Special Educational Needs/Disability Policy 2014



NB This policy will be amended in light of the changes to the SEN Code of Practice which come into effect on September 1st 2014


Policy to promote the successful inclusion of pupils with Special Education Needs and disabilities at St Margaret Ward Catholic Academy.


At St Margaret Ward, we are committed to offering an inclusive curriculum to ensure the best possible progress for all our pupils whatever their needs or abilities. Not all pupils with disabilities have special educational needs and not all pupils with SEN meet the definition of disability, but this policy covers all of these pupils.


‘Pupils have Special Educational Needs if they have a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made for them.’


‘Pupils with a disability have special educational needs if they have any difficulty in accessing education and if they need any special educational provision to be made for them, that is anything that is additional to or different from what is normally available in schools in the area.’




1 Principles


In meeting the needs of pupils with special educational needs, there are guiding principles which underpin policy and practice.


At St Margaret Ward Catholic Academy, it is believed that:


  • All pupils should be encouraged to develop to their full potential (physically, emotionally, socially and intellectually).


  • All pupils are entitled to access the curriculum. Special provision should be tailored to suit the needs of the individual in order that access can be gained and success achieved.


  • Special educational provision is more effective if there is a close working partnership between pupils, parents and school.


  • Early identification of special educational needs is important in ensuring that pupils’ needs are met.


  • Effective assessment will enable pupils’ needs to be met.



Through the work of the Special Needs Department, it is hoped that the following objectives can be achieved:


  • To provide additional support to those identified as having special educational needs.


  • To raise the awareness of pupils’ special educational needs.


  • To carry out continuous assessment and review progress made by pupils.


  • To identify pupils not already identified as having special educational needs.


  • To promote progress in all pupils.


  • To improve standards of literacy and numeracy in the school.



2 The Role of the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO)


The SENCO, with the support of the head teacher, senior leadership team and governing body, takes responsibility for:


  • The day to day operation of provision made for children with SEN/D.


  • Providing professional guidance in the area of SEN/D, to secure high quality teaching and effective use of resources.

 3 Structures


  • The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) is Mrs A. Pearson. She has responsibility for the day-to-day implementation of policy and practice. The SENCO also has responsibility for the Learning Support Practitioners (LSPs)
  • The member of the Senior Leadership team who monitors SEN provision is Mrs Pritchard (Deputy Headteacher)
  • The SEN Link Governor is Mr Thompson.



  1. Admissions


The School is an academy and has its own admissions policy. (Available on request)


5 Specialisms


The school has an Arts specialism.


6 Resources


To meet the special educational needs of pupils with or without statements, resources are supplied from delegated and devolved funding.


The resources required by the school to meet special educational needs can be broken down into:


  1. Human Resources.  This includes the employment of the SENCO, LSPs, SpLD Tutors and any other manpower required.
  2. Material Resources.  Part of the budget is set aside for the purchase of materials such as reading books, resource packs, stationery and photocopying.
  3. Training.  To ensure the continued professional development of those members of the Special Needs Department, part of the allocated budget covers the cost of training needs.


To meet special educational needs across the curriculum there is an expectation that subject departments will procure resources suitable for the range of abilities.



7 Identification, assessments identified as having and review


At St Margaret Ward, those pupils with special educational needs may fall into one or more of the following categories:


  • Communication & Interaction
  • Cognition & Learning
  • Behavioural, Emotional & Social Development
  • Sensory and/or Physical Impairment


Additional support is provided where difficulties in such areas affect a pupil’s learning.


When assessing pupils and setting targets, the school makes use of the range of data available.  This includes:


  • Key Stage 2 SATs results/teacher assessments


  • Results from the school’s own screening tests for example: reading, spelling and vocabulary tests


  • CATs results.


  • Discussions among staff in departmental & year team meetings.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             


  • Progress reports & the results of National Curriculum tests.


  • Information provided by the primary schools.


In identifying pupils with special educational needs, the school makes regard to the 2001 SEN Code of Practice.  The graduated approach to pupils with SEN is described below:


  • Quality of Teaching & Learning, including appropriate differentiation of the curriculum
  • Early Years/School Action
  • Early Years/School Action Plus
  • Statemented Provision


Provision/action that is additional to or different from that available to all will be recorded on an Individual Education Plan (I.E.P.)/pupil passport or Group Education Plan (G.E.P); provision maps are also used to demonstrate additional support.



8 Individual Education Plans


Pupils at School Action require the use of strategies by subject teachers to meet their individual needs; those at School Action Plus or with a Statement have a pupil passport (IEP) which:


  • details areas of difficulty


  • are used by subject teachers, Learning Support Assistants (LSPs) and the SENCO to make adjustments for children with SEN


  • are monitored and amended as required


  • are prepared in collaboration with teaching staff/professional agencies/pupils. They are shared with parents for consultation.


  • provide appropriate support strategies to meet pupil’s needs





If, despite significant support and intervention at School Action or School Action +, the school has evidence that a pupil is making insufficient progress, further advice may be sought along with support from outside professionals (Refer to ‘Triggers for School Action Plus’ available from the SENCO). These professionals will be asked to contribute to the monitoring and review of progress where necessary. Pupils and parents will be fully involved and kept informed about the involvement of external agencies and proposed interventions.


For pupils who have statements of SEN, their progress and the support outlined in their statement will be reviewed annually and a report provided for the Local Education Authority. If a pupil makes sufficient progress, a statement may be discontinued by the Education Authority.


The school will liaise with the Careers Service and other agencies to arrange Transition Plans for students with Statements (and other pupils with SEN who may benefit from Transition Planning) in Year 9, and will ensure that these transition arrangements are reviewed annually as part of the Annual Review process.


9 Curriculum/Inclusion


All pupils are entitled to a broad and balanced curriculum.  The school aims to make pupils requiring additional support as fully included as possible.  This is done through:


  • having regard to the Statutory Inclusion Statement (setting suitable learning challenges; responding to pupils’ diverse learning needs; overcoming potential barriers to learning and assessment for individuals or groups of pupils)


  • grouping mixed ability forms (and some subjects)


  • promoting peer support through group work


  • providing in-class support


  • providing support for pupils at change over times, break times and lunch times


  • interventions aimed at narrowing gaps


  • appropriate differentiation of the curriculum (by input, outcome, resource, task)


  • encouraging participation in extra-curricular activities


  • exploring option choices and planning for post 16 education, training or employme





1 Partnership with Parents


Partnership with parents is seen as integral to the progress of pupils.  The SEN Department seeks to operate on a basis of close liaison and mutual support through:


  • responding promptly and sympathetically to parental concerns


  • involving parents in the assessment and reviewing process


  • asking parents to support their child’s learning at home through spelling and reading practice, as well as supporting in other areas of need


  • communicating information to parents about the school, with particular regard to SEN/D.



The SENCO uses a variety of ways to liaise with parents.  These might include: telephone, letter, meetings, progress evenings and drop-in days.


Parents’ views are taken seriously and the SEN department hopes to establish and maintain effective working partnerships.


The school endeavours to gather the ascertainable views of the child in addressing their needs.


Where parents feel as though their child’s needs are not being addressed, they should contact the SENCO in the first instance, who will try to resolve the issue within the partnership.


If necessary, the SENCO will follow up the concern with the appropriate authority which might be:


  • the senior leadership team


-     representatives of the LA such as Educational Psychology, SENSS.


If parents feel that they wish to discuss their views with a senior member of staff, they should contact the Deputy head-teacher with responsibility for SEN/D.


They may also contact the LEA or other agencies directly.


Any unresolved complaints will follow the school’s complaint procedures.


1 Inset/Staff Development


The school identifies training needs for all staff taking into account school priorities as well as personal professional development.


  • Subject departments can ask for INSET time to work with the SENCO.


  • The SENCO and LSPs can ask to attend courses run by the LEA.


  • Courses run by other agencies may be attended if appropriate.


  • Departments may attend courses run by the LEA or other agencies.


  • Opportunities for SEN Link Governor training.


  • The SENCO delivers training to whole staff/ groups/individuals.



1 External Support


  • The school receives regular visits from the nominated Education Welfare Officer and Educational Psychologist for the area. There is also an SEND advisory teacher who delivers support as per the yearly service level agreement.


  • In addition, the school may seek advice from specialist advisory teaching services such as for children with sensory impairment or physical difficulties.


  • Careers Service work with all pupils in preparation for transition to post-16 provision. They provide a vital link between school and post-16 destinations. The SENCO liaises with the careers service to ensure that pupils’ needs are made known (with consent of the pupil) to providers.


  • Where it is felt to be beneficial, the SENCO and/or the SEN team liaise with, and take advice from, special school colleagues in order to meet the needs of pupils with SEN.



Last updated: September 2013