Personalised Learning is the title given to the provision for all students at Unity City Academy who have a special educational need, be it moderate or specific learning difficulties, sensory impairment or physical disability. We pride ourselves on ensuring we are inclusive to all of our students and personalised learning reflects our commitment to finding the best possible way of meeting the educational needs of individual children.
The Academy has an extensive range of provisions to meet the broad needs of our students. These include The Retreat, The Lodge and The Globe. In addition to this, we have a High Needs Learning Base that is accessed through Local Authority application.
The wellbeing and character development of our students is underpinned by everything we do - we have a therapy dog ‘Ted McLean’ and he is a much loved member of our SEND department!
In order to establish these excellent practices we have to work closely with families. If you are the parent or guardian of a child with special educational needs and are considering Unity City Academy as your school of choice please contact us to discuss your child’s learning needs.
Middlesbrough (SEND) Local Offer: The Local Offer is a new way of giving children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and their parents or carers information about what activities and support is available in the area where you live.
SENDIASS: Exclusively for Middlesbrough, MAIN provides the SEND Information, Advice and Support Service. This is free, impartial help for children and young people with SEN and/or Disabilities, and for their parents.
Please click here to view the SEND policy.
SEND Information Report
The governing bodies of maintained schools and maintained nursery schools and the proprietors of academy schools must publish information on their websites about the implementation of the governing body’s or the proprietor’s policy for pupils with SEND. The information published must be updated annually and any changes to the information occurring during the year must be updated as soon as possible. The information required is set out in the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014 and must include the following:
The kinds of special educational needs that are provided for
UCA is an inclusive academy which welcomes all students who may have a special educational need or disability (SEND). The Academy is housed in a modern building with full accessibility provision. We have a high needs learning additionally resourced provision which is accessed through Local Authority application.
Cognition and Learning
Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia (SpLD), Moderate Learning Difficulties (MLD), Significant Learning Difficulties (SLD). We have an Additional Resourced Provision for students with identified high needs learning difficulties that is accessed through Local Authority application.
Our academy has an English as an Additional Language Coordinator. Pupils with EAL are not routinely added to the SEND register but are given specific support to ensure they can access learning and the curriculum.
Social, Emotional and Mental Health difficulties
Difficulties can range from anxiety, low-mood, self-harm, bereavement, eating difficulties as well as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Communication and Interaction
Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) including Asperger’s Syndrome.
Sensory and/or Physical needs
Visually impaired (VI), Hearing impaired (HI), Physical Disability (PD)
Policies for identifying children and young people with SEND and assessing their needs, including the name and contact details of the SENDCO (mainstream schools)
The SENDCo at UCA is Miss Julie Mitchell - firstname.lastname@example.org
The SEND administration manager is Mrs Julie Halliday - email@example.com
Information is gathered during Local Authority annual Place Planning meetings, the visits to our Primary Feeder schools at transition points and through conversations with their SENDCos.
We gather information directly from the parents/carers during open evenings or at anytime we may be requested to meet. There are further meetings between parents/carers and academy SENDCO or other appropriate members of staff when necessary.
Data is transferred from primary school to secondary as the student moves. There are annual review meetings for students with Education, Health Care Plans (EHC), formerly known as Statements.
Once students are at UCA, we identify need by screening and baseline assessments, core subject KS2 levels and three data capture points throughout each academic year.
Directors of Learning, in charge of achievement, and attached to each year group, help to review SEND data. We also have a SEND referral system throughout the Academy which allows a referral to be made at any time through the professional judgements of our teaching staff who are often those who best know our students. The SENDCo will investigate and will decide if further, more in-depth assessments, screening or outside agency support is required. Appropriate provision and intervention will then be agreed with parents/carers.
Arrangements for consulting parents of children with SEND and involving them in their child’s education
To help the process of transition from primary to secondary education we liaise closely with our Primary feeder schools and this helps us to ‘get to know’ both the students (with SEND0 and their parents. We attend review meetings throughout Year 6, for students with an EHC plan or identified need, when invited by the primary school.
For students who have joined UCA with an EHC plan we meet with parents at annual reviews and at other points in the year if necessary. Students with an EHC plan may be offered a place in the Additionally Resourced Provision. We offer a package of early transition to ensure the students have a successful and happy transition during year 7.
For all students with SEND regular contact with home is encouraged through Learning Support Assistants who work closely with the students. We also host termly drop in sessions for groups of parents to come into school to share progress, take part in training exercises or seek any advice that they may need.
Additionally our SENDCo, Miss Julie Mitchell is available for parents to contact at any time - firstname.lastname@example.org
Arrangements for consulting young people with SEND and involving them in their education
We actively encourage ‘the student voice’ and their attendance at all parental/outside agency meetings is welcomed. All teachers are teachers of SEND and therefore we expect that work in lessons should reflect individual needs but still provide challenge to engage and ensure the best possible outcomes for all. Teachers and Learning Support Assistants work with students to identify targeted support when required and to measure the impact that this may have had. The overall responsibility for progress lies with the Directors of Learning for respective year groups.
Arrangements for assessing and reviewing children and young people’s progress towards outcomes, including the opportunities available to work with parents and young people as part of this assessment and review
As well as the regular assessment carried out in lessons, UCA has three data capture points each year. Directors of Learning and their respective year group team analyse the data. The analysis will prompt any enrichment, extra curricular activities, interventions or meetings that may be needed.. Directors of Learners are encouraged to consult regularly with the SENDCo and are advised at each data capture point of the intervention and provision in place for each student of SEND.
Social and emotional needs are discussed half-termly at our student welfare meetings, a meeting set up to discuss young people who are vulnerable and to help plan and action intervention to better support their needs.
Arrangements for supporting children and young people in moving between phases of education and in preparing for adulthood. As young people prepare for adulthood outcomes should reflect their ambitions, which could include higher education, employment, independent living and participation in society
Once year 6 applications are received and consultations have been completed, we begin an early transition with those identified students. This transitional period is designed to help students familiarise themselves with our academy through regular visits and meeting of key staff.
We provide 1-1 careers meetings from and throughout KS4 and encourage early transition and supported visits to post-16 providers. Students are given the opportunity to visit as many learning providers as possible and professionals are also invited in to speak with students regarding post-16 options.
Students against our Additionally Resourced High Needs Learning Base have opportunity at the end of KS3 to study for Entry Level Qualifications in English, math and science to provide them with a dual qualification alongside GCSE examinations that may be taken. Entry Level Qualifications can provide a fantastic foundation towards the application of many Post 16 career pathways.
The approach to teaching children and young people with SEND
The approach is inclusive with all students given the opportunity to achieve at the high end of their ability. Quality first teaching by all teachers for students with SEND is the foundation for building a quality learning experience. Within this, our additional provisions, the support of the SENDCo and SEND team as well as any adjustments we may make to suit individual need ensure that our inclusive philosophy is embedded into our daily practice.
How adaptations are made to the curriculum and the learning environment of children and young people with SEND
A broad and varied curriculum aims to meet the needs of all students.
We have an LEA funded Additionally Resourced Provision which affords students with a specialist curriculum model that also offers an Entry Level qualification pathway. GCSE examinations are also considered in KS4 thus allowing for those students with recognised learning difficulties the option to leave our Academy with dual qualifications as they embark on Post 16 choices.
Targeted individual support, small group work and smaller classes with supporting adults are provided for those with greater need and we constantly aim to ensure we get the balance right between these for the student concerned. Within our wider SEND provision, we have developed three key areas to help us continuously try to meet the vast needs of our students with SEND and the ‘Lodge’, ‘Retreat’ and ‘Globe’ facilities ensure a further level of personalisation.
The expertise and training of staff to support children and young people with SEND, including how specialist expertise will be secured
All teachers are teachers of SEND. We use a whole school communication platform that ensures we effectively and clearly inform our teachers of need, strategies and any other useful information we feel is necessary to share.
Professional and continuous development at UCA has been exemplary in working on teaching and learning with a strong emphasis on differentiation and support. Staff are supported by a strong Inclusion Team, primarily staffed by Learning Support Assistants that have been trained in areas of expertise, has researched, in depth, areas of SEND and has delivered training to teaching staff.
The Academy uses its SEND budget to buy in support from a variety of experts and encourages the training of its own staff. We receive ongoing support from our sponsor to review and improve our provision and practice.
Evaluating the effectiveness of the provision made for children and young people with SEN
● Yearly, formal, reviews of Education Health Care Plans
● Teacher assessment and three formal data capture points
● Reviews of targets and outcomes by DOLs, SSLs, teachers and the SEND team
● Twice yearly reading age tests as well as ongoing reading age assessment through the Accelerated Reader programme, CAT testing and Single Word Reading tests to triangulate data
● Targeted assessment by Learning Support Assistants, fed into a central system and used by SENDCo to assess progress and impact of guided interventions
● Ensuring there is a focus on good levels of attendance in school
● Parent coffee mornings held half termly – collation of both student and parent views
● Termly challenge meetings which focus upon the academic progress students with SEND are making
How children and young people with SEND are enabled to engage in activities available with children and young people in the school who do not have SEND
Expectation is that all students will be encouraged to engage in all activities. Where need is high, extra support will be allocated.
Students with SEND achieve equally, and sometimes outshine their non-SEND peers. We value them all equally and support everyone to participate fully by providing extra support/making adjustments where needed.
Support for improving emotional and social development. This should include extra pastoral support arrangements for listening to the views of children and young people with SEND and measures to prevent bullying
Each year group has an established team of staff that work closely with students and included is the role of Student Support Leader (SSL). The SSL provides daily pastoral support to all children and any bullying concerns are dealt with efficiently.
● PSHE Curriculum
● Student Parliament including Student Voice
● Year group Learning Teams including Student Support Leader
● Working partnerships with outside agencies including Reach, Barnados and MIND
● On-site weekly Youth Club
● Education Psychologist
● Close relationships with CAMHS
● School Nurse
How the school involves other bodies, including health and social care bodies, local authority support services and voluntary sector organisations, in meeting children and young people’s SEND and supporting their families
Extensive contact through lead persons in school ensures continued and sustained cooperation between the Academy and multi agencies.
Referrals made through Student Welfare meetings, SENDCo, teaching staff, the Vice Principal and Student Welfare Officer, Ms J.Cairns.
Directors of Learning work operationally and respond to any immediate concerns.
Arrangements for handling complaints from parents of children with SEND about the provision made at the school
All complaints are taken very seriously. Initial contact for a complaint about SEND should be made with the SENDCo – Miss J Mitchell email@example.com
Please contact the Academy direct to request an appointment and allow for you to discuss any concerns you may have.