Skip to content ↓


The Harefield Academy is a welcoming inclusive community, aiming to actively provide an education accessible to all our students by taking into account their wide diversity of characteristics and needs. As outlined in the Accessibility Strategy (see hyperlink below) we use the widest definition of disability giving regard both to physical, curricula and extra-curricular considerations in providing opportunities in which all students have the opportunity to make excellent progress.

Academy admission arrangements for students with SEN or disabilities


Identification of many students with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities, (SEND) occurs prior to their arrival at The Harefield Academy  as part of their transition from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 3 or Key Stage 4 to Key Stage 5. The SENCo and our transition team (including Student Managers/members of the Senior Leadership Team and Teaching Assistants) liaise closely with relevant staff at our feeder Primary schools, relevant outside agencies and parents, to gather relevant information to facilitate a smooth transition from the primary to the secondary phase for students identified as having SEND. For those entering Sixth Form the process mirrors that of in-year admission with the initial lead being the Director of Sixth Form and the Student Manager of Sixth Form.

 Academy staff routinely use such information to plan their provision for each student to ensure that transition and subsequent progress are good.

In Year Admissions

When students join us out of phase, the Admissions Officer and SENCo will meet with the student and parents to gather information. Contact is made with all relevant parties where SEND is a consideration and the process continues as for students who join us in the normal Key Stage changes.

Steps that have been taken to prevent students with SEN being treated less favourably than other students

All staff at The Academy have the expectation of being able to cater for all students in their care by:

  • Actively using advisory information produced by the SEND team produced in accordance with collated evidence gathered during: regular monitoring of academic progress; the use of diagnostic materials; evidence and advice from specialist external bodies, e.g.  Educational Psychologist/Speech and Language Team/Recognised supporting bodies;
  • Differentiating existing curriculum activities and materials, by relating them more to individual learning strengths and needs to ensure that High Quality teaching is delivered;
  • Providing alternative means of accessing curriculum content through the use of assistive technologies and adapted teaching materials;
  • There is an active programme of CPD for all staff which includes a planned programme around high frequency SEND as well as bespoke sessions to facilitate provision for students with more complex or atypical needs.

    In some instances greater support is required for students and this may be achieved by the following:

  • Creating small groups, within the ordinary classroom, which receive additional attention from the teacher or another adult;
  • Creating small groups which work with a teacher or other adult outside the classroom for part of the time;
  • Giving students access to out of hours provision such as after school clubs where specialist help is available;
  • Teaching students in groups which are permanently small and where specialist teaching, support and resources are available;
  • For some students in some subjects the allocation of 1:1 support within the classroom.

Access facilities for students with SEN or disabilities

  • The Academy was opened in 2005 and had a brand new build in 2008. There is a lift which gives accessibility to all floors, students who require this facility are issued with lift keys and there is a buddy system in operation. Students are released from lessons early to facilitate easy movement between lessons and breaks. There is independent wheelchair access to all paved areas around The Academy.

The curriculum and extra-curricular activities are accessible to all students with disabilities as appropriate. The curriculum is designed to provide suitable courses which allow all students to have intellectual access to onward learning.

  • Students with permanent physical disabilities are assessed for cost effective assistive technology to improve their independence and progress. The impact and effectiveness of provision is monitored with input from all stakeholders, by the SENCo and adjustments made as required.
  • Students with acquired injuries are provided with laptops and lift keys as required to minimise the impact of those injuries on their progress during recovery.
  • The introduction of Study Plus in 2016-17 is designed to allow students with more profound SEN to have extra input in smaller groups to enable them to improve progress in mainstream lessons and/or to gain skills based qualifications (COPE/AOPE) from Year 9 onwards, to improve options for learning or career progress beyond KS4.
  • From 2016-17 in line with the 2014 SEND CoP, there is an open programme of referral for the investigation of a student with suspected special educational need as well as regular monitoring of cohort progress by the SEND Team. This can be triggered by parents, teachers and students, wherever expected progress is not being made despite high quality teaching. Subsequent evaluation will involve classroom observation and specialist testing as indicated.
  • Students whose SEN arises from having English as an additional language (EAL) will be monitored and supported by a designated TA with relevant expertise. This may take the form of group or individual sessions outside of the classroom or the provision of materials for use within specific lessons.
  • Students whose SEND may affect their ability to access or complete examinations under normal conditions will be assessed for Exam Access Arrangements by a trained TA who will liaise with staff and the Exams Officers to ensure that barriers to success are minimised or removed.

Emotional and Mental Health Issues

  • For many students at some point in their education they require support for emotional or mental health issues which may impact on their ability to make good progress in school. The SEND and Pastoral teams work together with the student and their families, to facilitate the provision of appropriate support either by referral to external agencies such as CAMHs or DASH or by referral to Counselling within The Academy.

The Academy  ‘Accessibility Plan’ complies with paragraph 3 of schedule 10 to the Equality Act 2010 and can be found here.

The Academy SEND Policy can be found here.


How to make an appointment

If you are a student at The Harefield Academy and would like to make an appointment with one of the Counsellors, please speak with your Student Manager.  Staff should speak with Human Resources.

If you would prefer to see a Counsellor outside of school contact: Link Counselling, High Street, Uxbridge (free counselling for young people aged 13-25). Telephone 01895 277222.  

Signpost, High Street, Watford (free counselling for young people aged 11-25). Telephone 01923 239495


Accessibility Strategy 2019-2020

SEND Policy