Additional Learning Needs Policy

This policy should be read in conjunction with other policies and not as a stand-alone policy. This policy is spilt into two parts: Special Educational Needs and More able and Talented Learners. For More Able and Talented Learners please refer to section 2.


Crickhowell High School believes in equal value and respect for all through:

  • Equal opportunity for all
  • Recognition of individual differences
  • Development through the provision of appropriate learning opportunities
  • Constant striving for improvement in the quality of teaching and learning
  • Commitment to the spirit of statutory requirements in legislation for learners with identified SEND


This Special Needs policy describes the provisions made for students who have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of students of the same age who attend Crickhowell High School.  This includes students who have learning difficulties and/or a physical disability, as well as students who find difficulty in adapting to the social and behavioural expectations of the school, and for whom factors within themselves or their environment prevent them from achieving their full potential.

Crickhowell High School recognises that all children have learning needs and that for some these become Special Educational Needs. Whilst we recognise that children with SEND are not a readily defined and discrete group, for the purposes of this policy we have adopted by legal definition from the 1996 Children’s Act A child has a learning difficulty if she/he:

  1. Has sufficiently greater difficulty in learning that the majority of children of the same age
  2. Has a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of the same age in schools/academies within the area
  3. Are under compulsory school age and fall within the definitions in 1 and 2 above or would do so if special educational provision was not made for them.

A child will not be regarded as having a learning difficulty solely because the language of the home is different from the language in which he/she will be taught.

Special educational provision means: Provision which is additional to, or otherwise different from, the educational provision made generally for the child’s age.

There is a continuum of special educational needs which should be reflected in a continuum of provision and that good practice in special needs is at the core of all excellent teaching and learning.

Legal Framework

The national framework within which LAs and schools are required to identify assess and provide for the needs of students with SEND has undergone considerable change over the last decade.

  • In 1993 the general principle that young people with SEND should, where this is what parents/carers want, normally be educated at mainstream schools was enshrined into law.
  • The Salamanca Statement drawn up by UNESCO and supported in the United Kingdom and through the ‘Learning Country’ adopts “as a matter of law or policy the principle of inclusive education, unless there are compelling reasons for doing otherwise”.
  • The 1997 Government Publication Excellence for All Children – Meeting Special Educational Needs set out a strategy to improve standards for students with SEND.
  • In 1998 “SEN – A Programme for Action” was published and in conjunction with the 1999 Disability Rights Task Force Report From Exclusion to Inclusion, the rights of young people to be educated in mainstream schools was strengthened.
  • The revised SEN Code of Practice (January 2002 and most recently 2014), the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001 and the Equality Act 2010 provide a statutory framework upon which our SEND policy is built.
  • The Equality Act 2010 places on all public authorities (including schools) a general duty, when carrying out their functions, to have due regard to the need to:
  1. Promote equality of opportunity between disabled people and other people;
  2. Eliminate discrimination that is unlawful under legislation;
  3. Eliminate harassment of disabled people that is related to their disability;
  4. Promote positive attitudes towards disabled people;
  5. Encourage participation by disabled people in public life;
  6. Take steps to meet disabled people’s needs, even if this requires more favourable treatment.


For young people with special educational needs, the key principles and objectives underpinning this Policy and through which the above aims are to be met are:

  • Education at Crickhowell High School will at all times be inclusive
  • Students with special educational needs will, wherever possible, be fully integrated with other students
  • All students will have access to a full curriculum where work and activity is differentiated to meet their individual need
  • All students with special educational needs will have their needs identified and will have appropriate provision agreed.

We will practise:

  • Early intervention
  • Partnership with parents/carers and carers
  • Promoting high expectations
  • Equality of opportunity
  • Sharing responsibility
  • Continuum of high quality provision
  • High quality trained staff
  • Procedures, which are clear and effective
  • Monitoring, review and evaluation
  • Partnership with young people

We will:

  • Provide students with SEND with a safe and secure environment.
  • Ensure students’ SEND are identified at the earliest possible opportunity.
  • Teach students with SEND together with their peers for as much of the time as possible.
  • Support curriculum staff in their work on curriculum development with particular reference to issues of differentiation, curricular access and entitlement and work with employers in relation to supporting learners in the workplace.
  • Implement a coherent and comprehensive assessment procedure for identifying, meeting, recording and reviewing needs.
  • Adopt the partnership approach as outlined in the Code of Practice and to liaise and work closely in partnership with parents carers and employers and involve them fully in all decisions regarding SEND provision.
  • Provide a variety of support to help all staff to take responsibility for meeting the needs of all students in their classes.
  • Promote staff development in relation to SEND by ensuring that SEND related issues permeate all aspects of staff development in the Trust.
  • Co-ordinate the involvement of outside agencies.

The Management of SEN

Day to day management of special educational needs at Crickhowell High School is delegated to the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) by the Headteacher and the Governors.  One of the Governors has a specific responsibility for special educational needs (Additional Learning Needs).

Management of support for social, emotional or behavioural difficulties is shared between the Student Support Officer and Year Team Leaders and the SENCO where students with statements are concerned.


The particular placement must be recommended by the LA’s professional advisers.  Special Educational Needs reasons must be accepted as essential by the LA as part of the assessment of special educational needs under the 1996 Education Act and the school is named as first preference by the parent/carer.

SEND Facilities

The Learning Support Team led by an ALN Manager, is based within the Learning Support Centre, a purpose designed facility in the centre of the school.  The team supports children both in the classroom and in the Centre itself.  The school is easily accessible to those pupils who may be confined to wheelchairs.  Ramps permit access to all teaching areas within the school.  A centrally situated lift permits access to teaching areas on all three floors.

Resource Allocation

The statement funding allocated to named children with special educational needs is spent on meeting the objectives outlined in their statements.  Other funds are allocated according to need.

Identification Assessment and Review

Children with learning needs are referred to the Learning Support Team for assessment.  This is normally when staff feel that a student may have a special need that is acting as a barrier to his or her learning and the provision that they have made in their own class is proving to be ineffective.  Assessment is carried out through standardised group and individual tests as well as teacher assessment.


The school applies the Powys criteria on dyslexia.  The school identifies children who have dyslexic tendencies and provides support where appropriate.  The department has staff who are experienced in working with children with dyslexia.

Special Arrangements for Examinations

Children who have regularly had support at School Action or above may be entitled to special arrangements for public examinations.  Students will be assessed against the criteria laid down in the guidelines for special exam arrangements.  The decision who should get special arrangements will be made by the school SENCO or any other qualified person in the light of this assessment.


Criteria for Placement on the Code of Practice

All children who may need some form of special provision are recorded on a document known as the Register of Special Needs.  The children are grouped into four categories:

  • Initial Concern:  These children have needs for which special provision may need to be made but this can be provided by the class teacher within the context of his or her classroom.
  • School Action:  When an outside agency has a direct and regular involvement with a child on School Action, they will be moved up to School Action Plus.  If a student has been on School Action Plus for two terms, a request for statutory assessment may be considered.
  • Statement:  Some children with a very high level of need have a statement of special educational need issued by a Local Authority.  This provides additional, secured funding set against clearly defined objectives.

Record Keeping

A record of children on the Code of Practice is available to all staff.  This is known as the Register of Special Educational Needs.  All children on School Action or above have an individual record.

Monitoring and Review

Students that are included on the Register at School Action or above are regularly monitored and reviewed.  They also have an Individual Education Plan.  This is reviewed each term.  Students who have been regularly excluded or who are in danger of permanent exclusion will be given a pastoral support plan (PSP).


Provision can take a variety of forms.  Typical provision consists of  small individual withdrawal groups or, where appropriate, individual withdrawal.  Wherever possible, the school attempts to match the provision to the needs of each child.

Access to the Curriculum

Children with special educational needs have a full curriculum entitlement.  Schemes of work set out how the needs of children with special educational needs will be met in each subject area.  Some children at Key Stage 4 have the opportunity to follow an alternative curriculum.  Some children are given in class support from Teaching Assistants in order to help them access the curriculum.


Where a parent or student has a concern about the SEN provision that is being made, this should first be addressed to the SENCO.  Complaints should follow the procedures outlined in the Crickhowell High School Complaints Policy.

Inset – Staff Development

Staff undertake regular In Service training in issues related to special educational needs.

External Support

The school draws on a variety of outside agencies.  These include the Psychology Service, Powys Speech and Language Service, CAMHS and Careers Wales.


Crickhowell High School recognises the central role of parents in ensuring the correct support structures for their child are in place.  The school takes account of parents’ views and encourages them to attend regular reviews at which they will be involved in shaping the support programme for their child.  During the period when their child is supported, parents will be involved in the process of monitoring and assessment the effectiveness of the intervention.

Further Information: Special Educational Needs

Identification, Assessment and Provision

The school believes in the importance of early identification of special educational needs.  The process of identification begins with a programme of preliminary visits to local primary schools during the latter part of the Autumn term prior to transfer.  At this stage discussions concerning individual needs take place and a programme of assessment is planned.  The assessment takes place in the summer term prior to transfer.  Discussions also take place with the educational psychology service, area support teachers and other services where necessary.  Where appropriate, information is also gathered from parents.

The school will make use of a range of standardised tests of attainment in spelling, reading, mathematics and verbal reasoning alongside other diagnostic and screening measures which assist in planning provision.  Further assessment of children within the National Curriculum enables the school to consider children’s achievement and progress.  The school will give appropriate consideration to children whose first language may not be Welsh or English when identifying and assessing special educational needs.

The school adopts a phased response to give specific help to children, recognising that there is a continuum of special educational needs.  A systematic cycle of planning, action and review is seen as essential to enable the child with SEN to learn and progress.  He school has chosen to adopt the graduated approach of action and intervention of the Code of Practice (2002 updated in 2014).  It has regard for matching provision to needs.  The wishes of the child are given consideration.  Consultation and partnership with parents is a priority.  Outside specialists may be involved where necessary,

School Concern is led by the class teacher/Subject Co-ordinator.  It involves the gathering of information and increased differentiation of the normal classroom work.

The class teacher

  • Identifies the child’s special needs
  • Consults the child’s parents/carers
  • Informs the SENCO who registers the need
  • Collects relevant information on the child
  • Works closely with the child in the normal classroom context monitors and reviews the child’s progress

School Action is triggered when a child, despite receiving differentiated learning opportunities;

  • Makes little or no progress when teaching approaches are targeted in pupil’s identified area of weakness
  • Show signs of difficulty in developing literacy or numeracy skills that result in poor attainment in some curriculum areas
  • Presents persistent emotional and or behavioural difficulties which are not improved by the management techniques usually employed in the school
  • Has sensory or physical problems and continues to make little or no progress despite the provision of specialist equipment
  • Has communication and or interaction difficulties and continues to make little or no progress despite the provision of a differentiated curriculum.

The production of an Individual Education Plan is made.  The IEP should set out:

  • The nature of the child’s difficulties
  • The special educational provision
  • Help from parents
  • Targets to be achieved
  • Pastoral or medical requirements
  • Review arrangements and the date

The SENCO is responsible for educational provision, informing the Headteacher and consulting parents.  The child’s progress is monitored and reviewed.  The child may refer to School Concern, continue at School Action with a revised IEP or move to School Action Plus.

School Action Plus is triggered when a pupil, despite receiving an individualised programme and or concentrated support;

  • Continues to make little or no progress in specific areas over a long period
  • Continues working at National Curriculum levels substantially below that expected of pupils of a similar age.
  • Continues to have difficulty in developing literacy and numeracy skills
  • Has emotional or behavioural difficulties which substantially and regularly interfere with their own learning or that of the class group despite having an individualised behaviour management programme
  • Has sensory or physical needs and requires additional specialist equipment or regular advice or visits providing direct intervention or advice to the staff by a specialist service
  • Has ongoing communication or interaction difficulties that impede the development of social relationships and cause substantial barriers to learning.

The SENCO continues to take a leading role, sharing responsibility with external specialists.  The SENCO will inform the LA whenever a child moves to School Action Plus.

The educational psychology service will play a key role in helping the school to assess information gathered and action taken, planning special provision and reviewing that provision at this phase and in the majority of cases at School Action also.  Again, parents will be informed, whenever possible, in person.  School Action and School Action Plus review meetings will be convened by the SENCO where appropriate.  The review will focus on progress made by the child, the effectiveness of individual provision, updated information and advice, future action and the likelihood of referral for statutory assessment.  The outcome of the review could be a continuation at the designate phase, moving on or back a phase or consideration for referral to the LA for statutory assessment.  Parents/Carers will be encouraged to attend School Action Plus reviews.

The process of review at each phase should be conducted at least within one term.


The school will keep a register of all pupils with Special Educational Needs.  The SENCO will be responsible for keeping effective records.  Records at each phase will inform the approach at the next phase.

The school will seek to offer all its pupils a balanced, broadly based curriculum.  Access will be provided principally through the activities of curricular areas within the school.  Given appropriate information concerning the individual needs of pupils, each subject area may make effective provision without the involvement of SEN staff.  The curriculum, at present, offers core National Curriculum subjects and in addition Humanities, Welsh, a modern foreign language, Art, Design & Technology, PE, Music and Drama.  Schemes of work may be open-ended to allow pupils a role in determining the nature of some of the activities they are involved in.  This helps to promote relevance and encourage participation and a sense of achievement for all pupils.  Teaching and learning styles allow the use of active approaches and incorporate regular opportunities for reinforcement.  There is a flexible approach to pupil groups to promote effective involvement for all pupils in every curricular area.

Pupils are given full access to specific learning tasks via appropriate presentation which includes oral and graphical means.  Pupils may also make effective responses via appropriate means such as recordings, word processing, spell checkers etc.  Classroom resources should be appropriate to pupils with special needs in that the reading materials should be appropriate to the child’s chronological age.  Subject areas are encouraged to consider differentiated tasks and are offered guidance and assistance in the preparation of suitable materials by SEN staff.

In class rooms support is prioritised on the basis of need and is focused principally at KS3.  The arrangements are made to make access to the wider curriculum more effective.  Some withdrawal for small group tuition will take place for statemented pupils or those placed in School Action/Action Plus, thereby enabling precision teaching to be offered as well as strengthening specific literacy skills, giving access to the general curriculum.  It is anticipated that some exemptions from NC subjects will take place but only in exceptional cases.

Pupils with SEN are integrated as fully as possible in all of the activities of the school.  These activities include:

  • Assemblies
  • Sports Activities
  • Educational Visits
  • Fundraising Events
  • Concerts, celebrations, productions

Social integration is encouraged through the activities of the tutor group and through friendship groups at meal and recreational times.  The rooms which are designated as teaching areas for the SEN Department are centrally located within the main building and are adjacent to other teaching rooms.


Staff of the department, both teaching and non-teaching are actively encouraged to attend appropriate professional development courses offered by the LA and by other agencies.  Courses may be identified by the school’s INSET Co-ordinator or by staff themselves from a range of suitable providers e.g. University Education Departments, Professional Associations, Local and national groups associated with SEN.

It is the school’s policy that regular in-service training, to support teaching and non-teaching staff work effectively with pupils with special educational needs, should take place.

The SENCO and departmental staff are also equipped to provide training for colleagues in other departments.

Access to external support services may be secured through the direct involvement of the area educational psychologist.  Visits to the school take place on a regular half term basis with further visits made upon request.   Services available to the school include:

  • Psychological Service
  • Careers Service
  • Support for Hearing Impaired
  • Support for Visually Impaired
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Speech Therapy
  • School Medical Service
  • Clinical Psychological Service
  • Psychiatric Service

The school views the relationship with parents/carers as crucial to effective educational progress and school based action.  The school will take into account the wishes, feelings and knowledge of parents/carers at all stages.  The school will encourage parents/carers to recognise they have responsibilities towards their child.  The school will encourage reinforcement of earning approaches at home by parents.  Difficulties in communicating with parents due to literacy difficulties will be dealt with appropriately.  The school will recognise all those with responsibility for a child and involve them as much as possible in the child’s education.

The school will build upon the strong links that already exist between it and other schools in the area.  This will encourage a wider dissemination of good practice and experience for the benefit of pupils with special needs.

Where necessary, the school will consult other schools in the area to secure effective co-ordination of special educational provision and enhance that provision in the area as a whole.

The school’s formal, initiated contact with Social Services will be made through the Educational Psychologist or through the Educational Welfare Officer.  Liaison and information exchange between the school and these agencies will be arranged according to need and subject to the review phases within the Code of Practice.  Information will be dealt with confidentially.

Through detailed record keeping of a child’s strengths and weaknesses, appropriate teaching and learning strategies may maximise each child’s learning potential.

Indications of the success of the policy will be observed in the extent to which a broad curriculum is accessible to all pupils.  Pupil performance in teacher assessment, national testing and external examinations will be further indicators of success.  The involvement of pupils in the assessment process is seen as desirable.


Crickhowell High School are proud to hold the

NACE Challenge Award for MAT

Policy statement

At Crickhowell High School our motto is ‘Excellence through Endeavour’. As with all schools, Crickhowell High School has a significant number of More Able and Talented Learners. Welsh Government  guidelines suggests that at least the top 20% of students in Welsh schools should be defined as More Able and/or Talented; at CHS we would expect at least 28% of the cohort as being More Able and/or Talented. This means that we have two considerable groups of students with additional educational needs as individuals and we have a duty to provide for them in the best way possible.

We do this through the provision of learning experiences with appropriate degrees of challenge and by developing the learning styles that allow our More Able and Talented students to succeed. CHS believes that appropriate challenge will be applied each day, in each lesson, and as a result More Able and Talented education becomes part of what we do on a day to day basis in the classroom and is then supplemented by specific out of class activities.

Key aims

That all Staff:

  • Understand the meaning of the term ‘More able and Talented’
  • Use a range of suitable identification and assessment procedures to ensure the needs of this group of children are known and understood;
  • Develop and implement strategies to meet the learning needs of these children through differentiation, extended and enriched lessons and through organisational arrangements which support children’ learning and development.
  • Recognise and address underachievement and, in doing so, raise the standards of all children;
  • Enable children to be actively involved in the development of their own talents;
  • Work in partnership with parents / carers to develop their Students talents;
  • Form productive links with external agencies.
  • Identify and extend sector leading practise.

What does More Able and Talented mean?

At CHS, in line with the LEA recommendations we use the following definitions:

  • More Able and Talented is the general term for this concept;
  • Children may be More Able and/ or Talented in diverse fields (academic, creative, sporting, social, leadership);
  • More Able Students would demonstrate a higher ability than average for the class and would often require differentiated tasks and opportunities to learn through challenges;
  • Exceptionally Able Students will be working at two levels above the majority of Students in the class and would sometimes require additional and different provision. This would be supported by an IAP;
  • Talented Students demonstrate an innate talent or skill in creative arts or sporting fields
  • More Able and Talented Students may be “high flyers”, coasters or disaffected

Talents can be in one or more areas, such as:

  • core subjects
  • specific curriculum subjects
  • organisational ability
  • leadership
  • creativity
  • thinking skills
  • social skills

It is important to add that More Able and Talented Students can be:

  • good all-rounders;
  • high achievers in one area;
  • of high ability but with low motivation;
  • of good verbal ability but poor writing skills;
  • very Able with short attention span;
  • very Able with poor social skills;
  • Keen to disguise their ability.

(Deborah Eyre, 1993)

The school recognises that More Able and Talented Students can fall into three broad categories:

High Achievers

  • Students who display a level of ability beyond that of their peers. They are highly motivated and thrive on different and challenging learning experiences


  • Tend to be withdrawn, shy members of the class who choose not to draw attention to themselves


  • Often engage in anti social behaviour as a result of poor motivation or lack of sufficient challenge. If educational needs are not met they can rebel against authority.

Identification Strategies:

We are committed to identifying Students in response to this policy’s definition on More Able and Talented, which will enable us to accurately identify the diverse range of abilities. This will be achieved by using a variety of strategies as part of the identification process. It is not intended to define a pupil as More Able and Talented based on the results of a single strategy, but rather, from a combination of any of the following:

  • Examination results, including NC and other external test marks, school exams, a range of other national tests including CATs (see school assessment policy);
  • Teacher observation and nomination based on course work;
  • Assessment of preferred learning styles based on Gardiner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory;
  • Parent nomination based on skill, interests and abilities. (This will be subject to justification)

Roles and responsibilities

The school recognises that successful provision for More Able and Talented Students is dependent on partnership. We realise that all parties involved in this process have rights and responsibilities that need to be acknowledged and respected. These will include:


  • The school aims to provide a stimulating learning environment for all its Students, this includes the More Able and Talented child;
  • More Able and Talented Students will be asked to set their own rigorous learning targets and will be provided with differentiated work to meet these targets.

Parents/ carers

  • We want our parents/ carers to be aware that we are committed to meeting the needs of all our Students;
  • Parents of Students who are More Able and Talented will be made aware of this and their child’s IAPs will be shared with them

More Able and Talented co-ordinator (Geraint Williams)

  • Develop and revise school policy, according to Welsh Government guidelines
  • Liaise with class teachers and Curriculum Leaders on appropriate policies and practices, and the development of subject-specific checklists
  • Make suggestions for the CPD needs of the School
  • Gather data relating to identification of More Able and Talented Students and implement strategies to raise attainment
  • Communicate with parents of More Able and Talented Students
  • Organise/co-ordinate enrichment activities/curriculum
  • Promote the use of clubs, special events, competitions, etc.
  • Liaise with phases to ensure continuity and good communication
  • Link with relevant association and other external agencies
  • Keep up-to-date with educational literature and bring items of interest to staff
  • Establish a resource bank of relevant and suitable materials
  • Work with the  Learning Resource Centre and other resource bases
  • Develop appropriate community links
  • Monitor and evaluate the provision and suggest improvements to the Leadership Team
  • Work with the Family of Schools to develop good practise

Curriculum Leaders

  • The Directors of Learning will liaise with the More Able and Talented Co-ordinator over the early identification of More Able and Talented Students in his/ her department;
  • Each department will nominate a teacher with responsibility for More Able and Talented Students


  • Identify the MAT students in their groups
  • Teacher should discuss the planning for these groups of Students with the Co-ordinator so as to ensure (s)he meets their needs;
  • A variety of teaching strategies should be used to meet the needs of More Able and Talented Students (see section on Learning and Teaching overleaf).


  • The Governing Body will be responsible for ensuring that this policy is fully implemented;
  • A governor has been given specific responsibility for Students who are More Able and Talented;
  • The Annual Governors’ Report to Parents will comment on the implementation of this policy.

Recognised Teaching and learning strategies to improve MAT provision

  • Positive Setting;
  • Varying groups to suit tasks;
  • Extension opportunities;
  • Student initiated learning opportunities;
  • Differentiated teacher questioning;
  • Targeted use of Teaching assistants;
  • Adopting a problem solving approach;
  • Adopting a skills based approach;
  • Awareness of learning styles;
  • Special tasks of responsibility;
  • Visits by experts;
  • Consultation with LEA Co-ordinator;
  • Use of More Able and Talented Students as tutors and/or mentors
  • Acknowledging Students success through displays/rewards/newsletters
  • Encouraging identified Students to share their expertise and skills, supporting others within and outside the classroom