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Special Educational Needs at West Row Academy:

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

Welcome to our SEND pages.  We hope you will find it informative to read about the variety of ways in which West Row Academy is able to support students with a range of SEND to reach their full potential.  If you have been directed to these pages because your child has recently been diagnosed with a Special Educational Need or Disability, we would like to begin by saying, ‘Don’t panic!’  Although this will be a new and potentially daunting experience for many of you, we are here to help and support both you and your child in any way that we can.  West Row Academy is an inclusive school committed to finding a way through for every child.  All of our teachers have a responsibility to teach and include children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).  They all follow the school’s SEND policy and know about ways in which their classroom organisation and teaching might be reasonably adapted to accommodate children with a range of SEND.

Meet The Team

At West Row Academy, all staff are involved in the teaching and support of children with SEND, but two members of our team have specific roles relating to this area:

Mrs Claire Dove and Mrs Jessica Butler both hold the national Award for SEN Coordination and they can be contacted via the school office on 01638 715680

Our Governor with responsibility for SEND is Mr Harry Dring.

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities at West Row Academy

At West Row Academy we welcome everybody into community.  We believe that every child should be provided with the opportunity to achieve his or her full potential.  Every child in our school has the opportunity to engage fully in school life and all children, regardless of their level of need, is given the same opportunities as everyone else.

Every student at West Row Academy will follow the same curriculum, with Quality First Teaching designed to allow all learners to access it.  However, some children may require extra support to allow them to achieve their potential, and this is where our SEND support is offered.

We are committed to narrowing the attainment gap between SEND and non-SEND students.  This may include one-to-one or small group interventions with a Teaching Assistant or Teacher.  It may also include other learning or behavioural interventions developed on an individual needs basis.

Our SEND Policy can be found here:

Our SEND information report can be found here

Our Local Offer (Last update September 2019)

In September 2014, local authorities were required to publish information about services they provide for children with disabilities and Special Educational Needs.  This is called the ‘Local Offer’.  As Part of this, we as a school are obliged to publish our school’s offer.

The intention is to offer choice and transparency for families, as well as providing a resource for professionals to detail the range of services and provision locally.  With regards to Education, it will let parents/carers of young people know how schools will support them and what they can expect across the local setting.  The local offer will be reviewed and updated annually.

At West Row Academy we embrace the fact that every child is different and, therefore, the social and educational needs of every child are different – this is certainly the case for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

For further information about Suffolk County Council’s SEND provision, please click here

In terms of what we offer children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities, this is different for every child and it is important to emphasise that, as much  as possible, this provision is designed by the relevant West Row Academy staff members working alongside the child, the child’s family and, where necessary, outside agencies (e.g a Speech and Language Therapist or an Educational Psychologist).

How does the school provide accessibility arrangements for my child?

Our school building is fully accessible to children with physical disabilities via a ramp, which supports access to our additional classroom space and via wheelchair friendly door openings.  The school site is on one level.  There are four toilets for the disabled, located strategically within the building including within the mobile classroom.  Children have access to a range of ICT equipment to support their physical and learning needs.  We also ensure that classroom equipment used is accessible to all children regardless of their needs.

How is the curriculum and teaching at West Row Academy adapted for my child’s needs?

All children at West Row Academy have class teacher input via excellent targeted classroom teaching known as Quality First Teaching.  For a child who has SEND this would mean:

  • That the teacher has the highest possible expectations for your child and all pupils in their class.
  • That all teaching is based on building upon what your child already knows, can do and can understand.
  • Different ways of teaching are in place so that your child is fully involved in learning in class.This may involve things such as more practical learning.
  • Specific strategies (which may be suggested by the SENCo or outside staff) are in place to support your child to learn.

All children in school will be getting this as part of excellent classroom practice when needed.

What happens if my child needs more support?

Our school offers many different forms of additional provision for learning.  This can include one or more of the following:

Additional in-class support – this is usually in the form of a small group with specific work to do in the classroom, usually led by the class teacher or a briefed and able teaching assistant.  The learning in these groups is likely to be linked to the lesson by targeted in a way to meet individual needs and to enable them to access the curriculum and progress in their learning.

Additional out of class support – this may happen outside of the classroom, usually led by a teaching assistant who has been fully briefed or trained in what is required, who will run these small group sessions using targets given by the teacher, or from an outside agency.

This type of support is available for any child who has specific gaps in their understanding, not necessarily just for those children on the SEND register.

Children may also follow a specific intervention programme to support their learning, for example:

  • Beat Dyslexia
  • PiXL Therapies in reading, writing, spelling, grammar and maths
  • Language link
  • NESSY
  • Precision Teaching
  • ELKLAN
  • Toe by Toe

This list is not exhaustive and the SENCo will seek out staff training as needs arise.

Pupil Passports:

Children on the SEND register will be given a Pupil Passport, which will detail specific targets.  These targets will be worked on at school and should be supported at home in order to support the best outcomes for your child.  You will be invited into school around the half term point of each term, (October, February, June) to discuss the targets set, the outcomes of the target and the future targets that your child will need to work on (these meetings may coincide with Parents’ Evening).  Teachers liaise with the SENCo to discuss the progress of the children prior to these meetings, as well as speaking to the children themselves, so that the targets can be written in collaboration with parents/carers, children, teachers and the SEND team.

One to one support:

This support will usually only be available for a child who has a statement or EHC Plan which outlines a specific number of hours of support the child will need.  Usually this type of support is for children with severe, complex and lifelong needs and will probably include lots of specific focused work activities/curriculum programmes recommended by professionals from external agencies.  It is important to note here that your child may do some one-to-one work with a teacher or adult in school at any point but the one-to-one support we are referring to here is when an individual has severe and complex needs and requires hours of support daily.

What training so staff have at West Row Academy to support my child with SEND?

Staff at West Row Academy have a wide variety of training and a great deal of experience and expertise in Special Educational Needs, behaviour, social barriers and emotional well-being.  Our school SENCo’s have the National SENCO Award.  All members of staff are trained annually in safeguarding children and undertake regular updates on various aspects of SEND across each academic year.

The majority of our staff are trained in first aid, including the administration of Epi-pens.  Staff have regular Professional Development, including in how to identify Special Educational Needs and Disabilities as well as working with outside agencies to develop skills in the provision for children with a range of needs, including autism, dyslexia, attachment disorder, speech and language difficulties and sensory impairment.  Some members of staff have also had individual training around diabetes.  We have teaching assistants who are trained to deliver Elklan – a speech and language communication intervention.

External Agency Support:

A child may have been identified by their class teacher and SENCo as needing some extra specialist support in school from a professional outside the school.  This could be from Local Authority central services such as:

  • County Inclusive Support Service (CISS)
  • Educational Psychologists (EPs)

Other outside agencies and health professionals such as:  Speech and Language Therapy Service (SALT); Occupational Therapy; Physiotherapy and the School Nurse.

All additional provision is overseen by the school’s SENCo and is designed and implemented by class teachers, supported by our teaching assistants.  As with individual targets, the most important point is this: additional provision depends on the needs of the child.

For details of planning, assessment and reporting of your child’s progress, please see our SEND and Assessment Policies.

Transition Arrangements:

Transitions can be difficult for all children, but particularly children with SEND.  We therefore have thorough procedures in place to ensure that any transition is as smooth as possible.

If your child is moving to another school:  We will contact the school SENCo and ensure that he/she knows about any special arrangements or support that need to be made for your child.  We will also make sure that all records about your child are passed on as soon as possible.

When moving classes in school:  information will be passed on to the new class teacher IN ADVANCE and a transition meeting will take place with the new teacher and, where relevant, the SENCo.  All Pupil Passports will be shared with the new teacher, as well as information about progress, targets and interventions that the child has received.  With some children, we will also create a transition booklet in which they can collect information about their new class teacher and classroom so that they can reassure themselves at different times both at home and at school.

Approaching the end of Year 6:  The Year 6 teacher and SENCo will meet with relevant colleagues from your child’s next school and pass on any necessary information about their needs (giving children the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face where possible).  With some children additional transition visits will be offered by their new school and we will inform you if this option becomes available.

If relevant, your child will do focused learning about aspects of transition to support their understanding of the changes ahead.  Where possible your child will visit their new school on several occasions and in some cases staff from the new school will visit your child in this school too to offer additional support, answer questions and generally reassure them during this period of change.

Support and contact for parents:

Your child’s class teacher is available by appointment 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.

Any outside agencies who produce reports for the school regarding contact with your child/ren should also provide you with a copy of this.

The SENCO is also available to meet with your to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns/worries you may have.

Does my child have a Special Educational Need or Disability?

The Equality Act 2010 states that a person has a disability “if they have a physical or mental impairment and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.”

A physical or mental impairment includes:

  • Learning difficulties – including moderate to severe difficulties with areas of the curriculum.
  • Medical conditions – including epilepsy, diabetes, more severe forms of asthma and eczema.
  • Specific learning difficulties – including dyslexia.
  • Autism
  • Speech, language and communication impairments
  • Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
  • Physical difficulties
  • Sensory impairments

If the impairment has a substantial and long-term effect in a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities, it may amount to a disability.

A young person has special educational needs if he or she has a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.

A young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:

  • Has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or
  • Has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities generally provided for others of the same age in a mainstream school.

There are four categories of SEND.  Your child’s needs may fall into any one of the categories or they may have difficulties across a number of the categories.  The four categories as outlines in the SEND Code of Practice are:

If you would like to discuss SEND in relation to your son or daughter, please contact your child’s class teacher or Mrs Dove or Mrs Butler, the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators.

The SEND Timeline

How will we work with your child with SEND:

Step 1:  Identification and Initial Action

If the school or yourselves have any concerns about your child’s progress or behaviour, a meeting will be scheduled to discuss this with you in more detail and to:

  • Listen to any concerns you or the school may have
  • Plan any additional support your child may receive
  • Discuss with you any referrals to outside professionals to support your child’s learning

It may be appropriate at this stage to provide your child with a Pupil Passport.  This is a target-setting device, which allows you and your class teacher to set appropriate targets to assist your child in making progress towards academic or social goals.  The Pupil Passport will be reviewed in an ongoing fashion by class teachers and pupils, and with parents three times per year. 

Step 2:  The Creation of an Individual SEND Plan (Pupil Passport)

The aim of our provision is to identify and assess the SEND and to plan the provision needed for each young person to achieve his or her best at West Row Academy.

Some young people with SEND may need extra support to achieve their learning potential.  If this is the case, then this is what we will do.  We will arrange a meeting with their parents to talk about what is needed to put together a Pupil Passport.  Before the Pupil Passport can be written, we will need to consider the following information:

  • The young person’s needs and what he or she will require on their learning journey through West Row Academy.
  • The views of the young person and what they think they need support with.
  • The views of the parents and what they would like to see as an outcome from their child’s time at West Row Academy.
  • A school based learning assessment.
  • Current and expected levels of attainment.

We will look at all of this information and then the Pupil Passport will be written.  The Pupil Passport will include actions and success criteria so everyone at the meeting will have something to do to help the young person on their learning journey and everyone will be clear about how to judge whether the plan has been successful.  We will set a review date on the Pupil Passport.  This will give us time to work together to achieve the desired outcomes.

Step 3:  SEND Provision by the school/outside agencies/alternative or specialist providers

SEND provision at West Row Academy is multi-layered and children may have access to any or all of the following stages of support:

Class teacher input via excellent targeted classroom teaching also known as Quality First Teaching

For your child this would mean:

  • That the teacher has the highest possible expectations for your child and all pupils in their class.
  • That all teaching is based on building on what your child already knows, can do and can understand and the next steps they need to make in order to progress.
  • Different ways of teaching are in place so that your child is fully involved in learning in class. This may involve things like using more practical learning, supportive ICT or other equipment.
  • Specific strategies (which may be suggested by the SENCO or outside agencies) are in place to support your child to learn.
  • Your child’s teacher will have carefully checked on your child’s progress and will have decided that your child has gap in their understanding/learning and needs some extra support to help them make the best possible progress.

All children in school should be getting this as a part of excellent classroom practice when needed.

Specific group work within a smaller group of children.

Within the classroom environment, teachers may plan specific activities for your child to work on, either independently, one-to-one or in a group with a classroom teaching assistant.  These will be monitored and reviewed by both the teacher and TA and will be adapted according to the needs of the child.

Your child’s class teacher may also provide extra support for your child in the form of an intervention.  The intervention would be provided by one of the Academy’s teaching assistants and they will have been fully briefed by the teacher in advance of the intervention or have received specific training should a specific intervention package be chosen for use.  The intervention may take place on a one-to-one basis or in a small group and will sometimes require your child to come out of another lesson for a fixed period of time.  Their progress is monitored throughout the intervention and is reported back to the class teacher and the SENCo.

Some of the interventions offered in the school are (although this is not an exhaustive list):

  • One-to-one reading support
  • Plus One Maths (KS1)
  • Fine/Gross Motor Skills Support
  • Social Skills Support
  • Sentence Structure Support
  • Memory Skills
  • Speech and Language Support (ELKLAN/WELLCOM

Specialist groups run by outside agencies (e.g Speech and Language Therapy OR Occupational Therapy Groups)

Sometimes children have a need, which has been identified by the class teacher/SENCo as requiring some extra specialist support in school from a professional outside the school.  This may be from:

  • Local Authority central services such as the ASD Outreach Team or Sensory Service (for students with a hearing or visual need)
  • Outside agencies such as the Speech and Language therapy (SALT) Service; County Inclusive Support Service (CISS) or SENDAT for example

For your child this would mean:

  • You may be asked to come to a meeting to discuss your child’s progress and help plan possible ways forward.
  • You may be asked to give your permission for the school to refer your child to a specialist professional e.g a Speech and Language Therapist or Educational Psychologist. This will help the school and yourself understand your child’s particular needs better and be able to support them better in school.
  • The specialist professional will work with your child to understand their needs and make recommendations, which may include:
    • Making changes to the way your child is supported in class e.g some individual support or changing some aspects of teaching to support them better
    • Support to set better targets which will include their specific expertise
    • A group run by school staff under the guidance of the outside professional e.g a social skills group
    • Group or individual work with an outside professional 

This type of support is available for children with specific barriers to learning that cannot be overcome through Quality First Teaching and Intervention groups.

Specified Individual Support:

This is usually provided via a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).  This means your child will have been identified by the class teacher/SENCo as needing a particularly high level of individual or small group teaching, which cannot be provided from the budget available to the school.

Usually your child will also need specialist support in school from a professional outside the school.  This may be from:

  • Local Authority central services such as the ASD Outreach Team or Sensory Service ( for students with a hearing or visual need)
  • Outside agencies such as the Speech and Language therapy (SALT) Service.

For your child this would mean:

  • The school (or you) can request that the Local Authority carry out a statutory assessment of your child’s needs. This is a legal process, which sets out the amount of support that will be provided for your child.
  • After the school have sent in the request to the Local Authority (with a lot of information about your child, including some from you), they will decide whether they think your child’s needs (as described in the paperwork provided), seem complex enough to need a statutory assessment. If this is the case they will ask you and all professionals involved with your child to write a report outlining your child’s needs. If they do not think your child needs this, they will ask the school to continue with the support.
  • After the reports have all been sent in, the Local Authority will decide if your child’s needs are severe or complex and that they need specific support in school to make good progress. If this is the case they will write an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan. If this is not the case, they will ask the school to continue with the support and also set up a meeting in school to ensure a plan is in place to ensure your child makes as much progress as possible.
  • The EHC Plan will outline the number of hours of individual/small group support your child will receive from the LA and how the support should be used and what strategies must be put in place. It will also have long and short term goals for your child.
  • Throughout the process, your child's class teacher and/or the SENCo will keep you up to date with information about how your child is progressing.
  • If you would like to know more about requesting a statutory assessment in SUFFOLK,more information can be found on  https:// infolink.suffolk.gov.uk/kb5/suffolk/infolink/advice.page?id=XbfxSF63VsA

Attendance at a school run by an external provider:

Sometimes your child’s class teacher, the SENCo and yourselves may conclude that your child’s needs would benefit from a fixed-term or longer term specialised teaching provision from outside the school.  In Suffolk, we have the opportunity to refer children to one of the special schools in the county.  These include (but are not limited to):

  • Thomas Wolsey Academy for children with moderate to severe physical and associated learning difficulties
  • The Priory School in Bury St Edmunds for children with complex moderate learning difficulties
  • First Base - an Educational Support Centre for very young children with emotional and social problems
  • Pupil Referral Units for older children with challenging behaviours, such as Olive Academies.

The children will sometimes be offered outreach support from these schools, or it may be decided that a fixed term dual attendance would be more beneficial.  In this instance, a child would attend the other school for part of the week and West Row Academy for the remainder of the week.  At all times, you and the class teacher will be kept up to date with their progress.  At other times, it may become clear that your child’s needs may be better met by a longer term place in a specialist provision.  In any event, your will be fully involved in the decision making process.

Step 4:  Monitoring, Assessing and Reporting

Your child’s progress is continually monitored by his/her class teacher.  His/her progress is reviewed throughout the year and a ‘step’ relating to the curriculum expectations given in reading, writing and maths.  If your child is in Year 1 and above, but is not yet meeting the targets within the National Curriculum or wider Academy Curriculum, a more sensitive assessment tool is used which shows their level of achievement in more detail and will also show smaller but significant steps of progress.  The levels are call ‘P levels’.

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 are the results that are published nationally.

Children who are identified as having a Special Educational Need or Disability will have a Pupil Passport which will be reviewed with your involvement every term (half termly for Early Years) and the plan for the next term made.

The progress of children with a statement of SEND/EHC Plan is formally reviewed at an Annual Review with all adults involved in the child’s education.

The SENCo and the Class Teacher will also check that your child is making progress within any individual work and in any group that they take part in.

Interventions that children are taking part in are constantly monitored and their effectiveness evaluated.  Interventions will be tailored to your child’s needs based on these evaluations.

Communication and Concerns Relating to SEND:

Our primary concern is the education and welfare of your child, and our SEND provision is designed to support all children who require additional assistance.

If you have concerns about your child’s progress you should speak to your child’s class teacher initially.  If you are not happy that the concerns are being managed and that your child is still not making progress, you should speak to the SENCo or Principal.

If you are still not happy, please refer to the school complaints procedure.

Admission for Pupils With SEND at West Row Academy

West Row Academy follows its admissions policy for all children, including those with SEND.  Summarised details from the Policy are included below, with relevant sections high-lighted for ease of reference:

Admissions Policy Primary:

4.1:  Students are admitted at the age of four, without reference of ability or aptitude.

4.2: Where applications for admissions exceed the number of places available, the Local Governing Body (or its delegated sub-committee) will apply the over-subscription criteria within this policy.

4.3:  Infant class sizes (those where the majority of children will reach the age of 5, 6 or 7 during the school year) will not contain more than 30 pupils with a single class teacher, unless there are exceptional circumstances for the time they are in an infant class or until numbers fall back to the infant class size limit.

4.4:  Excepted children are.

  • Children admitted outside of the normal admissions round with statements of special educational needs, Health and Care Plans specifying a school;
  • Looked after children and previously looked after children admitted outside normal admissions round;
  • Children admitted, after initial allocation of places, because of a procedural error made by the admissions authority or local authority in the original application process;
  • Children admitted after an independent appeals panel upholds an appeal;
  • Children who move into the area outside the normal admissions round for whom there is no other available school within a reasonable distance;
  • Children of UK service personnel admitted outside the normal admissions round;
  • Children whose twin or sibling from a multiple birth is admitted otherwise than as an excepted pupil;
  • Children with special educational needs who are normally taught in a special educational needs unit attached to the school (if the school has one), or registered at a special school, who attend some infant classes within the mainstream school. *West Row Academy does not have a Specialise Support Base.

4.5:  Eastern Multi-Academy Trust and its academies do not select pupils for admission and will consider all applications for placed.  Applications for places at any academy will be made in accordance with Suffolk County Council (SCC) coordinated admissions arrangements and will be made on the Common Application Form (CAF) provided and administered by the respective County Councils.

4.5:  Where one of our academies hosts a Specialise Resource Base (SRB) on site, the admissions authority is the Local Authority.  Where students are entered onto the academy roll they are under a separate PAN for the SRB and not included in the academy’s annual PAN.

4.7:  Offers of placed will be communicated by the Local Authority to families on 16th April or the next working day.

4.8: Students and families wanting to join other year groups should contact the Academy Principal Admissions Manger for possible admission.

4.9:  We will provide for the admissions of all children in the September following their fourth birthday.  Parents may defer the date of their child’s admission until a point later in the school year, but not beyond the point at which they reach compulsory school age and not beyond the start of the final term of the school year in which the application was made.

4.10:  Where parents wish, their child may attend part-time until later in the school year, but not beyond the point at which they reach compulsory school age.

Over-subscription Criteria:

11.4:  Where applications for admission exceed the number of places available, the Local Governing Body (or its delegated committee) will apply the following criteria in order of priority set out below to decide which children to admit:

  • Children with a statement of Special Education Needs or Education, Health and Care Plan naming the Academy must be admitted.
  • Children who are in public care or living in accommodation provided by the Local Authority (Looked After Children) and children who have previously been looked after, including those who have been adopted.
  • Children living within the catchment area of the academy, with an older sibling at the academy.
  • Children of staff where the staff member has been employed at the school for 2 or more years at the time at which the application for admission to the school is made; and/or the member of staff is recruited to fill a vacant position for which there is a demonstrable skill shortage.
  • Other children living inside the catchment area.
  • Children living outside the catchment area with an older sibling at the Academy.
  • Where more children meet each of these criteria in turn than there are place available, a fair ‘tie-breaker’ will be invoked, which will be a calculation of the distance as the crow flies, between the front door of the child’s home and the entrance of the Academy, with the child living closest to the Academy getting first preference, the second closest the next place and so on until the places are filled.