Special Educational Needs Policy

The Hawthorne’s mission statement embraces the ethos of the school by placing the individual at the heart of the learning process always seeking to foster and sustain the spiritual, moral, intellectual social, emotional and physical growth of each pupil by offering an inclusive curriculum to match individual needs.

A number of aims are derived from the mission statement:   The following are particularly relevant to pupils with Additional Needs:

  • To ensure that all pupils reach their full potential as fully rounded human beings.
  •  To develop skills of literacy and numeracy to meet the basic demands of society.
  •  To make provision for the gifted and to give additional provision to those who are in any way disadvantaged.

The Philosophy of the Inclusion Department

 The Inclusion department aims to promote a culture of achievement for all its pupils.

  •  To go further than I thought
  •  To run faster than I hoped
  •  To reach higher than I dreamed
  •  To become the person I need to be


 The Hawthorne’s FreeSchool values the contribution that every young person can make and welcomes the diversity of culture, religion and academic capability.  The school seeks to raise the achievement, remove barriers to learning and increase physical and curriculum access for all.

For the purpose of this policy special educational needs are as defined in the 1996 Education Act and revised SEN Code of Practice in 2002.  Children may be vulnerable if they have significantly greater difficulty accessing education than the majority of their peers.


 The School aims to ensure that pupils receive:

Early identification of their needs.

  • Prompt interventions.
  • High quality support and learning experiences.
  • High expectations; recognition and celebration      of success.
  • Access to the same opportunities as their      peers.
  • Access to a broad, balanced and relevant      curriculum.

The governing body and the teaching staff strive to ensure the necessary provision is made for any pupil who has SEN and ensure that those needs will be made known to all who are likely to teach them.

The staff and governors in the school are aware of the importance of identifying and providing for those pupils who have SEN.

The school strives:

To ensure that the culture, practice, management      and resources are designed to meet the needs of all our pupils.  Refer to ‘Pupil Profiles and Graduated      Response’ section, ‘Allocation of Resources, Management and      Administration.

  • To enable pupils with additional needs to      maximise their achievements through closely monitoring and evaluating the      success of the education provided for young people with additional needs.
  • To ensure children with additional needs are      offered high quality teaching and full access to a broad, balanced,      relevant curriculum.
  • To work in partnership with parents to enable      them to make an active contribution to the education of their child.
  • To take the views and wishes of the child into      account.
  • To identify and assess pupils with additional      needs as early and thoroughly as is possible.
  • To work cooperatively with all agencies      involved in the child, adopting a multi disciplinary approach to the      resolution of pertinent issues.
  • To stimulate and maintain pupil curiosity,      interest and engagement in learning

Admission and Inclusion

 All the teachers at The Hawthorne’s FreeSchool are teachers of children with SEN.  The school adopts a whole school philosophy towards SEN which involves all staff adhering to a model of good practice.  The staff of the school are committed to identifying and providing for the needs of all children in a wholly inclusive environment in line with that of Sefton LEA.

The school operates an equal opportunities policy for children with SEN who are afforded the same rights as other children, this includes both those children with statements of SEN and those with less significant problems.

Admission Arrangements

Any parents wishing to send their child to The Hawthorne’s FreeSchool must in the first instance ensure the child meets the admission criteria laid down by the governors.

Children with additional needs may come from a primary school, special school, a secondary school or another country.

Admission from other schools/countries

The school provides a welcoming admission process for the induction, assessment and support of pupils from other areas and new arrivals to the country. Account is taken of the child’s linguistic, cultural and religious background when planning the curriculum and developing home – school links.

The school aims:

  • to ensure that our written and spoken      communication with families is effective through the use of interpreters      and translators.
  •  to work closely with members of the wider      community to support our EAL pupils. ( Refer to Race Equality Policy and      EAL Policy.)

Admissions from other schools

Pupils transferring from other institutions / areas will be integrated into The Hawthorne’s FreeSchool  within the following guidelines:

  • That any transfer is a process not an event.
  • That coping strategies will be provided for the      pupils and a key person appointed with whom the pupil can link up to.
  • That the advice from the previous school is      highly valued.
  • That there should be consultation with all      relevant parties throughout the transfer process.
  • That there are opportunities for the pupil to      visit the school and sample the atmosphere.
  • That contact with parents is established and      maintained during the transfer process.
  • Any pupil transferring from another school /      area is assessed by the SEN department on arrival through a variety of      diagnostic tests.

Pupils with Additional Needs

All pupils have different needs and we aim to meet those needs through a balanced curriculum that endeavours to have regard to different abilities and personal attributes.

To enable pupils with additional needs to access a mainstream curriculum, we offer:

P  In-class support

P  Specialist tuition both in-house and external

P  Differentiation of materials

P  Supportive pastoral procedures

P  Withdrawal support in small groups to follow specific intervention programmes

P  1 – 1 tuition for pupil’s with intensive needs

A pupil is considered to have an additional need if:

a)    He or she has a learning difficulty, which is significantly greater than the majority of pupils the same age, which causes the pupils academic performance to fall below that of age related expectations.

b)    He or she has a physical disability, which either prevents or hinders the pupil from making use of the educational facilities of the kind provided for pupils of their age.

c)    He or she has an emotional social or behavioural difficulty that requires support so the pupil can fulfil his/her potential in the classroom.


Identification Assessment and Reporting Procedures

 Pupils may be highlighted as having an additional need by one or more of the following sources:

The primary school

  • Parent / Carer
  • Subject Teacher
  • Form Tutor / Year head
  • Screening tests
  • Key Stage 2 raw scores
  • The pupil voice

Following identification, the precise nature of the child’s needs will be assessed by the Inclusion department through diagnostic tests, pupil observations, questionnaires, liaison with parents / carers, and an individual interview with the pupil.

On arrival at The Hawthorne’s FreeSchool all Year 7 pupils are screened in reading spelling and numeracy.  The data is collated by the Inclusion Manager and compared with primary school information, Key Stage 2 attainment and CATS scores.  Following an analysis of the data collection the Inclusion Manager draws up a list of children who are high priority, medium priority and those who need close monitoring.  Pupils are interviewed on a one to one basis to ascertain their personal views about their needs. Parents are invited to a meeting with the Inclusion Manager to gain a full history of the child.  The child is placed on the Inclusion Register.

A plan of action or an intervention programme is drawn up to match the child’s needs.  The pupil and parent are fully involved and kept informed throughout the process.

Further diagnostic testing may need to be carried out by the Inclusion Manager or liaison with the Special Advisory Inclusion Consultant may take place.

Expertise from a range of specialist agencies (refer to list) may need to be drawn upon as the Inclusion Manager gains more insight into the nature of the child’s difficulties.   

 In order for every child to access the curriculum a Provision Map and a ‘Pupil Profile’ tailored to meet the needs of the individual is collated

 Assessment of individual’s needs is on-going.  Pupils’ base line scores are re-tested at three intervals during the year linked to the whole school interim review process.

A review of pupil progress linked to their individual specialist support programmes is provided for parents twice yearly.

Parents receive regular updates from the SENCO by letter / telephone.

All parents are made aware that contact with the SENCO can be made at any time.

  Provision of Support – Determining the appropriate level of intervention

 The aim of the Inclusion Department is to provide effective inclusive support.  Any additional intervention programmes are designed to minimise underachievement for all learners.

In Wave 1 – School Action   The provision on offer is high quality teaching which includes the adjustment of departmental planning and schemes of work to take learners where they need to be in terms of age-related expectations.

Wave 2 – School Action Plus   The provision is designed to increase rates of progress by offering highly structured programmes in small groups.  The support is targeted according to analysis of need.  The support may be built in to mainstream English lessons as part of guided work or may be in addition to whole class lessons.

Wave 3 – School Action Intensive / Statemented   The provision includes individualised programmes to accelerate and maximise progress.  This may involve specialist tuition delivered by a specialist teacher or a TA3 to support learners towards the achievement of very specific targets.

All intervention support aims to assist the young people in transferring their skills to other areas of the curriculum to ensure that motivation and progress in learning are sustained.

 All pupils with additional needs are taught with their peers in mainstream classes and study the full curriculum appropriate for their age.

All teaching staff and support staff are aware of the National Curriculum Inclusion Statement and in their planning and teaching they strive to:

  • Provide suitable learning challenges
  • Meet the children’s diverse needs
  • Remove barriers to learning and assessment.
  • Set individual learning targets to accelerate  pupil progress.

With advice and support from the Inclusion Manager and Learning Support Team subject teachers strive to match the learning to the needs and abilities of each child.  Where appropriate materials are modified or support is provided to enable children with additional needs to access the learning and assessment processes.

The school acknowledges that its practices make a difference, therefore issues related to pupils with additional needs are regularly reviewed half-termly at Inclusion Co-ordinator’s meetings and inclusion meetings.

In each year group the weakest set is small (maximum 14 pupils) in order for more focussed teaching to take place.

Tracking Pupil Progress

 The progress of pupils with additional needs is reviewed prior to interim reviews throughout the school year.  Parents are informed by letter, if there are any dips in attainment.  The inclusion department tracks progress through base level testing of reading, spelling and numeracy at 3 intervals during the year.

Parents and pupils are informed about progress towards targets.  Static scores or regression are highlighted so that more intensive interventions can take place.

 Key Stage 3 Support Structure

 Parents will have frequent opportunities to meet the Inclusion Manager throughout the year to discuss individual concerns and receive updates on progress.

Depending on the level and severity of need pupils in Key Stage 3 may be withdrawn from lessons in order accelerate their progress in literacy to follow a personalised programme.

The department believes that early intervention is crucial if the pupil is to reach age related expectations, therefore intensive support is targeted in Year 7.  Whenever possible pupils are withdrawn for thirty minute sessions from non National Curriculum lessons to follow a specific programme.  We have trialled a number of different systems over the past fifteen years all of which have demonstrated advantages and disadvantages.  Creating some disruption to pupil timetables is unavoidable as priority has to be given to individual needs to ensure that pupils achieve a level of literacy that will enable them to access the mainstream curriculum.

The logistics of co-ordinating the support timetable for pupils throughout Key Stage 3 is based on the following principles:

  • Pupils should not be withdrawn from the core      subjects or any subject which they enjoy or show particular aptitude.
  • Whenever possible pupils are withdrawn from a      subject area which has a TA in the lesson so that the pupil is kept fully      informed about the missed content of the lesson.
  • Interventions for pupils at S.A. are short and focused for      six weeks.
  • Intervention for pupils at S.A.P. may be long      term if there is a severity of need.

Any intervention is delivered by a specialist teacher from the S.A.I.S (Special Advisory Inclusion Service) or the Inclusion Manager.

TA3’s also deliver intervention programmes to small groups of pupils.

Key Stage 4 Support Structure

 Pupils in Key Stage 4 are not withdrawn from lessons although a short term targeted intervention may take place if a pupil with SEN is not making the progress expected.

‘Catch-up’ course work support, exam technique and study skills groups run throughout the year depending on the needs of the of pupils.  These take place as an extra-curricular activity after school and are managed and delivered by the Learning Support Team.

Pupils with Additional Needs in Key Stage 4

 Pupils with SEN receive support and guidance from the SENCO and the Connexion Services in preparation for commencing Key Stage 4.  Liaison with parents may also take place.

To enable pupils with SEN to achieve their potential they may be offered the following opportunities:

  • To study the vocational Travel & Tourism award scheme
  • A reduction in the number of subjects studied for GCSE
  • The option of participating in a work based placement

Pupils with Medical Needs

 In response to the SEN and Disability Act 2001The Hawthorne’s Free School  will have an ‘Accessibility Plan’ to ensure the environment is easily accessible for pupils, parents and visitors to the school.

The school is accommodated on a 2 level site  which makes accessibility to the entire school particularly challenging for the physically disabled.

  Access to the curriculum for Pupils with medical needs

The SENCO will consult with the HSLO if a pupil has a long term absence from school due to medical reasons.

The Home Tuition SENCO will be contacted by the school in the case of a long time illness.  The service would receive information from the school concerning a pupil’s capabilities, educational progress and current programmes of work.

Throughout any long term absence multi-agency meetings take place at regular intervals involving the pupil, the parents / carers to ensure there is a well co-ordinated programme and a Home Tutor is established.

When a pupil is fit to return to school a carefully staged re-integration programme is set up.  The progress of the pupil on returning to school will be monitored closely by the department through liaison with subject teachers to ensure that the pupil’s progress has not been affected by absence.