How does the school admission policy consider students with SEN or a disability?

All students regardless of their SEN or Disability follow the same admissions procedure through Pupil Access (01772 532190) but their transition will be tailored to their needs; for example, what they may need to be adapted for the child to both physically and mentally cope with school life. They may be invited into school several times prior to starting Year 7 so they can experience what life is like at Ashton Community Science College (ACSC).

If your child has a disability please feel free to come and look around our school to see how Ashton Community Science College can meet the needs of your child. We would ask that you make an appointment by phoning 01772 513002.

How does the school know if children/young people need extra help and what should I do if I think my child/young person has special educational needs?

At different times in their school life, a child or young person may have a special educational need. The Code of Practice 2014 defines SEND as follows:

“A child or young person has SEND if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special education provision to be made for him or her. A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:

a) Has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others the same age, or

b) Has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.

Where a student’s progress is significantly slower than that of their peers, or fails to match their previous rate of progress, despite high quality teaching targeted at specific areas of difficulty, it may be that the child has SEND. Information will be gathered, including seeking the views of parents and the student, as well as from teachers and assessment data.

There can be a many reasons for a pupil to ‘fall behind’. These may include absences, attending lots of different schools, difficulties with speaking English, or worries that distract them from learning. The school understands that children who experience these barriers to learning are vulnerable. This does not mean that all vulnerable pupils have SEND. Only those with a difficulty which requires special educational provision will be identified as having SEND.

We will use appropriate screening and assessment tools and ascertain student progress through:

  • Evidence from teacher observations and assessment;
  • Student performance against level descriptors for the National Curriculum or PIVAT levels.
  • Information from parents / carers;
  • Information from feeder schools
  • Subject Leaders and Progress Managers will monitor the attainment and progress of students with special educational needs as part of their role. They will ensure that the SENCO is kept fully informed.

If you have any concerns regarding your child’s progress or well-being, then please speak to your child’s Progress Leader in the first instance, then Mrs Parker (SENCO) to discuss your concerns.

How will the school support my child/young person?

If a learner is identified as having SEND, we will endeavour to provide support that is ‘additional to’ or ‘different from’ the differentiated approaches and learning arrangements normally provided as part of high quality, personalised teaching intended to overcome the barrier to their learning. When providing support that is ‘additional to’ or ‘different to’ we engage in a four-stage process: Assess, Plan, Do and Review.

Assess – this involves taking into consideration all the information from discussions with parents or carers, the child, the subject teachers and assessments.

Plan – this stage identifies the barriers to learning, intended outcomes, and details what additional support will be provided to help overcome the barriers.

Do – providing the support – extra assistance for learning or learning aids.

Review – measuring the impact of support provided, and considering whether changes to that support need to be made. All of those involved – pupil, their parents or carer, teacher and SENCO – contribute to this review. This stage then informs the next cycle, if necessary. This additional support, ‘intervention’ will be tailored to meet the child’s needs, and will target the area of difficulty. This support may be provided in class or in another area of the school, on a 1:1 basis or as part of a small group of learners with similar needs. These ‘interventions’ may be led by a teacher or a teaching assistant. The support provided, and its impact in class, will be monitored closely and shared regularly with the child and with their parents or carers.

For a small number of learners, their needs may require access to technology e.g. Modified ICT equipment or recording devices.

While the majority of learners with SEN will have their needs met in this way, some may require an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP).

In order to ensure that students with SEND have access to and make progress across the curriculum, the school will:

  • ensure access to literacy support as needed through Read, Write, Inc and IDL.
  • ensure access to numeracy support as needed through small group work or individual intervention,
  • offer additional in-class support through Support Teachers and Teaching Assistants as appropriate and available,
  • ensure that teacher planning provides for differentiation of work,
  • provide resources in order to help students make progress.

ACSC regards themselves as a family and we will endeavour to do all we can to help. Please see our Local Offer on the school website to see what this involves. The county’s local offer can also be accessed through the school website.

How will the curriculum be matched to my child/young person's needs?

ACSC has adopted a whole-school approach to SEN policy and practice. Students identified as having SEN are, where possible, fully integrated into mainstream classes. Every effort is made to ensure that they have full access to the National Curriculum and are integrated into all aspects of school life.

The SEND code of Practice makes it clear that all teachers are teachers of students with SEND. Therefore, all teachers are responsible for identifying students with SEND and, in collaboration with the SENCO will ensure that those students requiring different or additional support are identified at the earliest point possible. Teachers will make sure reasonable adjustments are made to ensure access to the curriculum and progress.

SEN Support

Support for students at SEND support involves additional support from specialist staff, often brought in from outside (e.g. Educational Psychologist, or Lancashire Inclusion and Disability Support Service staff). These students will have targets to work towards and will have a support plan which would be reviewed throughout the year. If progress is made the student will be taken off the SEN register. If lack of progress is still a major concern, we may ask the Local Authority to carry out a Formal Assessment of the student’s special educational needs, which may lead to an Education Health Care Plan.


A very small proportion of students have special educational needs deemed severe enough to warrant a Statement/EHCP.  This is a document outlining the student’s needs and the provision that the student is entitled to in order to meet those needs. We review Year 7 and Year 8 EHCPs in the Summer term (when Year 7 students have had time to settle in), Year 9 and 10 EHCPs in the Spring term and Year 11 students in the Winter term (when there is still time to act effectively on any concerns which may arise and to plan for transition. We review our support/intervention packages each year based on the types of needs we have in school. Currently, we have 67 children on the SEND register, 25 of these have an EHC plan. We cater for the following types of need currently:

  • ASD – 14
  • Speech, language and communication needs – 9
  • Specific learning difficulty – 9
  • Moderate learning difficulty – 14
  • Physical disability – 6
  • Hearing impairment – 12
  • Visual impairment – 1
  • Social, emotional and mental health difficulties – 21
  • (Please note there are more needs than numbers on the SEND register as some children have more than one type of need identified)

How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will you help me to support their learning?

All parents will receive data captures and feedback from their child’s class teachers through reports and parents’ evenings. We recognise the importance of working with parents and parents can request additional meetings outside their child’s reviews and parents’ evenings.

If an additional need has been identified a baseline assessment will take place. This will provide the point of reference for measuring the progress made by the child – and a target outcome set. Regular reviews occur to ensure that the intervention is having the intended effect. Should progress be less than anticipated, consideration will be given to adapting the frequency and/or intensity. Where difficulties persist, high quality interventions and appropriate adjustments, advice and support may be requested from other professionals, with your consent. This might involve: Speech and Language Therapy Services, Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist, an Advisory Support Teacher or Educational Psychologist or health services such as a Pediatrician. If your child has an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP), there will be an annual review, taking into account the views of your child, your view and all other professionals involved with your child as well as reviewing their progress.

Class teachers put your child’s homework on ‘Show my Homework’ and parents can request their own log on to monitor what homework their child has been given. We do find home school diaries useful with some of our students who are on our SEN register. If you feel this would be of benefit please discuss this with the SENCO. If your child is on the SEND register then they will also have their pupil support plan. This one page document details their needs, strategies and targets for the term. We then invite parents in once a term to meet with their child’s keyworker to review the plan, update it and set targets for the term ahead.

We regularly monitor and evaluate the provision in school for our students with SEN. This takes many forms:

  • Quality Assurance to check the progress of those with an identified SEND through learning walks and classroom observations, work scrutiny and pupil interviews as part of the review process.
  • Parent feedback:
    • Parental questionnaires given out at parents’ evenings
    • Annual Reviews Parents’ Evenings Drop in sessions
    • Termly reviews of pupil support plans
  • Student feedback:  
    • Mentoring – Teaching Assistants meet with students with SEND to check their provision meets their needs and if it does not they will alert the SENCO to consider a review of their needs.

What support will there be for my child/young person's overall well-being?

All students at ACSC are placed in a Year group and have a Head of Year who we call a Progress Leader. If you as a parent have any concerns about your child please contact them in the first instance. They are available all day through room 7 in school for your child should they need help or support. We also have a mental health team in school, a nurture base and a school counsellor to support children’s well being.

If your child has a medical condition or special educational need, they will be supported so they can have full access to education, including trips and physical education. Staff have access to any Medical Care Plans, which are available in the staff handbook and all teachers must familiarize themselves with these plans. If your child has an identified SEN they may have an EHC plan which will bring together health and social care needs, as well as their special educational provision.

Should a child wise to participate in an activity then support will be given for this from the learning support team following a meeting with family to discuss and, if necessary, a full risk assessment to ensure that the activity is safe given the needs of the child.

Staff are not permitted to give medication to students unless directed by yourself in writing.

What specialist services or expertise are available at or accessed by the school? What training have the staff supporting children/young people with SEND had or may they have?

The Governors will employ specialist teachers and teaching assistants as required to meet the special educational needs of students on roll at that time. Currently in the learning support team we have the SENCo, Teacher of the Deaf, EAL Co-ordinator and 15 teaching assistants. We then also commission other specialist support from educational psychology and specialist teacher services. Numbers can vary from one year to the next. The Governors will also ensure that they are kept fully abreast of their statutory responsibilities by attending training and receiving regular updates from the Headteacher /SENCO through termly meetings.

The SENCO and Headteacher will keep fully up to date about special educational needs issues through attendance at training and cluster meetings.  In addition, the SENCO’s skills will be developed through attendance at specialist training with outside agencies and through subscriptions to professional bodies. The SENCo holds the national award for SEN co-ordination, a specialist qualification for assessment of access arrangements and is currently completing the NPQSL and a masters in education.

Senior staff responsible for curriculum development will regularly discuss special needs issues with the Headteacher /SENCO. Other teaching staff will be kept up to date informally by the Headteacher/SENCO and formally at staff meetings, weekly briefings and training sessions as part of the CPD calendar.

Teaching Assistants need a wide range of curriculum and special educational needs knowledge. This will be regularly updated by INSET and Sharing Good Practice meetings. Our teaching assistants are linked to a department and support all SEND learners in that department. This ensures a sounder knowledge of the curriculum for that subject. All teaching assistants have their own specialism and we find this is a useful model as it helps to match the right TA with the right child. For example, one Teaching Assistant’s specialism is autism. We also have a SERF unit where all staff are trained so they can teach our deaf students.

Staff will be given the appropriate training should a child have a medical care plan. We also have a defibrillator in reception.

How will my child/young person be included in activities outside the classroom, including school trips?

At ACSC we believe all learners are entitled to the same access to extra-curricular activities, and are committed to making reasonable adjustments to ensure participation for all. Our extra-curricular activities can be seen on our SCAMPs Programme which can be found on our website. Please contact us if your child has any specific requirements for extra-curricular activities. Before a member of staff arranges a trip out of school they need to complete a risk assessment to ensure the safety of all students and staff and the needs of all students attending are considered and adjustments/plans made as required.

How accessible is the school environment?

To ensure access for people with disabilities, the school has a lift, ramps and disabled toilets. Hearing-Impaired students are supported by a teachers of the Deaf or Teaching Assistant during mainstream lessons or when the need arises they are withdrawn to work within the Deaf Support Department. If a disabled student wishes to attend the school they are welcome to visit the school before an application is made as part of an accessibility visit to look at the site and check it is accessible based on their individual needs. Once with us, their care plan is updated and shared with all staff and a PEEP is also created if required. Occupational therapy advice will also be sought if relevant to look at further adjustments and any specialist equipment that may be required. A loop system is available on request for visitors to the school who have hearing impairment and most science labs have been acoustically treated. Our deaf students also have a radio aid and a pager which is linked to the fire alarm. We have a drop down curb, ‘evac chairs’ and disabled parking. We also have adapted the work stations for children who are unable to reach the height of an average desk. Some students need a designated place where they can go for some ‘time out’. Should this be the case this can be arranged. Letters which are sent home with your child are also on the school website so if you need to translate it into another language it is easier to do so. We do have a specialist teacher who works with our students where English is not their first language.

How will the school prepare and support my child/young person to join the school, transfer to a new school or the next stage of education and life?

Transition is a part of life for all learners, whether that involves moving to a new class or moving to a new school, or college. We recognise that transition is an important time for all children, but especially so for a child with SEND. Consequently, we work closely with parents, children and staff to ensure these transitions run as smoothly as possible. Planning for transitions between the schools will take place in the Summer Term. Arrangements for transition to secondary school and further education college/training provider, for students with SEN will be planned accordingly to individual need. During Year 6 and Year 11, information will be shared with the SENCO at their next destination. This information will outline needs and support that has proven effective. Where possible, children will visit their new school/college on several occasions and, in some cases, staff from the new school/college will visit him or her at ACSC, or staff from ACSC will accompany the child on visits to their next school/college. If needed, transition support can be provided for students moving between year groups and is offered routinely for those part of the nurture group. Some children need support preparing for later life and so a life skills club is offered after school and some students have this delivered as part of their intervention package.

How are the school resources allocated and matched to children/young people's special educational needs and disabilities? How is the decision made about the type and quantity of support my child/young person receives?

At Ashton Community Science College we want to promote independence for our students but recognise that some students may need additional support. School will of course do their best to provide this support. If your child has an EHCP this will be discussed at their annual review and support will be given as detailed in the outcomes and provision section on their plan. For those on the SEND register, funding may not allow a TA to work with your child but we have many other successful strategies we could put in place which may be more suitable for their needs. For example, identifying a member of staff who can check in with your child at the end of the day to discuss any issues they have had during the day or some intervention to target a particular difficulty. The SENCo will use provision maps to outline where support is needed for all children. Individual pupil support plans will highlight where support is needed.

How are parents/carers involved in the school? How can I be involved? Who can I contact for more information?

As previously mentioned each year group has a parents’ evening every year.  For those students who have an EHCP they will have an annual review. Parents are asked to contribute their opinion at Parents ‘evening via a questionnaire and this is shared on the school website. Parents are welcome to discuss their child’s progress or wellbeing at any time but we would ask parents to contact the school to make an appointment so that the most appropriate member of staff is available. In the first instance please contact your child’s Progress Leader on 01772 513002. Parents of those on the SEND register are invited in termly to meet with their child’s keyworker, discuss their learning plan and review it. Our aim is that this is also an opportunity for parents to meet and offer support to each other.

What arrangements does the school make for consulting young people with special educational needs and disabilities about - and involving them in - their education?

If your child has a support plan or EHCP they will be regularly asked for their view on the provision school is providing. All students are a member of a form and within that form are two form captains. Some form captains then attend the school Council and the minutes from this are reported back to the Senior Leadership Team who will then action any points raised.

Each child on the SEND register has a named keyworker. This person will check in with the child and monitor their progress.

The children will attend their termly review meetings in order to contribute to their plans.

What arrangements does the school make in relation to the treatment of complaints from parents of children/young people with SEND concerning the provision made at the school?

Should a parent or carer have a concern about the special needs provision made for their child, they should, in the first instance, discuss this with the teacher concerned. If the concern continues, then the SENCO should be involved and if it cannot be dealt with satisfactorily at this stage, it should be brought to the attention of the Headteacher.  Should the Headteacher be unable to resolve the difficulty, the concern should be put in writing to the Governor with oversight of special educational needs.  The Chair of Governors will be involved if other avenues to resolve the situation have been exhausted. Should you need assistance with this from someone outside the school please contact SEND Information, Advice and Support Service. 01772 536981  Parents do have the right to make an appeal to the Local Authority under the Children and Families Act 2014 (Regulation 51).

How does the school involve other bodies, including health and social services, local authority support services and voluntary organisations, in meeting the needs of children/young people with SEND and in supporting their families?

Sometimes a child may have a special need which school cannot address. In which case support from an outside agency may be requested. Please see below the outside agencies which are actively involved with some of our children.

  • Educational Psychologist
  • SEND information, Advice and Support Service
  • Counselling service
  • School Nurse
  • Speech and language therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Hearing Impairment service
  • Visual impairment service
  • Social services
  • Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)
  • Youth Offending Team (YOT)

Where can I find the contact details of support services for the parents of children/young people with SEND?

As previously mentioned please contact your child’s Progress leader in the first instance if you have any questions or concerns about your child.

Please also see our local offer and county’s local offer.

However please feel free to contact the SENCO: Mrs Parker. All staff can be contacted through reception on 01772 513002.

As a parent if you require any support or guidance about provision for your child please contact SEND Information, Advice and Support Service. 01772 536981

Barnardos also provide support for parents Tel: 01772 629470 Email:

The Family Information Network Directory (FIND) have a newsletter which is issued four times a year and has the details of many different groups.

Where can I find information on where the local authority's local offer is published?

Our school’s local offer can be found on our school website under the parent tab. There is also a link to the County’s local offer on this section.