Inclusive practice, including SEND Support is of upmost importance to the staff at Grace Academy Darlaston, which is why the SENCO and learning support team regularly support, monitor and assess our students to ensure they all receive outstanding provisions for their academic and social progress. 

At GAD, we collect progress data regularly for every child, in every subject. This data is collected through a system called Go4Schools, on which every pupil has a unique profile. The SENCo analyses the progress data, following which pupils may be more closely monitored or supported.  

The Academy is committed to ensuring we meet the needs of all students, therefore, no one child or young person’s provision is the same. We have robust referral and support systems in place and liaise closely with a range of outside agencies, including (but not exhaustive to), CAMHS, Educational Psychology, Virtual Schools, Speech and Language, Occupational Therapy, School Nursing and many more. 

The SEND Policy and Information Policy (in the hyperlink above) provides in-depth information on the provisions available at Grace Academy, however, there is a clear graduated approach as students are supported in ‘waves’: 

1. Additional Needs 

Pupils who are not making as much progress as expected across the curriculum feature as ‘Monitoring’ This also includes pupils with English as an Additional Language; pupils who are Looked After or subject to involvement from Children’s Services or who may require additional support as a result of adverse childhood experiences.  

This enables us to ‘keep a close eye’ on pupils at risk of not making progress, and allows us to start liaising with teaching colleagues about how to make the best provision possible in their classroom for these pupils. 

2. School Support 

Pupils who may benefit from more targeted teacher intervention are placed at ‘School Support’. These pupils are supported through High Quality Teaching. Teachers will plan accordingly with students’ individual differences at the heart of their preparation, delivery and assessment. The teacher may offer enrichment classes, or the pupil may access some internal support interventions such as reading; small group interventions or additional in class support or resources.  

If your child is at School Support you can expect to meet the Learning Support Team at least once per year, or more regularly should this be necessary, as well as regular liaison with teachers, head of year and pastoral staff through parents evening and student reports.  

3. SEN Support 

At SEN Support, pupils feature on the Academy’s SEND list. This means that they need some external or additional support on top of the quality teaching that they receive in order to make expected progress. 

If we feel that a child would benefit from SEN Support, we may invite you and your child to complete an Individual Support Plan (ISP) with us. This document is developed using expert advice from appropriate stakeholders and then shared with teaching staff on the staff portal. It details how teaching staff may adapt their teaching methods to meet your child’s needs, and informs staff of additional support your child is in receipt of. 

We will liaise with external agencies as detailed in the Information Report in order to facilitate the best quality intervention to help your child progress.  

If your child is at SEN Support you can expect to meet the Learning Support Team three times per year (termly) to review the ISP and identify whether any changes are required. 

If SEN Support is not providing adequate support to help your child to progress, in partnership with you we may decide to apply to the local authority for an Education Health Care Plan in order to access further funding and support for your child. 

4. EHCPs 

Students who have an Education and Health Care Plan will receive intensive support across the curriculum and during social time founded on their EHCP as drafted by the local authority using a range of expert advice.  

The EHCP will be formally reviewed annually in addition to the termly ISP reviews, liaising closely with key agencies. 

Parental/ Carer Engagement 

Parents and carers are invited to attend the reviews as described above but we hold Parental Networking Events too for a more informal opportunity to meet the team and parents / carers of children with additional needs. 

All students monitored by the SENCO are assigned a key worker from the learning support team, who parents, carers, the young person and outside agencies can contact and they closely monitor students’ progress in all aspects.  

At GAD we welcome feedback from parents and carers who are welcome to contact the SENCO by email or telephone 0121 568 3300.