Special Educational
Needs and Disabilities

SEN Information Report

How does the Academy know if students need extra help with learning?

The Academy is committed to ensuring that all learning activities provide a safe, enjoyable and positive experience for learners as participants and for staff whose involvement is integral to the development of quality opportunities and services.The provision of an appropriate education for all learners is a priority for the Academy.

We aim to ensure that:

  • Students with learning difficulties are able to access their entitlement to a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum as part of the whole school community.
  • Students with SEN are educated, wherever possible, in an inclusive environment alongside their peers to enable each student to reach his or her full potential.
  • We match levels of additional support for learning to the wide variety of individual learning difficulties, while enhancing self-esteem.
  • We identify and assess students with SEN as early and as thoroughly as possible using the revised Code of Practice (2014).
  • Parents/carers and students are fully involved in the identification and assessment of SEN, and we strive for close co-operation between all agencies concerned, using a multi-disciplinary approach.
  • We meet the needs of all students with SEN by offering appropriate and flexible forms of educational provision, by the most efficient use of all available resources.
  • We maintain up to date knowledge of current SEN good practice and methodology in order to offer support and training in these areas to all staff in the school.

There are four types of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, as described by the Department for Education:

  1. Communication and interaction
  2. Cognition and learning
  3. Social, mental and emotional health
  4. Sensory or physical

If a student has SEN, then their needs will fit into one or more of these categories.
A school’s provision for SEN is defined as support which is additional to or different from that which is available to all students.

At the Academy, we recognise that students make progress at different rates and not always in a steady linear pattern. Therefore, students are identified as having SEN in a variety of ways, which may include the following:

  • Liaison with previous school
  • The student performing significantly below expected levels
  • Concerns raised by parent/carer
  • Concerns raised by a subject teacher or tutor
  • Liaison with external agencies, e.g. physical health diagnosis from paediatrician

If a student is identified as having SEN then their name will be added to the SEN register, but we recognise that students’ needs may change over time and provision must reflect this. The aim of any additional provision is for the student to achieve age expectations, so once they reach this threshold they may be removed from the school SEN register. If they fall behind again at any point, then they may be added to the register again.

What should I do if I think my child has special educational needs?

Ms Cunnion is the special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO) at the academy and should be the first point of contact if you have a concern.

Telephone: 01785 333360
E-mail: deborah.cunnion@ruralenterpriseacademy.com

How will school support my child?

Subject teachers are responsible for the progress of students in their lessons. They are trained to teach children with all types of additional learning requirements and are responsible for making the curriculum accessible to all students.

The SENCO is responsible for ensuring that:

  • Teachers understand a student’s needs
  • Teachers are trained in meeting those needs
  • Teachers have support in planning to meet a student’s needs
  • The quality of teaching for students with SEN, and
  • Provision across the school is efficiently managed.

Sometimes, some students require additional support to make progress across the curriculum, because they are significantly below the expectations for their age. Then, the SENCO is responsible for organising intervention for an individual or small group of students, which might include one of these provisions, for example:

  • Additional support in the classroom – there are 6 teaching assistants in the SEN department who support subject teachers in helping the learning of whole classes.
  • Withdrawal sessions – when students come out of some lessons for pre-arranged sessions with TAs on, for example, handwriting, reading, numeracy, study skills, organisation skills, social skills, etc.

Home learning

The home learning set by teachers is an integral part of students’ learning and can contribute directly to how well a student makes progress. Home learning consolidates and builds on the learning in lessons, ensuring that students fully understand concepts and apply skills they have learnt. The school expects parents to engage with their child’s home learning, so that students can see the high value their parents place on working as part of a home-school partnership. This provides essential support for teachers and means no opportunity is lost for supporting every student’s learning.

How are the school governors involved and what are their responsibilities?

The SENCO reports to the governors annually to inform them about the progress of students with SEN; this report does not refer to individual students and confidentiality is maintained at all times.

How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs? What are the school’s approaches to differentiation and how will that help my child?

Subject teachers are responsible for planning lessons that are accessible to and differentiated for every student. In most curriculum areas students are grouped by levels of attainment. Students are entitled to participate in all areas of the curriculum and it is the subject teacher’s role to differentiate resources and activities to ensure the student can access the learning. This can mean teachers plan:

  • A variety of activities
  • Small group or 1:1 learning with a TA or the subject teacher
  • Pre-teaching content or vocabulary
  • Over-learning topics
  • Alternative activities for home learning
  • Specially targeted texts and resources appropriate for students’ reading ages
  • And provide additional apparatus or materials
  • Adapt and adjust resources and materials to make them accessible for students with specific learning difficulties

Student can study a range of GCSE, BTEC and vocational courses, which help to prepare them for the next steps in their education, be that sixth form, college, apprenticeships or work. Students and parents/carers are offered advice and careers guidance at the appropriate time to help make these important decisions.

For students with SEN, there is a separate Homework Club, which is much smaller and staffed by TAs, so that students can receive more targeted help and staff can differentiate materials to support the student in accessing the curriculum.

How will I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning? What opportunities will there be for me to discuss my child’s progress?

We offer an open door policy where parents/carers are welcome any time to make an appointment to meet with either a subject teacher, tutor or SENCO and discuss how their child is progressing. Parents/carers can contact staff members directly by email or by writing a note in their child’s planner, or through the school office:

Telephone: or 01785 333360
E-mail: enquiries@ruralenterpriseacademy.com

Planned arrangements for communicating between school and home include:

  • Every student has a school planner/handbook, which travels between home and school every day so that so that comments from parents/carers and teachers or tutors can be shared and responded to as needed.
  • Every student on the SEN register has a school passport, this includes a school/home record where comments from parents/carers, TAs and teachers can also be shared and responded to as needed.
  • Each year group has at least one parents’ evening each year, when all subject teachers are available to meet with parents/carers and discuss progress and learning.
  • Each year group has a report programme, which includes at least one data report (current levels of attainment) and one full subject report (alongside current levels of attainment). These are sent home to parents/carers and provide a basis for discussion about progress in different subject areas.
  • If your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or Statement of SEN, there are legal requirements for at least one formal meeting each year (the Annual Review) organised by the SENCO and attended by parents/carers, teachers and outside agencies involved in the student’s education.
  • If your child is on the SEN register there are termly progress meetings arranged with parent/carers to discuss your child’s progress and any support requirements.

How does the school know how well my child is doing?

Teachers, as part of their professional standards, monitor and review all students’ progress throughout the year. The academy system at TREA includes:

  • Data collection each half term, from all teachers, showing the current level of attainment of all the students they teach. This means that teachers and academic leaders in each subject area can track the progress of students across the academy year and intervene if students experience difficulties.
  • In the case of intervention programmes, progress is reviewed every half term, which might include testing or screening. These programmes are reviewed by the SENCO and Senior TAs, who use the information to plan and design the next half term’s intervention programme.
  • In-class additional support is reviewed weekly at the SEN department meeting. TAs and teachers work together on a day-to-day basis, planning and reviewing lessons.
  • Teachers are observed by senior leaders and line managers as part of the academy performance management, the deployment of teaching assistants in the classroom and the progress of students with additional learning requirements are part of the Teacher Standards, against which the quality of teaching is measured.
  • The Assistant Principal is responsible for whole academy data and tracks the academy’s progress against national standards. This provides guidance for academic leaders when planning the curriculum and additional support for students.
  • On entry, students are screened for reading, spelling and maths skills. This allows us to identify when students may need further support, intervention, or additional assessment to detect any underlying difficulties.
  • The school positive behaviour management system provides parents/carers with information about how well a student is engaging with the learning opportunities on offer, the number of positive points received are included on all academy reports along with attitude to learning scores and ranking across the year group.

What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being? What is the pastoral, medical and social support available in the academy?

The academy uses a positive behaviour management system. Every lesson, two students in each class will receive a positive point from the subject teacher according to their performance towards a given target, for example, good answers given in class, effort with homework or development of skills.

Positive point are monitored by the student support assistant and are linked to rewards such as letters home or reward trips at the end of the academic year. This enables senior leaders to identify students who are falling behind their peers, to investigate and to address the reasons for this.

The academy operates a vertical tutoring system, which means students are placed with students from every year group for their tutor group. This encourages community cohesion, communication across age groups and opportunities for mentoring and leadership. This system also means that students are able to share their experiences and provide support for students experiencing the same changes and transitions that they have already faced. Tutors are the main point of contact for parents/carers about their child’s pastoral and social well-being.

Students who struggle with social situations are provided with a quiet space to go during lunchtimes, break times and before school, where they are supported by TAs to manage unstructured social time.

If a student is unwell during the academy day, they will be sent to the academy reception. If the student is too ill to stay at the academy, their parent/carer will be contacted and asked to make arrangements for collecting them as soon as possible. A member of academy staff will decide, sometimes following consultation with parents/carers, if the student is well enough to stay at the academy or not.

In a medical emergency, the school first aider will attend urgently, or may call for an ambulance if the student requires hospital treatment. All students who have severe allergies or other significant health/medical needs are flagged-up to all staff throughout the school year. All staff receive training, as appropriate, relevant to the specific medical needs of students currently at the academy.

How does the school manage the administration of medicines?

Medicines for students are managed by the academy reception. If a student requires medicine during the academy day, the following procedures must be followed:

All medicines must be given in person to the academy office by a parent/carer or if by the student the parent/carer should phone the reception or include a letter with the medicine.

  • The student’s name recorded with the medication alongside the date, time, name of medicine, and dosage.
  • Depending on how the medicine needs to be stored, it will be kept in either a locked cupboard or a fridge.
  • To take their medicine, the student must go the reception, where the dose will be administered.
  • Each time the medicine is administered, the time, date and dosage is recorded.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to go to reception at the correct time.

Please note, we can only store and provide prescribed medicine, we cannot give out additional drugs if a student requests it, e.g. paracetamol for a headache.

What support is there for behaviour, avoiding exclusion and increasing attendance?

The academy uses a positive behaviour management system. Every lesson, two students in each class will receive a positive point from the subject teacher according to their performance towards a given target, for example, good answers given in class, effort with homework or development of skills.

Positive point are monitored by the student support assistant and are linked to rewards such as letters home or reward trips at the end of the academic year. This enables senior leaders to identify students who are falling behind their peers, to investigate and to address the reasons for this.

There are consequences for poor behaviour, which are outlined in the academy behaviour policy. As well as losing rewards, students can receive sanctions such as detention, isolation or fixed term exclusions.

However, if a student is falling significantly behind their peers, and their behaviour is affecting their learning or the learning of others, then additional support may be provided.

  • The Head of Pastoral Support monitors student attendance at the academy; liaises with the local authority education welfare officer; helps parents/carers manage their child’s attendance at school and can support with outside agencies coming into school.
  • The education welfare officer helps parents/carers manage their child’s attendance at school; oversees legal action against parents/carers whose children do not attend school; helps liaise with outside agencies that can support families in difficult situations.
  • The SENCO works with students when their learning is affected by their behaviour; providing emotional support, sign-posting to sources of guidance and advice, liaising with external agencies, overseeing education plans and arranging workshops/lessons about emotional, social and mental health.
  • The TAs works with students whose behaviour is affecting the learning of other students, to help them develop skills for understanding and managing their emotional, social and mental health for supporting learning at school; by providing workshops/lessons in emotional literacy and acting as mentors for students.
  • The student support officer works to gather information about students and behavioural incidents that helps us understand the causes and factors involved. Senior leaders use the information to plan interventions, design workshops or lessons and to decide on sanctions for rule-breaking.

How will my child be able to contribute their views?

Students’ views are highly valued at the school and their opinions are sought on many areas of school life, as well as their own learning. We use a variety of methods for seeking student views:

  • The school has an active student council, where students are elected each year to represent their peers. The student council is consulted on whole school plans, leads on charity activities at school and is able to express student views to senior leaders throughout the school year.
  • Student panels regularly form a part of the school’s interview process for new members of staff.
  • There is a pupil questionnaire where we actively seek the viewpoints of students on a range of topics. The results of this questionnaire are used by the Senior Leadership Team when developing the whole school improvement plan.
  • Students leaving the school are offered the chance to complete an exit questionnaire, which asks for their views on their experience at school and their suggestions for changes to improve or develop student experiences.
  • If a student takes part in an intervention programme, then they will contribute their views to the half-termly review of progress.
  • If your child has an EHCP or Statement of SEN, their views will be sought before any review meetings.
  • If your child is on the academy SEN register, their views will be sought during any progress meetings.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?

The SENCO (Deb Cunnion) is a fully qualified and accredited SENCO, and liaises with many specialist services and outside experts, to ensure provision for our students is appropriate and meets all needs. The school works closely with any external agencies that are relevant to individual students’ needs, including:

  • Health – GPs, school nurse, clinical psychologists and psychiatrists (CAMHS), paediatricians, speech & language therapists, occupational therapists.
  • Social services – locality teams, social workers, child protection teams, family intervention programmes.
  • Staffordshire Special Educational Needs Service (SENSS).
  • Staffordshire Autism Outreach Team (AOT).

What SEN training have the staff had or are currently having?

SEN training is an on-going rolling programme of professional development for our staff, throughout the school year.

  • The TAs have extensive experience and training in planning, delivering and assessing intervention programmes.
  • All staff are trained each year on the needs of new students joining the school – this can include training from specialist agencies or consultants, as well as from the SENCO or other staff with relevant expertise.
  • SEN training forms part of the continuing professional development of all teachers and TAs and is organised in accordance with the needs of the students.

How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?

All students are entitled to be included in all parts of the school curriculum and we aim for all students to be included on school trips. We will provide the necessary support to ensure that this is successful. We normally ask for voluntary contributions from parents/carers before trips or visits are confirmed. Unfortunately it is sometimes necessary to cancel trips, if insufficient contributions are received.

A risk assessment is carried out prior to any off-site activity to ensure everyone’s health and safety will not be compromised. This may include specialist advice where relevant. In the unlikely event that it is considered unsafe for a student to take part in an activity, then alternative activities covering the same curriculum areas will be provided in school.

How accessible is the school environment?

  • The academy site contains two teaching blocks. The first phase is on one level and contains a small number of steps but does have lift access. The second phase has stairs to the first floor and also has lift access.
  • The site has been designed so that all areas are accessible for wheelchair users or those with impaired mobility.
  • The site has four disabled toilets large enough to accommodate changing.
  • There are two parking bays for disabled badge holders outside the academy entrance, marked clearly in yellow paint.

How will the school prepare and support my child when joining the school and transferring to a new school?

Our goal is to make sure our new students feel like they belong at the academy before they officially arrive. Learning is most effective when students feel they belong and are comfortable in the school environment.

Entry at Year 9.

  • Careful transition is planned and arranged by the academy leaders. The SENCO works closely with feeder schools to organise activities, visits and experience of secondary life for those students who are especially vulnerable at transition.
  • All students in year 8 who have accepted a place at TREA for year 9 are invited to an intake day in July. These provide a taste of the school life, involve experience of lessons, information about how the school runs and provide an opportunity for students to meet their new classmates.
  • Parents/carers are invited to an ‘Intake Evening’ in the summer term, to learn about the activities their children will undertake, to meet key members of the academy team and to receive information about the organisation of the school.
  • Academy teachers are provided with information about all new students’ needs, strengths and background before the end of year 8.
  • TREA operates a vertical tutoring system, which means that students are placed with others from every year group for their tutor group. This encourages community cohesion, communication across age groups and opportunities for mentoring and leadership. This system also means that students are able to share their experiences and provide support for students experiencing the same changes and transitions that they have already faced. Additionally, tutors welcome only five or six new students to their tutor group each year, meaning that the students are well known in school very quickly. The SENCO allocates new students to tutor groups according to advice from parents/carers.
  • Every student’s school file is passed on to the academy, (in the case of students with SEN, the SENCO will initially be passed the files) at the start of year 9.
  • During the first half-term of the new school year, parents/carers of new students are invited to meet with the child’s tutor at a ‘settling-in evening’ to discuss how well they have settled in to the academy and to share any information.
  • The school arranges regular transition visits for vulnerable students to get to know the school site, meet staff with whom they will work and learn about how the school is organised. These are designed each year to meet the students’ needs, but typically involve: experience ‘shadowing’ students; tours; and, informal gatherings for students and parents. (Parents/carers can contact the academy for more information about this programme).

Transition to KS5 (Sixth form)

  • The school arranges visits to further education fairs for all students. Support with finding and applying for apprenticeships is also available.
  • All students in year 11 are provided with 1-1 careers advice to help them plan possible routes for training or education.
  • Students with a Statement of SEN or an EHCP who are moving on to further education are supported by the county’s Youth Support Services. A youth support worker will attend all Annual Reviews from Y9 onwards to help plan and organise support for the move to college or vocational training.
  • The SEN Team liaise closely with local colleges about individual students with SEN. This liaison is arranged in accordance with the student’s needs.
  • All information relating to a student’s exam concessions and required differentiation is passed on to college or training provider during the summer term of year 11, when college places have been confirmed.

Joining mid-year

  • All students admitted to the school after the start of the academic year are screened on entry, to identify any areas of need and to provide information to staff about the student’s learning needs.
  • A student ‘buddy’ is chosen to support the new student for the first few days of being at the academy. The buddy takes the new student to lessons, introduces them to other students and answers questions.
  • Contact is always made with the previous school to ensure the transfer of information and the child’s school file.Moving to another school
  • Contact is always made with the new school to ensure the transfer of information and the child’s school file.

How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s needs?

We ensure that all students with SEN have their needs met to the best of the school’s ability, within the funds available.
The budget is allocated on a needs basis. The students who have the most complex needs are given the most support.

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?

Our provision is arranged to meet our students’ needs, within the resources available. This approach reflects the fact that different students require different levels of support in order to achieve age and ability expected attainment.

The SENCO consults with subject teachers and academy leaders, as well as with support staff, to discuss the student’s needs and what support would be appropriate.

There are regular on-going discussions with parents/carers for any student who requires additional support for their learning.

How do we know if it has had an impact?

  • We see evidence that the student is making progress academically against national/age expected levels and that the gap is narrowing – they are catching up to their peers or expected age levels.
  • The student is achieving or exceeding their expected levels of progress.
  • Verbal feedback from the teacher, parent and student.
  • Formal or informal observations of the student at school
  • Students may move off of the SEN register when they have ‘caught up’ or made sufficient progress.

Who should I contact if I am considering whether my child should join the school?

Contact the academy’s Business Manager (Sarah Walker) to arrange to meet a member of the academy team, the SENCO (Deb Cunnion) or for the dates of the school’s next open evening:

sarah.walker@ruralenterpriseacademy.com or 01785 333360