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Special Educational Needs and Disability Policy 2023/2024


David Hallam

ALT member with responsibility for SEND

 David Hallam

Designated Safeguarding Lead

Emma Wingfield

Policy Author

David Hallam / Liz Jones

Link Governors

Sarah Keane

Approved by governors date

Policy details

Date created - 04/07/2018

Date reviewed - 09/01/24

Next review date - 09/01/25

  1. Aims of the Policy
  2. Definition of  Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
  3. Relevant Legislation
  4. The Role of the SENDCo
  5. Overview of SEND Provisions at Co-op Academy Leeds
  6. Information Sharing - SEND information as a “Golden Thread”
  7. EHCPs
  8. The Graduated Approach
  9. Partnership with outside agencies
  10. Accessibility
  11. Admission Arrangements
  12. Arrangements for Transition
  13. Complaints
  14. Monitoring, Evaluation and Review

Aims of the Policy

The aim of the SEND policy is to help create an inclusive and caring community providing opportunities for all its students, including those with SEND, to:

  • follow a broad, balanced relevant curriculum with high quality teaching and adaptations to take into account the needs of students with SEND
  • demonstrate their full potential, recognising their strengths and areas for development
  • fully participate in all academy activities
  • meet their physical, emotional, and intellectual needs
  • offer equal opportunities
  • become independent learners
  • be involved in decision making

Definition of  Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

A student has SEND if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them.  

A student has a learning difficulty or disability if they:  

• have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same  age

• have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream  post-16 institutions  

Many children and young people who have SEND may have a disability under the Equality  Act 2010 - that is ‘…a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial  adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities’.

This definition provides a relatively low threshold and includes more children than many realise: ‘long-term’ is defined as ‘a year or more’ and ‘substantial’ is defined as ‘more than minor or trivial’. This definition includes sensory impairments such as those affecting sight or hearing, and long-term health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy and cancer.  Children and young people with such conditions do not necessarily have SEND, but there is a significant overlap between disabled children and young people and those with SEND.  Where a disabled child or young person requires special educational provision, they will also  be covered by the SEND definition.  

SEND Code of practice 2015

Broad Areas of Need

Students at the academy may have SEND as a result of one or more of the following needs:

  • Communication and Interaction
  • Cognition and learning
  • Social, emotional and mental health
  • Sensory and or physical

Behaviour difficulties do not necessarily mean that a student has special educational needs. However, where consistent disruptive or withdrawn behaviour, or a noticeable change in behaviour is observed, this could be an indication of unmet SEN and assessments will be carried out to determine whether there are any causal factors. If it is thought that these may be due to housing or family circumstances then an Early Help Assessment may be deemed appropriate.

English as an Additional language and SEN

Where there is cause for concern over the progress of a student with EAL, there is careful consideration by subject teachers and specialist EAL staff to determine whether the lack of progress is due to limitations in the student’s command of  English or if it arises from a special educational need or both. An assessment in the student’s first language may be requested.

Relevant Legislation

This policy has been written with regard to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice 0-25 (2015), part of the Children and Families Act 2014 and the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Act 2001 (which came into effect in September 2002) . It also takes into account the guidance set out by the Local Authority (LA) for SEND practices and procedures, and additionally

The Role of the SENDCo

The Special Needs and Disabilities Coordinator (SENDCo), is responsible for:

  • The strategic direction of SEND provision to ensure all students with SEND receive their full educational entitlement and have access to the whole curriculum
  • The overall monitoring of the delivery of SEND provision to ensure its quality and impact
  • Coordinating the team of staff responsible for the delivery of targeted and specialist provision
  • Supporting whole school  professional development
  • Management of the SEND budget
  • Advising on the graduated approach to providing SEND support
  • Liaising with parents of pupils with SEND
  • Liaising with other schools, educational psychologists, health and social care professionals, and independent or voluntary bodies
  • Being a key point of contact with external agencies, especially the local authority and its support services
  • Liaising with potential next providers of education to ensure a student and their parents are informed about options and a smooth transition is planned
  • Working with the headteacher and school governors to ensure that the school meets its responsibilities under the Equality Act (2010) with regard to reasonable adjustments and access arrangements
  • Ensuring that the school keeps the records of all pupils with SEND up to date

The SENDCo reports directly to the Deputy Head Teacher. The SENDCo has completed the National Award for SEN Coordination.

Overview of SEND Provisions at Co-op Academy Leeds

SEND provision within mainstream settings falls into the following categories:


  • In class support consisting of a joint offer from teachers and support staff working in conjunction, following guidelines from the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) on the effective deployment of support staff and teaching learners with SEND


  • Interventions - Regular targeted withdrawal sessions with the principle aim of accelerating learning or bridging gaps in learning for literacy, numeracy and social skills.


  • Bridge Group - A smaller cohort of students receiving a high level of support; taught in the same class for the majority of the time following a differentiated curriculum with some access to subject specialists. They will  work towards achieving appropriate entry level qualifications and vocational studies  which may include ASDAN and functional skills.
  • Base Provision - An off-site provision offering turnaround placements at Key Stages 3 and 4 for students with Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs. The aim of this provision is to assess any unmet learning needs, support with SEMH difficulties and prepare students for a return to the mainstream classroom.

Information Sharing - SEND information as a “Golden Thread”

To support high quality teaching, information is shared through various forms. All teachers are responsible and accountable for the progress of students in their classes, including those who access additional intervention. In order to support this, every student with SEND will have a Pupil Passport, created in conjunction with students, parents and key staff, utilising information from Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) and specialist reports (where applicable). These will provide staff working with the student with personalised information, including support strategies, baseline assessment data and exam access arrangements and will be reviewed termly. All documents such as Pupil Passports and EHCPs are located on Arbor for accessibility.

Regular training related to effective provision for learners with SEND will be provided to all staff on a termly basis. The impact of training and the effectiveness of provision for students with SEND will be monitored termly by subject leaders and members of the Academy Leadership Team.


An annual review will be conducted for all students with an EHCP, in-line with statutory requirements. The SENDCo is responsible for the co-ordination of this review on behalf of the Local Authority and will ensure that all relevant stakeholders are invited to the meeting and consulted as part of the review.

The Graduated Approach

The academy uses a graduated approach to address the needs of its students with SEND which takes the form of a four-part cycle ‘assess, plan, do, review’

Partnership with outside agencies

The Academy is proactive in identifying sources of support as students develop through their school life. We seek to respond quickly to emerging needs and work closely with other agencies including:

• Educational psychology team

• SEN Statutory Assessment and Provision team (SENSAP)

• Speech and language services

• Specialist Training in Autism and Raising Standards (STAR)

• Social services

• SEND Information and Advice Support Service (SENDIASS)

• Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)

• Deaf and Hearing Impairment Team

• Visual Impairment Team

The SEN Information Report published on the academy’s website can be accessed by clicking on the link here: Our SEND Offer

The Local Offer from the Local Authority can be accessed by clicking on the link here: Leeds Local Offer


Co-op Academy Leeds is an accessible multi-level building which has a number of lifts. No part of the building is inaccessible.

There is access for emergency service vehicles at the front of the building and a member of staff will always meet any requested emergency service at this point.  

In case of emergency, we have a practised evacuation procedure that enables all its occupants to leave the building and make their way to a designated assembly area away from the academy buildings, so that checks can be made to account for everyone on site. All staff are responsible for directing all occupants out of the building and checking that the area that they hold responsibility for is clear in the case of an emergency.

We have fire drills on a regular basis and test the fire alarm weekly.

There are clear evacuation instructions available for all to read which is also easily visually understood on all floors throughout the building for anyone with any reading difficulty, all fire exits are clearly marked on these instructions and the evacuation routes are clearly marked. EVAC chairs are available and staff are fully trained, meaning that all students can evacuate safely.

All doors throughout the Academy are wheelchair accessible and a disabled toilet is available.

The academy publishes an Equality and Accessibility Policy every 3 years which can be found here: Equality and Accessibility Policy 2023/2024

Admission Arrangements

No child will be refused admission to school on the basis of their special educational need, ethnicity or language need. In line with the Equality Act 2010, we will not discriminate against children with disabilities and we will take all reasonable steps to provide effective educational provision. See: Admissions Policy 2025-26

Arrangements for Transition

The Academy provides additional transition days for Year 6 students with SEND in order to prepare them for Key Stage 3.

The academy supports transition to post-16 provision for students with SEND by facilitating additional transition visits to colleges and additional support packages such as “travel training”.

The Academy also ensures students have regular support from our in-house careers advisor to support with post-16 pathways.


If there are any complaints relating to provision for students with SEND these will be dealt with in the first instance by the SENDCo then, if unresolved, by the Head Teacher. The governor with specific responsibility for SEND may be involved if necessary. In the case of an unresolved complaint, the issue should be taken through the general Governors complaints procedure which can be found here: Co-op Academies Trust - Complaints Policy (2023)

Monitoring, Evaluation and Review

The Governing Body will review this policy annually and assess its implementation and effectiveness. The policy will be promoted and implemented throughout the Academy.