Special Educational Needs & Disability

We support all our students here at Furness Academy, helping them to exceed exceptions, feel confident and grow. If you child has special educational needs, we are here to help.

We have a dedicated team of Teaching Assistants and Higher Level Teaching Assistants here at Furness Academy, led by our superb SENCO Mrs Elliott. We are confident we can support your child with any special educational needs or disabilities they may have.

You can contact Mrs Elliott by calling school or email her at eelliott@furnessacademy.co.uk

More details about our Local Offer and support can be found on the Cumbria Local Offers site, available here

Our Helpful FAQ

Please take a look at our FAQ, which hopefully answers any questions you might have. Please get in touch if there is anything else you would like to know.

If you have concerns about your child’s progress you should speak to your child’s form teacher initially.
If you are not happy that your concerns are being managed and that your child is still not making progress you should speak to the Director of Learning and Standards for his/her year group or the SENCO (Mrs Emma Elliott).If you are still not happy you can speak to the Assistant Head Teachers, Head Teacher or school SEND Governor.

If your child is then identified as not making progress the school will contact you to discuss this in more detail and to:

  • listen to any concerns you may have too
  • plan any additional support your child may receive
  • discuss with you any referrals to outside professionals to support your child’s learning and and engage you in the Early Help process

The school budget, received from Cumbria LA, includes money for supporting children with SEND. The Head Teacher decides on the budget allocation for special educational needs and disabilities in consultation with the school governors, on the basis of needs in the school.

Directly funded by the school:

  • A team of 14 Teaching Assistants
  • Two Higher Level Teaching Assistants
  • A Learning Mentor
  • Access to an Assistant Educational Psychologist
  • Alternative educational provision (onsite and work experience)

Paid for centrally by the local authority but delivered in school:

  • Educational Psychology Service
  • Specialist Advisory Teaching Service for speech, language and communication difficulties
  • Specialist Advisory Teaching Service for autism spectrum conditions
  • Specialist Advisory Teaching Service for hearing impairment
  • Inclusion Support Officers (Access and Inclusion)
  • Speech and Language Therapy for those students with a Statement of SEN or an EHC Plan (provided by Health but paid for by the Local Authority)
  • School Nurse

The SENCO’s role is to support staff in meeting the needs of students with SEND. The school has a development plan with a focus on improving the teaching and learning of children including those with SEND. This includes whole school training on SEND issues. Individual teachers and support staff attend training courses run by outside agencies and in-house specialists that are relevant to the needs of specific children.

Class teachers plan lessons according to the specific needs of all groups of students in their class, and will ensure that your child’s needs are met. Specific resources and strategies will be used to support your child individually and in groups. Planning and teaching will be adapted on a daily basis if needed to meet your child’s learning needs. The SENCO will regularly monitor the provision for students with SEND and advises staff on how best to meet their needs.

Your child’s progress is continually monitored.

  • His/her progress is reviewed every half term and a level given in all subjects, this increases to half termly intervals in English, Maths and Science. Students are also given less formal assessments which give them individual feedback about how to improve and make progress.
  • Students on the SEND register will have a Student Passport and their voice is an important feature in developing their own Passport.
  • The progress of students with a statement of SEND/ EHC Plan is formally reviewed at an annual review with significant adults involved with their education. In a small number of cases, EHC Plans will be reviewed bi-annually, in conjunction with Local Authority requests. 

We are available to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns you may have and to share information about what is working well at home and school so similar strategies can be used.

  • All information from outside professionals will be discussed with you with the person involved directly, or where this is not possible, in a report.
  • Homework will be adjusted as needed to your child’s individual needs.
  • A home/school contact book may be used to support communication with you, when this has been agreed to be useful for you and your child.
  • Parents are informed and actively encouraged to support shared goals at home.
  • Access to the SEND IAS service (formerly Parent Partnership).

We are an inclusive school; we welcome and celebrate diversity. We believe that a child having high self-esteem is crucial to their well-being and educational achievement. We have a caring, understanding team of teachers and support staff who will support your child’s emotional and educational needs. If further support is required this may involve working alongside outside agencies such as Health and Social Care, and/or specialist educational services.

The ground floor of the buildings are accessible to those with physical disabilities, higher floors are reached by lift.

We ensure that teaching resources and equipment used are accessible to all children regardless of their needs.

After school and extra-curricular provision is accessible to all children including those with SEND.

We recognise that transitions can be difficult for a child with SEND and take steps to ensure that any transition is a smooth as possible. In year 6, the SENCO will visit the Primary school to discuss the specific needs of your child with their SENCO and advisory teachers where appropriate. Where possible your child will visit us on several occasions. There will be an induction day for all children and several parent information evenings. If your child has a statement or an EHC Plan, an annual review will be planned as a transition meeting during which staff from both schools will attend.
If your child is moving to another school we will contact the school SENCO and ensure he/she knows about any special arrangements or support that needs to be made for your child. We will make sure that all records about your child are passed on as soon as possible. When moving classes in school information will always be passed on to the new class teacher. We liaise closely with staff when receiving and transferring children to different schools ensuring all relevant paperwork is passed on and all needs are discussed and understood. In Years 9-11, selected students with SEND have several careers meetings with Inspira to help them decide on their post Year 11 options. 

We value and celebrate each child being able to express their views on all aspects of school life.

Children who have Student Passports are always asked to share their views on how best we can meet their needs – this is very important to us.

There is a regular student questionnaire where we actively seek the viewpoints of children especially concerning being able to speak to an adult if they have a worry.

If your child has a statement or EHC Plan their views will be sought before any review meetings and they will be invited to attend if this does not distress them.

As a school we have a very positive approach to all types of behaviour with a clear reward system that is followed by all staff and pupils.

If a child has behavioural difficulties a behaviour contract will be drawn up in the first instance.

Pupils who have particular difficulties with their behaviour or emotions may be referred to outside agencies for specialist support.

Attendance of every student is monitored on a daily basis. Lateness and absence are recorded and monitored daily. Incentives are available for good attendance and this is positively promoted by all staff.

All children are included in all parts of the school curriculum and we aim for all children to be included on school trips. We will provide the necessary support to ensure that this is successful. Every effort is always made to make any adjustments needed so that every pupil can attend should they wish.

A risk assessment is carried out prior to any off-site activity to ensure everyone’s health & safety will not be compromised. In the unlikely event that it is considered unsafe for a child to take part in an activity, then alternative activities which will cover the same curriculum areas will be provided in school.

We ensure that all children who have special educational needs have their needs met to the best of the school’s ability with the funds available. The budget is allocated on a needs basis. The children who have the most high level and complex needs are given the most support.

As a school we work closely with any external agencies that we feel are relevant to individual children’s needs within our school including: educational psychologists, specialist services for HI/VI/ASC, the Behaviour Support Team; Health including – GPs, school nurses, clinical psychologists, paediatricians, speech & language therapists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists; Social Services and social workers.