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SEND Information Report 2023

Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND) Information Report 2023


Our Vision:

We believe the journey through school should be enjoyable, memorable and valuable.  All of our students are entitled to a curriculum that challenges their individual abilities; is relevant to their experience and present need; is inclusive and has application in the real world outside school.  We want to foster an enthusiasm and passion for learning and develop resilient, independent and inquisitive young people.

What kinds of special educational needs is provision planned for at the academy?

At Co-op Academy Failsworth we cater for a wide range of special educational needs.  We support students with EHC plans and students who are receiving above the universal offer of support. We are able to provide support for students with one or more of the 4 broad areas of need: Cognition and Learning difficulties, Communication and Interaction needs, Social, Emotional or Mental Health needs, Sensory and/or physical needs.

There are students who present with needs within all of these areas in our academy. These broad areas of need including specific learning difficulties such as Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Autistic Spectrum Condition and Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder.

We have a small number of students with disabilities, such as hearing impairment, visual Impairment, physical impairments (such as cerebral palsy). The site is fully tailored for those with a disability.

There are currently 272 pupils on the SEN register.  The register is revised regularly and at least every half term.  We currently have 31 students who have an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP)

What is the name and contact details of the SENCo at Co-op Academy Failsworth?

SENCo – Kate Darlington

Assistant SENCo – Matthew Golden

The SENCo is responsible for the day-to-day running of SEND.

Contact via direct line – 0161 688 3900

Who is on the SEND team and how is specialist expertise secured?

Led by the SENCo and Assistant SENCo, our SEND team consists of 4 Senior Teaching Assistants and 7 Teaching Assistants at TA3 level.

TA’s primary role is to support students within class. TAs can also act in a mentoring role as well as for academic support. Additionally, our TAs and Senior TAs will deliver specific SEND interventions on a short term basis to a small cohort of students.

Where we need specialist help with students to support their needs, we seek advice and support initially from QEST and the Educational Psychology Service within Oldham. In addition we have access to additional Educational Psychology services and Counselling services.  We also work with CAMHS, Social Care, Occupational Therapy and SALT.  These services can support us with providing recommendations for us to implement.

We have support from specialist teachers / support staff for accessing the curriculum and extra work on SEND related needs (speech, language and communication; hearing impairment; visual impairment; behaviour related needs; difficulties; autism).  We will refer students for assessment if we believe they need further assessment/support.

We endeavour to work collaboratively between academy, student and parent/carer to implement the ‘plan, do, review cycle’ to ensure continued progress is made.

How do we identify and assess students with special educational needs?  What should a parent do if they think their child has special educational needs?

When students have been offered a place with us we discuss any learning needs with the previous school, be it their primary school or another secondary school.  We will ask for any SEND information, reports or details of any SEND diagnoses and plan appropriate provision in our academy.   We will continue the “plan, do, review” process to ensure that where possible there is a continuation of support.

When students with physical disabilities come to the academy, we may seek advice and guidance from the Local Authority/NHS in the form of risk assessment, and health and safety advice. We will meet with the Visual/Hearing Impairment service representative who has worked with a student with VI/HI and create a student management guide from their advice to support staff. It may be that we purchase specialised equipment for use with these students, dependent on need.

Pupil progress is tracked regularly and if our staff think that your child is not making progress in line with their peers then we ask them to complete a referral to our SEND department.  This may be because they have found that a student may be struggling to access the curriculum or may be displaying difficulties with their interaction with adults and their peers.  We will contact you to raise any concerns and then we will plan how we will take steps to understand your child’s difficulties and what we can do to help.  We cannot make any diagnosis at school but we can carry out some screening assessments which will allow us to make referrals to external professionals.

We will make observations of students in lesson to assess and we can carry out assessments that will give us more detail of any underlying difficulties.  Assessments such as Access reading and maths tests allow us to look at specific areas of difficulty for instance, Inference or Number bonds.  We would use GL Assessment data and CATs testing to cross reference any information. The Visual Stress Test and the Reading Perceptual Scale Assessment allows us to see if a particular overlay may benefit a student to access their work. Again, these assessments are only used if they are required and are appropriate for the student and do not give any formal diagnosis.

Where we feel it necessary we will discuss any issues with a specialist who can make clear recommendations to support our students and help us to develop provision as part of the “plan, do and review” process.  These professionals may come from the Quality and Effectiveness Support Team (QEST), Additional and Complex Needs Service (ACNS) and the Educational Psychologist (EP), and seek their guidance and advice.   We will always ask for permission from parents/carers to liaise with any of these services.  This is as part of a graduated response, whereby we have exhausted our own monitoring and support strategies.

How do we consult with parents and carers?

If we have a concern that a student is not making sufficient progress, in spite of interventions, and appears to have SEN, we will contact home to discuss issues. We also respect parents’ right to voice their own concerns about their child’s progress.

We are child and family centred so you will be involved in all decision making about your child’s support.

When we assess SEN we discuss if understanding and behaviour are the same at the academy and home; we take this into account and work with you so that we are all helping your child in the same way to make progress.

If we feel that a student needs specialist support, we will seek parental agreement to bring in that support. There are times where written consent is required.

The academy formally contacts home termly to update parents/carers on their child’s SEND support. Academic progress is sent home in the form of progress reports. Reports show whether a student is on track to meet subject targets

For any student with an EHCP, an Annual Review will be scheduled ahead of which parents are asked to give their views. Parents attend and have free speech within Annual Reviews, and are asked about the experience and their satisfaction after these have taken place.

Parents/carers may contact the academy directly to speak to the SEND team with any concerns/ information – 0161 688 3900.

How do we consult with young people about their needs and support?

For students with an EHCP, as part of the Annual Review process, we will interview a student, so that their attitudes and opinions are voiced in the official documentation.  We will ensure any young person is included in their EHCP, so that they are fully aware of all aspects of the Review.

Following interventions, we will seek feedback from participants as to how they feel they have benefitted, and how we can improve for the future. An additional questionnaire will be sent home to parent/carers for their feedback.

Some students will be allocated a Key Worker either from the SEND team or the pastoral team, who meets regularly with them to discuss issues and find out their opinions/attitudes.

For students who are being put forward for statutory assessment, the process followed is person-centred, ensuring they can make a significant contribution in a process, which is done with them, rather than to them.

For those students on SEND Support we work closely with them to ensure that the pupil passport reflects what they want teachers to know about them with regards to any learning needs and what strategies of support are required.

How do we assess and review the progress of students with SEND? How do we judge whether support has made an impact?

Student progress is monitored in lessons using our subject assessments.  These include small quizzes called Responsive Teacher Points (RTPs).  These allow us to check the knowledge of students in each subject.  In addition we assess how well students can use their knowledge to apply it to new situations.  These are called Synoptic lessons.

The progress of students is monitored regularly and we can easily take snapshots of academic progress as well as behaviour and attendance so they can build a picture of the student and their needs.  This allows us to monitor progress of students in line with their peers.

Pupils who have an EHCP will be monitored against the outcomes in section E and F of their Education and Health Care plan.  We will monitor students against these targets in a variety of ways and request information from teachers to support annual reviews.  The annual review will also seek the views of the student and parents so that we can ensure that the plan remains relevant and follows a person centred approach.

In addition to academic progress we also monitor progress of students who attend individual and group interventions.  These interventions will have specific outcomes planned for students and any targets will added to pupil passports so that teaching staff can continue to encourage development in these areas.  We use baseline and exit assessments for our interventions and these are monitored through our online system Provision Map.

How do we support students with special educational needs or disabilities? How are school resources allocated and matched to individual needs?

Outside of the classroom, our SEND support is accommodated in a suite of rooms on the Gold corridor, which includes a specially designed classroom area for the Nurture students, Nurture 8 and SEND Pathway classroom and one classrooms for interventions; we also have the facilities to have a separate intervention rooms.

In Year 7, the most vulnerable students are placed into a Nurture group, which acts as an extended transition from Primary School and aims to focus on and rapidly improve literacy, numeracy and social-emotional well-being. This is a very small group and will be identified at the point of transition. By Year 8, these students will be taught in mainstream classes.  We support a small group of Year 8 students through our extended nurture programme and we have a KS4 SEND pathway to support some of our students in years 9-11.

The majority of students with SEN will be taught in mainstream groups, which may be set or in a mixed ability class this is dependent on which Key Stage the student is in and subject. TAs will be attached to some of these classes to provide additional support for students.

We offer a number of interventions that have been planned following analysis of our SEND data.  We use our SEND data to help us to plan provision as each cohort can be different from one year to the next.

Our SEND interventions include:

  • Beat Dyslexia course
  • Reading Plus online programme
  • Fresh Start Phonics
  • Dyspraxia intervention programme
  • Handwriting support and intervention
  • Anxiety intervention group
  • Short Fuse intervention
  • Real Love Rocks

As we are based near our Achieving Excellence Centre and Library we have a wealth of resources and workstations that we can use to support our students.


For students with a hearing impairment, we can use a loop system microphone so that everyone can hear the teacher speaking clearly over classroom noise- we do have students using a Roger Pen.

For those students with communication difficulties we may use iPad Apps, laptops and reading pens for students in lessons.

For those students who may need support with sensory and physical disabilities we may use resources such as tangle toys, wobble cushions, kick bands, tilted writing boards etc.

Any adaptations that are provided for students are written into the pupil passport and are planned as part of the “assess, plan do and review” process.

How do we adapt the curriculum to support students with special educational needs?

All our staff are trained to use techniques that will support all learners in their lessons.  The curriculum has been developed across all year groups.  We have incorporated approaches that allow students to revisit and retrieve prior knowledge, to model and scaffold activities so that pupils can be guided.  We are using principles of the most up to date evidence informed research so that every child is able to learn at their own pace and in their own way.

As a SEND Department we provide teaching staff with additional advice and guidance through Pupil Passports.  These provide specific techniques to be used for individual students based on their identified needs.  We have a programme of professional development on specific needs such as, ASD, ADHD, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia and more for staff in relation to teaching students with specific SEN. These sessions will take place at 6 times a year, led by the SENCo, and TAs.

Teachers will adapt their lessons based on the information they have from pupil passports and their own monitoring of the learning in their subject.  Class teachers will adapt how lessons are delivered using a variety of pedagogical approaches and these are evidenced by teachers through lesson drop ins and their responsive teacher mark books.

We have developed a SEND pathway at KS4 so that students can study some vocational routes and ASDAN courses to support some of our students with life skills and supporting alternative routes into college.

We use additional schemes/materials for interventions as mentioned above so that we have something at the right level for students with SEN. Some examples of these include a range of literacy and numeracy intervention with the use of:

  • IDL to support literacy programme- IDL uses sight, sound, touch, and voice to improve reading and spelling. Links are made between the visual, auditory and tactile pathways’

  • Reading Plus is a new online programme that supports pupils’ in improving their reading fluency.

  • Beat Dyslexia – A 1- small group or 1-1 intervention to support students who have a diagnosis of dyslexia.

  • ‘Real Love Rocks is a programme developed by Barnardo’s Safer Futures
    West Child Sexual Exploitation Service to promote healthy, consensual, safe
    relationships amongst children and young people. It seeks to raise awareness of grooming, child sexual exploitation and online safety’.

  • All our staff are trained so that we are able to adapt to a range of SEN: specific learning difficulties (including dyslexia) (SpLD); autistic spectrum disorder (ASD); speech, language and communication needs (SLCN); SEMH – Social Emotional Mental Health.
  • We have teacher(s) and support staff trained in SpLD; ASD; Team Teach; Catch-up Literacy and Numeracy; and, CBT and Dyspraxia.
  • From September 2018, we have offered a SEND Pathway, which was introduced to support the academic needs of our SEBND students where the mainstream curriculum can often be too much. Therefore, the Pathway gives our SEND students an alternative to the generic GCSE examinations. This will continue to be offered to years 9-11. We will continue to offer Level 1 BTEC courses and a range of ASDAN qualifications to support students in their next steps to continue their education.


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

If you require any support in understanding the learning needs or diagnosis of your child we are happy to help and support with strategies that you can use at home.  We want to work with parents to ensure that our students’ needs are met.

We may signpost you to your local authority local offer.

Oldham’s local offer can be found at the following address

Manchester’s local offer can be found at the following address

How are students supported to engage in extra-curricular activities?

We have a number of before and after academy activities, which are publicised to students and all students are given the opportunity to sign up to these activities.

We have regular educational visits. Students with SEND are always included in these. We provide TAs to support their full inclusion. We choose visits that are accessible to all.

Within the GOLD Area, we also offer a number of additional extra-curricular clubs at lunch times, such as: Chess club and Mindfulness sessions.

We also offer morning Homework club where TA supervise this space to support students with their homework activities.

What is the pastoral, medical and social support available to ensure my child’s overall wellbeing?

All students are placed into a tutor group.  In year 7 & 8 these groups are based on reading ability and as a result some tutor groups are smaller to allow more targeted support for these pupils.  In other year groups we have nurture tutor groups to allow us to provide more bespoke support.  All students with SEND are supported by a head of year and an assistant head of year.  The pastoral team liaises closely with the SEND team so that we can provide the right support for our pupils.

We have an academy health care administrator who will be responsible for any care needs that need to be planned and carried out as part of a pupil’s EHCP or where a student has a diagnosed medical need. The health care administrator will also provide emergency first aid where necessary.

Our GOLD area is available to our SEND students who require additional support at social times.  This may include providing a quieter area for students who struggle in the main building at break and lunch time and where they can develop their interpersonal skills and interact with their peers.

What support is available for improving emotional, mental and social development of students with special educational needs and disabilities?

A number of interventions take place which focus on improving this aspect such as CBT, Social Stories, Real Love Rocks and Short Fuse.

We employ two specialist counsellors to support student’s emotional wellbeing.

In the Nurture groups for Year 7 and 8, sessions specifically focused on this are delivered using a wide range or resources and extracurricular trips.

We will seek advice from external agencies such as CAMHS, Educational Psychologist and the School Healthcare administrator when appropriate.

How will students be supported during transitions from primary to secondary school and to post 16 provision?

Year 6-7

  • For those students coming with an EHCP we will attend the Year 6 review meetings.
  • We will discuss each student coming to Co-op Academy Failsworth with their Primary school teacher; for those alerted to us as having SEN, we discuss their difficulties and needs with their class teacher and/or SENCo.
  • For students with SEN, especially students who are vulnerable, we set up extended transition, so that they attend the academy a number of times in addition to the transition provision for all students. For most these will begin around Easter, continuing until Summer; for many they will be a series of several days/part days when they can spend time in the Gold area, and familiarise themselves with the academy. This is particularly important and effective for those with ASD.
  • When students have identified SEND before they start here, we work with the people who already know them and use the information already available to identify what their SEN and how they will be supported in our academy setting.
  • We will agree dates with you for your child to come to Co-op Academy Failsworth for a number of days in Year 6 (as well as the fixed one-day transition everyone enjoys) as an extended transition package. This helps us to get to know your child better, and your child to be more comfortable/relaxed when they come to the academy in Year 7.


  • The SENCo, TAs and Heads of Year can attend regular meetings with Positive Steps, and attend IAG interviews for students with SEN.
  • TAs and Year Team staff support students thinking about and applying for college places.
  • We will make joint visits to colleges with your child as part of their transition to post-16 studies.
  • We will support extended transition for the most vulnerable.
  • We provide detailed information to post-16 providers to enable them to effectively support students with SEN.

How governors involved and what are their responsibilities?

An annual SEN report is prepared for Governors, which is subject to scrutiny at a formal meeting with the SENCo and Gold leads. This details all aspects of SEN, including the attendance and progress of students with SEN, for their information.

We also have regular Governor Link Meetings throughout the academic year to discuss the progress of the team and the impact this has on outcomes for students.

SEND has a linked Governor, Gail Tuck, who meets with the SENCo to discuss the work and effectiveness of the team.

An annual report covering all aspects of the work and effectiveness of SEND is presented to Governors.

Should you have an issue, your first point of contact is always the person responsible – this may be the class teacher, the SENCo or the Head teacher. Explain your concerns to them first. If you are not satisfied that your concern has been addressed speak to the Head teacher then ask for the academy Governors representative. Most often these concerns are resolved via email or phone and in some circumstances a meeting with the SENCo or appropriate person.

If you do not feel the issues have been resolved, you should follow the academy Complaints Procedure.

If your concern is with the local authority, contact the Complaints and Representations Officer, contact details as follows:

Complaints and Representations Officer


PO Box 40

Level 8, Civic Centre

West Street

Oldham, OL1 1XJ

Tel: 0161 770 1129

The Parent Partnership Service provides independent, individual information and advice for parents of children with special educational needs. Visit for more information.

The Governing Body delegates this task to the SENCo and team at the academy.

SENCo and team work closely with QEST and the Educational Psychology service in Oldham. We also have forged links with CAMHS.

There are a number of parent support groups – QEST, National Autistic Society, CHADD (ADHD), Dyslexia Action etc.