“Providing a Foundation for Life”
Inclusion at Saxmundham Free School
Saxmundham Free School is a non-selective and inclusive school. It will cater for students of all levels and abilities and a range of emotional and social needs. The Seckford Foundation Free Schools Trust believes in providing a broad and balanced, academically focussed curriculum in which inclusive practices enable access for all students.
As part of the leadership team of the school, a Deputy Headteacher is in role as Inclusion Leader and is responsible for ensuring that the needs of all students at all levels and abilities will be catered for. The Inclusion Leader will be the SENDCo as well as championing the needs of able, gifted and talented youngsters and students with other needs. The Inclusion Leader will lead a team of Higher Level Teaching Assistants and Teaching Assistants. Specially adapted facilities in the physical environment, including adapted furniture in specialist subjects (such as Science, Food Tech, etc.) ensure that those students with physical disabilities can access learning.
In order to promote and ensure inclusion, all our outstanding teachers have been recruited with inclusion in mind. They have applied to work with us because of our inclusive ethos and have extensive experience in inclusion in state education. The commitment of each and every staff member to inclusion has been rigorously tested at interview. We have provided more Professional Development Days for our staff than would normally be expected (10 instead of 5). This is purposely designed to ensure the necessary time for the training of our staff to meet the specific needs of the students in our school. As part of a wider Trust, Saxmundham Free School staff will set up links between schools to share the experience, expertise and good practice of our staff and to tap into qualifications across our network for the benefit of our students.
On a day-to-day basis, staff are aware of our clear expectations related to inclusion. Teaching and inclusion staff are expected to make the necessary adaptations to learning resources and materials and / or the objectives of the activities for each individual student in order to ensure appropriate progress and the achievement of all individual, social and academic goals. This expectation is so important it forms a central strand of the job descriptions of staff.
Our aim is for each student to have a Personal Education Plan (PEP). In this PEP, any special arrangements to meet the needs of students will be clearly laid out. All of our work will be underpinned by our strong pastoral and enrichment systems. Our tutors will be the main people that guide, support and care for every student in our schools.
Our beliefs and goals will be encapsulated in an Inclusion Policy and an Accessibility Plan that will lay out clearly the way that Saxmundham Free School will operate with regard to inclusive practice. All staff are expected to know every student’s name and needs. Our ethos, founded on the 6Cs to Success (Co-operation, Commitment, Confidence, Community, Challenge and Celebration) will ensure that every student has the same access to the experiences and challenges of school life.
At the Saxmundham Free School, inclusion is part of a much larger picture than just placement in regular classes. Inclusion is about having access, but it is also about being welcomed and embraced as a member who belongs to our diverse community. We believe that the objective of inclusion is achieved only when a student is participating in the activities of the school and their classes with the support they need to achieve to their highest potential.
Definition of Special Educational Needs
Children have special educational needs if they have a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made for them. Children have a learning difficulty if they:
a) have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age; or
(b) have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of the same age in schools within the area of the local education authority
(c) are under compulsory school age and fall within the definition at (a) or (b) above or would so do if special educational provision was not made for them.
Children must not be regarded as having a learning difficulty solely because the language or form of language of their home is different from the language in which they will be taught.
Special educational provision means:
(a) for children of two or over, educational provision which is additional to, or otherwise different from, the educational provision made generally for children of their age in schools maintained by the LA, other than special schools, in the area
(b) for children under two, educational provision of any kind.
When a subject teacher, member of the pastoral team or the SENDCo identifies a child with SEND they should provide interventions that are additional to or different from those provided as part of the school’s usual differentiated curriculum offer and strategies
The triggers for intervention through School Action could be the teacher’s or others’ concern, underpinned by evidence, about a child or young person who, despite receiving differentiated learning opportunities:
o makes little or no progress even when teaching approaches are targeted particularly in a pupil’s identified area of weakness.
o presents persistent emotional and/or behavioural difficulties, which are not ameliorated by the behaviour management techniques usually employed in the school
o has sensory or physical problems, and continues to make little or no progress despite the provision of specialist equipment
o has communication and/or interaction difficulties, and continues to make little or no progress despite the provision of a differentiated curriculum.
o shows signs of difficulty in developing literacy or mathematics skills that result in poor attainment in some curriculum areas
School Action Plus
Schools should always consult specialists when they take action on behalf of a pupil through School Action Plus. But the involvement of specialists need not be limited to such pupils. Outside specialists can play an important part in the very early identification of special educational needs and in advising schools on effective provision designed to prevent the development of more significant needs. They can act as consultants and be a source for in-service advice on learning and behaviour management strategies for all teachers.
At School Action Plus external support services, both those provided by the LA and by outside agencies, will usually see the child, in school if that is appropriate and practicable, so that they can advise subject and pastoral staff on new IEPs, with fresh targets and accompanying strategies, provide more specialist assessments that can inform planning and the measurement of a pupil’s progress, give advice on the use of new or specialist strategies or materials, and in some cases provide support for particular activities.
The kinds of advice and support available to schools will vary according to local policies. The triggers for School Action Plus could be that, despite receiving an individualised programme and/or concentrated support, the pupil:
o continues to make little or no progress in specific areas over a long period
o continues working at National Curriculum levels substantially below that expected of pupils of a similar age
o continues to have difficulty in developing literacy and mathematics skills
o has emotional or behavioural difficulties which substantially and regularly interfere with
o their own learning or that of the class group, despite having an individualised
o behaviour management programme
o has sensory or physical needs, and requires additional specialist equipment or regular advice or visits, providing direct intervention to the pupil or advice to the staff, by a specialist service
o has ongoing communication or interaction difficulties that impede the development of social relationships and cause substantial barriers to learning.
For a very few pupils the help given by schools through Action Plus may not be sufficient to enable the pupil to make adequate progress. It will then be necessary for the school, in consultation with the parents and any external agencies already involved, to consider whether to ask the LA to initiate a statutory assessment.
Linked team for Statutory Assessment and EHCPs:
Suffolk Coastal Family Services (email: SENDSS@suffolk.gov.uk)