The Academy’s SEN (Special Educational Needs) Information Report
The Robert Owen Academy is an inclusive school for pupils aged 14-19. We provide a flexible and balanced programme of general and vocational education for young people from a diverse range of backgrounds. We aim to facilitate their broad intellectual, cultural and personal development as well as presenting them with an opportunity to prepare for the world of work. Some of our young people have additional needs such as speech and language difficulties, behaviour, emotional and social difficulties, hearing and visual impairment and Autistic Spectrum difficulties.
We work with parents, Herefordshire County Council and a range of third party specialists to ensure that we offer the best support for pupils with special educational needs. Herefordshire County Council have published their ‘local offer’ and details of it can be found HERE. This Local offer and the Academy’s SEN Information Report forms a response to the aspirations of the Children and Families Act (2014), which aims to provide a greater voice for children and young people with SEN and their families.
- What is the Children and Families Act?
As of July 2014, The Government transformed the system for children and young people with Special Educational Needs, including those who are disabled, to provide a more consistent support to bring about the best outcomes for them. The Act extends the Special Educational Needs system from birth to 25 and aims to give children, young people and their parents/carers greater control and choice in decisions and to ensure that their needs are properly met.
There are two main features of this legislation:
- Statements and learning difficulty assessments will be replaced by Education, Health and Care Plans. You may see this referred to as an EHCP. This plan will run from birth until the young person is 25. These plans will extend the rights and protections to young people in further education and training and offer families the choice of personal budgets so that they have more control over the support they need.
- A move towards greater co-operation between all the services that support children and their families, with an emphasis on local authorities and health authorities to working closely together
- What does a SENCo do?
The role of the classroom or subject teacher is to provide high quality teaching for all children.
Generally, children are identified as having Special Educational Needs if even as a result of good quality personalised teaching, intervention or adjustments they still do not make adequate progress.
Children with Special Educational Needs have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of other children of their age. Alternatively they may have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities provided for others of the same age in school.
Our SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) is responsible for the operation of the Special Educational Needs Policy and co-ordination of specific provision made to support individual children with Special Educational Needs.
The SENCO liaises with staff to monitor the progress and plan further interventions where progress is slower than expected.
The SENCO is in regular contact with a wide range of external agencies that are able to give more specialised advice.
The SENCo at the Robert Owen Academy has achieved the National Award for SEN co-ordination.
- How does the Academy know if your child needs extra help and what should you do if your child has Special Needs?
There are a number of different sources of information that could indicate that your child may need additional support.
- Transition meetings between other schools
- Early assessment on transition
- Regular assessment and monitoring
- Concerns raised by parents/carers, teachers or the child
- If limited progress is being made
- Changes in a child’s behaviour or progress
If you are concerned about your child’s progress, or worried that your child has Special Needs, please contact the SENCo.
- How will The Robert Owen Academy Support your child and how will I know about this?
The SENCo will assess your child’s learning needs and work with all teachers and support staff to enable your child to access the curriculum and make progress.
If your child has needs related to more specific areas of their education then they may be placed in a smaller focus group for certain activities. Interventions will be regularly reviewed by all involved to ascertain the effectiveness of the provision and to inform future planning. This information is stored within a document called an Individual Provision Map.
Occasionally a pupil may need more expert support from an outside agency such as a speech and language therapist or educational psychologist. Parents will always be consulted should this be the case.
There many opportunities for formal and informal communication between home, the Academy and your child:
- Consultation with parents following assessment of Special Educational Needs
- Parents’ evenings and drop-in sessions
- School reports
- Discussions with SENCO or class teacher
- Discussions with your child
- How will the curriculum be matched to your child’s needs?
Provision is put in place to enable your child to access the curriculum along with their peers. This may involve any one or combination of:
- Differentiation of learning in the classroom directed by the classroom teacher
- Support in the classroom by Teaching Assistant
- Group or individual work with the SENCo
- Specialist equipment
- How does the Academy know that your child is progressing?
We do this though a continual cycle of assessment, planning and carrying out interventions and monitoring. Sources of information come from formal assessment and observations as well as conversations with you child. You will be made aware of this though parents’ evenings, drop-in sessions, school reports and individual meetings.
- How can you be involved in planning for your child’s education and support your child’s learning?
Parents’ evenings are an excellent way to be involved in your child’s learning. From time-to-time messages are sent home on how to support your child with various aspects of their learning. These work alongside activities we are doing in school and provide an opportunity to work to enhance this.
If an Outside Agency has been involved then you will receive a report with ways in which your child can be supported both in and out of school.
Parents of students who have a Statement or EHCP, will be invited into school termly to discuss progress and target setting. Some students will also have an individual provision map which may identify how to support your child’s learning at home.
- What specialist services are available at or accessible by, the Academy?
On a needs basis, the following can be accessed:
- First aid
- CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service)
- OT (Occupational Therapy)
- SALT (Speech and Language Therapy)
- Specialist teachers for complex and communication difficulties (Autism Spectrum conditions)
- Social Services
- Child Protection Services
- For pupils with more complicated medical needs, we are able to keep and administer prescribed drugs safely. We have individual protocols for children with significant medical needs and allergies. We have access to the School Nurse and can provide individual support plans for pupils with short term medical needs.
- How will your child be included in activities outside the classroom?
Activities such as school trips and our off-site vocational work are available to all pupils, regardless of Special Educational Need or Disability. We carry out a Health and Safety risk assessment for each activity and at least one First Aider goes on each trip. We have two minibuses.
- What to do should you wish to complain?
Our policy is to deal with parents’ concerns and complaints as quickly as possible. In the first instance parents are advised to contact the Principal if they wish to make a formal complaint. For further information please refer to the School Complaints Policy.
Should you need any further details or wish to discuss any matter regarding special educational needs at Robert Owen Academy, please contact the school’s SENCo (Special Needs Coordinator):
Name: Mrs Anne Forrester
Phone: 01432 513120
Address: Robert Owen Academy, Blackfriars Street, Hereford, HR4 9HS