Special Educational Needs

Welcome to our SEND information report which is the Attleborough Academy Local Offer (December 2022)

Opinions Matter

Attleborough Academy is committed to working together with the Academy community and this document has been produced through consultation with students, parents and carers and members of staff.

The views of parents and carers are collected at Parents’ Evenings, via completion of the Academy questionnaire and the students’ views are sought through an annual survey. 

Your feedback and future involvement in the review of our SEND offer is welcomed. We look forward to hearing from you via studentsupportteam@attleboroughacademy.org

Meet the Team

Miss Michala Parks
Director of Student Support

Mrs Kerry Whittaker

Mrs Marie Medley
Senior Student Support Mentor

Mrs Kathryn Blyth
Student Support Mentor

Ms Chelsea Davis
Student Support Administrator and Office Administrator

Ms Beth Dimon
Student Support Mentor

Mrs Aleisje Howes
Student Support Mentor

Ms Shirley Linnitt
Student Support Mentor (Sixth Form)

Ms Debbie Warrent
Student Support Mentor

Mrs Emma James
1:1 Classroom Assistant

Mr Harry Long
1:1 Classroom Assistant

Miss Tegan Thorne
1:1 Classroom Assistant

Useful Contacts

Director of Student Support 
Miss Michala Parks

Mrs Kerry Whittaker

Student Support Team

Learning for All

Attleborough Academy believes in participation for all and seeks total adult and student commitment to learning for life. Our culture is fully inclusive and responsive to diversity of student background and interest.

High quality teaching is paramount, teaching and learning experiences are actively monitored. Student progress is regularly assessed and reviewed. All students, including those who are SEN, are given the same opportunities to have access to a broad range curriculum and will be taught in mainstream classes with their peers. We endeavour to create a learning culture which is flexible enough to meet the needs of all our students whatever their level of ability.

The teaching may need adapting to provide an inclusive environment for students with learning needs. At Attleborough Academy, teachers understand the needs of individual SEND students as outlined in their individual Student Profile and use this to inform their planning and delivery of lessons. Lessons may include reasonable adaptations: chunking, scaffolding, working at a slower pace, reduced tasks that remain challenging, smaller classes, differentiated questioning and outcomes or the use of a Student Support Mentor to compliment the teaching.

Not all students have difficulties related to cognition and learning - it may be one factor in amongst others that makes up their barrier to learning. Our staff take a holistic approach to teaching students and this will relate to academia but also skills for life and strategies for developing independence, confidence and the importance of high self-esteem. They create opportunities for achievement, celebration and inspiration. They are also there for when things are not going well, to provide a listening ear, to understand and to offer support and guidance. Teachers are supported by colleagues and other professionals to work with young people who have SEN.

Staff have been trained in Manual Handling and completed SEND e-learning. Some of the Student Support staff are qualified in supporting visual and hearing-impaired students and some are trained in supporting students with Autism. A majority of our teaching staff have undertaken Mental Health First Aid ‘lite training’ and most pastoral staff have completed the full two-day training course. Staff have access to information relating to training, strategies that can be used and checklists, all Student Profiles with their barriers to learning and strengths, the student’s normal way of working and exam access arrangements.

If you have any questions regarding your child’s progress, the best people to talk to in school are your child’s Head of Year/House, Head of Subjects or their Subject Teachers.

If the Academy has concerns regarding your child’s learning, contact will be made via telephone or emails. Supporting documents such as a Student Profile will be shared so that we can liaise with all parties for a positive outcome. This could be from the Student Support Team, Class Teacher, Head of Subject or Head of Year/House.

How We Identify SEND

At different stages in their education, a student may have an educational need. Attleborough Academy staff, parents and carers and the students themselves identify barriers to learning. Where appropriate, outside agencies are used for specific diagnostic procedures and subsequent recommendations. The list of external agencies is available within this document.

If a student is identified as having SEND, provision that is additional to or different from their normal differentiated curriculum, as part of the High Quality Teaching, is put in place to reduce/overcome their barrier to learning.

All students progress at different rates for different reasons and the Academy is committed to ensure that all students have access to a broad range of learning opportunities. Students who are not reaching their full potential and those who are not progressing at the expected rate will have access to reasonable adaptations, targeted support or appropriate intervention.

The student will be consulted about reasonable adaptations, strategies of support and any interventions. They will help develop the Student Profile so that it is informative and effective. They will also be involved in reviewing their support, to evaluate what went well, not so well and what would make it even better.

The Code of Practice defines SEN as:

‘A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.

A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:

  • has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age or,
  • has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions’

Types of SEND provided for at Attleborough Academy

Attleborough Academy staff have provided support for students across the four areas of need as laid out in the SEN Code of Practice 2014:

  • Cognitive and Learning (C&L)
    Dyslexia, slow processing, literacy, numeracy, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, moderate learning difficulties, developmental delay;
  • Communication and Interaction (C&I)
    Aspergers, autistic spectrum disorder, speech and language, social communication difficulties;
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH)
    ADD, ADHD, anxiety, depression, self-harming;
  • Sensory and Physical Needs (SPN)
    Hearing impairment, medical needs including diabetes and epilepsy, cerebral palsy, physical disabilities.

The current SEND Profile at AA is:

  • 15 students have an Education Health and Care Plan​
  • 43 students are on SEN Support
  • 31 students have cognitive and learning difficulties
  • 12 students have communication and interaction difficulties
  • 11 students have social emotional and mental difficulties
  • 4 students have physical and sensory difficulties


Provision for SEND students includes:

  • High Quality Teaching;
  • Additional adult support in classrooms where appropriate;
  • Reduced class sizes where appropriate;
  • Literacy support – additional lessons;
  • Numeracy support – additional lessons;
  • Intervention sessions related to the four areas of need;
  • Individual mentoring sessions – student specific;
  • Referral for advice and support from outside agencies;
  • Reasonable adaptations – coloured overlay, coloured paper, reader pens etc;
  • TITAN Scheme;

When a student requires support which is ‘additional to or different from their peers’ then staff, the student and their parents/carers are involved in deciding what steps are taken and in the reviewing process. Student input is recorded on their Student Profile so that the teacher is aware of the individual support required, in addition to the generic strategies found in our SEND definitions and teaching strategies guide.

Any support for the student is allocated based on their need and is put in place starting with the highest level. The support is regularly reviewed and always with the vision that as the student becomes more independent, the level of support is reduced. On occasions, the support required is 1:1, others may work in small groups or the need can be met through High Quality Teaching. Staff, students and parent/carers will be consulted if the level of support is increased or reduced.

Sometimes, parents/carers of students with SEN can need support too. This support can come in many forms starting with listening to what they have to say, giving the parent time and reassurance, sign posting them to other agencies or making referrals. Staff can be contacted via email or phone, as communication is key to providing the right support at the right time.

Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Provision

Monitoring progress is an integral part of teaching and leadership. The stages of intervention are:

  • Assess
  • Plan
  • Do
  • Review

Students, parents and carers, teaching staff and support staff are involved in the reviewing progress. If a student has an Educational Health and Care Plan, then a formal review will be held annually.

The Director of Student Support and the SENCO monitor the impacts of interventions to ensure that they are effective. Progress data for all students is collated by the Academy and is monitored by teaching staff, senior leaders. Attleborough Academy is monitored by Ofsted.

Students are assessed termly across subjects by completing assessments. The student’s Attitude to Learning is also monitored and considered. When reviewing progress, the data from previous assessments over the year or from previous years are analysed and gaps in learning are identified. The base line data is taken from SATs results at Key Stage 2.

Annual and progress reports are sent to parents/carers and students are given targets in each of their subjects. Parents and carers are invited to Open Evenings and can be contacted by telephone to discuss their child. The importance of good relationships between home and school are imperative to give consistent and informed support and guidance.

Preparing for the Next Step

Transition forms part of life. At Attleborough Academy, transition is across schools, year groups, key stages and to post-16 educational providers. Attleborough Academy works in partnership with students, families and other providers to ensure positive transitions occur.

Transition from Primary to Secondary
Year 6 take part in Transition Days before joining us in Year 7
Year 6 Opening Evening
Additional days for SEN students
Summer School (if applicable)

Transition from Key Stages/Further Education

Links between Heads of Year/House
Key Stage 4 have Information, Advice and Guidance within the Academy
1:1 Careers support when applicable
Support with College and Sixth Form applications

TITAN Scheme
Designed to help vulnerable students develop road safety and life skills to promote independent travel. It provides awareness of risks and strategies to take positive actions to remain safe.

External Agency Links

Benjamin Foundation
Educational Psychologist Service
Access Through Technology
School Nursing Team
Occupational Therapy
Nelsons Journey
Mancroft Advice Project (MAP)
Early Help
Inclusion Line and SEND Helpline

Norfolk County Council SEND Offer

Further Support Agencies

Independent Parental Education Advice (IPSEA)


Disability Matters

Dyslexia Outreach

Autism Anglia

Appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal


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