to ensure that they were able to engage with the activities as their peers, as long as they have no medical barriers to engaging in such activities and as long as Health and Safety procedures were not compromised.
• What support is available for improving the emotional and social development of pupils with SEND?
Heath Lane Academy provides support through the Pastoral System. All students are allocated a form tutor who should monitor the students' well-being, attendance, progress and behaviour.
The Assistant Principal has pastoral responsibility. This is supported by the Progress Leaders for Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5. The Progress Leaders will coordinate responses to concerns about emotional and social needs alongside the SENCo and the SEND team.
A medical room is available to students in the main office where supervision is provided should students need to administer medicines. The school nurse visits the Academy weekly.
Good attendance is essential to success at school. Students’ attendance is monitored and support offered. Heath Lane Academy aims to minimise instances of poor behaviour through early interventions and adaptations to the curriculum.
At Heath Lane Academy we believe that all forms of bullying are unacceptable and that all members of the academy community have a shared responsibility in preventing it and responding to it. All students and staff have the right to work and be educated in a safe and secure environment, and to be protected from others who may wish to harm, degrade or abuse them in any way.
The safety of students is paramount. Students are not allowed to leave the campus at lunch or break times for their own protection. All staff have received safeguarding training.
If students wish to contribute their views they are represented through student feedback with Voice of the Learner or through the student council.
• How the governing body involves other bodies (including health and social services bodies, local authority support services and voluntary organisations) in meeting the needs of these pupils and supporting their families?
The Governing body will, in line with SEND Information Regulations, publish information on the school’s website about the implementation of the school’s policy for pupils with SEND. The information published will be updated annually and any changes to the information occurring during the year will be updated as soon as possible.
A member of the Governing Body is appointed to have specific oversight of the school’s arrangements for SEN and disability and to ensure that the full governing body is kept informed of how the school is meeting the statutory requirements.
The Principal, SENCo and governing body will establish a clear picture of the resources that are available to the school and will consider the strategic approach to meeting SEND in the context of the total resources available, including any resources targeted at particular groups, such as the pupil premium.
SEN link governors attend termly briefings for updates on different agencies with the opportunity to raise questions.
• What arrangements are made by the governing body or proprietor, relating to the treatment of complaints, from parents and carers of pupils with SEND, concerning the provision made at your school / college?
In the case of parents/carers complaints, you should follow the Complaints Policy and Procedure which is available on the Academy website. In the case of serious formal complaints, these would then ultimately be heard/resolved by a Governors' panel or a governor’s panel made up of governors from other schools within the MAT.
• How do you contribute to the publication of the local authority’s local offer?
Please see Leicestershire County Councils SEND Local Offer, attached here: