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We understand how important the link between us and parents and carers is for a students success
We have an open door policy and encourage regular contact from parents/carers.
The initial point of contact is your child’s form Tutor Student Support Manager or subject teacher, depending on the query. You can see more about this on this page.
Parents and carers can check their child’s planner on a regular basis to monitor their progress using positive and negative comments. Parents and carers are also encouraged to write comments if there are any concerns or to pass on essential information.
Throughout the year, there are regular chances for parents and carers to discuss their child’s progress. These may be through pastoral staff or parents’ evenings. Reports are also shared with parents and carers following assessments.
In addition, we have various open days throughout the year which are organised to showcase our Academy and give parents and carers the opportunity to discuss matters further with staff.
We are proud of the exceptional pastoral care we provide for our students through our Year and House system. Members of the Year Teams support our students’ pastoral, social, emotional and behaviour needs, as well as monitoring their day-to-day needs.
To support our SEND students, we have specific highly skilled pastoral staff for students who access our LSU and alternative provisions.
These members of staff provide above and beyond support including social emotional support, mentoring, independent travel training and social skills interventions to ensure all our students feel safe and have the best opportunity to succeed.
If there are concerns regarding emotional wellbeing, referrals are made to our school-based counsellor who provides direct support. A number of students with SEND have accessed direct support from our Counsellor. Further guidance is also sought via targeted services following consultation with parents and carers.
Some students have timetabled Personal Social and Health Education lessons as well emotional literacy lessons, for those accessing the LSU. This helps to develop their understanding and helps them stay safe, healthy and enables them to manage their lives in the future.
All our students have weekly contact with their Form Tutors, allowing them the opportunity to discuss any other concerns regarding academic progress or pastoral needs. The Academy has a zero tolerance on all forms of bullying and deals promptly with incidents if/when they occur.
The following members of staff are designated child protection officers:
Jonny Mitchell, Zena Zenonous-Walker (Lead), Charlie Greenwood, Nancy Elwell, Kim Ratcliffe, Kamran Ayub, Colin Prime, Karen Horler, Lauren Turnbull, Tanya Wheatley, Louise Maciag, Elaine Bleasby, Emma Wingfield
We also have a number of fully first aid trained staff who provide treatment for minor injuries and administer medication for students, under the guidance of medical professionals.
We have lots of highly skilled staff including the Director of Inclusion (SEND), Intervention Tutors (classroom based support staff), specialist SEND paraprofessionals, a SEND teacher, Student Support Managers and Inclusion Support Workers.
We work closely with external agencies who are crucial to providing advice and guidance on students’ needs. These include: SEN Officers, Educational Psychologists, Speech and Language Therapists, Teachers from the Deaf and Hearing Impairment Team (DAHIT), Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), Specialist Training in Autism and Raising Standards (STARS), Targeted services (The Cluster) and social workers. Referrals to these agencies are made via the Director of Inclusion (SEND).
All classroom based staff undertake SEND awareness training which consists of understanding what SEND is; knowing how to access relevant information and understanding how to adapt their practice to support the inclusion of all students.
Throughout the year we deliver training sessions from key staff to raise awareness of various aspects of SEND and to maintain high standards. Further updates about the SEND students’ needs and training is shared with members of staff on a regular basis.
The SEND team works closely with the authority’s Complex Needs Team including the Educational Psychologist, SEN Officer, DAHIT, STARs as well as nurses and speech and language therapists. Key members of staff attend briefings and training regarding our students to keep up to date with changes.
Various external partners delivere bespoke training to key staff including: phonics aimed at low ability students, deaf awareness, visual impairment, diabetes, epilepsy training.
A number of support staff are also ‘Team Teach’ trained to support and re-engage students with behaviour difficulties. Pastoral staff have received bespoke training from our Educational Psychologist on how to support students with communication difficulties.
All paraprofessionals are trained on how to effectively deliver specialist programmes as recommended by the SEN Officer and speech and language therapist. They also have regular opportunities for continued professional development by sharing best practice with other classroom based staff at the Academy.
We understand the stress of moving schools can be very difficult for young people. We run transition days for incoming Year 6 students. We also run additional SEND transition days for students who need more support to settle. Typically, this includes numerous visits with parents and key staff from primary schools.
This helps us best prepare students for what to expect and bridges the gap between their mainstream and nurture sessions.
This involves additional visits to the Academy for students with high level needs or those who have SEMH needs. Students are encouraged to take part in a variety of social activities and team building activities to support them to feel more prepared for their arrival in September. Our SEND team liaises closely with primary schools to share essential information in preparation for our new starters.
All students in Year 11 get advice and support around careers to explore post-16 options and career aspirations; some have direct support from our careers advisor.
All SEND students leaving the Academy will be in some form of education, employment or training. The current Year 11 SEND cohort has successfully completed applications – their intended destinations being sixth form and a variety of vocational level 1 and 2 courses including motor vehicles, hair and beauty, digital arts, business, media and electrical installations.
For students with Education Health and Care Plans, our Director of Inclusion (SEND) liaises with the local authority’s Transition Advisor to ensure students have a transition plan in place for the next phase of their education. He also liaises with the high needs coordinators in post-16 institutes.
The Academy ensures students with additional levels of funding – students who are working considerably below their peers or have complex needs – receive additional support in class through nurture or foundation learning groups, specialist withdrawals, access to our Learning Support Unit and support from external partners and additional resources.
If your child has SEND, please contact our Director of Inclusion to discuss their needs before completing the application. This will make sure we can do everything we can to make sure support is in place before your child begins education at the Academy.
If your child has an EHCP please get in touch with the local authority who can support with naming an appropriate school. This may include a visit to our Academy and a meeting with our Director of Inclusion.
Application forms can be obtained from the Academy’s main reception or here.
You should first contact our Director of Inclusion (SEND) to express your concerns. A meeting can then be arranged to discuss the matter where we hope to come to a resolution.
Whilst we find that most concerns can be resolved in this way, we take every concern seriously.
The Academy’s complaints policy is here.
If you require impartial advice contact Leeds SENDIASS on 0113 378 5020.
Our Director of Inclusion (SEND) works closely with primary schools to discuss the needs of students coming to the Academy. Most students who need extra support are already identified by the primary school. We make sure all students who require extra support have this in place when they arrive at the Academy.
Teachers speak regularly with the SEND team and if they think a student could benefit from extra support they will refer them to our Director of Inclusion (SEND). The SEND team will then gather further information from staff, the student, parents and carers to make sure any appropriate support is in place.
Where there are concerns regarding your child’s progress, we have special assessments that help us gain a full understanding of particular strengths and weaknesses. This can help us work out if a referrals to external agencies is needed. These may include: Educational Psychologists, specialist teachers, speech and language therapists, CAMHS and targeted support services known as the Guidance and Support team. We will always speak to you as parents and carers before any referrals are made.
Discuss your concerns with your child’s teacher/tutor or contact our Director of Inclusion (SEND) directly on 0113 380 7940. We pride ourselves in building positive relationships with parents and carers and we are transparent with the support we offer.
Slow progress and low attainment do not necessarily mean that your child has SEND. But it may be an indicator of a range of learning difficulties or disabilities.
Persistent, disruptive or withdrawn behaviours do not necessarily mean that your child has SEND, but means they could benefit from extra support in other areas.
As an inclusive school we give all students the best opportunities to engage in learning and to succeed. We make sure every student has all they need to engage in activities, and have a fair and equitable school experience.
Currently we have a number of students who use visual timetables to support them with routines, understanding lesson structure and timetables, here is an example. Some of our students use laptops in lessons for extended pieces of written work and all assessments. This means students are able to take part in all elements of the lesson and is part of their normal way of working.
Teachers plan classwork for all levels of ability, regardless of the subject topic. This means that every student has the same chance to learn and succeed. Typically, this is delivered in the form of bronze, silver and gold activities which are matched to students’ needs and abilities. Students receive support in lessons which can include sentences starters, additional key words and prompt questions as well as many others.
Some students who may have challenges in mainstream lessons access the Learning Support Unit (LSU). They follow a timetable aimed at embedding soft skills including communication, working with others, problem solving and independence whilst also focusing on preparing for adulthood. This year students have achieved a number of additional qualifications including ASDAN and the AQA unit award scheme. Students have been successful in achieving units in health and safety, healthy eating, internet safety and friendships.
Getting students to tell us what they think is a fundamental part of our practice. We place students at the centre of decision making by encouraging them to add their views on their pupil profiles and making sure they know their personal targets.
Feedback from students is used to develop the support packages in place and gather student voice. We have a number of student ambassadors who play an important role in being a ‘buddy’ for other students. They also help to run break and lunch clubs in the LSU.
“I used to not know how to do things in class but now I use checklists and notes. I can find my way around school easier.”- Year 7 student with autism
To support the inclusion of students with physical or medical needs, risk assessments are created and shared with relevant members of staff before commencement of activities.
In addition extra-curricular clubs, we also offer targeted clubs for students with additional needs. These include a daily breakfast club, homework club, cheerleading, baking club, craftwork club and a girls group.
Paraprofessionals and classroom based support staff work with targeted students, individually or as part of a small group. The SEND support team support in lessons according to students’ needs and have a range of expertise including autism, phonological skills, social emotional and mental health and speech and language skills. We also have a teacher of SEND who teaches in our Learning Support Unit.
Staff with specialist pastoral and safeguarding knowledge make students are doing and feeling their best. Our staff have a wealth of experience of working with a range of students with SEND; some having worked with SEND students for over 10 years.
Parents’ evenings take place throughout the year, where parents and carers are able to discuss their child’s progress and any updates.
Parents and carers of students who have high needs or Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) are invited to review the progress of their child more regularly. Students are also invited to take part in the review meeting. Key staff regularly communicate and share updates with parents. We are proud to have an open door policy and encourage an open dialogue to ensure better outcomes for our SEND students.
All parents of students with EHCPs attend reviews which are conducted at least annually. We keep the dialogue open between staff and parents and carers to make sure everyone can work together to support the student.
Our Director of Inclusion (SEND) and senior leaders conduct learning enquiries to quality assure and evaluate the impact of specific areas of SEND teaching and learning. This year we have quality assured the areas of feedback, personalisation and intervention support. Feedback from the learning enquiries is shared regularly with teachers to help develop provisions further.
Regular reviews of teaching and learning practice also takes place in the form of Developing Outstanding Teacher Teams (DOTT). This method allows teachers to share their best ideas and approaches with each other.
To make sure every student gets the right support they need in every aspect of school life pupil profiles are created for our more complex students. Here is an example.
These profiles show students’ needs, targets and the best ways to support them in lessons. The profiles are reviewed three times during the year by all their teachers. Targets are monitored and we use these to check on students’ progress.
In addition, subject leaders meet regularly as part of Raising Attainment and Progress (RAP) meetings. In these meetings we look at the support in places and see how we can improve both the support and the student’s progress. During these meetings, a review of the support and progress of students is discussed and actions are put in place to accelerate progress. This is then shared with subject teachers to ensure appropriate interventions are in place to further support students who need them.
The role of the governing body is to provide appropriate challenges to the school leadership to ensure the team is fulfilling its statutory duties as well as ensuring all students have appropriate provision to meet their educational needs.
The leadership team makes sure the SEND policy is in line with the Disability and Discrimination Act and that resources are used efficiently and effectively. Cath Lennon is our SEND Governor and communicates with the Academy Leadership Team (ALT).
The Governors agree priorities for spending within the SEND budget with the overall aim that all children receive the support they need in order to make progress. A member of ALT reports to the governors to update them on the progress of students with SEND. This report does not refer to individual children and confidentiality is maintained at all times.
Add link to Academy accessibility plan. See attached our Academy accessibly plan. This outlines our plans to further improve access to the curriculum, environment and communication.