Dean Trust Wigan Special Educational Needs Information Report
At Dean Trust Wigan we believe that all pupils are entitled to a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum. Pupils are valued equally, regardless of ability and are encouraged to maximise their learning capability. The achievements, attitudes and well-being of all pupils are important and practical steps are taken to account for pupils’ varied life experiences and needs. Thus enabling students to achieve their potential and make a successful transition to adulthood, the world of further education, training or work.
- To identify, at the earliest possible opportunity, barriers to learning and participation for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).
- To ensure that every pupil experiences success in their learning and achieves to the highest possible standard.
- To enable all pupils to participate in lessons fully and effectively .
- To value and encourage the contribution of all pupils to life of the school .
- To work in partnership with parents and careers.
- To communicate with the Governing Body to enable them to fulfill their monitoring role with regard to the SEND information report.
- To work closely with external support agencies, where appropriate, to support the need of individual pupils.
- To ensure that all staff have access to training and advice to support quality teaching and learning for all pupils.
Many of the students on the Academy’s Special Educational Need and Disability (SEND) Support list will have had their needs identified in primary school and the information will have been transferred upon their admission to Dean Trust Wigan. However, some Special Educational Needs are not identified until the secondary phase of a student’s schooling. All teachers at Dean Trust Wigan are responsible for identifying students with SEN and, in collaboration with the SENCO and Inclusion Manager, will ensure that those pupils requiring “different from” or “additional to” support are identified at an early stage.
All children’s progress, academically, socially and emotionally, is constantly monitored by teachers and the Leadership team within the school. The core of the teachers’ work involves a continuous cycle of planning, teaching, and assessing, taking into account the differences in students’ abilities, aptitudes, and interests and through this planning it may become evident that some students may need increased levels of provision and support.
Progress is the crucial factor in determining the need for additional support. Where teachers decide that a student is not making adequate progress, the SENCO and Inclusion Manager are consulted. The SENCO and Inclusion Manager are then responsible for assessing the student to determine if there are special educational needs, they will do this by gaining a holistic view of the child and considering;
- Evidence obtained by teacher observation/ assessment.
- Their performance in the National Curriculum, judged against level/band descriptions.
- Standardised screening or assessment tools, e.g. reading tests, CATS.
- Other screening /diagnostic tests, e.g. for Specific Learning Difficulty.
- Reports or observations from Teaching Assistants.
- Records from feeder schools.
- Information from parents.
- External exam results.
- Student support meetings.
In the first instance contact your child’s learning tutor; if you still have concerns you can contact the Inclusion Manager, Mrs Nicky Harrison.
We pride ourselves on building positive relationships with parents. We are open and honest with parents and hope that they are able to be the same with us.
The Role of the Principal – The Principal’s responsibilities include:
- the day‐to‐day management of all aspects of the school including the SEND provision
- keeping the Governing Body well informed about SEND within the school
- working closely with the SENCO/Inclusion Manager and SEND team
- informing parents of the fact that SEND provision has been made for their child
- ensuring that the school has clear and flexible strategies for working with parents, and that these strategies encourage involvement in their child’s education.
The Role of the Subject Teacher
The Code of Practice clearly acknowledges the importance allocated to the class teacher. Subject teachers will support your child by;
- making reasonable adjustments to their teaching to meet the needs of learners with SEN
- being aware of the school’s procedures for the identification and assessment of, and subsequent provision for, SEN pupils
- collaborating with the SENCO and Inclusion Manager to decide the action required to assist the student to progress
- working with the SENCO and Inclusion Manager to collect all available information on the pupil
- in collaboration with the SENCO and Inclusion Manager, developing short term targets and contributing to IEPs for SEN pupils.
- working with SEN pupils on a daily basis to deliver the individual programme set out in the IEP
- developing constructive relationships with parents
The Role of the SENCO and Inclusion Manager
The SENCO is Ms Alison Mosley.
The Inclusion Manager is Mrs Nicky Harrison
The SENCO plays a crucial role in the school’s SEN provision and is supported with the day to day management of the SEND department by the Inclusion Manager. They will support your child by;
- co‐ordinating the provision for pupils with special educational needs or disabilities
- liaising with and giving advice to fellow teachers
- Ensuring that all Academy staff are appropriately trained in SEND
- Ensuring that the correct support is in place for individual students with special educational needs or disabilities across the Academy
- overseeing pupils’ records and maintaining the SEN register.
- liaising with the parents to discuss their child’s progress/ additional needs
- liaising with external agencies, e.g. TESS, Health and Social Services and voluntary bodies.
The Role of the Governing Body
The Governing Body’s responsibilities to pupils with SEN include:
- having a designated governor to oversee SEN within the Academy, this is Reverend Phillip Anderson
- ensuring that provision of a high standard is made for SEN pupils
- ensuring that a ‘responsible person’ is identified to inform all those involved with teaching and supporting a pupil who has a statement, of the provisions in the Statement
- ensuring that SEN pupils are fully involved in school activities
- having regard to the Code of Practice when carrying out these responsibilities
- being fully involved in developing and subsequently reviewing SEN policy
- reporting to parents on the school’s SEN Policy including the allocation of resources from the school’s devolved/delegated budget.
If your child is identified as requiring SEND support they will be allocated a key worker who will meet with parents on a termly basis to discuss the child’s needs, support and progress. In addition to this you will also have the opportunity to attend parent’s evening to discuss your child’s progress with individual subject teachers.
The Academy follows a broad and balanced curriculum across the key stages. (More information can be found on the Academy website or via the prospectus available from the main office). Through “Quality First Teaching” the academy provides a curriculum to meet the needs of all children. All lessons offer the challenge and support necessary for each child to learn. Differentiation of the curriculum occurs in all lessons through the work set, questions asked, support given or outcomes expected.
The curriculum is reviewed every year to ensure it is meeting statutory requirements at each key stage. Core subjects are delivered in ability based groups with the more creative subjects delivered in mixed ability year group classes; differentiated to meet the individual needs of all the students within a class group. The curriculum allows for progression within subjects and across key stages. Students in years 7, 8 and 9 follow national curriculum subjects.
Students in years 10 and 11 are able to make choices of option subjects. Students, parents and teachers work collaboratively to choose the most appropriate option choices for each child, depending on academic ability and progress. The Academy makes use of options choices available to allow experience of externally supported learning opportunities at local colleges or vocational work training if appropriate for individual students. Wherever possible and appropriate, subjects are accredited using nationally recognised accreditation and examination with appropriate adjustments and support as required. Students’ who require access arrangements will have their needs assessed by the school’s Inclusion Manager. The Examination Officer will put these arrangements in place for all examinations.
Individual student assessment of progress against their predicted grades is tracked half termly, students predicted grades are devised using KS2 levels, CAT scores and other nationally recognised assessment tests.
Where special educational needs are identified, we put into place appropriate, evidence based interventions. The approach is graduated with regular review of progress made and adaptations to support provided as required.
In planning support, we always start with what we want the child to achieve in their learning. This is tracked and reviewed termly. Resources are allocated on a needs basis, with the children who have the greatest need being allocated the most support.
The Academy curriculum is differentiated to meet the needs of all children and this differentiation can take many forms, such as targeted questions, a change to the curriculum, support within the classroom from the class teacher or support staff and on occasions the format in which tasks are given may be different.
Children’s progress is carefully monitored by the subject teacher and by members of the leadership team. Teacher assessment levels are awarded termly and actions identified for those children who are not on track.
The initial extra support is given as Quality First Teaching in subject specific areas. The class teacher will ensure that the child is aware of their level and the steps needed to move onto the next stage. Teachers may send home work for students to complete at home and will liaise with parents about this.
If, after this initial intervention, the class teacher still feels that the child is not making sufficient progress, or is concerned about a specific need or behaviour, then they will approach the SENCO/Inclusion Manager for advice and support. The SENCO/Inclusion Manager will gather a holistic view from across the curriculum and liaise with parents. They will then offer further advice and extra resources to the class teacher/parent or will determine whether the child requires specialist intervention or support. This may take the form of TESS, speech and language therapy, occupational health, gateway, or educational psychology service amongst others.
The progress of all children is continually monitored by the subject teacher at AGA using the Academy’s data tracking systems and formal reviews are sent home 4 times a year. A full report is also sent home annually and this will provide information regarding student’s academic progress attendance, classwork, homework and behaviour.
If a student is working below National Curriculum Level 1, a more sensitive assessment tool is used which shows their level in more detail and will also show smaller but significant steps of progress. The levels are called ‘P levels’. The progress of children with a statement of SEN/ EHC Plan is formally reviewed at an Annual Review with parents and all adults involved with the child.
The class teacher continually assesses each pupil and notes areas where they are improving and where further support is needed. The SENCO and Inclusion Manager will also monitor a child’s progress within any individual or group provisions that they take part in and feedback will be given to parents through letter or meeting. For students who require an Individual Education Plan (IEP), the SENCO or Inclusion Manager will meet with the parents twice a year to set and review specific targets aimed at addressing specific areas of difficulty or concern.
Pupils who are not making expected progress are identified through termly progress meetings. In this meeting a discussion takes place about those pupils experiencing difficulties and what further support can be given to aid their progress.
Parents can come into school to discuss the progress of their child at any point during the Academic year by telephoning, e-mailing or arranging a meeting at the main reception.
There are numerous methods used across the academy to ensure that parents/careers are able to support their child’s learning;
- The learning tutor and/or keyworker can communicate with you through the student planner, which your child will bring home daily so that comments from parents and teachers can be shared.
- The class teacher or Inclusion Manager can offer advice and practical ways that you can help your child at home.
- If your child is on the SEND support list then they will have an IEP which offers strategies from a wide range of people who support the child. These will be reviewed on a termly basis.
- If your child has complex special educational needs or a disability they may have a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education Health and Care Plan and will therefore have a formal annual review meeting where effective ways to support the child will be shared and further actions agreed to support the child to achieve individualised positive outcomes.
- If a member of school staff needs to discuss an issue with you, it will be done privately and strategies to support your child will be offered.
The overall wellbeing and general health of all students is paramount at Dean Trust Wigan. The Academy employs five pastoral managers who support pupils in a variety of ways in order to enable them to overcome obstacles to their learning. There is also Nurture support for students, where they can access Relax to Learn workshops, and programmes to boost their self-esteem or overcome anger management issues. Nurture can also be accessed during unstructured times such as break or lunchtime for vulnerable students who do not wish to access the school canteens.
The Academy also serves pupils who experience a broad and sometimes complex range of medical needs. Staff are regularly trained in addressing medical needs whilst key staff are supported by the school nurse and allied health professionals from the Wigan Community Trust. Where appropriate, individual care plans are designed by a multi-disciplinary team working alongside parents and carers in order to ensure each pupil’s needs are fully met. There is a policy in place for the medical treatment of students and all medication is kept in pupil services and a log of administration is completed.
All Teaching assistants are first aid trained as well as 17 other staff. Staff have training around specific medical conditions such as diabetes, anaphylaxis, visual and hearing impairment and adolescent mental health. Training is reviewed and updated to include new staff and to suit a specific requirement. A defibrillator is also located in the school reception for use in an emergency and key staff have had training on how to use this. For more specific needs, the Inclusion Manager and pastoral staff work closely with the physiotherapy team, the occupational health team, the community paediatrician and Child and Adolescent mental health workers. The school nurse works closely with the school and attends a drop in session for students during lunchtime once a week. This is a confidential service for students to access.
The Academy also employs a fully qualified counsellor, who works in the Academy for 3 days a week. Referrals to the counsellor can be made through Pastoral Support Staff.
There is a behaviour policy in place and a clear focus on rewarding good behaviour. Good behaviour and hard work is recognised during form time, lesson by lesson and also during assemblies. The Academy has two reward trips a year as well as an experiential learning trip at Easter. This is an opportunity for all students within the Academy to experience something new or unfamiliar with an emphasis on developing their motivations and aspirations.
Any behavioural incidents are dealt with swiftly and effectively by key members of staff and parents are kept informed. Exclusion is rare and is only used as a last resort to deal with poor behaviour.
The attendance of every child is monitored on a daily basis by the attendance officer. Punctuality and absence are recorded and reported to the Principal and the Governing Body. Good attendance is rewarded through the Academy reward policy. Where attendance issues are identified, parents will be invited into school to meet with the Attendance officer and Standards Leader.
All staff are trained regularly in key areas of the curriculum and also in identifying and supporting children with specific difficulties around learning, child development and any social and emotional problems which students may experience.
Specific qualifications in Special Educational Needs have also been acquired by both the SENCO and Inclusion Manager;
Ms Mosley (SENCO) is currently undertaking the National Award for SEN Co-Ordination
Mrs Herron (Assistant Principal- Pastoral and Learning Climate) has the National award for SEN Co-Ordination
Mrs Harrison (Inclusion Manager) has Level 5 award for advanced educational practice (SEN), Level 5 award for leadership and management, Certificate of competence in educational testing and access arrangements.
The Academy also works closely with the Targeted Education Support Service (TESS) for advice and guidance in supporting students with special educational needs or behavioural difficulties. The TESS teacher attends the Academy for two days each week. There is also an Educational Psychologist assigned to the Academy and key staff in the school along with TESS and Gateway hold a planning meeting twice a year to discuss individual student needs and ensure correct support is in place. Pastoral staff within the Academy also access a wide range of services all of which can support both parents/carers and children. These agencies include Speech and Language team, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, Sensory Support Service, English as an Additional Language Team, Paediatricians and School Health Service, Restorative Solutions, Gateway and Children and Young People’s Services.
Staff receive regular training from the Health Service around key medical issues which could arise for a child. First aid training is in place, 17 staff are first aid trained and 5 members of staff are defibrillator and resuscitation trained. All Pastoral Managers have received Asthma training.
All staff have basic level 1 safeguarding training, Pastoral staff and the core leadership team have level 2 training and 3 members of staff have designated teacher training. All Pastoral staff and 3 members of core leadership are Team Teach trained to support children in dealing with and working through difficult situations. All Pastoral staff are trained in early help. All staff have received basic LBGT and Prevent training.
All Teaching Assistants are qualified at Level 2 or higher in supporting young people in Education. 3 teaching assistants have recently commenced a Level 3, Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools training programme and all teaching assistants are taking part in the “Outstanding Teaching Assistant Programme”. This academic year every teaching assistant has chosen an area of SEND in which to develop their knowledge and skills, they will then become an Academy Champion in this area. Additionally, further training has been delivered on reading, spelling, phonic, handwriting programmes, Relax to Learn, Talking Partners, Social Stories, and supporting students who have English as an Additional language.
The SENCO, Inclusion Manager and TESS offer regular training to staff on special educational needs and behaviour, which supports the learning and development of children with additional needs. Teaching Assistants are invited to attend all training. Training is sought when necessary from specialist agencies both locally and nationally.
Dean Trust Wigan is fully inclusive and all students are encouraged to take part in all activities both within and outside of school. The Academy has in place all statutory risk assessments, based upon Wigan Council model risk assessments and guidance adapted to the circumstances of the school. These include risk assessments associated with premises and grounds, subject specific, individual students. Where necessary, extra support will be provided to ensure that full participation for children with SEND is viable. Parents are fully informed of the trips and activities open to every child and also all of the before school and extra curriculum activities available. First aid equipment and children’s medicines are taken on every trip or visit outside of the Academy. For the purpose of reward trips criteria is differentiated for students who have been identified as having special educational needs.
The Academy has a breakfast club every morning where students receive free porridge and homework, revision and intervention sessions after school. Vulnerable students are able to attend the Nurture room at break and lunchtime as and when they wish to.
The car park areas maintain disabled parking spaces close to the reception entrance. The main building and library are fully accessible to wheelchair users via a lift. Adaptions are made to our specialist classrooms to ensure that students are able to participate in all lessons. Adaptions may include height adjustable sinks and work stations. The use of computers, IPads and IPod enable all children to have access to new technologies to support their learning needs.
There are disabled toilets on all levels of the school and two disabled shower blocks. The Academy has all required policies and guidance modified to account for individual Academy circumstances. These can be accessed via the website. The Academy aims to ensure that all communications in written format are clear and concise, but will inform parents/carers verbally where appropriate. For parents whose first language is not English, and for those with sensory difficulties the Academy will try to provide an interpreter or sign language interpreter to attend meetings.
A range of practices are employed by the Academy to support students from year 6 to year 7 making sure they feel prepared on entry. Transition begins in Year 5 when students are invited for an open afternoon to take part in lessons, meet key staff and get a flavour of Academy life. Following this, potential students, along with parents/carers attend an Open Evening in September of Year 6 to introduce them to the school and the staff, before the application process begins.
Parents with SEND children can arrange extra visits to speak to the SENCO/Inclusion Manager to help them to prepare by addressing any worries, and providing information about both the transition process and the available provision at secondary school.
Year 9 students are trained to be peer mentors and visits are conducted by them, Core Leadership team, Inclusion Manager, Head of Year and Pastoral Manager throughout the year to the main feeder primary schools in order to meet the students and find out key information from the SENCO and classroom teacher. Workshops are completed with students to address their worries concerns or questions about starting high school.
Year 6 transition days take place over 2 days in June and these allow students to visit Abraham Guest Academy and experience the school setting with their peers. Cognitive ability tests, reading, spelling and handwriting assessments take place over the 2 days to allow for the correct provision to be put into place early on in Year 7. Parents of SEND students are welcome to phone the SENCO at any time to arrange extra visits to help with transition. A transition evening is held where parents are able to meet their child’s form teacher and also meet with the SENCO to discuss plans for the forthcoming year.
One of the main aims at AGA is to ensure that students in year 11 are able to progress at 16 to suitable education, training or employment. Regular careers meetings take place throughout Key stage 4 as well as a careers fair for all students. The Academy Careers Advisor starts working with students with SEND in year 9 to ensure that appropriate support is in place for students to access the next stage of their education. The Careers Advisor also attends all annual review meetings from Year 9 onwards.
Parents are encouraged to join the Parent Voice forum, the main purpose of this forum is to give parents a voice and increase their active involvement in decision-making. The forum also fosters a culture of ownership and participation as well as developing a partnership between the Academy and parents/carers in order to support and promote the students’ learning and bring about change. Information about how to get involved is on the Academy website under parent information.
The Governing body of Dean Trust Wigan is made up of representatives from the Academy, local community and parents. Adverts for Parent Governors are circulated as a vacancy arises. Parents of current students on roll are able to be nominated and if successful, are elected to the governing body.
Parents of students with SEND are invited into the Academy for Coffee Mornings throughout the Academic year. Each Coffee Morning has a different focus and is aimed at networking with parents and ensuring communication and “joined up thinking” between home and school to overcome potential barriers for students in the Academy.
Parents are regularly encouraged to give feedback to teachers and CLT about their children and events held in the Academy. This information helps to plan for the future and to ensure that needs are met appropriately.
If parents/carers feel that they wanted to discuss their child and their specific needs or any concerns they may have in more detail they can either telephone or e-mail to make an appointment with either their child’s Head Of Year, Pastoral Manager, Inclusion Manager or SENCO or any member of the Core Leadership team.
If you are considering sending your child to Dean Trust Wigan and you feel that they have special educational needs or disabilities which you would like to discuss further, then you can ring on 01942 511987 and arrange an appointment to meet with the Inclusion Manager and Pastoral staff. During your visit you will be given a tour of the Academy and an opportunity to discuss your child’s specific needs and specific support which could be offered relating to your child’s education.