The Hathershaw College

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Special Education Needs and Disabilities Policy

 Revised in line with the SENd Code of Practice 2014


Definitions of special educational needs (SENd) taken from section 20 of the Children and Families Act 2014.

A child or young person has SENd if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them. A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if they:

  • have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of pupils of the same age; or
  • have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for pupils of the same age in mainstream schools


Making higher quality teaching normally available to the whole class is likely to mean that fewer pupils will require such support. (Code of Practice 6.15) 

(a) Aims

This policy is designed to ensure that:

  • Pupils with SENd have access to a broad and balanced curriculum that maximises the life chances of all
  • The needs of all pupils are rapidly identified through observation and assessment
  • All pupils are encouraged to learn through a range of enjoyable and stimulating experiences
  • All pupils learn to develop independent learning skills so that they will be equipped to deal with life after school
  • All pupils are encouraged to see education as a life-long process
  • All teachers are teachers of SENd pupils


(b) Mission Statement


‘Together we succeed’

This policy will contribute to our mission statement in order to maximise the life chances of all, to recognise the potential of every individual to achieve excellence and to value and celebrate the diversity of our community.


(c) Responsibility for the coordination of SENd provision

The SENCo is responsible for the day-to-day leadership and management of the SENd faculty.  Support for SENd management is provided by the Assistant SENCo who leads on exam Access Arrangements and the SIMS SENd module, and an Intervention Manager who complete internal SENd assessments and intervention strategies, and external referrals where appropriate.

A link SENd Governor is kept informed of how the College is meeting statutory SENd requirements and provides appropriate challenge to the SENCo regarding the progress of/provision for SENd pupils.

The SENCo will identify areas for development in SENd provision, completing a Faculty Improvement Plan that will contribute to the College Improvement Plan.  The SENCo will co-ordinate support for pupils on the SENd register, prioritising those with an Educational Statement/EHCP, followed by those at ‘SENd Support’ that may have support with outside agencies.


(d) Identification of SENd

The Hathershaw College operates a graduated approach to SENd identification:


When identifying a child as needing SENd support, the SENCo, working with the subject teacher should carry out a clear analysis of the pupil’s needs. This should draw on:

  • Teacher/subject assessments
  • KS2 National Curriculum levels
  • Reading Age assessments
  • Learning Cycle progress data – including effort and behaviour grades
  • Attendance/punctuality data
  • SENd assessment information; speech and language, literacy, working memory, emotional literacy etc.
  • External assessments/advice
  • Feedback from teachers, students and parents/carers regarding the social/emotional development of students


If it is agreed that a pupil requires some SENd Support, parents will be informed in writing. All staff working with the pupil will be informed and plans will be developed to ensure interventions are appropriate and to offer support/advice and strategies to class teachers. Plans are available to staff.

A clear date of review will be agreed, and progress, and/or social and emotional development targets will be set.


The class teacher remains responsible for working with the pupil on a daily basis and implementing plans/strategies. They will retain responsibility even where the interventions may involve group or 1:1 teaching away from the class. They will work closely with LSAs to plan and assess the impact of the support and interventions they are providing and communicate with the SENCo where concerns persist.


A review of pupil progress will take place every learning cycle or at the date agreed during the planning stage.  The review process will evaluate the impact of the support and interventions put in place. The SENCo will advise teachers on how to revise this support where necessary or will refer students for additional intervention with the intervention managers and/or external agencies.


(e) Referral for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

If a pupil has significant learning difficulties, they may undergo a Statutory Assessment Process in order to receive further support in their learning. The decision to make a referral for an Education, Health and Care Plan will be taken at a progress review involving parents and the SENCo.

The application for an Education, Health and Care Plans will combine information from a variety of sources including:

  • Parents
  • Teachers
  • SENCo
  • External agency support

Decisions on the outcomes of EHCP applications will be made by the Local Authority.  Where an application is agreed and an EHCP is issued, support plans are to be in place until 25yrs.


(f) Types of SENd

There are 4 main categories of SENd:

1. Communication and Interaction

Including: Speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) and Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

2. Cognition and Learning

Including: Moderate Learning Difficulties (MLD), Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD), Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD) and Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD) such as dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia

3. Social, Emotional and Mental Health difficulties

Including: students suffering from anxiety or depression, self-harming, substance misuse, eating disorders or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained. Other children may have disorders such as attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) or attachment disorder

4. Sensory or Physical difficulties

Including: Visually impaired (VI), Hearing Impaired (HI) and Physical Difficulties (PD)

It is important to note that not all behaviour issues are linked to social, emotional and mental health and may reflect other underlying difficulties. 

Children and young people with some health or disability conditions do not necessarily have SEN, but there is a significant overlap between disabled children and young people and those with SEN. Where a disabled child or young person requires special educational provision they will also be covered by the SEN definition (Code of Practice Xviii) 

Identifying and assessing SEN for children or young people whose first language is not English requires particular care. Schools should l establish whether lack of progress is due to limitations in their command of English or if it arises from SEN or a disability. Difficulties related solely to limitations in English as an additional language are not SEN. (Code of Practice 6.24)


(g) Support for SENd pupils

All teachers are teachers of SENd pupils.  High quality differentiation is the first step in meeting the needs of SENd pupils in the classroom.  Classroom teachers take responsibility for the SENd students they support and will monitor the progress of these pupils.  All teaching staff have access to the following documents to support their SENd planning:

  • The Hathershaw College SENd Policy
  • The SENd register
  • Learning Profiles for SENd students
  • Outcomes of SEN assessment/external assessment

The SENCo will be aware of any issues as they arise through regular monitoring of data and communication with teachers.

SENd pupils are supported in the classroom by Learning Support Assistants.  Learning Support Assistants have a variety of roles within the College; we have a team of 10 full time LSAs and 3 part time LSAs, his includes 4 key workers for our Y7/Y8 Foundation Learning Tier classes, 2 specialist EAL (English as Additional Language) LSAs and 1 Intervention manager, and the Assistant SENCo.

Learning Support Assistants have an awareness of the targets set for pupils and an understanding of the progress these pupils are making in lessons.  Every learning cycle, teachers will discuss any specific concerns they have regarding SEN pupils, which may lead to a change in the support/provision they are offered.

The Foundation Learning Tier pupils in year 7 and year 8 receive skilled teacher input by an SENd trained specialist teacher and the SENCo. Currently in Y11, a small group of SEN pupils take a Learning Support Pathway to enable them to have additional support with literacy and numeracy.  This is the final year that this Pathway will be available.

The Hathershaw College is the only school in the Oldham Local Authority with a specialist Hearing Resource Centre and so we are fully equipped to support students with all levels of hearing loss including those that are profoundly deaf.  Many teaching and SENd support staff are also qualified in sign language from level 1 upwards.

An experienced pastoral team also supports our SENd provision, with 5 year managers and 1 attendance support officer and 1 student services manager ensuring students are attending lessons, are punctual and display positive behaviour.  All students are allocated a form tutor with the most vulnerable students issued a mentor/key worker for each morning. We have also created 2 Foundation Learning Tier form classes for the most vulnerable year 7 pupils in the school.

EAL LSAs provide specialist support for pupils with limited command of the English language.  Most of these pupils are International New Arrivals (pupils have been in the UK for less than 2 years).  Please refer to the EAL policy 2020 for further information.


(h) External support

The Hathershaw College has strong working relationships with a variety of external support services in order to fully support our SENd pupils. These include:

  • Quality and Effectiveness Support Team (QEST)
  • Healthy Young Minds (formerly CAMHS)
  • Positive Steps counselling service
  • The School nursing service
  • Careers Advisor
  • Education Prevention Team
  • Family Focus Team
  • Community Police provision
  • School Counselling Service (Emerge Counselling)
  • Educational Psychologist (private)
  • Glossop and Oldham Mind (mental health services)
  • Speech and Language Therapist (private)


(i) Partnerships

  • Parents are encouraged to support their child in many ways, including listening to their child read and helping them to complete their homework
  • Parents are encouraged to attend SENd reviews and parents evenings where their child’s progress will be discussed.  The SENCo is available at each of these events
  • Learning plans and targets are shared with parents on a termly basis.

  • New parents are invited to attend Open evenings held in the autumn/summer terms in order to help to ease their child’s transition to the College

  • This policy is made accessible to parents through the SENd Information Report 2019-20


(j) Transition

Where a student has a current statement or EHC plan an annual review will be held. This review may take the form of a Person Centred Review where transition plans are drawn up in accordance with parental, pupil and staff views.

The Assistant SENCo/Year 7 manager visits all SENd students prior to them attending Hathershaw.  A learning profile is completed in liaison with y6 teachers/SENCos for all SENd Support pupils.  The SENCo visits all EHCP pupils and attends their y6 annual review. 

All SENd pupils are invited into school for transition days which are additional to those attended by all other pupils.  Further visits to the Primary Schools can be arranged if necessary, and further visits to Hathershaw can also be arranged to ease transition. 

SENd pupils’ transition to Post 16 education is supported and carefully planned. School works with pupils, their parents/carers, the school Connexions adviser and Post 16 providers to ensure they choose a course that meets their future requirements. SENd pupils receive support to complete applications for further education, visit colleges and meet the Learning Support staff before their transition to Post 16 education.


(k) Training

We aim to keep all staff up-to-date with relevant training and developments in teaching practice in relation to the needs of pupils with SENd.

The SENCo, Class teachers and Learning Support Assistants all receive up-to-date and relevant SENd training each year.  The SENCo shares best practice regularly in the LA SENCo forum and attends the SEND Hub meetings which are attended by SENCos from Primary, Secondary and Specialist sectors plus representatives from the Local Authority SENd team.


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