Our special educational needs and disabilities Provision
Elstree UTC is a mainstream 14 to 19 secondary school and 6th form college for learners with a passion for the multimedia arts, performance and production technology. We provide academic and technical education specialising in the trades and disciplines that make up the Film, TV and Theatre business.
We offer a full time KS4 curriculum (14 to 16) made up of core English, Maths and Science. Alongside this, students must select 4 options from our specialist creative curriculum. At KS5, we are an A level and level 3 post 16 college offering full time academic and technical qualifications with a particular relevance to our specialist industry area.
We are an inclusive school and we offer appropriate and reasonable support to students with Special Educational Needs. We are not a specialist SEND centre or and alternative provision, however we do support students with learning difficulties through ‘quality first’ differentiated teaching and additional support where available and appropriate.
As a University Technical College, training our young people for work and further specialist training, the learning environment is deliberately ‘grown up’. Students will need to have a passion for our specialisms, be personally motivated and ready to work a longer college day.
The college will consider all students regardless of their Special Educational Needs if they have a clear desire to achieve within the specialties that we offer and providing that they are able to work within our professional and autonomous learning environment with ‘reasonable adjustments’. We do have a small SEND / Learning Support team who can support students with an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP) providing the learning needs are appropriate to a mainstream educational context. Admissions for SEND students follow the same route as all students’ admissions in agreement with the LEA policy, based on the principles of equality of opportunity and access for all.
How does the EUTC know if children/young people need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?
If your child/young person is transferring to the EUTC and already has special educational need, the previous educational establishment should inform us of any special needs as part of the transition process.
As part of the transition there are several opportunities for parents to alert the EUTC to any special educational need of their child/young person. Firstly in the application form that is required to apply for a place at the college. Secondly in the initial consultation that parents/carers have in discussing a move to the college. Thirdly in the evening for parents/carers that follows the induction day. And lastly in the welcome to the EUTC evening events that are held at the beginning of the college year.
On entry to the EUTC, all students are screened on key cognitive skills, language skills and certain core academic skills. This data, used alongside the KS2 data, can pick up potential difficulties at the earliest stage. If a child/young person falls into any of the following categories:
they are working at National Curriculum levels significantly below those designated for their age;
they make little or no progress despite receiving a differentiated curriculum;
they display poor communication skills, expressive and/or receptive skills;
they require greater attention than most in the class;
they require specialist equipment or support for sensory/ physical difficulties;
they score poorly on group tests or individually administered standardised tests of attainment and/or ability;
they display a specific difficulty in an area of the curriculum;
The staff are trained to recognise signs of learning difficulties and to raise any concerns with the SENDCo so that such areas of need are spotted early and that support can be coordinated promptly.
The EUTC talks to children/young people to find out how they are feeling about their learning both through the studio system and the learning support team.
The EUTC listens to parents. Sometimes, the first signs of difficulty are picked up through conversation at home so parents/carers are always welcome to contact the college to talk about concerns.
How will the EUTC staff support my child?
The EUTC promotes a mainstream inclusive education for all students, empowering everyone to achieve.
Classroom teachers have been trained and are expected to use differentiation and extension activities for all lessons to promote a positive learning environment for all students. Staff have access to all information and files for SEND students via SIMs. Where groups are set this is reviewed regularly by Heads of Subject and SENDCo and changes made when appropriate.
Each student is assigned to a learning base with a Form Tutor who will be with them on their journey through the EUTC. They meet for 15 minutes every day and complete a regular academic progress check with individual students to discuss how learning is advancing. Tutors will refer any concerns to the SENDCo.
Heads of Studio work vertically allowing them to see a student’s progress over their entire time at the college. This provides another member of staff for students to turn to for support within the Pastoral System and someone who can identify if the student is struggling within their learning. Again the HOS will refer to the SENDCo if they have any concerns.
The SENDCo works to provide discrete intervention opportunities for those students who need extra support. The main emphasis is on providing students with the strategies to cope independently within the learning environment. The college does not provide any in-class additional support rather pre-learning opportunities or withdrawal in small groups to focus on and build particular areas of learning. At EUTC we strongly recommend the fullest curriculum possible for all students and organise withdrawal only if necessary due to individuals’ special needs of education. Sometimes it is necessary to make adjustments in order for students to access the curriculum (timetabling of rooms etc); in these cases, the SENDCo will offer advice to departments on the most appropriate way to support the student.
The work of the SENDCo is supported by the Principal and the Board of Governors (there is a named governor with responsibility for ensuring students with SEND are appropriately supported and challenged to achieve their full potential and beyond. The principal also has oversight of teaching and learning standards and is responsible with the SENDCo, the Senior Leadership Team and the Board of Governors to ensure that teaching standards are high and quality first line teaching empowers and challenges all students including the most able and those with SEND.
How will I know how my child is doing?
In the first instance EUTC is committed to providing good quality teaching and high aspirations for all. EUTC has a strong relationship with its students working to get to know them as individuals and what will help them to become effective learners.
At regular points throughout the academic year staff provide data drops that reflect how students are working at currently in their respective areas these are scrutinised by the Heads of Subject, SLT and SENCo for progress and any student that is not making adequate progress or is falling significantly behind is raised as a concern. Each student is then met with to explore possible reasons for their lack of progress and a EUTC learning passport is put into place to create strategies to move forward. This is done in conjunction with parents who are invited to participate in any conversations around their child/young person’s learning. This is reviewed every data drop with the student to check that progress is being made.
Parents can monitor the academic progress of their child/young person through the regular academic reports that are sent home. This allows parents to track their child/young person’s progress and to break down their grades to identify specific areas that may need require improvement.
Parents of all of our students are invited to parent’s evenings throughout the year. This allows parents to meet and talk to all their child/young person’s subject teachers. If your child/young person has SEND and you would like to discuss their overall progress with the SENCo you can also do this at these evenings.
EUTC prides itself on its strong home/college liaison. If you have concerns about your child/young person’s progress or the support they are receiving as part of their SEND provision please do contact the college to discuss it further.
If your child/young person has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) you will have the opportunity to meet with the SENCo three times a year to discuss your child/young person’s progress towards their outcomes. The EHCP will be officially reviewed on an annual basis.
The effectiveness of the EUTC’s provision is evaluated through student parent/carer surveys and student and parent forum alongside the annual SEND report to Governors. The SEND link Governor meets with the SENDCo bi-annually to discuss progress with this area of the college.
How will the learning and development provision be matched to my child's needs?
The EUTC organises the additional support for learning into 3 different levels (also called waves).
Wave 1 (Universal): describes quality inclusive teaching which takes into account the learning needs of all the students in the classroom. This includes providing differentiated work and creating an inclusive learning environment. If students are not making sufficient progress then they will be assessed and move into wave 2, if it is deemed that an intervention around learning is required to help them make progress.
Wave 2 (Targeted): describes specific, additional and time-limited interventions provided for some students who need help to accelerate their progress to enable them to work at or above age-related expectations. Wave 2 interventions are often targeted at a group of pupils with similar needs. The college uses the ‘Assess, Plan, Do, Review’ model to create an individual learning passport for students. Parents are a key part of this conversation about their child/young person’s learning as our students in giving their views about how best to help them progress.
Wave 3 (Specialist): describes targeted provision for a minority of students where it is necessary to provide highly tailored intervention to accelerate progress or enable students to achieve their potential. This may include specialist interventions and is implemented through an EHCP. This is reviewed three times a year with Parents and any other professionals involved with the student.
What support will there be for my child's overall wellbeing?
“The single most important factor in seeing young people achieve highly in this context is that they study something they love and value and that they feel safe, well liked and confident in their learning community.” Chris Mitchell, Principal
The EUTC has a dedicated staff who are all of the pastoral team who ensure all students feel secure and happy to be able to thrive in the learning environment. Learning Base Tutors, Heads of Studio, SENCo and Student Support Services Officers (SSSO).
The EUTC has a Base (Base Sixty-Seven) which offers a safe and inclusive environment for students to come to throughout the college day. The base is always staffed by at least one member of staff who is experienced in offering support for any emotional and social difficulties.
The Base ensures that your child/young person can always find someone to talk to if they have any worries.
Each Year group belongs to a vertical studio with a Head of Studio who works closely with the tutor team to ensure all students are supported and happy.
If your child has more complex emotional or mental health issues the SENCO will liaise with you about additional measures we can offer to help them overcome them (such as mentoring, counselling or coaching).
An evaluated Personal, Health, Social and Economic (PHSE) curriculum that aims to provide students with the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to enhance their emotional and social knowledge and well-being.
The college has a student forum drawn from all year groups to facilitate student engagement.
The EUTC has a zero tolerance approach to any form of bullying. Staff have been trained to recognise signs of bullying and refer any concerns to the Assistant Head for behaviour. The college aims to deal with any indicators of bullying in a decisive and expedited approach.
The EUTC will always uphold its duty to make arrangements to fully support students with medical conditions. The SENCo will co-ordinate any learning needs with specified types and levels of support required and raise an individual healthcare plan if necessary.
What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by EUTC?
The EUTC is an institution that is built on helping students to find their element:
“The Element is about discovering yourself, and you can't do this if you're trapped in a compulsion to conform. You can't be yourself in a swarm.” Ken Robinson
The college has had a number of successful cases where student who were ‘square pegs in round holes’ in their previous institutions came to the EUTC and found their element enabling them to overcome issues such as school anxiety. The college also has a strong record in helping students with dyslexic tendencies exploring strategies that enable individual working practice.
The SENDCo and Pastoral Team work closely with many outside agencies to provide provision to support a wide range of needs. A list of these can be found on the School Offer Table Appendix A. Many of these agencies work on an outreach basis and come into college however some are off site. As a parent/carer you will be informed of any involvement your child/young person has with any outside agency before it takes place.
Any distinct learning need that requires specific external intervention will be triggered through the EUTC Learning Passport and will be discussed fully with the student and the parent/carer before implementation.
What training have the staff, supporting children and young people with SEND, had or are having at EUTC?
The SENDCo is an experienced teacher and is currently completing a National Award for SEN Coordination course as well as being the Designated Safeguarding Lead and the behavioural lead within the college. This package of inclusive responsibilities helps to create rounded pictures of individual students.
Teachers and new staff are trained as part of their induction package and within weekly CPL on:
Inclusive teaching for all students
SEN information and IEPs
Strategies to support SEND students
Access arrangement for exams and assessments
The college uses staff who are under allocation to implement interventions as the college does not at present employ any specific learning support assistants. Interventions are regularly monitored to check their effectiveness in helping students progress through the regular data drops and through progression in individual subject areas.
How will you support my child's learning?
The EUTC operates a Google Classroom within all areas of learning at the college. This means that all parents/carers have access to their child/young person’s classes and can see regular updates on what is expected in terms of work. Parent/carers are always welcome to contact individual members of staff to get clarification of expectations and progression through email and/or phone.
The college also operates an Xpressions app that synchronises with SIMs the school information system to allow parent/carers to see attendance, achievement and behaviour data.
If your child/young person has a EUTC Learning Passport or a EHCP than regular meetings will be held around strategies to support your child/young person’s learning both at college and at home.
Parents will be invited to attend specific events during the academic year e.g. Options Evening which give further support to parents and students. There will be opportunities to speak to the SENCo at these events to discuss things in light of your child’s SEND.
Parents are always welcome to contact their child’s support team (Tutor and/or HOS) for ongoing advice.
How will I be involved in discussions about and planning for my child's education?
Parent/carers are key to any child/young person’s development and progress, at EUTC we want to maintain strong lines of communication and make sure that you are involved at all times in the learning community that we are building.
At an individual level all parent/carers will be an integral part of their child/young person’s learning particularly if there is an SEND need. This will be maintained through an EUTC Learning Passport at Wave 2 and an EHCP at Wave 3.
At a macro level parent/carers are encouraged to become part of the EUTC community through the parent/carers forum and/or as a parent governor. The role of parent governor could also entail taking the lead as SEND link governor and directly overseeing practice.
The SEND policy is available on the EUTC website and any review process will follow a consultation with parent/carers.
The EUTC is committed to involving all stakeholders in any review/evaluation of SEND practice and how it can be developed.
How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?
The EUTC will provide provisions that enables all of its learners to access every aspect of the curriculum including any necessary risk assessments and access arrangements to activities that occur outside of the confines of the classroom. See Educational Trips and Visits Policy on the EUTC website.
How accessible is the EUTC environment?
EUTC is Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) compliant in terms of its building and services throughout the college with the exception of the dance studio.
Students with a physical disability are able to access lessons upstairs if suitable to their needs, as there is lift access and staff are EVAC trained in the case of an emergency.
There are allocated disabled parking spaces located close to the reception.
There is a disabled toilet on all floors of the college including a gender neutral toilet.
Students are encouraged to follow the BYOD policy and work with digital technologies this allows a wide level of access to learning for a variety of needs. The use of Google Classroom further develops the way that students can access learning digitally allowing for pre and/or post learning.
Who can I contact for further information?
In the first instance the Tutor or the HOS can help with any general enquiries.
If you have any queries about the support your child/young person is receiving in the college please contact the SENCO:
phone: 020 8386 6220
If you have any formal complaints around the provision of SEND at the college then you should follow the college complaints procedure which can be found on the EUTC policies and reports page:
How will EUTC prepare and support my child to join the college, transfer to a new school or the next stage of education and life?
All students will undertake an introductory meeting with a member of the college staff to establish any learning requirements and to discuss a suitable curriculum.
All Year 9 and Year 11 students are invited to the college for a one day induction. This will give individuals an opportunity to mix with their peers and introduce them to the support network within the college environment, Tutors, HOS, SENDCo and SSSO’s.
The college would be appreciative of the opportunity to attend the EHCP annual review of any student who expresses a desire to join the college.
Any student wishing to seek a transfer to another educational establishment the EUTC will help by complying with the transfer of all student information and speaking with any relevant parties about an individual's learning needs.
Students are regularly given opportunities to work within a professional context either internally through live briefs or externally in actual professional situations helping them to realise the possibilities that are open to them. Students are also exposed to a number of external practitioners who deliver talks on their experiences and relay to students how they can find a pathway into the industry.
The EUTC provides a number of events exploring pathways, post 16 and beyond Sixth Form, looking at apprenticeships and educational possibilities.
Students in Sixth Form have the opportunity to follow the college UCAS process to receive support with completing university applications.
EUTC encourages students to become active and independent learners and prepares them for adulthood.
arents may like to use the website of the National Careers Service that offers information and professional advice about education, training and work to people of all ages. https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk or examine options identified in the local offer published by the local authority which sets out details of SEND provision - including the full range of post-16 options – and support available to children and young people with SEND to help them prepare for adulthood, including getting a job.
How are the college's resources allocated and matched to children's special educational needs?
The school receives funding to respond to the needs of students with SEND from a number of sources that include:
A proportion of the funds allocated per student to the school to provide for their education called the Age Weighted Pupil Unit.
The Notional SEN budget. This is a fund devolved to schools to support them to meet the needs of students with SEND.
The Pupil Premium funding provides additional funding for students who are claiming Free School Meals, who are in the care of the local authority or whose parents are in the Armed Services.
For those students with the most complex needs, the school may be allocated additional educational needs funding from the Local Authorities High Needs SEN Funding allocation.
This funding is then used to provide the equipment and facilities to support students with special educational needs and disabilities. These target the broad areas of need:
Communication and interaction
Cognition and learning
Social, emotional and mental health
Sensory and/or physical
For students with highly individual needs, the school will make a bid for Exceptional Needs Funding to provide additional support in school. This can be dedicated teaching assistant support or specialised learning aids.
If parents wish to discuss the options available for their child, they are welcome to make an appointment to see the SENCo or a member of the Senior Leadership Team.
How is the decision made about how much support my child will receive?
The EUTC will comply with legislation to ensure that the decision about the level of support for any individual child/young person is reached through discussion with all parties concerned, the child/young person and the parent/carer. All parties will be made aware of the provisions available at the college and through the local offer. Any intervention or provision put into place will be clearly planned and reviewed to make all parties responsible in its implementation.
How can I find information about the local authority's Local Offer of services and provision for children and young people with special education needs and disability?
To learn more about the services and provision Hertfordshire offer for children and young people with special educational needs and disability please look at Hertfordshire’s Local Offer which can be found here: http://directory.hertsdirect.org/kb5/hertfordshire/directory/localoffer.page
School Offer Table
Elstree UTC is an inclusive school and may offer the following range of provision to support children with SEND