At Great Barr Academy we want your Child to feel safe and happy at school.

We strive to ensure that all students achieve their potential personally, socially, emotionally and academically in all areas of the curriculum (regardless of their gender, ethnicity, social background, religion, sexual identity, physical ability or educational needs). This document is intended to give you information regarding the ways in which we support all of our students, including those with SEND, in order that they can realise their full potential. It may not list every skill, resource and technique we employ in order to achieve this as these are continually developed and used to modify our provision to meet the changing requirements for individual students.

Click the headings below to learn more about what you can expect from Great Barr Academy if your child has a Special Educational Need or click the icon at below the headings to download the full SEND report:

Mr C Randle
Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCo)
Responsible for:
• Coordinating support for students with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) and developing the school’s SEND Policy to make sure all students get a consistent, high quality response to meeting their needs in school.
• Ensuring that you are:
1. involved in supporting your child’s learning
2. kept informed about the support your child is getting
3. involved in reviewing how they are doing
• Liaising with all the other people who may be coming into school to help support your child’s learning e.g. Speech and Language Therapy, Educational Psychology, Pupils School Support Service, Communication and Autism Team etc.
• Updating the school’s SEN register and Provision Map (school based systems for ensuring all the needs of students with SEND in this school are known and accessible to staff) and making sure that there are excellent records of your child’s progress and needs.
• Providing specialist support for teachers and support staff in the school so they can help students with SEND in the school achieve the best progress possible

The SENCo will make sure that all necessary school staff are aware of your needs and worries
The SENCO will make sure that all of the necessary school staff are aware of your child’s needs and worries via;
• Student Focused Briefings – weekly child centred strategy and information sharing meetings for key staff
• Provision Mapping – outlining the support your child has received, is receiving and is pending, both in school and from external support services
• Reports – sharing recommendations and findings produced by specialists and outside agencies
• The SEND Register – outlining the main area of difficulty your child has and the strategies that work best for your child within a classroom environment
• Tip sheets – which offer staff advice and guidance around particular impairments and conditions
• Informal meetings /emails – at Great Barr there is an ethos that encourages staff to seek advice and support from one another and from parents in order to share good practice and information so that appropriate academic support and pastoral care can be offered to our students
• Teaching Assistants – collaborative working and cascading of information can be shared between staff via the person centred knowledge teaching assistants have of your child across the subject areas.

Your child’s progress will be reviewed regularly and you will be invited into school to discuss the outcomes and give your views. Your child will also be able to give their views.
Your child’s progress will be reviewed regularly and you will be invited into school to discuss the outcomes and give your views. Your child will also be able to give their views. We believe strongly in empowering young people to have an input into the decisions and solutions that will support their learning. Opportunities will include
• Annual Reviews – Person Centred Approach
• Parents evenings
• Careers meetings
• Regular written reports
• Interim meetings requested by yourself or school
• Informal and formal daily mentoring and catch up.
• Personalised approaches and bespoke pathways (where appropriate)
• Informal social events eg. Coffee mornings, breakfasts and occasions off site.

How will the school let me know if they have any concerns about my child’s progress?
If your child is identified as not making progress the school will set up a meeting to discuss this with you and your/son daughter in more detail and to:
• listen to any concerns you may have too
• listen to the views of your child
• plan any additional support your child may receive
• discuss with you any referrals to outside professionals to support your child’s learning/social/emotional development
The meeting may take place with an individual member of staff overseeing your child’s progress or it may be necessary to invite some of the following people or request information from them to ensure a holistic overview is gained in order to move support forward; a subject teacher, progress leader, form tutor, Head of Department for a subject area, special needs co-ordinator, pastoral manager, Head of Inclusion.
We will try to make all the information we need to share with you clear and easy to understand.
We will try to make all the information we need to share with you clear and easy to understand. Please let us know if we can help you in working with us in a way that is better for you.

At Great Barr Academy we will provide good teaching for your child and extra support where needed.
Teachers are aware of their responsibility to set high expectations for every student. Subject teachers make regular assessments of progress for all of their students and seek to identify any students that are making less than expected progress given their age and individual circumstances. Their first response to such progress is to put in place interventions and strategies within the classroom (we call this Quality First Teaching or Universal Provision) closely monitor the impact and review accordingly. Where progress continues to be less than expected subject teachers liaise promptly and closely with key staff, the young person and parents to ensure further assessments of learning are carried out and further support is sought.

How does the school know how much progress is being made by students with special educational needs ?
Every student’s progress, including those young people with special educational needs is tracked using the school’s assessment tracking system. Students are assessed regularly using teacher marking, observations and questioning as well as more formal assessments such as curriculum tests and standardised tests.

In addition, for young people with special educational needs who are following specific programmes out-side of the classroom setting we set individual targets that are reviewed at least three times a year. This helps the school to monitor how well interventions are working. The progress each student is making is discussed during parent’s evenings, via feedback on reports outlining subject based interventions and during person centred reviews. Interim meetings, home to school logs and telephone arrangements may also be agreed to closely monitor and review arrangements. Occasionally external agency support to carry out diagnostic assessments may be required once permission has been sought.

A range of resources will be available in all learning areas to support the development of students operating at different levels.
All subject areas are fully committed in identifying age and ability appropriate learning material and resources that will assist students whom have different learning styles, approaches and levels to access the curriculum in a meaningful and engaging way. The school regularly audits and reviews its resources to ensure students’ needs are being met using the most efficient and effective methods. The SENCO liaises closely with support services to ensure students with specific learning, sensory or physical needs are benefitting from equipment available. Staff training and guidance is given around specific aids individuals may require.
Teaching Assistants – At Great Barr Academy teaching assistants are deployed within faculties, leading wave 2 & wave 3 interventions,and where stipulated on a 1:1 basis to ensure there is a breadth of well-informed student specific knowledge and consistency of support across the curriculum.

We have a large team of 24 Teaching Assistants’ who are qualified, experienced and passionate members of staff. Some of our Teaching Assistants have pastoral responsibility as form tutors and some hold a dual responsibility as a learning mentor, cover supervisor, speech and language therapy assistant or have been trained in the areas of ASD, nurture, EAL and exam access arrangements. Our TA’s undergo regular training to ensure the quality and standard of assistance they provide enhances the learning and independence of the young people they assist.

Interventions & Personalised Pathways: In some cases it may be appropriate for your son/daughter to need further support that is above the Universal Provision and Quality First Teaching already provided in the classroom.

In these cases, and in consultation and partnership with yourself and son/daughter we will assess and determine appropriate intervention, support or curriculum to meet their needs. This could include participation in our phonics based programme, Fresh Start, or literacy booster through My Reading Coach or Wordshark. In some instances it may be relevant to recommend participation on our Friends For Life programme, Paired Reading in the library, or some mentoring.

The impact of these will be monitored and reviewed at least half termly, and always in partnership with you and your son/daughter.
Outside Agencies: We work with a variety of agencies who offer support, training, advice, assessment and expertise to ensure we are meeting the needs of all our learners. We will always consult with you should we consider a referral necessary and gain the views and thoughts of your son/daughter too.

What training does the staff in school have in relation to students with Special Educational Needs?
In our school we believe that all staff should be involved in supporting students with special educational needs and so we make sure that staff have training to help them do this.

Last year our staff all had training for Epipen and Asthma . In service training also focused on effective teaching and learning for all including differentiation and classroom management strategies.

In recent years, all staff have received training and guidance about child protection and safeguarding, ASD, dyslexia, and supporting students with a sensory impairment.

As well as this various staff have been trained for different aspects of special educational needs including ASD level 2 and 3 , Person Centred Review facilitation, delivering Nurture groups, exam access arrangements, first aid, epilepsy, supporting students with VI / HI, Team Teach and using solution focused approaches.

Each term the Director of Inclusion, SENCo and other members of the inclusion team deliver a series of sessions to the school’s trainee and newly qualified teachers as well as presenting regular whole staff briefings to update colleagues on various aspects of national, local and student specific SEND related issues.
Should an outside agency specialist be working with a student a meeting may be arranged to share specific strategies to support the young person in school. Key staff working with the student would be invited to attend so that training and guidance could be received.

The school will try to make sure that children with additional needs and their families are able to take part fully in school trips, performances and social events.
The school will try to make sure that children with additional needs and their families are able to take part fully in school trips, performances and social events. Reasonable adjustments and co-ordinated planning arrangements are all carefully considered on an individual basis so that personal circumstances can be appropriately supported and barriers to participation removed. We welcome parent/carers and young people to work in partnership with us in letting us know how we can help them with making the necessary arrangements.

Many of our young people with SEND fully participate and thoroughly enjoy the annual events Great Barr Academy hold such as; the year 11 prom, awards evening, concerts, and our residential experiences . Weekly extra-curricular activities are also well attended such as cross country and guitar club. Educational visits are carefully planned for and supported by Teaching Assistants where appropriate. Great Barr Academy works closely with its support agencies so that enrichment and life-skills opportunities that are available to students and their families with specific areas of need i.e. visual impairments, ASD, young carers etc. are aware of the events being held around the city.

The school will involve you in all decisions and listen to your views.
We will work in partnership with you to identify the needs of your child and put in place the correct support including family support if you need this.

How does the school identify and assess Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
In school we use a variety of different ways to assess whether a young person has special educational needs. Some of these ways include:
• Observations
• School based test results
• Information from parents and carers
• Information from the young person
• Specialised assessments carried out by members of the school’s support services
• Information from previous schools or settings
• Results from end of key stage assessments
• Discussions with adults who work with the young person

We will always discuss your child’s progress with you and your child. Once a young person is identified as having a special educational need, a graduated approach to support is taken. The young person’s needs will first be assessed, then support will be planned, carried out and then reviewed. At the review any necessary changes will be made.

The School is committed to supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and works alongside professionals at Access To Education to ensure best outcomes for this group.
Sometimes we may need to ask for your permission to involve other qualified professionals at A2E to support your child i.e.
• Educational Psychology Service
• Pupil & School Support Services
• Communication & Autism Team
• Or from health;
• Speech and Language Therapy
• Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service/Forward Thinking

How are students with Special Educational Needs involved in their own Education?
We aim to involve all students in our school in the evaluations and implementation of their own education. For young people with Special Educational Needs we use a variety of strategies to support this including:
• Person Centred Reviews
• Involving the young person in setting and reviewing their own targets – providing modified formats to increase independence and adult support where needed to record views and responses
• Self-assessment at the beginning and end of learning
• Having a range of equipment available for the young person to choose from
• Ensuring the young person works with a range of different partners
• Ensuring the young person has a designated adult to go to if they need help
• Membership of the school council
• One page profiles
• Agreed time out passes
• Visual timetables
• Prompt cards to promote independence
• Personalised work stations within Inclusion
• Learning breaks
• Access to ICT to access information and record responses
• Tutor time forums / student voice discussions /on line questionnaires
• On line referral systems

How can I let the school know I am concerned about my son/daughters progress?
If you have concerns about your child’s progress you should speak to your child’s Tutor, Key Worker, subject teacher, Head of department for the subject area and/or Pastoral Manager/Progress Leader initially or contact them via email

Should your child receive an SEN diagnosis by an outside specialist or already be receiving support for their SEND in school discuss your concerns with Mrs Hall the school’s SENCO

If you are not happy that the concerns are being managed and that your child is still not making progress you should speak to the Head of Inclusion Mr C Randle, or the Assistant Principal for Inclusion Mrs J Finlay.

How does the school support students with Special Educational Needs through transition.
We aim to make times of transition as easy as possible for the young people in our school and their families.
We are happy to discuss any questions parent / carers and current school settings may have about Great Barr and the support we offer. We can provide a tour of the school and an opportunity to talk about the young person concerned and their SEND – this can be arranged via the Inclusion Administrator on 0121 366 6611 Ext 277.

Should a school placement at Great Barr Academy be allocated to a young person with SEND within our school we will;
• Meet with the young person and their parents to talk about their needs and answer any questions about our school
• Talk with staff at the young person’s previous school or setting and where feasible attend year 6 reviews / placement reviews
• Provide the young person with a transition booklet and CD that has photographs of the key staff and areas around school
• Read reports from people who have worked with the young person so that we can plan for appropriate support
• Arrange visits to our school so the child or young person gets to see it before they start properly (6 additional secondary transfer visits are scheduled each year)
• Give any adults working with the child or young person a one page profile describing the things that help to support them in school

When moving to a new year group we:
• Give any adults working with the young person a one page profile and key information describing the things that help to support them in school
• Request and document the collaborative meetings had between teaching assistants and teachers that outlines the students’ current and expected levels of progress, nature of support, required interventions and specific areas of need.

When moving to a new school / post 16 provider we:
• Hold a person centred review and invite key staff from the new school / post 16 provider (if identified)
• Talk to key staff at the new school / setting about things that help the young person to learn best and be happy at school and areas of support required
• Arrange extra visits to the new school / setting with a member of staff from our school if that is what the young person wants / needs
• Talk to the young person and their family so we can answer any questions they may have about the new school – liaise with the new setting on their behalf

To download a copy of our SEND report please click here PDF_download

To download a copy of our SEND policy please click here PDF_download

To download a copy of our Accessibility Plan please click here PDF_download

You can contact our SEND Team using the following details:

Mr C Randle (SENCO) by email:

Mrs A Hough (Assistant SENCO) by email:

Inclusion Support Unit (ISU) Telephone: 0121 366 6611


If you would like to find out more information about the Birmingham City SEND Local Offer please visit or Click Here