I am updating you on the SEND areas of the school.
We have a dedicated and hardworking SEND team at Erdington Academy. This year we have a new SENCo myself, an Assistant Principal and we have added a new TA to our team, which is in part funded with COVID money. The Fairfax Trust also has a SEND Trust lead specialist who supports each Academy in delivering a high quality SEND provision. We are seeing improving academic results for our SEND students and as a school we have the best SEND attendance in the Trust. Every member of the SEND team is a key worker and has a case load of students from the SEND register they check in on; communicate to parents; and create their termly learning plans that all teachers have a copy of. In our team meetings the key workers may raise concerns to the SENCo if we need to review our graduated response of support.
We have 4 teaching assistants who run interventions for students who are not making progress in lessons and they support students in lessons as well. We have 4 Higher Level Teaching Assistants as well who are working with subject areas and in lessons to support the delivery of subjects to our SEND students. The interventions we run are for 6 weeks and only for 20 minutes at a time. Some interventions we do during a lesson, some we do in form time and sometimes we remove students from part of the lesson, but we always work closely with staff to ensure missed learning is caught up. At the start of summer term, we did a reading assessment with all students who have cognition and learning; and communication and interaction needs and it showed the positive impact of the interventions from Spring term.
We know the importance of parental communication so for the first time we have run coffee mornings. We ran one in Spring Term focused on Post-16 transition and our next one is on the 25th May focused on managing anxiety and settling into Years 7-8. All parents of SEND students are welcome. We ran in person learning plan reviews at the end of Spring Term for the first time as well. Parental feedback from these sessions has been really positive and we really appreciate the support of parents coming in. Moving forward we will run coffee mornings each term and do in person learning plan reviews for all students on the SEND register each term.
I have delivered a number of training sessions to the middle leaders who design the curriculum. This term there has been another training session to those leaders and we will now be having meetings with each middle leader to discuss how their curriculum has been adapted to meet the needs of SEND students. These meetings will be held with the SENCo, SEND Trust lead and Middle Leaders and will take place once most of year 11 have done their GCSEs.
The SEND team support with the year 11 exams, providing the organisation of the exam access arrangements. We try to ensure that all students are supported if they need it so that the exam process is fair. Students only get additional access arrangements if their needs warrant it and it is their normal way of working so while we are working with year 11s we are also currently looking at Year 9 access arrangements and what needs to be in place.
We have two new officers from external agencies that are now working with our school. Our previous Pupil School Support (PSS) officer has gained a promotion so we have a new PSS officer as of this term. She will be working with our students who are on the dyslexic pathway or who have significant cognition and learning needs. Our Communication and Autism Team (CAT) officer has also left during last term and we now have a new appointment to our school who will be working with our ASC students and those on the pathway to diagnosis. Our safeguarding and behaviour team lead on SEMH but we do work closely with that team.
Please do look at our SEND Information page for opportunities and any further information you need.
SENCo, Assistant Principal