Special Educational Needs & Disabilities
At King Edward VI Balaam Wood Academy, we believe that each person should be encouraged to achieve his or her potential in all aspects of school life. Supporting youngsters with Special Educational Needs is a clear expression of our mission statement – “Inspire, Succeed, Achieve”.
The guiding principles and objectives of the School’s SEN Policy are to ensure that the aims of the Mission Statement are secured for all pupils. We recognise that all pupils may have special educational needs at some time in their school career and that provision for these needs is on a continuum. We regard the pupils’ self-esteem to be of vital importance to their learning and intend that pupils should not feel stigmatised by their need. Teachers aim to ensure that all pupils have the chance to succeed, whatever their individual needs and potential barriers to their learning.
To have a discussion or request this polict in another format (enlarged/translated) please contact Mr L Nolan.
Who is our special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO) and how can they be contacted?
The SENDCO is Mr Lee Nolan
Contact can be made via the normal school telephone number: 0121 464 9901 or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
(SENDCO has completed the National SENDCO Award)
What types of SEN do we provide for?
|Category||Y7||Y8||Y9||Y10||Y11||Total||BWA %||NA % (2019)|
|% of the school who are SEND: 30.1%|
|Number on roll: 359|
|Cognition and Learning (MLD)||9||9||12||6||4||40|
|Sensory and Physical||0||0||2||2||1||5|
|Other Difficulty / Disability||1||3||1||0||0||5|
|Communication and Interaction (AS)||5||7||4||4||1||21|
Aims of our provision in regards to pupils with special educational needs and/or disability
The aims of our policy and practice in relation to special educational need and disability in this school are:
• To make reasonable adjustments for those with a disability by taking action to increase access to the curriculum, the environment and to printed information for all.
• To ensure that children and young people with SEN engage in the activities of the school alongside pupils who do not have SEN.
• To reduce barriers to progress by embedding the principles in the National Curriculum Inclusion statement https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-curriculum
• To use our best endeavors to secure special educational provision for pupils for whom this is required, that is “additional to and different from” that provided within the differentiated curriculum, to better respond to the four broad areas of need: Communication and interaction, Cognition and learning, Social, mental and emotional health, Sensory/physical.
• To request, monitor and respond to parent/carers’ and pupils’ views in order to evidence high levels of confidence and partnership.
• To ensure a high level of staff expertise to meet pupil need, through well-targeted continuing professional development.
• To support pupils with medical conditions to achieve full inclusion in all school activities by ensuring consultation with health and social care professionals in order to meet the medical needs of pupils.
• To work in cooperative and productive partnership with the Local Authority and other outside agencies, to ensure there is a multi-professional approach to meeting the needs of all vulnerable learners.
How does Balaam Wood Academy identify special educational needs (SEN) or a disability?
At our school we use the definition for SEN and for disability from the SEND Code of Practice (2014). This states:
• Special Educational Needs: A child or young person has special educational needs if he or she has a learning difficulty or disability, which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.
• A learning difficulty or disability is a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age.
• Special educational provision means educational or training provision that is additional to, or different from, that made generally for others of the same age in a mainstream setting in England
• Disability: Many children and young people who have SEN may have a disability under the Equality Act 2010 – that is ‘…a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day
activities’. This definition includes sensory impairments such as those affecting sight or hearing, and long-term health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, and cancer.
Special educational provision may be triggered when a pupil fails to achieve adequate progress despite having had access to a differentiated curriculum. Progress at Balaam Wood Academy is regularly checked by all staff and reported in line with the schools policies. Parents/carers will be informed via a letter that the child has special educational needs and the appropriate provision identified to meet the student’s individual need(s). There will be the opportunity to discuss the needs in more detail.
Lack of adequate progress may be indicated by:
• Primary school / in year transition information
• Little or no progress despite the use of targeted teaching approaches, high quality first teaching and a differentiated curriculum;
• Working at levels significantly below age expectations, particularly in Literacy or Numeracy;
• Presenting persistent emotional and behavioural difficulties which have not been managed by appropriate strategies usually employed;
• Sensory or physical impairments that result in little progress despite the provision of appropriate aids and equipment;
• Poor communication or interaction skills, requiring specific interventions to access learning;
• Reading age below the age of 9 years
• Cognitive Assessment Test Scores below 84
• Social and emotional mental health will be evaluated using RCADs
• Classroom observations
• English as a second language is not classed as a special need; pupils from other countries that may have special need will be assessed in the same way as their counterparts from the United Kingdom
The SEND Register at the school is a ‘live’ document and can be amended at any time. Parents/carers of any young person on the SEND register will be notified in writing via the SENCo with the overview of need clearly highlighted. Parents and carers have an active role in the identification of SEND and it is vital they share any information or concerns they may have with regards to their child. If parents/carers notify the school of any concerns or additional support their child may have had at a previous school, it will help ensure a young person is supported appropriately.
The kinds of special educational needs (SEN) for which provision is made at our school
Children and young people with SEN have different needs, but the general presumption is that all children with SEN but without an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) are welcome to apply for a place at our school, in line with the school admissions policy. If a place is available, we will undertake to use our best endeavors, in partnership with parents, to make the provision required to meet the SEN of pupils at Balaam Wood School.
For children with an EHCP, parents have the right to request a particular school and the local authority must comply with that preference and name the school or college in the EHC plan unless:
• It would be unsuitable for the age, ability, aptitude or SEN of the child or young person, or
• The attendance of the child or young person there would be incompatible with the efficient education of others, or the efficient use of resources.
Before making the decision to name our school in a child’s EHCP, the local authority will send the governing body a copy of the EHCP and then consider their comments very carefully before a final decision on placement is made. In addition, the local authority must also seek the agreement of school where the draft EHCP sets out any provision to be delivered on their premises that have been secured through a direct payment (personal budget).
Parents of a child with an EHCP also have the right to seek a place at a special school if it they consider that their child’s needs can be better met in specialist provision.
How we involve pupils and their parents/carers in identifying SEN/D?
Balaam Wood Academy encourages parents/carers to make contact regarding any concerns or questions they have regarding their child’s education. The school will endeavour to respond to calls within 48hours. Parents with pupils who have an EHCP will be invited into the school every term to discuss progress with a member of staff who works most closely with the individual.
The SENDCo will be available at all whole school parent’s evenings to discuss progress and/or issues.
During this academic year Balaam Wood Academy is looking forward to hosting a coffee morning for parents of pupils with identified SEND.
Consulting Young People
The school works towards offering a child centred approach to developing SEND provision within the school at both an individual level and whole school level. The school has opportunities for pupil voice within:
– Access to key staff to share information
– Target Setting
– Mentoring sessions
– Laser meetings
The views of learners with SEND at Balaam Wood Academy are taken seriously and without prejudice.
How are resources allocated?
The school allocates its resources to pupils with SEND through its graduated response to need. The SEND Policy has a clear overview of the steps that it will take when moving through this stepped approach to supporting learners needs. Where the school believes additional support is required to meet a pupils that exceed the notional SEND funding for a child then an application for additional funding may be instigated. In collaboration with all stakeholders a decision may be taking to request an EHCP for a child.
Curriculum \ Teaching Modifications
• All our staff are trained to make materials and ‘the work’ more accessible or more challenging so that every child is able to learn at their level;
• Where possible we teach pupils in small groups and provide 1-1 in order to increase the level of support and attention each child with additional needs receives;
• We use additional schemes/materials so that we have something at the right level for pupils with SEN/D. For example we use: Lexia Learning, Mathswhizz and ‘RWI Fresh Start’ a secondary phonics and reading programme amongst many other initiatives.
• We adopt a ‘whole school approach’ to special educational needs which involves all staff delivering ‘quality teaching’. The staff of the school are committed to identifying and providing for the needs of all children in a wholly inclusive environment.
• Key staff are trained in a variety of approaches which means we are able to adapt to a range of SEN/D and particular specific learning difficulties including; Autism and issues relating to social emotional and mental health;
Equipment and Resources
• We use a range of materials to ensure that the learning is differentiated such as; reading pens, ICT software, knowledge organisers, images, video, games, overlays and specific coloured paper for pupils who need it and writing frames;
• We have two specialist SEN/D classrooms, and a StartRight Room (for pupils with autism);
• We use specialist equipment for pupils with a physical or SEN/D impairment based on their individual needs and under the advice and guidance of specialist external agencies;
What extra support we bring in to help us meet SEN/D: services; expertise and how we work together collaboratively?
• We have support from specialist teachers/support staff. These cover the following areas of need: speech, language and communication; hearing impairment; visual impairment; physical disabilities; cognition and learning difficulties; autism; social emotional and mental health;
• We get support from local authority services e.g. Pupil and School Support, Educational Psychology and Sensory Support;
• We get support from speech and language therapy (SaLT) through referral for assessment if we believe a period of therapy is required;
• We get support from physiotherapy for pupils when it is required;
• Together we review the child’s progress; agree what everyone will do to make teaching more effective and learning easier. We will include the child and the parent in these discussions and targets will be set collaboratively.
How we support pupils in their transition into our school and when they leave us?
• We fully support parents in making decisions about the secondary schools they choose for their children and work with them to ensure a smooth transition from KS2 to KS3;
• A member of the SEN/D Team visits the primary school to meet with any pupils with SEN/D and staff working with the pupils to ensure that relevant information is shared on how best to meet the child’s needs;
• The SENDCo will attend Annual Reviews and SEN/D reviews and encourages the primary schools to engage in this good practice;
• Additional visits are arranged to our school and are encouraged and supported by our primary schools;
• We aim to support the transition of pupils between key stages and onwards to further education by providing relevant information to the receiving school or college. We recognise the importance of the transition process for pupils with SEN/D and the need for affective co-operation between the different agencies involved. We enlist the help of an independent careers advisor in providing information and assistance to those pupils with an Education and Health Care Plan.
How additional funding works?
• Schools receive funding for all SEN/D pupils and they provide what pupils need from this (including equipment). The local authority may contribute to very expensive items;
• If a pupil’s Education and Health Care Plan identifies something that is significantly different to what is usually available, there will be additional funding allocated. Parents will have a say in how this is used. You will be told if this means you are eligible for a personal budget. This must be used to fund the agreed plan.
Where can the LA’s local offer be found?
This information is available on:
The SEND Local Offer is a resource which is designed to support children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities and their families. It describes the services and provision that are available both to those families in Birmingham that have an Education, Health and Care Plan and those who do not have a plan, but still experience some form of special educational need. The SEND Local Offer includes information about public services across education, health and social care, as well as those provided by the private, voluntary and community sectors.
Where parents/carers can get extra support
Sendiass – Advice for parents with children with SEND
Department for Education – Code of Practice
The National Autistic Society
Autism West Midlands
The British Dyslexia Association
Independent Parental Special Education Advice
Balaam Wood Academy encourages parents/carers to contact the academy with any concerns/complaints regarding SEND. Your first point of contact would be:
Mr Lee Nolan (SENCO) email@example.com
Telephone: 0121 464 9901
If you are not satisfied that your concern has been addressed then speak to the Head Teacher and explain that you are not satisfied that your concern has not been addressed. You can also ask for the school governor’s representative.
If your concern is with the local authority then the SENCo can advise on how to go about sharing your concerns with the relevant personnel.
The Parent Partnership Service provides independent information and advice. You can contact the Parent Partnership Service (SENDIASS) on:
Telephone: 0121 303 5004
Update to SEND information report in light of COVID-19.
Identification of vulnerable children and young people
Throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, educational settings have been asked to ensure that vulnerable children and young people can attend where appropriate, including those children and young people who have an EHC plan, and for whom it is determined, following a risk assessment, that their needs can be as
safely or more safely met in the educational environment. Their return should be informed by the risk assessments, to help educational settings and local authorities ensure that the right support is in place for them to come back.
On 24 March 2020, the Minister for Children and Families, Vicky Ford, wrote an open letter to children and young people with SEND, their parents/carers and families, and all others who support them. In this letter, the Minister makes clear that: ‘’nurseries, schools, special schools, colleges and other training providers should undertake a risk assessment to establish the individual needs of each child or young person with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan. This assessment should incorporate the views of the child or young person and their parents. This will inform the decision about whether they should continue in school or college, or whether their needs can be met at home safely.’’
KEVI Balaam Wood Academy has completed a risk assessment in consultation with parents and the young children where appropriate to ensure we are meeting the needs of our vulnerable learners.
Attendance expectations for vulnerable children and young people
The government expects that for vulnerable children and young people who have an Education health and care (EHC) plan, attendance is expected where it is determined, following a risk assessment, that their needs can be as safely or more safely met in the educational environment.
Supporting vulnerable children and young people’s learning
KEVI Balaam Wood Academy provides a number of opportunities for home learning including setting work using Microsoft Teams, Class charts with additional support utilising Lexia Learning, MyMaths and Flash Academy.
There have been two temporary changes to SEND legislation in the light of COVID 19
- Section 42 of the CFA 2014 (duty to secure special educational provision and health care provision in accordance with EHC plan): the duty on LAs or commissioning health bodies to secure or arrange the provision is temporarily modified to a duty to use ‘reasonable endeavours’ to do so.
- The SEND (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 amend Regulations that specify timescales that principally relate to EHC needs assessments and plans. Where it is not reasonably practicable, or is impractical, to meet that time limit for a reason relating to the incidence or transmission of coronavirus, the specific time limit will not apply. The process must be completed as soon as reasonably practicable. Please read the rest of the SEND Information report in light of the above