Special Education Needs

About us

Welcome to the Central Department for Inclusion. We aim to provide all learners, regardless of barriers, with the skills, knowledge and cultural capital to aspire towards the broadest possibilities in life. At Central, we believe that students with special educational needs and disabilities succeed when they have access to the same qualified, expert teachers as everyone else. At Central we look to recognise all and any barriers our students may have and overcome these through expert support, guidance and assistance of external professionals. Our goal is to ensure that all SEND students can access the same broad, rich Central curriculum; leading them to achieve similar academic and adult outcomes.

SEND students are students identified by the Department for Education as those who have:

  • Cognition and learning difficulties
  • Communication and Interaction difficulties
  • Sensory and physical difficulties
  • Social, emotional and mental health difficulties


At Central Academy, our core values give us a clear sense of direction. We are determined to bring out “the best in everyone” through a creative curriculum tailored to generate enthusiasm for learning and an ambition to succeed. Every teacher is a teacher of SEND and will use Quality First Teaching to ensure learners have the best opportunity to access our curriculum. Our high level of varied teaching and learning works to instil respectful learners who have the confidence to work hard and achieve their aspirations.

How we help

The Inclusion Team has a team of experienced staff comprising of High Level Teaching Assistants (HLTAs), Teaching Assistants (TAs), Social, Emotional and Mental Health Specialists (SEMH) and teachers. Staff support students according to their experience and training, including Autism Spectrum, Communication and Interaction and Dyslexia. In our inclusive school, the majority of support is offered within mainstream lessons however there are some booster small group intervention sessions focusing on key skills for those who require more personalised, intensive, support.


Following an inspection in May 2017, is Good

Inspectors noted: “Pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities are well cared for, treated with respect and currently made good progress. The additional funding has been used more effectively since the last inspection to ensure that resources, including teaching assistants, are carefully deployed to meet their needs and disabilities. Leaders track pupil progress frequently and adapt plans to ensure that pupils receive the necessary support to flourish personally and academically.”

From their starting points, students who have special educational needs and/or disabilities have made stronger progress since the last inspection. This is because leaders are correctly identifying students’ needs and abilities, putting in place effective support and monitoring their academic and pastoral progress carefully.”

Lee Blood

Andrea McComb
Coordinator of SEND Teaching and Learning

Sally Mulraine
HLTA and Cognition and Learning Specialist

Karen Osborne
HLTA and SEMH/Diabetes Support Specialist

Jane Hutton
LSA and Literacy Specialist

Christina Graham
LSA and Communication and Interaction Specialist


Jessicca Ingleton
LSA Intern



What we do

Students requiring additional support have access to a range of interventions and provisions provided between 8 am through to 4 pm. Students can report to the Base where Learning Support staff are on hand to support through 1:1 mentoring, small group interventions or supervision. Learning Support Assistants are deployed into lessons to support students who have plans which require additional support. Our HLTAs and LSAs are also qualified to assess students for needs such as dyslexia and literacy issues. Our teaching staff, pastoral team and ACC staff are also a part of the offer and support we provide SEND students. 

Interventions include:

  • Reading comprehension
  • Numeracy support
  • Spelling and grammar workshops
  • ELSA (emotional literacy)
  • SALT (speech and language therapy)
  • Memory development
  • EAL (English as an Additional Language) classes
  • SULP (social use of language) support at break and lunch times
  • Homework club (afterschool)
  • Access arrangements for exams


External Partners who support our students

  • SALT (Speech and Language Therapy)
  • Educational Psychologist
  • Paediatrician
  • Occupational Therapist
  • CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service)
  • Physiotherapist
  • Auditory and visual support services
  • Local Authority SEN/ Inclusion Team

Support from Learning Coaches:

Classroom teachers and Learning Coaches communicate and work closely together to ensure that support is effective and builds upon learning they carry out in lessons. Learning Coaches often work with small groups of students to develop particular skills and regularly make use of multi-sensory teaching to pre and post teach basic skills and concepts, that will lead the student to make progress in the lessons.

Inclusive Education:

We pride ourselves on being fully inclusive and all students attend mainstream lessons with their peers, to ensure they gain the highest specialist subject knowledge from their teachers. Staff at the Academy are continually receiving CPD on how to support a variety of additional needs, therefore in line with the DfE Code of practice, First Quality Teaching is at the heart of support for SEND students.



Assessment and Monitoring:


All students who enter the Academies are assessed for baseline reading, spelling and complete MiDYAS  testing. This information is used alongside other data to identify students who may require additional support. Intervention sessions are provided to target specific development needs and the progress of each student is monitored closely. Students who do not make progress in light of interventions are placed on the SEN register and further interventions may be offered. The SEN register is reviewed on an ongoing basis to ensure that students are moved through the SEN stages of the Code of Practice in an accurate and timely manner.

Exam Support

Some students may be entitled to exam access arrangements – this is where a student may be able to access support during internal Academy exams and formal GCSEs.

To access this support, the student will be tested using approved tests which identify if the child may have a specific need in an exam.

The results of these tests will then inform whether additional support can be applied for. If a student scores low enough for the Academy to apply for concessions an application to the exam board will take place at which point they will identify what concessions, if any, the student may be entitled to.

If a student is entitled to concessions, the Academy will provide the support required and will encourage the student to use the provision within their lessons in order for it to become the normal way of working and provision will be made away from the main exam hall.

Any and all entitlements will be shared with the student and parent.

Strategies to develop literacy:

  • Whole school literacy focus through our Head of English
  • Dedicated English Learning Support Assistant to support those who have a requirement within lessons
  • Some individual/additional tuition as part of a personalised support programme
  • Literacy skills lesson once a week as part of form time
  • Rigorous progress tracking monitored by Head of English and SENCO

Strategies to develop numeracy:

  • Whole school numeracy focus through our Head of Math
  • Dedicated Maths Learning Support Assistant to support those who have a requirement within lessons
  • Some individual/additional tuition as part of a personalised support programme
  • Rigorous progress tracking monitored by Head of Mathematics and SENCO

Students with Autism or Speech and Language difficulties are supported by the SEN Team and Special Advisory Teachers. They can access support in or out of class to enable them to achieve. Students are tested using the Language Link testing package in order to identify exact difficulties and for interventions to be created accordingly.

Supporting Feelings and Behaviour

  • Teaching Assistant dedicated to SEMH
  • Quiet Room Space available most break and lunch times 
  • 1:1 or small group intervention sessions focusing around SEMH using recognised programmes such as “Talkabout”.
  • Positive Behaviour Support Plans (PBSP) are implemented to support the student with strategies for the teacher/school and the student to engage with
  • Referrals made to Child and Mental Health Services (CAMHs) when greater levels of need are identified
  • Liaison with SEMH workers (Special Advisory Teachers, ADHD clinicians, Educational Psychologists) when appropriate
  • Meetings and reviews with parents/carers
  • All teachers apply the binary behaviour policy which is led and supported by the Academic and Pastoral Support Centre (APSC)
  • Interventions, assessments and referrals conducted in the APSC
  • Strong pastoral system
  • Students who require it are referred to the SEMH Worker for additional support

Quiet Room 'The Base'

Some students are identified for our Quiet Room during breakfast club, breaks and lunches, which develops social and friendship skills.

The Base can support students who start at Central below age related expectations and/or require additional emotional/behavioural support as they transition into secondary school. Sessions promote positive behaviours ie boost self-esteem, confidence, reducing shouting out etc and aids with the adjustment to the faster pace of secondary school, which can be overwhelming to some of our new students.

Working with other people

The SENCO and Pastoral Leads meet with Educational Psychologist at least once a term for a Consultation Meeting to discuss current strategies and next steps for our SEN students.

The SENCO liaises with Professionals such as CAMHs, the Local Authority, statementing officers, autism outreach and Medical Professionals for advice, training and to provide further information about students.


Referrals for additional support are made when appropriate. These include SEND Early Help Referrals; CAMHs referrals; Speech and Language referrals.


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