Who We Are - The Vision

Mrs K Walsh

SEND Co-ordinator


Mrs S Pollard

SEND Admin Assistant

Special Education Needs at Windmill Hill Academy


Windmill Hill Academy is an inclusive school where every pupil is valued and respected. We are committed to the inclusion, progress and independence of all of our pupils, including those with SEN. We work to support our pupils to make progress in their learning, their emotional and social development, and their independence. We aim to create a learning environment which is of high quality but we also actively work to support the learning and needs of all members of our community.


Our SEND provision allows pupils with learning difficulties the opportunity to follow a curriculum specifically tailored to develop life skills and to give pupils self-confidence through their learning thus enabling them to maximize their potential and to work independently.  We are committed to narrowing the attainment gap between SEND and non-SEND pupils. This may include short-term intervention learning programmes, and other learning interventions developed to personalise learning.


All children and young people are entitled to an education that enables them to make progress so that they:

  • achieve their best
  • become confident individuals living fulfilling lives
  • make a successful transition into adulthood.


We aim to address children’s needs and support their development in the most appropriate way possible and celebrate effort as much as achievement. Our school’s SEND policy document is available on this website, detailing our philosophy in relation to SEND.  Additional and/or different provision is currently being made in school for children with a range of needs, including:

  • Cognition and Learning
  • Sensory, Medical and Physical
  • Communication and Interaction
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health


High quality teaching

Windmill Hill Academy staff strive to provide high quality teaching to all of our pupils. Teachers prepare Schemes of Work and lessons which support the learning and progress of all pupils through a variety of methods, creative and innovative teaching techniques and the use of a wide variety of resources. Teaching staff adapt their teaching and resources to suit the needs of all learners, including those with SEN, in their classrooms (known as differentiation). Such in-class differentiation may involve many adaptations and strategies, dependent upon the needs of the pupils.


Staff have access to regular training opportunities to improve their knowledge and skills, including regular CPD sessions on a wide variety of educational concerns, including SEN issues.  All staff are responsible for assessing, monitoring and tracking the progress of our pupils. Each pupil is regularly assessed in class and progress is tracked and reported to parents. Staff are responsible for setting each student achievable yet challenging targets and having high expectations of progress. The Head of School, teachers and the SENCo regularly check on the progress of pupils and raise a concern if pupils are not making expected progress. Some pupils who are not making expected progress attend intervention sessions.


Identifying SEN

Despite high quality teaching, some pupils are unable to make expected progress and this could be for a variety of reasons, one of which is a special educational need. Staff use tracking data and knowledge of pupils to identify such pupils and if they have a concern that there might be an undiagnosed special educational need, they will raise that concern with the SENCo. The SENCo will then investigate further by liaising with parents, gaining the views of the pupils, observing the pupil in class, gathering information about the pupil from other staff who teach or support them, carrying out testing as appropriate and referring the pupils to external support professionals e.g. Advisory Support Teachers, Educational Psychologist if appropriate or liaising with health professionals if appropriate. Once this information has been gathered, if a special educational need is suspected or diagnosed, a meeting will be arranged, including parents, to discuss the pupil’s needs and subsequent actions.


Some students starting or moving to Windmill Hill Academy are already diagnosed with a special educational need and this information will have been passed on by their pre-school or previous school. Such pupils may or may not be placed on the SEN register, but will all be monitored and tracked in terms of their progress and supported as appropriate.


If a parent suspects an undiagnosed special educational need in their child, they should initially contact the SENCo to share their concerns. The SENCo will then investigate further, as above.


The definition of a special educational need is ‘where their learning difficulty or disability calls for special educational provision, namely provision different from or additional to that normally available to pupils of the same age. Making higher quality teaching normally available to the whole class is likely to mean that fewer pupils will require such support’. (Definition taken from the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years 2014).


Pupils with SEN will be placed on the school’s SEN register, which is accessible to all staff in school. Pupils on the SEN Register may have a Statement of Special Educational Need, an Education, Health and Care Plan or receive SEN Support. Pupils who are not officially diagnosed with a Special Educational Need or who are currently not receiving extra SEN Support are recorded on a register as ‘On Alert’ to which all staff have access to inform their teaching.


Where a pupil is diagnosed with a special education need, support will be put in place to help them make progress. Such support might involve: further differentiation in class by teachers, advice to teachers on a pupils need and strategies to be implemented or in-class support. For the majority of our pupils, such in-class strategies are effective and inclusive. However, some pupils may need further out of class support on either a one-to-one basis or small group targeted intervention sessions with a Learning Support Assistant. If a pupil continues to fail to make expected progress, they may be referred to an outside agency for further testing and/or advice.


Interventions may involve bespoke packages or a programme developed specifically for that pupil or group of pupils. Interventions follow a monitoring cycle involving: assess–plan-do-review. Where an intervention with a pupil is not found to be effective, the school will endeavour to find out why and put in place a more effective programme. Interventions are regularly reviewed to ensure effectiveness and to ensure that the school continually strives to improve their intervention programme.


Parents/Carers of students with SEN will have regular meetings with school staff to discuss their child’s progress, support needs and any concerns they may have. However, parents/carers are welcome to request a meeting or discussion with school staff at any time, including the SENCO, if they have a concern about their child.


Education, Health and Care Plans

Where a pupils with SEN is failing to make progress, despite high quality teaching and support through their SEN support, an application to the Local Authority for an Education, Health and Care Plan may be considered. Parents, the Local Authority and outside agencies will be fully involved in such decisions and meetings will be organised to consider and plan such a referral. More information on the application process and criteria for Education, Health and Care Plans is available on the Local Authority website.



Pupils with current Statements of Special Educational Need will continue on these until the Local Authority reviews their provision to decide if they fulfil the criteria for an Education, Health and Care Plan. There is a transition period for reviewing all students on Statements of Special Educational Need to decide if they fulfil such criteria and the Local Authority has a programme for this transition.


Pupils with SEN who have Statements of Special Educational Need or Education, Health and Care Plans will receive a higher level of support than other pupils and such support is co-ordinated by the SENCo. Their Statement of Special Educational Needs or Education, Health and Care Plan will be reviewed regularly, at least once per year, with the parent/carer, pupil and appropriate outside agencies.




Working with outside agencies

Where a pupil with SEN is not making progress and Windmill Hill Academy feel that they need advice and support from external professionals, we will discuss such a need with parents / carers. If it is felt appropriate, we will then refer a pupil to an external agency and/or professionals for diagnosis, support or advice. Subsequent to such a referral, we will work with the external agency to support such pupils, using their support and advice.


Working with parents/carers

Windmill Hill Academy puts working with parents/carers and pupils at the centre of its work. Parent meetings are arranged each term for parents/carers and teachers to meet to set targets and review progress.  Pupils are also regularly involved with reviewing their progress and encouraged to express their needs and concerns with relevant staff. Pupils with SEN are encouraged to express any concerns they may have to the SENCo, Learning Support Assistants, or any other member of staff with whom they feel comfortable to talk about their concerns.


Parents / Carers are equally at the centre of supporting their children. They are fully involved in decisions about support for their child, including decisions to investigate a potential diagnosis, referral to external agencies, planning and evaluating support. They are encouraged to contact any member of staff at school if they have any concerns about their child. The SENCo is always pleased to discuss any concerns involving SEN with parents / carers.


All pupils with Statements of Special Educational Needs or Education, Health and Care Plans will meet at least once a year with the Senco to review their progress and provision. All pupils receiving interventions will also receive regular communication about the intervention. The Senco is always happy to communicate with any parent of a pupil with SEN whether by telephone, or face to face meeting.


Equality (incl. accessibility)

‘All schools have duties under the Equality Act 2010 towards individual disabled children and young people. They must make reasonable adjustments to prevent them being put at a substantial disadvantage.  Schools also have wider duties to prevent discrimination, to promote equality of opportunity and to foster good relations’ (Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years 2014).


Windmill Hill Academy is an inclusive school and actively seeks to promote the inclusion of pupils with SEN and disabilities. We use our best endeavours to ensure that all pupils with SEN and disabilities are able to fully participate in the life of the school, both in their learning and in the wider provision and life of the school. Adaptations and provisions are made for SEN and disabled pupils to enable them to participate in all school trips and other out of class activities. For more information, refer to our Disability, Equality Policy and Accessibility Plan in the Policies section of our website. Pupils with SEN are actively encouraged, supported and given opportunities to become involved with extra-curricular activities.



Windmill Hill Academy understands that transition between schools and other establishments is sometimes an anxious time for parents/carers and pupils, especially for students with SEN. For students coming into the EYFS at Windmill Hill Academy, the Foundation Stage teacher and SENCo if appropriate, endeavour to visit all pre-schools. They meet pre-school managers/ leaders to gain as much information as possible about these pupils, including SEN information. For pupils with SEN, the SENCo will liaise with the SENCo from the pre-school, who will pass on all relevant information, including SEN files.



Windmill Hill Academy is committed to creating a safe environment in which everyone is appreciated for themselves, and in which care and consideration for others is nurtured within a community which is seeking to live by strong moral values. Emphasis is placed upon the development of a school culture and expectation that bullying is unacceptable, challenged and resolved. For more information about how our school responds to bullying incidents, please refer to our Anti-Bullying Policy in the Policies section of our website.



The Code of Practice (2014) requires schools to publish the following documents:            

  •          SEN Policy
  •          Annual SEN Information Report 
  •          Local Offer

The following table provides a summary distinguishing the three forms of information, though the content may overlap.


SEND Policy

SEN Information Report

Local Offer


Governing body

SENCo, SLT and governors

Governing body


How will it be delivered?

What is actually / has been delivered?

What's on offer

Strategic Links

School values and vision, structures and procedures

School improvement plan and transition arrangements

Joint Commissioning, Provision Management systems and the school improvement plan

Where published

School website (and hard copy if requested)

School website (and hard copy if requested)

LA portal

School website (and hard copy if requested)


Every 3 years



 Our SEN Policy can be accessed from the link below in line with the new regulations: 



SEN Information Report                                                                                                                 

From the 1st September 2014, under Section 65 (3) (a) of the Special Educational Needs (Information) Regulations, all schools are required to publish an SEN Information Report on their school websites.  This report must contain SEN information as is set out in the Schedule, as well as utilising the Local Authority (LA) Local Offer. Consequently, the report should meet the needs of SEN pupils as determined by school policy and the provision that the school is able to determine.  The SEN information Report is therefore a written, annual account of what has been achieved or completed within an academic year.  In effect it is an account of the implementation of the policy, not what is aspirational.  Further information on the Schedule can be found by following this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/251874/Consultation_on_draft_0_to_25_Special_Educational_Needs__SEN__-_SEN_information.pdf

Our SEN Information Report can be found at the link: 




What is the Local Offer?                                                                                                                    

The Children and Families Bill became enacted in 2014. From this date, Local Authorities and schools are required to publish and keep under review information about services they expect to be available for the children and young people with Special Educational Needs (SEN) aged 0-25. This is the ‘Local Offer’.  The intention of the Local Offer is to improve choice and transparency for families. It will also be an important resource for parents in understanding the range of services and provision in the local area.  Further information about Cornwall Council's Local Offer can be found here:  https://www.supportincornwall.org.uk/kb5/cornwall/directory/localoffer.page

Parents can find further information on Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in this DfE guide attached below: SEND Guide for Parents and Carers: https://primarysite-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/f50125fc12bb4667b1782616ea66c706/1c6b/SENDGuideforParentsandCarers.pdf

Our school Local Offer can be found at the link:  



'Staff know their pupils well. The curriculum is adapted well for those with special education needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and those who speak English as an additional language. As a result, pupils learn the intended curriculum well, regardless of their background.'
'Leaders have effective systems to identify those pupils who fall behind in their reading, including those with SEND.'
'As a result of this support, pupils catch up quickly.'
(Ofsted, December 2022)