Learning Support - SEN Policy

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Homewood School and Sixth Form Centre

SEN&D Policy

SEND Policy

This policy is written in line with the requirements of:-

Children and Families Act 2014

SEN (Special Educational Needs) Code of Practice 2014

SI 2014 1530 Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014

Part 3 Duties on Schools – Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators

Schedule 1 regulation 51– Information to be included in the SEN information report

Schedule 2 regulation 53 – Information to be published by a local authority in its local offer

Equality Act 2010

Schools Admissions Code, DfE (Department for Education) 1 Feb 2012

SI 2012 1124 The School Information (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2012

SI 2013 758 The School Information (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013


This policy should be read in conjunction with the following school:

•       Equality policy

•       Ethos for Learning Policy

•       Curriculum Policy

•       Gifted and Talented Policy

•       Admissions Policy


Information about SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) provision and teaching strategies is also to be found in:

•       Student Development Centre procedures and practice

•       LIFE (Learning is for Ever) Centre Operational procedures

•       The  School Development Plan


This SEND Policy has also been written with reference to the following Department for Education publications:

•       Education (SEN Information England) Regulations 1999

•       The SEN Code of Practice 2001

•       Inclusive Schooling 2001

•       National Curriculum 2000

•       SEN and Disability Act 2001

•       Guidance on the Education of Children and young People in Public care 2000


We have also taken account of advice from the LEA (Local Educational Authority) and local policy initiatives on the local offer from the Ashford Local Inclusion Forum Team (LIFT).


This policy document is a statement of the aims, principles and strategies to ensure the rapid identification of and effective and efficient provision for students with SEND at Homewood. It provides a framework for the identification of and provision for these students.  It is written for the benefit of all members of the school community to ensure that the potential of every student is maximised, irrespective of ability, disability, race, gender and social origin and to enable equality of access to the curriculum in an environment where every student is valued. It will be reviewed annually.


Definition of SEN

A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her. 


A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty if he or she:

(a)  Has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age; or

(b)  Has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions. SEN Code of Practice (2014, p 4)


Definition of disability

Many children and young people who have SEN may also have a disability under the Equality Act 2010 – that is’…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’.  This definition provides a relatively low threshold and includes more children than many realise: ‘long-term’ is defined as ‘a year or more’ and ‘substantial’ is defined as ‘more than minor or trivial’ SEN Code of Practice (2014, p5)


1 The kinds of special educational need for which provision is made at the school

At Homewood School we can make provision for every kind of frequently occurring special educational need without a Statement of Special Educational Need/Education, Health and Care Plan, for instance Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Speech and Language needs, Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, learning difficulties and behaviour difficulties.  There are other kinds of Special Educational Need which do not occur as frequently and with which the school is less familiar, but we can access training and advice so that these kinds of needs can be met. 


The school also currently meets the needs of pupils with a Statement of Special Educational Need / Education, Health and Care plan with the following kinds of Special Educational Need:

·         Speech, language and communication needs. 

·         Autistic spectrum disorder

·         Dyslexia

·         Dyspraxia

·         Cerebral Palsy

·         Behaviour, emotional and social difficulty

·         Multi-Sensory Impairment

·         Physical Disability

·         Profound & Multiple Learning Difficulty

·         ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)

·         ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder)


Decisions on the admission of pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan are made by the Local Authority.


The admission arrangements for pupils without a Education, Health and Care Plan do not discriminate against or disadvantage disabled children or those with special educational needs.


2 Information about the policy for identification and assessment of pupils with SEN

At Homewood School we monitor the progress of all pupils 5 times a year to review their academic progress. We also use a range of assessments with all the pupils at various points

·         Year 6 CATS (Cognitive Assessment Tests) testing in November.

·         Year 7 Maths baseline assessments.

·         Year 7 and 8 Reading and Spelling tests.

·         Year 9 Exam Access Arrangements screening.

·         An SEN referral form for staff who are concerned about student need focusing on Kent LEA Mains Core Standards.

·         Speech and language assessments take place for any student that has been referred to a Speech and Language therapists.

·         Literacy screening assessments.

·         GLS Dyslexia and Dyscalculia, Lucid LASS and Exact screening programmes.


Where progress is not sufficient, even if special educational need has not been identified, we put in place extra support to enable the pupil to catch up. Examples of extra support are:

·         1:1 support

·         Small group intervention sessions

·         Individual study support mentoring sessions

·         Literacy and numeracy support

·         Lunchtime and after school catch-up sessions


Some pupils may continue to make inadequate progress, despite high-quality teaching targeted at their areas of need.  For these pupils, and in consultation with parents, we will use a range assessment tools to determine the cause of the learning difficulty.  We are experienced in using the following assessment tools:

·         WRAT4 (the wide ranging abilities test)

·         CTOPP 2 (comprehensive test of phonological processing)

·         DASH (detailed assessment of speed of hand writing)

·         Edinburgh reading test

·         NARA 1 and 2 (reading, comprehension and rate)

·         Suffolk reading and spelling test

·         Phonographics range of tests

·         Lucid LASS and Exact screening rammes

·         GLS Dyslexia and Dyscalculia

·         Personalised Learning for Reading Assessment package

·         Language Link assessment

·         Boxall and Lerven Scale profiles


We also have access to Speech and Language Therapists who come into school to work with students where necessary.


The purpose of this more detailed assessment is to understand what additional resources and different approaches are required to enable the pupil to make better progress.  These will be shared with parents, put into a SEN support plan and reviewed regularly, and refined / revised if necessary.  At this point we will have identified that the pupil has a Special Educational Need because the school is making special educational provision for the pupil which is additional and different to what is normally available. 


If the pupil is able to make good progress using this additional and different resource (but would not be able to maintain this good progress without it) we will continue to identify the pupil as having a special educational need.  If the pupil is able to maintain good progress without the additional and different resources he or she will not be identified with Special Educational Needs. When any change in identification of SEN is changed parents will be notified.


We will ensure that all teachers and support staff who work with the pupil are aware of the support to be provided and the teaching approaches to be used.


3 Information about the school’s policies for making provision for pupils with Special Educational Needs whether or not they have EHC (Educational and Health Care) Plans, including


3a How the school evaluates the effectiveness of its provision for such pupils

Each review of the SEN support plan will be informed by the views of the pupil, parents and class/subject teachers and the assessment information from teachers which will show whether adequate progress is being made.


The SEN Code of Practice (2014, 6.17) describes inadequate progress thus:

·         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 rate of progress

·         Widens the attainment gap


For pupils with or without a Statement of Special Educational Need / Education, Health and Care Plan there will be an annual review of the provision made for the child, which will enable an evaluation of the effectiveness of the special provision.  The collation of all annual review evaluations of effectiveness will be reported to the Governing Body.


3b The school’s arrangements for assessing and reviewing the progress of pupils with Special Educational Needs

Every pupil in the school has their progress tracked five times per year.  In addition to this, pupils with Special Educational Needs may have more frequent assessments of reading age, spelling age etc.  The assessments we use at Homewood School are listed in Section 2. Using these it will be possible to see if pupils are increasing their level of skills in key areas.


If these assessments do not show adequate progress is being made the SEN support plan will be reviewed and adjusted.


3c The school’s approach to teaching pupils with Special Educational Needs

High quality teaching, differentiated for individual pupils, is the first step in responding to pupils who have or may have SEN.  Additional intervention and support cannot compensate for a lack of good quality teaching.  Schools should regularly and carefully review the quality of teaching for all pupils, including those at risk of underachievement.  This includes reviewing and, where necessary, improving, teachers’ understanding of strategies to identify and support vulnerable pupils and their knowledge of the SEN most frequently encountered SEN Code of Practice (2014, 6.37)


At Homewood School the quality of teaching is judged to be good.  We follow the Mainstream Core Standards advice developed by Kent County Council to ensure that our teaching conforms to best practice.


In meeting the Mainstream Core Standards the school employs some additional teaching approaches, as advised by internal and external assessments e.g. one to one tutoring / mentoring, small group teaching, use of ICT software learning packages.  These are delivered by additional staff employed through the funding provided to the school as ‘notional SEN funding’


3d How the school adapts the curriculum and learning environment for pupils with Special Educational Needs

At Homewood School we follow the advice in the Mainstream Core Standards on how to adapt the curriculum and the learning environment for pupils with Special Educational Needs.  We also incorporate the advice provided as a result of assessments, both internal and external, and the strategies described in Statements of Special Educational Needs / Education, Health and Care Plans.


As part of our requirement to keep the appropriateness of our curriculum and learning environment under review the Governors have recently made the following improvements as part of the school’s accessibility planning:



·         Any new building takes into account the needs of abled and non-abled students


·         ASDAN is offered to a select number of students in Key Stages 4 and 5

·         Vocational courses are available in Key Stages 4 and 5.

·         Subjects can be offered to students at an appropriate level. This is constantly reviewed.

·         In Key Stage 3 our Key Skills provision allows for differentiated and personalised learning experiences for those with higher levels of need.

·         Our Skills for Working Life course for select students at Key Stage 5

Training of staff

·         All staff receive SEN advice and guidance. Specific training is provided to all staff (this includes sessions from specialists as well as designated training time every Wednesday).


3e Additional support for learning that is available to pupils with Special Educational Needs

As part of our budget we receive ‘notional SEN funding’.  This funding is used to ensure that the quality of teaching is good in the school and that there are sufficient resources to deploy additional and different teaching for pupils requiring SEN support.  The amount of support required for each pupil to make good progress will be different in each case which includes:

·         Key Skills groups in Year 7 and 8

·         Supported mainstream groups in Year 7 and 8  

·         ASDAN groups in Key Stages 4 and 5

·         Skills for Working Life group at Key Stage 5

·         Maths interventions

·         English interventions

·         Bespoke literacy intervention sessions

·         Dyslexia and Dyscalculia specialist support

·         English as an Additional Language support

·         Social Communication and Skills Groups

·         Speech and Language therapists

·         SEN Homework Club (KS3, 4 and 5)

·         Provision at break and lunch times for ASD / vulnerable students

·         Support for students with co-ordination and physical areas of need such as Fine and gross motor skills programmes

·         Therapeutic intervention sessions such as Drawing and Talking Therapy

·         Hand writing  and touch typing support

·         Individual mentoring  and supported study sessions

·         Speech and language support sessions

·         Lego Therapy


In very few cases a very high level of resource is required.   The funding arrangements require schools to provide up to £6000 per year of resource for pupils with high needs, and above that amount the Local Authority should provide top up to the school through their High Needs Funding (HNF) system.   


3f How the school enables pupils with special educational needs to engage in activities of the school (including physical activities) together with children who do not have special educational needs

All clubs, trips and activities offered to pupils at Homewood School are available to pupils with Special Educational Needs either with or without an Education Health and Care Plan. Where it is necessary, the school will use the resources available to it to provide additional adult support to enable the safe participation of the pupil in the activity


3g support that is available for improving the emotional and social development of pupils with Special Educational Needs

At Homewood School we understand that an important feature of the school is to enable all pupils to develop emotional resilience and social skills, both through direct teaching for instance e.g. mentoring time and focus days and indirectly with every conversation adults have with pupils throughout the day. 


For some pupils with the most need for help in this area we also can provide the following

·         Family Liaison Officer support

·         2 school counsellors

·         Mentor time with Form Tutors

·         Mentoring from Youth Workers

·         ‘My Zone’ – students attend by invitation only a supervised lunchtime club

·         external referral to ChYPS (Child and Young person services)

·         Work with the ‘Early Intervention’ Staff

·         Time-Out cards for students to use when upset or agitated

·         Take up the Challenge – self-esteem and confidence building group running for 6 weeks

·         Peace by Piece bereavement group

·         One to one or small group therapeutic sessions with Learning Support Staff

·         Work with our Early Help Co-ordinator


Pupils in the early stages of emotional and social development because of their Special Educational Needs will be supported to enable them to develop and mature appropriately.  This will usually require additional and different resources, beyond that required by pupils who do not need this support.



4 The name and contact details of the SEN Co-ordinator

The SENCO at Homewood School is Lucy Stephen, who is a qualified teacher and has been accredited by the National Award for SEN Co-ordination and also holds a BA (Hons) and MA (Ed) with QTS.


Lucy Stephen is available on 01580 764222 ex290 or l.stephen@homewood.kent.sch.uk


5 Information about the expertise and training of staff in relation to children and young people with Special Educational Needs and how specialist expertise will be secured


The following staff have received the following enhanced and specialist training:

Member of staff

Qualification gained

S Hothersall

HLTA status (SEN specialist area)

A Fox

NVQ 3 City and Guilds – Supporting Teaching and Learning

OCR Level 5 – Diploma in Teaching Learners with SPLD (dyslexia), ASD, ADHD/ADD and dyscalculia

Cope Level 2 ASDAN Instructor qualification

D Bridger

Level 3 certificate on support work in schools

Adult Numeracy L2

CACHE Level 2 NVQ in Children’s Care and Development

Certificate of Competence in Educational testing plus Access Arrangements (CPT3A) Level 7 qualification

M Hancock

RGN Registered Children’s Nurse

ASDAN Bronze and Silver Development Programme

Personal and Social Development Instructor

I Gray

Level NVQ for Teaching Assistants

Level 3 NVQ for Teaching Assistants

R Layzell


Level 4 Award in Higher Learning Teaching Assistant (Higher Distinction)

C Hancock

Supporting Teaching and Learning Level 2

P Russell

Phonics International Systematic Synthetic Phonics

E Harding

PGCE in Further Education


In addition, the following training has taken place in the school recently:

·         Quality First Teaching – termly training strand for teaching staff

·         Working with ADHD students

·         ASD in girls and understanding ASD student’s needs

·         Dyslexia and Dyscalculia training

·         Working with students with additional needs – how to adapt your teaching

·         Uniqueness of the teenage brain

·         A Variety of  session delivered by specialist Speech and Language Therapists including Selective Communication and Language Through Colour, 

·         Hearing impediments

·         Question Attack approach to exam questions

·         DCD (Developmental Coordination Disorder)

·         Student Well Being including SEMH needs, body image, self-esteem, dreams and aspirations.

·         Effective use of iPads to enhance students’ learning experiences

·         Managing challenging behaviour

·         Attachment Needs, Resilience and Growth Mind Set


 Staff have also visited other schools and Post 16 providers as part of our CPD programme.



Individual staff have also undertaken the following training:

Member of staff

Training undertaken

L Stephen

Training on the implications of the new SEN Code of Practice

Changed to the new SEN Code of Practice in Kent


ASDAN Qualification training

Well Being Toolkit

PATOSS/JCQ Exam Access Arrangements up-date

PLR Training (Personalised Learning for Reading)

J Ralph

Well Being Tool Kit

M Hancock

ASDAN Qualification training

KIST training

“Talk about” training – self esteem and relationship skills

I Gray

Numicon training

Autism Course Level 1 and 2

Mutism training

Ruth Miskin “Read, Write, Ink” Phonics

Language for Learning training

D Bridger

Certificate of Competence in Educational testing (CPT3A) Level 7 qualification

Developing the role of Access Arrangements L7

Adult Literacy L2

Dyscalculia awareness

Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder

PATOSS/JCQ Exam Access Arrangements up-date

S Hothersall

Effective Transition Model for Maths training

Social stories – ASD training

Supporting ASD in Mainstream schools

Counselling for SEN students training

S Oldrey

Working with students with Speech and Language  difficulties in school

Mutism training

A Fox

PLR Training (Personalised Learning for Reading)

P Wright

One day Autism training

Jo Hunn                  Vision Impairment PE Focus

                                    DCD Training

                                    Practical strategies for using of iPads

J Cogger                     Connecting with the Disconnected

Rachel Layzell            Level 4 Award in Higher Learning Teaching Assistant

                                    Lego Therapy

P Russell                     Phonics International Systematic Synthetic Phonics




Where a training need is identified beyond this we will find a provider who is able to deliver it.  Training providers we can approach are, Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapist and Dyslexia Specialists.  The cost of training is covered by the notional SEN funding.


6 Information about how equipment and facilities to support children and young people with Special Educational Needs will be secured

Where external advisors recommend the use of equipment or facilities which the school does not have, we will purchase it using the notional SEN funding, or seek it by loan.  For highly specialist communication equipment the school will seek the advice of the KCC Communication and Assistive Technology team.


7 The arrangements for consulting parents of children with Special Educational Needs about, and involving them in, their education

All parents of pupils at Homewood School are invited to discuss the progress of their children on two occasions a year and receive a written report once per year.  In addition we are happy to arrange meetings outside these times. As part of our normal teaching arrangements, all pupils will access some additional teaching to help them catch-up if the progress monitoring indicates that this is necessary; this will not imply that the pupil has a Special Educational Need.  All such provision will be recorded, tracked and evaluated on a Provision Map.


If following this normal provision improvements in progress are not seen, we will contact parents to discuss the use of internal or external assessments which will help us to address these needs better.  From this point onwards the pupil will be identified as having Special Educational Needs because special educational provision is being made and the parent will be invited to all planning and reviews of this provision.  Parents will be actively supported to contribute to assessment, planning and review.


In addition to this, parents of pupils with a Education, Health and Care Plan will be invited to contribute to and attend an annual review, which, wherever possible will also include other agencies involved with the pupil. Information will be made accessible for parents.


8 The arrangements for consulting young people with Special Educational Needs about, and involving them in, their education

When a pupil has been identified to have Special Educational Needs because special educational provision is being made for him or her, the pupil will be consulted about and involved in the arrangements made for them as part of person-centred planning.  Parents are likely to play a more significant role in the childhood years with the young person taking more responsibility and acting with greater independence in later years.


9 The arrangements made by the governing body relating to the treatment of complaints from parents of pupils with special educational needs concerning the provision made at the school

The normal arrangements for the treatment of complaints at Homewood School are used for complaints about provision made for special educational needs.  We encourage parents to discuss their concerns with the Form Tutor, subject teacher, Principal Teacher, Curriculum Leader or SENCO to resolve the issue before making the complaint formal to the Chair of the governing body.


If the complaint is not resolved after it has been considered by the Governing Body, then a disagreement resolution service or mediation service can be contracted.  If it remains unresolved after this, the complainant can appeal to the First–tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability), if the case refers to disability discrimination, or to the Secretary of State for all other cases.


There are some circumstances, usually for children who have an EHCP where there is a statutory right for parents to appeal against a decision of the Local Authority. Complaints which fall within this category cannot be investigated by the school.


10 How the governing body involves other bodies, including health and social services bodies, local authority support services and voluntary organisations, in meeting the needs of pupils with special educational needs and in supporting the families of such pupils

The designated SEN Governor has been fully informed by the SENCO regarding the following bodies:-

·         Membership of LIFT for access to specialist teaching and learning service

·         Via LIFT, access to the Educational Psychology service as required

·         Access to Speech and Language Therapy Services  for 2 days a week

·         Occupational Therapy  and Physiotherapy Services as required for pupil needing direct therapy or advice

·         Membership of professional networks for SENCO (SENCO Forum, NASEN and TRA SENCO membership)


11 The contact details of support services for the parents of pupils with special educational needs, including those for arrangements made in accordance with clause 32 (Parent Partnership Services)

Kent Parent Partnership Service (KPPS) provides free, impartial, confidential, advice, support and options around educational issues for parents who have children with special educational needs or disabilities (0-19).  They empower parents to play an active and informed role in their child’s education.  They can be contacted on


HELPLINE: 03000 41 3000

Office: 0300 333 6474 and

Minicom: 0300 333 6484

E-mail: kentparentpartnershipservice@kent.gov.uk




12 The school’s arrangements for supporting pupils with Special educational needs in transferring between phases of education or in preparing for adulthood and independent living

At Homewood School we work closely with the educational settings used by the pupils before they transfer to us in order to seek the information that will make the transfer as seamless as possible. Our SENCO will try and visit most Primary Schools before the students arrive here so that there is a comprehensive understanding of the student need.


We also contribute information to a pupils’ onward destination by providing information to the next setting along with developing the skills and experiences needed to cope with the next phase ahead of the transition.


13 Information on where the local authority’s local offer is published.

The local authority’s local offer is published on http://www.kent.gov.uk/education-and-children/special-educational-needs and parents without internet access should make an appointment with the SENCO for support to gain the information they require.



Approved by the GB on          ………………………………………………


Next review on                        July 2017