Special Educational Needs and Disabilities​

The SEND information report is intended to be a ‘one-stop shop’ that parents can go to, to find out about provision for children with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) within our school.

It enables parents to see what our school offers for children with additional needs, including how they are identified, and also signposts them in the direction of appropriate help, services and extra support, should they need it.

At Yarlside Academy we are a fully inclusive school who ensures that all children achieve their full potential in all areas of the curriculum, regardless of gender, ethnicity, social background, religion, physical ability or educational needs.

The purpose of this guidance is to inform you, as parents/carers, how we support all of our children, including those with SEND, to achieve their full potential. It is also intended to provide you with information regarding how you will be updated about your child’s progress, what specialist services the school has access to and how accessible the school environment is.

At Yarlside Academy we provide for a range of special educational needs.

These four broad areas give an overview of the range of needs that may be planned for.

  • Communication and interaction
  • Cognition and learning
  • Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
  • Sensory and/or physical impairment.

The purpose of identification is to work out what action the school needs to take, not to fit a pupil into a category. We identify the needs of pupils by considering the needs of the whole child, which will include not just the special educational needs of the child or young person.

Children are assessed regularly within school and Mrs Mason (SENCO) has discussions with the class teachers on a regular basis to discuss any children working below the age related expectations. Further assessments, discussions or observations may need to be carried out to identify if further support is needed.

If a child does not make adequate progress in line with national expectations, despite appropriate intervention and good quality personalised teaching, they will be identified as having Special Educational Needs (SEN) and an Individual Education Plan (IEP) will be written.

For children with Special Educational Needs (SEN), IEP’s are written and reviewed termly and these are shared with parents. Through these plans, parents are given ideas and strategies of how they can help their child at home.

Appropriate intervention will be put in place for a specific period of time (usually termly) and a child’s progress will be measured and assessed at the end of such intervention. If a child continues to make limited progress, despite specific support within school, it may be necessary for the SENCO to make a referral to an outside professional such as an educational psychologist, speech and language therapist or specialist advisory teacher to seek further advice and support.

If a parent has concerns about their child they may make an appointment with their child’s class teacher or the school SENCO to discuss this further.

The SENCO at Yarlside Academy is Mrs Louise Mason.

She can be contacted on 01229 840930 or by email at: mrsmason@yarlsideacademy.co.uk

If parents and carers feel they would like some impartial information, advice or support on any issues relating to their children’s special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), you can contact the Cumbria SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) who can offer a range of support. They will help parents, carers and young people to prepare for meetings with school or the local authority and practically support you at the meetings in an appropriate and impartial manner.  They also signpost to other relevant support networks.

For more information on SENDIASS and how to find support, please click on this link: https://www.cumbria.gov.uk/childrensservices/schoolsandlearning/ils/parentpartnership/default.asp

Home visits by Early Years staff are carried out prior to a child starting at Yarlside Academy. During these visits important information is collected in relation to a child and parents are given the opportunity to discuss any additional needs that their child may have when they start school. This will ensure that any additional requirements can be put in place as soon as possible.

In addition to the normal reporting arrangements, parents evenings are held during the Autumn and Spring terms. At these appointments teachers will discuss progress that a child is making and ways in which parents can support their child at home, if necessary. Additional appointments are also offered with the SENCO if a child has an Individual Education Plan (IEP) where parents can discuss individual targets and additional support that their child is receiving.

For children with Special Educational Needs (SEN), Individual Education Plans (IEP’s) are written and reviewed termly and these are sent home at the start of each term for parents to read and sign.  Within the IEP’s there are ideas and strategies of how parents can help their child at home.

Wherever possible, all those involved with a child should be included when deciding how much and what kind of support a child should receive in school and this should include parents.

Parents are able to contact teachers or the SENCO (via email or telephone) to arrange a meeting at any time throughout the academic year, should they wish to discuss their child or raise any concerns that they may have.

At Yarlside Academy children are involved, wherever possible, in the setting and reviewing of their targets on their IEP.  Targets are written in child-friendly language. 

The effectiveness of SEN support is monitored regularly though discussions with teachers and support staff. IEP’s are reviewed termly and children’s progress towards their targets is commented upon. This enables the SENCO to establish how effective their provision has been and will form the basis of further assessment and planning. Parents are invited to a termly meeting with the SENCO and/or class teacher to discuss their child’s progress and possible next steps.

Core subject assessments are also carried out termly and results are tracked to monitor a child’s progress in reading, writing and maths and, for some children, speaking and listening. Alongside the class teacher, Mrs Mason (SENCO) is responsible for monitoring the progress of children with SEN.

  • If a child is transferring to another school or setting, appropriate data and information is shared between schools. In some cases, teachers may visit the other setting to have a discussion with staff about the needs of a particular child, if they feel it is necessary.
  • If a child leaving our school has Special Educational Needs or a disability, Mrs Mason (SENCO) will contact the SENCO from the child’s new school to pass on relevant information and paperwork.
  • Additional transition days or visits for children with SEND are arranged by the SENCO to make the transition between schools or classes smoother. This may involve a child visiting a secondary school with a Teaching Assistant to familiarise themselves with their new environment, take photographs and have any questions they may have, answered.
  • At Yarlside Academy we believe in good communication between schools and parents. It is important that any relevant information is shared in confidence as soon as possible so that appropriate support can be put in place for a child to ensure a smooth transition.
  • Transition sessions are provided by Yarlside Academy, in the Summer term, for Year 6 children who are transferring to secondary school. Within these sessions children are given the opportunity to discuss any concerns or anxieties that they may have or ask questions in relation to their new secondary school.

At Yarlside Academy our SEND budget is distributed according to the needs of the children. Support staff and resources are allocated appropriately and this varies each year. If specialist equipment or resources are needed these will be purchased using money from the SEND budget. The SENCO liaises with the Headteacher regarding staffing in relation to SEND and this is monitored regularly to ensure that effective SEN support is provided across the school for those children who need it most.

Within Yarlside Academy there are a number of Teaching Assistants who may provide additional support to children who need it. A number of staff, including the SENCO and some Teaching Assistants have SEND qualifications that are used effectively to provide specific support to children eg. Reading Intervention, Bangor Dyslexia strategies, ELKLAN – Speech & Language support etc.

If school has sought the advice of an external SEN specialist they will provide advice regarding what kind of support a child should receive.

At Yarlside Academy, children’s individual needs are met through differentiated teaching activities within the classroom. Some children need additional support to help them access the curriculum and this may be done with the support of a Teaching Assistant who works alongside a child in the classroom or appropriate resources. All lessons and activities that are planned by the class teachers are suitably challenging for all children and take into account their varying abilities and needs.

Children may also work in different groups which are supported by the class teacher or Teaching Assistant, have specific 1:1 sessions, work with a ‘buddy’ in class or in mixed ability groups.

Visual timetables and prompts are used in some classrooms and interactive displays are put up to support individual children’s visual and auditory needs.

Staff training in relation to SEND is carried out on regular basis depending on the needs of the children within our school. Individual staff may attend the training and this may be on specific areas of need such as Dyslexia or Autism or more whole school issues such as disability awareness.

In-house training can also be offered to a number of staff where a specialist will come into school and provide training on a specific area of SEND, if needed.

There are currently a number of staff at Yarlside Academy who have additional qualifications, experience or training in relation to SEN. These include: autism, speech, language and communication needs, Dyslexia, Reading Intervention, Maths Recovery etc. The SENCO also has the NASC award (National Association of SEN Co-ordination).

Referrals can also be made to external agencies by the SENCO (Mrs Mason) if we require more specialist support and advice. The services that we currently have access to include: Education Psychology, Autistic Spectrum Conditions, Speech and Language Therapy, Early Years Specialists, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), Children’s Services and the School Health Team. They will then come into school and provide staff with advice and strategies, if appropriate, that can be used to support individual children. Parental consent is always sought before a referral is made to an external agency.

The strategies and interventions agreed in a child’s IEP will be implemented and progress monitored using the school’s usual assessment systems, plus specific tracking of progress through any interventions. Progress may be measured through assessment scores and/or through qualitative observations.

The progress of a child will be reviewed at the end of the specified period of intervention. This review will form the basis of further assessment and planning. Parents are invited to a termly meeting with the SENCO and/or class teacher to discuss their child’s progress.

Extra-curricular activities at Yarlside Academy are available to all children and specific arrangements will be made, if necessary, for children requiring additional support.

Activities that take place outside the classroom or school trips are organised to ensure that all children can take part in them. Appropriate risk assessments are carried out for off-site trips as well as ensuring that the child, adult ratio is correct and all necessary precautions have been made.

At Yarlside Academy, expectations in relation to behaviour are consistent across the school. All children are treated equally and rewards and sanctions are in place for appropriate or inappropriate behaviour (stickers, points, sad face, yellow or red card). For children who consistently display inappropriate/unacceptable behaviour in and around school a meeting will be arranged with parents and next steps will be discussed. In some cases it may be necessary for a behaviour plan to be drawn up by staff and this will be reviewed on a regular basis. For further details please see our school behaviour policy.

We also have a trained SERIS (supporting emotional resilience in schools) worker, Mrs Watts, who is allocated a certain amount of time each week to support children with specific emotional needs in school. This can include: bereavement, separation, friendship or family issues.

Bullying is taken very seriously at Yarlside Academy and our anti-bullying policy is available to view on our school website.

Statistically, children with SEND are more likely than their peers to experience bullying. Consequently, staff and governors at Yarlside Academy endeavour to generate a culture of support and care among pupils.

At Yarlside Academy we have access to support from other organisations such as health, speech therapy, occupational therapy and social care, as well as specialist advisory teachers and educational psychologists.

If a child has a higher level of need, which requires specific advice and intervention, it may be necessary to draw on more specialised assessments from external agencies and professionals such as educational psychologists, speech therapists or specialist teachers. Parents will be required to give their consent before the SENCO refers a child for any specialist support and the SENCO and child’s teacher will meet with parents to discuss a referral first.

In some cases the specialist may come into school to meet with a child, their parents, SENCO and class teacher. They may carry out assessments and/or observations with the child and produce a report which includes targets and strategies to inform a child’s IEP. The SENCO will keep parents fully involved and informed throughout this process and about any proposed interventions or next steps.

Contact details of support services are available upon request for the parents of children with special educational needs.  Please contact the SENCO at Yarlside Academy for further details.  Additional information can also be found on the local authority website by clicking here: Children’s Services 

Yarlside Academy is partly accessible for wheelchair users and there is a disabled toilet on site. There are stairs leading down to the Key Stage 2 classrooms and the Year 4, 5 and 6 classrooms are only accessible from the outside by steps.

Handrails are present on stairs within the school premises.

Interactive displays, visual timetables (in some classrooms) and two-tone colour schemes ensure that children/visitors with visual and auditory needs are catered for.

In relation to children who have English as an additional language (EAL) letters can be translated upon request for parents/carers, if necessary.

If a child is looked after by the local authority and is suspected to have SEN they will be assessed in exactly the same way as any other child and appropriate support will be put in place, if necessary.

Yarlside Academy’s complaint procedures are set out in our school’s prospectus and can also be found on our website.

Under the SEN and Disability Act 2001 parents can request the services of an independent disagreement resolution. The SENCO will provide more information about this on request.

Should a parent or carer have a concern about the special provision made for their child they should in the first instance discuss this with the class teacher. If the matter is not resolved satisfactorily parents have recourse to the following:

  • Discuss the problem with the SENCO
  • Discuss the problem with the Headteacher
  • More serious on-going concerns should be presented in writing to the SEN Governor, who will inform the Chair of the Governors