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Information concerning students with special educational needs and/or disabilities 2020-21

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 Assistant Head with responsibility for 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 where appropriate, the 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. All in year admissions undergo baseline testing CAT 4 tests and Lucid Exact tests.

Ensuring Equity for students requiring SEND support

All staff at The Academy have the expectation of being able to cater for all students in their care through the provision of quality first teaching. This involves at it’s core – personalising learning to pupils, encouraging greater inclusion of pupils with SEN needs, and working to narrow the attainment gap.

Staff are supported to be able to routinely deliver high quality teaching and effective differentiation as follows;

  • All students have baseline assessment via CATs and Lucid Exact testing. Highlighting areas where students may ned additional support through in class differentiation.
  • 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. Emphasis is given to explore how lessons can be generally and specifically  structured to support all students with learning needs.
  • Where students have known and or diagnosed learning needs staff have instant access to information and guidance to support these students more effectively in class through the student’s Provision Plan.
  • As a school we have committed to incorporating aspects of the SCERTS provision as routine in all lessons to support both our ASD learners and those with challenges in the areas of working memory and speech language and communication.

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

  • Students who present with issues accessing the curriculum or who fail to progress will be assessed to ascertain if further support, beyond the classroom, may be necessary.
  • Where additional support is indicated this may be provided by external professionals (Speech and Language Therapist, Specialist Hearing Teacher, Occupational Therapist, Educational Psychologist etc.) and Teaching Assistants who have received training to continue the therapeutic input developed by the external specialists.
  • Where students have issues with accessing the curriculum due to poor literacy skills or dyslexia, they are placed in small groups to complete a bespoke programme through the Lexia ‘Power Up’ programme. This is administered by the SENCO and monitored by Teaching Assistants who can work with students 1:1 where this is indicated by the programme.
  • Providing alternative means of accessing curriculum content through the use of assistive technologies and adapted teaching materials
  • Giving students access to support sessions outside of curriculum time e.g. break/lunchtime or before/after school.
  • 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.
  • Provision of an option ‘Study Plus’ to allow students with more profound SEN to have extra input in very small groups to enable them to improve progress in mainstream lessons through additional numeracy and literacy practice and the opportunity for supported time in which to complete necessary coursework.
  • 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. From 2021 these students will also follow the Lexia ‘Power Up’ programme.
  • Students whose SEND may affect their ability to access or complete examinations under normal conditions will be assessed for Exam Access Arrangements. The allocated provision will form part of their Provision Plan so that it becomes a normal part of their learning routine.

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.

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.


Counselling can be accessed via

  • Consultation with your GP
  • Online via Kooth at:
  • Self-referral via  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