SEN (Special Educational Needs)



Heapham Road, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire DN21 1SW

Academy Principal :- Mrs J E McDonald



This policy describes the values we hold and the arrangements we make for those children within our school who have Special Educational Needs. The policy is based on the principles and procedures outlined in Special Educational Needs Code of Practice.





1.1      At Hillcrest Academy we regard every child as having individual needs.  Each pupil will have an equal opportunity to work to their full potential so that they will learn to appreciate and value their own strengths.  We aim to ensure that each pupil feels equally valued within the academy community by formulating as truly a comprehensive and far- reaching practical curriculum as possible and by our ethos, values and attitudes.


1.2      It is estimated that approximately 20% of pupils may experience learning difficulties at some point during their education.  These difficulties may be short or long term and may include one or more of the following areas: intellectual, physical, sensory, social, emotional, behavioural, speech and language.


Our Special Educational Needs Policy aims to meet those difficulties by:

·          Identifying pupils with special educational needs promptly

·          Enabling all staff to meet identified pupil needs and keep up with developments in area of special educational needs.

·          Making the curriculum accessible to all pupils through recognising the need for differentiation and employing a range of teaching styles.

·          By working closely with parents and outside agencies.


1.3      We believe there are considerable benefits for all pupils in catering for special educational needs in the mainstream class.  Where in-class support is provided teachers are better able to focus on differing levels of ability within the group.


Some pupils with special educational needs, however, may at times require more specialised teaching which can better be provided within a small group or individual situation way from the main classroom.





The SENCO will:

·          Prepare and review (for the Trust body) special educational needs policy

·          Oversee day to day operation of special educational needs policy and special needs   


·          Identify and assess pupils needs (including monitoring and evaluation)

·          Formulate and maintain special needs register

·          Ensure files and children’s IEP files are up to date and regularly reviewed.

·          Co-ordinate provisions for pupils with special needs

·          Receive and collate reports from staff on pupils with special education needs

·          Liaise with colleagues in writing Individual Educational Plans

·          Monitor and review all Individual Educational Plans

·          Organise and attend review meetings

·          Set up in-class support of differentiation, teaching and learning styles and resourcing.

·          Contribute to the in-service training of staff.


The Class Teacher will:

·          Identify pupils requiring support in their classes and consult the SENCO for advice and/or


·          Differentiate activities for all pupils

·          Monitor individual progress

·          Raise initial concerns at staff meetings

·          Write each pupil’s Individual Educational plans

·          Administer screening tests/assessments

·          Meet with parents and other agencies when appropriate


The Trust Body will:

·          Ensure that the special educational needs (SEN) policy is stated in the school prospectus

·          Report annually on the success of the SEN policy

·          Do their best to ensure that special needs provisions is made as appropriate

·          Ensure that step-by-step response to the identification, monitoring and evaluation of   

           special needs provision is developed.


The Principal will have overall responsibility for all Special Educational needs matters in the school.  The  deputy head teacher is also the ‘Responsible person and SENCO.’ The LEA must inform the responsible person when they conclude that a pupil at the school has identified Special Educational Needs. The responsible person must then ensure that all those who will then teach the child know about his/her needs.  They must also endorse any request made by the LEA for statutory assessment.


All staff share responsibility for all pupils in their classes, including those with significantly greater learning difficulty than the majority of their peers and more able pupils.



2.1  Class teachers will provide the support required for both the more and less able pupils largely by the provision of differentiated material.  The Teaching Assistants will provide some in-class support and 1:1/small group tuition for children on the SEN register in consultation with class teachers and the SENCO. Priority is given to those pupils with statements and those pupils with individual educational plans.  Activities undertaken by the Teaching assistants for children on the SEN register will be detailed on weekly plans.


Class teachers will ensure that they work with Teaching assistants. Where pupils receive in-class support, assistants try to help all pupils in the class, whilst still ensuring identified individuals obtain the help necessary to participate fully in the lesson.  In this way, pupils do not feel isolated.  All staff aim to work towards reducing the level of support given to pupils by moving them towards increasing independence.


Special arrangements can be made where appropriate for pupils on the SEN register to receive additional help with the key stage 1 SATs.  Special arrangements for school visits or social activities can also be made with the School’s Family Liaison officer.


2.2   Admission arrangements include a full discussion with parents and other agencies according

        to the need of the pupil


Pupils with SEN without a statement will have their needs identified as they enter school.


2.3   Information Technology can be used to encourage and enable pupils with SEN to express themselves more effectively.


2.4   Our school is single story.  There are ramps and toilets for disabled staff and pupils.  It can cater for those pupils with physical disabilities.





3.1      On entry to our school pupils needs are identified through:

·          Medical records

·          COPPS/Information given by the school nurse or E.P

·          Any previous school records (where applicable)

·          Discussion with parents


3.2      The Academy has various tests which can also be used to assess a child’s abilities.



1)     Child who gives cause for concern before, or on entering Reception, where issues are raised on the baseline profile.

2)     A speech/language, motor, hearing or visual difficulty that effects learning, and is already being managed by an external agency or not.  A child who finds it very difficult to listen to/follow instructions, sequence appropriately.

3)     A behavioural or emotional problem that is affecting the learning of the child, or that of others

4)     A child with a regarding or spelling age – on standardised assessment – which is 1 year +, i.e. significantly below chronological age .A child who is working towards level 1 in KS1 SATs.

5)     A child whose reading age, etc are commensurate with chronological age but appear low compared with ability in logical reasoning, understanding, concept development, oral language.

6)     A child who appears to be significantly developmentally young in social/physical/learning skill.

7)     Child who has repeated explained/unexplained absences and is not making appropriate progress

8)     A child who on our agreed criteria, you believe to be gifted/able.


3.3      Our Academy follows the 3-stage model set out in Code of Practice. The three stages are :- School Action, School Action Plus and Statement.


The school uses it own individual Education Plans and review sheets. The SENCO will discuss individual pupil’s needs with parents and staff at each stage as well as consult outside agencies and inform the County Council when appropriate.


3.4      In our school we try to ensure that all pupils have access to the full curriculum by adjusting:

·          Teaching style

·          Presentations of task

·          Level of difficulty

·          Amount of teacher input and support

·          The way pupils respond and record work

·          Classroom groupings


3.5      As far as possible, pupils are encouraged to be involved in discussion about the difficulties they are experiencing and in setting and reviewing their own targets.


We have a range of home/academy monitoring strategies used accordingly to monitor individual progress. These include:

·          Making further use of home/academy reading record

·          Daily liaison between class teacher and parent


The academy also has an agreed behaviour policy that rewards individual achievements through sticker charts, certificates and weekly award presentation.


3.6      We provide all possible opportunities for pupils with special educational needs to follow broadly the same work as any other pupil in the same classroom. In the best interests of the pupils we believe in providing the most appropriate learning opportunities. Whilst we aim to teach all pupils alongside their peers in an integrated setting some pupils will have their needs better met by some individualised tuition outside the classroom in a quiet, calm environment.





4.1      Our school staff attend the relevant courses provided by the county council, Advisory service and outside agencies to update skills and knowledge in special Educational Needs.


The performance management scheme enables staff to identify personal and professional targets.


All Trustees, especially the Trustee with responsibilities for SEN are encouraged to increase their knowledge of special needs by attend relevant courses outlined in the ‘Governor Training Handbook’.  Governors may also be invited to attend any SEN INSET provided within the school.