The David Ross Education Trust

David Ross Education Trust schools create a rich and exciting learning environment that inspires students to become their confident, academic best.

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Charnwood College

Charnwood College broadens the horizons of all students through high academic standards and unrivalled enrichment opportunities. Developing respectful, confident, articulate and motivated students.


Mission statement

Charnwood College Academy is committed towards enabling all learners to make significant progress in knowledge, understanding and skills, in attitudes and in values, as social beings and as lifelong learners. We nurture aspirations for all and understand that some individual children will need additional help in progressing towards their goals.

All staff and governors actively support inclusion and the principles outlined in this policy; working hard to ensure that provision is made for those who need it and that all children are given the opportunities to be the best they can be.

  • We believe that by working in partnership with our children, their families and external colleagues much can be done towards overcoming the challenges our young people face. Our commitment to this is outlined in this policy.

Aims and objectives


  • We aim to address the special educational need or disability of each individual student so they can:
  • Access a broad and balanced education
  • Develop a clear pathway through education to adulthood, paid employment and independent living
  • Experience success in learning and reach their full potential
  • Enjoy greater self-esteem knowing their opinions and achievements are valued
  • Work towards independence


We aim to address the special educational need or disability of each individual by:

  • Identifying needs as early as possible. This is most effectively done by gathering information from parents, education, health and care services prior to the child’s entry into the school
  • Monitoring the progress of all students in order to aid the identification of those with SEN. Continuous monitoring of those students with SEN by their teachers will help to ensure that they are able to reach their full potential
  • Making appropriate provision to overcome all barriers to learning and ensure students with SEN have full access to a mainstream curriculum. This will be co-ordinated by the SENCO/SEN Lead and will be carefully monitored and regularly reviewed in order to ensure that individual targets are being met and all students needs are catered for
  • Working in collaboration with parents/carers to gain a better understanding of their child and involve them in all stages of their child’s education. This includes supporting them in terms of understanding SEN procedures and practices, providing regular reports on their child’s progress and providing information on the provisions for students within the academy as a whole and the effectiveness of the SEN policy and the support systems
  • Working in conjunction with external support agencies when needs cannot be met by the academy alone
  • Creating an environment where students feel safe to voice opinions of their own needs. This may mean providing regular one to one meetings between students and the SENCO/SEN Lead. Student participation is a right. This will be reflected in decision-making but also encouraged through wider opportunities for participation in academy life (e.g. membership of the Student Voice group).

To achieve these goals we strive to:

  • Embrace The Children and Families Act 2014
  • Follow the 2014 Code of Practice and the Disability Equality Duty for children with SEN and disabilities (SEND) with an inclusive approach
  • Promote a flexible and imaginative organisational structure in which learning needs can be met and personalised programmes of work can be agreed with colleagues, parents and students
  • Continually liaise with teaching and support staff in identifying and assessing student’s needs
  • Promote access to a broad, balanced and challenging curriculum
  • Monitor and evaluate progress for students with SEN and disabilities
  • Compliment the delivery of quality first teaching and differentiation
  • Provide bespoke reasonable adjustments

Work closely with our partners within the Trust and our partners within the local authority to provide a common framework to provide essential provision for all

Definitions and Principles

Children have a Special Educational Need (SEN) if they have:

significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age,

or have

a disability that prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of the same age. 

Education Act 1996

The governing body undertakes, in accordance with its responsibilities under the SEN Code of Practice, to do its best to ensure that the necessary provision is made to support pupils with a special educational need/disability at Charnwood College to:

  • access the curriculum
  • access the facilities on the campus
  • participate to the fullest extent possible in the life of the College

To this end they will strive to ensure that provision is made for pupils with disabilities and/or SEN that is:

additional to or different from the educational provision made generally for children of their age in LEA maintained schools (other than special schools).

Education Act 1996

The governing body will take an active interest in the provision for students with disabilities and/or SEN (D/SEN) and one of its members will take on specific responsibility for the oversight of this work.
The D/SEN Governor is appointed annually by the full governing body.

The governing body will keep the College's SEN policy under review and will monitor both the policy and the College's provision to ensure that it continues to provide appropriately for students with D/SEN in the College.

The Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO)

The governing body will ensure that the College appoints an appropriate person to act as the Special Educational Needs Coordinator. This person will have responsibility under the Principal for the day-to-day coordination of Special Needs provision within the College.

The  SENDCO, Mrs A Tyers, can be contacted by email on   or telephone 01509 554400.

Arrangements for Coordinating SEN Provision

The following are the main responsibilities undertaken by the SENCO:

  • leading on strategic issues related to SEN and Disability Equality
  • overseeing the day-to-day operation of the College's SEN policy
  • coordinating provision for all pupils on the SEN Record
  • management of the work done to teach and support students with disabilities
    and/or SEN teaching assistants who are members of the Learning Support Faculty
  • arranging for the formal and informal assessment of students' needs
  • maintaining the SEN Record and the records kept on students, ensuring that they are as full, accurate and up-to-date as possible
  • liaising with Faculties and advising teachers with regard to the needs of students and teaching strategies to meet these needs
  • contributing to the College's continuing Professional Development programme with reference to teaching strategies to address students' special educational needs
  • liaising with feeder primary schools in connection with transition issues
  • liaising with parents in connection with the welfare and progress of their children
  • liaising with various outside agencies with respect to the education and welfare of students
  • management of the Learning Support Centre in the College and of the Learning Support resources budget
  • reporting regularly to the Principal and to the governing body on the work of the Learning Support Faculty
  • contributing to the College's Improvement Plan

The Learning Support Faculty includes a team of Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) and subject specific Teaching Assistants, led by the Learning Support Team Leader. The majority of these staff provide support for learning either in-class or in withdrawal situations. They are allocated to Faculties, in so far as this is possible, and specialise in supporting work in the subjects taught in their department, as well as developing students' basic literacy and numeracy skills.

Some of the team specialise in providing more personal support for pupils with health or mobility difficulties (e.g. cerebral palsy) to facilitate their access to the buildings, facilities and equipment as well as the curriculum.

Teaching Assistants (TAs) take on greater responsibility for the organisation and management of provision for students with disabilities and/or SEN.

Arrangements for the Admission of Students with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities.

Charnwood College strives to be a fully inclusive school.

The governing body acknowledges and respects the right of children with a special educational need or disability to be educated within the mainstream. They further acknowledge, in accordance with Section 316 of the Education Act 1996, that if the parent of a child with a Statement wishes their child to be educated in mainstream, a place must be found for them unless this is incompatible with the efficient education of other children and there are no reasonable steps that can be taken to prevent this incompatibility. All students are welcomed to the College, including those with a special educational need or disability, whether this involves a learning difficulty or a need that involves a difficulty with mobility and physical access to the campus and facilities.

In considering applications from parents for their child to be admitted to the College, consideration will be given to the LA's published admissions criteria and procedures.

This policy gives priority to the preference of parents with regard to the school at which a student is given a place. In the event that a chosen school is oversubscribed or is not the catchment school, priority will be given to students with a Statement of Special Educational Need.

Facilities for Students with Special Educational Needs / Disabilities

The College has two classrooms dedicated to the teaching and learning of students with disabilities and/or Special Educational Needs. Resources are constantly reviewed and kept up to date. There is an office for the Learning Support Faculty adjacent to these classrooms, which provides a management base for SEN in the College.

There has been extensive work done to buildings and the environment at the College to facilitate access for disabled students (and adults). Five specially adapted toilets are provided in different blocks and there are lifts to accommodate wheel chairs or people using other mobility aids in E, K and S blocks.

The College is equipped with a number of ramps and handrails to facilitate movement around the campus between blocks and there are handrails on stairs inside buildings to assist with movement within the blocks.

Funding for SEN

The governing body undertakes to ensure that the funding received from the Local Authority for the provision of education for students with Special Educational Needs and disabilities, particularly those with a Statement, will be used for that purpose.

Identifying Students with Special Educational Needs / Disabilities

The majority of students with a disability and/or special educational need have been identified as such in their primary school and so on arrival at Charnwood College their special needs are well known.

The Learning Support Faculty maintains good relationships with its main feeder primary schools through regular contact between the SENCOs.

Formal records are received in advance of students' transfer and the SENCO visits primaries to meet and discuss students who will be transferring the following Autumn.

Information received from primary schools is reviewed at the start of Year 7 to determine the most appropriate support for each student.

Students can also be assessed for a Special Educational Need after their arrival at Charnwood College and can be recommended by subject teachers, pastoral staff or parents to be assessed. This will be carried out initially by the SENCO who may decide to seek further assessment and advice from the LA's Specialist Teaching Service or another outside agency.

In deciding whether to place a child onto the SEN Record reference is made to the LA's document "Revised Code of Practice: Special Educational Needs - Criteria for Placement".

Students are, as far as possible, actively involved in the process of their assessment.

Parents are informed at the beginning of Year 7 if their child is being placed on the College's Special Educational Needs Record. If it becomes appropriate to add a student to the SEN Record while he or she is at Charnwood College, parents are similarly informed. The Faculty aims to seek the advice of parents in this situation and to take their knowledge of the student into account in making a decision.

There are currently two stages at which a pupil may be placed on the SEN Record.

  • SEN Support
  • Educational Health & Care Plan (EHCP)

Access to the Curriculum

Charnwood College aims to offer a broad and balanced curriculum in accordance with the National Curriculum. It aims to offer all students the opportunity to achieve success in their studies and as many GCSEs or vocational qualifications as possible.

Students with Special Educational Needs are specifically included in this aim.

All students with disabilities and/or Special Educational Needs are taught in mainstream classes and many also receive support to allow them to access learning and to succeed to the best of their ability.

The College has high aspirations for students with disabilities and/or SEN, as for all pupils, and targets are regularly set and monitored to assess their progress and achievement.

Students with diagnosed specific learning difficulties are assessed by the Specialist Teaching Service to see whether they qualify for exams concessions.

Access to College Activities

The College offers all students the opportunity to participate in a range of educational activities. The College makes appropriate arrangements to allow students with disabilities and/or SEN to participate alongside their peers and to be included in activities in such a way that they are able to take part in the same activity.

To this end, staff make adjustments to activities, equipment and procedures to allow this to happen.

Students may also be supported in their participation by their teacher, by LSAs, other adults or by other students.

Evaluation of SEN Provision

The governing body makes use of the following criteria in monitoring and evaluating the success of provision for students with disabilities and/or SEN:

  • The maintenance of accurate, up-to-date records by the SENCO
  • Evidence from classroom observations by the Senior Leadership team
  • Analysis of data including GCSE results, projected grades and levels and key assessments
  • Monitoring of procedures and practice by the SEN governor
  • The College's Self Evaluation process
  • Evidence from Ofsted inspections
  • The College's Improvement Plan
  • Reports to the Academy Scrutiny Committee's Welfare and Behaviour Committee
  • The SEN Governor will send a report to the Academy Scrutiny Committee

Complaints about SEN Provision

The governors are open to representation from parents of students with disabilities and/or Special Educational Needs concerning any complaints they may have about the education of their child, specifically related to their individual needs and the provision being made for their child.

It is hoped that in the first instance differences and problems can be resolved through discussions between the parents and the SENCO. If the parent is not satisfied with the outcome at this stage they should follow the procedure laid down in the College's Complaints Policy.

Should matters still not have been resolved to the parents' satisfaction, they can address their concern to the Principal or to the SEN Governor at the College, preferably in writing.

The governing body undertakes to investigate any complaint referred to them by a parent and to attempt to resolve any differences that may have arisen between the parent and the College over the SEN provision for their child.

They will report their findings and the outcomes of any investigation to the parents.

Staff Training

The College's Continuing Professional Development Programme includes topics directly related to students with disabilities and/or SEN and developing the knowledge and use of strategies and techniques for teaching. Topics are decided with reference to the College's Improvement Plan. The SENCO contributes to the delivery of these training sessions.

The SENCO delivers an introductory session for new teachers as a part of the College's staff induction programme.

There is a specific in-house training programme for Learning Support Assistants aimed at developing their skills in supporting students with disabilities and/or SEN.

Members of the Learning Support Faculty attend courses and conferences where these are of particular relevance provided by outside agencies and independent providers. Where possible, training sessions are provided by outside agencies on College premises.

Relationships with outside agencies

The Learning Support Faculty has links with a wide range of agencies outside the school and seeks to maintain excellent working relationships with them to the benefit of students.

These agencies are the following:

  • The Hearing Impaired Service
  • The Visually Impaired Service
  • The Autism Outreach Service
  • The Literacy Support Service
  • The NHS Occupational Therapy Service for assessment and advice regarding accessibility
  • The LA's Educational Psychology Service for assessment and advice about individual students and for staff training
  • The School Nurse for health related issues
  • Leicestershire Social Care Services where they are involved with students or their families

Relationships with Parents

Charnwood College values the input of parents to the success of the education of their children with disabilities and/or Special Educational Needs, and seeks to encourage their active interest and involvement.

Teachers and other staff seek to work with parents to support students in the most appropriate and effective ways possible. They acknowledge and value their unique knowledge and experience of their children's special needs, their strengths and the strategies that are most effective in helping them to learn. They seek to encourage them to share this knowledge with staff for the benefit of their child's education and welfare. Staff are always eager to talk to parents and parents are welcome to email, write or telephone the Learning Support office.

Parents will be informed that their child is placed on the SEN Record and of the outcome of any assessments carried out. Parents of students with a Statement are invited to Annual Review meetings and provided with all relevant information and copies of documents relating to the process.

Formal information for parents on student progress, targets and performance will be provided through the College's normal reporting system.

Parents are welcome to be supported in meetings and in their dealings with the Learning Support team by such agencies as the Parent Partnership.

Links with Other Schools and Colleges

The College seeks to maintain active links concerning SEN with its main feeder primary schools.

The SENCO is in regular contact with the SENCOs of our feeder schools to discuss the transition of pupils between Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3.

Students are visited in their primaries and a significant number make pre-induction visits

to familiarise themselves with the campus and for Charnwood College staff to meet and to get to know them.

The Learning Support team also maintains good working links with FE colleges, chiefly Loughborough College, in order to aid the transition of pupils to FE after their GCSEs. Students are helped with the application process, taken for visits and interviews where necessary and information is provided to the FE colleges orally and in references and files sent to them. Similar information is provided to other colleges and training establishments.

References are provided by the SENCO for students applying for employment or apprenticeships on leaving Charnwood College 

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