SEN Information Report


The Vale Academy aims to support students with special educational needs by seeking to remove barriers to learning and participation, ensuring all students have access to an appropriate education that affords them the opportunity to achieve their personal potential. 

The academy supports students in 4 main areas: communication and interaction, cognition and learning, behaviour, emotional and social development and sensory and/or physical. It works collaboratively with outside agencies ensuring specialist advice and provision supports effective teaching and learning. Ofsted recently recognised this support stating ‘Disabled students and those who have special educational needs make outstanding progress, as a result of first-rate attention to their needs’ (Ofsted March 2013).


What is the Local Offer?

The Children and Families Act require all local authorities to publish information about provision in their area for children and young people from 0-25 who have special educational needs and disability (SEND) – a Local Offer.  

The SEND Local Offer in North Lincolnshire aims to provide you with the information you may need, or want to know, about resources, services, support, activities and events for North Lincolnshire's children and young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities and their families.

You can find North Lincolnshire’s Local Offer by using the link below:

The Academy SEN Information Report

This utilises the LA Local Offer to meet the needs of SEN students as determined by academy policy, and the provision that the academy is able to meet.

SENCo - Miss N Hewitt, 01652 294511


Questions & Answers

Q1: What are Special Educational Needs and Disability?

Q2: COMMUNICATION: who is the best person to speak to about my child’s SEN

Q3: What types of SEND are provided for at the Vale Academy?

Q4 How are students who have special educational needs identified?

Q5 What support will my child receive for his/her special educational need at the Vale Academy?

Q6 What other specialist services do the school use to support my child?

Q7 How will we measure the progress of your child in the academy?

Q8 How are Teachers and Learning Support Assistants helped to work with students who have SEN?

Q9 How will we support your child when they are joining the academy? Leaving the academy?

Q10 How will parents and children be consulted and involved in educational arrangements?

Q11 How is the Vale Academy accessible to students with SEND?

Q12 What pastoral support is available for my child?



Q1: What are Special Educational Needs and Disability? (Go back to list of questions)

A student has SEN when his/her learning difficulty or disability calls for special educational provision, namely provision different from or additional to that normally available to students of the same age. This can be characterised by progress which:

  • Is significantly slower than that of their peers starting from the same baseline.
  • Fails to match or better the child’s previous rate of progress.
  • Fails to close the attainment gap between the child and their peers
  • Widens the attainment gap

It can include progress in areas other than attainment – for instance where a student needs to make additional progress with wider development or social needs in order to make successful transition into adult life.

Special educational needs (SEN) that affect a child’s ability to learn can include their:

  • behaviour or ability to socialise, e.g. not being able to make friends
  • reading and writing, e.g. they have dyslexia
  • ability to understand things
  • concentration levels, e.g. they have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • physical needs or impairments


Q2: COMMUNICATION: who is the best person to speak to about my child’s SEN? (Go back to list of questions)

The Inclusion Leader/Special Educational Needs Coordinator: Mr Rutt

Responsible for:

  • Strategic development of the SEN policy and provision in the academy.
  • Day to day responsibility for the operation of SEN policy and co-ordination of specific provision made to support individual students with SEN.
  • Providing professional guidance to colleagues and work closely with staff, parents, students and other agencies to best support students with SEN or disabilities.
  • Maintaining the academy’s SEN Record (a system for ensuring that all the SEND needs of students in this academy are known) and making sure that records of your child’s progress and needs are kept.

This means that the SENCO will ensure that you are:

  • Involved in supporting your child’s learning
  • Kept informed about the support your child is getting
  • Involved in reviewing how he/she is doing.

The Class Teacher

Responsible for:

  • Ensuring that all students receive quality first teaching, appropriately differentiated for individual students’ needs.
  • Monitoring the progress and development of students in their class and identifying, planning and delivering any additional help your child may need (this could be targeted work or additional support) and recording this on the whole school provision map.
  • Ensuring that the academy’s SEN Policy is followed in their classroom and for all the students they teach with any SEN.
  • Liaising with parents and students if progress is highlighted as a cause for concern.


Principal: Mrs. N. Williams

Responsible for

  • The day-to-day management of all aspects of the academy; this includes the support for children with SEND.
  • The Principal will give responsibility to the SENCO and class teachers, but is still responsible for ensuring that your child’s needs are met.
  • The Principal must make sure that the Governing Body is kept up to date about issues relating to SEND.

The SEN Governor: Mrs. P. Kemshell

Responsible for

  • Making sure that the necessary support is given for any child with SEND who attends the academy.

Academy contact telephone number:  01652 294511


Q3: What types of SEND are provided for at the Vale Academy(Go back to list of questions)

The Department for Education published a new Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0-25 years which came into effect in September 2014. The new code of practice identifies four main areas of need. Although the four categories of need broadly identify aspects of primary areas of need for students, the Vale Academy considers the needs of the whole child and acknowledges students may have needs that cut across all four areas. These four broad areas give an overview of the range of needs that the academy plans for:

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).

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 manifest 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, or habilitation support.

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.

(DfE SEND code of practice 2014)


 It is also important to consider what is not SEN but may impact on progress and attainment:

 Disability alone does not constitute as SEN

  • Poor attendance and punctuality
  • English as an additional language
  • Pupil premium
  • Looked after children (LAC)
  • Poor behaviour


Q4 How are students who have special educational needs identified?  (Go back to list of questions)

Initial Identification:

The academy has procedures for liaising with its feeder primary schools. This forms the basis of the initial identification of students with SEND who will fall into the following categories on entry to The Vale Academy from feeder schools:

  • They have an Education Health and Care Plan or a Statement of Special Educational needs or a formal assessment procedure is in progress.


  • They require ‘SEN Support’ and have special educational needs, which are monitored and reviewed according to the requirements of the SEN Code of Practice 2014.


  • They have no record of special educational needs. On entry to The Vale Academy all students undergo baseline assessments which include CAT4, Hodder Access Reading Test and the GL Dyslexia Screener. National Curriculum Key Stage 2 SAT scores are also available. Staff have full access to the results of all baseline assessments via the academy’s Student Management Information System (SIMS). Scores on these tests will either confirm the information in (a) and (b) above or identify more students whose scores are significantly lower than the majority of students. Some students may be highlighted as needing further diagnostic assessment. The academy employs a Specialist Teacher trained to undertake a variety of diagnostic assessments or if appropriate more specialised assessments from external agencies and professionals such as Speech and Language therapists, Educational Psychologists and the Autistic Spectrum Education Team can be drawn on.


Later identification and Educational Concern for existing SEN Students:

A student’s performance at The Vale Academy may give sufficient reason for teaching staff to raise a concern despite differentiated adjustments and good quality personalised teaching. In identifying a student as needing SEN Support or increasing existing provision the subject teacher, working with the SENCO, should carry out a clear analysis of the student’s needs. The subject teacher can draw on a range of sources to establish a clear analysis:

  • Teacher assessment and experience of the student.
  • Pupil progress, attainment and behaviour (Strengths and difficulty Questionnaire)
  • Individual development in comparison with their peers
  • The views and experience of parents
  • The pupils own views
  • Advice from external agencies

Subject teachers can use this analysis to raise a concern about a student and this should be done via faculty meetings. SEN should be an agenda item for all faculty meetings which will allow faculty members to discuss the required actions and support that can be provided by the faculty before moving to a referral for SEN Support. Class and subject teachers retain responsibility for the student, even when the studentl is undertaking subject specific targeted intervention away from them.

If an educational concern still exists despite efforts by the faculty a SEN Cause for Concern Referral Form is completed by the faculty and the faculty liaison representative will bring the forms to the SEN Liaison Meetings for discussion. These meetings occur each half term. The meeting will agree on an action plan:

  • Remain as an expression of concern and monitor by staff
  • Bring concerns to all department meetings and feed back to the SENCO
  • Send out a Round Robin report allowing all the student’s teachers to provide feedback
  • Assessment by the SENCO
  • Contact parents (although class teachers should have already done this before referral)
  • Consult outside agencies
  • Add to the SEN Record
  • Determine the support/intervention plan.

Q5 What support will my child receive for his/her special educational need at the Vale Academy (Go back to list of questions)

If students are added to the SEN record it will be through a graduated approach and based on individual needs as defined by the identification and assessment procedure (Q4). Initially students will enter the single category known as ‘SEN Support’

Once a student has been identified as requiring ‘SEN Support’ the SENCO and subject teacher should agree in consultation with the parent and the student the adjustments, interventions and support to be put in place, as well as the expected impact on progress, development or behaviour, along with a clear date of review.

The nature of support and intervention will vary greatly depending on individual needs, however it is likely to follow our graduated approach as outlined in the SEN Code of Practice 2014:


Q6 What other specialist services do the school use to support my child?  (Go back to list of questions)

The SEN Co-ordinator will maintain links with the LA support service, the schools Psychology Service and other special agencies such as the NHS. The inclusion team would be the normal point of contact with Educational Welfare and Social Services. Liaison within the academy will ensure appropriate personnel are informed of matters that affect them.

School provision

  • High quality teaching, appropriately differentiated for individuals, is the first step in responding to special educational needs
  • Teaching Assistants, HLTAs and Learning Mentors mainly working with either individual students or small groups.
  • Differentiated curriculum pathways for those students who have difficulties acquiring literacy and numeracy skills.
  • PL4US (Personalised Learning For Us) zone used to carry out diagnostic assessments using a specialist teacher and appropriate intervention programmes delivered.
  • Inclusion team offering support for children with social, emotional and mental health difficulties.

Provision delivered in school by outside professionals:

  • Autism Spectrum Education Team: supporting students and staff through continued professional development.
  • Educational Psychology
  • Learning Support Service for children with visual or hearing needs
  • The SEND Information and Support Service (SENDIAS formerly the Parent Partnership Service)
  • SALT (Speech and Language Therapy Service)
  • The Education Welfare Service
  • CAMNET- Child, Adolescent Medical Needs Education Team
  • iPass – Integrated Physical and Sensory Service

Health Provision delivered in school.

  • Additional Speech and Language Therapy input to provide a higher level of service to the school
  • School Nursing Service
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • CAMHs (Children Adolescent Mental Health Service)

Q7 How will we measure the progress of your child in the academy?  (Go back to list of questions)

  • Your child’s progress will be continually monitored by his/her class/subject teacher.
  • Student progress and data is recorded each half term and analysed by teachers, heads of faculty and senior leaders including the SENCO and Principal.
  • Students who undertake specialist interventions or catch up programmes will have a base line assessment to determine starting points and subsequent assessments will be used to ascertain their progress such as reading age tests, Progress in Maths tests and Emotional Literacy Assessments.
  • The progress of students with a statement of SEN/EHC Plan will be formally reviewed at an Annual Review with all adults involved with the child’s education.
  • The SENCO will also check that your child is making good progress within any individual work and in any group that they take part in.
  • Regular book scrutinies and lesson observations will be carried out by the SENCO and other members of the Senior Leadership Team to ensure that the needs of all students are met and that the quality of teaching and learning is high.

Q8 How are Teachers and Learning Support Assistants helped to work with students who have SEN?   (Go back to list of questions)

  • The SENCO’s job is to support the class teacher in planning for children with SEN.
  • The school provides regular training and support to enable all staff to improve the teaching and learning of children, including those with SEN. This includes whole school training on SEN issues, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD) such as dyslexia.
  • Individual teachers and support staff are encouraged to attend training courses delivered by outside agencies that are relevant to the needs of specific children in their class.
  • Learning Support Assistants access a minimum of three continued professional development sessions each year which are relevant to the subjects and students that they support. They are also encouraged to attend training courses delivered by outside agencies that are relevant to the needs of specific children that they support.

Q9 How will we support your child when they are joining the academy? Leaving the academy?  (Go back to list of questions)

The academy recognises that transitions can be difficult for a child with SEN, and we take steps to ensure that any transition is a smooth as possible.

If your child is joining us from Y6:

  • The SENCO will discuss the specific needs of your child with the SENCO of the child’s s primary school.
  • If your child has a Statement of Special Educational needs or an Education Health and Care Plan and the academy is the named school the SENCO will attend the Y6 annual review.
  • In most cases, a transition review meeting to which you will be invited will take place with the Y7 Learning Support Assistant or SENCO if necessary.
  • Transition sessions can also be arranged to allow your child to become familiar with the school environment and the working day. If appropriate additional visits can be arranged to allow your child to meet key members of staff who may be supporting them. 

If your child is joining us from another school:

  • The SENCO will request all available information regarding the student’s special educational needs and if appropriate meet with the departing school to discuss the current level of support in place.
  • Where necessary carry out baseline assessments to determine current working levels and highlight areas for improvement and/or intervention.
  • Your child will be able to visit our school and stay for a taster session, if this is appropriate.

If your child is moving to another school:

  • We will contact the school and ensure that your child’s CTF (Common Transfer File) is forwarded.
  • Where possible, a planning meeting will take place with the SENCO from the new school so that the special educational arrangements that are in place can be discussed.
  • We will make sure that all records about your child are passed on as soon as possible.

When your child moves to college or 6th Form:

  • If your child has a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education Health and Care Plan the annual review will be used to look at the next phase of education. The academy will fully support you in this process.
  • A member from IAG (Information and Guidance), formerly Careers Advice, will also meet with some students whose special educational needs require further guidance and support.
  • The academy also employs a careers advisor who will support students moving onto further education through helping with the application process to arranging transition and interest visits.

Q10 How will parents and children be consulted and involved in educational arrangements?  (Go back to list of questions)

  • If your child is added to the SEND record you will be informed and invited in to the academy to discuss your child’s needs and how we will support them. This will include working with a LSA and your child to create a student passport. Student passports will be reviewed twice yearly.
  • The class teacher is regularly 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 that similar strategies can be used.
  • The Inclusion Leader/SENCO is available to meet with you to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns/worries you may have.
  • You will be updated via letter of the progress your child is making on any intervention programme they may be undertaking and you will also receive their termly record of achievement showing academic progress by subject area.
  • If outside agency support is required we will contact you in order to gain your permission and inform you of the proposed arrangements. All information from outside professionals will be discussed with you with the person involved directly, or where this is not possible, in a report.
  • 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.


Q11 How is the Vale Academy accessible to students with SEND?  (Go back to list of questions)

  • The Vale Academy is adapted to enable students who are disabled and/or in a wheelchair to attend the Academy. Two purpose built lifts are situated in the academy, one in Glanford House and one in Westmoor House. Ramps enable access to all areas of the academy. The academy has two purpose built Physical Management Rooms with disabled toilet, electronic hoist and plinth for physiotherapy. The Westmoor Physical Management Room also has a shower. Each building within the academy has a toilet which enables access for disabled students.
  • At present the academy utilises iPass- Integrated Physical and Sensory Service for specialist equipment, assessment and specialist advice to support physically disabled students. Technological aids such as lap top computers and specialist software are used when appropriate.
  • Timetabling and classroom layout are considered sensitively and reasonable adjustment made to facilitate students with disability.
  • The SEN base known as PL4US (Personalised Learning For Us) is situated in Westmoor House. Students who have learning or physical difficulties may be withdrawn from some mainstream lessons to work in PL4US. Here they will receive personalised 1 to 1 or small group intervention work specifically tailored to meet their needs. It houses five small areas, an office, meeting room, teaching area, small ICT suite and storage area. It is equipped with a Smart Board, five curriculum computers and two administration computers.
  • It has specialist software:  
    • Dyslexia Screener
    • Progress in Maths Assessment
    • Lexia Reading System
    • Nessy Reading Programme
    • Hodder Access Reading Test

Q12 What pastoral support is available for my child?  (Go back to list of questions)

  • The academy employs five non-teaching members of staff to support in the pastoral care of all students including those with special educational needs.


  • STUDENT RECEPTION:  includes two house managers who are responsible in supporting the day to day welfare of all students in the academy. This can include dealing with behavioural issues, social conflicts or emotional difficulties. They liaise closely with parents ensuring there is a strong link between home and school reinforcing the caring and supportive ethos of the academy.
  • STUDENT SERVICES: Includes a full time Attendance Officer, Pastoral Support Worker and the Inclusion Manager. Here students can receive 1-to-1 or small group personalized intervention programmes aimed at developing the student’s capacity to deal with and improve their emotional, social or behavioral difficulties.  This can include sessions on improving confidence and self-esteem as this is often a barrier that prevents students reaching their full potential. The Inclusion Manager will work closely with the LA and outside services in supporting students who are classed as Looked After or Children in Need.
  • For those students with special educational needs who require emotional and social support we also offer key workers or designated members of staff for them to discuss any worries or concerns they may have.
  • Sometimes and when required outside agency support may be used to support students with emotional and social development such as Educational Psychology, ASET (Autistic Spectrum Education Team) and FLUENT who can work with students to improve their personal and social development.