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

When your child is allocated a place at The Thomas Alleyne Academy the SENCO makes contact with the Head teacher and SENCO at your child’s primary school.

Reports and other information are shared with the SENCO to ensure the correct intervention is put in place.

When your child is in year 7 they undertake Cognitive Ability Tests and reading and spelling tests. These tests along with prior attainment information including KS2 SATs results from your child’s previous school help to inform us of the support your child may benefit from.

Throughout their time at school your child’s progress will be monitored through regular snapshot information, teacher feedback and Learning Support staff observations. If the school thinks your child is not making progress the SENCO will contact you about what to do next.

 If you believe your child may have additional needs you should contact the SENCO in the first instance, providing evidence to support your enquiry.

How will school staff support my child?

Your child will be supported in a variety of ways:

  • All students have daily contact with their form tutors and many problems/issues can often be resolved during tutor time, or students can be signposted to the appropriate person.
  • A graduated response to intervention is implemented and all teaching staff will support your child by providing interesting lessons appropriately differentiated when necessary.
  • Additional intervention will be put in place as needed, this can include small group or 1:1 literacy or numeracy support, in-class support or individualised computer programmes such as Succesmaker and Nessy.
  • The Pastoral team and Heads of Department will monitor your child’s academic progress and put in appropriate interventions.
  • The Learning Support and Pastoral teams will support your child’s educational and emotional needs.
  • The Inclusion team supports the small number of students who make poor choices and prevent the teaching and learning of other students.
  • A transition programme is put in place for very vulnerable children.
  •  Peer Mentors may support your child if they are experiencing difficulties.
  • Home learning club after school will support your child with homework tasks.

How will I know how my child is doing?

The first place to look when enquiring about how well your child is doing is the school planner. Messages to and from home and school are recorded in the planner along with home learning.

Your child will have a regular snapshot report which indicates target levels and progress being made towards them.

Annual parents’ evenings with subject teachers will give an insight into progress in specific subjects.

If your child has an Individual Plan or an EHCP you will have the opportunity to talk to a member of the Learning Support team about their progress and any concerns you may have at the review meeting.

The school has a comprehensive reward system with merits, postcards, badges and bronze silver and gold bars awarded for achievement across the schools core values.

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

All lessons are appropriately differentiated to enable all students to access the curriculum and make progress.

Teaching staff work with Learning Support staff to ensure that the needs of individual students are being met.

Students have individual plans for both behaviour and learning; these plans inform teaching staff of individual student’s needs, provide information from outside agencies and strategies to help with learning.

What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?

Your child’s wellbeing is paramount and support comes from different areas of the school, for example there is a staffed first aid room with qualified first aiders who will deal with minor injuries, illness and the administration of medication (with appropriate permission letters). There are three disabled toilets and ramps into some buildings. 

There is always a member of staff in the Pastoral office for support and advice with pastoral issues.

Support and advice with referrals for ASD/ADHD/CAMHS is available from the Pastoral Support Assistant.

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

The school takes advice from many agencies and the list below is not exhaustive.

  • Educational Psychologist
  • Speech and Language Therapist
  • Communication and Autism Team
  • Visual and Hearing Impairment Team
  • ESC (Behaviour Outreach Service)
  • Connexions
  • Child Development Centre
  • Education Support Through Medical Absence
  • School Nurse
  • Health and Social Care Services

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

All staff in school have Child Protection training at least annually from the DSP and three yearly from the local authority.

Learning Support Staff have all had training in ASD, ADHD,  Attachment Disorder, Protective Behaviours and Dyslexia.

How will you help me to support my child’s learning?

Every student has a school planner to share messages from school/home and home/school. All home learning should be recorded in the planner with completion dates. You can support your child’s learning by ensuring that home learning is completed on time and the planner is signed.

Students with additional needs have Individual Plans which will also outline what support you can give.

You can help your child by ensuring that:

 When they come to school they have the correct books and equipment for the day.

By ensuring 100% attendance and punctuality.

Attending parents evening and planned appointments.

How will I be involved in discussions about planning for my child’s education?

If you require information about your child’s education you can speak to their form tutor or the SENCO at parents evenings or you can contact your child’s Head of Year, messages can be left for them to call  you back as soon as they are available. You may also speak to Learning Support staff at EHCP or IP meetings.

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

All students have the opportunity to attend lunchtime clubs and afterschool activities. Residential and day trips are open to all students some students may require a risk assessment for some students to ensure their safety. Parents and teachers liaise to discuss specific needs. Information is shared with trip organisers.

How accessible is the school environment?

The Thomas Alleyne Academy is on an old site with many listed buildings. The site team work hard to ensure accessibility and safety for all students and make reasonable adjustments as specified in the Equality Act 2010 for students with disability. There are three disabled toilets at different locations around the site and handrails on all the stairs, outside stairs have yellow lines to ensure visibility.

Who can I contact for further information?

Mrs Lesley Thompson at

How will the school prepare and support my child to join the school, transfer to a new school or the next stage of education and life?

Independence is instilled from the outset; our aim is to send students on to the next stage of their education as independent learners able to cope with the challenges of the next stage of their education. 

Transition is supported from year six when students leave their primary schools to come to The Thomas Alleyne Academy. In year six that may mean additional visits or supported visits with the Education Support Service Transition Group.

As students’ progress they are support by Connexions to make decisions about GCSE choices and college courses or other appropriate pathways.

How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?

The Learning Support Unit is staffed throughout the day to provide additional planned support for small group and 1:1 literacy and numeracy.

There is a team of experienced Teaching Assistants who support both in the Learning Support Unit and in lessons. 

The Learning Support Unit is well equipped with computer programmes, like SuccessMaker, Nessy and Communicate in print to improve literacy and numeracy and the LSU also has many new and up- to-date resources to support learning.

How is the decision made about how much support my child will receive?

Resources are allocated based on evidence of need. Evidence is gathered from a variety of sources including baseline data, SATs tests and Cognitive Ability Test results, reading and spelling tests, close monitoring of progress, parental feedback and feedback and evidence from teaching staff.

How can I find information about the local authority’s local offer of services and provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disability?

View Hertfordshire's SEND local offer over on their website.