Special Needs

The Brunts Academy Local Offer

Find out more about  The Brunts Academy Local Offer

The Brunts Academy Annual SEND Report for the Local Offer 2019-20


What kinds of special educational needs does the school/setting make provision for?

The Brunts Academy is committed to providing an appropriate and high quality education to all students. We believe that all students, including those identified as having special educational needs, are entitled to good quality learning and teaching and a broad and balanced curriculum, which is accessible to them. The Brunts Academy is fully committed to inclusion. We constantly seek to improve and develop cultures, policies and practices that include all learners and we aim to foster a sense of community and belonging to all. 

How does the school know if pupils need extra help and what should I do if I think that my child may have special educational needs?

When a parent/carer is concerned that their child may have a special educational need, this should be discussed initially with their Scholastic Excellence Leader at a pre-arranged meeting and the SENCO will be informed and become involved as necessary. We acknowledge that all students are individuals and have different learning needs, some requiring additional support to help meet their needs or improve their learning. Our SENCO co-ordinates SEN provision, liaising with parents and carers, students, school staff and specialist advisers from the Local Authority, health services and other external agencies. When identifying students with SEN, we follow the clear guidelines set out in the SEN Code of Practice 2014. We continually monitor and assess the progress of all our students and where expected progress is not being made, interventions are put in place to work on the identified difficulties and a graduated approach is followed, as detailed in our SEN policy. Interventions may be literacy and numeracy based, or be to support a student’s social, mental and emotional health and well-being, as well as specific needs such as ASD or ADHD.

Our SENCO, supported by the SEN Scrutiny Board member and Principal regularly reviews the SEN support in place and how this is helping the students within our school. Through assessing, planning, observing, monitoring and reviewing a student’s needs, staff work together with the SENCO to put in place appropriate support and provision to meet the identified difficulties. We welcome parental support at all stages. Precise targets are set and these are recorded on an Educational Plan (EP), a Structured Conversation Proforma or in a Pastoral Support Plan (PSP). 


How will both the school and I know how my child is doing and how will the school help me to support their learning?

We encourage parents and carers to discuss any concerns they have as and when they occur, in person with their child’s tutor or Scholastic Excellence Leader. Parents and carers are also invited to contact our SENCO or Principal whenever they wish by making an appointment through the Executive Assistant on 01623 623149. We closely monitor the progress of all students regularly and we also track them termly. We hold parents’ evenings to discuss how students are doing and all parents and carers will receive a written report, detailing progress within all areas of learning.

Where a student has an Education Plan (EP), Pastoral Support Plan (PSP), or Structured Conversation Targets, these will be reviewed at least termly, new targets agreed with the student, parents and carers and also the adults working with the student in school. Copies of relevant paperwork will be shared with all involved, including parents and carers.

The subject teachers remain responsible for working with students on a day-to-day basis. They will retain responsibility even where the interventions may involve group or one-to one teaching away from the main subject teacher when related to that subject. They will work closely with Faculty Achievement Assistants, Teaching Assistants and /or relevant specialist staff to plan and assess the impact of support and interventions and links with classroom teaching. Support with further assessment of the student’s strengths and weaknesses, problem solving and advising of the implementation of effective support will be provided by the SENCO. Classroom based learning is adapted for all students in our school, work is differentiated to meet the needs of the students in line with quality first teaching and teachers work hard to ensure work is planned and delivered offering the right amount of support and challenge for all students. Some individual targets are supported within lessons by the class teacher or a Teaching Assistant, others may be supported outside the classroom through a specific intervention programme which may be delivered by a trained Teaching Assistant.

Students with SEN will be given access to the curriculum through the specialist SEN provision provided by the school as is necessary, as far as possible, in line with the wishes of their parents and the needs of the individual. Every effort will be made to educate students with SEN alongside their peers in a mainstream classroom setting. Where this is not possible, the SENCO will consult with the student’s parents for other flexible arrangements to be made. In special circumstances, arrangements may be made to review the school curriculum for an SEN student, to facilitate their needs and ensure that they are accessing a programme of study that is suitable for their ability. We provide interesting learning environments throughout The Brunts Academy that support and reflect the work being covered from Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 5.

Some students will need additional support for a set period of time to help meet their needs or improve their learning. The decision to do this is made by the school and is based on a variety of factors including academic progress or additional assessments carried out by school staff or other professionals. This additional support is monitored closely and discussed with parents and the student where appropriate. Some students will need additional support to ensure they have a smooth transition into the academy or as they move through school into different years, key stages or classes. Some students require support for a longer period of time to ensure they can access the curriculum effectively and be fully included in classroom learning and school events. Support will be planned by school staff and where appropriate by external professionals. Parents and carers will be kept informed about this support and it will be discussed at termly review meetings or more frequently if needed.

We provide a wide variety of extra-curricular activities, visits and residential experiences and believe that all students should have the opportunity to participate in these to help develop their cultural capital. Prior to any trips, a pre-visit is made by staff and a risk assessment is carried out which considers the needs of all students. Where necessary, we meet with parents and carers to discuss any additional support which may be required. We aim to ensure all students have the chance to be part of all activities whether inside or outside the classroom, with reasonable adjustments made where needed in line with the Disability Discrimination Act.

What support will there be for my child/young person’s overall well-being?

The well-being of all our students is a priority. Where appropriate, specific plans are in place to support well-being in consultation with students and their parents and carers, usually this will be through a ‘Structured Conversation’ and targets will be agreed. We follow guidance from trained health professionals to meet additional health, medical and personal care needs of individual students and school staff are trained as appropriate to meet these needs, including members of the Well-Being Team who will liaise with agencies who may be able to offer support. Where a student has complex needs requiring complex arrangements, they may undergo a Statutory Assessment Process known as an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP). This can be requested by school, parents and carers or other professionals. This will occur where the complexity of need or additional clarity around the needs of the student are such that a multi-agency approach to assessing that need, planning provision and identifying resources is required.

Our SENCO Ms Charlotte Davies can be contacted through the school office, via telephone on 01623 623149 or by emailing staff@brunts.evolvetrust.org

We aim to keep all academy staff up to date with relevant training and developments in teaching practice in relation to the needs of students with SEN. Our academy operates a range of training programmes for all staff, including teachers and support staff. INSET days are used to train staff on changes to legislation and to develop skills in a wide range of areas. We also participate in local authority based training. This allows staff to update their knowledge of practices surrounding safeguarding and current issues for example self-harming, as well as facilitating training for groups of staff, including TAs and NQTs which offer more focused knowledge and expertise needed within specific areas or phases of teaching. The SENCO attends relevant SEN courses, Family SEN meetings and facilitates/signposts relevant SEN focused external training opportunities for all staff. We recognise the need to train all our staff on SEN issues and the SENCO, with the senior leadership team, ensures that training opportunities are matched to academy development priorities and those identified through the use of provision management. The School’s and Families Specialist Services also support with training, including topics such as support for students with autism, PIVATS, Pre-Key Stage Standards, Self-Harm, Calmer Classrooms, trauma and attachment and The Incredible Five Point Scale. 


Where can I access further information?

We have close links with a wide range of outside agencies who offer specific guidance and support to our school and families.

These include:

  • The Educational Psychology Service
  • Schools and Families Specialist Services – includes those for Cognition and Learning, Communication and Interaction, Sensory Impairments and Physical Disabilities
  • Complex Case Resolution Team
  • Health Services including The Healthy Family Team, Small Steps, Paediatricians and Child and Adult Mental Health services (CAMHS)
  • Social Care and Local Children’s Centres
  • The Family Service previously known as Targeted Support
  • REAL Education (Re-thinking Engagement & Approaches to Learning)
  • First Class Tailored Solutions / Polly Teach
  • Clearways Counselling.
  • The school has a range of specialist SEN facilities in place.

    These are:

  • Adaptions to physical environments (lifts, lighting, wheelchair access, tactile steps, hand rails)
  • Assistive Technology
  • Increased access to the curriculum and assistance during examinations
  • School transport as provided by the Local Authority dependent on individual needs
  • Where possible, we provide equipment that is deemed necessary to support individuals in school. We aim to ensure that all activities and equipment are accessible to all students, parents and carers and visitors to our school. Reasonable adjustments have been made to improve accessibility for all and our school site is wheelchair accessible. There are also disabled toilet facilities including space to accommodate changing. Risk assessments and safe systems of work are in place to ensure the safety of all staff and students. We use clear signs around the site and visual timetables where appropriate for students who may need additional support accessing the school site. For more information see also our Access Policy located on the school website.

    One of the academy’s main objectives is to work with parents to gain a better understanding of their children, 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 school as a whole, and the effectiveness of the SEN policy and the school’s SEN work. The school follows the graduated response to identifying and supporting students with SEN as outlined in the SEN Code of Practice.

    We are continually assessing, planning, implementing and reviewing our approach to teaching all students. If staff are concerned about a student in school then the subject teacher will discuss these concerns with the pastoral team and Well-Being team, including the SENCO and we aim to identify these concerns as early as possible. Following this initial discussion if targets are agreed, these will be recorded on an Education Plan, a Pastoral Support Plan or on a Structured Conversation Proforma and then if appropriate, the student will be added to the school’s SEN register. Parents and carers are encouraged to be fully involved in these targets and helping the student to achieve them. They will be reviewed at least termly either in a meeting with the tutor or Scholastic Excellence Leader, at a planned parents’ evening or at a full review meeting, possibly involving subject teachers, parents and carers, SENCO and where possible other adults and agencies working with the student.

    Wherever possible we involve the student in the setting and reviewing of their targets and provision. We aim to create a school environment where students feel safe to voice their opinions of their own needs. This means providing regular one to one discussions between students and their tutors as well as SEN review meetings. Student participation is a right and we actively encourage all students to participate fully in all aspects of school life. This will be reflected in decision-making but also encouraged through wider opportunities for participation in school life e.g. membership of the School Council, participation in student panel meetings, feedback opportunities as part of faculty reviews and also co-construction of schemes of work. Our students are fully involved in the setting of targets and the writing of their EP or Pastoral Support Plan and copies of these are given to the parents and carers to share with the student at home. Where appropriate, the student will be invited to attend the review meeting or part of it.

    If parents and carers have any concerns at all regarding the progress of their child, the provision in place or believe they may have a SEN, they are encouraged to talk to the child’s tutor, Scholastic Excellence Leader or the SENCO. A meeting can be arranged to fully share and discuss these concerns, resulting in actions being agreed. If parents feel their concern is not resolved through this process, they should refer to our Complaints Procedure, which can be found on our school website.

    This responsibility is delegated to the school SENCO by the Trust Scrutiny Board. Where it is felt by the school SENCO, in liaison with parents and carers and subject teachers that it is necessary to involve other professionals outside the school setting for advice or support around a specific student’s need, the relevant referral forms will be completed which require parental consent. We are however aware some of these agencies may have extensive waiting lists. Support could be around advice for the parent and carer in the home or subject teachers in school or may involve direct work with the student. On occasions the Trust Scrutiny Board may decide to employ specialist services in school. This current school year 2019-2020 we are employing a Student Support Worker with specialist training to work in school to support the students and their social, emotional and mental health needs, as well as the SENCO, Well-Being Team and also the families of students with SEN and other complex needs.

    Our SENCO, Well-Being Team and Student Support Worker can offer information regarding agencies and organisations who can offer support, as well as offering parents and carers information at Parents’ evenings throughout the school year. Parents and carers can also gain important advice and support from Ask Us Nottinghamshire www.askusnotts.org.uk or by contacting the Independent Parental Special Advice team (www.ipsea.org.uk). Furthermore, the Nottinghamshire County Council Local Offer is a comprehensive directory of local services, opportunities and access for children and young people with SEN and disabilities in the area. This can be accessed at www.nottinghamshire.sendlocaloffer.org.uk.

    Transferring to a new school or setting can be an anxious time for both students and their parents and carers. We encourage visits to our school before applying and careful planning is made for all children but for children with SEN or a disability, an extensive transition plan may be put in place. SEN students in feeder primary schools will be offered additional visits to aid their transition to the academy, alongside the standard transition arrangements for all students. This will be facilitated by the Well-Being Team, as well as the feeder primaries and their TA support staff, to ensure that students feel safe and reassured about their move to secondary school. Early discussions will also be held with parents and carers, the setting they are coming from and any agencies who are providing existing support. A transition book or social story maybe written for the student to use at home, this may include photographs of the building, adults working with them and key times of the school day. The tutor will also be able to facilitate support through a tutor welcome pack and may task other responsible students within the tutor group to take on the role of a buddy.

    We carefully plan for all students moving to significant key stages, for example in Year 9 SEN students, as part of their termly reviews, will be supported to consider career choices and conversations start early to plan transition into post-16 education or work based training. Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) must include focus on outcomes from the start and specifically from Year 9 for preparation for adulthood, which will be considered when the annual review takes place. Students are also supported as they complete Year 11 and a transition programme is in place for students who intend to apply to continue to study at the academy as part of the sixth form.

    In the academy we aim to prepare all students for adulthood and develop independence to take a full and active part in society, including a broad range of subjects covered as part of our PSHE programme which covers topics such as health, emotions, personal hygiene, finance and budgets and many more relevant issues. Greater focus is placed on transition planning in Key Stage 4, from school to further education and beyond into adulthood, focusing on four positive outcomes:

  • Pathways to Employment – supported internships, work skills etc.
  • Independent Living – having choice and control over support and accommodation
  • Community Participation – getting involved in the wider community, volunteering etc.
  • Advice and information for young people in their own right, as well as parents – putting the student at the centre of decision making.
  • External agencies may become involved to support the preparation for adulthood and students with an ECHP will have annual reviews until the age of 25 whilst in education or training. Our careers advisor can assist with applications and work experience placements and our SENCO, as well as the information on the Local Offer Website, can recommend agencies and organisations who can help support students and their families as they prepare for adulthood.

    This information for the Local Offer has been written as required by Section 65(3) (a) of the SEN (Information) Regulations and links to the Local Authority Local Offer. Further information can be accessed by:

  • Reading the academy's full SEN policy - available on our website http://www.brunts.evolvetrust.org
  • Nottinghamshire County Council website - SEND Local Offer www.nottinghamshire.sendlocaloffer.org.uk
  • Arranging an appointment to come and see us - please contact the school office by telephoning 01623 623149 or emailing staff@brunts.evolvetrust.org