1. What kinds of special educational needs does the academy make provision for?
Walthamstow Academy supports students with a wide range of needs including: ASD, Physical and Sensory needs including cerebral palsy and hearing impairments, Specific Learning Difficulties including dyslexia and dyspraxia, SLCN, Global Learning Difficulties, ADHD and pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs.
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 parents and the students, 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 into the Academy.
During the course of their time in Walthamstow Academy we continue to monitor the progress of all students in order to aid the identification of students with SEND as they may arise through the academic year. Continuous monitoring of those students with SEND by their teachers will help to ensure that they are able to reach their full potential, and enable the Academy to put in appropriate support and review its effectiveness. This is done every half-term through reports, data collection and by teachers liaising with the SENCo and SEN team through the academic year to raise any concerns.
If parents are concerned about their child then they can contact the SENCo on 0208 527 3750 EXT 1124
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 half-termly data collection and reports and this will help us evaluate the effectiveness of the provision. The Academy also takes feedback from staff, parents and students throughout the year for their views on how effective the provision is.
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 half term to parents about the progress their child is making and each child receives an annual full report with comments. 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.
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 new 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 and teaching style that needs to be applied.
d) How will the curriculum and learning be matched to my child/young person’s needs?
Walthamstow Academy will ensure that all children have access to a balanced and broadly based curriculum, and that the National Curriculum programmes of study are flexible 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 Learning Manager will also be included in any discussions regarding additional interventions to support progress.
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 Subject Leaders together with the Senior Leadership team, to ensure that it promotes the inclusion of all pupils. This includes learning outside the classroom.
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 Learning Manager 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. A student with SEN support will additionally have an LSA within the Inclusion Department who will be the key worker.
4. Who is the school’s special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO) and what are their contact details?
The SENCO, Gemma Clare, is the person responsible for overseeing the provision for children with SEN. A student with SEN support will also have an LSA who will be an additional support for students.
All the above can be contacted 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 will attend the annual SENCO conference organised by the Local Authority. LSAs can access training put in place to develop their training needs and that of the Academy. Learning Support Assistants at the Academy come from a variety of backgrounds with many being skilled professionals and/or graduates. They have gained different levels of experience and expertise being able to develop on existing knowledge to work effectively and efficiently with the students as their needs change, we therefore use various methods of teaching when working with our students. All of our team are passionate and committed in supporting the inclusive nature of the Academy.
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
- School Nurse
- Community Paediatrician
- Occupational Therapy
- Whitefields Special School Outreach team
- Local PRUs
- Joseph Clarke Visually impaired outreach team.
- Health Related Education Team
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health Team (CAMHS)
Parents/carers 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 but we do have a lift which is accessible to those students who require it.
There are 8 disabled toilets at Walthamstow Academy.
We have made sure that there is good lighting and brail 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 to taxis and parents/carers 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, half-termly reports and an annual full report.
In cases where more frequent regular contact with parents/carers 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 that affects them. This will be 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.
Key workers review progress with students after half-termly assessments during one to one meetings.
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 staff regularly consult health service professionals. Concerns are initially brought to the attention of the Academy nurse/counsellor by the SENCo, Designated Safeguarding Officer, Learning Managers or form tutors and referrals will be made as appropriate.
Targeted Support and Social Care will be accessed by the Designated Safeguarding Officer.
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 Faculty 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 will visit the primary schools, along with the Y7 Learning Manager, prior to students starting at the Academy. Concerns about particular needs will be brought to our attention at these meeting. Where necessary we will arrange a further meeting and a transition programme will be put in place, where appropriate, to ensure a smooth transition from KS2 to KS3.
Subject teachers of students joining from other schools during the year will receive information from the previous school via Learning Managers. 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.
A register of Needs is accessible to all staff through SIMs.
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 option process.
Prepare for adulthood and independent living:
KS4 – Post 16
During Year 10 we will start the process of discussing with parents and students the transition to Post 16. This will involve any agencies that may be involved for their input, such as the Careers Adviser. 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.
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.
Finally, you can contact me – firstname.lastname@example.org@walthamstow-academy.org
Date: October 2017