How does the Academy know if children need extra help and what should parents do if they think their child may have special educational needs?
Students with SEN, including those who are LAC (Looked After Children), are identified in a number of ways:
Any parent who may have concerns about their child is asked to contact the student's Head of House in the first instance.
How is the decision made about how much individual support students will receive?
Students in Years 7 and 8, in the lower bands, all receive individual, paired or small group reading lessons as their curriculum entitlement. Additionally the size of sets in this band is kept intentionally small to ensure additional support is able to be provided by the teacher.
Progress is formally reported to parents three times per year. There is also the opportunity to meet a child's teachers at Parents' Evening once per year. If a parent feels their child may have SEN there is direct access to the SENCo. Specialists in the teaching of dyslexia, behaviour management, mental health and an Educational Psychologist are all available to support individual student needs.
SUPPORT FOR LEARNING AND WELL-BEING
How does the Academy support students with Special Educational Needs?
The Academy's banding and setting structure ensures any student who requires additional support receives this through normal timetabled provision. In addition to this there is a team of TAs who provide individual or small group support to students.
All classroom teachers are expected to differentiate their work to ensure that individual students' needs are met and that all students achieve their academic potential.
The Health and Wellbeing Practitioner supports students with a variety of issues. Medical support is also available at the Academy throughout the day.
The Academy's behaviour policy is explicit in terms of systems and support in place. See 'Behaviour Policy' on our website.
Student views are gathered regularly through questionnaires and the school council.
Additional support is provided from the TAs with both emotional and behavioural support.
SEN is reported to the Governors on a regular basis and is a standing item on the agenda. The Governor with specific responsibility with SEN meets with the SENCo on a regular basis.
What mechanisms are in place for supporting students' overall wellbeing?
The Academy's pastoral system is organised into four houses. Each house has a Head of House and a team of House Tutors. The pastoral team holds regular meetings when individual students are discussed, appropriate strategies implemented and outcomes are assessed regularly.
The Academy has a first aid room on site which is staffed by a trained medical health assistant. All medicines are kept securely locked in the first aid room.
The Academy has a number of support systems in place for addressing behaviour concerns, including Daily Report, Pastoral Support Programmes and outside specialist teachers in behaviour management.
The Academy employs a full-time EWO (Education Welfare Officer) who supports students who have issues with their attendance. Good attendance and punctuality are recognised and celebrated in House assemblies.
Students' views are gathered regularly through student questionnaires and through House Council meetings.
PROGRESS, PLANNING AND KEEPING PARENTS INFORMED
How will parents know how their child is doing?
In addition to normal reporting arrangements parents are able to discuss their child's progress in a number of ways:
The Academy has a sophisticated data assessment system in place which records, monitors and predicts outcomes for each individual student. The expectation is that all students will perform above the national expectation.
How are parents involved in discussions about planning for their child's education?
Parents are able to contact the Academy at any time if they wish to discuss the progress of their child. The Academy also issues each child with a Student Planner. This ensures that parents can contact their child's House Tutor or class teacher easily and directly. Parent questionnaires are issued annually to parents of SEN students to gather their views.
How are children able to contribute their views?
Children's views are taken into account through questionnaires and the House Council system. Children are always given the opportunity to discuss their progress or any other concerns they may have with their teachers, pastoral staff and support staff. Questionnaires are issued in the Summer Term to all SEN students to gather their views.
PROVISIONS, RESOURCES & SERVICES
How is learning and development provision matched to individual students' needs?
All students in the Academy are placed into bands and sets according to their ability profile on entry. All teachers are expected to differentiate their teaching to match individual needs. A team of TAs provide additional support across all years, bands and sets to ensure that all students progress well.
How are the Academy's resources allocated and matched to students' SEN?
The Academy's SEN budget is allocated by the Chief Executive Officer. Responsibility is held by the Principal and Senior Leadership Team. The curriculum is adjusted to suit the need of individual students. Physical resources and a specialist unit are available to support students with SEN.
What specialist services and expertise are available at the Academy or accessed by the Academy?
The SENCo at the Academy is fully qualified and has over 20 years experience in the role. The Academy directly employs its own Educational Psychologist, specialist teacher in dyslexia, EWO, Careers Advisor and children's mental health specialist. In addition to this the Academy has well established working relationships with many other outside agencies.
How accessible is the Academy environment?
Three disabled lifting platforms allow access to the vast majority of teaching rooms. Disabled toilet facilities are widely available on site. All areas on the ground floor, both inside and outside, are fully wheelchair accessible.
How are students included in activities outside the classroom including trips?
All students with SEN are able to access school activities and trips. If necessary additional TA support is allocated to ensure SEN students are able to take part fully.
What training have the staff supporting students with SEN had, or what are they expected to have?
The SENCo attends all relevant, up-to-date training, including Child Protection on a regular basis. All TAs are expected to attend five days' training per year. Specialist teachers in dyslexia and behaviour management provide regular training to the TAs. All teaching staff receive training in the teaching of students with SEN.
How does the Academy prepare and support students to join the Academy, transfer to a new school/academy or the next stage of education and life in order to ensure their well-being?
The SENCo attends the Annual Review of any student in Year 5 and 6. Year 5 taster days are offered to feeder Primary Schools.
Pre-visits are offered to Year 6 students, identified by Junior schools. Students may be SEN, but may also need additional reassurance before joining the Academy. The visits run for one afternoon per week, for three weeks prior to Year 6 induction day.
A team of senior staff visit every feeder school prior to students joining in Year 6. This ensures that all relevant information is shared. A teacher at the Academy is responsible for Primary Liaison.
From Year 9 onwards a YPSS careers advisor attends Annual reviews for all students with a Statement/ECHP.
During KS4 students are advised and supported on an individual basis to help them in their post 16 choices. An independent Careers Advisor is employed by the Academy to support students making career choices.
Who can parents contact for further information?
The first point of contact for a parent to discuss general concerns would be the child's Head of House. If a parent is unhappy then the SENCo, Miss L Ciechanowski, or another member of the Senior Leadership Team would be available.
If a parent is considering sending their child to the Academy they should contact Tollbar Academy and ask for admissions.
Parents who may be dissatisfied should put their concerns in writing to the Principal, please refer to the 'Complaints Policy'. Barnardo's is an independent service available to parents if they so wish. Details can be obtained from the Academy.
More information on the Local Offer is available at www.nelincs.gov.uk.