Identifying Special Educational Needs, disabilities & those considered vulnerable
Levels/Types of need of students with Special Educational Needs, disabilities & those considered vulnerable
Teaching and Learning
External Agencies and Partnerships
Durham Sixth Form Centre is committed to inclusive practice and the removal of barriers to learning wherever possible. Provided that applicants meet the minimum entry requirements of Durham Sixth Form Centre, they will be offered a place, following one of our study programmes. This offer is made to all applicants meeting the requirements and is not based on whether or not a young person has special educational needs, a disability or considered to be vulnerable.
Support at Durham Sixth Form Centre is primarily aimed at promoting student independence and enabling our students to make successful progression towards employment and/or higher education, independent living, good health and participation in the community.
Special educational support provision at Durham Sixth Form Centre might include:
- assistive technology – the use of a lap top in class and for examinations.
- access to personal care – we have toilets and facilities for students with disabilities.
- specialist tuition – we offer GCSE English and Maths re-sit and access to Durham University mentors.
- “note-takers” – for high needs students. (E.g. In-class support or peer support by copying other students or teachers notes in advance.)
- access to therapies (E.g. Access to our counsellor).
- one-to-one and small group learning support (E.g. A keyworker or access to the ‘Girls’ Talk’ programme)
- exam support - testing for, and implementing, any approved access arrangements for examinations (E.g. extra time, reader or scribe).
- discuss with the student and parents the impact and success of the intervention and support
- consider the student’s progress and any changes to their ambitions and aspirations.
- plan for any changes to the type and level of support as assessed from the evidence, as the need arises.
At Durham Sixth Form Centre, we recognise that, whilst it can be very exciting to embark on a new learning journey, in a new environment, for some students the transition can be quite a challenge.
In order to make a positive transition to Durham Sixth Form Centre, we:
- work in partnership to provide opportunities which enable students, with special educational needs, disabilities or those considered vulnerable, to familiarise themselves with the environment and gain some experience of daily life here.
- will assess the student’s needs by bringing together all the relevant information from the school, from the student, from those working with the student and from any screening test or assessment we carry out.
- will discuss all the relevant information gathered with the young person and their parent/carer(s)
- will plan and implement support or intervention that is designed to meet the individual student’s needs and aspirations.
To aid transition we are committed to:
- attending transition and/or review meetings from year 10 onwards for students seriously considering Durham Sixth Form Centre as their next step
- the provision of support/information following the transition interview, as identified by one of our student support team
- organising a separate support meeting to discuss any individual needs
- the provision of opportunities to talk with the support team at enrichment events and open evenings
- the provision of support on our open day
- ensuring full participation in all Centre-wide transition events and continuing support throughout year 12 and 13
We recognise that some students, with special educational needs, disabilities or those considered vulnerable, may need additional support with transition to higher education, apprenticeships or employment; they may also need support in securing relevant experience to make such transitions. We will make this explicit in their planning and support.
At Durham Sixth Form Centre, we offer transition support , before enrolment. All applicants have the opportunity to declare if they have a learning need, disability, are considered vulnerable or have a medical condition which may affect their learning.
These opportunities include:
- application form
- during one-to-one transition interviews, which parents are also invited to attend
- open evenings, where specialist staff, including the SENDCo, are available
Collection of this information allows us to liaise with students, their feeder school and parents to ensure the study programme is appropriate and that any additional support is carefully planned. This may also involve partnership work with external agencies.
We understand that some leaner needs may become apparent only after a student has embarked upon a study programme. Our subject staff will work with specialist staff to identify emergent needs, in situations where it is suspected that a student is having difficulty because they may have special educational needs, disability or be considered vulnerable.
We also recognise that other factors may impact on progress. We make provision for this through our other policies and provision. This may include attendance, finance, EAL, being a looked after child and/or being a child of a servicewoman/man.
Durham Sixth Form Centre recognises that students with medical conditions should be properly supported to enable them to fully access all parts of the curriculum. These arrangements are detailed in our “Supporting Students with Medical Needs” policy.
Any student who has a medical condition can also be disabled and, where this is the case, the school complies with its duties under the Equality Act 2010.
Levels / Types of need of students with Special Educational Needs, disabilities and those considered vulnerable
Types of Special Educational Needs, disabilities and those considered vulnerable.
At Durham Sixth Form Centre, we aim to offer a broad curriculum which meets the needs and ambitions of all of our students and have a number of different study programmes available to accommodate this. The majority of students at Durham Sixth Form Centre follow three or four level 3 courses in year 12 and maintain 3 of these courses in year 13. In additions to timetabled lessons with subject staff , students are expected to partake in extensive independent learning supported by our e-learning resources.
We are able to offer students flexible, bespoke study programmes within which they can combine A-level, Applied A-level and BTEC level 3 courses enabling them to follow an individualised programme which is most suited to their needs, ability and future outcomes.
Students who have not achieved a grade C in GCSE Maths and English will be required to re-sit this qualification, as part of their personal study programme.
The final curriculum offer at Durham Sixth Form Centre is made at the point of enrolment and is dependent upon a student meeting the minimum entry requirements (5 GCSE grades C or above) as well as the entry requirements of individual subjects. We welcome the opportunity for parents and carers to support young people in these discussions at enrolment and during transition.
At Durham Sixth Form Centre, we are committed to providing high quality, inspirational teaching and learning for all students; this is quality first teaching that each student will receive from their subject teacher and may include some very minor adaptations to match the specific needs of individual students.
Where high quality teaching, which is differentiated and personalised, does not meet the individual needs of the young person, we will ensure that our provision is “additional to” or “different from” the norm.
Where appropriate, we will assess the student’s needs, plan and provide intervention and review the impact on the student’s progress towards their outcomes. We reaffirm the principle that special educational provision is underpinned by high quality teaching and is compromised by anything less.
Where the student’s needs are not being met by the strong, evidence-based support provided by Durham Sixth Form Centre, specialist help will be sought from agencies, such as educational psychologists, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), specialist teachers, support services, supported employment services and therapists.
If, despite Durham Sixth Form Centre having taken relevant and purposeful action to identify, assess and meet the needs of a student, the student is still not making the expected progress, we, or the young person will consider requesting an Education Healthcare needs assessment. At all points of this process, both the student and parents will fully be involved.
The oldest and main part of Durham Sixth Form Centre is over one hundred years old and access to the first floor is via two original staircases. Although it is not possible to make adaptations so that all of Durham Sixth Form Centre is fully accessible, reasonable adjustments have been made to the building to accommodate students with accessibility needs. Further details of our accessibility policy are available on this website.
Wherever possible, Durham Sixth Form Centre are committed to ensuring that all subjects and curriculum routes are accessible to all students and will make reasonable adjustments to the curriculum plan and individual study programmes to accommodate students with sensory or physical needs.
The Headteacher will establish a clear picture of the funds available and consider a strategic approach to meeting SEN in the context of the total resources available from the national funding formula and top up funding.
Where high needs funding is required, we will work with the local authority to secure additional support that is in excess of the nationally prescribed threshold.
With reference to Personal Budgets, we understand that the local authorities must secure the prior agreement of Durham Sixth Form Centre, where:
- a direct payment is proposed for special educational provision or additional learning support
- it is intended that any of the student provision is to be delivered on Durham Sixth Form Centre premises
- it is expected that Durham Sixth Form Centre will receive contributions from the top up funding
In our pledge to support parents, we have clearly presented information about our SEN offer. This can be found as part of Durham County Council’s Local offer found at Family Information Services website: www.countydurhamfamilies.info. Our website also holds all relevant policies including our admissions policy.
We agree a ‘tell us once’ approach so that families and young people do not have to repeat the same information unnecessarily. Where a student has an EHC plan, we will co-operate with the local authority in the annual review process. We work in partnerships with other agencies such as adult social care or health services, or specialist organisations, and/or by employing practitioners directly to ensure access to specialist skills and expertise to support the learning of students with SEN.
Where the student’s needs are not being met by the strong, evidence-based support provided by the Durham Sixth Form Centre specialist help will be sought from for example, educational psychologists, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), specialist teachers and support services, supported employment services and therapists.
If, despite Durham Sixth Form Centre having taken relevant and purposeful action to identify, assess and meet the needs of a student, the student is still not making the expected progress, we or young person will consider requesting an EHC needs assessment. At all points of this process both the student and parents will be kept informed.
We welcome a dialogue with students, parents and carers about the quality of our service and you can contact us in many ways including:
Telephone: 0191 383 0708
We provide clear routes to resolve disagreements and complaints about a student’s programme of study. This does not include a complaint relating to an EHC plan which must be directed to the Local Authority. In the first instance, a student should approach their Leader of Learning Pastoral or, for serious issues, the Head teacher.
If the complainant is dissatisfied, they have a right to contact the EFA and information can be found on the GOV.UK website.