Skip to content ↓

SEND Information Report

Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) Information Report

Version | September 2023

  1. What kinds of
    special educational needs do we provide for in our school?

Our aim is for all students to feel included in all their lessons at Co-op Academy Swinton. All teachers are issued with a Pupil Learning Passport providing staff with valuable information from parents, students, teaching staff and SEND staff. Teachers are provided with resources and teaching strategies for learning and progress to take place. Our aim is to make our school as inclusive as possible.

We start with transition, our school understands that for students and parents and carers this is a huge step especially for those students who are feeling particularly vulnerable. We are very experienced in providing programmes which use strategies to build up children’s resilience and self-esteem, providing them with the confidence to ask questions and engage in their learning.  Our Nurture Programme Intervention allows vulnerable students to work in a small group setting for 2 hours per week. This provides a small safe area and teaches vulnerable students life skills helping those slightly overwhelmed by the process, to build up confidence and develop a friendship base, whilst also completing literacy and numeracy intervention.

The STRIVE programme (Sept. 2023) provides a small group intervention strategy which will allow students who are struggling with the curriculum because of their SEND, or who are on the Autistic spectrum to work in a small group whilst building their knowledge and learning skills mirroring what is happening in the classroom. Many students will be struggling with literacy skills or Maths and need that extra support to lift them back on track.

IDL intervention for Dyslexia students. This is a specialised English Programme of  intervention which allows students to spell words, construct sentences, hear the sentences being spoken and record their own messages to hear how they are pronouncing words.

Outside agencies SPLT, ACE Team and SIS Team work with students who are struggling with mainstream and who may need extra help. Online maths programme together with interventions to help students struggling with Dyspraxia and Dyscalculia. In the rare cases when our support is not enough, an Educational Psychologist  will be called in to look at what extra help or diagnosis is needed to reach our goal of full inclusivity.

As part of our aim to become fully inclusive wherever possible, Ramps and special lifts have been placed around the building to help pupils with disabilities access the curriculum.

  1. How do we
    know if your
    child needs
    extra help?

Before students start at Co-op Academy Swinton, the SENCO, year manager and the PPC liaises closely with our primary schools, so that we are aware of any children who have already been identified as having special educational needs.  We share relevant information in order to ensure the progress of these students. At the start of Year 7, we also use a ‘Cognitive Aptitude Test’ to assess students’ verbal, numerical and non-verbal reasoning abilities. This information, along with teacher assessments and SATs data from Year 6, enables us to identify children who may benefit from additional support.

In addition, SEND staff meet with parents alongside the Primary SENDCO, so a full picture can be gathered of the individual needs of students transitioning from Primary school

Progress data is regularly collected from all subject teachers. If your child is not making progress, this may be because there is a barrier to their learning. Either the Pastoral team for your child’s year group, or the Curriculum Leader for any subject area, can make a referral to the SENCO for further assessment and support.

  • Throughout Year 7 tests for reading and understanding
  • Dyslexia screening, if concerns are raised by staff or parents
  • Teacher observations, TA observations - termly
  • Learning Walks - weekly
  • CPD sessions planned throughout the school year
  • Invitation and communication with parents/carers is absolutely key
    to any success children make
  1. Who do you speak to at the academy if you think your child might have special educational needs?

If you think your child may have special educational needs, you should initially approach your child’s Form Tutor, Year Manager or Pupil Progress Coordinator (PPC). You could also speak to the SENDCO  (Mr Dodd)) or someone from the SEND team, who can look closely at your child’s progress over time and across the curriculum. It may help to gather extra information from your child’s subject teachers, and the PPC will be able to coordinate this.

The PPC, Year Manager, Form Teacher or Head of Department will then liaise with the SENDCO, to ensure that your child’s needs are met. You can either make a formal appointment to see a particular member of staff or have a quick chat with whoever is available at the time.  Referrals can be made to the Educational Psychologist, Occupational Therapist or the Neurodevelopmental Pathway for further advice and support for pupils and parents.

  1. How we consult with young people with special educational needs and involve them in their education

It can be difficult for any student to express their views on how they are learning and making progress. We support each student according to their individual needs. Student's views are important to us and we regularly discuss their learning needs with them.

Where students have an Individual Learning Passport, teachers will review and discuss the objectives within the passport with the student so we can recognise their strengths and areas for development. The learning passport will contain a picture of the student concerned, in addition to comments by the student, relevant to improving the learning experience. In addition, parents/carers are sent a form to complete which invites them to make a number of statements on the Learning Passport, this allows parents to have a direct input as to how their child’s learning needs are addressed in the classroom.

We also have two SEND open weeks  during the year where parents / carers can make appointments throughout the day to see members of the SEND team to discuss any concerns regarding their child’s progress. In addition we have Parents’ Evening where an appointment can be made to see the SENDCO, or relay a message to the SENDCO through teaching staff

In addition, those students who have an EHCP will have review meetings which include parents, with outside professionals invited when needed at least once a year. We also have a school council that students can feed into and who have a direct link to senior staff.

  1. How we help
    you to support your children’s learning

At Co-op Academy Swinton we monitor the individual progress of all children closely by having termly meetings with staff to evaluate progress and attainment as well as setting further support for those children not making steady progress.

Those children identified as having SEND are monitored closely by the SENCO to ensure that any interventions are having an impact on learning and so ascertain the effectiveness of our provision.

On some occasions, more formal assessments may be carried out to ascertain how much progress has been made and to inform the next steps in planning for your child. (Such assessments may include reading or spelling age assessments, or maths assessments). Your child’s class teacher will explain any assessments they have used.

Parents can work with school to support their child’s learning by:

  • Reading at home regularly,
  • Listening to your child and reading to them supporting any additional activities that are sent home.
  • Attending any Parents’ Information Evenings or meetings that are held in school,
  • Being positive with your child and recognising the small steps of progress they are making.
  • Attend SEND drop in sessions to discuss progress

There are also programmes accessed through the internet which allow children to work through lessons at home:

  • ‘Hegartymaths’ for example allows students to study maths videos before attempting to answer questions on any given topic within Maths.
  • IDL helps students with spelling, sentence construction, and reading especially if they are struggling or have Dyslexia.

These programmes provide an opportunity for parents to monitor the learning being undertaken by their child at home.  Through the classcharts app parents can track their child's progress, attendance and behaviour.

  1. How we know what progress your children are making and how we keep you and them informed

All students receive high quality teaching in the classroom, which aims to both stretch and support children of all abilities. In some sessions, Teaching Assistants are available for general support.

For those students needing more help, a variety of small group, paired and individual learning opportunities are provided tailored to a wide range of needs. These may be run by teachers or teaching assistants. The amount of time spent on a particular intervention is entirely determined by individual need. Parents will be informed if their children are receiving additional support or have been included in an intervention group.

Where necessary, the SENDCO may access support from external agencies with parental consent. Please refer to our school SEND Policy with regards to the involvement of private professionals within the school environment.

  1. How we have supported
    young people with SEND
    and adapted
    teaching to best support them

Co-op Academy Swinton aims to have confident successful learners, to achieve this every student is entitled to Quality First Teaching.

This means:

  • That the teacher has high expectations.
  • That all teaching is based on building on what the student already knows, can do and understands.
  • All students access the same curriculum but some may have scaffolding from the teachers in lessons to support them to do this.
  • Lessons and activities are planned so that students know more and remember more through the use of retrieval tasks, knowledge organisers, guided practice and independent practice.
  • That the teacher carefully checks on each student’s progress and may have decided that the student has a gap in their understanding/learning and needs some extra support to help them make progress.

 If a specific intervention is needed, this will mean:

Small group or individual work which will focus on the areas where the child has gaps in their learning. This is led and monitored by a teacher and may be carried out by that teacher, or a Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA) or more commonly a Teaching Assistant who has been trained to deliver the intervention.

The interventions have been identified by the Class Teacher, or SENDCO. The interventions may include outside agencies, ACE team or Occupational Therapists or a SALT (Speech and Language Therapist).

The intervention may be a quick fix which only requires a small number of extra sessions or it may be a longer programme which is more in depth or builds on skills each session. Formal identified interventions usually run for half a term or a term. A list of the interventions we use can be found in the ‘School Local Offer’ on our website. Interventions are continually evaluated as they are being run, but are more formally evaluated half-termly.

  1. How have decisions been made to adapt the curriculum or change the learning environment to best meet your children’s needs?

At Co-op Academy Swinton children’s individual needs are met through differentiated teaching activities within the classroom. Our school operates a three-wave approach to your child’s learning.

Wave 1

●  High quality teaching in all subjects which allows every child to access the    curriculum and achieve the same outcomes. Scaffolding to support children achieve this is provided by teachers where necessary. Lessons and activities that are planned by the class teachers are suitably challenging for all children and take into account their varying abilities and needs.

Through assessment and marking, if the subject teacher decides a child is struggling and is falling behind the SEN team will be notified.

Wave 2

  • An intervention programme is set up with a HLTA or TA working closely with the student over a six-week period to establish where the weaknesses lie. Referrals to outside agencies with agreement from parents may follow. This decision will be taken by the SENDCO with input from the PPC (Pupil Progress Coordinator) or Year Manager.

Some children need additional support to help them access the curriculum and this may be done with the support of a Teaching Assistant who works alongside a child in the classroom or the child having access to appropriate resources, Computers for example. Children may also work in different groups which are supported by the class teacher or Teaching Assistant, have specific 1:1 sessions, work with a ‘buddy’ in class or in mixed ability groups.

Visual timetables and prompts are used in some classrooms and interactive displays are put up to support individual children’s visual and auditory needs.

Wave 3

  • Nurture and STRIVE programs for those students who are vulnerable
    or who have large gaps in their learning or are failing to access the curriculum.

Tailored programs are used for those children who are struggling in a classroom setting, IDL is an example. IDL is an English computer programme designed for students with Dyslexia, but can also be used for students with low ability in English. The equipment is set up in our STRIVE centre where students can work in a relatively calm setting, using headphones and a microphone to interact with the programme. This small group setting is where progress can be closely monitored. It mirrors the curriculum but keeps the student separate from the large class setting over the period of a term. It may require outside agencies being involved, however parents will be fully aware of the tailored program and be consulted.  Our Nurture Program is specifically designed for our more vulnerable students who need social skills building and operate a small group class two hours per week. Life skills are taught, building friendship groups and improving self-confidence as well as numeracy and literacy intervention.

  1. How are staff
    in the academy supported to work with young people with special educational needs and what training do they receive?

Staff training in relation to SEND is carried out on a regular basis, depending on the needs of the children within our school. Individual staff may attend the training and this may be around specific areas of need, such as Dyslexia or Autism or more whole school issues such as disability awareness. In-house training can also be offered to a number of staff where a specialist will come into school and provide training on a specific area of SEND, if needed.

There are currently a number of staff at Co-op Academy Swinton who have additional qualifications, experience or training in relation to SEN. These include: autism, speech, language and communication needs, Dyslexia, Reading Intervention, Maths Recovery etc.  

Referrals can also be made to external agencies by the SENCO (Mr Dodd) if we require more specialist support and advice. The services that we currently have access to include: Education Psychology, Autistic Spectrum Conditions, Speech and Language Therapy, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), and Occupational Therapy. They will then come into school and provide staff with advice and strategies, if appropriate, that can be used to support individual children. Parental consent is always sought before a referral is made to an external agency.

  1. When we have needed expert advice and support how have we secured that and what services have they provided?

Because of the diverse needs of our students, we have regular visits from specialist advisory teachers, who offer our teachers guidance on supporting students with specific needs such as hearing or visual impairment; speech, language and communication needs; or autistic spectrum disorder.

Co-op Academy Swinton accesses services and expertise from a wide range of specialist services to ensure that we make appropriate provision for students  with special educational needs. We would seek guidance from outside agencies in any case where, after a period of assessment and intervention, a child was still not making progress in his or her learning.

  1. How we check how well we
    are doing in meeting the needs of students
    with SEND

All students at Co-op Academy Swinton have targets which are aspirational and provide a goal for all students to work to. Progress reports are produced once a term showing progress to targets which are produced for students to take home and share with parents/carers. If a child is falling behind in a few subjects this could be the first sign of SEND becoming a barrier to learning. Once interventions are undertaken each intervention with action taken usually over a six-week period, is recorded and results of that particular intervention are then fed back to teachers and parents/carers.

Learning walks are carried out by the SENDCO weekly. In addition, observations of TAs supporting children in the classroom are carried out with extra training during faculty time where and when it is needed ensuring the quality of SEND support remains constant.

Local and national data is looked at to assess how we are measuring up to expectations.

  1. How we ensure that your children are included in activities outside the classroom, including physical activities and academy trips

There is a wide program of curricular enrichment activities at Co-op Academy Swinton. These clubs run before school in STRIVE, at lunchtimes and after school, and include a range of activities such as music, drama, cookery, technology and sports. These are available to any child who wishes to take part. Coop Academy Swinton attend all Panathlon SEND events both in Salford and regionally to give our pupils as much experience as possible in terms of communication, competition, challenge and teamwork

A full risk assessment is made before any off-site activity; in some cases, additional adults may be required to support children with particular needs, and where necessary specialist staff training can be provided in preparation for these visits. In recent years, all visits and residential trips have been accessible to all the children within our care. Any individual needs have been discussed with parents/carers in advance, and decisions made about adaptations which may be required.  

  1. How we
    provide for your children’s overall well being

Co-op Academy Swinton is a growing school, with a caring and inclusive ethos, where everyone is valued. Relationships between students, and between staff and students, are positive. Students have a good understanding of their rights and responsibilities as individuals, and unkindness is not accepted.

Social, moral, spiritual and cultural values are explored through weekly assemblies, and in form time through the theme of the week. The most important adult in your child’s time at the school will be his or her Form Tutor, supported by the Pastoral team, however, all staff members have a strong sense of responsibility for each child’s well being and will intervene where appropriate to ensure that students at the school feel safe, happy and valued. There are a number of first aid trained staff working at our school, with intense updated staff training to ensure the latest first aid knowledge is available should any child need first aid treatment.

Safeguarding is a priority in our school with senior staff responsible for its monitoring and implementation to keep children safe.  In specific cases, we may also suggest a referral to counselling services, or to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

  1. How accessible is our school both indoors and outdoors for young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (our accessibility plan/policy)?

The school is not fully accessible for wheelchair users. The site is mostly Victorian and geographically spread out, however, all stairs and steps have bannisters or grab handles, in addition to specialised lifts. However, the music and drama rooms have stairs only access at this current time. There are accessible toilet facilities in the main building. All routes around the school are kept clear to ensure the safety of children with visual impairment or reduced mobility.  The school operates a one way system throughout the building to ease congestion on the corridors.

Ramps have been put in place around the school wherever possible to facilitate access for pupils with disabilities this includes the ground floor of the Tech block and lower Hall including access to the yard.  A new Nurture room has been opened to allow access for all pupils who need a Nurture placement.

  1. What are our admission arrangements for young people who are disabled and how do we prepare and support your children when joining the school and moving on from the school?

When students join Co-op Academy Swinton School in Year 7, the Sendco or Ass Sendco visits primary schools to discuss children who may have special educational needs with the Primary school Sendco. Prior to that senior staff work closely with local primary schools arranging special events and trips providing opportunities for primary school children and parents to see our school and meet our staff. In some cases, parents of SEND children are given an individual tour of our school easing any apprehension or fears parents may have with their children joining our school. Additional support may be put in place during the child’s first term at the school, to help the student to manage and reduce any anxieties that they may have using our Nurture Program as the vanguard for children with very low self-esteem or who are vulnerable.

As students prepare for the next stage in their education, the SENCO liaises with the careers advisory staff who visit our school on a regular basis. This is to ensure that children with special educational needs receive thoughtful and relevant guidance on their future progression. There is then close communication between the SENCO and staff at our students’ receiving colleges, or other destinations.

  1. Where can you find the academy’s SEND policy and who can you contact for further information?

Co-op Academy Swinton has an SEND Policy which can be found on our website ( together with the SEND Local Offer. Contact details for the SENDCO and the school are contained on both policies.

  1. What are our arrangements for handling complaints from parents of children with SEND about our provision?

Complaints, in the first instance, are directed towards the Pupil Progress Coordinator or Year Manager.  Alternatively complaints can be directed towards the SENDCO or the Headteacher.

If complaints are not satisfied parents can complain to the Governor overseeing SENd at Co-op Academy Swinton. The Head of Academy, Mrs Zarina Ali, together with the Senior Leadership Team who will usually organise and structure any resulting investigation.

SEND Information Report - September 2023