School’s Inclusion/Mission statement

At The Ruth Gorse Academy we are committed to the inclusion of all students. Every individual is valued and their achievement celebrated. We support the entitlement of all students to a broad and balanced curriculum. Each student is helped to achieve their maximum potential by identifying and meeting their needs and by overcoming potential barriers to learning.

Definition of Special Educational Need and Disability

A Special Educational Need is defined as a difficulty or barrier that affects a child’s ability to learn and to access the curriculum. A Disability is a long term health condition which causes a difficulty or barrier to learn or to access the curriculum.

The Ruth Gorse Academy is a mainstream school, and whilst we may not be able to support students with very complex needs, we welcome students with SEND in the following areas:

  • Communication and Interaction (for example: Speech and Language, or Autism Spectrum Condition)
  • Cognition and Learning (for example: Dyslexia or Dyspraxia)
  • Social, emotional and mental health difficulties (SEMH)
  • Sensory and/or physical needs
  • Medical needs
  • There are two Parents’ Evenings each year.
  • The SENDCo will arrange 3 review meeting per year as a minimum, this review may be through ENGAGE and parents/carers inclusion meeting which are scheduled through the year or during a review meeting in school. If a student has an Education Health and Care Plan the SENDCo will hold an annual review meeting but also review the support for this student in formal meetings when needed.
  • Throughout the year there are opportunities for parents to attend ENGAGE evenings.  At these events, parents/carers can experience lessons alongside their child and receive advice on how to support their child’s learning at home.
  • Each student in the academy is assessed regularly and information about their performance is reported to parents/carers on a termly basis. (This is known as an Assessment Point.)  Besides being provided with National Curriculum or GCSE levels, Attitude to Learning levels are also included alongside information about whether or not the student is on track to achieve their end of year target grade in each subject.  Once a year, this information is accompanied by summary comments from the Form Tutor.
  • At each Assessment Point, the SENDCo, Form Tutors and Teaching staff, along with the Senior Leadership Team, analyse the data of students with SEND to ensure that they are making progress in line with their peers.  If they are not, appropriate intervention is considered.
  • The Student Planner provides parents/carers with regular contact with the academy and with information about how their child is performing.
    • Parent/Carers of children with SEND are welcome to contact the SENDCo at any point during the school year to discuss how their child is performing and how they can help to support their child’s learning.
  • All rooms are accessible by wheelchair and for students who have a physical need, classrooms also have accessible desks or a height adjustable desk to ensure accessibility.
  • For parents/carers whose first language is not English, we will try to provide translators/assistance at Parents’ Evenings and calendared school meetings.  Any parents/carers who think that they may require such assistance should contact the SENDCo.
    • We work closely with the Deaf and Hearing Impaired Team and the Visually Impaired Team if extra equipment is required for hearing or visually impaired students. Support is given on an individualised basis to ensure that needs are met. For further information, please download our Accessibility Plan.
  • The Academy has several disabled toilets and a lift to all floors to ensure that the building is accessible for students, staff and parents/carers with a physical need, disability or medical difficulty.
  • If you think that your child has Special Educational Needs (SEND) or may need extra help, please contact Jenny Holden, Assistant Principal.
  • Most children who need extra help or who have SEND are identified through the transition process.  This is when information is gathered from feeder primary schools and parents/carers before a child starts Year 7.
  • Assessments take place regularly within the academy.  Information from these assessments is used to identify students who are not making the progress expected and who may require extra help or have SEND.  However slow progress and low attainment do not necessarily mean that a student has Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.
  • Each student has a planner where parents/carers can request contact from the SENDCo.
  • Parents/carers may call reception and can choose to speak directly to the SENDCo, if she is not available there is the facility to leave a message.
  • All teachers at the academy are teachers of students with SEND, and support students in their classes by personalising their lessons in response to a student’s needs.  The type, frequency and intensity of any additional support will depend on the need of the student.
  • The SENDCo is responsible for co-ordinating and overseeing the provision for students with SEND on a day-to-day basis, with the Principal having overall responsibility.
  • The academy closely monitors the provision for and attainment of students with SEND.  A member of the Governing Body has responsibility for overseeing this provision and liaises with the SENDCo in reporting back to the full Governing Body.
  • If you have any queries about the support your child receives, please contact the SENDCo.
  • Pastoral support for all students is primarily given by their Form Tutor, Head of Year and Senior Leadership Team.
  • The Learning Mentors can provide additional support.
  • The academy follows its own Positive Discipline system.  This provides a consistent approach across the academy.  Information about the academy’s Positive Discipline system can be found in the Student Planner and on the academy website.  It is also explained to parents/carers at the Year 6 Intake Evening.
  • The PSHCEE curriculum delivered on PSHCEE drop-down days, SMSC Form Tutor Times and assembly structure supports social and emotional development.
  • Where a student requires medication, this is administered through Student Services, once the appropriate consent forms have been completed.
  • Form Tutors monitor attendance and where appropriate involve the academy’s Attendance Improvement Officer. The Attendance Improvement Officer can support students and parents/carers with regard to student attendance.  Assistance can also be provided by The Learning Mentors.
  • Pastoral support for all students is primarily given by their Form Tutor, Head of Year and Senior Leadership Team.
  • The Learning Mentors can provide additional support.
  • The academy follows its own Positive Discipline system.  This provides a consistent approach across the academy.  Information about the academy’s Positive Discipline system can be found in the Student Planner and on the academy website.  It is also explained to parents/carers at the Year 6 Intake Evening.
  • The PSHCEE curriculum delivered on Be Smart days, SMSC Form Tutor Times and assembly structure supports social and emotional development.
  • Where a student requires medication, this is administered through Student Services, once the appropriate consent forms have been completed.
  • Form Tutors monitor attendance and where appropriate involve the academy’s Attendance Improvement Officer. The Attendance Improvement Officer can support students and parents/carers with regard to student attendance.  Assistance can also be provided by The Learning Mentors.
  • Access to specialist staff is available through the academy, where appropriate. This includes an Educational Psychologist, a Speech and Language Therapist, local cluster services which include art therapist, parental support and psychotherapist, teachers from the Deaf and Hearing Impaired Team and the Visually Impaired Team, and the School Lead First Aider.
  • It is the aim of the academy for all students to have access to the activities it provides. If assistance is required for a student to fully participate, then the academy will, to the best of its ability, give such assistance.
  • If a student has a specific need which may affect their participation on an academy trip, then the trip leader will consider this in the planning of the trip.
  • All students are welcome to attend all extra-curricular activities at the academy.
  • If extra support is required for a student to participate in an extra-curricular activity, then it will be considered in the planning and running of the activity.
  • To help and support a student joining the academy, key staff (eg SLT, Head of Year and SENDCo) gather information from the student’s current school, other professionals involved (if applicable) and are available to gather information from the parent/carer and their child, about any additional needs.
  • For students joining the academy at the start of Year 7 this would involve: an intake day at the end of Year 6, where a student would spend a whole school day at the academy; additional visits to the academy for students with learning, social and communication and organisational difficulties; an evening meeting for all parents/carers and their children.
  • For students with Statements of SEN or Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs), the SENDCo is available to attend Year 5 and 6 Annual Review meetings to discuss the transition to the academy.
  • Parents/carers of a child with SEND who are considering requesting a place at the academy, are encouraged to contact the SENDCo for more information.
  • When students move on to a new setting, relevant documentation is provided (eg Key Stage 2 Levels, assessment levels, attendance information, copies of Statements of SEN/EHCPs, copies of assessments etc). The academy may arrange and accompany a student on a visit to their new setting.
  • The academy’s resources for supporting students with special educational needs are not unlimited.  However, it will do its best to meet the needs of students who would benefit from additional help.
  • If a student has a statement of SEN or an EHCP, the school will ensure that the student has access to the provision described in that legal document. The provision will be reviewed in partnership with parents along with the student to ensure it is suitable in enabling him/her to make progress, whilst at the same time taking responsibility for their own learning and development.
  • For students requiring support, key staff (for example: High Level Teaching Assistant, Learning Mentor, Literacy co-ordinator) meet to discuss the type and extent of the support required eg. reading or numeracy intervention, 1:1 support from a learning mentor or small group work, for example building resilience.
  • Parents/carers will be informed of any decisions involving extra help/support.
  • If a child is going to be placed on the academy’s SEND register, the parents/carers will be invited to the academy to discuss this.
  • The impact of any extra help provided can be measured in a variety of ways however this depends on the nature of the difficulty and the type of help provided. To judge whether support has been successful, the following could be used: assessment levels, attendance data, reading and spelling ages, credits and negative comments from the PD system, evidence from classroom teachers and Learning Mentors.
  • The academy is very keen for parents/carers to be involved in their child’s education.
  • Parents/carers can be involved by: regularly checking their child’s Student Planner, signing it weekly, and by using it as a means of communication with the academy; attending Parents’ Evenings and Engage Evenings; attending SEN review meetings or other personalised meetings; apply to be a Governor; visiting the academy’s website; attending productions and sporting events.
  • Parents/Carers of a child with SEND are welcome to contact the SENDCo if they have any queries.
  • Developing strong relationships between students and members of staff at the academy is very important so that students feel comfortable and confident having conversations about their education.
  • Every week, during Positive Discipline lessons, students have the opportunity to meet individually with their Form Tutor.
  • At each Assessment Point, subject teachers have 1:1 meetings with students to discuss their performance and to set targets for future development.
  • For review meetings involving students with SEND, their views are gathered before these meetings. Also, students are encouraged to attend and be actively involved in their own review meetings, including setting and reviewing their own targets.
  • Every student on the SEND register will have a Pupil Passport. This will be a document that is used to share personalisation strategies for individual students with all staff members. This document will be developed during meetings with students and parents/carers alongside professional advice to outline the need, supported needed, strengths and areas for development. Students will also have individual targets.
  • For all students, the Form Tutor is the first point of contact if a parent/carer wishes to discuss their child’s education.
  • Where necessary, a discussion or meeting can be arranged with the SENDCo/member of SLT.
  • For any questions about SEND and the provision available at The Ruth Gorse Academy, contact Jenny Holden, Assistant Principal.
  • If you are considering whether your child should join the academy contact us at – info@ruthgorse.leeds.sch.uk or 0113 253 1600
  • Any complaints should be referred initially to the relevant member of staff, then the SENDCo, the Vice Principals, the Principal or finally, the Governing Body.
  • SENDIASS can provide information and advice which can be viewed on their website: http://iowsendiass.co.uk
  • Leeds City Council’s Local Offer