This information is published in conjunction with the Local Authorities Local Offer which can be found here.

Special Educational Needs Coordinator:

What kinds of special educational needs does the school make provision for?

The Gainsborough Academy caters for a wide range of Special Educational Needs, Disabilities and medical needs.

These include autism, dyslexia, ADHD, learning difficulties, physical difficulties such as Cerebral Palsy, Diabetes and Visual Impairment, Speech and Language delay and other emotional difficulties.

Working closely with parents and professionals we will always seek to teach every child so they can achieve his or her best.

How does the school know if students need extra help and what should I do if I think that my child may have special educational needs?

If a child is transferring from a different setting the school will be informed and a process put in place to ensure successful transition.

Within school the progress of every child is carefully tracked and any concerns because of these assessments or professional observations will be raised with the parent by the Tutor, Head of Year, or SENCO. Similarly a parent with concerns about their child should initially speak to the SENCO who will stay in contact with the parent whilst looking into those concerns. The SENCO will discuss, decide and record an action plan along which will then be reviewed as regularly as required.

How does the school evaluate the effectiveness of its provision for students with special educational needs?

The Tutor closely monitors the progress, achievements and overall well-being of every child in their tutor group. In addition to this the SENCO will liaise with the Head of Year and Tutor to monitor the progress of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

Any interventions which are carried out to support a child are carefully tracked and monitored to ensure that they are having the required positive impact. Regular reports are provided to governors who oversee the progress of children.

How will both the school and I know how my child is doing and how will the school help me to support their learning?

All children at The Gainsborough Academy are set ambitious yet achievable targets in all areas of their learning. Throughout the year there are Review Days and Subject Evenings where a child receives extra support due to their SEND. There are reviews each term but the SENCO is happy to talk to any parent about their child and additional meetings can be arranged at mutual convenience.

What is the school’s approach to teaching students with special educational needs?

As a school we believe in quality first teaching; we seek to deliver a broad, balanced, engaging and fully inclusive curriculum so that all children are given the opportunity to reach their potential and see themselves as learners. Appropriate interventions are put into place for any child, with or without special educational needs, who are not making expected progress.

We support students with special educational needs and disabilities by providing specifically prepared learning materials and the use of appropriate ICT equipment. Children are taught with Teaching Assistant support in whole class situations, small groups or one to one work.

Specialist equipment and resources are used when requested by specialists and training undertaken by staff. There is assisted communication along with adjusted materials for children who need it.

There is a graduated response to a child’s needs depending on the complexity of the need; outside support and expertise is sought from outside agencies available to the SENCO.

Parents and carers are consulted about all choices that are made concerning their child.

How will the curriculum and learning be matched to my child’s needs?

Every teacher is responsible for the learning in their classroom; the delivery of the curriculum is differentiated to cater for the varying abilities and learning styles of the children in the class. The approach to teaching children with special educational needs and disabilities listed above is employed when the needs of a child is outside the regular parameters seen within a class.

How are decisions made about the type and amount of support my child will receive?

All decisions about the type and amount of support that children receive will be an ongoing collaboration between the child, parent, teachers, SENCO, outside agencies, Senior Leadership Team, Principal and Governors. Working closely with parents and professionals we will always seek to teach every child so they can achieve his or her best; the type and level of support remains fluid depending on the specific needs of the child at any particular time.

If the needs and required provision meets the criteria for additional funding from an outside source then a bid for that funding will be written by the SENCO to further aid the support for that individual child.

How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom, including school trips?

All children are included in school activities and trips. Where children have additional needs there will be child specific risk assessments completed and adequate support where appropriate will be put in place to ensure a safe and successful trip for all.

What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?

The adults that work at The Gainsborough Academy strive to foster very positive relationships with the children. The children are encouraged to discuss any issues they have, whether educational or social, with their teachers, Head of Year, Tutor, or subject teachers or another adult.

The School Nurse and the School Counsellor can be accessed by children who might need some extra emotional support.

Who is the school’s special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO) and what are their contact details?

Mr Matt Boucher – or 01427 612411

What training have staff supporting special educational needs had and what is planned?

The SENCO receives training from various local and national providers on a wide range of conditions such as Autism, Dyslexia etc. This understanding is then delivered to the school staff in staff meetings, or individual coaching when the need arises.

The SENCO, teachers, Teaching Assistants, other staff and governors also access training to learn how to support children with specific needs such as diabetes.

What specialist services and expertise are available or accessed by the school?

If, once the progress of a child has been monitored and strategies discussed with parents, it is considered that additional expertise is desirable then these outside specialist services can be accessed by the SENCO through the termly multi-agency Springboard meetings. Signed parental permission forms are required so that the children can be discussed and additional services can be accessed to support the child. The school has access to a wide field of additional services e.g. visual and hearing support, occupational therapist, school nurse and the educational psychologist; whilst referrals to other agencies are made through the completion of the Early Help Assessment Form (EHAF).

Hw will equipment and facilities to support students with special educational needs be secured?  How accessible is the school?

The main school building is fully accessible to wheelchair users. However whilst most of the outdoor space is accessible, the AstroTurf is not easily accessible for those using wheelchairs. We carry out regular accessibility surveys to ensure that problems are minimised.  Specialist equipment and resources are used to support student needs as necessary.

What are the arrangements for consulting parents of students with special educational needs?

Parents are encouraged to speak to their child’s Tutor or Head of Year with any questions or concerns; these meetings can be informal or arranged. In addition to the Review Days additional meetings are held to discuss targets and achievements with the SENCO for students with complex needs.

Parents can make an appointment to see the SENCO by emailing the above email address. For a child to reach his or her potential it is important for the parent to be fully involved. The SENCO is also available to discuss any concerns a parent has about their child, whether or not they presently have a recognised learning need or disability.

How will I be involved in the education of my child?

We encourage all parents to be actively engaged in supporting their child’s education.  You could continue to encourage them to read widely and provide a quiet and supportive environment for them to complete their homework in.  You could support your child by encouraging them to plan and proof read their work carefully and help them with their learning for tests and exams.  Your child will have a homework diary issued at the start of the year and this provides an ideal opportunity for you to be directly involved in monitoring and supporting home learning tasks.  Your child’s individual targets will be shared with you, along with ways for you to support achievement.

What are the arrangements for consulting young people with SEN and involving them in their education?

Children are involved with their target setting. Children attend meetings by the Tutor or Head of Year at Review Days. In order to encourage motivation in the child, teachers ensure that they get to know the child so they can tailor the provision in school to meet their learning style and interests.

What do I do if I have a concern or complaint about the SEN provision made by the school?

Parents are encouraged to bring any concerns to the attention of the SENCO. For more detailed information please refer to the complaints policy on The Gainsborough Academy’s website.

How does the governing body involve other organisations and services (e.g. health, social care, local authority support services and voluntary organisations) in the meeting the needs of students with special educational needs and supporting the families of such students?

The SENCO is usually the person who involves other organisations and services and reports directly to the Senior Leadership Team; the SENCO also reports to the governor with specific responsibility for Special Needs. Governors can see the data that informs them of the progress made by children with additional needs in order that they can ask questions to ensure that all children’s needs are being met.

How does the school seek to signpost organisations, services etc. who can provide additional support to parents/carers/children?

The SENCO can signpost parents to the wide range of support organisations and groups available in the community. As discussed above the SENCO can also access the professionals that can offer the specific support required for the child’s needs; either to work directly with the child or to offer advice to parents or staff.

The school website is a resource that can be used by parents of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities; it is updated regularly with new information. The School Nurse is available to add expertise and signposting that is more specifically related to health and mental-wellbeing; this service can be accessed by the SEND team.

How will the school/setting prepare my child/young person to:

Join the school?

The Gainsborough Academy works hard to ensure that children have a smooth transition into the school. The school works closely with parents and any outside agencies involved with children who enter with a recognised need and we seek to do all we can to meet the need in the setting from the day they arrive. Any adjustments from that point will be completed quickly to ensure that the child can access their education effectively; their well-being is paramount.

Transfer between phases of education (e.g. primary to secondary, secondary to further education

The Gainsborough Academy understands the importance of carefully considered transition plans for children with additional needs. In any transfer the important element is communication so that information about that child and how they learn best is communicated on paper and in meetings so that professionals that will be teaching the child have the opportunity to ask questions.
The amount and nature of the visits to the new setting is decided with the child at the centre of the process; each of these transitions seeks to predict possible issues that may arise and to pre-empt as many as possible so that the student feels equipped to begin the next part of their journey.

Prepare for adulthood and independent living?

The Gainsborough Academy works hard to encourage independence and confidence in all children. Various life skills are introduced; questioning, independent thought is fostered through positive relationships and a safe environment to learn and explore their relationship with the wider world.

How can I access support for myself and my family?

If you feel that you need further support please speak with Mr Matt Boucher (SENCO) who will advise you on who to contact or the next steps which need to be taken.  You can also contact Additional Needs at Lincolnshire County Council (01522 553332) or Liaise (0800 195 1635) for further support.

Further SEND services can be found sign-posted on Lincolnshire County Council’s Local Offer at:

Who can I contact for further information?

For more information speak to Mr Matt Boucher (SENCO).
Tel: 01427 612411    Email: