Students first: Raising standards and transforming lives

We welcome children to our academies and we prioritise admission for children with SEND.

We have a comprehensive support programme and our policy is available below.

For the full Send policy please click this link.

To view the local offer for Stockton LA website please click this link.

Outwood Academy Bishopsgarth

Outwood Academy Bishopsgarth is an inclusive school where all pupils with special educational needs and disabilities are offered an education within a fully inclusive environment with support tailored to their individual needs.
The SEND code of practice: 0 to 25 published on 11th June 2014 identifies that a child or young person has SEND if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.

A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:

Has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or
Has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post 16 Institutions.

Outwood Academy Bishopsgarth recognises the importance of gathering the views, wishes and feelings of the child or young person, and the child’s parents in decisions relating to their education, and offer high quality provision to meet their needs. Staff endeavour to remove identified barriers to learning. Staff have high ambitions for all children and young people within the school, and set stretching targets for them. Progress is tracked towards these goals, and the additional and/or different provision made for individuals is kept under review.

Outwood Academy Bishopsgarth staff will use a wide variety of approaches to teaching, adaptations to the curriculum and the learning environment and adaptations to facilities and resources to ensure that all students can access education. Assessment and evaluation of the effectiveness of intervention programmes is carried out to ensure any additional programme put in place is having a positive effect and ensuring that the child or young person makes progress in their learning and the acquisition of new skills, improved social interaction, and confidence.
Within the inclusive school reasonable adjustments are made to enable all pupils, regardless of SEND or disability, to have access to all learning experiences including extra-curricular activities.

The school Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator is Mrs Hayley Rudd who can be contacted via the Academy reception

The Governor with responsibility for SEND is Miss Shabana Hussain.

Supporting successful preparation for adulthood

Outwood Academy Bishopsgarth is committed to supporting children and young people to realise their ambitions by supporting them in making friends, staying safe and healthy and preparing them for adult life. High aspirations are crucial to success. From year 9 onwards in school, preparation for adulthood is an explicit element of conversations and the review process for children and young people with SEND. Discussions about longer term goals with a focus on strengths and capabilities and the outcomes that the young person wants to achieve.

The inclusion team within the school work in collaboration with the Learning Managers and outside agencies to provide appropriate support to ensure that children and young people with SEND are able to move between phases of education and preparation for adulthood and independent living.

All pupils have access to a broad and balanced curriculum. High expectations are placed on all pupils regardless of their prior attainment. Potential areas of difficulty are identified, and appropriate support is put in place to ensure that all pupils are able to work towards meeting their targets. Lesson planning will identify areas of difficulty and the appropriate steps that will be taken to remove these barriers to pupil achievement.

Staff within Outwood Academy Bishopsgarth use their best endeavours to make sure that every child with SEND gets the support they need and engage in the activities of the school alongside pupils who do not have SEND. Equality of opportunity is promoted.

The school is a single story building with graduated ramps and wide corridors which enable pupils with physical disabilities to access all areas of the school. Within classrooms and workshops there is adjustable height benching and tables to ensure that pupils can work alongside their peers. The school is an Enhanced Mainstream School with Provision for children with physical disabilities and medical needs, in addition to Cognition and Learning needs. The entry criteria for this provision is determined by the Local Authority, and access to the provision is via the Local Authority High Needs Panel decision making process.

The Enhanced Mainstream Provision comprises of the inclusion area, incorporating the Bridge and the Personalised Learning Centre (PLC), a team of experienced teaching assistants, on-site access to hydrotherapy and physiotherapy led by a team of physiotherapists, provision of medical support and the administration of medication as outlined in the school policy and facilities to meet the personal care needs of pupils with complex and additional needs within a mainstream school setting, with bathroom areas that have ceiling track hoists and adapted facilities.


On entry to the school, staff will assess each pupil’s current skills and levels of attainment, building on information that has been made available from the previous educational setting. School will consider evidence that a pupil has a disability under the Equality Act 2010 and put in place any reasonable adjustments that will be necessary.

Subject teachers will make regular assessments of pupil progress. These will seek to identify pupils making less than expected progress over a given period of time in line with their age and individual circumstances. Progress in areas other than educational attainment are also looked at, for instance where a pupil needs to make additional progress with wider development or social needs in order to make a successful transition into college or adult life.

The first response to any identified weakness is high quality teaching targeted at the pupil’s areas of weakness. Where progress continues to be less than expected the subject teacher, working with the SENDCo/Inclusion Coordinator should assess whether the child has SEND.

Teachers are responsible and accountable for the progress and development of the pupils in their class even when the pupil accesses support from a teaching assistant or a specialist teacher.

High quality teaching, differentiated for individual pupils is the first step in responding to pupils who have or may have SEN. Additional intervention and support cannot compensate for a lack of good quality teaching.

Persistent disruptive behaviour or withdrawn behaviour do not necessarily mean that a child has SEND. Where there is a concern, assessment should be carried out to establish whether the behaviour is linked to an unidentified learning need, difficulties with communication or mental health issues. If it is thought that housing, family or other domestic issues may be contributing to the presenting behaviours, a multi-agency approach through the EHA process is recommended. Early identification and intervention can significantly reduce the use of more costly intervention at a later stage.

The key responsibilities of the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENDCo) may include:
Overseeing the day to day operation of the school SEND policy.
Coordinating provision for pupils with SEND.
Advising on the graduated approach to providing SEND support.
Advising on the deployment of the school’s delegated budget and other resources to meet pupils’ needs effectively
Liaising with parents of pupils with SEND
Liaising with other schools, educational psychologists, health and social care professionals, and independent and voluntary bodies.
Being a key point of contact with external agencies, especially the local authority and its support services.
Liaising with potential next providers of education to ensure a smooth transition.
Ensuring that the school keeps the records of all pupils with SEND up to date.

There are four broad areas of need. Children do not fit neatly into one category, and often have needs that cut across two or more categories. Early identification will inform future planning and provision of appropriate support. The four areas are:

Communication and interaction

Difficulty communicating with other people due to speech, language and communication needs (SLCN). Difficulty understanding what is being said to them, difficulty finding the words to respond to an individual, or difficulty understanding the social rules of communication. Children and young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Autism or Aspergers Syndrome might have difficulties with social interaction.

For students experiencing difficulties relating to social interaction and social communication there are Social Skills programmes, including circle time, small group activities and individualised programmes delivered by Mrs Jean Barker. School staff have worked closely with the Autism Outreach Team and Daisy Chain for advice and guidance regarding appropriate programmes and resources to use in specific situations with students.

Cognition and learning

Learning difficulties cover a wide range of needs. A child might be assessed to have moderate learning difficulties (MLD), severe learning difficulties (SLD), profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD) or specific learning difficulties (SpLD) which includes one or more specific aspect of learning such as dyslexia, dyscalculia or dyspraxia.

Within school students can access Accelerated Reader, Lexia and a range of other interventions to improve their literacy skills. Paired reading programmes, small group support and Enrichment activities are available in school, as well as individualised programmes of support delivered by Ms Jawaid and Mrs Hewitt. Further support is provided to students within the (C&L) Enhanced provision via a differentiated timetable in line with their SEND needs. This will be communicated with students and parents to enable progress.

Social, emotional and mental health difficulties

A child might become withdrawn and isolated, displaying challenging disruptive or disturbing behaviour. These behaviours might reflect an underlying mental health difficulty such as anxiety, depression, self-harming, substance misuse, eating disorders or physical symptoms which are medically unexplained. Other mental health disorders include Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attachment Disorder and Foetal Alcohol Syndrome.

The school Personalised Learning Centre (PLC) and The Bridge provides a supportive environment for pupils who have difficulty coping with the rules and boundaries within the mainstream school or issues relating to anxiety and mental heath. Short supportive programmes are developed to help pupils engage in mainstream lessons. Within KS4 the PLC provides a base for students who are accessing Alternative Education programmes on a part-time basis to support them to achieve GSCE qualifications in English and Maths in addition to any vocational qualifications that they are taking as part of their individual programmes.

Sensory and/or physical needs

Some children and young people with a physical disability might need ongoing support and specialist equipment in order to access all of the opportunities available to their peers. Visual impairment (VI), hearing impairment (HI) or a multi-sensory impairment (MSI) will require specialist support and/or equipment to access learning. Difficulties might be age related and fluctuate over time.

Outwood Academy Bishopsgarth is an enhanced mainstream school for children with physical disabilities and medical conditions. This enables students to access mainstream lessons or The Bridge as necessary for those who struggle to access full-time mainstream schooling due to the nature of their needs. There is on-site physiotherapy within the school physiotherapy gym and also on-site hydrotherapy. Staff from University Hospital of North Tees physiotherapy department and occupational Therapy department work closely with school staff, and carry out appropriate assessments and make recommendations regarding exercise programmes and appropriate aids and appliances for everyday use.

When identifying an individual child as requiring SEND support, the subject teacher, Learning Manager or SENDCo will carry out an analysis of the pupil’s needs. Previous behaviour, progress and attainment data, any specialist teacher reports, and reports from other external support services will be considered. The views of the parent and child are also considered. Support and intervention must be matched to need, barriers to learning are identified and overcome, and a time scale for review is built into any planned intervention.

School might involve specialists, such as a specialist teacher or HLTA from the LA Inclusion Service, The Educational Psychologist, or colleagues from CAMHS at any point to advise them on early identification of SEN and appropriate support and interventions.

In some cases professionals from health or social care are already involved. If this is not the case, appropriate referrals will be made.


The school SENDCo and Learning Manager should agree in consultation with the parent any SEND support plan that will be put in place. This can include adjustments, interventions and support to be put in place. All teachers and support staff working with a child should be informed of their needs, the desirable outcomes and any teaching strategies or approaches required. Parents are encouraged to be involved in planned interventions, and to contribute to or reinforce progress at home.

At Outwood Academy Bishopsgarth we aim to:

Offer a clear, coherent way to provide for the special educational needs of as many children as possible in as flexible a way as possible. We are committed to equality of opportunity for everyone involved in the school.
Boost the literacy and numeracy skills of students with general and specific learning difficulties both as an end in itself and as a means of providing maximum access by such pupils to the rest of the curriculum. In doing so we aim to narrow the gap between pupils with SEND and those without.

To develop differentiation in all lessons to improve the educational opportunities of all pupils, regardless of ability.
Meet the special educational needs of children with physical/sensory disabilities, with speech, language and communication difficulties and with social, emotional and mental difficulties as far as is practicable, making reasonable adjustments in terms of the layout and resources of the school.

Increase the confidence of pupils with SEND, encouraging them to be involved in their own provision, and to promote independence.

Communicate with parents about all aspects of the special needs provision made for their children and to seek to develop this partnership.

Deploy resources in as effective a way as possible.

Use the SEND Code of Practice as a framework for identification of, and provision for, pupils with special educational needs.

The SEND Team

SENDCo – Mrs H Rudd who can be contacted on 01642 586262.
Inclusion Director – Mrs J Holmes
Inclusion Co-Ordinator – Miss L McGuire
Bridge Manager – Miss Meg Ryan
PLC Manager – Miss K Taylor
Inclusion Administrator – Mr J Rutter
Safeguarding/Child Protection (Lead) PSA – Mrs A Simpson/ Mrs Hutchinson-Jones
Safeguarding /Child Protection (deputy) – Mrs C Armstrong

Teaching Assistants

Mrs M Fityo
Mrs K Smith
Miss R Isaacs
Mrs J Robson
Mrs A Gamble-Thompson
Mr J Haddow
Mrs S Bennett
Mrs J Barker
Mrs E Atkinson
Mrs A Hunt
Mrs L Margetts
Mr R Stokes

Health Care Assistants

Mrs M Todd
Miss B Smith

External Support Services

Educational Psychology Service (EPS)
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)
Schools in Mind
Specialist Teachers and HLTA from the Local Authority, Inclusion Service.
Hearing Impairment Service (HI)
Visual Impairment Service (VI)
Speech and Language Therapy
Occupational Therapy
Pediatric services
Youth Directions and Targeted Youth Support
Youth Offending Service


Interventions might be carried out within the classroom, during the course of timetabled lessons if this is appropriate. It might be necessary to carry out an intervention prior to the start of the school day for a regular 30 minute session requiring the individual to attend school early on specific days, or over break and/or lunchtime. Other interventions require withdrawal from lessons for a block of time. In this instance there is discussion between the person delivering the intervention and the pupil as to how this will best fit into their school timetable.

The subject teacher remains responsible for working with the child on a daily basis. The subject teacher must work closely with the teaching assistant or specialist teacher to ensure that any intervention which requires 1:1 or group teaching away from the class does not create a gap in another area of learning.


All interventions and/or teaching assistant support put in place will be reviewed to assess their effectiveness and impact on the pupil’s progress. The Learning Manager, Inclusion co-ordinator or SENDCo will meet with the parent/carer to discuss progress made, and further recommendations.

If strategies and resources available within school have had little effect over time, there will be a recommendation for the involvement of other agencies as appropriate to ensure that the needs of the individual are being addressed. This will be drawn up into an updated plan. You can submit your parent and child views via the link below

Useful websites

Stockton’s Local Offer

Click Here

SEN engagement service, EP and Stockton Parent/Carer Forum

Click Here

Concerns and Complaints Regarding Provision for Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

Any concerns or complaints about SEN provision by parents or carers should be initially raised informally, whether by e-mail, letter or a telephone call with the SENDCo.

The SENDCo will investigate and report back within a week. If the parents/carers continue to be dissatisfied, a complaint should be raised as per the academy’s complaints procedure by completing the Complaint Form at Appendix 1. Academy Complaints Procedure

Please click here to view a range of useful fact sheets...