SEND – Information Report

Review - October 2016

What is SEND?

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Students may have Special Educational Needs either throughout, or at any time during, their learning journey.

Children have Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities if they have a learning difficulty which requires special educational provision.

Please see the Academy SEND Policy on Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Below are links to the new national guidance for SEND (September 2014):

Our SEND Vision

Thornaby Academy believes that all children are unique and irreplaceable. We all feel an overwhelming sense of belonging and this creates a supportive and inspiring school. It is vitally important for every one of our students to experience success every single day. Staff and students work together as a team to ensure this happens. We all understand the importance of targeted, appropriate intervention to allow achievement beyond expectation.

Our SEND Aims

  • To ensure that a student with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities can access and gain a positive experience from every aspect of Academy life
  • To provide learning support that is tailored to an individual’s needs.
  • To create an environment that meets the SEND of each student.
  • To ensure that the SEND of students are identified, assessed and provided for and this provision is reviewed regularly.
  • To work in partnership with everyone who cares for the individual student to ensure best outcomes
  • To put the student at the centre of everything we do and give them a voice

The Inclusion Team

Inclusion is the responsibility of all staff at the Academy but we do have a highly skilled specific team to support and advise:

Mrs P Wilkins, Director of Inclusion and Support / SENCO

  • Qualified teacher of English
  • Qualified Specialist SEN teacher, Specific Learning Difficulties and Moderate Learning Difficulties

Mr R Gaston, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities teacher

  • Qualified teacher of SEN

Mrs J Foy, SEND Teacher

Miss K Smith, Mrs C McGowan, Miss L Jones, Learning Support Assistants

Mrs C Scott, Progress Leader - Inspire Hub

Miss A Davies, Specialist LSA ASD - Inspire Hub


The Academy provides a broad and balanced curriculum for all students. Students are allocated to distinct Learning Pathways according to their individual learning needs. Some students may require additional personalisation of the curriculum to support their specific learning needs and this is coordinated by the Director of Inclusion and Support. All students are expected to attend all timetabled sessions. The Academy supports SEND students in a manner that acknowledges their entitlement to share the same learning experiences that their peers enjoy. In class support is deployed to support students with SEND in the classroom.

Where possible, class sizes are small to allow for a more personalised approach to learning for the students.


Early identification of SEND is vital. Academy staff will inform parents at the earliest opportunity to alert them to concerns and enlist their active help and participation.

The Academy works hard to gather as much information about a child when they are in the Primary phase. This involves liaison with primary colleagues and parents. We actively encourage parents to speak to us about their child's needs as early as possible.

The Academy completes baseline assessments with all Y7 students in September across the whole curriculum. This provides us with accurate up to date information about prior learning and skills. The Academy Director of Inclusion and Support analyses this data, along side Academy attendance and behaviour data, and then can identify students who may require additional support with learning. Once a learning need is identified parents are informed and the Inclusion team begins a process of rigorous personal assessment via lesson observations, work scrutiny, staff feedback, parental feedback and student voice. This can then lead on to specific cognitive, language, emotional and/ or physical and sensory assessments.

On going Academy assessment informs the Director of Inclusion and Support of any issues a child may have throughout their time at the Academy. Students complete a reading and spelling assessment each year to monitor the progress of these basic skills and Academy Stars data from class teachers across the curriculum is collated every half term. Monitoring of progress in all year groups is continuous. A SEND can be identified at any stage of a child's learning journey.

See Academy identification descriptors


All staff are aware of a student’s individual needs via an Individual Learning Plan (ILP). ILP’s are working documents for students with SEND written by the Director of Inclusion and Support in partnership with the student, parents, previous educational settings and any outside specialists involved with the child. All Academy staff are responsible for ensuring the plan is followed and appropriate provision is in place so that each child with SEND can participate effectively in every aspect of Academy life.


SEND intervention is coordinated by the Director of Inclusion and Support.
Quality teaching in the classroom supports the majority of students.
Some students require more intensive levels of support:

See Academy intervention descriptors

Thornaby Academy is proud to introduce a new SEND provision for students with ASD. Our Additionally Resourced Provision opens January 2015 and will welcome 10 students with specific social communication needs:

See Additionally Resourced Provision guidance


Student progress is reviewed each half term and parents receive an Academy report called Academy Stars. The Director of Inclusion and Support monitors the whole Academy assessment data and highlights any students that are not making expected progress. A SEND review can be called at any time but scheduled reviews for each year group are set as follows:

Year 7 - October

Year 8 - November

Year 9 - January

Year 10 - March

Year 11 - July (End of Summer term in Y10)  and April

Reviews involve updates to ILP's in consultation with parents and the student. Any outside agent involved is also asked to contribute to ensure provision is appropriate and effective.

Education, Health and Care Plans

If at any time the Academy feels that a student is not making the expected levels of progress despite all attempts to support academic achievement and social wellbeing the Director of Inclusion and Support will discuss the possible need for an Education, Health and Care Plan.

Follow this link for more information on this process:


The Academy receives funding based on 'Age-Weighted Pupil Unit' (AWPU). This means that the Academy’s budget is based on the number of students on roll. A percentage of this budget is used for SEND each year.
Fixed costs for SEND at Thornaby Academy include:

  • Specialist teaching staff
  • Small class sizes
  • Literacy and Additional Mathematics sessions
  • An alternative KS4 curriculum option
  • Additional adult support in class
  • ICT
  • One to One assessment of need by a SEND specialist teacher
  • One to One assessment of need by an Educational Psychologist
  • Supported Enrichment
  • Before and after school intervention sessions

Some students require additional specialised intervention that cannot be covered by AWPU. In these circumstances the Academy applies for “SEND Top Up” from the Local Authority. An individual application has to be made for each individual student as and when the need arises. If the application is successful funds are allocated to a child for a specific educational purpose.


As a parent, you are the expert on your child. Thornaby Academy knows that best outcomes for a child can only be achieved with parental involvement and support.

We encourage parents to access support from staff within the Academy:

    Form tutors
    Progress Leaders - Y6/7 – Mrs S Atkinson, Y8/9 – Mrs E Graham
    Achievement Leader -Y10/11/Post 16 – Ms D Heaton
    Director of Inclusion and Support - Mrs P Wilkins
    Please email or phone us to make an appointment.

We also encourage parents to access local support groups:


School transition is a stressful time for a student and the family. Thornaby Academy wants to make this process as enjoyable as possible for all involved.

Parents can request a meeting with the Director of Inclusion and Support to discuss their child’s specific needs with regards to transition at any time.

We work closely with feeder primaries to gather and share information about each individual student. If your child has a SEND your primary SENCo will invite you to attend a meeting with the Academy Director of Inclusion and Support during Year 6 to ensure a suitable transition plan is in place.

    This plan can include:

  • Academy Learning Support Assistants working with your child in their primary classroom
  • A 1:1 Academy tour
  • Joining in an Academy enrichment class for students and parents
  • Meeting Academy SEND students to discuss Academy life
  • Meeting Academy teaching staff
  • Attending an Academy team building outing
  • Summer school
  • Parent support group
  • Coming to the Academy for lunch

Our SEND Year 11 students benefit from additional support when transferring to Post 16.

    This plan can include:

  • Securing funding for additional support
  • Personalised visits to establishments
  • Taster sessions with support
  • Transition meetings with Post 16 support staff
  • Youth Directions Personal Advisor Support

Local Offer

Stockton’s Local Offer provides information to parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities, aged 0 – 25, to help them to understand what services and support, they and their families can expect from a range of local agencies within the local authority and neighbouring area.

Stockton's Local Offer (external website)


For issues relating to complaints  from parents of SEN pupils concerning the provisions made at Thornaby Academy, please refer to our complaints policy

Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service

Who is the Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service (SEND IASS)? We provide impartial, confidential and free information, advice and support for parents/carers, children and young people around issues relating to Special Educational Needs and Disabilities [SEND] We provide accurate and unbiased information to build your confidence and help you to […]