Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Policy

Policy Reference: GA-SP024
Version: V9.1
Status Operational
Authors Reviewed by E Pinnock
Applicable to All Academies
Checked by SENCO’s & ALT
Valid From September 2020
Review Date September 2021


Contents  Page
1. Introduction/Summary 2
2. Principles 2
3. Compliance 2
4. Process 2
5. Aims 3
6. Objectives 3
7. Identification of need 3
8. Planning to meet need – a graduated approach 4
9. Assessment of need 6
10. The SEN list 7
11. Supporting parents and families 8
12. Working with outside agencies 8
13. Admissions arrangements 8
14. Transition 9
15. Supporting students in the Academy with medical conditions 9
16. Monitoring and evaluation of SEND 10
17. Training and Resources 10
18. Keeping up to date 11


Storing & Managing Information

Roles and responsibilities





This policy addresses Special Educational Needs and disabilities (SEND) which affect a student’s ability to learn including their social, emotional and mental wellbeing, educational progress and physical needs; to secure for them the outcomes from education, health and mental health and social care which will make a positive difference to their lives.



Grace Academy Coventry promotes an ethos which values and includes all students, staff, parents and visitors regardless of their educational, physical, sensory, social, spiritual, emotional and cultural needs.  The Academy celebrates difference and diversity and recognises that all students have differing needs.  We therefore promote a culture of awareness, acceptance and inclusion.


We believe that all students have skills, talents and abilities which we have the responsibility to support and develop to reach their potential. To fulfil this we aim to provide all students and staff with strategies and resources within a supportive environment, within a culture of high aspiration and achievement to enable each one to succeed in all areas of Academy life and beyond.  Every teacher has the responsibility to have a clear understanding of the needs of all pupils, including pupils with Special educational Needs.  (Teacher standards)



This policy complies with the statutory requirement laid out in the SEND Code of Practice 0 – 25 (date 2015) and has been written with reference to the following guidance and documents:

  • Equality Act 2010: advice for Academies (DfE May 2014)
  • SEND Code of Practice 0 – 25 (2015)
  • Academies SEN Information Report Regulations (2014)
  • Statutory Guidance on Supporting pupils at Academy with medical conditions (April 2014)
  • Safeguarding Policy
  • Accessibility Plan
  • Teachers Standards (2012)
  • Children and Families Act 2014



This policy has been created by SENCO’s, Inclusion Manager’s and the SEND Governor, the Principal, and in consideration of parents of pupils with SEND. In light of the SEND Code of Practice 2015 and its underlying principles of achieving positive outcomes for all students with special educational needs it takes account of the importance of the involvement of all stakeholders in consideration as to what is required before specifying the provision. In particular it has a clear regard for the student and their parents in:

  • having due regard to their views and aspirations of the student;
  • facilitating their participation in all decision making processes;
  • Supporting them in the development of the student towards achieving their goals and planned outcomes and preparing them for life beyond the Grace Academy Coventry.



The aim of this policy and associated provision is to engage all learners (in particular those with SEND) with a clear focus on positive outcomes achieved through a culture of high aspiration and achievement. Our ultimate goal is to develop independent learners who are well prepared for moving forward with all of the skills required for achieving success in adult life.



To achieve our aims we will;

  • Identify and provide for students who have special educational/ additional needs.
  • Work within the guidance and statutory requirements as set out in the SEND Code of Practice (2015)
  • Operate on a ‘whole pupil, whole Academy’ approach to the management and provision of support for special educational/additional needs.
  • Provide a SENCO who will work with the SEND/Inclusion policy.
  • Provide support and advice for all staff working with students with special educational/additional needs.


Identification of need

Grace Academy Coventry will monitor the SEND register throughout the academic year.  A referral system and register criteria will be used to ensure that pupils are placed on or removed from the SEND.

The SEND Code of Practice (2015) identifies 4 broad categories of special educational needs that are:

  1. Communication and interaction.
  2. Cognition and Learning.
  • Social, mental and emotional health.
  1. Sensory and physical.


Communication and interaction

Children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) have difficulty in communicating with others. This may be because they have difficulty saying what they want to, understanding what is being said to them or they do not understand or use social rules of communication. The profile for every child with SLCN is different and their needs may change over time. They may have difficulty with one, some or all of the different aspects of speech, language or social communication at different times of their lives.

Children and young people with ASD, including Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism, are likely to have particular

difficulties with social interaction. They may also experience difficulties with language, communication and

imagination, which can impact on how they relate to others.


Cognition and learning

Support for learning difficulties may be required when children and young people learn at a slower pace than their peers, even with appropriate differentiation. Learning difficulties cover a wide range of needs, including moderate learning difficulties (MLD), severe learning difficulties (SLD), where children are likely to need support in all areas of the curriculum and associated difficulties with mobility and communication, through to profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD), where children are likely to have severe and complex learning difficulties as well as a physical disability or sensory impairment.  Specific learning difficulties (SpLD), affect one or more specific aspects of learning. This encompasses a range of conditions such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia.


Social, emotional and mental health difficulties

Children and young people may experience a wide range of social and emotional difficulties which present themselves in many ways. These may include becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well as displaying challenging, disruptive or disturbing behaviour. These behaviours may reflect underlying mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression, self-harming, substance misuse, eating disorders or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained. Other children and young people may have disorders such as attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder or attachment disorder.


Sensory and/or physical needs

Some children and young people require special educational provision because they have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of the educational facilities generally provided. These difficulties can be age related and may fluctuate over time. Many children and young people with vision impairment (VI), hearing impairment (HI) or a multi-sensory impairment (MSI) will require specialist support and/or equipment to access their learning. Children and young people with an MSI have a combination of vision and hearing difficulties. Some children and young people with a physical disability (PD) require additional ongoing support and equipment to access all the opportunities available to their peers.

Sensory needs are also a hidden difficulty for pupils with SPD, Autism, ADHD and a number of additional needs.

It should be noted that students do not fit neatly into any one category and our role as an Academy is to identify each individual’s needs following assessment processes which include;

  • teacher assessments;
  • whole group/year assessments;
  • individual diagnostic assessments;
  • Scrutiny of information provided by parents, Academy staff and other professionals.

Outcomes from the assessment process will inform future planning around meeting individual need(s) where special educational need(s) and/or any other needs have been identified.

There may be some instances where a special educational need has not been identified but whereby other barriers to learning are evident that may have impact upon progress and attainment. In such circumstances Academy processes and procedures will provide support; for example, where:

  • a disability that does not constitute a special educational need but that requires ‘reasonable adjustments’ to be put in place as required by Disability Equality legislation;
  • poor attendance and punctuality are evident;
  • there are concerns with health and welfare;
  • a student has English as an additional language (EAL);
  • a student is in receipt of pupil premium;
  • a student is a looked after student;
  • a student is the son/daughter of a Serviceman/woman.


Planning to meet need – a graduated approach

Planning to meet student need will be based around the process as outlined in the Code of Practice of Assess, Plan, Do, Review, and be based upon progressive intervention through the ‘3 wave’ model of intervention.


Wave 1

Teachers are responsible for meeting the needs of all students in their classroom. The Academy promotes quality first teaching that is managed by the classroom teacher and includes clear differentiation for individual students who require such support with their learning.

We see this as being core to all Wave 1 provision. Such provision will be through the use of a range of techniques, resources and strategies to achieve successful outcomes that can be clearly evidenced through student progress mapping.  Resources will be allocated by the Principal for provision following consideration as to the needs of all students in the Academy.

Where a student does not make adequate progress, following the assessment of need stage that includes the involvement of class teachers, student, parents and SENCO the student will be moved to the Wave 2 level of intervention.

Before moving to Wave 2 parents will be contacted by the SENCO to discuss the student’s progress and the processes of assessment to be undertaken with a view to establish whether there is any identified special educational need(s).  The outcomes of the assessment will be either:

  1. the student remains at Wave 1 with further advice/support to staff to improve classroom provision or;
  2. student moved on to Wave 2 level.

It should be noted that a student will be only moved to Wave 2 where there is clear evidence to the SENCO through the referral system/process that quality first teaching and differentiation is in place.


Wave 2

This includes Wave 1 provision with further adjustments of learning objectives, teaching styles, strategies and resources and/or the nature of support.  In addition to this, time limited intervention programmes designed to get the student(s) back on track in areas where there are real barriers to learning will be put in place. These interventions will include more structured programmes to support the development of skills/learning and/or in class support. All programmes will be measured against pre-agreed criteria/outcomes set within specific time-scales for evaluation purposes in line with the assess, plan, do, review process.

At Wave 2 level, in agreement with the parent the student will be placed on the SEND list and a Provision Map/Learning Passport will be written to support teaching staff and Teaching Assistants/Learning Mentors in subject areas with strategies to support the student’s specific needs.  At this stage the Inclusion Manager will arrange a meeting with parents will be arranged to discuss the Provision Map and to gain input from parents around the needs of the student and how they may be met in school and at home. This may include subject specific support that will be directed by the Head of Faculty/Department or by an external provider for a specific SEND need.

Where a student who has been through intervention programmes at Wave 2 under the assess, plan, do, review process that has included the involvement of class teachers, SENCO, Head of Department/Faculty, student and parents the following decision will be made at the end of each intervention:

  • The student has made significant progress and is back on track at nationally expected levels and requires no further additional intervention up and above Wave 1 or in some Academies:  The Keyworker will provide continued support for a period of no more than one term where the student continues at expected levels and at that stage the student’s name will be removed from the SEND list following consultation with parents.
  • The student shows some progress but still requires ongoing intervention at Wave 2 or;
  • The student continues to make inadequate progress and is to be moved to the Wave 3 level of intervention and remain on the SEND list.


Wave 3

Following the evaluation at Wave 2, more in-depth assessment will be undertaken that may involve outside agency specialists. Provision at Wave 3 will entail further adjustment of learning objectives, teaching styles, strategies and resources and /or the nature of support. In addition, the SENCO will develop a personalised programme, also known as an ‘individual support plan’ (ISP), for the student designed to provide more intensive support. This will form the ‘plan and do’ part of the intervention process.  The student will remain on the SEND list.

Wave 3 intervention is to facilitate greater access to Waves 1 and 2. Where a student who has been through intervention programmes at Wave 2 under the assess, plan, do, review process that has included the involvement of the Keyworker, Assistant Educational Psychologist (if appropriate), class teachers, SENCO, student and parents the following decision will be made at the end of each intervention:

  1. Where the student makes significant progress at Wave 3, they will be moved to the Wave 2 intervention level where they will continue to be monitored and supported at that level through the set processes, or;
  2. Wave 3 level of intervention is maintained where it is deemed through the assess, plan, do, review process that this level of support/intervention is required with continued monitoring and support or;
  3. Whilst remaining at Wave 3 intervention level a request is to be made for a statutory assessment of need to the Local Authority. The outcomes of the assessment may result in:
  1. the authority’s decision not to provide an Education Health Care Plan and the student remains at Wave 3 Level of intervention or;
  2. the student has an Education Health Care Plan written and in addition to the Wave 3 provision, additional directed support is put in place in line with the advice written in the plan. At this stage the student will continue to be monitored and supported at Wave 3 Level and in addition have a statutory annual review.


 Assessment of need

Student assessment will be undertaken following:

  1. transfer from primary Academy,
  2. referral from a teacher/ Mentor/ Head of Academy or
  • a student transferred to the Academy from another Academy.

As a part of student assessment and provision for need, requests for exam dispensation will be actioned where a student’s special educational need(s) can be evidenced as impacting on their ability to complete all requirements for examinations.  Where exemptions are agreed by the exam boards both student and parents will be informed of the provision to be allocated to support them in all tests/exams.  The person responsible for facilitating the exam exemptions is the SENCO and the examinations secretary.


 The SEND list

Students on the SEND register  will be receiving support at Wave 2 and Wave 3 levels of intervention. In line with this, any student on the list will:

  1. Have a pupil passport written that will include information on the individual student need’s, strategies and resources in place to support the student, student targets to support their own learning and time-limited review dates for mapping progress. This plan will be developed with the involvement of staff, student, parents and a named Keyworker or Assistant Educational Psychologist (if applicable)
  2. Key workers will support staff, the student and their family towards achieving pre-agreed outcomes for the student. The Keyworker will keep an ongoing record of the student’s progress that will include information on staff, student and family interactions and map ongoing progress towards set goals/outcomes. It is the keyworker’s responsibility to maintain the student’s provision Plan/Student Passport and to amend where/when required.
  3. Have a bespoke timetable/programme of interventions that will be regularly reviewed through the assess, plan, do, review process.
  4. Have their progress reviewed within planned timescales with movement both onto and off the list based on sound judgements resulting from the assess, plan, do review process. This will be done in conjunction with all stakeholders. If differing opinions should arise on the placement of a student on/off the register, the final judgement will lie with the SENCO. It should be noted that if at any time, following discussion with the SENCO a parent is in disagreement with decisions taken they should request a copy of the Academy’s complaints procedure and follow those guidelines.
  5. Where a request is made to the Local Authority (LA) by the Academy, parents or outside agency for a formal assessment of need towards an EHCP the Academy will provide all documentation requested and inform the LA of all partners/stakeholders involved.
  6. Student support for interventions/support at Wave 2 & 3 will be funded through the Academy’s notional SEND budget in the first instance. It should be noted that this funding is not ring-fenced but at the discretion of the Principal and Academy sponsors on how it should be spent. In addition to this, for some students with EHCPs there will be additional funding from the Local Authority’s ‘High Needs’ block where it has been identified that additional support is required above and beyond that which is available from the academy’s support funds.

Any student who makes progress and moves back through the Waves model of intervention from 3 to 2 will have a final assessment of progress prior to returning to Wave 1 level. This will include a range of assessments related to their identified need(s) and will also include scrutiny of the student’s progress across the curriculum, in wider whole Academy areas and discussion with teachers, parents and the student before the final decision is made for the student to be removed from the SEND register (as described in Section 4 – Wave 2).


Supporting parents and families

Where a student is having difficulties that have not been resolved in the first instance an appointment will be arranged for the parents to meet with the specific Head of Department/Faculty to resolve and the Head of Year or pastoral support if this is across subjects.


Parents will be kept well informed by the Academy on the provision they and the Local Authority offer for students with special educational needs, their right to access them and contain information on the processes with regard to accessing the right educational provision for their student and clear explanation of direct payments where a student is being assessed for/ has an Education Health Care Plan as set down in the academy’s SEND Information Report on the website.


 Working with outside agencies

The SENCO may liaise with outside agencies to support the student and their family in providing for their needs.

Referral to an outside agency will be only undertaken following parental permission/agreement.


Admissions Arrangements

Students with special educational needs should have equal opportunity to attend Grace Academy and be allocated places in line with the Academy’s Admissions Policy.

Where a Local Authority proposes to name the Academy in an Education Health Care Plan, the Academy shall consent to being named, except where admitting the student would be incompatible with the provision of efficient education for other students and where no reasonable steps may be made to secure compatibility.

In deciding whether a student’s inclusion would be incompatible with the efficient education of other students, the Academy shall have regard to the relevant guidance issued by the Secretary of State to maintained Academies.

In the event of any disagreement between the Academy and the Local Education Authority over the proposed naming of the Academy in a statement, the Academy may ask the Secretary of State to determine whether the Academy should be named.  The Secretary of State’s determination shall be final.

Parents/carers and students are encouraged to be involved in consultation at all stages and to pass on any relevant information to the SENCO. Information from Year 6 on special educational needs records are passed to the SENCO, who liaises with the Assistant Principal in charge of Transition and will attend meetings with the primary SENCO to ensure continuity of support.

SEND Students will be screened by Grace Academy to establish a baseline assessment and students will be provided with Wave 2/3 levels of support in line with the academy processes/procedures.



At the Academy the SENCO and Head of Year (with the Assistant Principal in charge of Inclusion or the Head of Year’s 12, 13 and 14 (as required) take steps to ensure that transition is clearly mapped If your child is moving to another school, to our school from primary or to a new key stage.  We will contact the Academy SENCOs in previous settings and ensure continuity of support or further assessments if needed.  When moving years Academy information will be shared with all new teachers.  If there is a need for a personalised plan for moving to another year, this will be put in place by the staff above.  The SENCO meets with the Head of Year to ensure they are clear on SEND support through SEND Reviews.  In Year 11 students will meet with a careers worker to create a plan for their further education.


 Supporting students in the Academy with medical conditions

The Academy recognises that pupils at Academy with medical conditions should be properly supported so that they have full access to education, including Academy trips and physical education.  Some students with medical conditions may be disabled and where this is the case the Academy will comply with its duties under the Equality Act 2010.

Where some may also have special educational needs (SEND) and may have a statement, or Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan which brings together health and social care needs, as well as their special educational provision the Academy is fully compliant with the SEND Code of Practice (2015).

Further details can be found within the Grace Academy Medical policy:



  1. Monitoring and evaluation of SEND

The Academy with the assistance of the SENCO and appropriate staff for the individual student monitors the progress and provision for all of its students through scrutiny of:

  • Data aligned to students’ expected levels of progress
  • Student books/work
  • Attendance
  • Exclusions
  • Impact of CPD

Where students are on the Academy’s SEND List there is additional monitoring for those students accessing through scrutiny of:

  • Outcomes from intervention programmes aligned to criteria for success
  • In class support through lesson observations
  • Outcomes from advice taken and/or individual support provided through external agency input
  • Impact of CPD specific to SEND

The Academy may also analyse provision /outcomes through:

  • Educational Psychologist reports
  • Complex Communication Team input
  • Healthcare Assistants records
  • Audits/voice of teachers, students and parents on SEND provision
  • SEND Governor review of SEND


Outcomes from the monitoring and evaluation processes are used to inform future planning in the short, medium and long term in the Academy.  Where a student is no longer on the SEND list this will be discussed with the parents and the students to explain the reason for the decisions.


Training and Resources

In order to maintain and develop the quality of teaching and provision to respond to the strengths and needs of all pupils, all staff are encouraged to undertake training and development.

All teachers and support staff undertake induction on taking up a post and this includes a meeting with the Inclusion Manager to explain the systems and structures in place around the Academy’s SEND provision and practice and to discuss the needs of individual pupils.

To identify the training requirements of staff in the areas of SEND the SENCO gather information from:

  • The annual staff SEND audit
  • Staff requests
  • Individual student need
  • Academy Improvement Plan
  • SEND Development Plan
  • Data collection points
  • Lesson observations

Planning for SEND training is undertaken at three levels:

  • Whole staff training that is a part of the Academy’s annual CPD programme aligned to the Academy improvement plan
  • Small group/ individual training identified from staff/student need – this may be from the SENCO or delivered by external agencies
  • Specific training for identified staff to provide specialism’s in the category of needs as identified in the SEND Code of Practice (2015)


 Keeping up to date

The Academy’s SENCO’s regularly attend the Local Authority SENCO network meetings in order to keep up to date with local and national updates in SEND and where required will plan to deliver training.

The Academy is part of the National Association of Special Educational Needs (Nasen) membership which provides up to date information and support through its website that includes:

  • Up to date statutory requirements for SEND
  • Advice/guidance from the DFE
  • Information and access routes to a range of resources/training
  • A one stop shop for SEND guidance/advice/support

The Academy works within local networks and uses local links to support its development and provision for students with SEND.  Further details can be provided at your Local Authority.


Storing or Managing Information

Details are set out in the following policies:

  • Data Protection
  • Records, Retention, Destruction and Archive Policy


Roles and Responsibilities

The Academy’s SEND Governor is Christine Staley, nominated by Governing Body, works to support the SENCO and Inclusion department to meet all statutory requirements and to provide for SEND students by ensuring that:

  • Appropriate provision is made for any student with SEND
  • All staff are aware of and able to identify barriers to learning and provide for such students including those with SEND
  • Students with SEND join in Academy activities alongside other students, as far as is reasonably practical and compatible with their needs and the efficient education of other students
  • They report to parents on the implementation of the Academy’s SEND policy through the Academy’s SEND Information Report, available on the Academy’s Portal (or on site if requested).
  • They have regard to the requirements of the SEND Code of Practice (2015)
  • Parents are notified if the Academy decides to make special educational provision for their student
  • They are fully informed about SEND issues, so that they can play a major part in Academy self-review
  • They set up appropriate staffing and funding arrangements, and oversee the Academy’s’ work for students with SEND
  • They, and the Academy as a whole, are involved in the development and monitoring of this policy
  • SEND provision is an integral part of the Academy strategic plan
  • The quality of SEND provision is regularly monitored.


The Principal, in co-operation with the governing body, has a legal responsibility for determining the policy and provision for students with SEND, and has responsibility for:

  • Ensuring that the implementation of this policy and the effects of inclusion policies on the Academy as a whole are monitored and evaluated and reported to governors.
  • The management of all aspects of the Academy’s work, including provision for students with SEND/LDD.
  • Keeping the governing body informed about SEND issues.
  • Working closely with the SEND personnel within the Academy to ensure the provision for all students with SEND is effective and provides value for money.



SENCO & ALT Member Rhiannon Spear


Management of the SEND department is delegated to the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO).  The SENCO have responsibility for:

  • Relaying the strategic direction as decided by the leadership team and supporting the department in the implementation of the Academy Improvement Plan
  • Overseeing the day-to-day operation of this policy in line with guidance set down in the SEND Code of Practice (2015)
  • Co-ordinating the provision for students with SEND
  • Ensuring that an agreed, consistent approach is adopted
  • Liaising with and advising other staff
  • Supporting  staff in the identification of students with SEND
  • Carrying out detailed assessments and observations of students with SEND
  • Having Provision Maps in place for students with SEND
  • Supporting teachers in devising and implementing strategies, setting targets appropriate to the needs of the students with SEND, advising on appropriate resources and materials for meeting identified need and on the effective use of materials and personnel in the classroom
  • Liaising closely with parents of students with SEND to identify expected outcomes and to discuss and agree on the strategies that are being used to support their student’s learning and to fully facilitate their involvement as partners in their student’s education
  • Organising the preparation of paperwork in connection with applications for statutory assessments and reviews of Education Health Care Plans/SEND statements
  • Liaising with outside agencies, arranging meetings, and providing a link between these agencies, class teachers and parents
  • Maintaining the Academy’s SEND register and records
  • Assisting in the monitoring and evaluation of progress of students with SEND through the use of the Academy’s and SEND Departments performance tracking systems
  • Contributing to the in-service training of staff
  • Liaising with the SENCOs in primary Academies to help provide a smooth transition to Grace Academy.


All Teachers are responsible for:

  • Providing high quality teaching and setting high expectations for student achievement
  • Planning to meet the needs of all students in learning and to remove barriers to pupil learning and achievement through differentiated and personalised teaching/learning
  • Including students with SEND in the classroom and applying advice/strategies/resources/support mechanisms from the student’s learning passport and/or Provision Map and/or those provided by SEND staff members.
  • Seeking advice/guidance and/or use the expertise of the SENCO or Inclusion Manager (where applicable) and the team of teaching assistants for strategies and resourcing to support learning.
  • Giving feedback to parents of students with SEND
  • Making themselves aware of this policy and procedures for identifying, monitoring and supporting students with SEND

HLTA’s will also add to the teaching and learning experience of SEND pupils at Grace Academy Coventry.  Targeted support and specific interventions to be employed by the HLTA in their everyday practice.


Teaching Assistants:

To be fully aware of this policy and the procedures for identifying, assessing and making provision for students with SEND

  • Giving feedback to teachers about students’ responses to tasks and strategies and use this information to support the development of provision for individual students
  • Carrying out their duties as directed by the SENCO


Documentation is stored as detailed within our Records, Retention, Destruction and Archive Policy that may be found on the website.


Policy Review

This policy will be reviewed annually from the date of ratification by the Academy’s governing body.

There are other academy policies that should be considered alongside this policy such as the Student Anti-Bullying Policy, Safeguarding and Child Protection Policies.