Special Education Needs & Disabilities

The needs of the individual are important. The Special Educational Needs Department is the resource for the co-ordination and facilitation that ensures individual learning needs of every student meet or exceed their potential. In the department we have specialist SEN teachers, a team of qualified and experienced Teaching Assistants who are deployed amongst the 'schools' and within the Skills Centre. Here more specialised and intensive intervention can be offered, including access to a range of ICT support and technical aids.

For further information, please contact our SENCo - Mrs S Lucas email: (slucas@avonvalleycollege.org.uk) or telephone: 01980 652467.

Avon Valley College SEND Information Report

AVC SEND department:

SENDCo – Mrs Sue Lucas  (slucas@avonvalleycollege.org.uk)

HLTA – Mrs Rebecca Pues

HLTA – Mrs Catherine Nufer

5 TA’s who specialise in identified curriculum areas and support teachers in lessons. They also run targeted intervention for students. All TA’s act as key workers for our most vulnerable students

AVC has an inclusive ethos with high expectations for all students. Our aim is to provide opportunities for all students to achieve beyond their targets. We believe that all children should fulfil their potential and should develop their talents across a broad spectrum. A significant number of students face challenges in their lives that, left unaddressed, would limit their capacity to learn and succeed. We are committed to removing barriers and to meeting the individual needs of all our students. We are committed to giving our students the skills necessary to become successful individuals.

The College has a Special Needs department that is the resource for the coordination and facilitation that ensures the individual learning needs of every student are met. Specialised and intensive intervention can be offered in our ‘skills centre’ as well as support and guidance for our most vulnerable students.

The needs of the individual are important. Every teacher is a teacher of SEND and has the responsibility to make reasonable adjustments to support the needs of all children with Special Educational Needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Provision for students with SEND at AVC is in line with the Wiltshire Local Authority ‘Local Offer’ which can be accessed at:


All teachers at AVC do their utmost to meet the needs of all their students, regardless of any particular SEND whether this is related to cognition and learning – e.g. dyslexia; communication and interaction – e.g. autistic spectrum; social, emotional and mental health difficulties – e.g. ADHD or physical and medical and sensory needs – hearing impairment and visual impairment.

Regular training is provided for all staff to ensure that they understand student’s needs and able to make appropriate provision, both inside and outside of the classroom.

Staff who are new to the school follow an induction programme which includes information and training on SEND.

How will we know if your child needs extra help?

When your child joins AVC we use information from:

·         Primary school colleagues, including involvement in transition review meetings;

·         Previous schools, including liaison with the SENco;

·         End of key stage 2 levels of attainment; of Key Stage 3 or 4 levels of attainment, where relevant;

Baseline testing carried out in term 1 of Year 7; spelling and reading screening tests, which are conducted on entry and at the end of each school year to monitor progress in core literacy skills;

·         Parents;

·         The student’s one page learning profiles;

·         Specialist SEND advisory teachers and other external agencies – e.g. educational psychologist.

As your child progresses through the college their levels of achievement are closely monitored against individually set targets based on their achievement at key stage 2 and national expectations. This is done through;

·         Assessments in each subject, reported to parents

·         Subject teacher and tutor on-going monitoring;

·         Student mentoring;

·         Liaison with parents, both formally, at parents evening, and informally via the link book, e-mail, telephone or interim meetings.

How we identify SEND

At different times in their school career, a child or young person may have a special educational need. The Code of Practice defines SEND as:

“A child or young person has SEND 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:

(a) have significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age: or

(b) 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.

If a learner is identified as having SEND, we will provide provision that is ‘additional to or different from’ the normal differentiated curriculum, intended to overcome the barrier to learning.

Learners can fall behind in school for many reasons. They may have been absent from school or they may have attended several different schools and not had a consistent opportunity to learn. They may not speak English very well or at all or they may be worried about different things that could distract them from learning.  At Avon Valley College we are committed to ensuring that all learners have access to learning opportunities, and for those who are at risk of not learning or making sufficient progress, we will intervene. This does not mean that all vulnerable learners have SEND. Only those with a learning difficulty that requires special educational provision will be identified as having SEND.

How will we support your child?

All teachers and learning support staff will be informed of your child’s individual needs and will adapt their lessons to meet these. The SENCo supports teachers in accessing child’s strengths, learning needs and making corresponding provision. A rolling programme of SEND training for all staff is in place.

Most students’ needs will be met by good quality first teaching with appropriate differentiation.

Before school, students who may need to boost literacy skills are invited to attend morning reading clubs in the Learning Resources Centre. After school, homework support is also available in the Learning Resources Centre.

“Learning support assistants are very effective. They understand the needs of the students they support and have a successful impact on their learning and progress”. Ofsted report, March 2014.

Learning Support Assistants are designated to support students who would otherwise be unable to successfully access mainstream lessons, in line with the Wiltshire Indicator and Provision Document (WIPD) and following recommendations agreed with parents and the young person at review meetings. In addition, to encourage independence, students are encouraged to use technological or manual aids where specific literacy difficulties or physical or sensory impairment present barriers to achievement. All students have good access to IT facilities, including i-pads, and some students are allocated their own lap-tops with appropriate software.

There are also a range of targeted interventions and additional subject support which are available. If we think that your child would benefit from any of these it would be discussed with you and your child; the impact of such interventions would be monitored and reported back to you.

We work with a wide range of external agencies. If, despite additional interventions, your child is still not making expected progress, we will meet with you to discuss other strategies, including the involvement of outside agencies.

At the end of Year 9, prior to starting Key Stage 4, all students will be screened using the spelling and reading progress tests to check whether they may qualify for exam access arrangements. If we think exam access arrangements are needed we will carry out further, individual assessments and apply for exam access arrangements according to the Joint Council for Qualifications exam regulations. These may involve use of word-processor, without spelling or grammar check (open to all); extra time; use of a reader or electronic reader; use of a scribe or word-processor with spell-check; oral language modifier; prompt; enlarged scripts. Arrangements are discussed with students and you, as parents/carers are informed so that you can support your child in their exam preparation.

How can you support your child?

Your contribution is the key to success: we need you to support us by encouraging your child to fully engage with their learning and any interventions offered by:

helping them get organised for each day by checking their timetable and link book so that they bring in the right books equipment and homework;

·         supporting homework, if needed, but telling us what levels of support you have had to give;

·         celebrating their successes with them when they meet targets in each lesson;

·         ensuring that your child attends school on time;

·         letting us know of any problems – contact subject teacher, tutor, key stage co-ordinator or SENCo on 01980 652467;

·         contributing to meetings with your child and his/her teachers.

How will your child be included in activities outside the classroom?

Some students find it difficult to cope during the less structured times of the school day such as breaks and lunch-times. To reduce levels of anxiety and develop social skills we run a Social Skills Club at break and lunchtime, supervised by specialist staff.  

If a young person is vulnerable when moving in between lessons there are a range of strategies that we can put in place to ensure their safety and well-being, while developing their confidence and sense of independence. We will discuss with you and your child what will suit them best. We work closely with health professionals and specialist advisory teachers to carry out risk assessments, and/or put individual health care plans in place, where necessary.

How accessible is AVC?

The school site is ‘wheelchair friendly’ on the ground floor and has additional handrails to support people with mobility difficulties. Currently we do not have lifts available to ensure wheelchair access to first and second storey rooms although rooming timetable changes can often overcome problems.

How will your child be supported through transitions?

We understand that changing from one school to another or from one key stage to another is challenging for all students. A comprehensive Information, Advice and Guidance programme is in place for all students and induction programmes operate for students in Years 5, 6 and 12. It is recognised that students with SEND may need individualized and specialized induction programmes. The SENCo and key stage co-ordinators liaise closely with previous and future providers; with parents and the student to ensure successful transition from one phase of education to another. Where possible, the SENCo attends transition review meetings. Additional visits are arranged for students and parents.

The young person’s desired outcomes are a key focus of the Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan and we will do everything in our power to support your child in the achievement of such outcomes. This may well include preparation for independent living; targeted support to develop independent study skills; developing personal risk awareness; facilitating independent travel etc. etc.

AVC employ a highly experienced independent careers advisor. Any student or parent can consult her but specific appointments are made for students with SEND. Parents will be informed and sent copies of the resultant action plans which will feed into the Annual EHC Plan review meeting.

Young people with an Education, Health and Care plan will be assigned the SEND lead worker from the local authority by April 2018 to ensure continuity on transfer from one context to another. Priority will initially be given to students at transition: i.e children in year 5 moving from Key Stage 2 – 3; those in years 10 and 11 moving from Key Stage 4 onto Key Stage 5 education, training or employment and those in Years 12 or 13 moving into further or higher education, training or employment.

What should I do if I have concerns?

Contact the college and let us know what you, or your child are worried about – the subject teacher, tutor, Key Stage Co-ordinator should be able to help you.

·         If your concerns are not addresses contact the office and ask to speak to a more senior member of staff – subject leader; SENCo.

·         If you still feel that the issue has not been resolved, ask to speak to the Principal;

·         If you are still concerned, contact the office and ask for the contact details of the SEN Governors;

·         If you are still worried consult independent advice services – listed below;

·         Finally, the college has a formal complaints policy which can be found on the website under ‘information – policies’.

Key Contacts:

·Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo): Mrs Lucas B.Ed(Hons)         e-mail – slucas@avonvalleycollege.org.uk telephone – 01980 652 467

·         Special Educational Needs Governor : Mrs A Reeves

·Family Information Service (general information and signposting service for paremts and carers about services and facilities in Wiltshire); e-mail www.wiltshirefis.org.uk ; telephone – 0300 003 4573.

·Parent Partnership Service (information, advice service for parents/carers of children with SEND); e-mail – www.actionforchildren.org.uk/our-services/wiltshire-parent-partnership ; telephone – 01225 769 399

·         http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/localoffer

·Benefits advice (information and advice for parents/carers about a wide range of benefits); e-mail www.wiltshire.gov.uk/counciltaxhousingbenefits.htm / telephone 0300 003 4561

SEN and Disability Advice and Information Service (SENDIS – information and signposting for parents/carers of children and young people with SEND about short breaks, activities and other service); e-mail – www.wiltshireparentcarercouncil.co.uk ; telephone 01225 764 647.

If you would like this report read to you, you can download a copy of this SEN information report above and download a reader for free at Natural Readers Website or simply open the link and click + documents then drag the downloaded SEN information report file into the box


***Download our SEND Policy: click here***