Ashton, Manchester

Safe Start SEN Policy

Policy Created: January 2020
Reviewed by: Grace Speakman
Review Date: January 2021


1. Introduction
2. SEN Provision
3. Co-ordination of SEN provision
4. Admissions and resources
5. Identifying students with SEN
6. Evaluation


Safe Start Mission Statement
Safe Start works to promote the social and educational inclusion of children and young

We believe everyone can improve their life chance through learning and make a
successful transition to adult life with the right opportunities, support and guidance.

Safe Start school is an independent school with a range of levels of attainment.

It focuses on supporting Key Stage 4 students who have been excluded from or are at risk
of exclusion from mainstream schools in Manchester and Tameside.

Given the nature of our students they are all classed as having some level of SEMH

Additional to that some of our students have EHC plans and present differing specific SEN. This information is available in our SEN information report.

The school has due regard to the code of practice in the Special educational needs and disability code of practice (2015), the Children and Families Act (2014) and the Schools 0-25 years SEND code of practice (2014).


Students have special educational needs if they have a learning difficulty that calls for
special educational provision to be made for them.

Students have a learning difficulty if they:

  • Have significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of young person the same age.
  • Have a disability that prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for young person of the same age in schools
    within the area of the Local Education Authority.

A Young person must not be regarded as having a learning difficulty solely because of
their language or form of language in their home is different from the language in which they will be taught.


This SEN Policy details how Safe Start aims to ensure that the necessary provision is
made for any student who has special educational needs and those needs are made
known to all who are likely to teach and support them.

The school will do its best to
ensure that teaching and support staff are able to identify and provide for those students
who have special educational needs to allow those students to join in the activities of the
school together with students who do not have special educational needs, so far as is
reasonably practicable and compatible with the student receiving the special educational
provision and the efficient education of the students with whom they are educated.

The school will have regard to the SEND 0-25 Code of Practice (2015) when carrying out
its duties toward all young people with special educational needs and ensure that
parents/carers are notified of a decision by the school that Special Educational Needs
Provision is being made for their child.

Partnership with parents and carers plays a key role in enabling young people with
special educational needs to achieve their potential. The school recognises that parents and carers hold key information, have knowledge and experience to contribute to the shared view of a young person’s needs and the best ways of supporting them.

All parents/ carers of young people with special educational needs will be treated as partners and supported to play an active and valued role in their child’s education.

Young people with special educational needs often have a unique knowledge of their own
needs and their views about what sort of provision would help them make the most of
their education will be ascertained. They will be encouraged to participate in all the decision-making processes and contribute to the assessment of their needs, the review and transition processes.


In order to help students with special educational needs, the school will adopt a graduated response that recognises there is a continuum of special educational needs.

The school will record steps taken to meet the needs of individual students.

The school will appoint a member of the team as an SEN Co-ordinator (SENCO) who will have responsibility for ensuring that the records are kept and available as needed.

The role of SENCO will include:

  • Overseeing day-to-day operation of the school’s SEN policy
  • Co-ordinating provision for students with special educational needs
  • Liaising with and advising fellow teachers
  • Overseeing the records of all students with special educational needs
  • Liaising with parents/carers of students with special educational needs
  • Contributing to the in-service training of staff
  • Responsibility for maintenance and review of the SEN Register
  • Arranging and chairing Annual Reviews
  • To attend multi-agency meetings as required
  • Liaising with external agencies, including Educational Psychology Services, Health
    and Social Services and other relevant agencies

The SENCO works alongside:

  • Management team
  • Subject teachers
  • Youth / support workers
  • Educational Psychologist and other services (as above)
  • Parents / Carers


The school aims to adopt an anticipatory approach to the integration and participation of
students and parents/carers with a disability.

The school will assess each young person’s current levels of attainment on entry in order
to ensure they build upon the pattern of learning and experience already established
during earlier years of schooling.

If the student already has an identified special educational need, this information may be transferred from the previous school.

The SENCO and class teachers will use this information to:

  • Provide starting points for the development of an appropriate curriculum
  • Identify and focus attention on action to support the young person within the class
  • Use the assessment processes to identify any learning difficulties
  • Ensure ongoing observation and assessment provide regular feedback about the
    young person’s achievements and experiences to form the basis for planning the
    next steps of the young person’s learning


All students are encouraged to take part in the activities in the school, some of which follow the National Curriculum.

Provision for students may involve:

  • In-class support
  • Individual support
  • Differentiated curriculum


Within the school there is a SENCO and youth / support staff who are able to provide in-
class and individual support where necessary.


When a young person identifies with special educational needs, interventions will be
provided which are additional to those provided as part of the usual differentiated

This will be communicated with the relevant agencies, the child and their family/carers as a joint working strategy.

The strategy will be detailed within the SEN information report. The triggers for intervention will be concern, supported by evidence,
where the young person has:

  • Declining, little or no progress even when teaching approaches target specific areas
    of weakness
  • Significantly slower progress than that of their peers starting from the same baseline
  • Difficulty and poor development in some curriculum areas
  • Persistent emotional or behavioural difficulties which fail to improve by the behaviour
    management techniques usually employed
  • Sensory or physical problems, and continues to make little or no progress despite
    provision of specialist equipment
  • Communication and/or interaction difficulties, and continues to make little or no progress despite the differentiated curriculum

In some cases, outside professionals from health or social services may already be
involved with the young person.

Where these professionals have not already been working with the school staff, Safe Start may contact them if parents/carers agree.

The SENCO will support the further assessment of the young person, assist in planning future
support in liaison with other colleagues and monitor the action taken.

Tutors will be responsible for working with the young person on a daily basis, for planning and
delivering an individualised programme.

Parents/carers will always be consulted and kept informed of the action taken and its outcome.

The SENCO and tutors will decide on the action needed to facilitate progress. This may

  • Different learning materials or special equipment
  • Some group or individual support
  • Staff development and training to introduce more effective strategies
  • Access to LEA support services for one-off advice on strategies or equipment

A request for support from external services is likely to follow a decision from a previous
school, or the SENCO and colleagues, in consultation with parents/carers.

External support services will usually see the young person so they can advise teachers on new
strategies, provide more  specialist assessments to inform planning and measure
progress, give advice on use of specialist strategies or materials and in some cases provide support for particular activities.

The triggers for external and further support beyond that described above are when the

  • Continues to make little or no progress in specific areas over a long period
  • Continues working at levels substantially below that expected of students of a similar age
  • Continues to have difficulty developing literacy and numeracy skills
  • Has emotional or behavioural difficulties which substantially and regularly interfere
    with the student’s own learning or that of others, despite having an individualised
    behaviour management programme
  • Has sensory or physical needs, requiring additional specialist equipment or regular advice/ visits by a specialist service
  • Has ongoing communication or interaction difficulties that impede the development
    of social relationships and cause substantial barriers to learning

When school seeks the help of external support services, those services will need to see
the student’s records in order to establish which strategies have already been employed
and which targets set and achieved.

The external specialist may act in advisory capacity, provide additional specialist assessment or be involved in teaching the student directly.

The resulting IEP will set out fresh strategies for supporting the student’s progress.

These will be implemented, at least in part, in the normal classroom setting.

The delivery of interventions recorded in the IEP continues to be the responsibility of the class

Where a request for a statutory EHC plan or assessment is made by the school to the LEA, the young person will have demonstrated significant cause for concern.

The LEA will need information about the young person’s progress over time, and will also need documentation in relation to any special educational needs and any action taken to deal
with those needs, including any resources or special  arrangements put in place. The
school will provide this evidence through the steps taken above.

The information may include:

  • Individual education plans for the student
  • Records of regular interviews and their outcomes
  • The student’s health, including medical history where relevant
  • NC levels/ attainments in literacy and numeracy
  • Educational and other assessments, e.g. from an advisory specialist
  • Support teacher or educational psychologist
  • Views of parent/carer and young person
  • Involvement of other professionals, e.g. health, social services, educational welfare

Statutory assessment or an EHC plan involves consideration by the LEA, working co-
operatively with parents/carers, the young person’s school and, as appropriate, other
agencies, as to whether a statutory assessment of the young person’s special
educational needs is necessary.

The young person who possibly needs assessment will be brought to the attention of the LEA through a request from the school, a parent/carers or referral by another agency.

Where the evidence is presented to the LEA suggests that the young person’s learning difficulties have not responded to relevant and purposeful measures taken by the school and external specialists and may call for special educational provision which cannot reasonably be provided within the resources normally
available to mainstream schools, the LEA will consider the case for an EHC plan of the young person’s special educational needs.

The LEA may decide that the degree of the student’s learning difficulty and the nature of
the provision necessary to meet the young person’s special educational needs is such as
to require the LEA to determine the young person’s special educational provision through
an EHC plan.

Information must be taken into account about the services available to help the young
person in their area (The Local Offer).

Safe Start has a responsibility to keep aware of the services available in the Local Offer and this is done so by a working group and disseminated down the individual sites and staff.

An EHC plan will include:

  • The student’s name, address and date of birth
  • Details of all the student’s special needs
  • Identification of the special educational provision necessary to meet pupil needs
  • Identification of the type and name of school where the provision is to be made
  • Relevant non-educational needs of the student
  • Information on non-educational provision

All students with education, health and care plans will have short-term targets set for
them that have been established after consultation with parents/carers and student and
will include targets identified in the EHC plan.

These targets will be set out in an
Individual Education Plan (IEP) and be implemented, at least in part and as far as possible in the normal classroom setting.

The delivery of interventions recorded in the IEP will continue to be the responsibility of the teacher, overseen by the SENCO.

All statements must be reviewed at least annually with parents/carers, student, the LEA,
the school and professionals involved with the student.

Amendments to the description
of the student’s needs or to the special educational provision specified in the EHC plan
should be considered.

The annual review should focus on what the student has achieved, as well as on any difficulties that need to be resolved.

The success of the SEN Policy will be evaluated in a number of ways. The key indicators
will be:

  • Evidence of student progress through the school’s assessment and reporting procedures, screening and diagnostic assessment.
  • A designated member of the governing board having responsibility for checking the effectiveness of the School’s SEN policy
  • For EHC plan students, the achievement of targets laid down in the Annual Review
  • For students on the SEN information report, achievement of targets in their Individual Action Plans
  • Evidence of updated procedures in line with the Code of Practice 2014 and the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act.