• 2014 LRB

SEND Information Report

Who should I contact if my child has Special Educational Needs and/or a Disability (SEND)?

Mrs Clare O’Keeffe is the SENCo (Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator) and oversees Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) provision within the Academy.

Mrs Sarah Norman is the Head of SEN and she develops and monitors a wide range of intervention to support students, either academically or with their specific SEND needs.

Mrs Jill Hope is the Harbour Manager and she runs the Harbour provision in the Academy which is an area of intensive support for those with complex Special Educational Needs and/or a Disability.

The Governor who oversees SEND provision within the Academy is Phillipa May.

The SEND Team also includes 8 Curriculum Support workers. The SEND Curriculum Support Workers (CSW) may support individual students for the majority of their timetable or within certain subject areas. Staff develop strong relationships with the SEND students they work with. They may help students with accessing work in lessons, withdraw them for small group work or provide 1:1 support. The SEN Support staff also support students who are having emotional difficulties to deal with any issues that arise, where adjustments are needed to help the student manage.

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 and accelerated reader
  • Training in the use of the exam access arrangements programme 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 [email protected]

Mrs O’Keeffe can also be contacted directly at [email protected]

Mrs Norman can also be contacted directly at [email protected]

Mrs Hope can also be contacted directly at [email protected]


The County Durham SEND Information and Advice Support Service (formerly Parent Partnership) provides support to the parents of students with SEND. 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 and/or Disability;

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 or general learning difficulties which means their learning progresses at a slower pace.

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 which may be due to trauma they have experienced in their lives, how they are feeling at a certain period in their lives that they need support with, ADD or ADHD.

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 students 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 or Disability identified, or a student’s SEND 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. Parents are welcome to contact the team directly to request a meeting ahead of the transition process.

Throughout the year staff or parents may raise concerns about a student with the SENCo 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;
  • recognizing we all share responsibility for the integration of students with SEND in the classroom and beyond. Information on SEND students needs is detailed on students individual passport this includes their strengths and strategies for supporting them; as well as their own views. This information is fully shared with staff.
  • 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;
  • access to the Harbour for bespoke intervention. This could be literacy or numeracy based, or more specific to a student’s social and emotional needs, or to access to specific therapy.
  • please see the Admissisons Policy with regard to admission arrangements. In order to meet the needs of student’s requirements with parents or their previous school, 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.  

What is the Graduated Approach?

  • 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 remove their barriers to learning and identify the outcomes a student is working towards and the provision required to achieve these, this may include group work, support in a classroom or 1:1 support. A student’s Year Manager will work with students, parents and the SEND team to set targets and put intervention in place so all views are taken into account when the plan is put in place. Assessments will also help inform stakeholders about their child and their needs.



Targeted provision is put in place to allow the student to successfully meet their outcomes.



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?

  • Each student has a Key Worker, a member of the SEND team, who meets with the student and provides extra support
  • The Curriculum Support Workers timetables are constantly reviewed so that support is best placed to meet students’ needs.
  • Curriculum Support Workers work 1:1 with students or in small groups, they may support students both academically and pastorally, acting as mentors where needed.
  • Curriculum Support Workers 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.
  • The Harbour offers a space for those students who may need to access a quieter area again at break time and lunch time as well as those who may need to take some time out of lessons during difficult periods of their life.
  • 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.
  • Students with Special Educational Needs are frequently taught within smaller classes.
  • Exam access arrangements are put in place for SEND students who require them, this occurs for assessments, mocks and GCSE exams at Key Stage 4 and assessments in Key Stage 3.
  • Students may need access to specific resources such as overlays, which are provided where appropriate or laptops or computer readers and scribes where needed.
  • 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 SEND Support who have Speech, Language and Communication Difficulties.

Schools receive funding to specifically support students with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities. Within the Academy this is used in a variety of ways, including reducing class sizes, providing SEND CSWs, providing a specialist SEND area (the Harbour), and resources such as a designated computer facilities. It also funds 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 Looked After and also have Special Educational Needs?

  • The SENCo also has responsibility for the provision of students who are Looked After.
  • The Academy maintains close links with the parents/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 access to the Harbour; where students can develop positive relationships and access appropriate intervention.
  • The progress of Looked After Children forms part of the regular monitoring completed by Senior Staff, Heads of Subject and the SENCo.
  • 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 SEND?

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 from advice from other professionals as detailed in their own individualised passport or 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 teaching and support staff and the SENCo 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;
  • 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 as a quieter space;
  • 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 assessments, mocks and GCSE exams.


How are students with SEND 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 and/or Disabilities 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.

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;
  • Key Workers, members of the SEND team who provide extra support for students;
  • 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;
  • the school counsellor, who can offer weekly appointments to discuss concerns;
  • support from the Harbour Team-both in small groups and 1:1;
  • Student Services, where students can access support such as with medical issues;
  • support from external agencies, such as CAMHS, Social Services, EWEL team or the Education Psychologist service;
  • other agencies or off-site provision the academy has access to, that can provide personalized support.


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 or Form tutor to deal with any issues;
  • access to the school counsellor to discuss any worries or concerns;
  • 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 Academy 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
  • Emotional Wellbeing for Effective Learning Team (EWEL)
  • Education Health Needs Team

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 complex needs and those who may require an Education, Health and Care Plan. The Educational Psychologist also works closely with staff giving advice and offering training.

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 Heads of Subject and the SENCo, 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 SEND 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 or email 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 SEND 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 [email protected] with any feedback on the Academy’s SEND 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 Yr 6 reviews or transition meetings at Primary schools.
  • Students take part in Transition activities, where they can meet staff from the SEND 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.


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.
  • Students may access 1:1 tutors to access extra personalised support with English and Maths.


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 SENCo 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 of the SEND team 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 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 SENCo.

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 Principal of Deep Support or the Principal.

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'

The SEND Information Report is reviewed yearly and where needed, as detailed below, to ensure the information is accurate and up-to-date;

September 2014

February 2015

September 2016

October 2017

October 2018

October 2019

Page reviewed September 2020