1. What kinds of special educational needs does the academy make provision for?
Walthamstow Academy supports students with a wide range of needs that fall under the four main categories of SEN:
- Cognition and learning
- Communication and interaction
- Physical and sensory
- Social emotional mental health (SEMH)
2. How does the Academy know if students need extra help and what should I do if I think that my child may have special educational needs?
Students who may need extra help are identified by gathering information from teachers, parents, the students and the education, health and care services, and working closely with our feeder primary schools to build a full picture of the student’s needs prior to their entry to the Academy.
During their time at Walthamstow Academy we continue to monitor the progress of all students in order to aid the identification of students with SEND. Continuous monitoring of those students with SEND by their teachers helps to ensure that they are able to reach their full potential and enables the Academy to put in appropriate support and review its effectiveness. The SENCo will analyse student progress and put interventions into place in response.
Some students might be identified as needing a short course of intervention. They will be added to the SEN register for this time and removed when improvement is made. Parents will be informed when a child is placed on the SEN register and given information on how they can support from home.
If parents/ carers are concerned that their child may have Special Educational Needs they can contact the SENCo on 0208 527 3750.
3. Information about the academy’s policies for making provision for students with special educational needs whether or not pupils have EHC Plans, including:
a) How does the academy evaluate the effectiveness of its provision for students with special educational needs?
The provision for students with SEND is evaluated through tracking progress. Progress is monitored through data collection and regular reports and this helps us evaluate the effectiveness of the provision. Staff who run provisions track the impact of their provision using regular assessment. For example, students will complete a strengths and difficulties questionnaire (SDQ) at the start and end of a 6 week period of SEMH provision. The Academy also takes feedback from staff, parents and students throughout the year for their views on how effective the provision is.
The SENCo, Senior Leadership Team, Subject Leaders and Heads of Year complete daily learning walks in lessons. Students are spoken to and their engagement and progress in lessons reviewed. This allows staff to have a holistic view of student learning alongside the data.
b) How will both the Academy and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will the Academy help me to support their learning?
Teaching staff report every term to parents about the progress their child is making. Parents/carers are invited to parents evening annually. If a student is receiving SEN support then they will also have at least one review a year with a member of the Inclusion Department, to discuss how the needs of the student are being met within the Academy, but this is flexible to meet needs. If the student is on an EHCP, the school conducts a termly review. The SENCo is present at all parent evenings to answer questions. You can also call the school to book a meeting with the SENCo at any time or alternatively email the SENCo or any of the teachers.
The academy will share details of support groups and coffee mornings for parents of SEN students. These are normally held at Whitefield School and provide parents a support network, help and advice.
c) What is the academy’s approach to teaching students with special educational needs?
The Walthamstow Academy approach to teaching students with SEND is to follow the graduated response outlined in the SEN 2015 Code of Practice. Details can be found in the academy SEND policy and here:
Wherever possible the child’s need will be met within the classroom with differentiation and high quality teaching. The child’s subject teachers will take steps to provide differentiated learning opportunities that will aid the student’s academic progression and enable the teacher to better understand the provision that needs to be applied. Each teacher is provided with key strategies to benefit the SEN students they teach.
Additional classes are provided for literacy, numeracy and social skills where needed.
d) How will the curriculum and learning be matched to my child/young person’s needs?
Walthamstow Academy ensures that all children have access to a balanced and broad curriculum, and that the National Curriculum programmes of study are met flexibly enough to meet every child’s needs. No child will be excluded from any learning activity due to their impairment or learning difficulty, unless it is clearly of benefit to that individual and leads towards inclusion. The curriculum will be reviewed by Subject Leaders and the Senior Leadership Team.
e) How are decisions made about the type and amount of support my child/young person will receive?
If it is decided that a student is not making progress through classroom differentiation and adaptation of teaching style then in discussion with the parent, we will look at how the student can best be supported within the Academy. There will be a discussion around support with the parent, the student and a member of the Inclusion department. The student’s Head of Year will also be included in any discussions regarding additional interventions to support progress.
Every child is different and adaptions will be made to teaching styles and the learning environment accordingly. Successful strategies for individual students are shared with teachers. Classrooms, equipment, tables and chairs can be adapted to accommodate student needs.
f) How will my child/young person be included in activities outside the classroom, including academy trips?
Staff at Walthamstow Academy value students of different abilities and support inclusion. Within the Academy, staff and students will be constantly involved in the best ways to support all students’ needs. The school curriculum is regularly reviewed by the Heads of Department together with the Senior Leadership Team, to ensure that it promotes the inclusion of all pupils. This includes learning outside the classroom. Educational visits will be as inclusive as possible and in some cases parents might be invited to support their child on the visit. Reasonable Adjustments are put into place to ensure all students are able to access Academy life.
g) What support will there be for my child/young person’s overall well-being?
At Walthamstow Academy there is a very strong pastoral structure and each year group has a Head of Year who is responsible for monitoring the progress of individual pupils. The Inclusion department works closely with the pastoral team to ensure there is support for the students’ well-being.
The safeguarding team offer an open door policy every break and lunch time for students to pop in and talk about anything they wish. There are 3 safeguarding members of staff who offer this service plus a learning support assistant who specialises in SEMH. The team works with students who pop in at lunch, meet with students for 1:1 sessions and deliver small group workshops to support SEMH.
If needs are identified with several students, then SEMH work can filter into whole year group PSHRE lessons.
The Inclusion department offers a safe place at lunch time called the Sanctuary. This is run by a Learning Support Assistant and is specifically designed for SEN students. Students can come to get support for work, use a computer, ask questions or play board games quietly with their friends.
4. Who is the school’s Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) and what are their contact details?
The SENCo, Tijen Adem , is the person responsible for overseeing the provision for children with SEN.
She can be contacted by email on Tijen.firstname.lastname@example.org, or on the school number 0208 527 3750 EXT. 1124
5. Information about the expertise and training of staff in relation to children and young people with special educational needs and about how specialist expertise will be secured.
a) What training have staff supporting special educational needs had and what is planned?
We aim to keep all school staff up to date with relevant training and developments (CPD) in teaching practice in relation to the needs of students with SEND. This is done through a programme of staff development sessions throughout the school year. Members of the Inclusion department meet regularly for staff training.
The SENCo attends the regular SENCo forums organised by the Local Authority. LSAs can access in-school training in order to develop their training needs and those of the Academy. Learning Support Assistants at the Academy come from a variety of backgrounds with many being skilled professionals and/or graduates. They work effectively and efficiently with the SEN students. All of our team are passionate and committed in supporting the inclusive nature of the Academy.
If a student attends the school who requires additional support we can source bespoke training for staff.
The Equality Act 2010 is embedded into our policies and pedagogy. Students are taught about the importance and equality in all lessons but specifically PSHRE. One of our core values is ‘respect’ and students are taught the importance of respecting everyone’s differences.
b) What specialist services and expertise are available or accessed by the school?
The Academy purchases the services of an Educational Psychologist Service (EPS).
We consult with and refer students to the LA and the Child and Family Consultation Services (CFCS).These requests for referrals are taken back to the teams and decisions are made by the services as to how best to support the Academy / student.
The following services will be involved as and when is necessary: (This is not exhaustive).
We will consult anyone if needs dictate.
- Social Care
- Early Help
- Waltham Forest School Nurse
- Community Paediatrician
- Occupational Therapy
- Whitefield Special School Outreach team
- Local PRUs
- Joseph Clarke Visually impaired outreach team.
- Health Related Education Team
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health Team (CAMHS)
- SEND Success
- Hawkswood Therapeutic School
- Speech and Language Therapy
Parents are part of the discussion around referring for additional support from other agencies. They are kept informed about the outcomes of that involvement.
6. How will equipment and facilities to support students with special educational needs be secured? How accessible is the school?
At Walthamstow Academy students are required to move between floors throughout the day. This can involve significant movement and navigation of stairs. There is a lift which is accessible to those students who require it. Should the students need to evacuate the building specific staff are trained to use the emergency evacuation chairs.
There are 8 accessible/gender neutral toilets at Walthamstow Academy.
We have made sure that there is good lighting, Braille signs on doors for all visually impaired students and handrails on stairs to support student movement.
Walthamstow Academy has a designated disabled parking area. This allows safe access to the school for staff, taxis and parents bringing students to school.
We work closely with health professionals, including occupational therapists, physiotherapists and others as required.
7. What are the arrangements for consulting parents of students with special educational needs? How I will be involved in the education of my child/young person?
Walthamstow Academy believes that a close working relationship with parents is vital to enable early and accurate identification and assessment of SEND leading to the correct intervention and provision.
Parents are kept up to date with their child’s progress through person centred reviews, annual reviews, parents’ evenings and reports.
In cases where more frequent regular contact with parents is necessary, this will be arranged based on the individual student’s needs.
8. What are the arrangements for consulting young people with SEN and involving them in their education?
Walthamstow Academy believes it is important to involve students themselves in planning and in any decision making which affects them. This is part of the review process, giving the students the time to share their views about their progress and the provision in place to meet their needs. We encourage the inclusion of all children in the Academy Council and other consultation groups.
The annual student and parent survey allows the Inclusion department to monitor student voice and respond to student answers. Students are also spoken to daily and involved in our annual Inclusion Quality Mark Review in May.
9. What do I do if I have a concern or complaint about the SEN provision made by the school?
If a parent or carer wishes to complain about the provision or the policy, they should, in the first instance, raise it with the SENCo, who will try to resolve the situation.
If the issue cannot be resolved within 10 working days, the parent can follow a formal complaint procedure through the Complaints Policy.
10. How does the Academy involve other organisations and services (e.g. health, social care, local authority support services and voluntary organisations) in meeting the needs of students with special educational needs and supporting the families of such pupils?
Walthamstow Academy will refer students to external services if the student’s needs cannot be met by staff in school. This will be done in consultation with the parent and student.
Should a student already have an external agency working with them the SENCo will liaise and support the external agencies work. External agencies are welcome to visit the student during the school day and observe the student in lessons with the parents’ permission.
11. How does the Academy/setting seek to signpost organisations, services etc who can provide additional support to parents/carers/young people?
There are many voluntary organisations supporting SEND. The SENCo and staff in the Inclusion department will pass on details of these groups to parents/carers on request or as appropriate.
SENDIASS – Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service is now delivered via The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), 220 Hoe Street, Walthamstow, E17 3AY
tel: 0300 330 1175.
12. How will the school prepare my child/young person to:
Join the Academy:
KS2 – KS3
The SENCo visits the primary schools, along with the Y7 Head of Year, prior to students starting at the Academy. Concerns about particular needs are brought to our attention at these meetings by primary school staff. Where necessary, we will arrange a further meeting and a transition programme will be put in place to ensure a smooth transition from KS2 to KS3 for all students.
Subject teachers of students joining from other schools during the year (mid-term admissions) receive information from the previous school via Heads of Year. If there is a SEND issue the SENCo, or a member of the Inclusion department, will contact the previous school to further discuss the student’s needs, and to find out about strategies that work for the student. This will then be shared with staff.
The SEN register is accessible by all staff through the internal online platform - SIMs. Detailed information, including a Learning Plan for those who need it, is available to all staff on an online Provision Map platform.
Transfer between phases of education:
KS3 – KS4
A member of the Inclusion department will work with parents and students on the transition from KS3 to KS4, supporting students to understand the options process.
Prepare for adulthood and independent living:
KS4 – Post 16
During Year 10 we start the process of discussing with parents and students the transition to Post 16. This will involve agencies such as the Careers Advisor. LSAs will support with filling application forms to colleges and accompany for college visits and interviews as required. The SENCo or a member of the Inclusion department will liaise with the receiving school, college or provision to share information.
Students who enter the academy mid-term will be assessed as part of the interview process. The results will be used to determine if the student needs additional support or assessment. The students are added to the Vulnerable Student Panel to allow the SENCo, Head of Year, Pastoral Manager and safeguarding team to monitor their transition. Information is requested from the student’s previous school to ascertain any previous identified needs.
If a student is physically disabled, a meeting will be held between the SENCo, Head of Year, parents and any external agencies before the student starts school. The meeting will ensure that all equipment is available at the school, risk assessments are completed, and everyone is clear on the additional procedures put into place to support the student.
The Academy accessibility plan can be found on the Academy website.
13. Where can I access further information?
Further information about SEN at Walthamstow Academy can be accessed here (in the Walthamstow Academy SEN Policy).
Further detail about the Waltham Forest SEND local offer can be accessed here.
Further information about Waltham Forest SEND can be found at https://www.walthamforest.gov.uk/service-categories/special-educational-needs-and-disability
SEND Success is an excellent organisation provided by the Whitefield Academy Trust that offers support to both schools and parents https://sendsuccess.org.uk/
Finally, you can contact the SENCo, Tijen Adem, at Tijen.email@example.com
Date: July 2020