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The SEN Information Report will be updated annually to reflect changes and plans within the school. It is ratified by the Governing Body. The report outlines the current provision within Villa Real School. This report reflects the statutory duties of all educational settings to report on policy and provision for pupils/students with SEN; set out in the Children and Families Act 2014 and in the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice 2020. The SIR is produced after consultation with pupils/students, parents, school staff and external agencies who work with our pupils/students.


Contact Information


Head Teacher – Mrs J. Bowe

Deputy Head Teacher, CEIAG Lead and Designated Teacher for CLA – Miss S. Dawson

SENCO/Assistant Head Teacher - Mr A. Morris

SEND link Governor – Mrs S. Bailey




‘A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made, that is additional to or different from that made generally for other children or young people of the same age’. (CoP 2015, p16).


There are four broad areas of Special Educational Needs, these are:


Communication and Interaction - Includes pupil/students with Autism and those with Speech, Language and Communication Needs.


Cognition and Learning - Includes pupil/students with Specific Learning Difficulties, Moderate Learning Difficulties, Severe Learning Difficulties and Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties.


Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties - Includes any pupil/students who have an emotional, social or mental health need that is impacting on their ability to learn.


Physical Difficulties - Includes pupil/students with hearing impairment, visual impairment, multi-sensory impairment and physical difficulties.

What are the kinds of Special Educational Needs for which

provision is made at Villa Real?


Villa Real School is a maintained day special school for children and young people aged 2-19 years. Admission to Villa Real is via the Local Authority and you can contact SEN placement and provision team at Durham County Council on 03000 260000.

Pupils/students at Villa Real Special School have been identified as having needs which are significant and often complex. They have Severe Learning Difficulties or Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties as described in the SEN Code of Practice. The pupils/students may also have associated needs in the areas of communication and interaction such as Autism, sensory or physical difficulties and complex medical needs. All SEN details are collected by the Department of Education in the annual census.


The school’s approach to teaching children and

young people with SEN


Inclusive education means supporting all pupils/students to learn, contribute and participate in all aspects of school life alongside their peers. Our School is a place where everyone is treated with dignity, with respect, and is of equal worth. The curriculum includes, not only the formal requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and National Curriculum, but also a range of additional opportunities to enrich the experiences of pupils/students. The curriculum also includes the social aspects that are essential for life-long learning, personal growth and development of independence. This is all part of the REAL curriculum which combines academic learning, regulation, emotional well-being and physical therapies to enable our pupil/students to access the wider world on leaving us. The curriculum includes a robust attitude to the Preparation for Adulthood Toolkit and careers and work experience.



Every child matters


All staff have a shared vision, which has been achieved through collaboration and is owned by all members of our learning community. Our vision is that Villa Real School will be pupil/student centred with a strong focus on wellbeing and progress. Our school is a mutually supportive, accessible environment in which all are valued. We hold teaching and learning to be central to our provision and have a robust CPD and School Improvement Plan to ever increase teaching standards. Our flexibility and differentiation is a true strength of the school, and sharing good practice continues to raise standards even more.

Villa Real is a safe, caring, accessible and supportive environment. We challenge and encourage pupils/students to achieve their potential in terms of bespoke academic achievement, cultural capital, spiritual, moral and cultural awareness. We encourage tolerance, understanding and respect for diversity, cultures, rights, beliefs, feelings and property of others, and develop in pupils/students a responsible and independent attitude towards work and towards their future roles in society. Teaching helps to foster emotional and physical health and wellbeing by creating a climate in which pupil/students’ self-esteem and self-confidence can grow and develop. Our awards of being an Elklan Communication Friendly School and Equalities Award, highlight our expertise and commitment to our pupil/students.


How the school identifies children and young people

with SEN and how they assess their needs


All pupil/students at Villa Real have an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) prior to admission. The school has an SEN policy which can be found on the website in the policies section. Any additional or developing needs are identified by school staff and referred to the school SENCo or relevant external professional if they cannot be addressed within existing provision.

At Villa Real School, we measure the holistic progress of all pupils/students. Regular progress meetings ensure students make good progress and where progress is restricted, intervention plans are introduced or external multi agency support sought. We have a rigorous system of reviewing our REAL targets as an on-going tool, which look at specific individual targets for the pupil/student, based on their EHCP. The SENCo is always available to parents and carers to address any on-going concerns they have and act accordingly.


The arrangements for consulting parents/carers and

involving them in the education of their child

At Villa Real School parents/carers are always included in their child’s education. We achieve this in the following ways:

  • We welcome all parents and carers for an initial visit to school to discuss individual need and provision

  • We also have a clear and individualised transition programme which involves parents and pupils/students

  • In all classes, staff use a daily home/school book, for information exchanges and to deliver key messages for pupil/students with communication difficulties

  • We have a text and email service to parents/carers for reminders and information sharing

  • School website which is updated daily for news

  • School Facebook page

  • Regular newsletters

  • Termly parent/teacher meetings

  • Meetings with other professional –team around the family, care team meetings, PEP meetings

  • An annual report linked to the annual review of statement/EHC Plan including a review of an Individual Health Care Plans as appropriate

  • Parent workshops and training

  • Coffee mornings to promote sharing of experiences and strategies

  • Parental Representation on Governing Body

  • Parent questionnaires

  • Parent involvement in changes in school through informal and formal consultations

  • During times of school lockdown or increased measures to reduce visitors, communication will be via TEAMs or telephone calls


Arrangements for assessing and reviewing progress


Our pupils/students are assessed both formatively (ongoing) and summative (at the end terms and full year).

Formative assessment takes place daily through all learning activities:

  • Quick quizzes​

  • Observations​

  • Questioning​

  • Phonic/BLAST monitoring​

  • Marking​

  • On-going EHCP objectives ​

  • Displays​

  • Pupil/student Voice​

  • OT/SALT/physio /CAMHS work

  • Engagement Model assessments


All pupils/students are made clear of the learning outcomes for each session and given clear feedback about the progress they have made. Pupils/students are encouraged to recognise what they can do well, and what they need to improve. Staff annotate work, clearly highlighting progress and next steps, in line with the Marking and Feedback policy. Staff share feedback with each other and will often annotate the class planning. Staff use Earwig Academic timelines to provide evidence of children’s work over the course of a term, and are able to share moments of the day with parents/carers. Images and comments can also be uploaded by parents/carers to evidence home learning and achievements.

Summative assessment is carried out twice a year using an assessment tool called BSquared, to evaluate pupil/student progress. This is entered and analysed to ensure progression and identify areas to be developed. We are then able to produce data showing how well our pupil/students are progressing towards meeting their targets. For pupils working below the standard of national curriculum assessments and not engaged in subject-specific study, we use the engagement model to assess progress.


During Annual Review meetings and Parents Evening, staff discuss the pupils’/students’ progress with his or her parents/carers. Parental/carers views, opinions and advice will always be sought where there is an issue around progress and as a school we continuously work closely with parents/carers and their care teams.

Where appropriate, pupils/students may be entered for external national assessments. Access arrangements will be assessed for, and provisions put in place.



The school’s arrangements for supporting children and young people

as they move between phases of education

and in their preparation for adulthood


All transitions are planned and supported whether this is pupils/students moving to us from an Early Years setting, moving class group, progressing to Villa Real sixth form or moving on to further education, health or social care provision. Particular arrangements will be subject to current COVID guidance at the time.

Parents/carers will have the opportunity to meet new staff, take part in organised visits and get further information via our annual ‘Moving On’ fayre.

We work with parent support advisors, specialist teachers and school SENCos so that we get to know the needs of our new pupils/students. Staff from other schools are encouraged to accompany pupils/students on transition visits along with parents and carers.

Once a pupil/student has been accepted in to school, regardless of age, the SENCo will contact parents and ask for them to come in a meet the Head teacher and SENCo and discuss the child’s needs in detail. This means that the school has a personal description of the pupil/student before they meet them. A transition booklet with photographs of the building and the staff is sent home, so children can familiarise the school first.

We then will visit the children in their current setting, nursery, school, or home and then arrange many staggered visits. This is led by the child’s individual needs. Transition programmes are set up for pupil/students depending on their needs. Staff from Villa Real liaise with those from feeder schools. Again this will be dependent on current guidance.

How the school adapts the curriculum and the learning environment

of children and young people with SEN


The curriculum at Villa Real is bespoke to meet the needs of the children. It is reviewed yearly to meet individual needs in line with the School Improvement Plan. Progression has been developed and mapped from EYFS to Key Stage 5, throughout the subject areas so that we can monitor and evaluate individual’s learning journey. We use the national curriculum as a benchmark, then extend in an age appropriate and personalised manner. Individual teachers act on advice from therapists and medical professionals to incorporate their reports into their teaching.

Villa Real School is a purpose-built building and is fully accessible for wheelchair users. In other communal areas, such as the soft play room and hydrotherapy pool, there are built in hoists, mobile hoists are also available. A wide range of equipment and facilities are provided for the children in response to their different needs to support them physically and enable them to access their learning and the curriculum.

We are committed to promoting positive attitudes about disability and accessibility and to developing a culture of awareness, tolerance and inclusion.


The expertise and training of staff to support children and young people

with SEN, including how specialist expertise is secured

Staffing levels are enhanced so that pupils/students can be taught in classes appropriate to their individual needs and abilities. Teachers, Higher Level Teaching Assistants (HLTAs), Enhanced Teaching Assistants (ETAs) and Supervisory Assistants (SAs) are deployed in a variety of ways to ensure every pupil/student can access education. The school receives advice and support from a range of health professionals, working in partnership with them, to meet the needs of our pupil/students. Referrals are made through the SENCo, who follows up advice and appointments. All staff have clear job descriptions which detail the required qualifications for each post in school. All staff have a core training programme related to their work as a teacher or member of the support team. Individual development needs are assessed and reviewed through appraisal systems and individual training needs identified.

Continuous Professional Development in SEN is supported by targeted in-service training and attendance on courses. We recognise and value the vast amount of knowledge and skills held by our own staff and strive to promote the use of peer collaboration as a means of staff development. The long-term, well-being of the pupils/students is of paramount concern and training in Medical Needs, Safeguarding, First Aid, Administration of Medication, Behaviour Management, Team Teach, Moving and Handling, and Midas is kept up to date. We have an induction program for new staff to ensure they are aware of policy, procedures and guidelines.


How the school handles complaints from parents of children

or young people with SEN about the provision made at the school


All staff have a responsibility to meet the needs of all the pupils/students at Villa Real School. The school contact details are available on the website where you will be able to contact a member of the leadership team or your pupils’/students’ class teacher.

Parents/carers can contact the Special Educational Needs and Disability Information and Advice Service on 0191 587 3541 or 03000 267. This is a free, confidential service for young people who have SEND and their parent/carers. The service is available whether or not the young person has an EHCP.

How the school evaluates the effectiveness of the provision made for

children and young people with SEN


The school has a rigorous and robust improvement plan in all areas which are evaluated regularly and shared among all staff. We have developed a strong link with School Improvement Advisors within the authority who visit school regular and offer support where needed.

How children and young people with SEN are included so that

they are able to engage in all school activities


There is personalisation of the curriculum for each pupil/student in order that they can access and experience success throughout their school life.

The Student Council involves students in contributing to all aspects of school life, suggesting new ideas and innovations and making decisions about Villa Real as part of the wider community. We have also been awarded the Investors in Children Award for many years now.

The assessment and annual review process of EHC Plans includes the choices and views of pupil/students/student, where possible. Pupil/student questionnaires are completed annually.

The support for improving emotional and social development


We take great care to ensure all our pupil/students are confident, feel valued and respect others. As well as providing academic support, school also provides emotional and social support for children. Staff adopt consistent approaches in supporting children. We believe in a positive approach to supporting children with behaviour and rewards such as stickers, praise assemblies and awards are used alongside positive language and clear expectations. The school House system also rewards pupil/students in all areas of school life.

If a child has additional needs in terms of personal regulation, Positive Handling Plans are used to ensure that all staff working with the child manages the pupils’/students’ distress in a consistent way. Individual Risk Assessments may also be put into place where required.

All pupils/students have weekly RHE/RSHE lessons and have opportunities to enjoy cultural and social experiences on a regular basis within the curriculum.

We have clear and enforced bullying policy and provide regular sessions from NSPCC, Kidsafe and Kidscape to promote safety and well-being.

How the school involves other bodies and agencies, in meeting children

and young people’s SEN and supporting their families


A strong ethos of multi-disciplinary working exists within the school. Staff work closely with therapists including Speech and Language Therapists (SALT) Occupational Therapists (OT), Physiotherapists, LD CAHMS, nursing teams and Educational Psychologists to further identify barriers of learning and ensure an integrated approach to curriculum delivery.


This report should be read alongside the following polices which can be found in the policies section of the school website:


Admissions Policy

Accessibility Plan

Single Equalities Information

Child Protection Policy

SEND Policy

Supporting Pupil/students with Medical Conditions

Behaviour Policy

ASD Policy

Conductive Education Policy

Teaching and Learning Policy

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