SEN(D) Information Report for ACE

Mission Statement

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 believe that every student should have the opportunity to succeed by being motivated and inspired. With this as our fundamental belief, we aim to develop young people into unique, responsible and discerning members of society who have a sense of their own value, and our school is structured to nurture the social development of all the young people we work with.

We recognise that provision for students with special educational needs is the responsibility of all teachers and therefore quality first teaching is fundamental to meet individual needs.

 

and use a wide range of strategies to foster a culture of lifelong learning and independent living skills for all children.

A copy of the SEND Policy can be found on the website

1. How does ACE identify and support Children and Young People (CYP) 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 mainstream schools, Admissions, Virtual School, ALPS or SENAT and in all cases a detailed referral form is requested outlining past educational history, attainment and any previously identified learning, medical and / or disability needs. Each referral is discussed at the weekly Hub Allocation Meeting (HAM) to identify the most appropriate intervention for ACE to offer according to our published menu of services.

New students begin within the PACE unit for up to 4 weeks to allow for the Pupil Progress Team to undertake an assessment and induction process which includes:

o    Interview with parents, students and their referring school

o    Completion of baseline diagnostic assessments around literacy, numeracy, learning style and well-being

o    Specialised screening assessments and the use of Educational Psychology service where standard assessments indicate a need

o    Time spent with the student by the PACE, Teaching, Behaviour and Career’s lead teams in order to develop a positive relationship and identify areas of strength, interest and need

o    Discussion with the student around identifying the most appropriate plausible route to adulthood and what their individualised curriculum package therefore needs to contain

o    Each student is then returned to the HAM panel for a final decision to approve and finalise their recommended educational provision plan

o    Distribution of a Pupil Information Plan highlighting key information is sent to all staff when a new student joins ACE to assist staff in relationship building and appropriate provision planning.

o    The PIP includes assessment data relating to Literacy levels, Attitudes to school and Self, Learning Styles, Mental and Health and Strength and difficulties and can be followed up by more specific Dyslexia and SEND assessments, including a referral to an EP if felt appropriate.

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 (Route Mainstream or Route 19). This 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. Regular feedback is given to parents and the host school (if dual registered).

If data collected highlights additional learning needs the Pupil Progress Team will action further interventions, both in-house and via external parties.  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.

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, sending out regular reports 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 CYP’s progress at ACE and how will his/her progress be measured?
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 and the coach will contact parents to discuss what additional support arrangements are being considered.

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 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.

Some ACE students may have time at Alternate Providers who provide a more specialist and usually vocationally orientated set of courses, and these students are monitored and reviewed by the ACE AP Link Team. Alternate Provisions provide daily attendance, weekly progress reports and access the common ACE safeguarding systems.  The link team, alongside the student and parent / careers review progress at least half termly and ensure that the ACE and AP provisions are timetables are complimentary and that students are making good progress and have access to the support they need.  For students with EHC needs or EHC plans, there is a full transfer of information and a liaison between ACE and AP staff when a student’s provision is being planned to ensure that AP staff fully understand and are prepared to address the identified SEND needs.

 

4. What support is offered to ensure the wellbeing of CYP 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 too 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 and preparing them for Adulthood.  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 through  local offer

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 receive 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.

5. How will teaching be adapted to support the CYP with special educational needs?
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.

We make the following adaptations to ensure all pupils’ needs are met:

·         Differentiating our curriculum to ensure all pupils are able to access it, for example, by grouping, 1:1 work, teaching style, content of the lesson, etc.

·         Adapting our resources and staffing and the use of additional support staff if required

·         Using recommended aids, such as laptops, coloured overlays, visual timetables, larger font, etc.

·         Differentiating our teaching, for example, giving longer processing times, pre-teaching of key vocabulary, reading instructions aloud, using technology etc.

·         We will take into account any appropriate exam dispensations to be applied for via the Exams Office

 

6. How do we know the support is effective?
ACE has robust systems for both tracking and reporting on student progress across all areas of their work

  1. Regular review of pupils’ individual progress towards their goals each term
  2. Reviewing the impact of interventions after 6 weeks/half termly, following the assess, plan, do and review cycle.
  3. Capturing student voice through meetings with student’s coach
  4. The ACE SMART database which records lesson by lessons student’s scores, progress and achievements and produces weekly, half termly and termly progress data.
  5. Holding annual reviews for pupils with EHC plans
  6. Monitoring by the SEN Team
  7. Overview by Pupil Progress Team

 

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 teachers and support staff hold are experienced and qualified practitioners and are subject to annual appraisals and ongoing review of their work.

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.

7. What different types of support can the CYP receive in school? (E.g. small group or individual)
Teachers are responsible and accountable for the progress and development of all the students in their class. Consistently high quality teaching is our first step in responding to the students’ needs.

  • All staff are provided with detailed student information (Pupil Information Plan) prior to a student starting detailing key educational history and attainment
  • All students access an individualised curriculum package between ACE / School or ACE / Provision which is based around their individual Provision Plan
  • Where students are attending a school or provision placement, attendance, safeguarding and curriculum information is shared and joint reviews of progress held
  • All teaching is within very small groups (max 1:4 ratio) and both students (via coach) and staff (via CAM) can request curriculum / timetable / grouping changes if required
  • All students are allocated a personal coach to keep an overview of their progress, to maintain links with home and provide adult overview / guidance as required
  • Weekly CAM meetings allow for adaptions to student’s individual timetables to be made and for additional support and interventions to be built in
  • The Pupil Progress Team, including the functions of a SENCO role, oversee all students to ensure that progress over time is made and to consider the use of specialised interventions as and when appropriate
  • Where appropriate, an application for an EHC plan will be made

 

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 EHCP Students, those with medical needs and those at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital.

We will  provide the following interventions: These include but are not limited to:

·         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)

·         In-house intervention projects (ZSL Whipsnade, Directional, Mentoring, Outreach) (HAM)

·         Engagement of multi-agency working (Resolutions, Sexual Health, Social Care) (HAM)

·         Use of in-house staff, flexibility of approach, individualised delivery, adjusted school timings/timetable (CAM)

 

8. How will the school support your CYP in unstructured times such as lunchtimes 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 coach 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.

All of our extra-curricular activities and school visits are available to all our pupils, including any before-and after-school clubs that may be running at the time.

All students have access to time at alternative provision, work experience and Careers opportunities, external trips and visits to support curriculum and other enrichment activities. No pupil is ever excluded from taking part in these activities because of their SEN or disability.

Our Accessibility Plan provides further detail of how we provide access to the environment, curriculum and written information so that all students can take full advantage of the opportunities.

All visits are risk assessed and provisions are put in place to ensure the safety of all students and staff.

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

9. How does ACE involve CYP and parents in decisions?                            
When a referral has been accepted via HAM, it is passed to the PACE team who will make initial contact with the parents, students and organise the start of a two-week induction and assessment process.  During this time, the PACE team will start building relationships with the child, undertake basic core assessments and start identifying the child’s key strengths, interests and aspirations. There will also be meetings with the family, the referring school and any other involved professionals in order to get as complete picture of the student as possible. This leads to the production of a Pupil Information Profile which records this information and is circulated to all staff.

The PACE team make recommendations back to HAM as to which pathway a student is best suited to, advise as to the timetable package required and ensure a smooth transition over to the main ACE building.  The Pupil Information Profile sheet is shared with ACE staff prior to the student starting so that staff can make an informed start with the student and allocate to a coach who will oversee that students journey through ACE.

The student and families voice is paramount during this PACE assessment period and is central to the planning that takes place for organising the most appropriate and suitable next step provision.  Assessment, Teaching and Learning, Behaviour, Mentoring and Careers staff are involved during this two-week period and work with the student and their family to formulate and agree on the next stage planning.

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 CYP 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 including any transport needs.  As with all schools, ACE has a duty to ensure its practice is informed by the requirements of EHC Plans 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.
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  to provide additional expertise and services on behalf of ACE students.

o    CAMHS, Edwin Lobo Child Development Centre, School Nursing Service

o    SENAT / Educational Psychology /Learning Support Service / ASD Team

o    NHS / Social Care / Early Help Team / Drugs, Alcohol and Sexual Health Services

o    Educational Welfare, Youth and Careers Service

o    Specialist alternative provisions, medical tuition team, YOS, Targeted Youth Workers etc.

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.

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.

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 used 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.

SLA’s are in place with Learning Support Service, Educational Psychology and Educational Welfare to help support all students, and we have regular liaison meetings with attached workers from SENAT, CAMH and Social Care to flag up any issues or students of concern.

Training needs are identified via Team meetings with their SLT link, visa staff in the appraisal system or in response to issues within each cohort or around the specifics of new students joining the service. Recent training has included topics such as bereavement, attachment disorders, positive handling, safeguarding and County Lines / online Grooming.

 

13. How will ACE support CYP 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

  • All students are working on an identified pathway: Route Mainstream towards reintegration back into mainstream education or Route 19 into post Year 11 vocational and / or academic based learning
  • Route Mainstream students access in-school support when undertaking a re-integration. 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
  • Route 19 students are 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.
  • Outreach is offered (where possible) with post 16 provisions including their staff attending ACE, ACE staff supporting external visits, use of virtual tours, meetings with students and parents and joint working projects during KS4 to start preparing students for onward transition.

 

14. How accessible is the setting/school/college environment?
ACE complies with the requirements of the 2010 Equality Act and will make all reasonable adjustments to meet the needs of individual students, parents/carers, staff and other people from the wider community.

 

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. 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.

ACE and Luton as our premises manager are aware of these issues and there are medium term plans to address these issues as the building and site continues to be reformed and upgraded.

ACE recognises students are entitled to complete confidentiality when they disclose a disability. However, we would wish for appropriate disclosure in line with our Guidance on Access to Student Records policy so that it can implement any provision for the student to support them and their needs.

 

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 is 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

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 to ACE.