• 2014 LRB

SEND Information Report

Who should I contact if my child has Special Educational Needs (SEND)?

Mrs Bernice Youll is the Head of SEND/Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator and oversees SEND provision within the Academy.

She has attained the National Award for SEN Co-Ordination.

Mrs Sarah Norman is Learning Leader of SEND, with responsibility for the Special Educational Needs of students in years 7 and 8 and also those taught within the Nurture group provision.

The Chair of the Governing Body, Mrs Christine Warren oversees SEND provision within the Academy.

The SEND Team also includes five support staff and an Associate Teacher of SEND who works within the Nurture groups.

Members of the SEND team both teaching and support staff have received training in the following areas:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Speech, Language and Communication difficulties-staff have regular access to Speech and Language therapists for further advice as part of the Language Resource Base/Enhanced Mainstream Provision
  • Counselling
  • Self-Harm
  • Literacy-use of Lexia
  • Training in the use of Clicker
  • Motor Skills
  • Dyslexia
  • Restorative Justice
  • Lego Therapy
  • Nurture group provision
  • Youth Mental Health First Aid
  • Mindfulness
  • Listening Matters
  • Shape-Coding
  • Independent Travel Training

Staff can be contacted on the Academy number: 01207 292180 or through the school email address


Staff can also be contacted directly at b.youll@ndacademy.co.uk

The County Durham SEND Information and Advice Support Service (formerly Parent Partnership) provides support to the parents of students with Special Educational Needs. They can be contacted on 0191 5873541 or 03000 267007 and further information can be found on their website www.durhamsendiass.info.

Information about the provision made for students with SEND within County Durham is detailed in The Local Offer which can be found on the County Durham Families Information Service (FIS) website at www.countydurhamfamilies.info.


What kinds of Special Educational Needs does the Academy provide for?


There are four broad areas of Special Educational Need;

Communication and Interaction

Communication and Interaction includes students with Autism Spectrum Condition and those with Speech, Language and Communication Needs.

The Academy is an Enhanced Mainstream Provision (EMP) for students with Speech, Language and Communication Needs, providing specialist support for students. This is also referred to as The Language Resource Base and further information can be found on the school website.

Cognition and Learning

Cognition and Learning includes students with Specific Learning Difficulties such as Dyslexia (difficulties with reading, writing and spelling) and Dyspraxia (problems with motor skills and organization) as well as students with Moderate Learning Difficulties.

Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties

Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties includes students whose ability to learn and manage is affected by these difficulties.

Sensory and/or Physical Difficulties

Sensory and/or Physical Difficulties includes students with a hearing impairment, visual impairment, multi-sensory impairment and physical difficulties.

At North Durham Academy we are passionate about ensuring that all our students fulfil their potential, whilst realizing that some students may need additional support because of the difficulties they experience.


How do we identify students with SEND?


The initial identification of SEND pupils occurs through liaison with feeder primary schools or from information provided by a student's previous secondary school.

A student may transfer to North Durham Academy having already had his/her Special Educational Needs identified, or a student’s SEN may emerge as a result of our own assessment procedures.

Parents can meet with staff at Open Evenings or transition events prior to transferring from primary school or if a student is moving secondary schools, they can discuss their child’s needs at the transfer meeting prior to starting.

Throughout the year staff or parents may raise concerns about a student with the Head of SEND and SEND team, who would then identify the appropriate intervention, assessment or external agency to involve following discussion with the student and parents.


How does the Academy provide for students with SEND?

The Academy strives to be an inclusive school, where disabled students are not treated less favourably and we encourage a sense of community and belonging through:

  • access to all areas of the curriculum, whilst providing a flexible range of strategies and provision for meeting students’ needs through alterative groupings such as Nurture groups, individualized support, special exam arrangements, courses or accreditation;
  • access to school rewards and participation in Achievement Assemblies to support success and build self-esteem;
  • recognizing we all share responsibility for the integration of students with SEND in the classroom and beyond;
  • fully integrating all students-including those with SEND-into all aspects of Academy life, including sports, drama or school visits.
  • on-going teaching and support staff training;
  •  information on SEND students is detailed on a student’s Support Plan and includes a student’s SEND needs, their strengths and suggested strategies for supporting them; as well as the outcomes they are working towards. The student’s own views includes identifying the core strategies that will best support them. This information is distributed to all staff.


What is the Graduated Response?


The Graduated Approach is a four part process of;


Assessing the student’s special educational needs and gaining a better understanding of the  barriers to a student’s learning through working in partnership with the student, parents and other professionals. This may also include observing a student in lessons and looking at their work, appropriate assessments as well as discussions with Teaching and Support staff.


Planning involves working together to identify the outcomes a student is working towards and the provision required to achieve these. This is detailed in the student’s individualized Support Plan.


Targeted provision is put in place to allow the student to successfully meet their outcomes. A student’s Year Manager or Achievement Leader may also work with students, parents and the SEND team to set targets and put intervention in place.


Progress is reviewed regularly with the student, parents, teaching and support staff as well as other professionals where appropriate. Provision and outcomes are amended as required.

In some cases a student may no longer require additional provision - or they may need more extensive support. Where a student’s difficulties are severe and they do not make the expected progress, despite a range of interventions; an Education, Health and Care Plan may be considered.


How does the Academy use its resources to support students with SEND?

  • The SEN support timetable is constantly reviewed so that support is best placed to meet students’ needs.
  • Support staff work 1:1 with students or in small groups, they may support students both academically and pastorally, acting as mentors where needed.
  • Support staff lead interventions to support a student’s identified need.
  • Laptops are available within the Harbour and in each subject area to support students who have difficulties with handwriting.
  • The Harbour has its own computer room which can be accessed by students at break and lunch time.
  • Other rooms within the Harbour are opened at break and lunchtime for students who may prefer a quieter area.
  • The Nurture group provision is reviewed regularly to ensure it best meets the needs of the students and the curriculum is adapted accordingly.
  • The Academy has a wet room for students who may need to access this facility.
  • Lifts are available for use to access higher floors.
  • Costed Provision Maps detail a student’s outcomes and the provision in place for students with an Education, Health and Care Plan.
  • SEND students are frequently taught within smaller classes.
  • Exam access arrangements are put in place for SEND students who require them, this occurs for  mocks and GCSE exams at Key Stage 4 and assessments in Key Stage 3.
  • The Language Resource Base/Enhanced Mainstream Provision offers extra support and therapy to both students with an Education, Health and Care Plan and those at SEN Support who have Speech, Language and Communication Difficulties.

Schools receive funding to specifically support students with Special Educational Needs. Within the Academy this is used in a variety of ways, including reducing class sizes, providing SEN Support staff, providing a specialist SEND area (the Harbour), and resources such as a designated computer facilities. It also funds provision such as the Nurture groups and places for students at Alternative Provision.

Provision for students with an Education, Health and Care Plan is costed to ensure that an individual student’s outcomes can be fully met and the appropriate personalised support put in place to best meet the student’s needs.


How does the Academy meet the needs of students who are Look After and also have Special Educational Needs?

  • The Head of SEND also has responsibility for the provision of students who are Looked After.
  • The Academy maintains close links with the carers of students who are Looked After and attend regular meetings, LAC reviews, PEP reviews and provide information on a student's progress.
  • Suitable provision is provided where a students' needs are best met by the Nurture group; where students can develop positive relationships with a smaller number of staff.
  • The progress of Looked After Students forms part of the regular monitoring completed by Achievement Leaders, Heads of Subject and the Head of SEND.
  • Extra provision is made as required to ensure that the student’s needs are met following discussion with all those involved.
  • Appropriate training is arranged as required.


How are the curriculum and learning environment adapted to meet the needs of students with SEN?

The Academy recognizes that the curriculum and learning environment may need to be adapted for students with SEND, through:                             

  • differentiation by the class teacher-this may involve such strategies as;

-planning for and setting tasks more appropriate to a student’s needs;

-providing vocabulary lists or writing frames;

-printing out information from the board;

-giving students task lists to help them with organization;

-writing down instructions and homework tasks;

-repeating instructions as required;

-checking students have understood the task;

-visual support or more movement-based activities;

-allowing a student extra time to complete a task;

-allowing a student to work in a different area;

-breaking activities down into more manageable amounts;

-providing extra support or intervention;

-implementing further strategies as detailed on a student’s Support Plan.

  • regular whole staff training on meeting the needs of all students within a classroom through a variety of teaching strategies;
  • training for staff new to the Academy and staff in training to become teachers;
  • placing students within appropriate classes, groups or pathways so that they access teaching and courses at the appropriate level;
  • providing extra intervention where required;
  • in class support provided by SEND Support staff;
  • close liaison between the Achievement Leader, the Heads of Subject and the Head of SEND to identify any issues;
  • one to one support or small group work to support academic work;
  • one to one support or small group work to develop motor skills, literacy skills or provide support with emotional or behavioural issues, or help with developing coping strategies;
  • Nurture Groups (see more detailed information on the school website about the Nurture Groups);
  • access to appropriate Off Site Provision;
  • bespoke timetables where this will best meet a student’s needs;
  • confidence building groups or activities to develop interpersonal skills;
  • access to more vocational based courses;
  • access to the Harbour Area before school, at break and lunchtime;
  • access to a Homework Club;
  • access to a Wet room within the Harbour;
  • access to the Language Resource Base Team (see more detailed information on the school website about the Language Resource Base/Enhanced Mainstream Provision);
  • access to lifts to assist movement within the building;
  • early passes or toilet passes as needed;
  • special exam arrangements for mocks and GCSE exams.


How are students with SEN enabled to engage in extra-curricular activities?

SEND students are offered the same sporting, drama and enrichment activities as all students within the Academy. They are encouraged to participate in all extra-curricular activities, trips and end of term events.

We recognize that some students with Special Educational Needs may need extra support accessing such activities and the SEND team plan for this. For example, providing extra staff support on trips, discussing and planning for an activity with a student or to providing extra support to enable a student to access an activity. Students taught within the Nurture Groups also access a variety of activities, for example raising money for charity through making and selling Christmas gifts.


What pastoral support is available for SEND students?

Within school, SEND students are able to access emotional and social support from the following people:

  • the SEND Team, who are based in the Harbour, are available before and after school, at break and lunchtimes and can support students with any concerns;
  • 1:1 sessions with a SEND support worker;
  • a student’s Form Tutor, who they can discuss any concerns with during Tutor time in the morning;
  • a student’s Year Manager, whose role is to address and support student’s Pastoral issues;
  • a student’s Achievement Leader is also available to support students with any issues;
  • the school counsellor, who can offer weekly appointments to discuss concerns;

support from the Inclusion Team-both in small groups and 1:1;

  • support from external agencies, such as CAMHS, Social Services or the Education Psychologist;
  • other agencies or off-site provision the academy has access to, that can provide personalized support.

A Pastoral Support Plan (PSP) may be established to detail the specific support a student needs and the outcomes they are working towards to further support students with Social, Emotional and Behavioural difficulties.

Measures to prevent bullying include:

  • access to a supervised quiet area in the Harbour, accessed only by students with a pass;
  • support from a student’s Year Manager, Achievement Leader or Form tutor to deal with any issues;
  • access to the school counsellor to discuss any worries or concerns;
  • access to the Academy ‘Stop Bullying’ number;
  • regular discussions with students and Student Voice;
  • measures such as staff mentors for students or ‘Time to talk’ cards;
  • regular contact with parents where concerns can be raised;
  • assemblies and work during Tutor time to discuss and prevent bullying.

Bullying is not tolerated and we encourage students and parents to raise any concerns immediately. Please see the Academy’s Anti-Bullying Policy which can be found in the ‘Policies’ section of the school website.


How does the school involve others?

If further support or equipment is required, the Academy has strong links with the following agencies:

  • One Point
  • Educational Psychology Service
  • Cognition and Learning Team
  • EAL and Equalities Team
  • Sensory Support Service
  • ASD Team
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Team (CAMHS)
  • The County Durham SEND Information and Advice Support Service (formerly Parent Partnership)  
  • Occupational Therapy Service
  • SEN Placement and Provision, County Hall
  • Health Service, including the School Nurse
  • Speech and Language therapists
  • Resilience Nurse

External specialists may provide advice, additional assessment, provide staff training, work directly with a student or consult with all those involved.

Following our own assessment, discussion with staff and support staff, parents and the student concerned; a referral might be made to an external agency to seek further assessment or specialist advice on how best to support a student's needs. Consent is always sought before any referrals are made.

The Academy pays yearly for an allocation of time from an Educational Psychologist, to ensure a detailed assessment of those students with very severe needs and those who may require an Education, Health and Care Plan.


How does the Academy assess the progress of students with Special Educational Needs?

The Academy assesses student progress through:

  • regular meetings of the SEND Team to discuss students’ progress and identify any areas of concern;
  • meetings with parents and students throughout the year;
  • regular monitoring of student progress by the Achievement Leader, Heads of Subject and Head of SEND, to identify any subject areas where a student may not be making the expected progress and any intervention required;
  • Parents’ Evenings, where parents can discuss their child’s progress with staff;
  • reviews throughout the year of outcomes detailed on SEN Support plans-through discussion with students, parents, staff and other professionals where required;
  • analysis of examination data;


How are parents and students involved?

  • Parents are actively encouraged to contact the school if they have any concerns or queries.
  • Issues affecting a student will be discussed with parents, for examples referrals to other agencies.
  • Meetings with parents in school.
  • Regular phone contact.
  • Home visits.
  • Parents Evenings where parents and students can speak to staff.
  • Parental Questionnaires.
  • Parents and students are invited to give their views at meetings.
  • Regular Student Voices-where groups of SEN students are asked for their views either verbally or through a questionnaire
  • Students identify 2-3 Core strategies for supporting them in class. These are detailed on their Support Plan.
  • 1:1 discussions with students, to give them the opportunity to discuss their progress and school life.
  • Parents can give their views on Parent View on the Ofsted website
  • Parents can email info@ndacademy.co.uk with any feedback on the Academy’s SEN Information Report
  • Extra transition visits arranged as the request of year 6 parents who have concerns about their child.


How does the Academy support students to transfer between phases in education?

Primary to Secondary

  • The SEND team meet with the Year 6 teachers, Primary SENCOs and Head teachers in the Summer Term prior to transfer.
  • The local Authority will consult with the Academy for those students who have an Education, Health and Care Plan to ensure the Academy can fully meet the students' needs prior to their admission.
  • Open Evenings allow parents and students to visit the Academy and speak to staff.
  • Staff may attend reviews or transition meetings at Primary schools.
  • Students take part in Transition activities, where they can meet staff from the SEN Team or take part in activities within the Harbour area.
  • Support staff support students during Transition days, so they become familiar with students.
  • Extra visits can be arranged for SEND students to visit the school, both during the day and after school, enabling them to ask questions about any concerns.
  • Opportunities provided for parents to meet with members of the SEND team at their child's Primary school.
  • Staff attend events at local primary schools.
  • Outside agencies may provide students with extra support and activities to prepare students for secondary school.

Between classes

  • Staff are informed in advance when a student moves classes and appropriate information is given to ensure staff are aware of a student’s needs.
  • Training is given to staff to support students moving out of the Nurture groups. Students may be supported initially in their new class or may move gradually with one or two lessons to start with.

Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 4

  • The SEND team attend Options Evening and Parents' Evening and can discuss possible option choices
  • A student’s timetable may be adapted where required to best meet their needs.

Secondary to Post 16

  • Students receive a variety of careers activities throughout Key Stage 3 and 4 which help to prepare them for post 16 choices.
  • Careers interviews and access to a One Point Advisor within school, who can provide guidance on career choices.
  • Discussions at meetings about students’ interests and careers choices.
  • Support staff work with students on developing life skills and assist with work placements.
  • Life Skills groups to support students develop skills such as planning a journey or preparing a meal.
  • Support from SEND Casework at Annual reviews of students with an Education, Health and Care Plan.
  • On leaving the Sixth Form
  • Extra support provided to assist SEND students with choices following year 13.
  • Students receive a variety of careers activities which help to prepare them for their next steps.
  • Support from SEND Casework at Annual reviews of students with an Education, Health and Care Plan.


How do we evaluate the effectiveness of our provision?

The Head of SEND regularly evaluates the effectiveness of its SEND provision through:

  • regular meetings with the Senior Leadership Team to monitor the SEND provision within the Academy;
  • termly meetings with the Governor who oversees SEND provision;
  • termly reviews of data and SEND student progress;
  • scrutinies of  SEND student’s work;
  • observations of SEND students in lessons to assess progress and whether a students’ needs are being met;
  • monitoring of small group intervention and analysis of the impact;
  • half termly evaluation of the impact of the support a student receives;
  • regular meetings with the Learning Leader of SEND to discuss provision;
  • discussions with parents and parental feedback form an important way of identifying the effectiveness of the SEND provision;
  • Costed Provision Maps, cost out the provision a student with an EHCP receives and its effectiveness.


What are the arrangements if I wish to make a complaint?

We recognize that parents may wish to raise concerns and in the first instance complaints should be referred to the Head of SEND.

We always aim to work with parents and solve problems co-operatively. We welcome involvement from The County Durham SEND Information and Advice Support Service (formerly Parent Partnership)   and value comments and constructive criticism.

Failure to resolve complaints would lead to the matter being referred to the Assistant Director of School or Director of School.

All complaints by parents are treated seriously and investigated fully. Please see the Complaints Policy in the 'About Us' section of the school website, under 'Policies'

Dates to SEND Information Report review

The SEND Information report is reviewed regularly as detailed below;

September 2014

February 2015

September 2016

October 2017

October 2018