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Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

Equality and inclusivity are of great importance to us at King Alfred’s Academy. This page sets out information about our provision for children and young people with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND). It is updated annually.

King Alfred’s Academy provides for children and young people with a wide range of special educational needs including those with:

  • Communication and interaction needs; this includes children who have speech language and communication difficulties including autistic spectrum conditions.
  • Cognition and Learning needs; this includes children who have learning difficulties and specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia.
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs; this includes children who have difficulties such as ADHD, anxiety and Tourettes.
  • Sensory and/or Physical needs; this includes children who have visual or hearing needs, or a physical disability that affects their learning.

Our Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators are Mrs Shale for Years 7-8 and Mrs Kane for Years 9-13. The Deputy Headteacher with responsibility for Inclusion is Mrs Martin. They can all be contacted via the email contact form (Click HERE) or by calling 01235 225700. Our policy is that staff aim to reply to any contact made, whether via telephone or email, within three working days. If for any reason you don't receive a reply by the end of that time, please contact us. It may be, for instance, the staff concerned are away. In which case we can then redirect your query. 

Our Governor with responsibility for SEND is Donna Zavala.

Our SEND Administrator is Emma Nickerson.

How do we identify children with SEND

The academy uses Oxfordshire County Council’s guidance ‘Identifying and supporting Special Educational Needs in Oxfordshire schools and settings’.

The guidance sets out:

  • How we identify if a student has a special educational need.
  • How we assess students and plan for their special educational needs, and how we adapt our teaching.
  • Ways in which we can adapt our school environment to meet each student’s needs
  • How we review progress and agree outcomes and involve you and your child in this.

Follow the links below to the SENDIASS website and SEN Support Handbook for further information.

How do we work with parents?

We will always contact parents if we have a concern that a child or young person may have a special educational need.  We then work closely with them and parents/carers to agree outcomes and how we will all work towards these, and then to review progress. We do this by holding regular meetings, at parent evenings, using student managers and scheduled phone calls.

There are also opportunities for parents, children and young people to contribute to and be consulted on our policies on SEND and Equality. We do this through Governors / Parent Governors, parent forums and from within the tutoring system.


Adapting the Curriculum

We offer a broad and balanced curriculum for all students, including those with SEND. The way we adapt our curriculum for children and young people with SEND and disabled students is set out in the Academy’s SEND Policy and Accessibility Plan, available on our website.

We have bespoke classes for Year 7 students and for those in Years 10 and 11 who need additional support with cognitive (learning) skills to support their academic progress. We also have targeted teaching groups in Maths (based on prior attainment) across all Year Groups.

We have an Inclusion Hub which provides classroom and drop-in support for specific students requiring such provision and an integration programme for those at risk of exclusion.

We have Teaching Assistants to support students in making accelerated progress in class across the curriculum.

We offer opportunities on specialist courses for young people from Year 9 onwards, in association with various outside agencies and specialist providers. We also offer bespoke work experience for those with specific needs.

We run intervention programmes to provide students with support in areas such as emotional literacy, social skills, attendance and preparation for adulthood.

What expertise can we offer?

Our SENCos hold the NASENCO qualification.

All staff have training in safeguarding.

All teaching staff receive regular training in the adoption of the new SEND Code of Practice and the effective support of students with identified needs.

There are also members of staff who have trained at a specialist level in Physical Support therapy.

Teaching Assistants are trained to support the particular needs of the students they work with.

We also have access to a range of specialist support services including Educational Psychology and SENSS, who support students with communication and language, sensory needs and physical needs.

We also work with other services and organisations that are involved with a family, with the family’s permission.

Services we work with:

  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
  • Oxfordshire School Inclusion Team
  • Therapy Services
  • Children’s Social Care

We always discuss the involvement of specialist SEND services with parents first. Information about these services and what they offer can be found on the Oxfordshire County Council SEND web pages (see link below).

How do we know if SEND provision is effective?

The progress of all students is tracked throughout their time at King Alfred’s Academy, with regular data reports and updated profiles.

In addition, for students with SEND we review progress towards agreed outcomes assessing whether the support that’s been in place has made a difference and what we need to do next. We evaluate this progress against age-related expectations.

When we run special intervention programmes for groups of students we assess how successful they have been and use that information to decide on how best to run them in the future.

Information about how the governing body evaluates the success of the education that is provided for pupils with SEND is contained within the annual report to the Governors’ Teaching and Learning Committee.

How are students with SEND helped to access activities outside of the classroom?

All students are included in activities and trips following risk assessments where needed and in accordance with duties under the Equalities Act 2010. We talk to parents and young people when planning trips so that everyone is clear about what will happen.

There is information about activities and events for disabled students and those with SEND in Oxfordshire in the Family Information Directory – see link below.

What do we do to support the wellbeing of students with SEND?

All students have the opportunity to share their views through Student Voice opportunities as part of the Student Leadership Programme.

We listen to the views of students with SEND by providing a robust pastoral support system which includes tutors and student managers who liaise with the Learning Support team, class teachers, Key Stage leaders and Heads of Faculty.

We take bullying very seriously. We help to prevent bullying of all students, including those with SEND, by the application of the Behaviour Policy, the Single Equality Policy and the Anti-bullying Policy. These can be found on our policies page.

The SEND team work with all students and staff to raise awareness of inclusive attitudes and approaches, for example, through assemblies and training.


Joining King Alfred's Academy and moving on

We encourage all new students to visit the academy before starting. We offer open mornings, open evenings and feeder primaries are visited by King Alfred’s Academy teachers. There is a partnership-wide transition day for students moving sites and from primary schools. For children and young people with Special Educational Needs we offer extra bespoke visits and 1:1 support and liaison.

We begin to prepare young people for transition into the next stage of their education or training through a tight system of liaison and information-sharing with teachers as the students move across sites and through the key stages. This is supported by the dedicated student managers for each year group.

Who to Contact

If you are concerned about your child, please contact one of King Alfred’s Academy SENCo, either Ms Shale for Years 7-8 or Mrs Kane for Years 9-13, or Mrs Martin as Assistant Head of Inclusion via email: or 01235 225700 (Centre Site).

If you would like to feed anything back to us regarding SEND provision, please use the enquiries email address above. We aim to respond within 72 hours.

Our intention is always to work closely with parents to resolve any concerns that they may have about their child's provision.  We would ask parents to contact the relevant staff in the first instance, however, the Trust has a formal complaints policy that parents can use should they feel it necessary.

Information on Oxfordshire’s Local Offer for SEN and Disability is available via the link below.

If you’d like impartial advice from Oxfordshire’s Parent Partnership Service contact Sendiass using the link below.

If you’d like to know more about opportunities for students with SEND and their families, support groups or information about SEND these are listed in the Family Information Directory linked below. Oxfordshire’s Local Offer contains lots of information for parents. King Alfred’s Academy has contributed to the County’s Local Offer through attendance at a training workshop and through trialling the new guidance and systems.