RSA Academy SEND

SEND Policy 2017

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SEND Information Report 2017

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Our Vision

The RSA Academy is an outstanding learning community, where all students make outstanding progress irrespective of their starting point. Learning is challenging, engaging, purposeful and innovative allowing for creativity, a sense of fulfilment and a desire to succeed. Students and staff feel safe and supported to meet challenging goals; there is a tangible atmosphere of mutual respect. The Academy has high standards of behaviour as a result of student self-regulation and sense of pride in their community. Parents, students and staff have high aspirations; this is evident in the number of students who progress into good quality training and higher education. Students and staff feel that they are working together to make a better environment and leadership works to ensure that this culture is sustained and improved. There is an open and honest culture where expectations and accountability are clear. There is high quality engagement with all parts of the community as the Academy makes a significant contribution to social improvement through volunteering schemes. Extra-curricular provision at the Academy means that talents are developed, further giving students new experiences.

The Academy believes that all students, whatever their needs, must receive the best possible education. We aim to provide every unique individual with opportunities to excel personally, socially and academically.

How does the academy ensure that students who need extra help are identified early?

Early identification of learners with SEND is essential. The Academy will use appropriate screening and assessment tools and determine student progress through:

  • Evidence obtained by teacher observation
  • Student progress in relation to objectives in the National Literacy/Numeracy Strategies.
  • Standardised screening or assessment tools.
  • Screening/diagnostic tests
  • Reports or observations, both internal and external.
  • Records from partner primary schools and previous school
  • Information from parents and carers
  • National Curriculum results
  • External exam results
  • Students’ work portfolios.

Support for students is available from outside agencies including:

  • Educational Psychologist
  • Consultant Specialist Teacher
  • Behaviour Support Consultant
  • Sensory Support Service
  • Social Services
  • Visiting School Nurse
  • Child and Adolescent Health Service

What should a parent / carer do if they believe their child has a Special Educational Need?

Initially you should contact the Academy’s Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo),Miss E Thomas to discuss your concerns. Miss E Thomas can be contacted by telephone on 0121 556 1351 or by emailing

You may also wish to arrange an appointment with your child’s GP if you feel that this is appropriate if your child’s difficulties are due to medical reasons. However, the SENCo may be able to help you to find other sources of support should you require these, such as health or social care.

How will Academy staff support students?

The Director of Student Support, Mrs. J. Jones, oversees the provision plan for all children with special educational needs. Mrs Jones leads a large team including the SENCo, the Student Support Centre Manager, Miss L. Pinner, as well as our Learning Facilitators, Heads of House, mentors and tutors. Peer support is also readily available. The Attendance Team make up a further essential part of this support network.

Parents and carers are kept up to date with their child’s progress through the review cycle process where the impact of interventions can be measured. The Academy will also monitor progress through the annual Education, Health Care Plan review where appropriate. Provision Maps are created where applicable and some students will also benefit from an Individual Support Plan detailing their needs, their strengths while also allowing opportunities for parent and student voice.

How will teachers match the curriculum to the students’ needs?

In many cases students can benefit from very simple strategies such as changing their seating position in the classroom or the provision of large font text.  Some students may require a combination of more specialised strategies, which may include any of the following:

  • Learning Facilitator support in class or in small group or 1:1 sessions
  • Learning Facilitator Literacy Intervention
  • Learning Facilitator Numeracy Intervention
  • Accurate assessment and intervention from the SENCo or external agencies.
  • Accelerated Reader Intervention
  • Personalisation of the curriculum by the class teacher.

How is the decision made about the type and frequency of support that a student will receive?

Support at the Academy is funded through the SEND Notional Budget. Support is then allocated on a needs basis, meaning that those students with the most complex needs will be given the most support. However, should this not be sufficient to meet the needs of the students, the Academy (with the support of the parents) may make an application for additional funding by means of an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

How is the overall wellbeing of students supported?

Breakfast is available to all students on a daily basis, free of charge. All students will participate in our broad and balanced PSHCE curriculum. The Academy operates a House system that, alongside the Mentoring and Guidance sessions, underpins our pastoral structure.

How will the Academy monitor the efficacy of the support offered to students?

The efficacy of support will be measured through the analysis of appropriate data. This will then be shared with parents/carers at Annual Review meetings where applicable, and at Progress Review evenings.

How will student progress be shared with parents/carers?

Student progress is shared through regular Progress Review evenings, written reports and frequent phone calls home.

How will students be included in activities outside the Academy?

Our aim is to include all students in activities outside the Academy. This may require consultation with parents / carers in order to make the necessary adaptations and risk assessments may also be undertaken.

Who in the Academy has the responsibility for the management of SEND?

The SEND Governor:

The named governor with SEND responsibility is Maurice Cole.

The governor will:

  • Oversee all elements of the Academy’s work relating to pupils with Special Educational Needs
  • Act as a link between the Academy and the governing body on matters relating to SEND
  • Act as a sounding board to the Principal and Director of Student Support as required.

The Director of Student Support:

The Director of Student Support is Mrs Julie Jones: The Director will:

  • Determine the Academy’s general policy and approach to provision for children with SEND and maintains a general oversight of the RSA Academy’s SEND work
  • Establish the appropriate staffing and funding arrangements for SEND provision
  • Keep the governing body informed of developments in SEND provision
  • Has a particular interest in pupils with special needs, monitoring their progress
  • Ensure that their needs are being met across the Academy.

The Assistant Director of Student Support / SENCo

The Assistant Director of Student Support / SENCo is Miss E Thomas: The SENCo will:

  • Be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the school’s SEND policy
  • Ensures Individual Support Plans are in place where relevant
  • Keep records on pupils with SEND maintaining files containing current ISP and cumulative information such as specialist reports, past IEPs, and reviews
  • Keep track of the number of pupils at different waves of SEND;
  • Be responsible for ensuring staff are properly trained for their role in SEND provision and differentiation;
  • Liaise with external agencies, including the educational psychology service and other support agencies, medical and social services and voluntary bodies
  • Have regular meetings with parents and teachers to discuss the targets and strategies that form the ISP
  • Leads on training and developing staff to meet the needs of all pupils.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or can be accessed by the Academy? What training and expertise do staff members have to support the additional needs of students?

Inclusion Support (including Educational Psychology, Behaviour Support, Specific Learning Support) 0845 352 7552

Sensory Support (including Visual and Hearing Impairment) 0845 352 7552

There is also a wide range of skills available within in the SEND team, including training in Educational Psychology, Autism, Speech and Language Difficulties, as well as Therapeutic Mentoring. There is also a strong emphasis on on-going professional development, including training on literacy and numeracy difficulties, challenging behaviour and distractibility, as well as Autism.

How accessible is the Academy, both indoors and outdoors?

The Academy can be accessed at the main entrance. The Academy is in compliance with current legislation. There is a lift available to the first and second floors. The Academy’s accessibility plan is available from the Academy’s HR department.

How are parents involved in the Academy?

Parents are formally involved in Progress Review evenings, but also have the option to attend Open Evenings. Many parents receive regular phone calls from staff. Students who have an EHCP will have an Annual Review Meeting, which allows for parental contributions.

How do students contribute their views?

Student voice is an essential part of the Annual Review process. Feedback from students is also gained from their workbooks and their participation in class. Mentoring and Guidance sessions are also a crucial source of student opinions.

Who can parents/carers contact if they are not happy with the support provided for their child?

All concerns are taken seriously as the wellbeing of our students is central to the Academy’s aims. In the first instance, please feel free to contact the Special Needs Coordinator, Miss E Thomas can be contacted on 0121 556 1351.

How does the Academy contact support agencies?

Inclusion Support (including Educational Psychology, Behaviour Support, Specific Learning Support) 0845 352 7552

Sensory Support (including Visual and Hearing Impairment) 0845 352 7552

How will Academy staff prepare and support students joining the Academy?

Before transfer to the Academy the Director and Assistant Director of Student Support will

  • Ensure that the Academy receives the school records of all students transferring to Year 7 who have been identified by Primary schools as having SEND
  • Ensure that the Academy receives information from other relevant agencies identified
  • Ensure that copies of the statements and Individual Provision Maps of students transferring are received
  • Will liaise with the Primary school SENCos and where possible should attend Year 6 annual reviews of students with statements to ensure a smooth transition and appropriate planning of IEP’s in Year 7
  • Will meet with the parents/carers of children transferring to the Academy who are in receipt of a Statement to aid the process
  • Will be responsible for supporting the collation of appropriate information (to include IEP’s) and resources for all teaching staff and learning facilitators so that they may:
  • Use the information to provide starting points for the development of an appropriate curriculum for the student.
  • Identify and focus attention on the student’s skills and highlight areas for early action to support the student within the class.

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