Inclusion and SEN

Special Educational Needs - Information Report 2016 / 2017

All students have a right to an outstanding education which enables them to achieve their full potential and become happy, successful and prosperous members of the local community. As such, successful inclusion means that all students must be supported and empowered during their time at the academy to ensure that they are achieving everything of which they are capable. At Heartlands Academy, we take pride in celebrating our diversity. Where barriers to learning are encountered, teachers are fully engaged in the process of helping students to overcome these challenges and make outstanding progress. For students with special educational needs, these barriers to learning may be more pronounced; our special educational needs team are an experienced, dedicated and passionate team of people whose aim is to ensure that these students are able to succeed and that appropriate and meaningful provisions are in place to enable them to participate fully in our inclusive community.

Heartlands Academy work in conjunction with Birmingham City Council to ensure that the best possible outcomes are achieved for all SEN students and their families. This is outlined in the Birmingham City Council SEN local offer which can be found at:

At Heartlands Academy, all staff are trained to deliver outstanding lessons to students with a variety of special educational needs. The SEN team coordinate this support across the academy, both within lessons and through various intervention and support programmes. They have a variety of expertise which ensures that any barriers to learning are reduced and that students are able to reach their full potential.

Along with a number of support staff, the SEN team is made of the following key people:

  • Assistant Vice Principal: Adele Johnson
  • Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator: Abigail Price
  • SEN Teacher: Victoria Townsend
  • Lead HLTA: Icylene Walters
  • HLTA: Rifat Rehman

In line with the SEN Code of Practice 2015, the academy believes that “all teachers are teachers of students with special educational needs.” As such, the academy adopts a “graduated approach” that places quality-first teaching at the heart of all lessons. Staff have received a range of specialist training to empower them in delivering outstanding lessons which meet the needs of students with special needs, and the SENCo holds an advisory role across all staff in promoting outstanding teaching strategies which meet the individual needs of students.

Our vision is that all students have the potential to succeed and the right to an outstanding teaching and learning. As such, the SEN team regularly meet with departments around the academy to discuss schemes of work and evaluate the quality of provision for students with special educational needs. Where appropriate, subject areas may choose to follow a different scheme of work more suitable for lower ability and pupils with special educational needs in order to support good progress. In addition, SEN pupils will be taught in smaller groups and for the majority of these classes in core subjects a teaching assistant will be present.

In line with the academy’s accessibility plan, reasonable adjustments are made to ensure that all pupils are able to access the facilities within the academy. The building is made up of three floors and is fully accessible by lift. There are also fully accessible toilet facilities, along with a medical room (located on the ground floor) with a shower/wet room. Where appropriate, students with disabilities are provided with lift passes and toilet passes. Where there are medical conditions of a physical or sensory nature that affect motor skills, students will be provided with a laptop and equipment during lessons so that all pupils have real access to learning opportunities in every lesson.

Early identification of pupils with special educational needs is a priority. The academy considers broad areas of SEN which include:

  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH)
  • Learning (including communication and cognition)
  • Medical (including sensory and physical)

We use appropriate screening and assessment tools, and determine student progress through:

  • Discussions with teachers and support staff
  • Their academic performance
  • Literacy and numeracy testing
  • External Agency assessments
  • Records from primary schools and primary liaison
  • Our Transition project
  • Information from parents
  • National Curriculum results at Key Stages 2, 3 & 4

For some students with special educational needs, an additional programme of support or intervention may be appropriate to enable students to succeed. These support programmes are all delivered by trained and experienced members of staff, who regularly liaise with the SEN team to ensure all students are fully supported throughout their time at the academy.

The academy offers a wide range of internal and external additional support for pupils with special educational needs and their families. For pupils, this includes:

  • Additional help and support by subject teachers through a varied curriculum;
  • Appropriate schemes of work to be delivered in curriculum areas;
  • In-class support with teaching assistant or learning mentor;

Specialist structured intervention programmes delivered in a less formal learning environment, these include:

  • Speech and Language
  • Mentoring
  • Educational psychologist
  • Pastoral Support
  • Anger management
  • Social space
  • Emotional Support
  • Literacy and Language Support
  • Numeracy support
  • Academy Nurse
  • Alternative provision
  • Sensory Support
  • Communication and Autism Team

For families, this includes:

  • External provider liaison officer
  • Parent partnership via local authority
  • Forward Thinking Birmingham (formerly CAHMS)
  • Social workers
  • Health care professionals

The academy tracks, monitors and evaluates student progress and interventions using a provision map.

The provision map includes:

  • Pupil names
  • Termly academic levels for core subjects
  • End of Key Stage data
  • Intervention descriptors
  • Entry and exit dates
  • Staff accountable for support

The SENCO and Assistant Vice Headteacher for Inclusion carry out regular monitoring of lessons, students’ work and testing information to ensure that pupils are making progress and the support is effective. This is done every half term.

A key aspect in judging the effectiveness of our support for students for special educational needs is by strengthening the link between home and school. As such, families are regularly invited into school to meet with the SENCo and/or AVH to discuss their child’s progress and welfare across the academy. These meetings take place once a term, though parents are always welcome to reach out to the school to arrange additional meetings to ensure that they are fully informed of the support in place for their children and discuss any queries or questions they may have.

Students who receive additional support have an Individual Pupil Profile (IPP) that details their strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, strategies for teachers to use in lessons and three personal targets. The IPPs are reviewed termly with both the parent and student to check that targets have been met. If targets have not been met, the level of support is amended. If no progress is made after two terms of support, the SENCO and relevant external agencies will complete the local authority CRISP assessment and create a provision plan. This plan will run for at least 6 weeks before an Education Health and Care (EHCP) assessment is considered. Parents are involved throughout this process.

The EHCP replaces the statement of special educational needs. An EHCP covers ages 0-25 and is agreed by the local authority. The grounds for an EHCP are one or more of the following areas of need:

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

A student with an EHCP will also have an IPP. EHCPs will be reviewed annually with the SENCO, parent, pupil and external agencies.

The academy believes that a close working relationship with parents is vital in order to ensure:

  • a) Early and accurate identification and assessment of SEN leading to the correct intervention and provision
  • b) Continuing social and academic progress of students with SEN
  • c) Personal and academic targets are set and met effectively

The academy welcomes feedback from parents all year round and parents can make an appointment to speak to any member of staff, including the SENCO, throughout the year for any reason. Parents and students are invited to progress review days and parents evenings to discuss progress through academic reports and to discuss and review termly IPP targets. Students are involved in the reviews and agree their own targets. Likewise, parental views are recorded as part of this process.

In cases where more frequent regular contact with parents is necessary, this will be arranged based on the individual student’s needs. The SENCO may also signpost parents of students with SEN to the Local Authority Parent Partnership service where specific advice, guidance and support may be offered.

The academy values students’ views and opinions and has an active student council. On a daily basis, students are able to discuss their views or feelings with their form tutor, learning managers and assistants, the SEN team and the welfare officer. For SEN students, the SEN team operate an ‘open door’ approach.

In order to prepare students for transition to Key Stage 3, all Year 6 students are invited to attend the five week academy transition project during the summer term. As part of this programme, all students undertake baseline tests in English, Mathematics and Science to determine what level of support and challenge will be offered in September. During this time, the SENCO meets with the primary SENCOs to discuss the students’ needs.

For transition from Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 4, all Year 9 students and parents are invited to guided choice/option interviews with key members of staff. For SEN pupils, the SENCO is present to ensure the right pathways are chosen.

Throughout Year 11, all students meet regularly with the careers advisor. For SEN students, the SENCO meets regularly with the student, the parent and the advisor to ensure the right pathway is chosen into Post 16 education. Furthermore, the SENCO accompanies the students, if required, to Post 16 provider visits.

In order to promote positive relationships the academy runs a broad-balanced PSHE curriculum. At the academy, we expect high standards of behaviour and conduct. We encourage our community to be supportive of one another in everything they do. We promote a safe, caring and supportive learning environment which allows students to reach their true potential. Bullying is anti-social behaviour and affects everyone; it is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Any incidents of bullying will be dealt with immediately, recorded and monitored by the pastoral team. We also offer a lunchtime social space for vulnerable students to build effective relationships.

In the first instance, all SEN enquiries and complaints should be made to the SENCO and Assistant Vice Headteacher. If the issue cannot be resolved, further contact should be made with the Headteacher.

The academy’s admission arrangements operate in line with Birmingham City Council procedures.

Further details about our admissions arrangements can be found on our website:


If your child has chosen the academy and is already in receipt of an Education Health Care Plan, the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator will liaise with Birmingham Local Authority Special Educational Needs and Review Service (SENAR) to ensure a smooth transition and any specialist provision can be planned and implemented swiftly.

The following websites contain further information about the local offer for students with special educational needs in the Birmingham area:

Further details are available from:

Heartlands Academy
Great Francis Street
B7 4QR

Tel: 01214643931