Cloughwood Academy SEN Offer FAQ

What should I do if I think my child has special educational needs (SEN)?

All pupils attending Cloughwood Academy will already have either a statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) which was written to include Cloughwood as the school most appropriate to meet their Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) need. Due to the new code of practice SEMH has replaced behaviour, emotional and social difficulties (BESD). SEMH is the primary need of all our pupils but a significant number have additional needs such as Asperger’s Syndrome, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) and Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA). Some pupils have learning or other needs and once admitted, the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) will identify these needs through testing and assessment and interventions will be put in place to recover gaps in learning and development by the Special Educational Needs, Disability and Inclusion Team (SENDIT), either in-house or with the support of external multi-agency professionals such as Speech and Language specialists, Educational Psychologists and therapists.

How will the school staff support my child?

Cloughwood pupils receive support for all of their needs including learning, behaviour, social, emotional and medical. All pupils have named significant adults who provide personal or pastoral support and who take part in monitoring comprehensive personalised risk assessments. Each pupil has individual or group learning targets which are monitored by all teachers and can expect a Quality First Teaching experience in all subjects. The Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSA) work with the SENCO to provide individual learning and behaviour plans which support the inclusion of all pupils in classes. Pupil work will be differentiated to meet the needs of all pupils to allow them to work at their own level and provide the appropriate level of challenge to further progress. As explained above any pupil with additional needs will be supported by a member of the SENDIT. The Head of Care, along with the school nurse, provides any medical or health support needed by any pupil.

How will you tell me how my child is doing at school?

There are many ways this can happen. Cloughwood Academy has an open-door approach and staff are available at the end of the phone or can be met by arranging an appointment. Every term, meetings are arranged such as parents’ evenings, open mornings or afternoons and parents’ help sessions. Your child will also receive at least three progress reports each academic year and we hold many types of multiagency meetings and reviews at Cloughwood throughout the year (such as Annual Reviews, EHCP reviews, LAC and PEP reviews), not to mention end of term events such as the Christmas and Summer presentations, at which parents/carers can have an informal chat about progress.

What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?

As explained above, at Cloughwood we provide support for a whole range of areas of your son’s life, such as social/life skills development, personal guidance, emotional development/ literacy and behavioural support.  All pupils with medical needs have a detailed and robust medical care plan which is managed by the Head of Care.  In addition to the range of in-class support provided, other professionals are brought in from time to time to meet the needs of pupils wherever appropriate (such as Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Play Therapy).  As well as providing individualised support for pupils, these professionals provide training and continuous professional development for other team members to improve the overall skill set of the Academy staff.

How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school and transfer to the next stage of education and life?

Transition planning and preparation for work and life beyond school are key.  Once the Local Authority Statementing and Monitoring Team name Cloughwood, parents are encouraged to contact the academy.  Visits will be arranged to enable parents and pupils to make their decision and familiarise themselves with the school.

Pupils moving into Key Stage 3 from primary have a comprehensive period of induction and orientation with planning taking place all through the process.  At Year 9 transition planning begins to shape the opportunities on offer to pupils moving into Key Stage 4.

Careers education begins for all pupils in Year 9 and they have individualised programmes for work experience and post-16 planning.  Each pupil in Key Stage 4 has a personal careers adviser and will go on to work, apprenticeship or college after Year 11.  The personal adviser will track pupils after school to ensure continuity and success of placement beyond school.  Careful planning during Key Stage 4 leads to appropriately placed pupils and increases the likelihood of success.

How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s/young people’s needs?

As an Academy Cloughwood receives funding from the Education Funding Authority (EFA) and from placing authorities.  Additional funding comes from the Pupil Premium, Primary PE and Year 7 Catch-up funding.  As a residential school, the Cheshire West and Chester Education Authority fund the boarding facility and we try to offer all pupils some form of boarding experience in a way that improves or enriches their overall provision.  Junior-aged pupils begin to experience the boarding provision after a period of assessment and the provision remains an option for all pupils up to the age of 16.

Our funding, as a special academy, allows us to have excellent pupil : staff ratios, the maximum class size being 12 pupils.

How accessible is the school environment?

Cloughwood is an old building yet we have been able, through careful planning and commitment of resources, to meet our DDA requirements and standards to a good level.  As we modernise and develop the building we ensure that new facilities comply 100% with DDA regulations.  We have specialist teaching areas such as ICT, Art and Science as well as state of the art PE and Sports facilities.  All classrooms are fitted with interactive touch screens and ICT equipment as well as comfortable and appropriate furniture and décor.  The Academy is in a good state of repair with a warm and purposeful atmosphere.  Specialist equipment and resources are available to further assist pupils with wheelchairs.

What training has been undertaken by staff to improve their ability to work with pupils with SEND?

EHCP / Annual Review – ‘Our Story’ Documentation

This form is in place for Parents and Carers to explain the family ‘story’ which includes background information as well as abilities and needs. It is important that parent/carer views are heard and understood. Please refer to the guidance notes when completing each section of the form.

The form should highlight relationships, describe the young persons strengths and needs, what is working well and what is not working well, what is important to them and for them and parent/carers hopes for the future.

The completed ‘Our Story’ form should be emailed prior to the review meeting to jwright@cloughwood.cheshire.sch.uk.

Further Information for Parents and Carers

Further information on the SEN provision at Cloughwood can be found here: SEN Report 2018