North Durham Academy

We are committed to raising the aspirations of our students. We believe that all our students are capable of achieving ambitious goals and with the right support, will be successful.

When is it on?

Time of day

Who to contact

Contact name
Vicky Mattless
Contact position
01207 292 180
North Durham Academy

Where to go

High Street
County Durham

Local Offer

How do you identify Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)?

How does the setting/school/college know if children/young people need extra help and what should I do if I think my child/young person may have special educational needs?

Students can be identified as having Special educational needs in a number of ways, firstly via transition and working with primary colleagues during their progression from primary to secondary. We also work with secondary colleagues if a student is transferring from another secondary school.

Whilst in the academy students may be identified through teacher concerns, the Year Team or the Inclusion Team, if a student is causing concern or they may be identified via the Inclusion Team meetings.

If a parent believes their child has special educational needs and this has not been discussed with the academy please do not hesitate to contact us and speak to us.

Once your child has been identified with SEND we will contact you and ask for your contribution to their Individual Learning Plan and this will be reviewed  throughout the year after each data assessment has been completed. We firmly believe in working together to support your child.

How will you make sure my child's education meet their needs?

How will the curriculum be matched to my child's young person's needs?

We strive to be an inclusive academy, where SEND students are not treated less favourably, and we encourage a sense of community and belonging through:

  • Access to all areas of the curriculum, whilst providing a flexible range of strategies and provision for meeting students’ needs through quality first teaching, individualised support, special exam arrangements, and therapeutic programmes.
  • Recognising we are all teachers of SEND both in the classroom and beyond. Information on SEND students is detailed on a student’s passport and support plan which includes their strengths and suggested strategies for supporting them; as well as the student’s hobbies and interest. This information is distributed to all staff.
  • Fully integrating all students (including those with SEND) into all aspects of Academy life, including sports, drama or school visits.
  • Ongoing staff training to ensure staff are aware of how best to support your child.



How will we know my child is progressing?

How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will you help me to support my child's/young person's learning?

Regular meetings of the SEND Team to discuss students’ progress and identify any areas of concern take place and if there is cause for concern you will be contacted. On top of this:

  • Meetings with parents and students throughout the year will take place to review their progress.
  • Parents’ Evenings, where parents can discuss their child’s progress with staff.
  • Phone conversations will take place where a strategy may be offered, or an additional intervention may be tried in order to support your child further.
  • Individual reviews will take place after each assessment window to review progress, establish appropriate goals and how these will be met, identify a student’s strengths and establish strategies that can help them be successful.
  • Reviews throughout the year of outcomes detailed on SEN Support plans.
  • In terms of working with parents we send copies of passports and plans to parents and any strategies we are using are shared so they can be reinforced and used at home as well.
  • Analysis of examination data.

How will you support my child's overall wellbeing?

What support will there be for my child's/young person's overall wellbeing?

Within school, SEND students are able to access emotional and social support from the following people:

  • The SEND Team who are based in the Harbour and available before and after school, at break and lunchtimes.
  • Support such as meeting students from the bus, passes allowing students to access dinner early as well as early passes to move around the academy before other students to avoid crowds.
  • Academy staff, such as a student’s Year Manager, Keyworker or the SEND team.
  • The school counsellor, who can offer weekly appointments to discuss concerns
  • Support from the Inclusion Team-both in small groups and one-to-one.
  • Support from a range of external agencies, such as CAMHS, EWELL team, Resilience Nurse, Occupational Therapy or the Educational Psychologist. 

Measures to prevent bullying include:

  • Access to a supervised quiet area in the Harbour, accessed only by students with a pass
  • Support from a student’s Year Manager or Keyworker to deal with any issues
  • Access to the school counsellor to discuss any worries or concerns
  • Access to the Academy ‘Stop Bullying’ number.
  • Regular discussions with students and Student Voice.

Bullying is not tolerated, and we encourage students and parents to raise any concerns.

How are staff trained regarding SEND?

What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND have had or are having?

Staff have been trained in the following areas:

Quality First Teaching




Motor skils,

Restorative justice,

VI strategies and adjustments,


Accelerated reader,

LUCID screening,



Read docs for exam access arrangements,

First Aid,

Edukey for passports, support plans and provision mapping,

Attachment disorder training,

Lego therapy,

Occupational therapy programmes for students.

What activities outside the classroom will there be?

How will my child/young person be included in activities outside this classroom including school trips?

SEND students are offered the same sporting, drama and enrichment activities as all students within the academy. They are encouraged to participate in all extra-curricular activities, trips and end of term events.

We recognise that some students with Special Educational Needs may need extra support accessing such activities and the SEN team plan for this. For example, providing extra staff support on trips, discussing and planning for an activity with a student or to supporting students to access activity.


How will you support my child's needs?

How accessible is the setting/school/college environment?

The academy is accessible for students with SEND. We are a recent build and therefore have wheelchair accessibility as well as lifts to help students with mobility issues for example.

We recognise that the curriculum and learning environment may need to be adapted for students with SEND, through:                            

Differentiation by the class teacher-this may involve such strategies as:

  • planning for and setting tasks more appropriate to a student’s needs
  • Enlarging text if required
  • providing vocabulary lists or writing frames
  • printing out information from the board
  • giving students task lists to help them with organisation
  • visual support or more movement based activities
  • allowing a student extra time to complete a task
  • breaking activities down into more manageable amounts
  • providing extra support or intervention

Further strategies detailed on a student’s ILP following advice from other professionals:

  • Placing students within appropriate classes, groups or pathways so that they access teaching and courses at the appropriate level.
  • Providing intervention where required either through SEN Curriculum Support workers or Subject Specialist Curriculum Support Workers.
  • In class support provided by SEND Curriculum Support Workers.
  • One to one support or small group work to support academic work.
  • One to one support or small group work to develop motor skills, literacy skills or provide support with emotional or behaviour issues, or help with developing coping strategies.
  • Alternative or Off Site Provision if apporpriate.
  • Confidence building groups or activities to develop interpersonal skills.
  • Access to the Harbour Area before school, at break and lunchtime.
  • Access to a homework club.
  • Access to a wet room.
  • Access to lifts to assist movement within the building.
  • Special exam arrangements for mocks and GCSE exams.

What is available to help my child with their education?

How are the setting's/school's/college's resources allocated and matched to children's/young people's special educational needs?

Our SEND team comprises of our Trust Director of SEND, SENDCO, Inclusion Manager, and 10 Teaching Assisstants (TA's) We have a designated area in the academy, the Harbour, which specifically looks after the children with the most complex needs. Our offer is for fulltime mainstream lessons suported through reasonable adjustrments.

Our TA's timetables are reviewed regularly so support is best placed to meet students’ needs. Teaching and Inclusion staff liaise with the SENDCO about where support in class is needed.

In addition:

  • Support staff lead interventions to support a student’s identified need for example LEXIA for literacy needs.
  • Laptops are available within the Harbour and in each subject area to support students who have difficulties with handwriting.
  • The Harbour has its own computer room.
  • Other rooms within the Harbour are opened at break and lunchtime for students who may prefer a quieter area.
  • The Academy has a wet room for students who may need to access this facility.
  • Costed Provision Maps detail a student’s outcomes and the provision in place to meet this target.
  • Many SEND students are taught within smaller mainstream classes.
  • Teaching Assisstents provide intervention or support in class.
  • Exam access arrangements are put in place for students in all years who need them and during mocks and GCSE exams.
  • External agencies are bought in to either offer more advice on strategies for students or to provide specific intervention for students.
  • Screening programmes are bought in to identify needs as early as possible.

What support can I expect for my child?

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?

A graduated approach is used. Wave 1 is accessed if there is an identified SEN. Students will have a passport written and then additional support which may be adapted quality first teaching, counselling, or further screening. If this is sufficient, they will stay at wave 1.

If not, then a student may move to wave 2 where a student will have a support plan written, a planned intervention will take place and further strategies may be tried for example access to additional passes or the Harbour. Additional referrals may also be accessed here.

If there are further concerns then a child may progress to wave 3 where a High needs support plan will be completed alongside further assessments and bespoke intervention.  We may also look at EHCP applications here if appropriate.

Those who have EHCP will be at wave 3 and have a dedicated TA to work with them as well as full costed provision map and plan that is also reviewed regularly throughout the year.

How will I be involved in my child's education?

How are parents involved in the setting/school/college? How can I be involved?

Parents are encouraged to contact the school if they have any concerns or queries.

  • Issues affecting a student will be discussed with parents, for examples referrals to other agencies.
  • Regular meetings with parents in school, phone contact or home visits.
  • Parents Evenings where parents can speak to staff.
  • Regular Student and Parent Voices - where groups of SEN students and parents are asked for their views either verbally or through a questionnaire.
  • Discussions with students and parents where their views are given and included in their passports or support plans.
  • Parents can give their views on Parent View on the Ofsted website.
  • Extra transition visits arranged as the request of year 6 parents who have concerns about their child.

My child is going to be starting or leaving soon, how will you help them?

How will the setting/school/college prepare and support my child/young person to join the setting/school/college or the next stage of education and life?

Primary to Secondary:

  • The SEND team meet with the Year 6 teachers, primary SENCOs and Head teachers in the Summer Term prior to transfer.
  • Staff may also attend reviews or transition meetings.
  • Students take part in Transition activities, where they can meet staff from the SEN Team or take part in activities within the Harbour area.
  • Extra visits arranged by the SEND students to visit the school and ask questions about any concerns.
  • Opportunities provided for parents to meet with members of the SEND team at their child's primary school.

Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 4:

  • The SEND team attend Options Evening and Parents' Evening and can discuss possible option choices.
  • Independent careers advice will be given to all students with SEN.
  • Staff provide support with alternative curriculum choices.

Secondary to Post 16:

  • Students receive a variety of careers activities throughout Key Stage 3 and 4 which help to prepare them for post 16 choices.
  • 1:1 careers interviews will take place for all SEN students and access to a One Point Advisor within school, who can provide further guidance on career choices if needed.
  • Discussions at meetings about students’ interests and careers choices.
  • Support staff work with students on developing life skills and assist with work placements.
  • Support from the Improving Progression Team at annual reviews of students with an Education, Health and Care Plan.
  • Additional trips to college and/or sixth forms for students to see what is available and to enable them to get to know staff there are facilitated via our SEND team.

On leaving Sixth Form:

  • Extra support provided to assist SEND students with choices following Year 13.
  • Support from the Improving Progression Team at Annual reviews of students with an Education, Health and Care Plan.
  • Support with writing personal statements and applications and funding streams are done 1:1 with students to enable them to progress successfully.

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  • North Durham Academy

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Address: High Street  Stanley  County Durham

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