Ark Academy Secondary SEND Information Report

1. How can I let the school know I am concerned about my child’s progress in school?

If you have concerns about your child’s progress you should speak to your child’s form tutor initially. If you are not happy that your concerns are being managed and that your child is still not making progress you should speak to the Head of Year, Inclusion Coordinator or Associate Principal. If you are still not happy you can speak to the Principal or school SEND Governor.

2. How will the school let me know if they have any concerns about my child’s learning in school?

If your child is then identified as not making progress the school will set up a meeting to discuss this with you in more detail and to:

  • listen to any concerns you may have too
  • plan any additional support your child may receive
  • discuss with you any referrals to outside professionals to support your child’s learning.

3. How is extra support allocated to children and how do they move between the different levels?

The school budget, received from Brent LA, includes money for supporting children with SEND.
The Principal decides on the budget allocation for special educational needs and disabilities in consultation with the school governors, on the basis of needs in the school.

4. Who are the other people providing services to children with SEND in this school?

Directly funded by the school:

  • Two Learning Mentors
  • Bright Education – alternative educational provision
  • A large team of graduate Teaching Assistants
  • Specialist input on Inclusion from within the ARK network
  • Full time on site school nurse
  • Family group therapy from the Anna Freud centre
  • Family group therapy and one to one therapy from TAMHs
  • Paid for centrally by the local authority but delivered in school:
  • Brent Outreach  Autism Team (BOAT)
  • Educational Psychology Service (EPS)
  • Brent Deaf and Hearing Impaired Service (BDHIS)
  • Brent Visual Impairment Service (BVIS)
  • Complex Needs Consultant (Physical/medical disabilities)
  • Specific Learning Difficulties Consultant (Assessment, advice and resources for children with literacy or numeracy difficulties including Dyslexia)
  • Speech and Language Therapy for those children with a statement of SEN or an EHC Plan (provided by Health but paid for by the Local Authority)
  • Provided and paid for by the health services (NHS Trust) but delivered in school:
  • School nurse
  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational therapy

5. How are the teachers in the school helped to work with children with SEND and what training do they have?

  • The SENCO’s job is to support the class teacher in planning for children with SEND.
  • The school has a training plan for all staff to improve the teaching and learning of children including those with SEND. This includes whole school training on SEND issues.
  • Individual teachers and support staff attend training courses run by outside agencies and the ARK network that are relevant to the needs of specific children in their class.

6. How will the teaching be adapted for my child with SEND?

  • Class teachers plan lessons according to the specific needs of all groups of children in their class, and will ensure that your child’s needs are met.
  • Specific resources and strategies will be used to support your child individually and in groups.
  • Planning and teaching will be adapted on a daily basis if needed to meet your child’s learning needs.
  • Every teacher has to write an intervention plan for each of their classes. These plans identify which pupils have SEN or require additional support and details the strategies that will be employed to help them make progress.

7. How will we measure the progress of your child in school?

  • Your child’s progress is continually monitored.
  • His/her progress is reviewed formally every term and a level given in all subjects, this increases to half termly intervals in English, Maths and Science. Pupils are also given less formal assessments which give each pupil detailed feedback about how to improve and make progress.
  • If your child is in Year 1 and above, but is not yet at age-appropriate levels, a more sensitive assessment tool is used which shows their level in more detail and will also show smaller but significant steps of progress.
  • At the end of each key stage (i.e. at the end of year 2 and year 6) all children are required to be formally assessed using Standard Assessment Tests (SATS). This is something the government requires all schools to do and Year 6 results are published nationally.
  • Children on the SEN register will have an individual education plan to which the child’s voice is an important feature.
  • The progress of children with a statement of SEND/ EHC Plan is formally reviewed at an annual review with all adults involved with the child’s education.

8. What support do we have for you as a parent of child with SEND?

  • We are available to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns you may have and to share information about what is working well at home and school so similar strategies can be used.
  • All information from outside professionals will be discussed with you with the person involved directly, or where this is not possible, in a report.
  • Homework will be adjusted as needed to your child’s individual needs.
  • A home/school contact book may be used to support communication with you, when this has been agreed to be useful for you and your child.
  • Parents are informed and actively encouraged to support shared goals at home.
  • Access to Parent Partnership and to other parent support groups.

9. What support is there for my child’s overall wellbeing?

  • We are an inclusive school; we welcome and celebrate diversity. We believe that a child having high self-esteem is crucial to their well-being and educational achievement. We have a caring, understanding team of teachers and support staff who will support your child’s emotional and educational needs.
  • If further support is required this may involve working alongside outside agencies such as Health and Social Care, and/or specialist educational services.

10. How does the school manage the administration of medicines?

  • The school has a safeguarding policy regarding first aid and the administration and managing of medicines on the school site. It is published on our website.
  • Parents need to contact the school nurse if medication is recommended by Health professionals to be taken during the school day.
  • On a day to day basis the school nurse/ admin staff generally oversees the administration of any medicines.
  • As a staff we have training and updates on conditions and medication affecting individual children so that all staff are able to manage medical situations.

11. How is Ark Academy accessible to children with SEND?

  • The ground floor of the buildings are accessible to those with physical disabilities, higher floors are reached by lift.
  • We ensure that teaching resources and equipment used are accessible to all children regardless of their needs.
  • After school and extra-curricular provision is accessible to all children including those with SEND.
  • The acoustics in the teaching areas have been improved to meet BB93 standards. The lighting in the teaching areas has been improved to meet BB90.

12. How will we support your child when they are leaving this school? Or moving on to another class?

We recognise that transitions can be difficult for a child with SEND and take steps to ensure that any transition is a smooth as possible. If your child is moving to another school we will contact the school SENCO and ensure he/she knows about any special arrangements or support that needs to be made for your child. We will make sure that all records about your child are passed on as soon as possible. When moving classes in school information will always be passed on to the new class teacher.

In Years 6 - 11:

  • In Year 6 the Inclusion Coordinator will visit the Primary school to discuss the specific needs of your child with the SENCO and advisory teachers where appropriate. Where possible your child will visit us on several occasions. There will be an induction day for all children and several parent information evenings. In addition to this you and your child will have an interview with a member of the SLT prior to admission. There is also an induction week for all year 7s in September of each new year.
  • In year 9-11 students will SEND have several careers meetings with Connexions to help them decide on their post year 11 options.
  • We liaise closely with staff when receiving and transferring children to different schools ensuring all relevant paperwork is passed on and all needs are discussed and understood.
  • If your child has a statement or an EHC Plan an annual review will be planned as a transition meeting during which we will invite staff from both schools to attend.

13. How will my child be able to contribute their views?

  • We are a Rights Respecting School where we value and celebrate each child being able to express their views on all aspects of school life.
  • Children who have individual educational plans are always asked to share their views on how best we can meet their needs – this is very important to us.
  • There is an annual pupil questionnaire where we actively seek the viewpoints of children especially concerning being able to speak to an adult if they have a worry.
  • If your child has an EHC Plan their views will be sought before any review meetings and they will be invited to attend if this does not distress them.

14. What support is there for the behaviour, avoiding exclusion and increasing attendance?

  • As a school we have a very positive approach to all types of behaviour with a clear reward system that is followed by all staff and pupils.
  • If a child has behavioural difficulties a behaviour contract will be drawn up in the first instance. If your child is at risk of exclusion a Pastoral Support Plan (PSP) is written alongside the child and parents to identify the specific issues, put relevant support in place and set targets.
  • After any behaviour incident we expect the child to reflect on their behaviour with an adult. This includes a reconciliation meeting with the other party – whether that be child or adult.
  • Pupils who have particular difficulties with their behaviour or emotions they may receive learning mentoring or therapy.
  • Attendance of every child is monitored on a daily basis. Lateness and absence are recorded and monitored daily.

15. How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?

  • All children are included in all parts of the school curriculum and we aim for all children to be included on school trips. We will provide the necessary support to ensure that this is successful. In the past there have been numerous trips both in this country and abroad. Every effort is always made to make any adjustments needed so that every pupil can attend should they wish.
  • A risk assessment is carried out prior to any off-site activity to ensure everyone’s health & safety will not be compromised. In the unlikely event that it is considered unsafe for a child to take part in an activity, then alternative activities which will cover the same curriculum areas will be provided in school.

16. How the schools resources are allocated and matched to children’s SEND needs?

We ensure that all children who have special educational needs have their needs met to the best of the school’s ability with the funds available. The budget is allocated on a needs basis. The children who have the most high level and complex needs are given the most support often involving an LSA, mentor or therapist.

17. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?

  • Our Inclusion Coordinator is fully qualified and accredited.
  • As a school we work closely with any external agencies that we feel are relevant to individual children’s needs within our school including: educational psychologists, specialist services for HI/VI/ASD, the Behaviour Support Team; Health including – GPs, school nurses, clinical psychologists, paediatricians, speech & language therapists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists; Social Services including  locality teams, and social workers.

18. What training has the staff supporting children with SEND had or is currently having?

  • All staff benefit from specialist training in school which is provided by Brent advisory teachers in special educational Needs and disabilities.
  • As part of the ARK network we also benefit from training and advice from ARK consultants in SEND. This includes a termly hub day and an annual summit event for all ARK schools.

19. What if I need to complain?

Parents have the following rights of redress, should the school, governors or LA fail in its duty to provide, or if the parent disagrees with a decision or feels that there is discriminatory practice:

  • The school’s or LA’s complaints procedure
  • The disagreement resolution service (for disagreements between parents/YP and the LA or parents/YP and the educational provider)
  • Complaints to OFSTED (about whole SEN provision rather than in relation to individual children and where the complaints procedure has not resolved the complaint)
  • An appeal to the SEND First-Tier Tribunal about EHC assessments/plans and/or disability discrimination. This must follow mediation, unless it is a complaint over the naming of a school placement
  • A complaint to the LA Ombudsman (for complaints against LAs if not resolved through the LA complaints procedure)
  • Complaint to the Secretary of State (against schools or LAs)

20. Where can I find information about the local offer of the local authority, Brent?

  • The Local Authority’s local offer is published here
  • Parents without internet access should make an appointment with the SENCO for support to gain the information they require.