Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)

Our SENCO is Ms Sherry Kahler. Tel: 01709 863109

Rowena Academy Special Educational Needs Information Report – September 2023
(Next review date September 2024)

At Rowena Academy we uphold children’s right to education and recognise the diverse educational needs within our community. We believe we have a duty to offer that provision where we can, to foster inclusion and provide full educational access.

We will try to ensure that all barriers to equal access in our academy are removed or overcome. We monitor and track progress of all children so that the support provided is as effective as possible. We welcome the full engagement of parents and carers and where necessary seek support and advice from specialists outside school to ensure we develop and maintain a range of flexible resources to meet the needs of all our children.

The local authorities and other services must set out a Local Offer of all services available to support children who are disabled or who have special educational needs and their families. The local offer will enable families to understand what services they can access and what support they can expect from a range of local agencies, including from the local authority, health services, schools, leisure services and the voluntary sector. The offer will include provision from birth to 25, across education, health and social care. The Families Information Service are the lead organisation providing the Local Offer for Doncaster, their website can be found at:

This report forms Rowena Academy’s SEN Information Report in terms of what we can offer children with SEND in or via the school. This includes how we can provide access to other organisations, but more specifically what support the Academy will offer directly to pupils and parents.

The kinds of Special Educational Needs that are provided for in our Academy

At Rowena we currently provide additional and/or different provision for a range of pupils with varying special educational needs and disabilities. These include pupils with:

  • Communication and interaction difficulties, for example, autistic spectrum disorder and speech and language needs
  • Cognition and learning difficulties
  • Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
  • Sensory and/or physical needs, for example, visual impairment, hearing impairment, processing difficulties, epilepsy, and cerebral palsy.
Policies for identifying children and young people with SEN and assessing their needs

At Rowena class teachers make regular assessments of progress, teachers observe the children in their class in different situations, they talk and listen to them and assess their written work. If a class teacher has a concern about a child’s low attainment, lack of progress, widening attainment gap or apparent needs in other areas, for example social needs, then they will speak to the SENCO and inform parents at the first opportunity to alert them to concerns and enlist their active help and participation. A parent might have shared their own concerns with their child’s class teacher or the SENCO. Initial identification may also be made as a result of information or expressions of concern from other professionals e.g. a social worker. Slow progress and low attainment will not automatically mean a pupil is recorded as having Special Educational Needs.

When deciding whether special educational provision is required, we will start with the desired outcomes, including the expected progress and attainment, and the views and the wishes of the parents. We will use this to determine the support that is needed and whether we can provide it by adapting our core offer, or whether something different or additional is needed and, with parental consent, the child is placed on the Special Needs Register.

As part of the Graduated Approach, some children may be identified as needing some extra specialist support/assessments from professionals outside the school e.g. a Speech and Language Therapist, an Educational Psychologist, ASCETS (Autism, Social Communication, Education and Training Service), an Occupational Therapist or a Physiotherapist etc. With parental consent the academy can refer to these external professionals.

Some children may have complex, developmental needs or sensory needs that are sufficiently severe/complex and long term and the specific individual support they require may be provided via an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). This means that despite the academy taking relevant and purposeful action to identify, assess and meet the Special Educational Needs of the child they have not made expected progress and need a particularly high level of individual support which cannot be provided from the budget available to the school. The academy (or the parent) can refer the child to the Local Authority for a statutory assessment. If the LA decide an Education, Health and Care assessment is required, evidence from all agencies involved will be collected in support of the application. The Local Authority will then decide if the child’s needs are severe, complex, or lifelong and that they require specialist help or more support in school to make good progress. If this is the case they will write an Education, Health and Care Plan. This is usually a 20-week process. The EHCP will outline your child’s needs, the provision they require, and the outcomes sought for your child.

If a parent thinks their child has Special Educational Needs, they should talk to their child’s teacher or the SENCO. Concerns will always be taken seriously, as our parents views are very important to us.

Arrangements for consulting parents of children with SEN and involving them in their child’s education

At Rowena we firmly believe that children’s learning is helped through parents and the academy working together to ensure that each child receives the encouragement and support needed to develop his/her potential.

Our open-door policy encourages partnership working with parents and carers. We take into account the concerns of parents and carers and listen to what they tell us about their child and use that information to make sure everyone who works with a child understands their needs.

We will have an early discussion with the pupil and their parents when identifying whether they need special educational provision. If a child is identified as needing additional support the academy will set up a meeting with their parents to discuss this with them to ensure that everyone develops a good understanding of the child’s strength and difficulty, everyone agrees on the outcomes sought for the child and all are clear on what the next steps are. Parental consent will always be sought before a child is placed on the Special Needs Register.

The Academy keeps parents of children with SEN fully informed and involved by:

  • Ensuring that parents are aware of the support that is available for their child.
  • Giving parents opportunities to identify their experiences with their child at home.
  • Providing information on SEN procedures and processes.
  • Providing opportunities for parents to feed into the target setting process at the Plan, Do, Review meetings.
  • Ensuring that the review process seeks and takes account of the parent and pupils views.
  • Seeking parental consent for external provision (as required) from outside agencies and inviting them to attend meetings to discuss and plan additional support for their child.
  • Ensuring that parents are clear on whether their child is making progress.
  • Providing parents with a copy of their child’s Graduated Approach and discussion and review notes.
Arrangements for consulting young people with SEN and involving them in their education

Involving a child or young person in their own learning is a vital part of assessing and supporting their progress. This involvement can motivate children to learn, help children develop their views and opinions and develop children’s independence and communication skills. At Rowena we do this through:

  • Listening to the opinions of pupils with SEN with regards to their likes and dislikes, any difficulties they feel they are having and the support they receive in school. This is done in the most appropriate way for each individual child e.g., through discussions with a trusted adult or through pupil observations.
  • All children on the SEND Register having their own ‘Child Friendly’ objectives which contain details of their personal targets and how they can achieve them. These are presented in a child friendly way.
  • Involving children in reviewing their own targets at review meetings.
  • Involving all children in the planning of new topics and deciding what it is they would like to learn.
  • Pupil evaluations of topics covered.
Arrangements for assessing and reviewing pupils progress towards outcomes, including the opportunities available to work with parents and children as part of this assessment and review

All teachers and support staff who work with pupils with SEN are aware of their needs, the outcomes sought, the support provided, and any teaching strategies or approaches that are required. Pupil assessments are ongoing, and their progress is continually monitored by their class teacher and the SENCO and discussed, at least termly, with the Head of Academy.   Children on the Special Needs Register have a Graduated Approach document containing their desirable outcomes and short-term targets. This is reviewed, at least termly, in partnership with staff, parents, pupils and professionals from external agencies where appropriate. The effectiveness of the support and interventions and the impact on the pupil’s progress is discussed and used to inform children’s next steps.   The progress of children with an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) is also formally reviewed at an Annual Review Meeting. Staff, parents, external professionals, the child (if appropriate) and a Local Authority representative are involved in the review meeting.    

Arrangements for supporting children and young people in moving between phases of education

At Rowena we understand that starting a new school or class can be difficult for any child and we strive to make the experience as easy and enjoyable as possible.

When moving into our Nursery:

  • You will receive an Information Pack.
  • You will be invited to a Nursery meeting.
  • You and your child will be invited to a stay and play session.
  • Children’s entry into Nursery is staggered.
  • Meetings for children with additional needs can be organised where necessary – involving parents, class teacher, the SENCO and outside agencies when relevant.
  • If your child would be helped by a book to support them understand moving into Nursery, then it will be made for them.

When moving into Reception:

  • If your child is moving from our own Nursery all Information will be passed on to the Reception teacher in advance and a planning meeting will take place with the new teacher and all relevant staff. 
  • If your child is moving from another Nursery provider, the Reception teacher will visit your child in their Nursery where possible.
  • You will receive an Information Pack.
  • You will be invited to a Reception meeting.
  • Transition sessions will take place on the run up to the move.
  • Children’s entry into Reception is staggered.
  • Meetings for children with additional needs can be organised where necessary – involving parents, class teacher, the SENCO and outside agencies when relevant.
  • If your child would be helped by a book to support them understand moving into Reception, then it will be made for them.

When moving to a new class in school:

  • Information will be passed on to the new class teacher in advance and a planning meeting will take place with the new teacher and all relevant staff. 
  • Your child will have several visits to their new classroom and meetings with their new teacher and teaching assistant (TA). 
  • You will be invited to a meeting with the new Class Teacher.
  • Meetings for children with additional needs can be organised where necessary – involving parents, class teacher, the SENCO and outside agencies when relevant.
  • If your child would be helped by a book to support them understand moving on, then it will be made for them.

If your child is moving to another school:

  • We will contact the school’s SENCO and ensure they know 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.
  • Where possible your child will visit their new school on several occasions and staff from the new school will be invited to visit your child in our school.
  • Meetings can be organised where necessary – involving parents, class teacher, the SENCO and outside agencies where relevant.
Our approach to teaching pupils with SEN

High-quality teaching, also known as Quality First Teaching, is our first step in responding to pupils who have SEN.  At Rowena teachers have the highest possible expectations for all children in their class. Lessons are differentiated for individual pupils and strategies are put in place so that all children are fully involved in learning, this may involve using more practical learning methods or additional resources.  Teaching is based on building on what children already knows, can do, and can understand. Gaps in learning are identified and strategies to address these are put into place to enable each child to maximise their learning. Support within class will be given to individual children or groups of children to meet their needs as part of the normal class routines. However, some children need educational provision that is additional to or different from this.

Children who have been identified as needing further support, may be offered group intervention to help meet their needs e.g. Literacy Support and/or Numeracy Support, carried out by a teaching assistant or learning support assistant (LSA). This group intervention is offered to children who are making less than expected progress and is often time-limited, but does not mean the child has been added to the SEN Register.

Some children will require more specific individual support to meet their needs and will be places on the SEN Register (with parental consent). Pupils with SEN are given aGraduated Approach document, with SMART targets and regular reviews of progress to secure effective learning and increase their rate of progress.

As part of this Graduated Approach, the academy may provide specific support in the form of:

  • Small group or 1 to 1 support for Literacy or Numeracy, run by a teacher, teaching assistant or learning support assistant. This may be a phonics intervention or a maths intervention.
  • Speech and language support e.g., Time to Talk or NELI (Nuffield Early Language Intervention).
  • Individual or small group support in the classroom to help a child to access the curriculum alongside their peers.
  • Intervention programmes designed to support pupils with social and emotional difficulties, for example, Thrive and Lego Therapy.
  • Individual support run by a specialist professional, for example, Speech and Language Therapy, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy or support from the Service for Visual Impairment or Hearing Impairment.
  • Interventions that are run by a teacher, TA or LSA but which follow the advice of a specialist professional, for example the ASCETS Team (Autism, Social Communication, Education and Training Service), an Educational Psychologist or CAMHS.
How adaptations are made to the curriculum and the learning environment for children and young people with SEN

Class staff teams know the profile of their class and individual needs and learning activities are planned to match children’s learning needs. First hand experiences are crucial to stimulate children’s learning. Visits and visitors are used to provide meaningful stimulus. and children benefit from opportunities to learn through play. The environment is stimulating, and supportive and Learning Walls and interactive displays provide prompts and reminders to encourage children to learn and achieve independently. Classes are well resourced and for children with additional needs, specialised equipment such as writing slopes, radio aid systems, visual timetables and enlarged print can be arranged as appropriate.

Each class has at least one teacher and a teaching assistant. Teaching assistants are trained to deliver 1 to 1 and group interventions and all staff have access to training, advice, and resources to enable them to contribute to developing fully inclusive practice.

The deployment of specific resources at Rowena is provided according to the individual needs of our children. It is highly important that children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities have the appropriate support in order for them to access the learning environment and achieve their full potential. The school deploys learning support assistants and teaching assistants in accordance with their specialism and relationships with specific children. Children receive the necessary human and physical resources to support their individual needs.

The expertise and training of staff to support children and young people with SEN, including how specialist expertise will be secured

Our SENCO has over 20 years’ experience in this position and has received a wide range of training to support her in the role. Individual teachers and support staff attend training courses run by outside agencies that are relevant to the needs of specific children in their class and the SENCO supports class teachers in planning for children with SEN. We have a large team of teaching assistants, including higher level teaching assistants (HLTAs) who are trained to deliver SEN provision.

The academy has a training plan for all staff to improve the teaching and learning of children including those with SEN and staff have received training in a wide range of areas including:-

  • Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Attachment
  • Speech and Language difficulties.
  • Lego Therapy
  • NELI (Nuffield Early Language intervention).
  • Thrive

The SENCO liaises with a range of external specialists who provide staff with the appropriate training, support, resources and equipment in order to support pupils with SEN within the academy. These include:-

  • ASCETS (Autism, Social Communication, Education and Training Service)
  • Service for Children with Visual Impairment
  • Service for Children with Hearing Impairment
  • Educational Psychology Service
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • School Nurse
  • Medical professionals with specific specialisms e.g. epilepsy, gastrostomy care.
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Early Years Inclusion Team
  • Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)
  • Outreach Support from Special Schools.
How children and young people with SEN are enabled to engage in activities available with children and young people in the school who do not have SEN

Rowena Academy is an inclusive school and all our staff promote equality of opportunity and foster positive attitudes towards all children. Our teachers have the highest possible expectations for all pupils in their class and offer Quality First Teaching that is personalised to meet the needs of all our pupils. Additional support staff, appropriate resources, allowing more time, using a different space, small group and 1 to 1 intervention are used effectively and where necessary we enrol the help and expertise of outside agencies to ensure the support we offer our pupils is the best we can possibly provide.

The Disability Discrimination Act requires schools to make reasonable adjustments (according to need but that are practically and financially viable) to ensure that disabled pupils and users of the school are not put at substantial disadvantage and are able to access the same opportunities as their non-disabled peers. Specifically, that all pupils will have the same access to information, the school environment, and the curriculum (as stated in the academies Accessibility Plan).

Quality first teaching involves differentiation at all levels in all areas of the curriculum. Support is put in place for our pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities within the classroom and through our Intervention programmes. Specific resources may be used to allow them to access the curriculum dependent on their needs.

At Rowena all children are encouraged to become independent learners, classroom environments are organised using visual aids to promote children’s ability to independently access resources. Visual timetables and visual aids are used to encourage children to make independent choices.  Children are encouraged to take responsibility for their learning and regularly review and assess their individual targets. Teachers make learning interesting, so all children are engaged and motivated in their learning. All of our extra-curricular activities and school visits are available to all our pupils, including our before-and after-school clubs. All pupils take part in sports day, school performances and special workshops and no pupil is ever excluded from taking part in these activities because of their SEN or disability.

At Rowena the learning environment has been modified to ensure wheelchair access, we have disabled toilets and changing beds. Access to the setting is continually evaluated and modifications are made to meet the needs of all pupils in school.

The SENCO monitors and evaluates the effectiveness of provision to meet the additional needs of pupils who have Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

Support for improving emotional and social development

At Rowena we provide our children with an emotionally secure environment that prevents bullying and provides help and support for all children. Teachers plan activities to help children develop their social and emotional skills and wellbeing. Our teachers and other staff are trained to identify when children at school show signs of anxiety or social and emotional difficulties.  We discuss any problems with parents and carers and develop plans to deal with them, involving specialists where needed.

Teachers are aware of those children who have a higher risk of these problems including Children in Care and those in families where there is instability, conflict, or bereavement for example.

We have a ‘Thrive’ room in the academy that is used to deliver intervention programmes designed to support pupils with social and emotional difficulties. Circle times and weekly Jigsaw (PSHE / health and well-being) lessons develop children’s awareness and empathy in terms of their own wellbeing and that of others. All pupils are encouraged to be part of the Academy Council and class council meetings. If a child has social and emotional needs, they will have a named Key Worker who will ensure opportunities are provided for extra pastoral support.

The academy works in partnership with various agencies who can provide us with guidance and support including CAMHS, the Educational Psychologist Service and the Behaviour Outreach Support Service (BOSS).

How we provide additional support for children with physical, sensory and/or medical needs

At Rowena we have a fully inclusive policy and support children with a range of physical, sensory and medical needs. The building has been adapted throughout for those with physical disabilities. Ramps have been installed so disabled adults and children can access all areas of the academy as well as appropriate changing and toilet facilities.

We support pupils with medical conditions, so that they have full access to education, including physical education and educational visits.  Academy staff are fully informed and adequately trained by a professional, where necessary, in order to administer support or prescribed medication. An Individual Healthcare Plans is developed for any child with long term medical needs, in association with parents and relevant healthcare professionals. All staff respond sensitively, discreetly and quickly to situations where a child with a medical condition requires support.

The Academy has an Accessibility Plan that is reviewed regularly in light of any changes which need to be made to increase the accessibility of provision for all pupils, staff and visitors to the school.  The Accessibility Plan contains relevant actions to improve access to the physical environment, written information and the curriculum.

Arrangements for handling complaints from parents of children with SEN about the provision made at the school

If there are any complaints relating to the provision for children with SEN these will be dealt with in the first instance by the class teacher and SENCO, then, if unresolved, by the Head of Academy. The Academy Advisory Body (AAB) member with specific responsibility for SEN may be involved if necessary. In the case of an unresolved issue then a complaint can be made using the Rowena Academy Complaints Procedure.

Contacts for more information

Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO): Ms Sherry Kahler

Principal: Miss Claire Cowlishaw

Chair of the Academy Advisory Body (AAB): Mrs Louise Chappell

Address: Rowena Academy, Gardens Lane, Conisbrough, Doncaster, DN12 3JY

Telephone: 01709 863109

This policy links to our policies on:

  • Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Policy
  • Accessibility Plan
  • Behaviour Policy
  • Equality Information and Objectives
  • Supporting Pupils with Medical Conditions