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Special Educational Needs and Disability Policy

We aim to ensure that Catcote Academy is a friendly and secure place, with a stimulating and rewarding environment. We want every student to make as much progress as possible. We aim to offer enriching experiences and a broad, balanced and personalised curriculum, using a range of strategies and approaches appropriate to individual needs and learning styles.

Policies are in place to contribute to the well-being of the whole school community. Each policy explains the necessary procedures to be followed to ensure that the policy supports the above aims.

Introduction

Catcote Academy provides a curriculum and pattern of organisation which is designed for children and young people who have significant learning difficulties. The school is for students who require more help and support than they can get in their local mainstream schools. Their learning difficulties may be moderate, severe or profound, and may be accompanied by physical or sensory impairments. The school also caters for students with autistic spectrum disorders and social, emotional and mental health difficulties.. Special provision for the pupils is a matter for the school as a whole.

Key documents, which inform this policy, are:

  • Children and Families Act 2014
  • Special Educational Needs Code of Practice, January 2015
  • Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Regulations 2014
  • Equality Act 2010: advice for schools DfE (Feb 2013) 

Partners

Staff work together closely with parents. Parents are consulted about Outcomes Plans, invited to annual reviews, contribute to Transition Plans and encouraged to complete ‘Parental Views’ forms. Parental permission should always be gained before referring children to other agencies. Pupils are encouraged to have their views recorded, to participate in the setting of targets and to take part in the annual review. The ‘Preparing for your review’ booklet is modified using symbols if appropriate and students are present and encouraged to contribute to the meeting whenever possible. Each class is represented in regular meetings of the ‘Student Council’. Governors are actively involved in the school. The Local Authority understands our aims, and supports the school effectively. We have many links with the local community, including other schools and colleges. The school also has close partnerships with outside agencies such as Educational Psychology, health and social care teams and in the voluntary sector. The school has good links with mainstream schools and the College of FE.  Mainstream pupils can access the Catcote facilities as part of our Foundation Learning programme. We have our own Parents and Friends Association, which provides mutual support as well as organising social and fundraising activities. This network of partnerships helps us greatly in our efforts to meet our students’ special needs.

Facilities and Curriculum

Catcote Academy provides an excellent range of facilities designed to support a broad curriculum appropriate to the full range of learning difficulties. Most teaching areas have interactive whiteboards and computers which are connected to the network. Facilities include: specialist rooms for practical subjects; two ICT suites, areas for work related learning including the Coffee Shop, Training Office, Life Skills, greenhouse and Hair and Beauty Salon; therapy areas; Jacuzzi; sensory room and sensory garden. The grounds provide for a range of curriculum support, sporting and leisure activities.

Catcote pupils are given access to the curriculum which includes the National Curriculum, adapted for the needs of the students. A 14-19 programme of personalised learning stretches and challenges the students including programmes of accreditation whenever appropriate.  All students also work on Citizenship and Personal, Social and Health Education. We have the appropriate expertise, as well as the facilities, to help those children and young people who need to follow a developmental curriculum and have trained staff to implement programmes for pupils who are on the autistic spectrum. The needs of individual students are detailed through their statement or ONE Plan, Outcomes Plans and Individual Curriculum Planning (ICPs), as described later.

Our students can benefit from up to three years of extended education at Catcote. Our “Link Groups” offer a range of vocational training and work experience (in and out of school), courses leading to accreditation and continuing basic skills support.

Our attention to Equal Opportunities and the Disability Discrimination Act means that we are careful to overcome obstacles related to physical disabilities or sensory impairments, and to give full access to appropriate activities for all students.

 

Statements, ONE Plans and the Annual Review

Catcote Academy has a dedicated SENCo who carries out the duties and functions in the regarding annual reviews.

All students at Catcote Academy have a statement of special educational needs or ONE Plan for Education, Health and Care. This stipulates the special education, health and social care provision required and is reviewed each year at the annual review meeting which brings together all those who are partners in the educational process.  This considers progress made over the previous 12 months and reviews the specialist provision for the student. The annual review will collate and record information that the school and other professionals can use in planning their support for the student. At the meeting the statement or ONE Plan is amended as

School staff contribute to a written report for the review, and the student is encouraged to complete a review booklet. Involved agencies are invited to contribute to the review either in a written report or by their presence at the meeting. Parents, as key partners in their child’s education, have an opportunity to contribute to the review. Reports, views and advice received will be circulated two weeks before the meeting whenever possible. Where pupils are ‘looked after’ by the local authority, it is sometimes useful to hold the SEN review and ‘looked after’ review at the same time to enable effective collaboration between agencies.

Planning

At Catcote Academy, Outcomes Plans are written for every student. The Plan links the Annual Review process with curriculum planning and recording of progress. At the end of the school year (or within 40 days of a new student starting school), a new Plan is drawn up. To do this, areas of priority are agreed and recorded. The Plan usually focuses on Literacy, Numeracy Communication and Social/Behaviour outcomes, but  may include other areas of importance to particular students.

We are always happy to discuss any issues concerning individual students at any time of year. It is not necessary for parents to wait for annual reviews or parents evenings to ask questions about progress or to raise any concerns.

SEN Files

A file is kept for the SEN records for each individual student. This contains information on the student’s Special Educational Needs  (Statement or ONE Plan, Annual Review information, Outcomes Plans and Reports). This file is referred to as the student’s SEN File.

Recognising Achievement

Whether they leave at 16 or stay with us a little longer, each student is presented with a Record of Achievement when he or she completes Year 11. This document looks back on some of the successes of the student’s life so far, and contains copies of the awards and certificates gained by the student. The Record of Achievement is an important document, and certificates and reports from college or further training can be added to it later.

 

Organisation and Educational Groupings

Students are usually grouped according to age and ability but all students are looked at individually to enable them to be placed in the right situation to cater for their special needs.   In Key Stage 3 class sizes are small (up to 12) with a teacher and at least one teaching assistant. In some situations there is enhanced staffing to give students with more complex needs access to the curriculum.

Each class is allocated time with pastoral staff, who have a special role in monitoring and fostering personal and social development. Lessons are carefully structured, to provide a balance of group and individual activities covering all the curriculum areas relevant to every student. We also offer opportunities for sporting and other leisure pastimes over lunchtime and after school clubs. Visits and residential experiences form an important part of our programme, providing support for the curriculum as well as valuable opportunities to build relationships and foster a group identity.

Monitoring, Evaluation and Review

Catcote Academy will review this policy annually and assess its implementation and effectiveness. This policy will be promoted and implemented throughout the school.

Person Responsible: Headteacher

Date Approved: April 2017


Appendices from the SEND Code of Practice 2015

Definition of Special Educational Needs:

Children have a learning difficulty if they:

  • have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age;
  • have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facitilies of a kind generally provided for children of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.

 

Special educational provision means ‘educational or training provision which is additional to or different from that made generally for other children or young people of the same age.