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Supporting 4000 Students
Reach Academy

SEND Report

The Reach Alternative Provision Academy SEND Information Report

At The Reach Alternative Provision Academy we welcome everyone into our community. The Reach Alternative Provision Academy endeavours to make available inclusive provision to ensure that all students, including those identified with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), can enjoy and benefit from a broad and balanced education with access to the National Curriculum at an appropriate level, so that they may achieve their full potential.

Our Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCO) are:

Strategic Lead Safeguarding and SENCO – Laura Burgess

We are committed to narrowing the attainment gap between SEND and non-SEND students and offer a range of personalised learning intervention/opportunities to support this. We are very proud of all our students and their achievements and our aim is to give them the tools in order to become independent learners.


  1. What kinds of SEND does the school provide for?

The Academy accommodates all SEND in line with the Equality Act 2010 and provision is available for all 4 areas of need outlined in the 2014 SEND code of practice. This includes cognitive learning needs such as Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia and Moderate learning difficulties. Communication and interaction needs such as Autistic Spectrum Disorder, speech and language. Social, emotional and mental health needs are also widely supported. The Academy has experience supporting physical needs such as students with cerebral palsy, hearing and visual impairments and our building is accessible for any students with mobility needs.

  1. How does the academy know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?
    At The Reach Alternative Provision Academy students are identified as having special education needs through a variety of ways including the following:-
    • Liaison with previous school
    • Child performing below age expected levels
    • Concerns raised by parent
    • Concerns raised by the child
    • Concerns raised by teacher for example behaviour or self-esteem is affecting performance
    • Liaison with Multi-Agencies
    • Health diagnosis through paediatrician

  1. How will the academy staff support my child?
  • The academy staff will support individuals at a level appropriate to their needs through effective differentiation in the classroom.
    • The Academy provides intervention programmes to meet a variety of needs relating to literacy and numeracy skills; emotional and social difficulties; and communication and interaction difficulties.
    • The provision is reviewed every year to ensure it addresses the needs of current students.
  1. How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
  • The Academy aims to ensure the fullest possible access to the curriculum for students with Special and additional Educational needs.
    • In Key Stage 4, the academy offers a range of pathways to ensure that students are able to achieve their maximum potential by being matched to the pathway which addresses their learning needs while presenting some challenge.
  1. How will both you and the academy know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support their learning?
  • The academy measures children’s progress in learning against national expectations and age related expectations, but also from our baseline assessments on entry. This is because our students come to us throughout each academic year and we need to be able to see if a child has made progress whilst they have been with us.

. The teachers continually assess each child and note areas where they are improving and where further support is needed. As an academy, we track children’s progress from entry at Year 7 through to Year 11, using a variety of different methods. This will be reported back to Parent/Carers.

  • Children who are not making expected progress are picked up through review meetings with the staff. In this meeting a discussion takes place concerning why individual children are experiencing difficulty and what further support can be given to aid their progression.
    • If your child has an EHC Plan then when this is reviewed comments are made against each objective to show what progress the child has made. If the child has not met the target, the reasons for this will be discussed, then the target may be adapted into smaller steps or a different approach may be tried to ensure the child does make progress.
  • As a parent you will receive regular reports with regard to your child’s progress. In addition to this there are the Parents’ Evenings which provide an opportunity to meet with staff and discuss progress.
    • We offer an open door policy where you are welcome any time to make an appointment to meet with SENCo and discuss how your child is getting on. We can offer advice and practical ways that you can help your child at home.
    • We believe that your child’s education should be a partnership between parents and teachers, therefore we aim to keep communication channels open and communicate regularly, especially if your child has complex needs.
    • Children with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan will also have an Annual Review Meeting and outside agencies may be invited to attend. We consider that the parents/carer’s views are a vital part of the review and therefore request your attendance and support for your child.
  1. What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?
  • We are an inclusive academy; we welcome and celebrate diversity. All staff believe that children having high self-esteem is crucial to a child’s well-being. We have a caring, understanding team looking after our children.
    • The Form Tutors have responsibility for the pastoral and social care of every child in their form group, therefore this would be the parents’ first point of contact. If further support is required the form tutor liaises with the SENCo for further advice and support. This may involve working alongside outside agencies such as Health and Social Services.
  • The academy has a very positive approach to all types of behaviour with a clear reward system that is followed by all staff and students. If a child has behavioural difficulties meetings are held with the child and parents to identify the specific issues, put relevant support in place and set targets.
    • After any serious behaviour incident we expect the child to reflect on their behaviour with an adult. This helps to identify why the incident happened and what the child needs to do differently next time to change and improve their behaviour.
    • Attendance of every child is monitored on a daily basis by the Attendance Officer. Lateness and absence are recorded and reported upon to the Attendance Officer. Support is given through an incentive scheme where good attendance is actively encouraged throughout the academy. We have had many successes where families were struggling with lateness but are now able to get their children into the academy on time.
  1. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the academy?
  • The staff working at The Reach Alternative Provision Academy are highly trained and experienced in supporting a wide range of SEND conditions. Our SENCo is fully qualified and accredited.
    • The academy works closely with any external agencies that we feel are relevant to individual children’s needs within our setting including: GPs, school nurse, clinical psychologist, paediatricians, speech & language therapists; occupational therapists; social workers and Educational Psychologists.
  1. What training have the staff supporting children with SEND had?
  • The Academy has staffed trained in delivering reading and spelling / phonics programmes, impulse control programmes, social and emotional skills. All our staff take part in on-going SEND training programmes.
  1. How will my child be included in activities outside this classroom including academy trips?
  • All children are included in all parts of the curriculum and we aim for all children to be included on academy trips. We will provide the necessary support to ensure that this is successful.
    • A risk assessment is carried out prior to any off site activity to ensure everyone’s health & safety will not be compromised. In the unlikely event that it is considered unsafe for a child to take part in an activity, then alternative activities which will cover the same curriculum areas will be provided in the academy.
  1. How accessible is the academy environment?
  • The academy site is wheelchair accessible with several disabled toilets that are large enough to accommodate changing. The academy has lifts to enable those with restricted mobility to access the upper floor.
  • We liaise with the Local Authority EAL Team who assist us in supporting our families with English as an additional language.
  • We have a new to English provision which is situated at Thistley Hough Academy in Penkhull, which supports a small group of students who are new to the English language develop their language skills before they are re-integrated into their mainstream schools/academies.
  1. How will the academy prepare and support my child to join the academy or the next stage of education and life?
  • We encourage all new children to visit the academy prior to starting when they will be shown the site.
    • We liaise closely with staff when receiving and transferring children to different schools ensuring all relevant paperwork is passed on and all needs are discussed and understood.

. New students are given 2 shorter days to begin with so they can adjust to Academy life and meet students and staff. In these sessions students will be tested in reading and spelling so we can ensure staff know of their reading ages on entry and can differentiate accordingly.

Transition to post-16 provision:

  • The Careers Advisor attends Year 10 and 11 annual reviews to give independent advice and guidance to students and their parents.
    • Towards the end of Year 10 students have a one to one meeting with our Careers Advisor.
    • Taster sessions and informal visits to college take place throughout KS4.
    • Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs), are shared with local colleges.
  1. How are the academy’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
  • We ensure that all children who have Special Educational needs are met to the best of the academy’s ability with the funds available.
    • We have a team of welfare and support staff who are funded from the SEN budget and deliver programmes designed to meet groups of children’s needs.
    • The budget is allocated on a needs basis. The children who have the most complex needs are given the most support often involving an additional member of staff or involving additional interventions.
  1. How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?

The SENCo will meet with you to discuss your child’s needs and what support would be appropriate. Different children will require different levels of support in order to bridge the gap to achieve age expected levels. This will be through on-going discussions with parents. We know if this has had an impact:
• By reviewing children’s targets and ensuring they are being met
• The child is making progress academically against national/age expected levels and the gap is narrowing – they are catching up to their peers or expected age levels.
• Through verbal feedback from the teachers, parent and child.
• Children may move off of the SEN register when they have ‘caught up’ or made sufficient progress.

14a. How will our child be involved in the decisions about their learning?

The Academy puts the student at the heart of the support that is provided. Students are involved with the planning of their support and are encouraged to take ownership over the progress they make by choosing smart targets, which are agreed with their parents, support staff and teachers. All students with an EHC Plan have an IEP which is written in consultation with the student and their parents.

14b. How will we be involved in the decisions about the learning of our children and young people?

The Reach Alternative Provision Academy forms excellent communication links with parents and encourages parental involvement in all decisions about their child´s learning. As parents, you will be involved in reviewing your child´s student passport, progress and will contribute to the planning of future targets.

  1. How are parents involved in the academy?

A ‘Building Positive Relationship’ ethos and an ‘Open Door’ policy is promoted.  The ‘Relationships at Reach’ philosophy begins during admission meetings where parental views and opinions are requested. Parental views are invited in surveys, review meetings and acted upon. Parental involvement is encouraged through regular updates and reporting. Academy culture and events are shared in our newsletter.

  1. What do I do if I want to make a complaint?

The complaints policy is published on the Academy´s website or alternatively you can request a copy from the Academy by contacting reception.

  1. What other support is available to parents and how can I contact them?

The Reach Alternative Provision Academy will offer an Early Help if parents or families need extra support. Other support for parents include the SEND Information, Advice Support Service (SENDIASS), Safeguarding board and access to the Stoke-On-Trent Local Offer where links to a range of supportive agencies can be found.

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