Hurworth Secondary School
Read key facts about Hurworth Secondary School in Darlington, its delegation of special educational needs (SEN) funding, the system it used and how it evaluated value for money (VfM).
- Number on roll – 651.
- Percentage on free school meals (FSM) – 9.2 per cent.
- Percentage of pupils identified as having SEN – 2.3 per cent.
- Number of statements of SEN – 25 (includes those attending additionally resourced provision) – (3.8 per cent of school roll; 39 per cent of identified SEN).
- Number identified at School Action – 23 (3.4 per cent of school roll; 36 per cent of identified SEN).
- Number identified at School Action Plus – 16 (2.4 per cent of school roll; 25 per cent of identified SEN).
- Total number of SEN pupils – 64 (9.8 per cent of school roll).
- Number of pupils in public care – 5 (4 identified with SEN).
- Number of pupils with English as an additional language (EAL) – 6 (0 identified with SEN).
- GCSE results 2007: five A* to C – 95 per cent; five A* to C (including English and mathematics) – 76 per cent.
- GCSE results 2008: five A* to C – 93.8 per cent; five A* to C (including English and mathematics) – 65.9 per cent.
- Number of permanent exclusions in the last three years – 2.
- The school has additionally resourced provision for 12 pupils with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD).
Delegation of SEN funding
The school spending on SEN was dictated by the needs of the pupils and not by the notional SEN budget allocated to the school. When deploying the budget, the school took into account the following factors.
- The provision or funding required by statements of SEN.
- The provision or funding required by need of pupils attending the additionally resourced provision for pupils with ASD (usually specified in a statement of SEN).
- The provision or funding required to meet the identified needs of all pupils using a costed provision map.
The deputy headteacher was also the school SENCO and was supported by an experienced higher-level teaching assistant (HLTA). This support gave vulnerable pupils (including those identified as having SEN) a central focus within the school.
The school provided each department and member of staff with an SEN folder, which was updated regularly. The SENCO reviewed the progress and needs of every individual vulnerable pupil with the relevant team, on a weekly basis, and gave parents regular updates (at least termly).
Provision would vary as the outcome of these meetings required and as needs changed.
- Tuesday morning meeting with the behaviour outreach support team in school and with outside agencies, for example Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and LA behaviour support team, to review the individual needs and progress of every pupil.
- Wednesday morning meeting with the SEN team and outside agencies, for example paediatricians, speech and language therapists, to review the individual needs and progress of every pupil. This also included pupils who were in the care system or appeared on the vulnerable pupil list.
- Wednesday morning meeting with Connexions to monitor the transition plans for Year 9, 10 and 11 pupils and to make adjustments as the need arose.
- Friday morning meeting with extended pastoral support team to discuss issues that had arisen with pupils that week and to agree strategies and interventions for the following week.
- Friday afternoon meeting with school counsellor to review the individual needs and progress of each pupil on the case load and refer new students for support.
The SENCO provided a weekly update for staff (orally, in writing and using secure email) on changes that could affect individual pupils’ progress or behaviour. For example, changes to foster care arrangements for a pupil or the introduction of new intervention systems for a pupil or group of pupils.
For each pupil identified as having SEN, there was a written programme of reasonable adjustments that were to be made to the school system, which included:
- adjustments to the curriculum and how staff should manage those reasonable adjustments
- how they fit into the whole-school mentoring arrangements
- the outcomes anticipated for that pupil.
Every Child Matters (ECM) outcomes were part of the school’s approach to meeting need, as pupils are prepared for life, not just for GCSEs.
Using the map of costed provision, the SENCO and the SEN team were able to identify quickly where planned interventions were not delivering the expected two levels of progress, and adapt or change the interventions. They were also able to make swift amendments when a pupil’s circumstances changed and he or she required different or amended support. The school and the LA had evidence to show that progress made by pupils with SEN was as good as that made by their non-SEN peers.
The progress of vulnerable pupils was monitored on a weekly basis, with progress reported to parents (at least) termly. Every pupil identified as having SEN met with the SENCO on a monthly basis so that pupils could review their own progress, discuss any concerns and set their own targets for the forthcoming month. Performance indicators for value-added target setting were in place to track the progress of pupils working below level 1.
The school had a monitoring team made up of senior staff within the school, which monitored and tracked the progress of all pupils on a monthly basis. The SENCO met regularly with LA monitoring staff to track the progress of individual pupils.
Every pupil is seen as an individual, and school policies – which are developed by the whole school with the involvement of pupils and parents or carers – while applied consistently are also applied to pupils on an individual basis, taking into account pupils’ needs and context.