SEND Information Report

The new Children and Families Act has changed the law, giving children, young people and their parents greater control and choice in decisions an ensuring that needs are properly met.

 

At The Avenue Centre for Education we believe in achievement, ambition and progress for all children; every child’s progress matters.  For all students we seek to identify and support their personal ‘Plausible Route to Adulthood’.

We aim to meet the needs of individual children through highly effective teaching and learning, rigorous monitoring and tracking and the timely use of effective and highly personalised additional interventions.

There is an emphasis on early identification of needs through supportive and preventative strategies which reduce barriers to learning and encourage a re-engagement with the learning process.

We work in a flexible way to develop effective partnerships with children and their parents/carers, the referring or destination school / provider, the SENCO, specialist teaching staff both within the school and external professionals such as Educational Psychologist`s, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists and child and adolescent health services (CAMHS) to ensure that the school can meet a broad range of special educational needs. Additional bespoke interventions are also accessed according to an individual’s needs and interests.

We undertake a rigorous system of monitoring children’s progress, supporting academic achievement and person achievement by removing barriers to learning and use a wide range of strategies to foster a culture of lifelong learning and independent living skills for all children.

 

1. How does ACE identify and organise support for children with special educational needs?
As predominantly a service for students whose behaviour is acting as a barrier to their education, all students are referred to ACE, via the Hub Allocation Meeting referral form (HAM) which asks the referring body (usually a school) to gives details as to:

  • Past and current academic attainments
  • Details of any SEN diagnosis, IEPS, statements
  • Details of any external referrals made to other agencies
  • Chronology of academic, behavioural and social based interventions made
  • Copy of school behaviour file
  • Any other relevant information

In addition, each student referred to ACE undertakes a family / school interview and a range of diagnostic assessments and surveys to help give the fullest possible picture as to a students learning, behaviour and social needs.  Any pre-existing professionals advice is considered and shared with staff and updated advice sought if appropriate.

On joining ACE or ALPS each student is allocated a coach and undertakes an induction period (PACE) where their progress across a broad range of measures is closely monitored and tracked and student’s vocational and personal interests and aspirations are identified in order to help with selecting the appropriate curriculum pathway.  Regular feedback is given to parents and the host school (if dual registered) and all students come under the remit of the Pupil Progress Team who can action further interventions, both in-house and via external parties if they are felt appropriate.

A curriculum package is created (Route Mainstream or Route 19) which is informed by the student’s needs, interests and aspirations and takes into account the skills, qualifications and experiences each student need’s to maximise their chances of successful onward transition back into school and / or into adulthood and further education, employment or training.

Students are taught in a mixture of one to one and small group settings with an intensive staff ratio. Interventions are made on a highly personalised basis as ACE seeks to provide a customised holistic package to best support the needs of each individual.

2. Who are the key people at ACE available to discuss parental/carers concerns about their child’s difficulties?
All students are allocated a coach during the induction process and this person has a responsibility for maintaining regular contact with home (at least fortnightly), sending out regular reports (weekly / half termly) and acting as a point of liaison between ACE, home and other schools / providers.  The coach should also be the first point of contact for parents with any specific concerns or questions or if parents would like to request a face to face meeting.

Other points of contact may include:

The main office – for information on term dates, school day, organised trips, illness and absences etc

Pupil Progress Team – for issues relating to SEN, safeguarding or a student’s general welfare

Team Leaders – for Teaching & Learning, Behaviour & Welfare, Careers, Pupil Progress and ALPS service

Senior Leadership Team

 

3. How will parents/carers be informed about a child/young person’s progress at ACE and how will his/her progress be measured?
All students at ACE are part of a weekly monitoring and tracking system (ACE Keys skills for Success) which records their behaviour and learning against weekly agreed targets.  All staff contribute to this tracking and students are always involved in their own personal target setting and target reviews.  Parents are kept fully informed by either weekly reports sent home or via a pastoral phone call by the coach.

In addition half termly reports are sent out for all students to home (and if appropriate school) and any providers that a student is working with, also feed reports into this process.  As a centre we work hard to gain the support and engagement of parent / carers and will always contact promptly to share both success and any concerns on an ongoing basis.

On the academic side, all teaching staff have a duty to regularly review the academic progress students are making and to share any concerns with both the students’ coach and their line manager.  Social and behavioural progress is monitored by coaches and all students come under the supervision of the Hub wide Pupil Progress Team.  Weekly meetings are held to discuss student progress, to flag up any areas of concern and to organise and over-see additional interventions or required referrals on to external services and agencies.

The wider Services to Schools team includes Mentors, Counselling, Outreach workers (in school), a family worker and access to supporting agencies such as Educational Welfare, SEN Team and Educational Psychology. The ALPS team with their wider remit in working with local / regional alternative provision settings can also provide additional expertise and opportunities in this area.

Students working with the ALPS team have a similar but separate system whereby the alternative provision placements provide weekly reports to the allocated coach and a placement and progress review meeting is held every 6 weeks. Attendance, punctuality and work / effort reports are collected weekly and monitored to ensure effective and timely interventions can be made. Parents and the students themselves are kept fully informed at all stages.

4. What support will parents/carers receive if their child/young person has been identified as having special educational needs?
At ACE we work closely with parents / carers as part of our usual working practices and always seek to report to parents both concerns and success regarding each students work and overall progress.  If staff do have concerns that a student may have some form of special educational need then this would be discussed by the Pupil Progress Team at their weekly meeting and the coach will contact parents to discuss what additional support arrangements are being considered.

Via the Hub Extended Services Team, the individualised nature of student’s timetables and via referrals through the weekly HAM meeting, a growing range of additional interventions are offered internally within ACE that complement the wider range of external professionals and agencies that can be referred to as needed. These services include:

  • One to one literacy, numeracy, PSHE, personal welfare support
  • Mentoring, anger management, emotional welfare support, bereavement support
  • Counselling, drugs / alcohol / smoking cessation work
  • Sexual health, mental / emotional help, family support
  • Support with witnessing / being a victim of crime / Gangs issues
  • Therapeutic based alternative provisions and bespoke support arrangements
  • Exam dispensations and assistance if required (subject to application to JCQ)

When it is felt appropriate to refer a student to an external party or to seek additional professional expertise (Educational Psychology, Learning Support Service, Social Care etc) then a referral form will be completed by ACE staff and shared with parents, overseen by the Pupil Progress Management Team.  The results of these assessments and of any recommendations received are also always shared with parents (and other provisions, mainstream school etc. as appropriate) as a home / school working together approach is always most effective.

External referrals could be made to services such as:

  • CAMHS, Edwin Lobo Child Development Centre, School Nursing Service
  • SENAT / Learning Support Service / ASD Team
  • NHS / Social Care / Early Help Team / Drugs, Alcohol and Sexual Health Services
  • Specialist alternative provisions, medical tuition team, YOS, Targeted Youth Workers etc.

For any new arrangements or provisions that are put in place, parents are always informed and their views sought, as are those of the student themselves as any intervention is unlikely to work if the student is not at least prepared to approach it with an open mind.

At any time, parents are free to contact ACE, (coach as the first point of contact) and ask questions or share any concerns. ACE staff can signpost parents to additional sources of information on request.

5. What support is offered to ensure the wellbeing of children/young people with special educational needs and disabilities?
All students at ACE receive high quality and personalised pastoral care, from a number of sources including their coach, from within the curriculum (predominantly PSHE and Careers input) and from the wider remit of the Pupil Progress Team.

Where students have identified specific special educational needs, the Centre will have received advice from the relevant professionals and this advice is circulated to all appropriate staff and then built into a student’s educational and pastoral provision plan.  ACE is able to offer a highly individualised and bespoke package of academic, behaviour and social support and has links across to many multi agency personal and services and always seeks to construct the best possible package of provision around each individual. ALPS are closely involved in working with a wide range of alternative providers across the local area and greatly enhance our ability to offer students tailored packages that support their needs and interests.  Students and their families are always involved in these conversations and are encouraged to visit these provisions before a decision is made.

Where appropriate, ACE has mechanisms to offer targeted support to students and their families outside of school hours and during holidays and can signpost students and families to other organisations that may be able to help.

The Centre’s Safeguarding policies and procedures are extremely robust and effective and are regularly externally audited and checked via a number of sources including in-house specialist leads, Local Authority Services, and stakeholder partner secondary schools.  Incidents of bullying are dealt with seriously and effectively as is anything that affects the wellbeing, safety or security of students within ACE and ALPS.  Parents are always kept informed at all stages and we actively encourage parents to contact us if they have concerns or worries.

As a PRU, working to support students in avoiding exclusions and in improving attendance and punctuality rates is core to what we do, and as Ofsted acknowledge we are highly successful in this work because of the systems and procedures we have in place, the high expectations we have of our students and the support and co-operation of the families that we work with.

For students whose Special Educational Need means that they may require medication, bespoke arrangements are made in negotiation with parents in light of the specialist advice we received from the relevant professional bodies.  Where appropriate ACE works alongside The School Nursing Service, CAMH and Edwin Lobo Teams and runs a hospital school and a team of Tutors for students with diagnosed medical needs that act as a barrier to their attending school.

 

 

6. How will teaching be adapted to support the child/young person with special educational needs?
All teaching is done within small groups or on a one to basis with a high staff /student ratio to ensure that all students have ready access to quality staff input.  Teachers, Tutors and Behaviour Support Staff are all experienced at working in an intensive and individualised manner and take into account each students history, learning / behavioural needs and any expert advice that ACE is aware of.

ACE is able to create personalised learning packages for students and whist there is a need to ensure a suitable breadth of subjects in order to help with eventual transition into the adult world, where possible we try and take into account a student’s interests and needs when arranging their support packages.

As well as the academic provision, via the Pupil Progress Team have a wide range of additional expertise they can call on (Counselling, Mentor, Family Worker, Anger Management, Self Esteem workshops etc) that they can call on in order to provide holistic support for students.

ACE has robust systems for both tracking and reporting on student progress across all areas of their work and feedback is given to parents weekly with more formal reporting on a half termly basis.  All students provision plans and progress towards their targets are viewed regularly (usually every 6 weeks / half termly) to see whether any changes need to be made.  All interventions arranged are similarly tracked to ensure that they are being effective in meeting their desired aims.  Parents are kept fully informed throughout this ongoing process.

7. What different types of support can the child/young person receive in school? (E.g. small group or individual)
All our work with students at ACE is highly personalised and differentiated according to a students need and when planning provision for students with special educational needs, advice is sought from the relevant professionals and this is then taken into account.

Students may receive their education on a one to one basis, via part time provision slowly being phased up to full time or within small groups.  Many students attend the ACE@The Hub building for at least some of their provision and others will access this through the wide range of alternate providers that ALPS works with.  There are also specialist teams working with Statemented Students, those with medical needs and those at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital.

All teachers and support staff hold are experienced and qualified practitioners and are subject to annual appraisals and ongoing review of their work.  Student outcomes are closely monitored across all teams and resources can increasingly be moved around to ensure maximum flexibility in supporting both staff and students.

All staff are part of a comprehensive Continuous Professional Development cycle and are fully compliant with all best practice concerning Safeguarding and Child Protection, Safer Working Practices, Health and Safety Protocols, Risk Assessments and latest SEN and curriculum guidance.  All staff, volunteers and partner organisations are fully inspected, monitored and subject to these protocols and all staff working with ACE / ALPS students have been fully police checked before they are engaged.

ACE employs a qualified and experienced SENCO with overall responsibility for students with SEN, has close links to the Local Authority SEN, Educational Psychology and Learning Support Services and has several mainstream school experienced staff working within the organisation.

8. How will the school support your child/young person in unstructured times such as lunchtimes and playtimes and enable her/him to have access to after school clubs, school trips and journeys?
Within ACE, as part of a student’s overall holistic growth we like students to increasingly develop their own abilities to self control their own behaviours and actions.  To this end, breakfast club, break times and lunchtimes, alongside our ongoing activity programme are used to encourage students to be aware of behaviour expectations and staff act to guide and support students in meeting these.

Behaviour expectations are covered with all students through the induction process and are constantly reinforced by each student’s coachs and through their weekly targets.  The Rewards and Sanctions programme, with the emphasis on the more positive reward aspect, reinforces this approach and in all interactions between staff and students we talk about personal choices and consequences.

Students understand and largely respond well to this encouraging approach but also understand that in key areas, behaviours cannot be negotiated and rules and sanctions will be enforced strictly: areas such as bullying, abuse, aggressive and dangerous behaviour etc.  Coaches understand the particular issues, anxieties or challenges their individual students may face and will arrange appropriate supporting mechanisms and interventions to prepare and support students through any particular periods / times / events which are likely to proving challenging.

Successive Ofsted Reports recognise as a strength of ACE that students felt safe, secure and want to attend.

9. How does ACE involve young people in decisions that affect them?
When ACE / ALPS receive a referral the first step is to meet with the student and their family to gain their perspective on the issues that exist, to identify strengths, interests and ambitions and to talk through the range of options that exist for moving the situation forward.  Students are allocated to a pathway, linked to a return to school or identified vocational interest as appropriate and this is used to help construct a personalised timetable package.

When planning provision, students / parents are offered visits to ACE and appropriate providers, an opportunity to meet the staff involved and to ask any questions.  Students are then offered a trail period at that provision and are allocated a coach who will discuss with them how things are going.  At any review stage, parents and students are invited to take part, regular reports on progress are shared with them and the coach is always available as a point of contact for any questions or concerns.  Students are actively involved in setting and reviewing their own targets and in helping to shape their own provision plan.  Where students have a specific career or vocational interest, ACE / ALPS works hard to identify a way by which this can be supported and developed.

Within all provisions, student voice is taken seriously, listened to and as far as is appropriate and possible is taken into account in ACE’s ongoing development work.  Students are encouraged to take on responsibilities that allow them to develop and demonstrate their increasing maturity and which will better equip them for eventual re-integration back into school or onward transition into education, employment or training.

Within the Key stage 4 students have access to Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance both in terms of their own interest and aspirations but also in terms of the opportunities and possibilities that exist in the local and regional area.  ACE works closely with post 16 providers, local colleges and training providers to ensure that not only do all students have the widest possible choice of progression routes, but that they are aware of and informed about them.  ACE encourages and supports students to attend Open Days, visits Skills Fairs, try out taster days and where appropriate can organise bespoke individualised support packages.

10. How does ACE allocate resources to support young people with SEND?
As a PRU service, funding for SEN students is within our standard but enhanced funding stream and is provided centrally via the local authority.  Where students have specific needs that additional funding could support, an application is made by ACE to the SENAT panel for their consideration.  As with all schools, ACE has a duty to ensure its practice is informed by the requirements of a statement and that students are receiving the support and interventions that are specified.  This duty remains in place for students attending alternate provisions or working with any of the ALPS teams.

All students are involved in a close monitoring and tracking system overseen by their allocated coach but students with SEN also come specifically under the Pupil Progress Team headed by an experienced SENCO.  Student’s provision plans and any existing interventions already in place are reviewed every 6 weeks with the student involved.  If it is felt any changes are required, parents are informed and their views taken into account.  With regards to Statement Reviews, Personal Care Plans, Child Protection Orders etc, ACE and ALPS work closely alongside other professionals and agencies to ensure that all best practice protocols, procedures and timescales are adhered to.  EHC Reviews, Professional Meeting and Review meetings with all involved staff (and provisions) are held regularly / as required.

Resources are made available to all students to support their educational provision packages and due to the nature of PRU funding streams, and flexibility across Hub services, we would aim to be able to meet all required resources.  Procedures do exist within SENAT for requesting additional finance if this is required.

11. What services external to ACE can provide support to children with SEN?
ACE @ The Hub employs directly a number of staff from multi – agency backgrounds (Counselling, Mentoring, Family Worker, Social Worker etc) and has a number of SLA agreements with other Local Authority services (Educational Welfare, Educational Psychology, Youth and Careers Service, Mental Health etc) to provide additional expertise and services on behalf of ACE students.

Internally the Pupil Progress Team oversees referrals to the wider support team and the referral process to external agencies and is supported in this by the relevant coaches: this process is overseen and tracked via the weekly HAM panel meeting.   These interventions are all closely monitored and their effectiveness reviewed on a 6 weekly cycle and then amended, extended or ended as appropriate.

Through our expanding range of vocational and employability related initiatives (including CEIAG), we seek to steer students toward confidence building, self esteem raising and career / lifestyle aspirational activities and experiences.  The development of key life and employability seeks is an increasingly central focus of ACE’s work. Through the work of the ALPS team we link to a wide range of alternative providers, many of whom work in more specialist fields who can extend and enhance the opportunities we are able to offer students.

Many of these providers, plus the Youth Service and the local colleges, offer holiday and evening / weekend activities and we pro-actively advertise these to our students and their families and encourage them to participate – providing staff to support where appropriate.

ACE@The Hub are actively involved in working with a wide range of partner organisations to look at enrichment, after school and out of hours programmes and opportunities which seek to compliment and broaden the range of experiences out students are able to access.  Some of these are targeted towards specific student groupings and others are on a self-selection basis.  Recent examples would include, Boxing, Gym and Young Enterprise Scheme sessions, Personal Leadership Skills Development and Team work / Self Esteem / confidence building mentoring programmes.

Where there are gaps in existing provision, ACE is actively working to develop additional programmes, either through existing staffing or via commissioned services; some of these are targeted towards students with specific SEN issues.

12.  How are staff at ACE supported to work with young people with special educational needs and what training do they have?
All teaching staff within ACE and ALPS are experienced, qualified and have mainstream school experience.  Non teaching and support staff (BSA’s, Youth Mentors, Family worker, Counsellors etc) are also all qualified practitioners and have either come from existing services known to us (usually from within the council) or have undertaken university training placements with us previously.  In a few cases, ex-students have returned to work at ACE via apprenticeship programs.

Supervision and line management procedures are in place for all staff and all staff have been inducted to the Centre and had regular safeguarding training.  A centre wide weekly meeting is held with all staff which is sued for briefing and staff wide training.  In addition, staff meet weekly in smaller specifically focused school improvement groups and certain sub-groups of staff (SLT, ALPS Team Leader, Safeguarding, and Pupil Progress) have their own regular meetings which provide a format for briefings, training and mutual support and liaison.

Team work is a core feature of ACE and all staff work across the organisation, support within each other’s lessons and support each other in managing student’s educational, behavioural and social needs. Staff readily share expertise and work together in the best interest of promoting positive student outcomes.  All staff have access to the advice and guidance of other professionals and Educational Psychologists regularly attend staff meetings and staff training to provide support and guidance on how to address specific SEN needs.

13. How will ACE support the young person in moving on to another school or college or to the next key stage in their education or life?
One of the primary aims of ACE as an organisation is to ensure the successful reintegration and / or successful transition back into education, employment of training. The curriculum package offered by ACE and ALPS is designed to re-engage students with their learning, to provide the academic and learning skills necessary to return to education and to develop the personal and life skills necessary to go on and have a successful future life.

Within the Route Mainstream Pathway the aim is to work with students to ensure that students who are currently experience behavioural difficulties are able to either maintain their current place within the school, or after a brief period of alternative, individualised provision, are able to make a fresh start back in a new secondary school.  This model uses a careful induction and assessment stage to help identify the key barriers to learning, a personalised learning curriculum focused on the key skills that need to be developed and a phased program of support back into a mainstream setting via the work of the outreach team.  There is close liaison between the referring school, home and ACE, students are always involved in the discussions and decisions and weekly feedback is given leading up to the 6 weekly reviews.

Within the Route 19 Pathway, ACE / ALPS Service work together with usually older students on a vocationally orientated Fast Track program to prepare students for successful transition into further learning, college, training providers and apprenticeships. Students follow a core academic curriculum that ensures all students have the basic qualifications that are needed, then additional vocational, life skills and enrichment activities – the majority leading to recognised qualifications that are based around each student’s interests, needs and future aspirations.    Students have access to a wide range of interventions for both learning and social developmental needs as well as access to Careers guidance and aspirational raising activities and trips, Careers Fairs and College / Apprenticeship Open Days.  All students have a transition plan in place ensuring that as Year 11 ends, there are definite forward transition plans in place for the next stage of their learning and personal development. Regular contact is maintained with students for at least one year after they have left ACE.

 

 

14. How accessible is the setting/school/college environment?
Once within the ACE@The Hub building all floors are accessible by lift, disabled toilets are available on each floor and all classrooms have wide enough doors to give access.  However all external access to the building is via steps and the site itself on a steep hill with a steep drive way leading up to it.

Storage space for specialist equipment is extremely limited but the Centre would endeavour to meet any specific requests.  Currently teaching spaces are not equipped for visual or hearing impaired students as it is unlikely that these would be placed with students who have predominantly behavioural issues.

For parents for whom English is not a first language, reasonable efforts are made to provide web based materials in a range of languages and ACE has the use of the LBC approved translator service.  A number of different languages are spoken by ACE staff and this does help with some of the multi-cultural communication issues.

ACE makes efforts to be aware of and sensitive too different religious and cultural values and practices (Ha-al meat within Food lessons, students engaged in periods of fasting etc) and we always do ask that parents share with us any information that they think we need to know

15. Who can parents/carers contact for further information about ACE?
The key information regarding ACE and ALPS is available on our website (www.avenuecentre.co.uk) which also contains contact details for key staff members.  All enquires can be dealt with initially via:

ACE Centre Office: 01582 748800

ALPS Admin Support: 01582 548385

Please be advised that ACE and ALPS are not services or schools that parents can request direct.

ACE and ALPS are services, funded by Luton’s secondary schools and Luton borough council to make educational provision for those students who are permanently excluded from school, in danger of being excluded from school or for whom it is felt that a mainstream educational setting is inappropriate.

All referrals to ACE / ALPS come from schools or the local authority direct.  Parents and students cannot self refer.