SEND Information Report
1. What kinds of SEND are provided for?
A child has SEND if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them. A child has a learning difficulty or disability if they:
- have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age;
- have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools.
SEN Code of Practice, 2014 (p. 15-16)
At Biggleswade Academy, we provide for all areas of SEND. There are 4 broad areas of need (see below) and the Academy uses these as a starting point when identifying what action needs to be taken to provide for and support the child. We also recognise that although this is a useful starting point, we do not seek to fit a child into one of these categories as we believe in a 'whole-child' approach.
Broad area of need 1: Communication and interaction
Children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) have difficulty in communicating with others. This may be because they have difficulty saying what they want to, understanding what is being said to them or they do not understand or use social rules of communication. The profile for every child with SLCN is different and their needs may change over time. They may have difficulty with one, some or all of the different aspects of speech, language or social communication at different times of their lives. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are likely to have particular difficulties with social interaction. They may also experience difficulties with language, communication and imagination, which can impact on how they are related to others.
Broad area of need 2: Cognition and learning
Support for learning difficulties may be required when children learn at a slower pace than their peers, even with appropriate differentiation. Learning difficulties cover a wide range of needs, including moderate learning difficulties (MLD), severe learning difficulties (SLD), where children are likely to need support in all areas of the curriculum and associated difficulties with mobility and communication, though to profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD), where children are likely to have severe and complex learning difficulties as well as a physical disability or sensory impairment. Specific learning difficulties (SPLD), affect one or more specific aspects of learning. This encompasses a range of conditions such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia.
Broad area of need 3: Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
Children may experience a wide range of social and emotional difficulties which manifest themselves in many ways. These may include becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well as displaying challenging, disruptive or disturbing behaviour. These behaviours may reflect underlying mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression, self-harming, substance misuse, eating disorders or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained. Other children may have disorders such as attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder or attachment disorder.
Broad area of need 4: Sensory and/or physical needs
Some children require special educational provision because they have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of the educational facilities generally provided. These difficulties can be age-related and may fluctuate over time. Many children with vision impairment (VI), hearing impairment (HI) or a multi-sensory impairment (MSI) will require specialist support and/or equipment to access their learning or habilitation support. Children with an MSI have a combination of vision and hearing difficulties. Information on how to provide services for deafblind children and young people is available through the Social Care for Deafblind Children and Adults guidance published by the Department of Health. Some children with a physical disability (PD) require additional ongoing support and equipment to access all the opportunities available to their peers.
SEN Code of Practice, 2014 (p.97-98)
2. What are the policies for identifying children with SEND and assessing their needs?
At Biggleswade Academy, all teachers are responsible and accountable for the progress and development of all children in their class. High-quality teaching, differentiated for individuals, is the first step in responding to children who have or may have SEND. As such, all staff at Biggleswade Academy are required to identify and address the SEND needs of the children in our Academy.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) has arrangements in place to identify and support children with SEN or disabilities and to promote equality of opportunity for children in their care. This is set out in the EYFS Framework.
In addition to the formal checks, the Academy’s EYFS teachers, early years practitioners and key workers will monitor and review the progress and development of all children throughout the early years. Where a child appears to be behind expected levels, or where a child’s progress gives them cause for concern, staff will consider all the information about the child’s learning and development from within and beyond the setting, from formal checks, from practitioner observations and from any more detailed assessment of the child’s needs.
If a teacher (Reception - Year 8) or keyworker (Pre-school) has ongoing concerns regarding a child, they will complete an 'Initial Concern' and share this with the SEND department, outlining their concerns and what they have already provided for the child in the way of high-quality, inclusive provision. Parents/carers will be contacted by the teacher or key worker to discuss these concerns and gather their views as part of this process. The SENDCO will then review the documentation and evidence before working with the teacher or key worker to decide on a plan of action. This plan of action will be different for every child and suited to best support their progress. This may involve the SENDCO or progress leader informally observing the child and then providing recommendations, followed by closely monitoring their progress for a period of time. This may also involve carrying out assessments or making referrals to outside agencies, in partnership with parents/carers.
If a child is then identified as having SEND by using the criteria set out in the 'Graduated Approach', they will be placed on the appropriate stage (Stage 1 or Stage 2) in accordance with the ‘Central Bedfordshire’s Guidance on SEND: A Graduated Approach' and placed on the Academy's SEND register. The Academy will take action to remove any barriers to learning and put effective special educational provision in place. A SEND Support Plan will be used to set outcomes and record provision for children on Stage 1 and 2 or those children who have an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP).
Progress is reviewed every term (Year 1-8) or every half-term (EYFS) and a decision is made, in partnership with parents/carers, whether to remove the child from the register, continue on Stage 1, move onto Stage 2 or proceed to make a request for an Education, Health and Care plan. An Education, Health and Care Plan Needs Assessment application will only be undertaken by the Academy if the criteria set out in the 'Graduated Approach' documentation is met.
We consider a child being removed from the SEND register a cause for celebration as it means that they have made such progress in their areas of need that can now access the curriculum and school day without the need for specialist education provision beyond high-quality teaching. If a child is removed from the SEND register, this does not mean that they will not be able to access special education provision later on if needed; we understand that things change as children develop and so are very fluid in our approach and response to this.
Children will only be placed on the SEND register if they require special educational provision to be made for them. Some children with a diagnosis, disability, difficulty or additional need are able to access the curriculum and school day without any additional support beyond high quality, inclusive teaching. For such children, we would ensure that staff are aware of their diagnosis, disability, difficulty or additional need in order for this information to inform their practice and approach. The SEND Department may create a 'One-Page Profile' for such children, outlining their difficulties and suggesting specific high-quality inclusive strategies that would support them in their provision.
3. How are parents/carers consulted about their child's learning, special education needs or disability?
A child's teacher will discuss any concerns with parents/carers at Parent Consultation Meetings.
A child's teacher (Reception - Year 8) or keyworker (Pre-school) will contact parents/carers to discuss any concerns and gather further information/their views. This may take place over the phone or via email or may involve arranging a meeting at school.
A member of the SEND department may contact parents/carers if they would like to discuss any concerns and gather further information/their views. This may take place over the phone or via email or may involve arranging a meeting at school.
If a child is on the SEND register, parents/carers are asked by the SEND department to contribute to their child's SEND Support Plan by sharing their views regarding their strengths, difficulties and how they can be best supported in school. The format for this contribution is sent via post and updated annually.
if a child is on the SEND register, their SEND Support Plan will be shared with parents/carers so that they are informed of the short and long-term outcomes that their child is working towards and the provision that is in place to support them to achieve the outcomes.
If a child has an EHCP, then parents/carers will be invited to attend and participate in the Annual Review of their child's EHCP each year.
4. How are children consulted about their learning, special educational needs or disability?
At Biggleswade Academy, we understand and value the importance of placing each child at the centre of our approach towards supporting SEND. The voice and views of each child are essential and are taken into account when making decisions about how best to support.
- Monitoring throughout the school, undertaken by Middle and Senior Leaders, will often involve pupil-voice in which children with SEND will have the opportunity to share their views.
- Children on the SEND register contribute to the creation of their SEND Support Plan by sharing their views regarding their likes, aspirations, strengths and difficulties.
- Where appropriate, children on the SEND register work in partnership with their teachers in reviewing the outcomes on their SEND Support Plan and setting new outcomes. For younger children and those with complex needs, their views will be gathered by teachers and key workers in other, developmentally appropriate ways.
- The views of children with an EHCP are gathered prior to their Annual Review so that these can form part of the discussions and decision-making. Where appropriate, we also invite children to participate in their Annual Review in order to share their views in-person.
5. How are children’s progress towards outcomes assessed and reviewed?
The Academy uses a number of methods to know how well children with SEND are doing:
- Teacher Assessments - using 'I Can' statements ('Development Matters' statements in Early Years)
- Formative assessments
- Class Data
- Pupils Progress Trackers.
- School reports
- Summative assessments.
- Review of SMART targets on the child's SEN support plan.
- Termly behaviour and attainment report
- Intervention trackers
- SEND-specific assessments (such as Strengths & difficulties Questionnaire)
For children on the SEND register, SEND Support Plan reviews take place every term (Year 1-8) or every half-term (EYFS) in which children and staff will review outcomes using assessment tools and observations and make decisions about if outcomes have been met, are ongoing or are no longer relevant. If a child remains on the SEND register following this review, outcomes will be set for the next term.
For children with an EHCP, an Annual Review will take place each year in which parents/carers, the child, the school and any other professionals involved will review the content, outcomes and provision set out in the child’s EHCP. The SEND department will contact parents/carers in advance to set a date for this review and send out paperwork to complete as part of this process.
6. How are children supported through transitions between phases of education?
Transition arrangements are embedded into the school year. During the summer term, teachers and key workers will begin to prepare their class for the movement to their new year group. Transition activities will be put in place for all children to ensure a smooth, positive move from one year to the next.
For children transitioning into Pre-school or from one Pre-school class to another, these transitions happen throughout the school year and are supported by the child’s key worker, SENDCO and Head of Early Years.
Children with SEND will often require additional transition arrangements including:
- Additional visits to their new class or setting
- Opportunities to make photo books to record key members of staff and pictures of their new environment
- Transition passports
- Transition meetings attended by parents and the SENDCOs from both settings
7. What is the Academy's approach to teaching children with SEND?
Leaders correctly identify and work to remove the barriers to learning of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). As a result, pupils with SEND make good progress from their starting points.
Biggleswade Academy OFSTED Report, 2019
All staff at Biggleswade Academy are united in our belief that in order for children to achieve their best possible educational and wider outcomes, we must endeavour to remove any barriers to learning so that every child can access their learning and make progress.
We also value the importance of ensuring that all children with SEND develop as much independence as possible in order to support their development, confidence, resilience and ability to self-scaffold.
This involves high-quality teaching and provision that is differentiated and personalised and will meet the needs of the individual. From early identification, children with SEND will receive high-quality teaching, support strategies and interventions tailored to their individual needs, which will enable them to achieve their full potential.
8. How are adaptations made to the curriculum and the learning environment to support children with SEND?
As an Academy, we follow the revised National Curriculum which began in September 2014. Subject planning is overseen by the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and Middle Leadership Team (MLT), with plans matched to the year group. The 'I Can' statements ('Development Matters' statements in Early Years) are taken from the current National Curriculum and are specific to the age group. To find out more about our curriculum, click here.
Growth Mindset underpins the approach to how work is set and teachers have high expectations of all their children, including children with SEND. The learning objective is the same for all children but the teaching, delivery and resources are differentiated to meet the learning styles of the child. This can happen in a number of ways:
- Pre-teaching of vocabulary before the lesson
- Visual aids for children with SEND
- Teaching tailored to the learning needs of the children
- Selected seating to maximise learning
- Task planners used to break instruction and work into manageable chunks
- Use of a tablet or laptop as an alternative to writing
- Differentiated tasks and questioning
- Over learning to ensure understating is embedded
- Use of SEND resources to support learning needs
- Small group work or 1:1 work
- Support from LSA in the classroom
Teachers and LSAs are responsible for ensuring that all children can access the learning yet promote independence. The SOARR approach is used by support staff (Scaffold, Observe, Assess, Reflect and Review) when supporting children.
In line with the Equality Act 2010, the Academy has been adapted so that all children can access the curriculum effectively. We are a fully wheelchair accessible site. Up to date advice from outside agencies is acted upon to ensure best practice for our children. The site management staff ensure that all children, especially those with a physical or medical disability can access all areas.
The thresholds to buildings and classrooms have all been sloped, ramps installed or modernised, plus doors, entrances and exits widened to improve movement and accessibility around the academy. There is a lift in Brazil Block and disabled toilets throughout the Academy. Disabled parking is also available at the Mead End and Kitelands Road sites.
Arrangements are in place to support pupils with medical conditions at the Academy. Children with a medical condition or diagnosis are placed on the Academy's medical register and, where needed, working together with Local Authorities, Health Professionals and other support services, an individual care plan is created, agreed by all involved and disseminated to all staff who work with the Child.
Academy staff who work with children with specific medical needs are fully trained by outside agencies to ensure they have the skills to meet the needs of the child they support.
It is worth noting that a medical diagnosis or a disability does not necessarily imply SEND. Therefore, only children whose medical condition or disability that is having an impact on their learning may meet the criteria set out in the 'Graduated Approach' for being placed on the SEND register.
9. What training have the staff who support children with SEND had and what training will staff be having?
Mr R. A. Bilimoria-Mears (Academy SENDCO) - PG Cert National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination. Grad Cert Psychology (including Child Development).
Mrs C. M. Lake (ASD Lead Teacher) - BA (Hons) Educational Studies. PG Cert National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination. Accredited Level 3 Dyslexia, NNEB.
Mrs C. A. Gilbert (Pastoral Support Worker) - RGN.
All staff have Safeguarding training which is updated yearly.
All staff receive regular training on SEND from the SENDCO and other members of staff at Biggleswade Academy through INSED training days and weekly staff meetings. The focus of this training will depend on the priorities set by the Senior Leadership Team and SEND department.
Relevant members of staff have training to meet the requirements of children with medical needs, such as Diabetes and Epilepsy. We also have staff trained to support children with a range of disabilities. Throughout the Academy, we have staff who are First Aid trained.
10. How is the effectiveness of the provision made for children with SEND evaluated by the Academy?
Biggleswade Academy has a reflective culture in which all staff regularly reflect on and review provision in order to ensure that we are providing the best possible learning for all children.
Provision for children with SEND always places the child at the centre of any decision-making and is reviewed in the following ways:
- Teachers and support staff reflect on their practise and alter provision in-light of professional judgment, children’s progress and views, recommendations from colleagues or outside agencies, or trialling new strategies introduced through training.
- Senior and Middle Leaders monitor provision and deliver feedback to staff with reference to best-practise and research-informed strategies. This monitoring will regularly involve pupil-voice so that the views of children are taken into account when making decisions about provision
- The SEND department and Senior Leaders review the strategic direction of provision across Biggleswade Academy, with reviews to the School Improvement Plan and SEND Department Improvement Plan taking place termly.
11. How are children with SEND enabled to engage in activities available with children in the Academy who do not have SEND?
At Biggleswade Academy, we believe that everyone’s differences are what make them unique and special and as such, all children should be integrated with each other in order for everyone to have the opportunity to learn from and build relationships with all of their peers.
There are a wide range of extra-curricular activities open to all children across the Academy no matter what their age, ability or SEND need. Parents/carers are encouraged to discuss any concerns or issues regarding inclusion and reasonable adjustments will be made to accommodate everyone's needs where possible.
12. What support is available to improve emotional and social development?
For some children, difficulties in their emotional and social development can mean that they require additional and different provision in order for them to achieve. Children who have difficulties with their emotional and social development may have immature social skills and find it difficult to make and sustain healthy relationships. These difficulties may be displayed through the child becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well as through challenging, disruptive or disturbing behaviour.
A wide range of mental health problems might require adjustments to be made in school. These can manifest as difficulties such as problems of mood (anxiety or depression), problems of conduct (oppositional defiance and more severe conduct problems including aggression), self-harming, substance abuse, eating disorders or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained.
At Biggleswade Academy, we work with the child and parents to address social, emotional and mental health issues. If adjustments need to be made these are recorded in collaboration with parents on a SEND Support Plan or in the form of an Early Help Assessment.
Mrs C. A. Gilbert works closely with Mr R. A. Bilimoria-Mears to drive forward the support for children in Years Reception to 8 who are struggling in this particular area. She works closely with specific children to support them. This can be in the form of 1:1 support sessions or group therapy. She also works with families to signpost them to outside agency support and to help them to support their child at home and at school.
13. How are outside agencies involved in supporting children with SEND?
Working in partnership with outside agencies is an integral aspect of ensuring that children's needs are being met at school. At Biggleswade Academy, we work with a vast range of agencies, including but not limited to:
- Community Paediatrics
- Educational Psychologists
- Speech & Language Therapists
- Physical Therapists
- Occupational Therapists
- Visual Impaired Team
- Hearing Impaired Team
- CHUMS (mental health & emotional wellbeing service)
- Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
- Jigsaw Centre (supporting children at risk of exclusion)
- ASD Outreach Service
- School Nurse Team
- Early Years SEND Support Team
Work with any outside agency varies depending on their offer and the needs of the child. This could involve a professional carrying out an assessment on a child and providing expert advice and recommendations for the school and home to put in place. In some circumstances, work could involve delivering direct therapy/support to the child or indirect therapy/support (in which staff or families are trained by outside agencies to deliver support). Biggleswade Academy strives to ensure that we work closely with our partners from outside agencies and work in partnership with parents/carers when making referrals for support from outside agencies.
More information about services offered to children and families in the local area can be found on the Central Bedfordshire Local Offer website here.
14. Complaints procedures
Please click here to be taken to the Biggleswade Academy policies section, which includes the Biggleswade Academy Complaints Procedure Policy.