SEN & Disabilities
The Oxford Academy is committed to ensuring that all students experience an inclusive educational experience. We believe that all students have the right to attend a high quality school with an inclusive teaching practice to ensure that all learners make the expected progress and are prepared for a wider world as they enter into future education, the workforce and become adults.
1. What types of SEND does the school provide for?
Our school provides support for the following needs:
Specific learning difficulties, including dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia Moderate Learning need
Communication and Interaction
Autism Spectrum Condition and Speech and Language Needs.
Social Emotional and Mental
Attention Hyperactive Deficit Disorder (ADHD), Attention deficit disorder (ADD)
Sensory and/or physical
Hearing, physical and visual impairment. Multi-sensory impairment.
2. Which staff will support my child, and what training have they had?
The Oxford Academy Inclusion team are dedicated and committed to ensure that the students they work with make the best academic and social progress possible. In alignment with the SEND Code of Practice, every teacher at The Oxford Academy is a teacher of SEND.
The team is regularly undergoing training to ensure either practice is in line with government guidelines, but also to ensure that the provision we offer, is meeting the ever changing needs of our students.
● Our Assistant Headteacher of Inclusion is Ms Kathrine Pike , who is also currently covering the role of SENDCO.
She has had over 12 experience in this role and has worked in a variety of secondary schools. Ms Pike is also a qualified music teacher, Mental Health First Aider and a Designated Safeguarding Lead.
She achieved the National Award in Special Educational Needs Co-ordination in 2013.
● Our Deputy SENDCO is Mrs Lucy Crane-Lupton
They are very experienced in cognitive assessments and specialises in literacy provision and access arrangements. For all queries surrounding access arrangements, please contact email@example.com
● Our Assistant SENDCO is Mrs Julia Hack.
All of our teachers receive in-house SEND training, and are supported by the SENDCO to meet the needs of pupils who have SEND.
● Our Intervention Tutors
We have a team of Intervention Tutors who support students to further access quality first teaching.
Our three Lead Intervention Tutors (HLTAs) are trained to deliver SEND provision in the following areas:
● Fresh Start Literacy and Rapid Maths
● ELSA Provision
● Behavioural Reintegration and Mentoring
● Social Skills and Communication
External agencies and experts
Sometimes we need extra help to offer our pupils the support that they need. Whenever necessary we will work with external support services to meet the needs of our pupils with SEND and to support their families. These include:
● Speech and language therapists
● Educational psychologists
● Occupational therapists
● GPs or paediatricians
● School Health Nurses
● Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
● Social services and other LA-provided support services
Enhanced Pathway Provision
The Enhanced Pathway provision is a stepping stone for up to 10 students who may require a graduated transition into secondary. The group has access to a specialist room, mainstream options, and a bespoke, differentiated curriculum offer, linking to the wider school curriculum. This is key for students whilst they are getting used to the larger setting and the social aspects of secondary school life. As the cohort moves to year 8, students will be gradually working towards reintegrating to a full timetable of mainstream curriculum lessons. As the cohort moves to year 9, in year 3 of the programme, the young people should be fully involved in the mainstream curriculum timetable with
their peers in school. The group is taught by a teacher and has support from a HLTA, when they are not in mainstream lessons. Teaching in the base will offer a safe place for students to regulate, enable them to have pre teaching or additional support for learners with lower starting points. Students are identified for this provision through transition and discussions with Primary Schools, the Local Authority, through parental consultation and other specialist professionals.
3. What do I do if I think my child has SEND?
If you feel your child has SEND and you are concerned. Please make contact with the SEND team on firstname.lastname@example.org
If after meeting with you and your child, we feel that it would be best for your child to be on our Special Educational Needs register in school, we would inform you in writing.
4. How will the school know if my child needs SEN support and how will the school adapt its teaching style for my child?
Quality First Teaching
The Oxford Academy class teachers are aware of SEND and are on the lookout for any students who are not making the expected level of progress in their schoolwork or socially. This may include students not completing work in the given time, spelling and writing concerns, behavioural needs emerging or attendance becoming a concern.
If the teacher notices that a student is falling behind, they try to find out if the student has any gaps in their learning. If they can find a gap, they will give the student extra support to try to fill it. Students who don’t have SEND usually make progress quickly once the gap in their learning has been filled.
If the student is still struggling to make the expected progress, the teacher will talk to the SENDCO, and will contact you to discuss the concerns identified.
If a student does have SEND, we would ensure that high-quality teaching is our first step in responding to your child’s needs. We will make sure that your child has access to a broad and balanced curriculum in every year they are at our school.
We will differentiate (or adapt) how we teach to suit the way the pupil works best. There is no '1 size fits all’ approach to adapting the curriculum, we work on a case-by-case basis to make sure the adaptations we make are meaningful to your child.
These adaptations may include:
● Differentiating our curriculum to make sure all pupils are able to access it, for example, by grouping, 1-to-1 work, adapting the teaching style or content of the lesson.
● Differentiating and scaffolding our teaching, for example, giving longer processing times, pre-teaching of key vocabulary, reading instructions aloud.
● Adapting our resources and staffing
● Using recommended aids, such as laptops, coloured overlays, visual timetables, larger fonts.
● Intervention tutors will be deployed to support students in small groups or 1:1.
Assessments and Observations
As students enter The Oxford Academy, they undergo testing through Cognitive Ability Tests (CATs). These tests can indicate specific standardised scoring, which may support identification of need. The SEND team also conducts specific NGRT cognition and learning tests on all year groups annually to specifically investigate reading, writing and spelling. Through analysing this data, student progress is tracked and monitored carefully. The evidence from this testing enables the SEND team to put in place specific literacy interventions and track their progress.
At times it is essential to conduct observations of students to identify needs within the classroom or playground setting.
5. How will the school measure my child’s progress?
The Oxford Academy follows the ‘graduated approach’ to meeting your child’s SEND needs. The graduated approach is a 4-part cycle of assess, plan, do, review.
As a part of the planning stage of the graduated approach, we will set outcomes that we want to see your child achieve.
Whenever we run an intervention with your child, we will assess them before the intervention begins. This is known as a ‘baseline assessment’. We do this so we can see how much impact the intervention has on your child’s progress.
We will track your child’s progress towards the outcomes we set over time and improve our offer as we learn what your child responds to best.
This process will be continual. If the review shows a pupil has made progress, they may no longer need the additional provision made through SEND support. For others, the cycle will continue and the school's targets, strategies and provisions will be revisited and refined.
6. How will my child and I be involved in decisions made about their education?
We will provide annual reports on your child's progress in addition to parents evenings.
If your child is on the SEND register, they will be met to review their student profile and have feedback on their progress up to three times a year. This will be via the SEND team, class teachers and form tutors.
If your child has an Educational Health Care Plan, we will have a planning meeting at the beginning of each academic year where we set targets and plan provision via their APDR report. This APDR will be reviewed up to three times per academic year with families.
We know that you’re the expert when it comes to your child’s needs and aspirations. So we want to make sure you have a full understanding of how we’re trying to meet your child’s needs, so that you can provide insight into what you think would work best for your child.
We also want to hear from you as much as possible so that we can build a better picture of how the SEN support we are providing is impacting your child outside of school.
If your child’s needs or aspirations change at any time, please let us know right away so we can keep our provision as relevant as possible.
Ensuring students have a voice in these meetings is essential. Many students are able to share their feelings and thoughts on how to best support their education. In some cases, we may support students by doing a survey or get them to share their feelings to another member of staff who may represent them in the meeting.
After any discussion we will make a record of any outcomes, actions and support that have been agreed. This record will be shared with all relevant staff, and you will be given a copy.
If you have concerns that arise between these meetings, please contact your child’s Form Tutor.
7. How will the school evaluate whether the support in place is helping my child?
We will evaluate the effectiveness of provision for your child by:
● Reviewing their progress towards their goals each term
● Reviewing the impact of interventions after 6 weeks
● Using pupil questionnaires
● Monitoring by the SENCO
● Using provision maps to measure progress
● Holding an annual review (if they have an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan)
8. How will the school resources be secured for my child?
It may be that your child’s needs mean we need to secure:
● Extra equipment or facilities
● More intervention tutor support hours
● Further training for our staff
● External specialist expertise
If that’s the case, we will consult with external agencies to get recommendations on what will best help your child access their learning.
The school will cover up to £6,000 of any necessary costs. If funding is needed beyond this, we will seek it from our local authority.
9. How will the school make sure my child is included in activities alongside students who don’t have SEND?
All of our extra-curricular activities and school visits are available to all our students, including our before and after-school clubs and we highly encourage participation.
All pupils are encouraged to go on our school trips and we ensure, where necessary, that students have appropriate risk assessments and additional staff to support. All pupils are encouraged to take part in sports day, school plays, activities days and special workshops with external visitors. No pupil is ever excluded from taking part in these activities because of their SEND or disability and we will make whatever reasonable adjustments are needed to make sure that they can be included.
10. How does the school make sure the admissions process is fair for pupils with SEN or a disability?
The Oxford Academy upholds a clear admissions policy. Prospective students who apply to the school with an EHC Plan will be admitted before any other places are allocated. All other places will be offered as outlined in The Oxford Academy’s Admissions Policy.
11. How does the school support pupils with disabilities?
While The Oxford Academy is a large site in terms of square footage, teaching and learning spaces, as well as toilets, are fully accessible, either because they are on the ground floor or through lifts providing access.
Our school uniform policies support those with sensory needs in an inclusive way- because students come to school in PE kit on the days they are taking part in a club or attending a PE lesson, we are happy to organise PE uniform as standard for those with sensory needs. We aim to reduce sensory overload by reducing classroom displays, eliminating noises like whole school bells, and by maintaining calm, ordered environments in school. Our large site allows us to have year group specific areas for both learning and unstructured times, meaning that our students have smaller groups to interact with at lunch and break time.
12. How will the school support my child’s mental health and emotional and social development?
As a commitment to others, The Oxford Academy ensures that there are many opportunities for students to support their mental health and their emotional and social development.
We provide support for students to progress in their emotional and social development in the following ways through the:
● School Chaplain - Rev Kay Blackwell
● Youth Worker
● Art and Music therapists
● School Counsellor
● School Health Nurse
● Social Skills groups
We have a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to bullying. We prevent bullying in the school by encouraging all students to report any acts of bullying to a teacher or on the online ‘report’ service.
13. What support will be available for my child as they transition between classes or settings or in preparing for adulthood?
Year 6-7 Transition is planned for carefully at The Oxford Academy.
The SEND team will visit each Primary School to discuss the needs of all the children who are receiving SEN support.
Students will be prepared for the transition by:
● Practising with a secondary school timetable
● Learning how to get organised independently
● Visiting The Oxford Academy to become familiar with the faces and processes.
We also arrange meetings with the parents of incoming students to discuss how we can best welcome their child into our community.
Ensuring our students are ready for the wider world and are able to progress to adulthood, we have a commitment to provide appropriate advice on paths into work or further education. We work with the students to help them achieve their ambitions, which can include goals in higher education, employment, independent living and participation in society.
14. What support is available for me and my family?
If you have questions about SEND, or are struggling to cope, please get in touch to let us know. We want to support you, your child and your family.
To see what support is available to you locally, have a look at The Oxfordshire County Council SEND Local Offer.
Link off to all local SENDIASS organisations in your catchment area.
National charities that offer information and support to families of children with SEND are:
The SEN Policy and Information report can be found in the Policy Section of our website