SUPPORTING STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS
This document sets out how UTC Bolton provides support to ensure that students who have special educational needs and/or disabilities can access an education which is inclusive and responsive to their individual needs. It describes the UTC’s graduated response to providing support, which will enable all students to succeed and have high aspirations.
It describes the national requirements introduced by The Children and Families Act (2014) and how the UTC meets the requirements through the funding made available through the budget and through other funding streams. It also sets out under what circumstances an Education, Health and Care needs assessment would be referred to Bolton Local Authority.
The Children and Families legislation is wide ranging, but this document is linked only to the areas which concern children and young people who have special educational needs/disability (SEND). The Act sets out a new context for ensuring that children and young people who have SEND are supported to access and benefit from the range of educational opportunities that are available, so that they are enabled to have fulfilling lives as members of their community. The Act is supported by statutory guidance, ‘Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0-25’. It is this guidance to which all Local Authorities, all publically funded early years and education settings, including academies and free schools, and a range of national and local NHS bodies must ‘have regard’.
The Children and Families Act introduced a new statutory plan called an Education Health and Care plan which replaced Statements of SEN. All new statutory assessments fall under the new regulations and existing Statements have been transferred to Education, Health and Care plans from summer 2017. The Act also introduced a single pre-statutory stage called ‘SEN Support’ and this is relevant at all age levels and educational settings.
Schools and governing bodies have responsibilities to ensure that they plan on the basis that, at all times, some individuals and groups of children/young people will be experiencing difficulties with learning. UTC Bolton follows the advice of the Code of Practice to ensure that a cycle of ‘assess, plan, do, review’ is followed which leads to an ever increasing understanding of needs and how to address them. This is known as the ‘graduated response’. In addition, there are specific duties on the UTC and the Interim Management Committee (IMC) to:
- Publish information on the UTC website about the implementation of the IMC’s policy for students with SEND;
- Identify students with SEND, ensure parents/carers are informed and provision is made in line with SEN and Disability Code of Practice and comply with Children and Families Act (2014) legislation;
- Publish the SEND policy and the UTC’s Local Offer (in conjunction with parents/carers, students and the Local Authority) on the UTC website and review regularly;
- Publish information on SEND funding and provision and monitor expenditure;
- Appoint a SEND governor and Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) (see SEN Regulations (2014);
- Maintain a current record of the number of students with SEND;
- Ensure SEND provision is integrated into the UTC Improvement Plan;
- Monitor progress of SEND students and ensure provisions specified in Statements/Education, Health and Care plans are in place;
- Keep under constant review the arrangements for present and future students with a disability;
- Willingly admit all students who meet the admissions criteria, whether or not they have SEND.
Many children and young people who have special educational needs may also have a disability. The Equality Act (2010) defines disability as ’a physical or mental impairment which has a long term and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities’. In this context, ‘long term’ means over a year and ‘substantial’ means ‘more than minor or trivial’. This definition includes long term health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, cancer and sensory impairments. Many children and young people who have these medical/health conditions will not have special educational needs and their safe and full access to learning and progress will be covered by the duties set out in The Equality Act, including the requirement on all public bodies to make reasonable adjustments.
This means that, where a child or young person has a disability, the way in which their needs are met will depend on the impact the disability has on their access to education. If, with the appropriate non-discriminatory practices and reasonable adjustments, they can access education and make progress commensurate with their peers by accessing the resources ‘normally available’ to their educational setting, there will not be a need for them to be protected by an Education, Health and Care plan. Some of these children and young people with long term health conditions should have a Health Care Plan which addresses their safety, health and wellbeing whilst in the early years, school or college setting. The Department for Education (DfE) has published guidance, ‘Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions’ which can be found at:
The guidance has been used to develop this policy.
A child or young person has special educational needs if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her. The Code of Practice (2014) has the following definitions in paragraphs xiii to xvi.
|A child of compulsory school age or 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 educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post 16 institutions
A child under compulsory school age has special educational needs if he or she is likely to fall within the definition in paragraph xiv when they reach compulsory school age, or would do if special educational provision was not made for them
The Code of Practice defines special educational provision in paragraph xv as follows:
|Special educational provision for children aged two and over is educational provision that is additional to or different from that made generally available for other children or young people of the same age by mainstream schools, maintained nursery schools, and mainstream post 16 institutions or by relevant early years providers. For a child under two years of age, special educational provision means educational provision of any kind.|
National figures continue to suggest that as many as 1 in 5 children and young people are, at some stage, considered to have special educational needs. This means that mainstream schools, in particular, will always be employing a range of strategies to stimulate the learning of individual or groups of children.
Although the needs of children and young people often cross more than one ‘area of need’, the CoP uses four main categories of need:
- Communication and interaction
- Cognition and learning
- Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
- Sensory and/or physical needs.
UTC Bolton UTC ensures that the needs of all students are met through the provision which is made available, the advice and support of other specialist professionals and practitioners and by ensuring resources are available. The SENCO and Director of Inclusion lead the support for students with SEN. With this support the following needs can be confidently met:
- Hearing Impairment
- Visual Impairment
- Cognition and Learning Difficulties
- Physical Disabilities
- Speech, Language and Communication Difficulties
- Autistic Spectrum Disorders
The identification of SEN is built into the overall approach to monitoring the progress and development of all students.
The UTC assesses each student’s current skills and levels of attainment on entry through baseline and standardised screening tests (e.g. CAT tests, reading tests), building on information from previous settings and Key Stages where appropriate. At the same time, the UTC considers evidence that a student may have a disability under the Equality Act (2010) and, if so, what reasonable adjustments may need to be made for them.
Parents/carers, teachers or other professionals, within or outside the UTC, may also express concerns which trigger an assessment. These may refer to a child’s difficulties in coping with the normal demands of the UTC with regard to: attendance, punctuality, social concerns, medical concerns, speech and language, learning, behaviour and possible neglect or abuse.
All teachers, supported by the Senior Leadership Team, make regular assessments of progress for all students. These seek to identify students making less than expected progress given their age and individual circumstances. Students in Key Stages 4 and 5 have a half-termly formal assessment to ensure they are ‘on track’ to achieve their learning targets. This process allows for the identification of needs where this has not taken place through initial assessment.
The UTC is also alert to other events that can lead to learning difficulties or wider mental health difficulties, such as bullying or bereavement. Where there are long-lasting difficulties, the UTC will consider whether the student has SEN.
When identifying SEN, the UTC is mindful of the following:
- Slow progress and low attainment do not necessarily mean that the student has SEN;
- Attainment in line with chronological age does not mean there is no learning difficulty or disability;
- Students with English as an additional language who require support should not be regarded as having SEN unless assessment shows that they have learning difficulties in addition to second language support;
- Persistent disruptive or withdrawn behaviours do not mean that a student has SEN.
|In deciding whether to make special educational provision, the teacher and SENCO should consider all of the information gathered from within the school about the student’s progress, alongside national data and expectations of progress. This should include high quality and accurate formative assessment, using effective tools and early assessment materials. For higher levels of need, schools should have arrangements in place to draw on more specialised assessments from external agencies and professionals.
Code of Practice 6.38
In line with the CoP ‘graduated response’, the UTC will develop a personalised approach involving support and intervention for those students who may not achieve expected progress. If students do not make adequate progress as a result of quality‐first teaching then they are assessed to identify their individual needs as the first stage in the ‘assess‐plan‐do‐review’ cycle.
Where it is decided that a student does have SEN, he/she is added to the SEN Register and parents/carers are formally informed that the UTC has decided to provide SEN support.
|Where it is decided to provide a pupil with SEN support, the parents must be formally notified, although parents should have already been involved in forming the assessment of needs as outlined above. The teacher and the SENCO should agree in consultation with the parent and the pupil 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 for review.
Code of Practice 6.48
Parents/carers are key partners in their children’s education. Evidence shows that children make most progress when their key adults work together. The UTC demonstrates this by:
- Always discussing any concerns with the student’s parents/carers at the earliest point;
- Listening, and hearing, what parents/carers say;
- Identifying any outcomes to be achieved with parents/carers;
- Planning any interventions with parents/carers;
- Meeting with parents/carers to review their child’s interventions and progress;
- Being honest, open and transparent about what the UTC can deliver;
- Making sure parents/carers know who to contact if they have any concerns.
Where children and young people are ‘Looked After’ by the Local Authority the UTC has an additional role as ‘corporate parents’. National figures show that children who are looked after are significantly over-represented at school support stages and through statutory needs assessments. In order to ensure the response is appropriate, the UTC:
- Does not make assumptions based on a student’s care status;
- Monitors the progress of all students who are looked after on a termly basis;
- Has an up-to-date personal education plan which is easily understood by everyone involved;
- Ensures close working with the specialist services who support children who are looked after including the LAC nurse, social worker and virtual headteacher;
- Normalises life experience wherever possible;
- Ensure students who are looked after, especially those with SEN, are fully included in the activities available, accepting that sometimes this will mean additional arrangements to allow them to take participate in activities.
4.4 Arrangements for consulting children/young people with SEN and involving them in their education
The Children and Families Act is clear that:
- All children and young people need to be supported to develop aspirations for their future lives as active members of their community;
- All children and young people have the right to have their voice heard;
- All children and young people should be involved in discussions about their learning, progress and how provision is made.
The UTC ensures all students are encouraged and supported to make their views known. Strategies include, written comments, talking to a preferred adult, friend or mentor, drawing etc.
All students are encouraged to monitor and judge their own progress in a positive and supportive environment. Any interventions or strategies are fully explained and discussed with students.
Students whose learning is vulnerable and who require individualised support, are supported by a Student Support Plan which identifies the areas of need, the outcomes which need to be achieved and the provision which will be required to meet those outcomes. All plans use a person-centred approach which puts students and their families at the centre and advocates that everyone has the right to exercise choice and control in directing their lives and support. When writing a Student Support Plan, the individual targets on the plan are discussed with students and their achievements and areas for development from the work they have done in class or otherwise are identified.
Students who have Statements of Education or Education or Health and Care Plans are also consulted through the student advice paperwork in preparation for their SEN Interim and Annual Reviews and are also present at the meetings.
Any reviews undertaken are always outcome-focussed, where outcomes reflect what is important to, and for, the student.
In supporting students with SEN, the UTC follows a cycle of ‘assess, plan, do, review’ which leads to an ever increasing understanding of needs and how to address them. This is known as the ‘graduated response’.
- The teacher carries out a clear analysis of the student’s needs, supported by the SENCO.
- The analysis includes data on progress, attainment, approaches to learning, the views of the student and their parent/carers and advice from any other support staff (including external agencies where necessary).
- Parents are formally informed that the UTC has decided to provide their child with SEN support.
- Provision is planned which can remove the barriers to learning for the student using evidence-based and effective teaching approaches, appropriate equipment, strategies and interventions.
- All those working with the student are informed of their individual needs, the support that is being provided and any teaching strategies that are required.
- Where behaviour is an area of concern a behaviour support plan is used which draws on an analysis of Antecedents, Behaviour and Consequences.
- A Learning Plan is drawn up.
- Support which may include differentiation, additional programmes, small group and/or individual support.
- The teacher retains the responsibility for the learning of the student even if he/she is receiving support away from the rest of the class, for example, in a small intervention group.
- Support with further assessment of the student’s strengths and weaknesses, problem solving and advising on the implementation of effective support is provided by the SENCO.
- A student’s progress and development is reviewed at least termly as part of the Learning Plan and any changes to be made are decided upon in consultation with the student and their parent/carer.
- Each half term, where a student’s levels/grades are below nationally expected averages and/or he/she is not on track to make adequate progress, there is a meeting with the student and contact with parents/carers. The meetings centre on target setting and agreeing support to ensure gaps in learning are addressed.
- The progress of students with a statement of SEN/Education, Health and Care Plan is formally reviewed at an Annual Review with all adults involved with the child’s education.
- Where progress is limited, advice is taken from external specialists/practitioners and their input, advice and support discussed with parents/carers and all staff involved.
- Where assessment indicates that specialist services are required, referrals are made promptly.
The UTC is very aware of the skills students will need in order to access the next part of their learning. When that learning is to take place in a new setting or phase, transition planning for this is a key task.
In order to ensure a smooth transition to the UTC:
- The Director of Inclusion and the relevant Pastoral Leader will work to ensure smooth transition from other schools;
- The SENCO will work closely with the Director of Inclusion and the relevant Pastoral Leader to ensure that student information is disseminated appropriately across the UTC;
- The SENCO will attend review meetings at ‘feeder’ schools for the new intake of pupils who have Statements of Special Educational Needs, Individual Pupil Resourcing Agreements (IPRA) or Education, Health and Care Plans;
- If possible, there will be a close liaison with the SENCO and the SENCO/Learning Support Assistant from the student’s previous school to ensure his/her needs are fully understood prior to them arriving in the UTC;
- Meetings will be held and a transition visit will be booked with parents/carers and the student: a tour will be given and any concerns/queries addressed;
- Further transition meetings may take place with the Learning Support Assistant from the previous school and, if possible, the student will be invited to the UTC to meet with the relevant staff. There will be an opportunity for the student to ask questions and the relevant Progress/Pastoral Leaders, SENCO and Director of Inclusion will provide reassurance to the student if required;
- Vulnerable students will be matched with a ‘buddy’ to support them in their transition to the new setting IF REQUIRED;
- Parents/carers and students will be invited to Open Events where the SENCO/Director of Inclusion/relevant Pastoral Leader will be available to communicate the UTC offer and address individual concerns;
This holistic approach ensures students attend the first day of the UTC with confidence, knowledge of the site, and an awareness of the College day. Students are also familiar with some of the support staff and the SENCO/Director of Inclusion /Pastoral Leader and Academic Mentor.
All key stakeholders work together to support transition from KS4 to KS5. There is a strong relationship between the Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 Pastoral Leaders, the Director of Inclusion and the SENCO to secure a comprehensive and holistic approach to support. The relevant Pastoral Leaders meet weekly with the Director of Inclusion to ensure that pastoral issues are dealt with swiftly and effectively. The SENCO, Director of Inclusion, Attendance Officer and Vice Principal meet weekly as part of the ‘Synergy’ team to discuss the safeguarding/welfare needs of the most vulnerable students. Information from Synergy meetings are sent securely to the IMC governor with responsibility for Safeguarding. The Vice Principal has responsibility for the sixth form and offers both educational and pastoral support.
The UTC has high aspirations for all students with SEN, and supports them in preparing for the next phase of education or training and beyond into adult life. Preparing for adulthood, and the outcomes which will support independence and choice making, involves the graded development of skills. These skills begin at the earliest ages with opportunities to practice the skills at age and stage appropriate levels. Opportunities are provided to students to practice developmental and transferable skills which will prepare them for life as members of their community.
Students with SEN also receive independent and impartial careers advice about all of the mainstream education, training and employment opportunities on offer, regardless of their individual circumstances. They are also given information on the full range of specialist provision that is available and the support available to help them access the provision. Where a student has an Education, Health and Care plan, all reviews of that plan include a focus on preparing for adulthood, including employment, independent living and participation in society.
Where a student with SEN progresses to further education, the SENCO liaises with the link tutor at local colleges, including the schools’ 6th form staff to ensure a smooth transition.
All documentation about special needs included in a student’s record is transferred between institutions when required.
4.7 The approach to teaching students with SEN and how adaptations are made to the curriculum and learning environment
The UTC recognises that students with SEN are entitled to a broad and balanced curriculum as are all students. Academic qualifications and Applied General qualifications are at the core of the curriculum. A highly personalised and rigorous curriculum delivery model ensures that students access and engage successfully in the curriculum. Students with SEN may also be offered additional appropriate support (such as literacy and numeracy) as needed.
Most student’s learning needs are met through quality first teaching where teachers use a range of differentiation strategies. Students are placed in sets for Core curriculum subjects and lessons are appropriately differentiated to meet the needs of SEN students. Teachers’ planning details the range of strategies for targeted students, including those with SEN. Classroom organisation and management ensures that students are given opportunities to take part in a range of learning contexts with appropriate support (e.g. whole class work, mixed ability and ability groupings).
Where additional support is provided in class, it is deployed thoughtfully and sensitively to promote student’s independence and to avoid them becoming dependent and passive as learners. Support is used to assist the student in achieving their targets, thereby promoting confidence and raising self-esteem.
Any additional intervention strategies are discussed with the SENCO and the relevant Progress Leader. Such decisions will be consistent with the Learning Plan, Statement, Education, Health and Care Plan for the particular student.
Where additional intervention outside the classroom is provided, sessions aim to:
- Emphasise key concepts and skills required for progress and attainment in that subject;
- Clarify difficult concepts and misconceptions covered recently in the subjects;
- Pre-teach difficult concepts ahead of quality first provision;
- Allow students to demonstrate learning and reinforce it through application and assessment for learning;
- Instil self-confidence of students in the subject and equip them with the skills to increase learning in that subject;
- Allow students to enhance capability and performance in internally assessed components.
Focused, robust and timely intervention in English and Mathematics for students with SEN, aims to enhance literacy and numeracy levels so that students can access all aspects of the curriculum as soon as possible.
When needed, ancillary aids and assistive technologies are also utilised to enhance provision and ensure access. Learning aids are deployed to specific students with SEN. Students are also given access to online resources and additional learning materials in order to complete learning at home.
In order to ensure equality of access, the SENCO liaises with the Examinations Officer to ensure all paperwork is up-to-date with regard to special arrangements for examinations. Depending on the needs of the students concerned, these special arrangements may comprise of up to 25% additional time, a separate room with an invigilator, a reader, a scribe, the use of a laptop and enlarged text papers.
Support for students with visual impairments
The UTC would utilise a range of resources to support visually impaired students as the need arose in order for them to access the full breadth of the UTC offer. These may include: large laptops, light boxes for Art, enlarged texts and test papers, video magnifiers, hand held magnifiers, braillers, brailled novels (for example GCSE English resources), ‘zoom text’ technology, Dolphin and other relevant software.
Teaching staff would also receive Visual impairment and Braille awareness training if required.
Where appropriate, Visual Impairment Advisory Teachers could be engaged to support Braille students in class and during intervention sessions to develop touch typing, Braille recording and reading skills as well as to provide advice regarding differentiation.
Advice would also be sought from the relevant Support Services.
Support for students with hearing impairments
Students with hearing impairments would be provided with the appropriate hearing aids/radio aids in liaison with the medical and advisory staff. These would be regularly monitored and advice sought from the relevant Support Services. Hearing Impairment training would be provided for all staff.
Support for Students with Speech Language and Communication Difficulties
Students with Speech, Language and Communication Difficulties receive support with spoken and written vocabulary. Programmes/advice provided by the Local Authority Speech and Language Therapists would be implemented to support student progress with receptive and expressive skills if required.
Support for students with other Specific Learning Difficulties
Appropriate strategies are used in lessons and intervention sessions to support students with other specific learning difficulties. Dyslexia Training is provided for staff.
Support for students with Physical Disabilities
Students with Physical Disabilities, who are wheelchair users, are provided with escort to and from lessons by Personal Assistants. Mobility Plans are created, including an evacuation plan in the event of a fire.
Personal Assistants and other key members of staff are provided with Safer People Handling training and Hoist and Sling Training. Staff are also trained in the use of the UTC’s evacuation chair to support the no lifting policy of the College.
Where possible and appropriate, some students are provided with powered wheelchairs through the Local Authority or the NHS and the UTC recognises the increased independence this can provide. Plans are developed to ensure correct storage and charging of the powered wheelchair overnight and during the weekend if required.
Further details of the UTC’s approach to meeting the needs of students with disabilities, can be found in the Accessibility Plan.
The Local Offer
To support children, young people and their families, the Children and Families Act requires all Local Authorities to set out a ‘Local Offer’. The Local Offer is a description of support and services which are available to children and young people who have SEND, and their families, how services can be accessed and any criteria for accessing them. It is the opportunity to bring together in one place, information about provision, including how this can be accessed from a wide range of statutory and non-statutory providers including voluntary organisations. Bolton’s Local Offer, including the UTC’s offer can be viewed at:
http://www.bolton.gov.uk/website/pages/Specialeducationalneedslocaloffer.aspx and on the UTC website at www.utcbolton.org
4.8 The expertise and training of staff to support students with SEN, including how specialist support will be secured
The Synergy Team
The Senior Leadership Team of the UTC has significant expertise in SEN. The Synergy team includes the Director of Inclusion and Student Support. He is also the Designated Safeguarding Lead and a nationally accredited ‘train the trainer’ for the WRAP (Prevent) course, the Vice Principal, the SENCO and the Attendance Officer. The team have pastoral and SEN backgrounds, ensuring that SEN remains an integral part of the UTC’s strategic and operational planning.
The UTC SENCO is a qualified teacher with nine years’ experience in SEN management and holds the National Award for SEN Co-ordination. The SENCO participates in the SAIL SEN network.
The Learning Support Assistant has received Manual Handling training and attends all CPD for teachers, including SEN training.
The role of the SENCO
Legislation requires that:
- The SENCO must be a qualified teacher working at the school.
- Any newly appointed SENCO must be a qualified teacher and, where they have not previously been the SENCO at that or any other relevant school for a total period of more than twelve months, they must achieve a National Award in Special Educational Needs Co-ordination within three years of appointment.
- A National Award must be a Postgraduate course accredited by a recognised Higher Education provider.
- Schools should satisfy themselves that the chosen course will meet these outcomes and equip the SENCO to fulfil the duties outlined in this Code. Any selected course should be at least equivalent to 60 credits at postgraduate study.
The UTC SENCO has responsibility for:
- Working with the Principal and Interim Management Committee (IMC) to determine the strategic development of SEN policy and provision in the College.
- 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 working closely with staff, parents/carers and other agencies.
- Being aware of the provision in the Local Offer and working with professionals to provide a support role to families to ensure that students with SEN receive appropriate support and quality first teaching.
- Liaising with the relevant Designated Teacher where a student who is Looked After has SEN.
- Advising on the graduated approach to providing SEN support.
- Advising on the deployment of the UTC’s delegated budget and other resources to meet students’ needs effectively.
- Liaising with parents/carers of students with SEN.
- Liaising with early year’s providers, other schools, educational psychologists, health and social care professionals, and independent or voluntary bodies.
- Being a key point of contact with external agencies, especially the Local Authority and its support services.
- Liaising with potential next providers of education to ensure a student and their parents/carers are informed about options and a smooth transition is planned.
- Working with the Principal and IMC to ensure that the UTC meets its responsibilities under the Equality Act (2010) with regard to reasonable adjustments and access arrangements.
- Ensuring that the UTC keeps up-to-date records of all students with SEN.
In order to carry out these duties effectively, the Principal and IMC ensure that the SENCO has sufficient time and resources to carry out these functions. This includes providing the SENCO with sufficient administrative support and time away from teaching to enable her to fulfil her responsibilities in a similar way to other important strategic roles within the UTC.
The SENCO is: Naomi Hamill
Contact details: N.Hamill@utcbolton.org
Training and professional development are key to effective SEN support. The UTC ensures all staff, including the Principal, receive professional development and are equipped with the skills and knowledge so that they can identify when a student may have a special educational need which requires additional and different resources to those which have already been applied.
An analysis of staff training needs informs the CPD programme. Whole staff briefings on SEN take place on a regular basis
- Speech Language and Communication Needs
- Dyslexia Training
- ASD Training
- Safer People Handling
- Use of EVAC Chair
The SEN Register (including Learning Profiles and Plans) contains all relevant information to enable teachers and the Learning Support Assistant to support students appropriately. This includes information of the nature of each student’s SEN need, equipment and resources, strategies, recent advices, Education Health and Care Plans etc.
There is a chain of accountability by which the progress of students from all groups vulnerable to under-achievement, including those with SEN, and all individual students whose progress is below expected levels, is maximised.
An IMC Governor takes responsibility for reporting to the IMC on student progress with a specific focus on vulnerable groups, including those students with SEN. The IMC Governor ensures:
- The record of students with SEN, held centrally on the ‘Live List’, is updated regularly and communicated appropriately to all staff. This incorporates best practice relating to the use of provision management and a graduated response.
- Teachers are provided with appropriate guidance, support and training in effective practices for teaching students with SEN, for putting in place interventions, for identifying learning needs and for assessing and tracking progress.
- The appropriateness and quality of SEN provision is regularly reviewed as part of the UTC’s self-evaluation
- Funding allocated to the UTC for the purposes of supporting students with SEN is used appropriately, efficiently and its impact judged according to student outcome
- There is regular and effective consultation with the Local Authority and other schools about effectiveness of SEN provisio
- The school abides by the admissions ‘Fair Access Protocol’.
Members of the Senior Leadership Team are made accountable for the progress of vulnerable groups of students in the UTC. Subject leaders are held to account for the progress of all students, including those from vulnerable groups, through regular and robust line management dialogue and continuous scrutiny of data. Subject leaders, in turn, hold teachers to account for the progress of the students they teach.
The chain of accountability is supported by the UTC’s MIS, which provides timely and fit-for-purpose student progress data with alerts when students, including those with SEN, are below target.
The UTC has a robust and high quality process of monitoring and evaluation of curriculum planning and delivery through calendared and rigorous internal quality assurance processes including:
- Lesson observations, Learning Walks and informal ‘drop-ins’
- Scrutiny of teachers’ lesson plans
- Scrutiny of student work
- Analysis of data on student performance
- Student, staff and parent feedback questionnaires.
There is focus in all quality assurance processes on the progress of students with SEN. Lesson observations are undertaken at least once a term to monitor the quality of teaching and its impact on students’ learning and progress, including those with SEN. Lesson observations will be undertaken at least once a term to monitor the quality of Learning Support Assistant support, its deployment and its impact on student learning and progress. These are conducted by the SENCO. Termly Learning Walks (including scrutiny of planning and teaching files) for students with SEN is also undertaken by the SENCO with the Senior Leadership Team line manager.
The UTC makes targeted use of its data monitoring and tracking systems, and internal and national data sets to ensure that students at risk of under-achievement, including those who have SEN, are making expected progress. Where individual or additional interventions to quality first teaching are used, these are evidence-based and progress tracking allows the UTC to verify that the interventions are effective. It is recognised that individual students respond to different interventions and approaches. The efficacy of different approaches or interventions is measured by analysing the outcomes achieved by the student against the cost of the intervention.
Students with SEN complete a yearly questionnaire reflecting on the support provision they are accessing. The Interim and Annual Reviews also provide an opportunity for students to provide feedback on their perceptions of the UTC’s provision.
The UTC’s commitment to inclusive practice ensures that all students, but particularly those with SEN, are fully included in the activities available, accepting that sometimes this will mean making additional arrangements to allow them to participate in activities. The UTC is also committed to ‘quality first teaching’ believing this is the entitlement of every student.
The UTC supports the Admissions Policy of Bolton Local Authority and works with colleagues to support them in their duty to provide mainstream education unless it believes that there are no reasonable steps which could be taken to ensure this.
Through the Enrichment Curriculum and opportunities for students to engage in charitable fund-raising, students are encouraged to collaborate, work within a group and also take leadership responsibility. The Enrichment Curriculum activities involve students of all abilities and age ranges working together. It enables students to develop into rounded individuals and enhances their key personal skills and aptitudes which are much sought-after by employers. These include oral communication, personal effectiveness, entrepreneurship and problem-solving.
All students can seek to become a member of the Student Leadership Team or the Student Council.
All students including those with SEN have the opportunity to represent the UTC internally (at for example Parents’ Evenings, Open Days/Evenings) and at local and national events.
The UTC ethos supports inclusion in all areas of the College including educational visits. Staff plan early to overcome any inclusion issues and reasonable adjustments are made to accommodate any student with disabilities as long as the adjustments do not unduly impinge on the rest of the group. Sometimes additional safety measures for outside visits may need to be made. Arrangements for taking any necessary medication also need to be taken into consideration. Staff supervising visits are aware of any SEN and medical needs and relevant emergency procedures. Where necessary, an additional supervisor or parent may accompany a particular student. Where staff are concerned about whether they can provide for a student’s safety, or the safety of others on a visit, they seek further advice from the Educational Visits Co-ordinator who liaises with parents, the School Nurse or child’s GP. Full details can be found in the UTC Educational Visits Policy.
The UTC is committed to ensuring those students in receipt of Pupil Premium funding receive a contribution to the cost of trips/visits and a bursary towards the cost of the UTC uniform if needed.
The social and emotional well-being of students is paramount to the UTC. Although all students are treated as individuals, at various times students will have additional support needs and there is a recognition that students with SEN are more vulnerable.
The curriculum is designed to foster thought, curiosity and a desire for learning in all students, regardless of their backgrounds, strengths and needs. It is a gateway to opportunity and to a fulfilling and prosperous life in modern Britain and beyond. The curriculum aims to:
- Prepare students to become good citizens, with a sense of responsibility for their actions
- Encourage civic and social participation within their community
- Promote the development of young leaders
- Give students a practical, successful understanding of their rights and responsibilities in society
- Allow students to develop their individuality
- Empower students with the necessary skills and abilities to play a full and inclusive role within society, consistent and comfortable with their beliefs and principles.
The Culture Curriculum provides a context for the personal and social development of students, facilitating personal growth through a planned educational programme. The core aim of the Culture Curriculum is to enable students to understand and value themselves as individuals and as responsible and caring members of British society. The UTC recognises that development of self-confidence and self-esteem in young people is best achieved by encouraging students to take responsibility for their own learning. As such, students engage in decision-making, problem-solving and negotiation, and are given opportunities to develop and practice these skills. Where necessary, students with SEN are provided with additional support.
The Pastoral System
The pastoral system aims to ensure effective pastoral support for all students. The Director of Inclusion and Student Services, working with the KS4 and KS5 Pastoral Leaders and Academic Mentors ensures there is an integrated approach to dealing with the social and emotional development of all students within the UTC.
Students are allocated to a form led by an Academic Mentor who meets with students twice a day in the Activate Sessions. A programme is developed by each Pastoral Leader working with Academic Mentors and this includes setting and reviewing learning and personal goals, a strategy which includes a commitment to a ‘growth mind-set’ linked to behaviour and rewards. The Pastoral Leader liaises with parents/carers if there are any concerns or issues.
The Activate sessions are supplemented and enhanced by a comprehensive Assembly programme.
Spending quality time with Academic Mentors on a daily basis enables the UTC to personalise pastoral input and engage any students who may be vulnerable, supporting them to deal with and overcome their challenges and to help them stay focused on their learning.
This approach ensures there is a holistic approach to the well-being of students. This responsibility includes behaviour management, attendance, the Activate sessions and assembly programme and mentoring support to vulnerable students.
The UTC Behaviour Policy makes clear expectations for all students and the ways in which outstanding behaviour is promoted and rewarded and poor behaviour marginalised. The UTC sets extremely high expectations for behaviour. It encourages students to behave well through rewarding positive behaviour and deals effectively with unsatisfactory behaviour.
The UTC recognises that the simplest and most effective form of reward is praise but beyond this, it has developed a number of systems to encourage and promote positive behaviour for exemplary effort, behaviour or attitude in lessons, linked to a positive growth mind-set.
Sanctions against unacceptable student behaviour are clear and enforced through a simple, graduated and explicit system C1,2,3. All staff are expected to implement the behaviour management system to ensure a consistent approach across the College. The sanctions imposed rise according to the frequency and negative impact of the behaviour shown. Recall is used when other strategies have not resulted in improved behaviour/attitude. Exclusion is a last resort.
Safeguarding and Child Protection
The UTC has clear policies and procedures to safeguard and promote the welfare of students at the UTC. These can be found on the UTC website: www.utcbolton.org
An external Safeguarding consultant annually audits Safeguarding policies and practice and the subsequent report feeds into the UTC Safeguarding Action Plan which is monitored by the Interim Management Committee on a regular basis.
All staff, governors and volunteers are checked by a Government agency (Disclosure and Barring Service) before they can work at the UTC. They are also required to complete on-line Level 1 Safeguarding training; this includes Prevent. All new staff receive training from the Designated Safeguarding Lead before they begin work at the UTC.
There is a programme of regular Safeguarding training for staff and governors. This is supplemented by additional sessions as required. The DSL also circulates relevant Safeguarding information to all staff.
The DSL provides support to staff members to carry out their safeguarding duties and liaises closely with other services such as children’s social care.
The UTC actively promotes British Values including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. In line with this, all expressed views and actions contrary to these values are challenged.
Prevention of Bullying
The UTC has a robust Anti-Bullying Policy in place. This is mediated with students in the first week of the Autumn term. Bullying in the UTC is rare as students feel confident about reporting their concerns, knowing that all staff will listen to their concerns and act swiftly. In working with bullies the UTC enables them to realise the harmful effects of their actions and how it is against the values of being a human being as well as against the values and ethos of the UTC. Strategies are implemented to hold the perpetrator to account for their actions but also allow opportunities to put right their behaviour.
Parents support the UTC in these important areas by being positive role models, and by challenging any stereotyping or abusive messaging at home.
More details can be found in the Anti-Bullying Policy on the UTC website.
|In some cases, outside professionals from health or social services may already be involved with the child. These professionals should liaise with the school to help inform the assessments. Where professionals are not already working with school staff the SENCO should contact them if the parents agree.
Code of Practice 6.47
The UTC is committed to working with other professionals and practitioners to maximise the learning opportunities and well-being of students. Expert advice of education and health professionals is sought as required to ensure the maximum impact of interventions whilst minimising duplication and disruption for students, families and practitioners.
In order to do this the UTC:
- Listens to parents/carers to gather details of the services they use and which are of value to them.
- Ensure that all practitioners working with students are invited to relevant meetings and reviews.
- Use person-centred approaches with all students who have SEN to ensure that interventions are co-ordinated and so add extra value.
- Value the contribution of all.
- Engage with Local Authority services in a timely and professional way.
The SENCO and relevant staff meet regularly with external stakeholders including Advisory Teachers from the Inclusion Team. External engagement includes:
- The Local Authority SEN Officer – is present at initial planning meetings at the start of the academic year and at Interim and Annual Reviews.
- The Educational Psychology Service – working closely with the SENCO to assess and advise on academic and social support for students with significant and complex difficulties which affect their learning and development.
- Children’s Social Care Team – ensuring appropriate provision for ‘Looked After Children’ (LAC)
- Speech and Language Services – working with students with speech, language, communication or swallowing difficulties.
- The School Nurse Service – supporting the school health services programmes.
Parents/carers are advised to contact the Pastoral Leader if they have a concern about the provision being made. He/she will try to resolve the issue informally initially.
Any individuals wishing to raise a formal complaint relating to the support provided for students with special educational needs should follow the UTC’s Complaint Policy which can be found on the UTC website.
6 How Funding is Made Available to Meet the Needs of Students Who have Special Educational Needs at SEN Support Stage
The UTC receives funding through a formula basis using indicators agreed by the School Forum. This funding, which is known as Elements 1 and 2, enables the UTC to meet the needs of a wide range of students who have Special Educational Needs including those who require up to £6,000 of individual support. Further information on funding for SEN can be found in the document ‘Funding to Support Learners who have Special Educational Needs’.
Whilst Elements 1 and 2 will meet the needs of most students with special educational needs at UTC, those with the most exceptional needs may require additional funding. This funding stream is Element 3 or ‘top up’ and comes from a funding stream which is part of The High Needs Block held by the Local Authority on behalf of pupils in Bolton 0-25. This funding, which provides resources to an Education Health and Care plan, can also be accessed through the exceptional needs funding mechanism.
‘Referring a child to the Local Authority’ means that the person who submits the referral believes that the child’s needs are so complex that they cannot be met from the resources which are normally available to the UTC. These students may require an Education, Health and Care needs assessment which may result in an Education, Health and Care plan.
Education, Health and Care plans are required by those students:
- Where the resources required to meet their special educational needs, cannot reasonably be provided from the resources normally available to mainstream providers and
- Who have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age.
Low attainment does not automatically indicate a need for an Education, Health and Care plan needs assessment as the progress made may still represent adequate progress relative to the student’s ability.
|‘-whether there is evidence that, despite the early years, school or post-16 institution has taken relevant and purposeful action to identify and meet the special educational needs of the child or young person, the child or young person has not made expected progress.’
Code of Practice (2014) 9.14
When they receive a referral all Local Authorities are expected to consider:
In all circumstances the UTC will ensure that, prior to submitting a referral to the Local Authority, it has:
- Used all the resources available within the last 12 months
- Made any appropriate health referrals
- Put in place provision plans which are relevant to the presenting need. Targets are smart, reviewed and show progression.
- Made provision which is appropriate to the student and specific to them/ their needs
- Made provision which has been evidence-based and cost effective
- Undertaken an assessment of unmet needs where appropriate
- Fully and appropriately involved parents/carers
- Involved relevant professionals/practitioners in the last 12 months
- Evidenced that their advice/strategies have been followed and evaluated.
The guidance will be promoted and implemented throughout the UTC.
In line with statutory requirements, the UTC and Interim Management Committee will review this information report and policy every year.