Learning Support

The Academy, Selsey

School Offer for Special Educational Needs

Our Commitment:

  • We offer high quality inclusive teaching which enables all students regardless of special educational need or disability to make the best possible progress in school and to feel that they are a valued member of the wider school community. 


Key Personnel


Responsible for:

Subject Teachers

  • adapting the curriculum to respond to the strengths and needs of all pupils, checking on the progress of each student and identifying, planning and delivering any additional support;
  • applying the academy’s SEN/D Information Report (policy).


Special Educational Needs

Co-ordinator (SENCo)

Ms. Orde

  • coordinating provision for children with SEN/D and developing the school’s SEN/D Information Report;
  • ensuring that parent/carers are:
    • involved in supporting their child’s learning and access;
    • kept informed about the range and level of support offered to their child;
    • included in reviewing how their child is doing;
    • consulted about planning successful movement (transition) to a new educational setting.
  • liaising with a range of agencies outside of school who can offer advice and support to help pupils overcome any difficulties;
  • providing specialist advice and facilitating training to ensure that all staff are skilled and confident about meeting a range of needs.



Mr Tom Garfield

  • the day to day management of all aspects of the school, including the provision made for pupils with SEN/D.


SEN/D Governor

Emma Honeywood

  • supporting the school in developing and evaluating the quality and impact of provision for pupils with SEN/D across the school.





How does the academy know if a student needs extra help?


Information about a student’s needs comes from a range of sources:

  • previous school
  • teacher and teaching assistant observations
  • pastoral team observations
  • progress team observations
  • parent/carer concern
  • student concern

If a need has been identified before a student starts at the academy, information is requested from the previous school and contact is made with the SENCo to discuss appropriate interventions.  These students will automatically be placed on the Individual Needs Register (INR) and this will be reviewed at the end of their first half term.

All new students are screened within a month of starting at the academy to assess levels of literacy, numeracy and cognitive ability.  Further testing takes place if there are any concerns.

Students are placed on the INR because of their cognition and learning difficulties if they fall into one of the categories below and are experiencing difficulties in other areas;

  • a mean CAT of SAS 84 or below
  • an individual CAT of SAS 75 or below
  • reading comprehension of SAS 84 or below
  • single word spelling of SAS 84 or below
  • numeracy of SAS 84 or below

Students will also be placed on the INR if they have a specific, identified need that is hindering their access to the curriculum and falls into one of the following three categories.

  • Communication and interaction
  • Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
  • Sensory and/or physical difficulties


What should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?

If you think that your son/daughter has special educational needs that have not previously been identified or if you would like to discuss your child’s needs, please contact the SENCo Tracey Orde via telephone on 01243-602558 or via email




How will the academy support my child?

At the centre of our provision for students with SEN/D is quality first teaching.  The INR is available to all teachers and teaching assistants at the academy so that they are informed of the strengths and needs of the individual students in their classes and can plan accordingly. Students who have a TA mentor also have a Student Profile, which is updated during termly meetings.  These provide teaching staff with valuable information about strategies that work with individual students.  Our teachers are skilled at adapting teaching to meet the diverse range of needs in each class and all  planning takes into account individual student’s needs and requirements. Differentiation is approached in a range of ways to support access and ensure that all pupils can experience success and challenge in their learning.

In addition to high quality teaching, we also offer a range of additional support that is tailored to the individual needs of a student and may include:


Paired reading


Hand-writing work

EAL support

1:1 reading


Touch typing

Social skills groups

Phonics groups


Access to lap-tops

Emotional well-being groups


Precision reading and/or spelling

KS4 study skills


1:1 and small group work with our dyslexia specialist

Access Arrangements for public examinations

Homework Club

Numeracy support

(including precision teaching)

Speech and language work (including narrative groups)

Games Club






How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?

As an inclusive school, we aim to ensure the fullest possible access to the curriculum for all students.  Provision is reviewed regularly to enable us to best meet the needs of the students in each cohort.  If a student is having difficulty accessing the curriculum because of his/her individual needs, we put support in place to facilitate equal access.


  • Taught in mixed prior attainment curriculum groups for all subjects



  • Taught in streamed groups for maths and mixed prior attainment curriculum groups for all other subjects


Year 9

  • Taught in streamed groups for maths and mixed prior attainment curriculum groups for all other subjects


Year 10/11

  • BTEC/GCSE subjects offered according to the appropriateness for the students
  • Set for Maths, English and Science
  • Some bespoke support including access to The Bridge facility



How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?

The decision making process is informed by data and information gathering from staff, parents/carers and students.  The progress of students on the INR is monitored by the SENCo following each round of Progress Checks.  If insufficient progress is being made, this is investigated and when appropriate, interventions are put in place. 

In addition to the three progress points throughout the year, the SENCo monitors reading and spelling through six monthly standardised assessments and based on the outcomes of these assessments, students may be targeted for literacy support.

How are resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?

Specific funding from the school budget is allocated to cover the work of the Individual Needs Department. 




How will both you and I know how my child is doing?


Each year there are three rounds of Progress Checks for students in years 7 - 11.  The data collected is sent home with end of year or GCSE/BTEC targets so that you can track how your son/daughter is performing across the curriculum.  After each round of Progress Checks, the SENCo monitors the performance of all the students on the INR.  In addition to the monitoring of performance across the curriculum, the SENCo also measures the effectiveness of any interventions put in place and the progress towards individual targets set.  This information is shared with parents via post and at parents’ evenings .

Over the course of the year there are timetabled Drop Ins and Parents’ Evenings when you are encouraged to come in and meet both your child’s subject teachers and to have a review meeting with the SENCo.

We encourage regular home-school contact and subject teachers will sometimes telephone to share how a student is performing in their lessons.  Subject teachers and teaching assistants may also send postcards home when a student has performed particularly well.  We use the student planners as a means of home-school communication and encourage you to check planners every week.

Students who are “looked after” also have termly Personal Education Plan (PEP) meetings and students with an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) have Annual Review meetings.  For both these meetings, other professionals involved in the provision of support are invited to attend and/or submit a report.

How will you help me to support my child’s learning?


Subject teachers are able to advise you on the best ways of supporting your child in the different curriculum areas.  The Individual Needs team runs an evening early in the academic year to offer advice on developing reading, spelling, handwriting and study skills and also to look at different ways of developing social skills.  We have also produced some booklets, which are available in school, offering advice.




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

Form tutors are the first points of contact if a student or parent/carer has any concerns.  Students are also supported by the Pastoral Managers, who work alongside the teaching staff to ensure the overall well-being of the all students at the academy.  They work directly with students helping them to resolve issues and develop the skills needed to equip them to deal with life in the wider community.  A games club runs every break and lunchtime in the Learning Support Unit offering a safe and structured environment for students who need that support.  Other interventions include:

  • TA mentors
  • Social Skills Groups
  • Emotional well-being groups
  • Counselling

We have a dedicated welfare officer, who monitors student attendance and alerts the pastoral team and tutors of any attendance concerns.  Where there are issues surrounding attendance, parents/carers and students are invited to a meeting to identify what the issue may be and support is then organised to target the specific issue.

If a student has a significant medical need, an Individual Health Care Plan (IHCP) will have been discussed and put in place.  The IHCP will outline the medical needs of the individual student, any medication that is held in school and procedures to be followed should a student require medical attention.  For further information about how we meet the needs of students with medical conditions, see separate policy.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the academy?

Within the Individual Needs Department, we have a dyslexia specialist who works alongside staff and directly with students, helping them to make progress.  We also have staff with considerable experience of working with children on the autistic spectrum, with children with speech, language and communication needs, with children with complex needs and with children with general learning difficulties.

We access support from a range of external agencies, who offer advice and training as requested.  These agencies include:

Autism West Sussex


Ethnic Minorities Assessment Team

Social Communication Team


Integrated  Services

Speech and Language Service

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)

Occupational Therapy

The Alternative Provision College

Family Support Network

Physical Therapy

The Bridge

Educational Psychology Service

School Counsellor

THINK Family


Educational Welfare Service

School nurse

Virtual Schools




What training have the staff supporting students with SEN/D had, or will be having?

Our SENCo has a Diploma in identifying and working with students with dyslexia, a Certificate of Competence in Educational Testing and is qualified to authorise Access Arrangements.  She has also completed the National Award for Special Educational Needs Co-ordination.  Our team of teaching assistants has a wide range of experience and expertise.  We have teaching assistants who have been trained in:

  • working with children on the autistic spectrum
  • working with children with speech, language and communication needs
  • delivering effective EAL interventions
  • being a learning mentor

All teaching assistants have been trained in phonics best practice and we also have a teaching assistant who is a maths graduate and provides numeracy support.  One of our TAs is an experienced Mental Health Worker.

Training of teaching staff and teaching assistants is ongoing and the SENCo prepares training resources and delivers training to staff as required.  This includes regular training provided for all teachers on “Knowing the Individual”.

How accessible is the academy environment?

The temporary village is on two floors and the upper floor is inaccessible as we do not have a lift.  However, there are only three classrooms, two laboratories and a computer room upstairs so it is possible to timetable all lessons downstairs if required.  The lower floor is entirely accessible.  Disabled toilets are available as is a disabled parking bay.  Our Accessibility Plan outlines a schedule for the installation of a hearing loop system and this is being incorporated into the new build. 

How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?

Students with additional needs are encouraged to play a full and active part in all aspects of school life.  All clubs and trips are open to them and arrangements are put in place in advance to ensure that they are able to participate.  Teaching Assistants regularly accompany school trips to support those students who need help in accessing everything that is on offer.  For students with medical and physical needs, discussions involving parents/carers, the Individual Needs team and the member of staff leading the activity take place in advance to ensure the best possible experience for the students involved.




How will the academy prepare and support my child to

1) join the academy;

For students joining at the start of year 7 –

During the summer term, our SENCo meets with all the SENCos from our feeder schools to gather information about those students identified as having special educational needs and/or disabilities.  Our Head of Key Stage 3, who is responsible for transition, also visits all the schools and meets with the year 6 teachers and the children.  Those students who are particularly anxious about moving to secondary school are invited to join us for additional transition visits so that they can familiarise themselves with the geography of the school, ask questions, meet some of the Individual Needs and Pastoral teams and get to know some of the students from other schools who are joining us.  Parents/Carers also have a chance to meet the SENCo and members of the Pastoral team at the Transition Evening.  Home-school communication is very important to us and new parents/carers are encouraged to contact us if they have any concerns. 

On the transition day and during the settling in phase, year 9 and 10 students work alongside the new students accompanying them between lessons and answering questions.  There are also designated Senior Students with responsibility for transition, who act as mentors and a link between the new students and the head teacher.

For students joining within an academic year –

When a new student joins us, who already has identified special educational needs, our SENCo contacts the SENCo at the previous school to find out about appropriate interventions.  Within the first month of joining, all students are assessed and if required interventions are planned.  The Pastoral Team identifies an appropriate buddy for all in-year transfers so that social integration is supported.

If a new student has a disability, we liaise closely with the student’s previous setting to find out how they have met the student’s needs.  We believe it is essential that parents and students are involved in the discussion about how we propose to meet a student’s needs and we therefore arrange to meet with parents, students and if appropriate medical professionals to ensure that appropriate provision is in place.

2) transfer to a new setting;

When a student moves to a new setting, assessment information and information about needs and interventions is shared with the SENCo at the new setting.   




3) transfer to the next stage of education and life?

All students are given support with their applications for post-16 education and training.  They have the opportunity to take part in college taster days and are encouraged to attend Open Evenings.  For some students on the INR, additional support is needed.  This may involve a detailed exploration of options with a member of the Individual Needs team, 1:1 support applying for education/training or individually planned and supported visits to local colleges.  With the student’s permission, we share information with the colleges about their individual needs to aid a smooth transition.

Representatives of the destination establishment are invited to attend the final school Annual Review for students who have an Education Health and Care Plan.  This enables them to build up a picture of the student’s needs and enables us to plan any additional support required to ensure a smooth transition into the next phase of education.

 How are parents/carers involved in the academy?  How can I be involved?

We are keen to encourage parental involvement in life at The Academy, Selsey.  We always welcome dialogue with you about your children, recognising that you know them better than anyone and are the source of a wealth of information about their strengths and weaknesses and progress thus far.  We believe that attendance at Parents’ Evenings is central to a good home-school partnership and are happy to arrange alternative meeting times if it is not possible for you to attend on the designated days. 

If you are interested in volunteering to support the Individual Needs Department by hearing reading in the mornings, please get in touch with Tracey Orde (contact details below.)

Who can I contact for further information?

For further information, please contact Tracey Orde on 01243-602558 or via email

Alternatively, to find out about the range of services available in West Sussex, go to