Special Educational Needs

Definition of Special Educational Needs:

The child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them. A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if they have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age or they have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post 16 institutions.

Where a child or young person has a disability or health condition which requires special educational provision to be made they will be covered by the SEN definition.

The Objectives of The Durham Federation’s SEND provision are:

    • To maintain and develop an inclusive ethos in which every student can grow to personal fulfilment and realise their full potential and character.
    • To ensure access to a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum for all students.
    • To identify students with additional needs and disabilities and to implement appropriate programmes/strategies to meet those needs as far as resources will allow.
    • To raise the self-esteem of students with additional needs and disabilities and to assist them to be autonomous learners.
    • To work with students to develop their independence.
    • To create an environment where school, parents/carers and outside agencies work together for the benefit of SEND students.
    • To support teaching staff in curriculum areas.
    • To contribute to happiness and wellbeing in all areas of school life.
    • To ensure teaching and support staff are equipped to meet the needs of all SEND students.

Supporting SEND students at The Durham Federation:

We aim to support our students with SEND and their parents/carers so that they can achieve their potential, increase their life chances and enjoy their education to the full.

Provision and support exists throughout our colleges for students with special educational needs and disabilities. SEND provision is an integral part of our overall provision. Teachers use the SEND data we collect from primary schools and our own information and assessments to plan lessons and differentiate provision for students with SEND.

The provision may be in the form of extra classes, specifically designed extension opportunities, specific support or self-supported study, literacy enhancement programmes, one to one tuition or mentoring etc. We aim to be quick at identifying under-achievement and addressing it at individual or group level.

We offer in-class support with a team of highly dedicated Learning Support Assistants and Higher Level Teaching Assistants.

Our colleges are highly inclusive and we have students with a range of SEND across all year groups. The Inclusion Team strives to support students across the 11 – 18 age range by working closely with other departments to personalise the learning of SEND students and maximise their learning opportunities. The department policy reflects current best practice in line with the Code of Practice for Special Educational Needs and other relevant legislation.The Inclusion Team’s work includes:

    • Providing focused in-class support/tuition/mentoring as far as resources will allow.
    • Screening all students for literacy and reading difficulties in year 7.
    • Screening all students for non-academic issues in year 7 as required.
    • Monitoring, assessing and observing students when teachers are concerned about and providing expertise around individual student’s needs and strategies for supporting them.
    • Partnership work with partner primary schools to ensure early identification and support.
    • Preparing reports in relation to students’ needs for outside agencies.
    • Managing any SEND referrals to outside agencies or specialists.
    • Working in multi-disciplinary teams supporting SEND students with complex needs or who are vulnerable.
    • Delivering Literacy enhancement and Reading Recovery programmes for students in need of such support.
    • Providing Access Arrangements for examinations for students with SEND.
    • Providing access at any time for students to the Inclusion Suite and Learning Support rooms.

The Inclusion Team