How does the school know if children need extra help?

1. Information about your child's special educational needs comes from a number of sources:

  • Liaison with the First School or previous school
  • Cognitive Ability Tests
  • Screen tests for reading and spelling
  • Observations
  • Teacher/Teaching Assistant feedback
  • Parental concerns
  • Pastoral Leader concerns

2. If the child's progress in any area of the four broad areas of Special Educational Needs provision is significantly lower than that of their peers starting from the same baseline. (Communication and Interaction, Cognition and Learning, Social, Mental and Emotional Health and Sensory and/or Physical)

  • Fails to match or better the child's previous rate of progress
  • Fails to close the attainment gap between the child and their peers
  • Widens the attainment gap

3. Diagnoses from Paediatrics, Speech and Language, Occupational Therapy, CAMHs etc. (From SEN Code 2015).

How will I be able to raise any concerns I may have?

If you have any concerns regarding your child please contact the Tutor or subject teacher in the first instance. The SENCo, Lorna Steward, can also be contacted on 01373 462798. 

How will school staff support my child/young person?

Quality First Teaching by the teachers is differentiated and personalised to meet the needs of each pupil. Teachers will monitor the effectiveness of their provision and make changes if necessary. A specific intervention may need to be put in place.

Where a pupils is still not making the expected progress, class teachers will liaise with the SENCo for advice. An assessment will be made as to whether the pupil has a significant learning difficulty. Agreement will be reached between the teacher, SENCo and Parent/Carer as to the next course of action. This could include 1-1 or small group support or liaison with external agencies.

Who will be planning to provision for my child, what will be their roles and who will explain this to me?

The class teacher has an overall responsibility for every child in their class. Specific interventions are overseen by the SENCo and usually run by TAs. The SENCo is available to discuss progress, interventions and any other area of the pupil's development with parents/carers by email, telephone or in person.

How will the curriculum be matched to my child's needs?

When a pupils has been identified with special needs their work will be differentiated by the class teacher to enable them to access the curriculum more easily. Teaching Assistants may be allowed to work with the pupil in a 1-1 or small intervention group to target and support more specific needs where appropriate. Where a pupils has a physical impairment or medical need, their provision will take account of their individual plans.

Where a pupil has an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP), the curriculum provision will be tailored to your child's needs.

How will I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child's learning? 

Early in term 1 there is a 'Meet the Tutor' evening for parents in addition to a monitoring report at Christmas, Easter and in the summer. These reports give you updates on progress, attainment and attitude to learning. Each year group has a subject-consultation evening in the Spring term.

Pupils who have an EHCP will also have an Annual Review which pupils are involved in and to which they are invited.

Pupils also have a Link Book where staff and parents can keep up-to-date with each other.

What support will there be for my child's overall wellbeing?

All children and young people are entitled to an education that enables them to:

  • achieve their best
  • become confident individuals living fulfilling lives

The pupil’s Tutor has overall responsibility for the pastoral, medical and social care of every child in the class, therefore this would be the parents’ first point of contact. If further support is required the class teacher liaises with the Pastoral Team Leader or with the SENCo for further advice or support.

The Learning Support Base supports pupils with a morning Breakfast Club, Break Time support and a Lunch Club.

The school has access to a Parent Support Adviser and a Parent and Family Support Adviser and an FSP (Family Support
Practitioner) who are available to work with pupils and parent carers, and visit the home if necessary. Access to these services are through the Frome Learning Partnership.

Where a pupil needs support with behaviour it is essential the Behaviour Policy is followed. This would be the responsibility of the Tutor and Pastoral Team Leader.

How does the school manage the administration of medicines?

Here at Selwood Academy we are happy to administer medications for your child should it be required either on a short-term or long-term basis. We can authorise this if a Health Care Plan is completed in full and sufficient training is in place (dependent on type of medication). Please contact the school to speak to the Finance and Premises Manager for further advice and guidance.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?

External agencies the school can access include:

  • Autism and Communication Adviser
  • Educational Psychologist
  • CAMHS (Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service)
  • Vision support service
  • Hearing support service
  • Education Attendance Officer
  • Physical Impairment and Medical Support Team
  • Childrens Social Care
  • Integrated Therapy Service (Speech & Language/Occupational Therapy/Physiotherapy)
  • Learning Support Service
  • Critchill Special School resource base
  • Frome Learning Partnership (FLP) Behaviour Strategy Panel

What training have the staff supporting children with SEN and disabilities had or are having?

Staff receive training in the following areas:


  • Dyslexia Friendly Strategies, ADHD, ASD, Language and Communication
  • Visual Impairment and Medical issues where applicable.

Teaching Assistants also have training in many SEN areas including:

  • ILI – Individualised Literacy Intervention
  • RWI – Read, Write Inc phonics programme.
  • Elklan Speech and Language.
  • Behaviour Management.
  • Narrative Intervention Programme
  • Use of Numicon in Numeracy
  • Nurture
  • ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Adviser)

Training is also given in many medical areas:

  • Diabetes – use of insulin pump and injection method.
  • Use of an epipen.
  • Moving and Handling
  • EVAC training

Staff training is regularly up-dated on a rolling programme and where necessary to support the needs of new pupils.

How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?

Each pupil’s needs are considered individually and trips are organised to suit the needs of the majority.

Where necessary a Teaching Assistant may need to accompany the pupil or occasionally a parent carer may be asked for their support.

Risk assessments are carried out for all school trips.

Medical Plans are used to prepare for the trip. The content of a trip may be modified to allow a pupil to access as much as

How accessible is the school environment?

Selwood Academy is composed of 3 main buildings, one of which is on two levels. This block does have an accessible lift/elevator. There are ramps to provide access to all buildings and points of access. So the building is fully wheelchair accessible and the rest of the school.

There are two accessible toilets, one having fully adjustable toilet seat and ceiling hoists. Both accessible toilets are spacious to allow for disabled changing.

How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school and transfer to a new school?

The Pastoral Team Leader and SENCO meet staff at the transferring school. A school entry plan for higher needs pupils is set up and reviewed after a set period of time at Selwood Academy.

Pupils who are deemed vulnerable and/or with Special Educational Needs will also have visits to the school. They may also receive their timetable in advance, possibly in visual form and photos of their new teachers.

For pupils transferring at the end of Year 8, a similar process occurs with meetings and visits arranged.

How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?

The SEN budget varies yearly. The amount of funding a school receives is based on a formula that takes into account factors like free school meals, social deprivation and how well the children are achieving when they join the school.

Funding is also allocated to a pupil with an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP)

The budget is mainly used to engage Teaching Assistants, but also for resources and specialist equipment.

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?

The decision regarding support will be based on many factors from outside agency recommendations, to assessments of progress.

Adequate progress can include progress which:

  • is similar to that of peers starting from the same baseline;
  • matches or betters the child’s previous rate of progress;
  • closes the attainment gap between the child and their peers;
  • prevents the attainment gap growing wider. Tutors, subject teachers and team leaders will be part of the decision-making process, with parents involved regarding support that is different from and additional to the majority of pupils. Support will be monitored and its effectiveness assessed by teachers in conjunction with the SENCo.

Who can I contact for further information?

The first point of contact for any further information is the class teacher or tutor.

After this, if there is still a concern, contact the Pastoral Team Leader or SENCo.

Where a matter is still unresolved, the Head Teacher should be contacted.

Click to view Somerset County Council's Local Offer

© Copyright 2018–2019 Selwood Academy