Hathershaw College

Special Educational Needs Policy

Special Education Needs and Disabilities Policy

 Revised in line with the SENd Code of Practice 2014


Legislation and guidance

This policy and information report is based on the statutory Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice and the following legislation: Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014, which sets out schools’ responsibilities for pupils with SEN and disabilities

The Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014, which set out schools’ responsibilities for education, health and care (EHC) plans, SEN co-ordinators (SENCOs) and the SEN information report.

This policy also complies with our funding agreement and articles of association. 



A pupil has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them.  They have a learning difficulty or disability if they have:

  • a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of pupils of the same age; or
  • 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
  • Special educational provision is educational or training provision that is additional to, or different from, that made generally for other children or young people of the same age by mainstream schools.


Definitions of special educational needs (SENd) taken from section 20 of the Children and Families Act 2014.

Making higher quality teaching normally available to the whole class is likely to mean that fewer pupils will require such support. (Code of Practice 6.15) 


(a) Aims

This policy is designed to ensure that:

  • Pupils with SENd have access to a broad and balanced curriculum that maximises the life chances of all
  • The needs of all pupils are rapidly identified through observation and assessment
  • All pupils are encouraged to learn through a range of enjoyable and stimulating experiences
  • All pupils learn to develop independent learning skills so that they will be equipped to deal with life after school
  • All pupils are encouraged to see education as a life-long process
  • All teachers are teachers of SENd pupils


(b) Mission Statement


‘Together we succeed’

This policy will contribute to our mission statement in order to maximise the life chances of all, to recognise the potential of every individual to achieve excellence and to value and celebrate the diversity of our community.


(c) Responsibility for the coordination of SENd provision

The SENCo is responsible for the day-to-day leadership and management of the SENd faculty.  Support for SENd management is provided by the Assistant SENCo who leads on exam Access Arrangements and the SIMS SENd module, and an Intervention Manager who complete internal SENd assessments and intervention strategies, and external referrals where appropriate.

A link SENd Governor is kept informed of how the College is meeting statutory SENd requirements and provides appropriate challenge to the SENCo regarding the progress of/provision for SENd pupils.

The SENCo will identify areas for development in SENd provision, completing a Faculty Improvement Plan that will contribute to the College Improvement Plan.  The SENCo will co-ordinate support for pupils on the SENd register, prioritising those with an Educational Statement/EHCP, followed by those at ‘SENd Support’ that may have support with outside agencies.


(d) Identification of SENd

The Hathershaw College operates a graduated approach to SENd identification:


When identifying a child as needing SENd support, the SENCo, working with the subject teacher should carry out a clear analysis of the pupil’s needs. This should draw on:

  • Teacher/subject assessments
  • KS2 National Curriculum levels
  • Reading Age assessments
  • Learning Cycle progress data – including effort and behaviour grades
  • Attendance/punctuality data
  • SENd assessment information; speech and language, literacy, working memory, emotional literacy etc.
  • External assessments/advice
  • Feedback from teachers, students and parents/carers regarding the social/emotional development of students


If it is agreed that a pupil requires some SENd Support, parents will be informed in writing. All staff working with the pupil will be informed and plans will be developed to ensure interventions are appropriate and to offer support/advice and strategies to class teachers. Plans are available to staff.

A clear date of review will be agreed, and progress, and/or social and emotional development targets will be set.


The class teacher remains responsible for working with the pupil on a daily basis and implementing plans/strategies. They will retain responsibility even where the interventions may involve group or 1:1 teaching away from the class. They will work closely with LSAs to plan and assess the impact of the support and interventions they are providing and communicate with the SENCo where concerns persist.


A review of pupil progress will take place every learning cycle or at the date agreed during the planning stage.  The review process will evaluate the impact of the support and interventions put in place. The SENCo will advise teachers on how to revise this support where necessary or will refer students for additional intervention with the intervention managers and/or external agencies.


(e) Referral for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

If a pupil has significant learning difficulties, they may undergo a Statutory Assessment Process in order to receive further support in their learning. The decision to make a referral for an Education, Health and Care Plan will be taken at a progress review involving parents and the SENCo.

The application for an Education, Health and Care Plans will combine information from a variety of sources including:

  • Parents
  • Teachers
  • SENCo
  • External agency support

Decisions on the outcomes of EHCP applications will be made by the Local Authority.  Where an application is agreed and an EHCP is issued, support plans are to be in place until 25yrs.


(f) Types of SENd

There are 4 main categories of SENd:

1. Communication and Interaction

Including: Speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) and Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

2. Cognition and Learning

Including: Moderate Learning Difficulties (MLD), Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD), Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD) and Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD) such as dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia

3. Social, Emotional and Mental Health difficulties

Including: students suffering from anxiety or depression, self-harming, substance misuse, eating disorders or physical symptoms that are medically unexplained. Other children may have disorders such as attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) or attachment disorder

4. Sensory or Physical difficulties

Including: Visually impaired (VI), Hearing Impaired (HI) and Physical Difficulties (PD)

It is important to note that not all behaviour issues are linked to social, emotional and mental health and may reflect other underlying difficulties. 

Children and young people with some health or disability conditions do not necessarily have SEN, but there is a significant overlap between disabled children and young people and those with SEN. Where a disabled child or young person requires special educational provision they will also be covered by the SEN definition (Code of Practice Xviii) 

Identifying and assessing SEN for children or young people whose first language is not English requires particular care. Schools should l establish whether lack of progress is due to limitations in their command of English or if it arises from SEN or a disability. Difficulties related solely to limitations in English as an additional language are not SEN. (Code of Practice 6.24)


(g) Support for SENd pupils

All teachers are teachers of SENd pupils.  High quality differentiation is the first step in meeting the needs of SENd pupils in the classroom.  Classroom teachers take responsibility for the SENd students they support and will monitor the progress of these pupils.  All teaching staff have access to the following documents to support their SENd planning:

  • The Hathershaw College SENd Policy
  • The SENd register
  • Learning Profiles for SENd students
  • Outcomes of SEN assessment/external assessment

The SENCo will be aware of any issues as they arise through regular monitoring of data and communication with teachers.

SENd pupils are supported in the classroom by Learning Support Assistants.  Learning Support Assistants have a variety of roles within the College; we have a team of 7 full time LSAs and 3 part time LSAs (1 LSA is responsible for the library). This includes 2 key workers for our Y7/Y8 Foundation Learning Tier classes. There is 1 specialist EAL (English as Additional Language) 1 Intervention manager and the Assistant SENCo.

Learning Support Assistants have an awareness of the targets set for pupils and an understanding of the progress these pupils are making in lessons.  Every learning cycle, teachers will discuss any specific concerns they have regarding SEN pupils, which may lead to a change in the support/provision they are offered.

We have also created a Foundation Learning tier class for the most vulnerable Year 7 & 8 pupils in the school.  The Foundation Learning Tier pupils in year 7 and year 8 receive skilled support from learning support assistants. Pupils with an EHCP specifying pre-teaching and post-teaching have additional support with literacy and numeracy in lesson times agreed in consultation with their parents/carers.

We will also provide the following interventions:

  • Fresh Start Phonics
  • Reading Inference
  • Vocabulary intervention
  • Social Skills
  • In school counselling
  • Anger Management

The Hathershaw College is the only school in the Oldham Local Authority with a specialist Hearing Resource Centre and so we are fully equipped to support students with all levels of hearing loss including those that are profoundly deaf.  Many teaching and SENd support staff are also qualified in sign language from level 1 upwards.

An experienced pastoral team also supports our SENd provision, with 5 year managers and 2 attendance support officers, ensuring students are attending lessons, are punctual and display positive behaviour.  All students are allocated a form tutor with the most vulnerable students issued a mentor/key worker for each morning. 

EAL LSAs provide specialist support for pupils with limited command of the English language.  Most of these pupils are International New Arrivals (pupils have been in the UK for less than 2 years).  Please refer to the EAL policy 2020 for further information.

The school ensures that SEND pupils are not treated less favorably than other students by enabling pupils with SEN to engage in activities available to those in the school who do not have SEN;

  • All of our extra-curricular activities and school visits are available to all our pupils, including our before-and after-school clubs
  • All pupils are encouraged to go on residential trips
  • All pupils are encouraged to take part in sports day/school shows and special workshops.
  • No pupil is ever excluded from taking part in these activities because of their SEN or disability.


And through the following adaptations to ensure the school is accessible:

  • Fully accessible toilets are available in three locations in the school (Main building, Science building, IT building)
  • Drop off point is available at the front of school
  • Wheelchair accessible lift access throughout the building
  • Classes timetabled to ensure classes accessible to pupils with reduced mobility
  • Corridor passes so that pupils with reduced mobility can move around when corridors are not busy


(h) External support

The Hathershaw College has strong working relationships with a variety of external support services in order to fully support our SENd pupils. These include:

  • Quality and Effectiveness Support Team (QEST) including Visual & Physical Impairment Team
  • Healthy Young Minds (formerly CAMHS)
  • Positive Steps counselling service
  • The School nursing service
  • Careers Advisor
  • Occupational Therepy
  • Early Help
  • Community Police provision
  • School Counselling Service (SEND Counselling)
  • Educational Psychologist (private)
  • Glossop and Oldham Mind (mental health services)
  • Speech and Language Therapist (private)


(i) Partnerships

  • Parents are encouraged to support their child in many ways, including listening to their child read and helping them to complete their homework
  • Parents are encouraged to attend SENd reviews and parents evenings where their child’s progress will be discussed.  The SENCo is available at each of these events
  • Learning plans and targets are shared with parents on a termly basis.

  • New parents are invited to attend Open evenings held in the autumn/summer terms in order to help to ease their child’s transition to the College

  • This policy is made accessible to parents through the SENd Information Report 2020-21


(j) Transition

Where a student has a current statement or EHC plan an annual review will be held. This review may take the form of a Person Centred Review where transition plans are drawn up in accordance with parental, pupil and staff views.

The Year 7 Foundation Learning Tier LSAs/Year 7 manager visit all SENd students prior to them attending Hathershaw. A learning profile is completed in liaison with Y6 teachers/SENCos/pupils & parents for all SENd Support pupils.  The SENCo visits all EHCP pupils and endeavours to attend their Y6 annual review. 


All SENd pupils are invited into school for transition days which are additional to those attended by all other pupils.  Further visits to the Primary Schools can be arranged if necessary, and further visits to Hathershaw can also be arranged to ease transition. 

SENd pupils’ transition to Post 16 education is supported and carefully planned. School works with pupils, their parents/carers, the school Connexions adviser and Post 16 providers to ensure they choose a course that meets their future requirements. SENd pupils receive support to complete applications for further education, visit colleges and meet the Learning Support staff before their transition to Post 16 education. Post 16 providers are invited to Year 11 Annual Reviews so a comprehensive transition plan can be arranged.


(k) Training

We aim to keep all staff up-to-date with relevant training and developments in teaching practice in relation to the needs of pupils with SENd.

The SENCo, Class teachers and Learning Support Assistants all receive up-to-date and relevant SENd training each year.  The SENCo shares best practice regularly in the LA SENCo forum and attends the SEND Hub meetings which are attended by SENCos from Primary, Secondary and Specialist sectors plus representatives from the Local Authority SENd team.


(l) Admissions policy for SENd students

Students with SENd apply to the school in exactly the same way as all other students. The admissions policy can be found here: https://hathershaw.org.uk/Admission-Arrangements/


(m) Contact details of support services for parents of pupils with SEN

Parents can access support through 'Talk Oldham SEND Helpline' 0161 503 1559

Parents can also access SEND workshops and training

Contact number:  0161 503 1547   https://www.point-SENd.co.uk/Pages/Category/workshops

Oldham Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Information, Advice Support Service (IASS) exists to help parents and carers of children who have, or may have, special educational needs and/or disabilities; and children and young people themselves, in matters relating to their Education, Health or Social Care provision.

Contact number:  0161 503 1547  https://www.point-SENd.co.uk/Pages/Category/oldham-SENdiass


(n) The local authority local offer

Oldham's Local Offer is an online resource that details services, support and guidance available to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) aged 0-25 and their families. It is published here: https://www.oldham.gov.uk/info/200368/children_and_young_people_with_special_educational_needs_and_disabilities


(o)  Complaints about SEN provision

We would seek to rectify any issues promptly and with minimum disruption to a child’s education. Your first point of contact should be the class teacher, Year Manager, SENCO or Headteacher. You should explain your concerns to them in the first instance. In the unlikely event that you are not entirely satisfied that your complaint has been addressed, you should follow the school’s complaints procedure. It is accessed here:


For support with this procedure, parents may wish to contact POINT (Parents of Oldham In Touch). Their website and contact details can be found at http://pointoldham.co.uk

The parents of pupils with disabilities have the right to make disability discrimination claims to the first-tier SEND tribunal if they believe that our school has discriminated against their children. They can make a claim about alleged discrimination regarding: exclusions, provision of education and associated services, making reasonable adjustments, including the provision of auxiliary aids and services.


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