Daylesford Academy

Special Educational Needs/ SEND

Special Education Needs at Daylesford Academy

In our Daylesford community we are constantly striving to improve life chances and education outcomes for all students.

All staff work relentlessly to meet the needs of all our young people, ensuring students who have special needs and/or disabilities make progress in line with, or improving towards, other students with the same starting points.

We provide parents with progress updates every term, however, we firmly believe that open communication lines are often the best way to remove barriers to learning and frequently prevent problems form occurring in the first place. We are always willing to talk through any concerns you may have about your child.

What kind of special education needs do we provide for?

We have experience in providing education and support for students with or without an Education health and Care Plan (EHCP) with a wide range of Additional needs including:

  • Emotional regulation difficulties
  • Mental health difficulties
  • Attachment difficulties
  • ADHD (diagnosed and undiagnosed)
  • ASD (diagnosed and undiagnosed)
  • General learning difficulties
  • Dyslexia (diagnosed and undiagnosed)
  • Drugs and alcohol issues
  • Experience of domestic violence
  • Low school engagement and attendance

How do we identify special education needs in children?

Each child arrives at Daylesford with a passport where previous schools identify difficulties experienced by each child. We then build a pupil profile and risk assessment for each child using the extensive experience of our SENCo, Pupil Progress Manager and Pastoral Support to identify pathways to success.

What should I do if I have concerns that my child has special education needs?

Any concerns about special education needs can be discussed with our SENCo. An action plan can be formulated to enable your child to obtain the best outcomes.

Mrs J Duffy

0121 779 8090

What is our approach to teaching pupils with special education needs?

We actively encourage all students to participate in all areas of school life and community with reasonable adjustments being made, if necessary, to enable pupils to obtain full benefit of our expertise. All of our teachers are teachers of children with SEN and adjust their teaching styles accordingly.  We strive to ensure class sizes are no larger than six pupils ensuring your child can be carefully monitored.

How do we adapt the curriculum and learning environment?

Curriculum and Assessment

All pupils have the opportunity to study a broad curriculum of carefully sequenced lessons that focus on retention of knowledge (please see curriculum tab for more extensive details). Your child will have the opportunity to study:

  • Study accredited GCSE courses in Key Stage 4
  • Study accredited courses that are an alternative to GCSE in Key Stage 3 to support life skills.
  • Can have specific arrangements made for examinations if required (Access Arrangements)

If students require Access Arrangements for exams they are tested in advance of their first GCSE exam by a suitably qualified specialist professional. The students are tested using the WIAT-T-II (a comprehension and reading accuracy test). The Single Word Spelling Test and, if appropriate, the DASH handwriting test (looking at speed and legibility). Access arrangements are varied and allocated depending upon a child’s normal way of working and need. A child may qualify for exam adjustments like additional time, rest breaks, a quiet individual space or a reader.


  • All pupils are taught in small groups; we aim for no more than six pupils in one room
  • All pupils are taught in specialist rooms that are resourced appropriately to allow access to the same qualification as a mainstream school. For example, Media rooms have computer facilities with Photoshop software.
  • We have a nurture facility for children who may struggle with the busier environment of the main school where our Pastoral Support  offer enhanced support to children.
  • At Daylesford we consider the needs of every individual who may struggle with the routines offered by schools. For example, pupils who want to eat in a quieter environment, require more support moving around school or just someone to listen.

Am I able to get involved with my child’s education?

We welcome and encourage parents/carers to work collaboratively with us in order to provide the very best outcomes for all our young people. Parents are very welcome to come into school to discuss any aspect of their child’s education. It is helpful if an appointment can be made through our main office (0121 285 3070) so that we are able to devote the appropriate length of time to the meeting.

All parents/carers are invited to parental consultation meetings. Parents/carers can contact the SENCO who can be contacted by phone or email.

Our aim is for parents and relevant services to join us in discussing appropriate support for every student at the Academy

If your child has an Education Health Care Plan you will be invited in for your child’s formal Annual Review once a year.

We routinely act upon feedback from parents and gather this information via parental questionnaires, parents evening and meetings.

How do we involve SEN students in their education?

Students are regularly asked for their views and opinions via questionnaires, individual meetings with the Pupil Progress Manager, pastoral support and teachers . We have an active student council and suggestion box in reception that are regularly reviewed at senior leadership meetings.

We continuously evaluate and develop our ways of working with each student to provide a high quality bespoke provision, to ensure:

How do we assess and review students’ progress towards outcomes?


From the moment a child joins the Daylesford community we focus on removing the barriers or reasons that led to their admission. Through the initial induction transition process, we work intensely to understand your child and build a trusting relationship that enables us to:

  • Identify difficulties as soon as possible
  • Provide high quality differentiation
  • Devise classroom strategies to facilitate success
  • Provide intervention work allows your child to make progress in the following areas:
    • Academic
    • Social
    • Behavioural
    • Emotional

Our high expectations for student achievement, academically, socially and behaviourally, form the basis of our ethos and approach.

If appropriate we seek further assessment and/or screening in collaboration with many external agencies to provide continued support for all our students regardless of their disability or educational need, including:

  • Solihull Inclusion Support Service (SEMH & ASD Team)
  • Educational Psychologist
  • Specialist Assessment Service (ASD Assessment)
  • School Nurse
  • ADHD Specialist Service
  • Occupational Health Service
  • Community Paediatricians

Regular liaison takes place with other professionals that can contribute to the assessment process and allocation of intervention services. Some of these agencies are:

  • Children’s Services
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (SOLAR)
  • Solihull Inclusion Support Service (SEMH & ASD Team)
  • YOS (Youth Offending Service
  • YOT (Youth Offending Team)
  • Str8up (Drugs and alcohol service for young people)
  • Youth and Crime Prevention Officer (Police)
  • School Nurse and other Health Services
  • Educational Psychological Service
  • Careers Service
  • Looked After Children Team.


All student’s progress is tracked and monitored regularly against national and school expectations as well as their individual targets. If concerns are raised about the rate of progress, interventions will be implemented by the team around your child.

Your child’s targets will be established by:

Academic – Subject Teacher

Social, behavioural and emotional – Pastoral Support Team

Outcomes will be reported every term and discussed with pupils and parents during our Progress Review Events that will either be held virtually or by appointment in school.  However, we would encourage parents/ carers to contact the school early with concerns so that we can help manage a solution.

How do we support children moving through different phases of education?

Prior to Admission to Daylesford 

Prior to being admitted to Daylesford, students and parents are invited to initial interview and visit the school, where an agreed plan will be devised to support their admission.  Information is required from parents and carers to support the necessary administration.

Alternative Provision

Sometimes it is appropriate for your child to be supported by other providers in addition to Daylesford and a more blended approach to education might be adopted. If this is the case Daylesford quality assures and monitors all provider used and remains a point of contact to offer the highest level of safeguarding for your child.

Post 16

All students receive independent careers advice to support their transition from school to their future education, employment or training. For further information on careers advice and our performance towards the 8 Gatsby Benchmarks please see our Careers tab.

How do we prepare and support your child for adulthood?

Our curriculum includes a focus on preparation for life, delivered though weekly PSHE sessions and bespoke intervention sessions focusing on personal development.

During our ongoing review of your child in all areas we look out for areas of development where we can apply one of our many bespoke specialisms, for example we have implemented programmes of CBT for pupils who are displaying symptoms of anxiety giving them strategies to cope for many years to come.

We operate as a restorative school (please see restorative policy), the process of working through conflict and disagreements helps give your child the tools to negotiate problems that may occur in the adult world.

What expertise and training do our staff team have to support pupils with SEN?

The Head Teacher and Deputy Head (SENCO) have achieved the National SENCO Award.

Staff at Daylesford all receive regular training to enhance our knowledge, awareness of needs and strategies for effectively meeting a range of additional needs.

This can take the form of:

  • Bespoke whole day training
  • Weekly staff meetings
  • Remote training courses
  • Online refresher and update courses
  • Local partnerships with local schools (at senior leadership and class teacher level)
  • Individual teaching partnerships with local schools (ongoing support from larger departments in mainstream schools)
  • individual school visits to observe good practice

Staff have received the following training:

  • Autism Education Trust level 2 Training
  • First Aid
  • Effective deployment of Teaching and learning Assistants
  • Mental Health First Aid (SENCO)

How do we secure specialist expertise?

If further assessment and/or screening is appropriate for your child we work in collaboration with many external agencies to provide continued support for all our students regardless of their disability or educational need, including:

  • Solihull Inclusion Support Service (SEMH, CLD & ASD Team)
  • Educational Psychologist
  • Specialist Assessment Service (ASD Assessment)
  • School Nurse
  • ADHD Specialist Service
  • Occupational Health Service
  • Community Paediatricians

How will we secure equipment and facilities to support your child’s progress?

In order to meet the specific needs of students, Daylesford has considered the adaption of the building to promote inclusion for users who experience a wide range of challenges.

For example:

  • We have nurture facility for pupils who experience sensory difficulties
  • We have break out facility for promoting emotional regulation
  • The main building is on ground level.
  • Wheelchair access was taken into consideration during the recent redevelopment of the building
  • There is a disabled toilet/washroom for students

Any additional resource requirements are established as the student is admitted to the school or through their regular review meetings.

The school, where possible, purchase additional equipment or has arranged for loan equipment from services or local schools.

How do we evaluate the effectiveness of our SEN provision?

Pupils’ progress is informally discussed during staff briefings as well as more formal monitored throughout the year.  The Senior Leadership team (including the SENCo) undertake a rigorous monitoring programme of quality control measures including staff appraisal, formal observations learning walks, mark scrutiny triangulation, data collection, student council, student interviews/questionnaires and parent/carer views questionnaires.

Progress is then formally analysed and reviewed by the Governing Body where a governor will scrutinise their appointed key performance area during their scheduled meetings throughout the school year.

Where necessary the support offered to individuals may be adapted or increase as a result of the analysis through a challenge and support programme.

How do we handle provision complaints from parents/carers of pupils with SEN?

The majority of issues raised by parents, the community or students, are concerns rather than complaints.  Daylesford are committed to taking concerns seriously, at the earliest stage, with a view to solving issues before they may arise. However, depending on the nature of the complaint, you may wish or be asked to follow the school’s formal complaints procedure.

Please follow the link below:

Who can young people or their parents/carers contact if they have any concerns at all?

Your child has a team around them at Daylesford and there is probably a person who your child feels more comfortable with, this maybe their pastoral support, teacher or member of the senior leadership team. We encourage open communication and we can be contacted through our main office on (0121) 779 8090.

What other SEN support services are available for parents/carers?

Solihull SENDIAS 0121 516 5173 
Disability Information & Advice Line 0121 770 0333 
Solihull Life Opportunities

0121 779 3865 or 0121 647 1060 
Scope 0808 800 3333 
Solihull Children’s Community Therapies 0121 722 8010


Autism West Midlands 0121 450 7575 

Is Daylesford part of the local offer from Solihull Local Authority?

Daylesford operates as an alternative provision for pupils of secondary age.  We are a specialist part of Solihull’s local offer: