SEND Contribution to Local Offer

Swindon Academy is an all-through academy for children aged 2-19 years.  Swindon Academy is free to attend, with places open to pupils of all abilities.

At Swindon Academy, children are identified as having Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) through a variety of ways including the following:

  • Liaison with previous setting
  • Child performing below age-related levels
  • Concerns raised by parent
  • Concerns raised by teacher
  • Liaison with external agencies
  • Diagnosis through paediatrician
Who should I contact if I am considering whether my child should join the academy?

Contact the school admin office to arrange to meet the Headteacher/Assistant Principal or SENDCO’s, who will willingly discuss how the school could meet your child’s needs.

What are the different types of support available for children with SEND in Swindon Academy?

Quality First Teaching

At Swindon Academy, the teacher has the highest possible expectations for all pupils in their class. 

The teacher input via excellent, targeted classroom teaching is known as Quality First Teaching. 

Different ways of teaching are in place so that all children are fully involved in the learning in class. 

Specific strategies that may have been suggested by the SENDCO’s or other agencies are in place to support your child’s learning. 

Your child’s teacher will carefully track your child’s progress and will decide if your child has any gaps in their understanding or learning.  If this is the case, extra support will be in place to help them make the best possible progress.

We are an inclusive school; we welcome and celebrate diversity.  All staff believe that having high self-esteem is crucial to a child’s well-being.  We have a caring, understanding team looking after our children.

The class/subject teacher has overall responsibility for the pastoral, medical and social care of every child in their class.  If further support is required the class/subject teacher liaises with the SENDCO’s for further advice and support.

Wave one - Specific group work with in a smaller group of children.

This group, often called Intervention groups by schools, may be:

  • Run in the classroom or outside.
  • Run by a teacher or most often a Teaching assistant who has had training to run these groups.

SEND Code of Practice stage

When a child is SEND it means they have been identified by the class/subject teacher/SENDCO’s as currently needing some extra assessment in school.

For your child this would mean:

He / she will engage in group sessions with specific targets to help him/her to make more progress.

This type of support is available for any child who has specific gaps in their understanding of a subject/area of learning.

Wave Two

Specialist groups run by outside agencies e.g Speech and Language therapy OR  Occupational therapy groups AND/OR Individual support for your child as necessary.

On the new SEND Code of Practice, your child will be placed at either SEND, Statement or Education Health and Care Plan.  This means they have been identified by the class/subject teacher/SENDCO’s as needing some extra specialist support from a professional outside the school. This may be from:

  • Local Authority central services such as the ASD Outreach Team or Sensory Service (for students with a hearing or visual need);
  • Outside agencies such as the Speech and Language Therapy (SALT) Service, Educational Psychology, TAMHs, NCOT, Community Paediatrician and the Physical advisory team;
  • Swindon Academy has an internal specialist provision for behavioural needs from key stage 2 and above.

For your child this would mean:

  • Your child will have been identified by the class/subject teacher/SENDCO’s (or you will have raised your worries) as needing more specialist input instead of or in addition to quality first teaching and intervention groups.
  • You will be asked to come to a meeting to discuss your child’s progress and help plan possible ways forward.
  • You will be asked to give your permission for the school to refer your child to a specialist professional e.g a Speech and Language Therapist or Educational Psychologist. This will help the school and yourself understand your child’s particular needs better and be more able to support them in school.

The specialist professional will work with your child to understand their needs and make recommendations, which may include:

  • Making changes to the way your child is supported in class e.g some individual support or changing some aspects of teaching to support them better;
  • Support to set better targets which will include their specific expertise;
  • A group run by school staff under the guidance of the outside professional e.g a social skills group;
  • A group or individual work with an external professional.

The school may suggest that your child needs some agreed individual support in school. They will tell you how the support will be used and what strategies will be put in place.

Wave three - Specified support

This is usually provided via a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).  This means your child will have been identified by the class/subject teacher/SENDCO’s as needing a higher level of individual or small group teaching which cannot be provided from the budget available to the school.  At this stage, an Early Help Record will be completed if this is not already in place.

Your child may also need specialist support in school from a professional outside the school. This may be from:

Local Authority central services such as the ASD Outreach Team or Sensory Service (for students with a hearing or visual need);
Outside agencies such as the Speech and Language Therapy (SALT) Service.

For your child this would mean:

  • The school (or you) can request that the Local Authority carry out a statutory assessment of your child’s needs. This is a legal process, which sets out the support that will be provided for your child.
  • The academy will send the request to the Local Authority, who will decide whether they think your child’s needs are complex enough to need a statutory assessment.  If this is the case, they will ask you and all professionals involved with your child to write a report outlining your child’s needs.  If they do not think your child needs this, they will ask the academy to continue with the support at the category of SEN.
  • After reports have been sent, the Local Authority will decide if your child’s needs are severe, complex and lifelong.  If this is the case, they will write a Statement of Special Educational Needs or Disabilities or an EHC Plan. The Statement or EHC Plan will outline how the support should be used and what strategies must be put in place. It will also have long and short-term goals for your child.
  • An additional adult may be used to support your child with whole class learning, run individual programmes or run small groups including your child.

This type of support is available for children with specific barriers to learning that cannot be overcome through Quality First Teaching and intervention groups.

How can I let the school know I am concerned about my child's progress in school?

If you have concerns about your child’s progress, you should initially speak to your child’s class/subject teacher/subject teacher.  You could also approach the Headteacher or the SENDCO’s with your concerns.  We offer an open door policy where you are welcome any time to make an appointment to meet with either the class/subject teacher or the SENDCO’s to discuss how you child is getting on.  We believe that your child’s education should be a partnership between parents and teachers and therefore we aim to keep communication channels open and communicate regularly, especially if your child has complex needs.  

How is extra support allocated to children as they move through the school?

The school budget, received from Swindon Borough Council, includes money for supporting children with SEND. We ensure that all children who have SEND have their needs met to the best of their ability with the funds available.   We have a team of teaching assistants who are funded from the SEN budget and deliver programmes to meet groups of children’s needs. The budget is allocated on a needs basis.  

The children that have the most complex needs are given the most support.The Headteacher decides on the budget for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in consultation with governors, on the basis of needs in the school.The Headteacher and the SENDCO’s discuss all the information they have about SEND in the school, including:

  • the children getting extra support already;
  • the children needing extra support;
  • the children who have been identified as not making as much progress as would be expected.

A decision will then be made regarding the resources/training and support is needed.

The class/subject teacher alongside the SENDCO’s will discuss the child’s needs and appropriate support. Different children will require different levels of support and this will be discussed through on-going liaison with parents.

All resources/training and support are reviewed regularly and changes made as needed.

How will the school let me know if they have any concerns about my child's learning in school?

If your child is identified as not making progress or if there are any other concerns, the school will set up a meeting to discuss this with you in more detail and to:

  • Listen to any concerns that you may have as well;
  • Plan any additional support that your child may need to receive;
  • Discuss with you any referrals to outside professionals to support your child’s learning or behaviour;
  • Phone calls home, progress review days (PRD), parent meetings and structured conversations.
Who are the other people providing services to children with an SEN in this school?

Directly funded by the school:

  • SENCO’s
  • Inclusion assistants for behaviour and learning
  • Inclusion assistants for children and families
  • Lead teaching assistants
  • Higher level teaching assistants)
  • School counsellor
  • Educational psychology service
  • TaMHS

From the Local Authority we have access to the following:

  • Autism Outreach Service
  • Sensory Service for children with visual or hearing needs
  • Dyslexia Advisory Team
  • Speech and Language Therapy (provided by Health but paid for by the Local Authority)
  • School nurse
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Physical Advisory Team
How are teachers at the academy helped to work with children with SEND and what training do they have?
  • The SENDCO’s job is to support the class/subject teacher in planning for children with SEND.
  • The academy has a training plan for all staff to improve the teaching and learning of children including those with SEND. This includes whole school training on SEND issues such as ASD and speech and language difficulties.
  • Individual teachers and support staff attend training courses run by outside agencies that are relevant to the needs of specific children in their class e.g. from the ASD Outreach service, Educational Psychologist and the school nursing team.
How will the teaching be adapted for my child with SEND?
  • Class/subject teachers plan lessons according to the specific needs of all groups of children in their class, and will ensure that your child’s needs are met.
  • Specially trained support staff can adapt the teachers planning to support the needs of your child where necessary.
  • Specific resources and strategies are used to support your child individually and in groups.
  • Planning and teaching will be adapted on a daily basis if needed to meet your child’s learning needs.
  • All work within class is pitched at an appropriate level so that all children are able to access according to their specific needs.  Typically, this might mean that in a lesson there would be five different levels of work set for the class.  However, on occasions this can be differentiated individually.  The benefit of this type of differentiation is that all children can access a lesson and learn at their level.
How will we measure the progress of your child in school?
  • Your child’s progress is continually monitored by his/her class/subject teacher.
  • His/her progress is reviewed formally every term and a report given concerning reading, writing, numeracy and science.
  • The class/subject teacher continually assesses each child and notes the areas where they are improving and where further support is required.
  • At the end of each key stage, all children are required to be formally assessed using Standard Assessment Tests; SATS/CATS/GCSE’s and A-levels. This is something the government requires all schools to do and are the results that are published nationally.
  • Children who are at the stage SEN or Statement on the code of practice will have an IEP/INP, which will be reviewed every progress review day, with your involvement, and the plan for the next term made.
  • The progress of children with a statement of SEND/ EHC Plan is formally reviewed at an Annual Review with all adults involved with the child’s education.
  • The SENCO’s will also check that your child is making good progress within any individual work and in any group that they take part in.
What support do we have for you as a parent of child with an SEND?
  • The class/subject teacher is regularly available to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns you may have and to share information about what is working well at home and school so similar strategies can be used.
  • The SENDCO’s are available to meet with you to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns/worries you may have.
  • All information from outside professionals is discussed with you with the person involved directly, or where this is not possible, in a report.
  • IEP’s/INP’s will be reviewed with your involvement each progress review day (PRD).
  • Homework may be adjusted as needed to your child’s individual needs.
  • A home/school contact book may be used to support communication with you, when this has been agreed to be useful for you and your child.
How is Swindon Academy accessible to children with SEND?
  • The buildings are accessible to children with physical disability.
  • The school site is wheelchair accessible with a disabled toilet large enough to accommodate changing.
  • We ensure that equipment used is accessible to all children regardless of their needs. We provide aids and resources to support learning.
  • There are strategies for the use of personal medication.
  • We use individual protocols for children with significant medical needs and allergies.
  • There is access to the school nurse.
  • We have individual support plans for pupils with any medical needs
  • All children are included in all parts of the curriculum and we aim for all children to be included on school trips. We provide the necessary support to ensure that this is successful.
  • Risk assessments are carried out prior to any off-site activity to ensure no-one’s health and safety will be compromised. In the unlikely event that it is considered unsafe for a child to take part in an activity, then alternative activities, which cover the same curricular areas, will be provided in school.
How will Swindon Academy support your child when they are leaving this school or moving to another class?

We recognise that transitions can be difficult for a child with SEND and take steps to ensure that any transition is a smooth as possible.

If your child is moving child to another school:

  • We will contact the school SENDCO and ensure he/she knows about any special arrangements or support that need to be made for your child.
  • We will make sure that all records about your child are passed on as soon as possible and all needs are discussed and understood.
  • For children with SEND, we will arrange further visits to assist with the acclimatisation of the new surroundings.
  • We may write social stories with children if transition is potentially going to be difficult.

When moving classes in school:

  • Information is passed to the new class/subject teacher in advance and a planning meeting takes place with the new teacher. All IEPs are shared with the new teacher.  We liaise closely with staff when receiving and transferring children to different classes or between primary sites.
  • If your child would be helped by a book to support them understand moving on then it will be made for them.

In Year 6:

  • The SENDCO’s will discuss the specific needs of your child with the SENDCO’s of their secondary school and attend the Step-Up Week.
  • Your child will take part in focused learning about aspects of transition to support their understanding of the changes ahead.
  • Where possible, your child will visit their new school on several occasions and in some cases, staff from the new school will visit your child in this school.

Post 16 Transition

  • Year 11 students with a statement or an EHCP, all have a MOP (moving on plan) which is sent to the Local Authority with the Annual Review paperwork.  This explains what support needs to be put in place when the student moves into Further Education.
  • Some local colleges of Further Education will attend the final year 11 review meetings to meet with students in order to ensure that their needs are met when they leave school.
  • Visits to colleges are sometimes arranged for students with SEND, to ensure a smooth transition.

Students moving into Swindon Academy Sixth Form will receive support at the SENDCO’s discretion according to the students need and the provision which is outlined in the statement or EHCP.

Who are the best people to talk to at the academy about my child's difficulties with learning/Special Educational Needs or disability (SEND)?

Please feel free to talk to Headteachers, SENDCO’s, the Vice Principal for student support and behaviour, College Managers or Inclusion Assistants. 

  • Our SENDCO’s oversee all support and progress of any child requiring additional support across the school.
  • Class/subject teachers will oversee, plan and work with each child with SEN in their class to ensure progress.
  • There may be a teaching assistant working with your child either individually or as part of a group if this is seen as necessary by the class/subject teacher or SENDCO’s.

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Provision

At Swindon Academy, we believe that all children and young people are entitled to an education that enables them to make progress so that they:

  • Achieve their best
  • Become confident individuals leading fulfilling lives, and
  • Make a successful transition into adulthood, whether into employment, further or higher education or training

Every teacher is a teacher of every child or young person including those with SEND. At Swindon Academy we endeavour to achieve maximum inclusion of all children (including vulnerable learners) whilst meeting their individual needs.

Teachers provide differentiated learning opportunities for all the children within the school and provide materials appropriate to children’s interests and abilities. This ensures that all children have a full access to the school curriculum.

We focus on individual progress as the main indicator of success. Special Educational Need might be an explanation for delayed or slower progress but is not an excuse, and we make every effort to narrow the gap in attainment between vulnerable groups of learners and others. You can find out more details by reading our Special Educational Needs and Disability Policy and our Accessibility Policy and Plan.

A review of Swindon Academy's SEN provision 2019-20 in the Secondary Phase can be found here and in the Primary Phase can be found here.  You can also view a copy of our Whole School SEND Provision Map.

A full copy of our SEN Policy can be found here. If you would like a paper copy of these policies, please notify us by calling 01793 426900 or by email at

SEND News Splash

Please see the weekly SEND News Splash below, which will give you some useful contacts and information for SEND support.

Issue 159 Monday 13 March

Issue 159 Monday 13 March

Issue 158 Monday 6 March

Issue 158 Monday 6 March

Issue 157 Monday 27 February

Issue 157 Monday 27 February

Issue 156 Monday 20 February

Issue 156 Monday 20 February