Special educational needs and disability policy

Policy for supporting students with medical conditions

Local offer

Our vision and support

At Ark William Parker we uphold the right of all children to education, and we recognise the diverse educational needs within our community. We acknowledge that those needs may change and require a range of provision. We believe we have a duty to offer that provision where we can, to foster inclusion and provide full educational access. We recognise that some children need increased support to access learning because:

  • they have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age
  • they have a disability as defined under the Equality Act, which affects their ability to access and benefit from the educational opportunities generally enjoyed by children of the same age

We try to ensure that all barriers to equal access in our schools are removed or overcome.  We monitor and track progress of all children so that the support provided is as effective as possible.  We welcome the full engagement of parents and carers and where necessary, we seek support and advice from specialists outside school to ensure that we develop and maintain a range of flexible resources to meet the needs of all children.

We inspire all our students to excel, and are committed to breaking the cycle of low aspirations that prevent some children with SEN from making good progress or reaching national levels of attainment.

How does Ark William Parker know if young people need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs? 

Our responsibility to young people begins in the last few weeks at primary school. We make every effort to observe students in their classes, and we gain as accurate a profile as we can, by speaking to staff at the primary school. We arrange a series of transition days, including small group sessions for vulnerable students.

Over the transition period we arrange for students to complete standardised tests, so that we have all the necessary data to guide our placement of students. In this way we can ensure that students are placed in the most suitable sets, as early as possible.

We monitor progress very closely, so that we can provide suitable support and intervention.

How will Ark William Parker support my son?

At Ark William Parker we believe that specific support and appropriate learning opportunities must be provided for all pupils and that these should be planned and embedded in classroom practice. To supplement this, Teaching Partners are available to provide individual support to students in lessons. Students who fail to make expected progress are supported by extra lessons and revision sessions.

Homework Club provides additional support to students who struggle to work independently, as well as those pupils with poor working memory or poor recall.  More intensive support is provided to students with weak Literacy skills, focusing specifically on phonics and reading.

Handwriting sessions during tutor time also take place to support students to make their writing more legible, and improve their writing speed.

How will the curriculum be matched to my son’s needs?

Every teacher at ARK William Parker is involved in ensuring curriculum access. This can take a number of forms.  The most common types of differentiation include the selection of suitable resources, the designing of suitable tasks, adapting outcomes and providing individual support to pupils. Visual support such as key words, symbols and pictures provide additional guidance to help pupils to understand oral instructions. Texts are selected to ensure that they are readable. Students are made aware of the teacher’s expectations and they understand what a good piece of work should include.

How will both you and I know how my son is doing and how will you help me to support my son’s learning?

Students complete regular assessments and you will receive regular reports with progress updates in different subjects. All results are closely monitored by the Head of Upper School, Head of Lower School and the SENCo. There are regular parent/carer meetings with staff, and parents are invited to call the relevant department to discuss any concerns that they may have.

Annual reviews and meetings to initiate school based plans are also opportunities to discuss the support being provided by the school, and offer suggestions for improvement.

What support will there be for my son’s overall well-being?

All students are supported by a form tutor, who would be the first point of contact. Every year group is also managed by a Head of Year, and more sensitive issues can be raised at this level by parents. During breaks there is always a member of staff on duty, who can immediately address issues that arise. The inclusion team is available throughout the day, and students are encouraged to discuss difficulties that they experience with staff. Vulnerable students are usually supervised during lunch breaks to ensure that there is a safe area for them to spend the time.

Students are also arranged into houses, providing enrichment opportunities and cross-curricular activities.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the school?

As a member of the Ark Academy network, we have access to a range of specialists who support our decision-making process, providing us with expert advice and suggestions. These cover general SEND provision; Speech and Language Communication Needs and Dyslexia. In this way we are supported with identifying students’ needs, as well as being provided with the strategies we employ to improve their attainment. We also work closely with the Educational Psychologist, and we have contact, when necessary, with CAMHS, Speech and Language therapists, Education Support, Behaviour and Attendance Service (ESBAS) and Flexible Learning Educational Support Service ( FLESS) . The school nurse works closely with both individual students and small groups when necessary, and has regular contact with staff.

What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had or are having?

Ongoing training is essential for staff to stay abreast of new developments in SEND. Teaching Partners are included in all professional development insets for staff, as well as receiving individualised training for the specialism with which they are connected.

Our training programme is consolidated early in the year and this includes the identification of special needs, as well as strategies that are used by classroom teachers to ensure that every teacher is an SEND teacher.

All members of staff are provided with information to assist them in dealing with the difficulties that students may face.

Assessments for Dyslexia and Speech and Language Communication Needs are carried out by qualified staff and sessions are delivered by staff with suitable qualifications and experience.

How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?

For the safety of all students, risk assessments are undertaken by senior staff. Where necessary, Teaching Partners are assigned to students to ensure their safety. Groups are small to ensure safety and all relevant guidelines and regulations are adhered to, maximising the safety of all staff and students on school trips. All members of staff are issued with profiles of students with Statements of Educational Need or Education and Healthcare Plans, to ensure that their particular needs are taken into consideration.

How accessible is Ark William Parker Academy?

There is limited access to some parts of the site at present, although this is an area that will be addressed in the future.

How will Ark William Parker prepare and support my child to join the school, transfer to a new setting, school or college or the next stage of education and life?

We attempt to provide personalised care for our students, tailored to meet their individual needs. In Year 9 students engage in a process of choosing the foundation subjects which they will study in Key Stage 4. They are supported in making these choices through discussions with form tutors and subject teachers. Senior staff members also conduct individual interviews with students and their parents to ensure that the course of study is most suitable for students.

In years 10 and 11 students are provided with additional support from the Careers Advisor. They are encouraged to experience “taster days” and short courses to prepare them for the decisions that they will need to make. Individualised support is also provided by our colleagues in Connexions, who provide home consultations when necessary. Students are always included in the reviews carried out in the transitions between Key Stages, and they are supported in the choices that they make.

How are Ark William Parker’s resources allocated and matched to children’s/young people’s special educational needs?

Statements provide information regarding the provision that is specifically stipulated. We analyse Statements as soon as they are received, to ensure that our statutory obligations are met. We do, however, aim to meet additional needs that may not be stipulated, by engaging our students in discreet withdrawal groups if this is deemed necessary. Parents are always consulted before this takes place.

Teaching Partners support teachers by either taking out small groups, or substituting for teachers who themselves provide tuition to small groups.

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?

Weekly meetings are held where these decisions are made. The Head of Key Stage 3, the Head of Key Stage 4 and the SENCo have weekly discussions identifying students who are either vulnerable or under-achieving and the support provided is a result of discussions at this level.

Classroom teachers also raise concerns and support is generally provided to ensure that issues are addressed as early as possible.

How are parents involved in Ark William Parker Academy?  How can I be involved?

Form Tutors support students with the organisation of equipment that they will require for the day and provide an accessible point of contact for students to express their concerns or report any issues. Pastoral care is further supported by Heads of Year.

School Based Plans are an alternative form of determining provisions. These involve a consultation process with parents, staff and students. Our aim is to provide a total package of support and care for our students, which does not focus solely on academic performance, but is personalised to suit the individual.

Who can I contact for further information?

For further information, please contact the SEN Administrator, Miss Beth Elliott on 01424 448293 or email the SEN office at

This service offer is intended to give you clear, accurate and accessible information. This offer is accurate now, but services are regularly reviewed and could change. All information will be updated as soon as possible to reflect any new service offer.

If you would like to comment on the content of the offer or make suggestions to improve the information, please email