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Specialist Support Governors’ Report
The Support for Achievement Continuum
At Minsthorpe Community College Specialist Support is part of the Continuum
of Support for Achievement which extends from Primary students to Post 16.
This Continuum covers three tiers of support-Universal Support, Targeted
Support and Specialist Support. Within each tier of support are the various
strands of the Support for Achievement Strategy.
Universal Support includes the entitlement of all students to support, advice
and guidance to maximise their achievement and aspirations.
Targeted Support includes the strands of support for identified students who
require specific intervention at specific times during their learning journey.
Specialist Support includes the strands of support for the students with the
highest level of need, in terms of learning and/or behaviour as well as students
with Special Educational Needs.
The overriding aim of the Support for Achievement Strategy is to raise the
academic achievement and aspirations of all students, by ensuring individuals
receive support, information and guidance, which is well timed and at an
appropriate level and type to meet their needs.
Special Educational Needs
The definition of Special Education Needs (SEN) is as set out in the Special
Educational Needs Code of Practice, November 2002 (DfES 581/2001)“Children
have special education needs if they have a learning difficulty which calls for
special educational provision to be made for them”.
Children have a learning difficulty if they:
a) have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of
children of the same age; or
b) have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of
educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of the same age
in schools within the area of the local education authority.
c) Are under compulsory school age and fall within the definition at (a) or (b)
above or would so do if special educational provision was not made for them.
At Minsthorpe Community College we recognise that special educational needs
students have more in common with other children than differences and that
there is no such thing as a dividing line but rather a continuum of need.
Special Educational Provision is:
“Educational provision which is additional to, or otherwise different from, the
educational provision made generally for children of their age in schools
maintained by the LA, other than special schools, in the area”. (Special
Educational Needs Code of Practice).
It is the responsibility of each teacher in their lessons to differentiate
accordingly to a student’s needs so that they can access the curriculum and
make progress. Teaching students with SEN is a whole College responsibility,
requiring a whole College response in such areas as effective management;
school ethos; the learning environment; Community Dimension; curricular and
pastoral arrangements. All these can help prevent some SEN arising and
minimise others.
The College believes that:
 Every student is an individual.
 Every student has an equal right to care and attention, regardless of
gender, race, social background, physical disability or ability.
 Every student has a variety of educational needs – some of which will be
shared with other students, some of which will be specific to that
 We have a responsibility to provide for the needs of all students as far
as resources will allow.
 The views and wishes of individual students will be taken into account.
 Parents have a vital role to play in supporting the individual student’s
 There is an essential need to work in close co-operation with all agencies
concerned to ensure a multi-agency approach.
 The Governing Body will aim to fulfil its responsibilities as outlined in
paragraph 21, page 11 of the Code of Practice.
The funding of Specialist Support is from the College budget supported by
appropriate funding mechanisms including through the LS devolved and central
budgets for SEN. It is co-ordinated by the Cross Curriculum Team Leader for
Specialist Support under the auspices of the Principal for the maximum benefit
of the students.
SEN Register – The SEN Register is part of the Additional Needs Register and
can be found on the SIMS system.
SEN information, Minsthorpe Support Plans (MSPs) and relevant advice sheets
for individual students can be located on the SIMS system.
Risk Assessments- The LA PG102 Student Risk Assessment is a tool used in
College to ensure the health and safety of students, staff and others. It
evaluates the impact that a student and their situation has upon themselves,
other students and staff and the impact that other students and staff may
have upon the student. Student Risk Assessments are only completed in College
for those students whose behaviour presents a risk to themselves or others and
the intervention that needs to be applied is over and above the standard
preventative measures in College. To ensure that the risk assessment is suitable
and sufficient it should draw upon opinions, advice and guidance from all
Levels of Specialist Support
School Action
School Action (SA) is for students who are having interventions in college that
are additional to or different from those usually provided as part of typical
classroom activities. This is part of the College’s targeted support and can come
through a range of strategies.
School Action Plus
Students that require intervention at the level of School Action Plus (SA+) are
those that despite having interventions in college that are additional to or
different from those usually provided as part of typical classroom have not
made progress and require further support from outside agencies. Having
consulted parents/carers for assessment advice, these students will be
referred for support from external specialists such as:- Learning Support
Service (LSS); Communication Interaction and Access Team (CIAT); Special
Educational Needs Support Services (SENSS – including Hearing Impaired and
Visually Impaired); Education Psychology Service(EPS); Education Welfare
Officers (EWO); Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS); Child
and Adolescent Therapy Services; School Health; Young Offending Team (YOT);
Social Services; Reach; Targeted Youth Support(TYS).
Statement – Statutory Assessment of SEN
Students who have demonstrated significant cause for concern and have
followed any action specifically planned for that student as part of School
Action and School Action Plus for a reasonable period of time without success
will be referred to be considered for statutory assessment by the LA. This will
be in consultation with parents and any external agencies already involved.
Once statemented, the LA will describe the student’s educational needs and set
out any disapplications or modifications to the National Curriculum, together
with details as to how a broad and balanced curriculum is to be maintained. The
LA must ensure that a student is educated in a mainstream school unless that is
incompatible with the efficient education of others and there are no other
reasonable steps which can be taken. LAs must consider parental
Emotional, behavioural and social difficulties
Students who have emotional, behavioural and/or social difficulties are defined
as those that present persistent difficulties whose needs are not met by the
behavioural management techniques usually employed in the College.
These difficulties could present as students being withdrawn or isolated; ‘school
refusers’; disruptive and disturbing; hyperactive and lacking concentration;
having immature social skills; demonstrating challenging behaviour arising from
other complex special needs.
Cognition and Learning; Communication and interaction; sensory and/or
physical difficulties
Students who have communication and interaction; sensory and/or physical
difficulties are students who demonstrate a significantly greater difficulty in
learning or are hindered from making use of educational facilities available for
the majority of children of the same age in the following 3 areas:a) Cognition and learning e.g. Moderate Learning Difficulties; Specific Learning
Difficulties (Dyslexia), dyspraxia.
b) Communication and interaction e.g. Austism or Austistic Spectrum disorders
including Asperger’s; speech and language delay; hearing impairment.
c) Sensory and/or physical difficulties e.g. asthmatics; diabetics; visual
impairment; multi-sensory difficulties; disabilities.
Students are identified as requiring Specialist Support through a number of
means including:
 From the Transfer Information given by previous schools including phase
transfer reviews.
 Information provided by outside agencies such as EPS; SENSS; EWO;
Special Schools/Medical Services.
 Information given by parents/carers/Social Services.
 Cross Curriculum Team Leaders (CCTL - Head of Year) in consultation
with Assistant Cross Curriculum Team Leader for Behaviour Support,
using information from classroom teachers and tutors and referrals to
the MID room.
 Joint Consultation Meetings (JCM) following advice from Wakefield Pupil
Referral Services.
 Self-referral by students, followed by consultation with Cross Curriculum
Team Leaders
 Professional concern from other members of the Specialist Support
 Assessments carried out with students at the time they are admitted.
Alternative Curriculum
At the end of Key Stage 3, a number of students are identified and recruited to
the Darwin pathway which delivers a curriculum that offers a mix of core GCSE
qualifications, mixed with life skills and kinaesthetic qualifications that will
meet their needs. The students on this pathway are identified through their low
levels of literacy and therefore their difficulties in managing the complex and
technical language of the traditional GCSE route. These students are then given
a careful considered transition into Post 16 and the further life skills or
vocational pathways they are likely to encounter. There is a great deal of extra
adult support and smaller groupings on this pathway.
Alternative Provision
A small number of students are guided on to Alternative Provision (AP) packages
where they are involved in offsite vocational education alongside an onsite
educational package. The College works very closely with a range of providers in
order to quality assure the packages provided for students.
The Transition Programme
Minsthorpe Community College works very closely in taking the leading role with
Primary Schools, parents and other relevant agencies to set up and deliver The
Transition Programme. Students in need of Specialist Support are identified in
Year 5 to be involved in the Programme commencing at the beginning of Year 6.
Around 70 – 80 students take part. The programme involves Parents’
Information Evening; visits to Primary School by Minsthorpe and other Agencies
staff. Inter-agency meetings; specific appointments for individual students and
parents to visit the college; group visits to the college; informal social gathering
for parents and students.
The SEN register
There is 2.5% of the school population allocated a statement compared to 2.8%
Year group
Year 7
Year 8
Year 9
Year 10
Year 11
Post 16
School action
School action plus
ST1 – 2012-13
Year 7
Year 8
Year 9
Year 10
Year 11
ST 2 – 2012-13
Year 7
Year 8
Personalised timetable
Speech and Language Support
ST 6 – 2012-13
Year 9
Year 10
Year 11
The FLEX Curriculum - 2012 – 13
Year 9
Year 10
Year 11
Access arrangements for examinations – 02/14
Year 10
Year 11
Targets for 2013/2014
To maximise achievement Specialist Support will focus on the following targets:
 Access arrangements training for students and staff.
 Wh to provide information on CA where SA+ students require further
intervention and target these areas for support.
 Meet with Closing The Gap TLR holders at APA points to target students
below expected progress.
 Increase number of AP students achieving 3 levels of progress in English
and Maths.
 To continue to achieve high pass rates for all qualifications by adopting a
consistent approach to curriculum delivery and moderation.
 Peter Atherton to provide data for VA so analysis can take place to
identify students requiring further qualifications.
 Liaise with year offices and EWO over concerns of attendance of
Quality of Teaching
 Whole team to take part as volunteers on Securing Good to improve the
Quality of Teaching in the department.
 Marking training and a student friendly marking policy to further develop
effective processes.
 Introduction of a homework schedule to ensure a fair and consistent
delivery is in place.
 To introduce a student voice facility to ensure that their views are taken
into account and acted on.
Quality of Achievement Support
 Investigate tracker for all students receiving TA support.
 Introduce numeracy intervention into St2.
 Embed tracker for meetings with EWO to demonstrate effectiveness of
 Introduce TA framework and QA.
 TA training that develops relevant knowledge, expertise and skills.
 To introduce transition sessions for students in y7 who have been part of
the transition programme y6 to check how they are settling in.
 Improve attendance of AP students.
 To introduce transition work for identified Darwin pathway students to
familiarise them with the portfolio based work.
 To purchase ICT equipment and software for identified students to
enable them to access the curriculum.
 To investigate opportunities for ICT training for TA’s.
 To increase the number of visits to Post 16 providers for students.
Behaviour and safety
 Introduce weekly behaviour report to support early identification of
students demonstrating concerns.
 EWO tracker for at risk students due to poor attendance.
 More consistency required for the students benefits due to their
vulnerabilities and the growing curriculum.
 Liaising with year office and families over concerns to ensure early
intervention can have impact on student’s behaviour.
 Effort grades to be better understood to enable accurate tracking of
student progress and application.
Leadership and Management
 To investigate introducing a nurture group.
 SEN Training for staff to increase knowledge of staff that impacts
through L&T.
 Achievement for all tracker to be set up that identifies underperforming
 Schemes of work to be shared by all members of staff through
 Moderation training for relevant members of staff to refine processes.
 QA procedures being used effectively to support staff development.
 Leaders at all levels have a consistent approach that positively impacts on
students outcomes.