What is the Age Range of pupils at Rushey Mead 11 to 16 years
Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENDCo) Emma Topley
Academy Councillor with responsibility for SEND Ali Rutherford
Contact Information Email (admin)  [email protected]
Email (SENDCo) [email protected]
Local Offer Webpage Link https://www.leicester.gov.uk/schools-and-learning/special-educational-needs-sen/


At Orchard Mead Academy everyone should achieve their very best and feel secure, regardless of their individual needs.

We believe ‘Together we make a difference’. We aim to support all our pupils including those with special educational needs and disabilities so that they can achieve their full potential.

What is SEND?

The Code of Practice 2014 states that:

‘A pupil has SEN where their learning difficulty or disability calls for special educational provision, namely provision different from or additional to that normally available to pupils of the same age.’

The Four broad areas of need identified within the SEN Code of Practice 2014 are:

  • Communication and Interaction (e.g. speech articulation, stammering, speech and language delay, autism etc)
  • Cognition and Learning (e.g. global learning difficulties, dyslexia, dyscalculia etc)
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties (e.g. anxiety, depression, eating disorders, obsessive, compulsive disorder (OCD) etc)
  • Sensory and Physical Needs (Visual impairment, hearing impairment, sensory needs (e.g. autism, dyspraxia, toileting issues, physical disability etc)
Communication and Interaction (e.g. speech articulation, stammering, speech and language delay, autism etc) Outside Agencies In school intervention
Children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) have difficulty in communicating with others.

This may be because they have difficulty saying what they want to, understanding what is being said to them or they do not understand or use social rules of communication.

The profile for every child with SLCN is different and their needs may change over time. They may have difficulty with one, some or all of the different aspects of speech, language or social communication at different times of their lives.

Children and young people with ASD are likely to have particular difficulties with social interaction.

They may also experience difficulties with language, communication and imagination, which can impact on how they relate to others.

Members of the inclusion faculty and full staff team have training in ASD and SLCN.

The Speech and Language Therapists work with individual scholars from their caseload.

Advice is provided and shared with staff.

The CLCI ASD link teachers work with individuals and provide specific advice for school.

The Educational Psychologist provides advice and strategies for individual scholars.

Enhanced transition arrangements ensure needs are identified and arrangements put in place as scholars move from KS2.

Training for whole school staff.

Enhanced transition arrangements ensure needs are idenfitifed and arrangements put in place as students move from KS2 and in Year 11 for post 16 provision.


Bespoke individual support is available if advised by professionals this is necessary.

Personalised support guided by professionals where necessary.


Cognition and Learning  (e.g. global learning difficulties, dyslexia, dyscalculia etc) Outside Agencies In school intervention
A young person has a learning difficulty or disability if they have significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or has a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools.

Support for learning difficulties may be required for children and young people who learn at a slower pace than their peers, even with appropriate differentiation. Learning difficulties cover a wide range of needs, including moderate learning difficulties (MLD) or specific learning difficulties (SpLD).

On entry, the school assesses scholars’ cognition and learning through MIDYIS tests, literacy tests are conducted and previous attainment levels at KS2 are reviewed.   If any concerns are raised then further assessments and advice is sought.

These assessments might identify moderate learning difficulties (MLD) or specific learning difficulties (SpLD), which affects one or more specific aspects of learning. This encompasses a range of conditions such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and dyspraxia.

Learning, Communication and

Interaction Support Team (LCI) provide advice and guidance with assessments, suggesting and implementing programmes to meet individual needs.

Educational Psychologists support with assessments, suggest and implement appropriate programmes.

Primary school link meetings take place during transition and throughout the academic year when necessary.

Connexions support in transition plans to post 16 provision where appropriate.

School representatives attend transition meetings when appropriate.

The staff is trained to deliver a differentiated curriculum to meet the needs of pupils with SEND.

We offer additional support through the following interventions:

Reading Buddies



One-to-one literacy and numeracy interventions

The whole staff receive how to support students with whole class teaching strategies, through training and INSET.

After school study clubs to support learning.

Alternative provision is sought where necessary including bespoke programmes and at KS4, for example, Entry Level courses are identified.

Social, mental and emotional health SEMH (e.g. anxiety, depression, eating disorders, obsessive, compulsive disorder (OCD) etc. Outside Agencies In school intervention
Young people may experience a wide range of social and emotional difficulties which manifest themselves in many ways. These may include becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well as displaying challenging, disruptive or disturbing behaviour.

These behaviours may reflect underlying mental health difficulties such as anxiety or depression, self- harming, substance misuse, eating disorders or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained.

Other children and young people may have disorders such as attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder or attachment disorder.

The school assesses students’ emotional and behavioural needs to ensure appropriate interventions are initiated and opportunities to address any issues identified.

We have good links with feeder primary schools, and the year 6 profiles are shared before transition and enhanced induction days and personalised transition arrangements for KS2-3 and KS4-5 for individuals who are moving to post 16 provision.

Safeguarding, anti-bullying and behaviour policies and procedures all support students with SEMH needs.

After identification from primary school, observations and assessments from within the school, the following agencies may be requested to contribute to further assessments and programmes

of support:

School Counsellor

School Nurse/GP

Educational Psychology Service


Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)

ADHD solutions

Youth Offending Team

Other specialist services to support students with

SEMH issues

For those children who are unwell and not able to attend mainstream school, the Children’s Hospital

School may be involved and students may be educated offsite.

Transition at each Key Stage will involve past or future educators and Connexions when appropriate.

For some students in KS4, who find school difficult to engage with, alternative courses are provided and the students are educated off site.


The following resources are used to support those

children who have been identified with issues relating

to SMEH difficulties:

Heads of Year and Assistant Heads of Year are available to offer support.

TAs can be available to provide daily support, guidance, modelling and practice of skills if appropriate.

Where necessary safe spaces are available for students in crisis.

and bespoke timetable is required including a PSP as well as Vocational learning opportunities are available at KS 4.

Bereavement support is offered and referrals to the Laura Centre are made if appropriate.

For some students a PSP will be carried out to support students and their families.

Sensory/ Physical (Visual impairment, hearing impairment, sensory needs (e.g. autism, dyspraxia, toileting issues, physical disability etc) Outside Agencies In school intervention
Some children and young people require special educational provision because they have a disability, which prevents or hinders them from making use of the educational facilities generally provided.

These difficulties can be age related and may fluctuate over time. Many children and young people with vision impairment (VI), hearing impairment (HI) or a multi-sensory impairment (MSI) will require specialist support and/or equipment to access their learning, or habilitation support.

Children and young people with an MSI have a combination of vision and hearing difficulties.

Young people with a physical disability (PD) require additional ongoing support and equipment to access all the opportunities available to their peers.

A range of teaching and learning resources are used to take into account different learning styles and to compensate for reduced sensory or physical abilities.

Clear planning for the production of modified resources, with support from outside agencies where appropriate.

Provision of differentiated and assistive resources and materials when planning delivery of lessons.

Consideration of timetabling and location of rooms, which are suitably furnished.

DDA compliant building, including where appropriate adaptations to the environment.



Specialist staff from the Hearing Support Team and

Vision Support Team provides assessment and support where appropriate.

Physiotherapy and occupational therapy are fully involved when a child’s need merits this.

Enhanced transition arrangements ensure needs are identified and arrangements put in place as students move from KS2 and in Year 11 for post 16 provision.

Other agencies are involved if appropriate.


All environmental aspects of the school building have been considered with reference to special individual needs, and where appropriate further modifications are provided after support and guidance from appropriate agencies.

The following are available to students with these needs:

· Full access throughout the school

· Use of lifts as appropriate

· Disabled toilets

· Fire evacuation using Evac chairs if required

· Adapted resources for ICT

What policies does Orchard Mead Academy use for identifying SEND?

We have an SEND Policy which can be found on the website.

At our school we use the definition for SEN and for disability from the SEND Code of Practice (2014). This states:

SEN: A child or young person has special educational needs if he or she has a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her. A learning difficulty or disability is a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age. Special educational provision means educational or training provision that is additional to, or different from, that made generally for others of the same age in a mainstream setting in England

Disability: Many children and young people who have SEN may have a disability under the Equality Act 2010 – that is ‘…a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities’. This definition includes sensory impairments such as those affecting sight or hearing, and long-term health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, and cancer.

Where can I find the schools Accessibility Policy?

The Accessibility Policy is located here: OMA Accessibility Plan

What are the admission arrangements for pupils with SEND at Orchard Mead?

Children and young people with SEND have different needs, but the general presumption is that all children with SEN but without an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) are welcome to apply for a place at our school, in line with the school admissions policy. If a place is available, we will undertake to use our best endeavours, in partnership with parents, to make the provision required to meet the SEN of pupils at this school.

For children with an EHCP, parents have the right to request a particular school and the local authority must comply with that preference and name the school or college in the EHC Plan unless:

  • it would be unsuitable for the age, ability, aptitude or SEND of the child or young person, or
  • The attendance of the child or young person there would be incompatible with the efficient education of others, or the efficient use of resources.

Before making the decision to name our school in a child’s EHCP, the local authority will send the Principal a copy of the EHCP and then consider their comments very carefully before a final decision on placement is made. In addition, the local authority must also seek the agreement of the school where the draft EHCP sets out any provision to be delivered on their premises that have been secured through a direct payment (personal budget).

Parents of a child with an EHCP also have the right to seek a place at a special school or specialist provision if they consider that their child’s needs could be better met there.


What are the arrangements for supporting pupils with SEN who are looked after by the local authority?

Arrangements for these pupils are the same as for other pupils with SEND but their progress will be shared with both their carers and other agencies associated with the authority as appropriate.

Orchard Mead Academy’s approach to teaching pupils with SEND

In teaching pupils with SEND we have the following aims:

To make reasonable adjustments for those with a disability by taking action to increase access to the curriculum, the environment and to printed information for all.

To ensure that children and young people with SEN engage in the activities of the school alongside pupils who do not have SEN.

To reduce barriers to progress by embedding the principles in the National Curriculum Inclusion statement https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-curriculum

To use our best endeavours to secure special educational provision for pupils for whom this is required, that is “additional to and different from” that provided within the differentiated curriculum, to better respond to the four broad areas of need:

  • Communication and interaction,
  • Cognition and learning,
  • Social, mental and emotional health,
  • Sensory/physical.

We monitor the progress of all pupils and record their levels three times a year through our tracking systems. If a pupil is achieving below the level expected for their age or there are concerns about their development in any area we will adopt a graduated approach.

The graduated approach to SEN support

  • All pupils have individual curriculum targets set in line with national outcomes to ensure ambition. Parents are informed of these via the reporting system and also at events such as Parents’ Evenings.
  • Pupils’ attainments are tracked using the whole school tracking system and those failing to make expected levels of progress are identified. These pupils are then discussed in faculty progress meetings that are undertaken between the subject teachers.
  • Additional action to increase the rate of progress will be then identified and recorded that will include a review of the impact of quality first teaching being provided to the child, and if required, provision of interventions to further support the success of the pupil.
  • Where it is decided during this early discussion that special educational provision is required to support increased rates, parents will be informed that the school considers their child may require SEN support and their partnership sought in order to improve attainments.

This is ensured through

  1. All staff having a keen commitment to inclusive education.
  2. SENDCO and teaching assistants advocating on behalf of SEND students if needed.
  3. Close monitoring of all school activities to ensure SEND students are participating at proportionate rates at least.

What expertise and training of staff do Orchard Mead provide to support pupils with SEN?

The SENDCo has passed The National Award for the Co-Ordination of Special Educational Needs. The SENDCo attends regular SEND update and training courses provided by the Leicester Special Educational Needs Teaching Service (SNTS).

Other members of staff also attend courses provided by this service as appropriate.

Training is also provided by the Leicester City Psychology Service, the Speech and Language Therapy Service and the Health Service as needed.

What facilities are provided to assist access to the academy?

Orchard Mead Academy School is a three storey building, in parts. Corridors are wide and we have an easy access toilets. Where and when appropriate, we make changes to the environment or building that are necessary for children with physical or other sensory disabilities.

The following adaptations have been made to the school environment:

  • Disabled parking spot marked and located next to the school reception.
  • Ramp access into school to ensure the site is accessible to all.
  • There is an accessible toilet in reception to ensure accessibility for visitors with a disability.
  • A medical room has been provided in order to enable a safe place for insulin testing/injections.

Our Accessibility Plan (see website) describes the actions the school has taken to increase access to the environment, the curriculum and to printed information. It is available via the school website.

What equipment and facilities do we have to support pupils with SEND?

The school has a computer suite and a class set of IPad’s which are available to all classes.

All classrooms are equipped with interactive whiteboards and visualizers.

We have a wide range of resources to support teachers in their delivery of the curriculum.

The school has a designated area for SEND.

The school has an additional small rooms for the delivery of group or one-to-one interventions.

Sometimes individual children receive additional full or part-time support from a teaching assistant according to the provision outlined in their Education, Health and Care Plan.

We have a criteria at Orchard Mead Academy to follow when looking at students’ needs for a laptop and is assessed and verified by a member of the SEND team, this is as follows:-

  • If the student has a medical condition which does not enable them to write.
  • A temporary medication condition which prevents them from writing.
  • If a student’s writing is illegible with or without a learning disability.
  • A sensory impairment.

The spelling and grammar check facility and predictive text is disabled in exam settings, so as to not advantage any students with a laptop.

What support services are available?

  • The following services are available to support the school in meeting the needs of the pupils with SEND:
  • Learning, Communication and Interaction Support Team
  • Hearing Impairment team
  • Visual Impairment team
  • Educational Psychology Service
  • Educational Welfare Officers
  • Physical and Disability Support Service
  • Social Services
  • School Nurse
  • Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service

How does Orchard Mead adapt the curriculum and the learning environment of pupils with SEND?

  • Where a pupil has been identified as having special educational needs, the curriculum and the learning environment are further adapted by the class teacher to reduce barriers to learning and enable them to access the curriculum more easily.
  • These adaptations may include strategies suggested by the SENDCo and/or external specialists
  • Teachers plan using pupils’ achievement levels, differentiating tasks to ensure progress for every pupil in the classroom.
  • In addition if it is considered appropriate, pupils may be provided with specialised equipment or resources such as ICT and/or additional adult help.

How does Orchard Mead ensure that pupils with SEN are enabled to engage in activities available with pupils in the academy who do not have SEN?

All of our children have equal access to before school, lunchtime and after school clubs. Where necessary, we make amendments and adaptations to meet the physical and learning needs of our children.

Class trips are part of our curriculum and we aim for all children to benefit from them. All children with SEN, disability or medical needs are included in trips and other activities unless a risk assessment suggests that this would be inappropriate.

What steps are taken to prevent pupils with SEND from being treated less favourably than other pupils?

Our school aims to be an inclusive school. We actively seek to remove the barriers to learning and participation that can hinder or exclude individual pupils, or groups of pupils. This means that equality of opportunity must be a reality for our children. We make this a reality through the attention that we pay to the needs of the different groups of children within our school including those with SEND.

We meet these needs through:

  • responding to children’s diverse learning needs
  • overcoming potential barriers to learning and assessment for individuals and groups of pupils
  • providing an appropriate but inclusive curriculum to meet the needs of our children with speech, language and communication needs who are in our DSP
  • providing other curricular opportunities outside the National Curriculum to meet the needs of individuals or groups of children (This includes speech and language therapy and mobility training.)
  • supplying auxiliary aids if not provided through a Statement of SEN or EHC Plan

How will Orchard Mead evaluate the effectiveness of the provision made for pupils with SEN?

The effectiveness of interventions for children with SEND is monitored by the SENDCo.

Annual school self-evaluation and improvement planning. Peer review via Challenge Partners.

Observations, monitoring and quality assurance from professionals working for specialist agencies.

The progress of pupils who receive support through interventions is monitored through baseline and summative assessments. These may be formal and/or informal assessments.

How does Orchard Mead assess and review pupil’s progress towards outcomes?

We follow the guidelines of the SEN Code of Practice 2014.

All children with a statement or EHC Plan have personalised outcomes. Progress towards outcomes is continually monitored and formally reviewed, one will be at the annual EHCP review, with parents/carers, and if appropriate, the child, in accordance with the revised SEN Code of Practice 2014. At these meetings new targets may be set in collaboration with professionals, parents/carers and the child where appropriate. Children’s goals are communicated clearly with all relevant parties involved in working with the children e.g. speech and language therapists.

How does Orchard Mead consult parents of children with SEND and involve them in their child’s education

Parents/carers are actively encouraged to be involved with all aspects of their child’s education.  Teachers and the SENDCO are pleased to talk to parents at any time during the year.

Parents of children with an SEND are invited to discuss their child’s progress three times a year.  Parents’ Evenings provide an opportunity for meetings.

For children who have an Education, Health and Care Plan a meeting is held annually to review the plan. The child’s parents, teachers and other professionals who are involved in their education, health or welfare are invited to attend those meetings.

All children are set homework in line with school policy. The homework can all be found on Classcharts, access letters are sent to parents at the beginning of the academic year.

How does Orchard Mead consult pupils with SEND and involve them in their education

Pupils’ views are gathered and these help to inform interventions which are recorded on their individual pupil profiles; these are then shared with all parties involved in the education and care of the child.

Pupils with an EHC Plan are invited to attend or contribute in an appropriate way to their Annual Review meetings.

Support services for parents of pupils with SEN include:  

The SEND Information, Advice and Support Service offers independent advice and support to parents and carers of all children and young people with SEND. The nearest service can be located:


The telephone number for the Leicester service is 0116 2575027

The SEND Information, advice and Support Service will also provide information on how to access an Independent Supporter for those parents whose children are being assessed for an EHCP.

Parents and carers can also appeal to the Government’s SEND tribunal if you disagree with the Local Authorities decisions about your child’s special educational needs. You can also appeal to the tribunal if the school or council has discriminated against your disabled child.

What support for improving emotional and social development does Orchard Mead offer?

The school offers a wide variety of pastoral support for pupils:

  • We have Head of Year/Assistant Head of Years and members of the SEND team who are trained to support children with social or emotional difficulties
  • An evaluated Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PHSE) curriculum that aims to provide pupils with the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to enhance their emotional and social knowledge and well-being.
  • Small group evidence-led interventions to support pupil’s well-being are delivered to targeted pupils and groups. These aim to support improved interaction skills, emotional resilience and well-being.
  • Pupils who find outside class times difficult are provided with a supported break and lunchtime.

How does Orchard Mead involve other bodies, including health and social care bodies, local authority support services and voluntary sector organisations, in meeting pupil’s SEN and supporting their families?

In addition to the educational services we are able to refer children and families to other services to request their support. These include:

  • the health service
  • social services
  • the Family Support Service
  • the Speech and Language Therapy Service

We can also provide parents and carers with details of voluntary organisations such as:

  • ADHD Solutions

How does Orchard Mead support pupils with SEND in the transfer between phases of education/the preparation for adulthood and independent living

The transition programme in place for pupils provides a number of opportunities for pupils and parents to meet staff in the new school through an open evening. The annual review in Y6 pupils with an EHCP, the SENDCO at Orchard Mead Academy will attend. Parents will be encouraged to consider options for the next phase of education and the school will involve outside agencies, as appropriate, to ensure information provided is comprehensive but accessible. For pupils transferring to local schools, the SENDCO’s of both schools will meet to discuss the needs of pupils with SEN in order to ensure a smooth transition.

The records of pupils who leave the school mid-phase will be transferred to their next school.

Transitions pathways are followed in accordance to the secondary school’s policy e.g. transition visits, information gathering, and photo books.

What are the arrangements for handling complaints from parents of children with SEN about the provision made at Orchard Mead?

We would like to think that the relationship we aim to establish with parents means that queries and concerns could be responded to informally by our SENDCO in the first instance. However, our Complaints Procedure is available to parents on the policies section of our website.