SEND information report

Below are useful documents that will help you understand more about our Academy SEND offer. 

If you do have any questions that aren't answered below or you think your child may have Special Education Needs and you require additional information please contact our SENCo, Kamran Ayub on 0113 380 7958 to arrange a meeting to discuss your views.  

What type of SEND does the Academy provide for?

Read here to find out about how CAL supports its students with special educational needs and disabilities.
The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-coordinator (SENDCo) is Kamran Ayub and can be contacted at or 0113 380 7940.

As an inclusive school, The Co-operative Academy of Leeds strives to ensure that ALL students are able to succeed. We endeavor to support students master basic literacy and numeracy skills as well as developing life skills in preparation for post-16 studies.

We ensure high quality teaching is delivered which is differentiated to meet students’ needs. For students who have complex learning needs, additional support has been put in place following the graduated approach model (assess, plan, do, review) this has included personalised and/or specialist interventions through withdrawal groups or delivery of alternative curricular.

Information about students’ needs is shared through the additional needs register. 

·         Moderate Learning Difficulties (MLD) - 49%

·         Social Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) - 24%

·         Speech Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) - 20%

·         Physical and/or sensory - 4%

·         Medical - 3%

Moderate Learning Difficulties - difficulties with memory, information processing, comprehension, phonological skills


  • Broad and balanced curriculum, differentiated appropriately to meet the needs of individuals
  • Some students are taught in the nurture group and/or Learning Support Unit (LSU)
  • KS3 students have ‘skills’ lessons which are focused on developing soft skills and life skills
  • Alternative KS4 curriculum/qualifications which have included access to vocational studies at college as well ASDAN, Prince’s Trust, Functional skills and Step-up qualifications.
  • Additional targeted interventions delivered by SEN support staff.

Speech, Language and Communication - difficulties with understanding and using language, social interaction, difficulties including Autistic Spectrum Disorder


·         Advice and support from speech and language therapists and STARS - Specialists Training in Autism and Raising Standards

  • Specialist withdrawal interventions
  • Socially speaking groups
  • Access to Learning Support Unit during social times
  • Visual timetables and social stories

Social, Emotional and Mental Health - difficulties with managing emotions; displaying troubling or withdrawn behaviour, anxiety or eating disorders, ADHD


  • Additional pastoral support from key worker
  • Targeted mentoring/intervention sessions
  • Counselling support
  • Access to LSU during social times
  • Emotional literacy intervention
  • Advice and support from CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) and targeted services to support families.

Physical, Sensory and Medical - hearing or visual impairments and physical disabilities


  • Alternative forms of communication including Makaton
  • Additional opportunities for hands-on learning e.g. use of Numicon, foam letters etc.
  • Adaptations made to the learning environment
  • Additional use of specialist equipment e.g. writing slopes, magnifying glass, bold-lined exercised books with larger spaces between the lines
  • Creation of risk assessments, including personal emergency evacuation plans, if appropriate
  • Evacuation chairs for students with physical disabilities
  • Access arrangements including modified papers

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How do we know if your child needs extra support?

Our SENDCo liaises closely with primary schools to discuss the needs of students coming to the Academy. We ensure all students who require extra support have access to additional support depending on their needs.

Teachers communicate regularly with the SEND team and identify students who they feel may have an underlying SEN. Our SENDCo gathers further evidence from staff supporting your child and conducts observations to ensure appropriate provisions and support are in place. Where there are concerns regarding your child’s progress, a detailed assessment of need takes place to gain a full understanding of particular strengths and weaknesses.

This can involve referrals to external agencies including: Educational Psychologists, specialist teachers, speech and language therapists, CAMHS and targeted support services known as the Guidance and Support team. Prior parental consent has been requested before sending referrals

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What do I do if I think my child or young person may have special educational needs?

Discuss your concerns with your child’s teacher, coach or contact our SENDCo directly. We pride ourselves in building positive relationships with parents/carers and are transparent with the support we offer.

Following consultations with parents/ carers and the young person, our SENDCo will gather further evidence from staff supporting your child to ensure appropriate provisions and support is put in place.

Where there are concerns around your child’s progress, a detailed assessment of need may take place to gain a full understanding of particular strengths and weaknesses. This may involve referrals to external agencies including: Educational Psychologists, specialist teachers, speech and language therapists, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) or through the support from targeted support services known as the Guidance and Support team. Where external referrals are made, prior consent will be requested from parents.

Slow progress and low attainment do not necessarily mean that your child has SEND. However, it may be an indicator of a range of learning difficulties or disabilities. In the same way, persistent disruptive or withdrawn behaviours do not necessarily mean that your child has SEND. 

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How will school enable students with SEND to engage in all activities?

As an inclusive school the Academy ensures all students are given the best opportunities to engage in learning and to succeed. Adaptations are made to support students engage in all activities and we ensure students with SEND are not treated unfairly. Currently we have a number of students who use a visual timetable to support them with understanding lesson structures and timetables. Some of our students use laptops in lessons requiring extended pieces of written work - this encourages them to take part in all elements of the lesson and is part of their normal way of working.

Student Voice is an intrinsic part of all practice. We ensure students are able to add their views on their pupil profiles and are aware of their targets. We constantly seek feedback to develop the support packages in place. We have a number of student ambassadors who play an important role in being a ‘buddy’ for other students and help to run break and lunch clubs in the LSU. 

Visual timetable for a student with complex communication and cognitive needs

We also have a high emphasis on teachers differentiating work appropriately in all lessons for students of all abilities. Typically, this is delivered in the form of bronze, silver and gold activities. Sharing of good practice is led by the teaching and learning team who deliver regular training to all classroom based staff.

To support the inclusion of students with physical or medical needs, risk assessments are created and shared with relevant members of staff before commencement of activities. One of our current students requires access to a wheelchair at all times and has a keyworker to support his transition around school. The student is able to take part in all lessons and extra-curricular activities during social times. In the event of evacuation, we now have evacuation chairs to ensure students as well as staff are able to safely evacuate the building safely.

In addition to numerous extra-curricular clubs, the Academy also offers targeted clubs for students with additional needs. Currently these include a communication youth group, homework clubs and breakfast club.

“I've learnt how to deal with bullying, making friends and keeping them. It was a fun Youth Group.”

Year 10 student with cognitive needs

The Academy also runs additional events and activities for our SEND students as part of their mainstream curriculum offer or Prince’s Trust course. These have included an autism awareness week, a Thalassemia awareness week as well as visits to Jorvik Dig, Rochdale Pioneers Museum, Seacroft Recycling Centre, City Varieties Pantomime, visiting providers of apprenticeships and a community Christmas lunch. 

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Who will be working with the child?

If additional support is required, our highly skilled paraprofessionals and classroom based support staff work with targeted students, individually or as part of a small group. The SEND support team is deployed according to students’ needs and has areas of expertise including autism, phonological skills, social emotional and mental health and speech and language. We also have a SEN teacher who teaches in our Learning Support Unit for students who follow an alternative curriculum.

In addition, staff with specialist pastoral and safeguarding knowledge ensure students’ well-being needs are met appropriately. The current staff has a wealth of experience of working with a range of students with SEND; some having worked with SEND students for over 10 years.

“I like the time in the LSU because I get more help to learn.”

Year 10 student with speech and language needs

Click here to see an example of work created by a student in our SEN department.

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What arrangements are in place for meeting parents of SEND pupils?

Regular parents’ evenings take place throughout the year. This give parents/carers an opportunity to discuss their child’s progress and discuss any updates. Parents/carers of students who have high needs or Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs)/statements are invited to review the progress of their child more regularly. Key staff regularly communicate and share updates with parents. We are proud to have an open door policy and encourage an open dialogue to ensure better outcomes for our SEND students.

All parents of students with statements/EHCPs attend reviews which are conducted annually. The Academy continues to develop the dialogue between staff and parents/carers to maintain the home-school link and to promote the engagement of parents in the decision making process.

If you require additional impartial advice, we actively seek support from the Special Educational Needs and Disability Information Advice Support Service (SENDIASS). We have a professional and effective working relationship and have made a number of referrals this year to support parents.

“I wouldn’t take my child to any other school because the communication here is great.”

Parent of a student with Autism

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How does the school measure how effective its arrangements are for the provision of children with SEND?

The SENDCo, in conjunction with senior leaders, conducts Learning Enquiries to monitor and evaluate the impact of specific areas of SEND standards. These have covered the areas of feedback, marking, personalisation and learning environments. Feedback is shared regularly with teachers to help develop provisions further.

Regular reviews of teaching and learning practice also takes place in the form of Developing Outstanding Teacher Teams (DOTT). This is a model of developing outstanding teachers through the theory of ‘community of practice’ and supportive observations of teachers. This enables teachers to share best practice and make adaptations to their practice accordingly. As a result, this informs the teaching and learning team of CPD requirements for staff.

To ensure personalisation is embedded in all subjects and students are able to make progress, teachers track students’ targets based on their pupil profiles. These targets are bespoke and specific to individuals. They are reviewed by subject teachers regularly at pupil profile review meetings.

In addition, subject leaders meet regularly as part of Raising Attainment and Progress (RAP) meetings. During these meetings, a review of the support and progress of students is discussed and actions are put in place to accelerate progress. This is then shared with subject teachers to ensure appropriate interventions are in place.

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How are the Governors involved and what are their responsibilities?

The role of the governing body is to provide appropriate challenges to the school leadership to ensure the team is fulfilling its statutory duties as well as ensuring all students have appropriate provision to meet their educational needs. The leadership team ensures the SEND policy is in line with the disability and discrimination act and that resources are used efficiently and effectively. Cath Lennon is our SEND Governor and communicates with the Academy Leadership Team (ALT).

The Governors agree priorities for spending within the SEND budget with the overall aim that all children receive the support they need in order to make progress. A member of the ALT reports to the governors to update them on the progress of students with SEND. This report does not refer to individual children and confidentiality is maintained at all times.

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What adaptations are made to the curriculum and environment to ensure it is accessible for my child?


All teachers are teachers of SEND and are responsible for setting work at an appropriate level to ensure students are able to access the curriculum and make progress accordingly. Typically, this might indicate there are different levels of work set for the class, and on occasions this may be individually differentiated. The benefit of differentiation is that all children can access the curriculum content at an appropriate level. In a classroom this is usually in the form of bronze, silver and gold activities.

To support inclusion and access to the curriculum, additional provisions are made for students. These are outlined below to provide all students the opportunity to meet and/or exceed their targets:

  • Nurture group - a small cohort of students in year 7 receiving a high level of support; taught in the nurture class for the majority of the time and following a bespoke curriculum. This class is supported by a consistent member of support staff.
  • Foundation learning groups - a small cohort of lower ability students taught together in most lessons. They work towards achieving relevant qualifications which may include entry level qualifications, vocational studies, ASDAN, Prince’s Trust and functional skills as well as others. This pathway focuses on developing independent life skills and enables them to gain access to appropriate post-16 studies and prepare them for life after school.
  • Wave 2/3 specialist interventions - regular targeted withdrawal sessions delivered by our highly skilled SEN support team - with the principal aim of accelerating learning or reducing deficits in literacy, numeracy and social skills.
  • LSU - an internal provision for students with significant complex learning needs and/or social and emotional needs where discrete interventions are delivered as part of timetabled lessons.
  • Extra-curricular clubs - identified students participate in various clubs to develop leadership and personal skills.

“This Youth Group taught me new things about bullying and how to deal with it. It made me confident. It was a great group!”         

                                                                                    Year 9 student with Autism


All doors in the Academy are wheelchair accessible and disabled toilets are located throughout the Academy. There are various lifts and ramps situated for access to all areas of the Academy and evacuation chairs on the ground floor in all blocks. 

The needs of all students and staff are taken into account with further adaptations being made where appropriate, including but not limited to:

  • Risk assessments including Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans
  • Evacuation chairs for students with physical disabilities  
  • Coloured overlays - to support students who suffer from visual stress with reading
  • Access to word processors to support students with fine motor difficulties
  • Auxiliary aids (e.g. radio aid) for students with hearing impairments
  • Written materials in alternative formats
  • Alternative arrangements for exams including rest breaks, readers and prompts

 “I am happy with the support I get; it helps me with my work. I would feel lost without support in my lessons.”

                                                                                                                Year 9 student with learning difficulties

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How will I know how well my child is doing and how will you help me support my child’s learning?

Throughout the academic year, there are various opportunities for parents/carers to discuss their child’s progress. These may be through ‘meet the coach’ or parents’ evenings. Reports are also shared with parents/carers following assessments.

The communication link between school and home is paramount to our students’ success. The Academy prides itself in having an open door policy and encourages regular contact from parents/carers. The initial point of contact is your child’s coach, Student Support Manager or subject teacher, depending on the query. Parents/carers are expected to check their child’s planner on a regular basis to monitor their progress using positive and negative comments. Parents/carers are also encouraged to write comments if there are any concerns or to pass on essential information.

In addition, we have open days throughout the year which are organised to showcase our Academy and give parents/carers the opportunity to discuss matters further with Academy staff.

“My child has a fantastic support network from staff which has enabled him to strengthen himself educationally as well as emotionally.”

Parent of a student with communication difficulties

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What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing including social, emotional development?

The Academy is proud of the exceptional pastoral care we provide for our students through our guild system. Members of the guild teams support our students’ pastoral, social, emotional and behaviour needs, as well as monitoring their day to day needs.

To support our SEND students, we have designated skilled pastoral staff for students who access our LSU and alternative provisions. These members of staff provide above and beyond support including behaviour management, mentoring, independent travel training and social skills interventions to ensure all our students feel safe and have the best opportunity to succeed.

If there are concerns regarding emotional wellbeing, referrals are made to our school-based counsellor who provides direct support. A number of students with SEND have accessed direct support from our Counsellor. Further guidance is also sought via targeted services following consultation with parents/carers. As a result, there has been a noticeable positive impact on most students’ emotional wellbeing.  Furthermore, numerous SEND students have benefitted from additional support from external targeted support services.

In addition, all students have timetabled Personal Social and Health Education lessons to develop their understanding and give them skills to help them stay safe, healthy and enable them to manage their lives in the future. 

All our students have regular contact with their coaches, allowing them the opportunity to discuss any other concerns regarding academic progress or pastoral needs. The Academy has a zero tolerance on all forms of bullying and deals promptly with incidents if/when they occur.

The following members of staff are designated child protection officers:

Jonny Mitchell, Charlie Greenwood (Lead), Nancy Elwell, Julie Morris, Caroline Riches, Gina Clarke, Karen Horler, Zoe Baines, Tanya Wheatley, Louise Maciag and Elaine Bleasby 

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

The Academy has a multitude of highly skilled staff including the SENDCo, intervention tutors, specialist SEN paraprofessionals, an SEN teacher, student support managers, learning mentors and inclusion support workers.

We also work closely with external agencies who are crucial to providing advice and guidance on students’ needs. These include: SEN Officers, Educational Psychologists, Speech and Language Therapists, Teachers from the Deaf and Hearing Impairment Team (DAHIT), Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), Specialist Training in Autism and Raising Standards (STARS) and Guidance and Support and social workers.

The Cooperative Academy liaises closely with the ChatterBug Speech and Language Therapy service in order to ensure pupils with communication needs are able to develop their optimal skills. Specialist input has been provided individually and in groups. We believe that this individualised and flexible provision provides the best support to children and young people so they can achieve their full communicative potential.

Senior Speech and language therapist, ChatterBug 

Click here to see an example of a social story created in conjunction with STARs.

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What training and development is done by staff supporting those with SEND?

It is a prerequisite that all classroom based staff undertake SEND awareness training which consists of understanding what SEND is; knowing how to access relevant information and understanding how to adapt their practice to support the inclusion of all students. Throughout the year numerous twilight training sessions have been delivered by key staff to raise awareness of various aspects of SEND and to maintain high standards. Further updates about the SEND cohort and training is shared with members of staff on a regular basis.

The SEND team works closely with the authority’s Complex Needs Team including the Educational Psychologist and SEN Officer. Identified members of staff attend briefings and training sessions to keep up to date with changes in local and national policies.

In addition, key members of staff have undertaken the level 1 autism awareness training delivered by the STARs team. Additional training has been delivered by DAHIT, epilepsy nurse and brain injury specialists to teachers of students with specific needs.

A number of support staff are ‘Team Teach’ trained to support and re-engage students with behavioural difficulties. Pastoral staff have received tailored training from our Educational Psychologist on how to support students with communication difficulties.

All paraprofessionals are trained on how to effectively deliver specialist programmes as recommended by the SEN Officer and speech and language therapist. They also have regular opportunities for continued professional development by sharing best practice with other classroom based staff at the Academy. As a result of various training, members of staff are more able to effectively respond to the changing needs of individual students. 

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How will the school support students with the transition to the next phase of education?

The Academy has a year 6 SEN transition plan in place to provide a clear pathway for supporting the engagement of students in mainstream lessons, and to help bridge the gap between nurture and mainstream. This involves additional visits to the Academy for students with high level needs or those who have SEMH needs. Students are encouraged to take part in a variety of social skills and team building activities to support them to feel more prepared for their arrival in September. Our SEN team liaises closely with primary schools to share essential information in preparation for our new starters.  

All students in year 11 have input from the careers advisor to explore post-16 options and career aspirations. The current year 11 SEND cohort have successfully completed applications - their intended destinations being sixth form and a variety of vocational level 1 and 2 courses including motor vehicles, hair and beauty, digital arts, business, media and electrical installations.  

For students with Education Health and Care Plans/Statements, our SENDCo liaises with the local authority’s Transition Advisor to ensure students have a transition plan in place for the next phase of their education. He also liaises with the high needs coordinators in post-16 institutes. 

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How are the school’s resources/funding allocated and matched to children’s needs?

The Academy ensures students with additional levels of Funding for Inclusion (FFI) - students who are working considerably below their peers or have complex needs - receive additional support in class through nurture/foundation learning groups, specialist withdrawals, access to our Learning Support Unit, support from external partners and additional resources.

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Who can I contact if I have a complaint?

All complaints are taken seriously and are dealt with swiftly. In the first instance, make contact with our SENDCo outlining your concerns. A meeting can then be arranged to discuss the matter and provide a resolution. If you require impartial advice contact Leeds SENDIASS on 0113 395 1200.

The Academy’s complaints policy is available on the Academy website.

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Who can I contact if I want my child to attend the Academy or if I want any further information?

Application forms can be obtained from the Academy’s main reception or on the website.

If your child has SEND, please contact our SENDCo to discuss their needs before completing the application.

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