(Special Educational Needs  & Disabilities)

SENCO - Mrs Griffiths

Diane Griffiths  

Mrs Griffiths is our special educational needs co-odinator. If you have any questions or would like to find out more about our SEND provision, please contact Mrs Griffiths by emailing


The SEND team is a highly skilled, specialist team consisting of: 

SENDCO – Mrs D Griffiths (Assistant Principal)

Multi-Lingual Tutor – 

Learning Support Assistants with Year group responsibilities - Mrs L Rutter, Mrs C McGowan, Mr K Smith, Mr T Knight.

Learning Support Assistants (C&I – EMS) 

Learning Manager (ASD – EMS) - Mrs C Scott.

Access Arrangements – Mr R Gaston (Qualified teacher of SEND)

Inclusion Coordinator - Ms E Graham

Bridge Manager - Ms N Hussain

SEND Admin Assistant - Mrs R  Harrison


SEND Information Report - March 2021

What is SEND?

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Students may have Special Educational Needs either throughout, or at any time during, their learning journey.

Children have Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities if they have a learning difficulty which requires special educational provision.

Below are links to the new national guidance for SEND (September 2014): a look at the Local Offer website for information and services for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their families living in Stockton. 


SEND Vision

Thornaby Academy believes that all children are unique and irreplaceable. All stakeholders feel an overwhelming sense of belonging and this creates a supportive and inspiring school where inclusivity is at the heat.  It is vitally important for every one of our students to experience success every single day. Staff and students work together as a team to ensure this happens. All stakeholders understand the importance of targeted, appropriate intervention to allow achievement beyond expectation.

The Academy provides a broad and balanced curriculum for all students. The National Curriculum is our starting point for planning that meets the specific needs of individuals and groups of students. When planning, teachers set suitable learning outcomes and respond to student’s diverse learning needs. Some students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) may require additional personalisation of the curriculum to support their specific learning needs.

SEND Objectives

  • To provide appropriate provision that is tailored to an individual’s needs.
  • To create an environment that meets the SEND of each student.
  • To ensure that the SEND of students are identified, assessed and provided for and this provision is reviewed regularly.
  • To make clear the expectations of all stakeholders in the process.
  • To identify the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders in providing for students’ SEND.


The Academy provides a broad and balanced curriculum for all students. Students are allocated to distinct Learning Pathways according to their individual learning needs. Some students may require additional personalisation of the curriculum to support their specific learning needs and this is coordinated by the Director of Inclusion. All students are expected to attend all timetabled sessions. The Academy supports SEND students in a manner that acknowledges their entitlement to share the same learning experiences that their peers enjoy. In class support is deployed to support students with SEND in the classroom.

Where possible, class sizes are small to allow for a more personalised approach to learning for the students.


Early identification is vital. Academy staff will inform parents at the earliest opportunity to alert them to concerns and enlist their active help and participation.

The class teacher, Pastoral staff and the Director of Inclusion assess and monitor the student’s progress in line with Academy practices.

The on-going assessment of students’ attainment reflects as far as possible their participation in the whole curriculum of the Academy. Teachers, supported by the Director of Inclusion can scaffold and break down the assessment into smaller steps in order to aid progress and provide detailed and accurate indicators of academic progress.

The Director of Inclusion works closely with parents and teachers to plan an appropriate programme of intervention and support. An individual Learning Plan is created. (ILP)


Where it is decided to provide a pupil with SEN support, parents will be formally notified. Necessary adjustments, interventions and support to be put in place will be agreed. Expected impact on progress, development or behaviour will be recorded and a clear date for review will be set.  All staff are aware of a student’s individual needs via an Individual Learning Plan (ILP). ILP’s are working documents for students with SEND written by the Director of Inclusion and Support in partnership with the student, parents, previous educational settings and any outside specialists involved with the child. All Academy staff are responsible for ensuring the plan is followed and appropriate provision is in place so that each child with SEND can participate effectively in every aspect of Academy life.


SEND intervention is coordinated by the Director of Inclusion and Support.
Quality teaching in the classroom supports the majority of students.
Some students require more intensive levels of support:


The effectiveness of the support and interventions and their impact on the student’s progress will be reviewed in line with the agreed date. Where, despite the Academy having taken relevant and purposeful action to identify, assess and meet the SEN of the child, the child or young person has not made expected progress, the Academy will request an Education, Health and Care needs assessment.  SEND reviews occur regularly throughout the year.

Reviews involve updates to ILP's in consultation with parents and the student. Any outside agent involved is also asked to contribute to ensure provision is appropriate and effective.

Education, Health and Care Plans

If at any time the Academy feels that a student is not making the expected levels of progress despite all attempts to support academic achievement and social wellbeing the Director of Inclusion will discuss the possible need for an Education, Health and Care Plan.

Follow this link for more information on this process:


Thornaby Academy is proud to introduce an Enhanced Mainstream School (Inspire Hub) SEND provision for students with communication and interaction as their primary need.. Our EMS opened in September 2017 welcomes 10 students with specific social communication needs:

The provision includes a dedicated state of the art teaching and social space. The students will also access mainstream classes at a time and as appropriate to their individual needs. This provision accepts admission of students in school years 7 to the first term of year 10. There is an expectation that some students will reintegrate to mainstream education, however it is recognised that SEND students with communication and interaction as their primary need requiring EMS Provision at secondary level may need to continue to access this support to varying degrees throughout their secondary education.

Following placement in our provision by Stockton Borough Council’s One Point Panel there will be an eight week review and subsequently internal Academy reviews will be at least termly.

The intention is for students not only to make good progress in relation to their social communication, interaction and behaviour but also to make at least expected academic progress overall from their starting points and in some cases accelerated progress.

All provision ensures that students are appropriately supported according to their needs throughout the whole Academy day including social times.

Transport may be provided for students in line with Stockton Borough Council’s Transport Policy.


The Academy receives funding based on 'Age-Weighted Pupil Unit' (AWPU). This means that the Academy’s budget is based on the number of students on roll. A percentage of this budget is used for SEND each year.
Fixed costs for SEND at Thornaby Academy include:

  • Specialist teaching staff
  • Small class sizes
  • Literacy and Additional Mathematics sessions
  • An alternative KS4 curriculum option
  • Additional adult support in class
  • ICT
  • One to One assessment of need by a SEND specialist teacher
  • One to One assessment of need by an Educational Psychologist
  • Future Steps intervention
  • Supported Enrichment
  • Before and after school intervention sessions

Some students require additional specialised intervention that cannot be covered by AWPU. In these circumstances the Academy applies for “SEND Top Up” from the Local Authority. An individual application has to be made for each individual student as and when the need arises. If the application is successful funds are allocated to a child for a specific educational purpose.


As a parent, you are the expert on your child. Thornaby Academy knows that best outcomes for a child can only be achieved with parental involvement and support.

We encourage parents to access support from staff within the Academy:

  • Tutors
  • Pastoral Team: Ms  Atkinson, Mrs Graham, Mr Riley
  • Director of Inclusion: Mrs C Parker

Please email or phone us to make an appointment.

We also encourage parents to access local support groups:

Stockton United for Change

Daisy Chain

Stockton Borough Council 0-25 SEN Team


Local Offer 

Special Needs Activities with Parent Support (SNAPS)

Families Information Service 


School transition is a stressful time for a student and the family. Thornaby Academy wants to make this process as enjoyable as possible for all involved.

Parents can request a meeting with the Director of Inclusion to discuss their child’s specific needs with regards to transition at any time.

We work closely with feeder primaries to gather and share information about each individual student. If your child has a SEND your primary SENCo will invite you to attend a meeting with the Academy Director of Inclusion during Year 6 to ensure a suitable, personalised enhanced transition plan is in place.

This plan can include:
  • Academy Learning Support Assistants working with your child
  • 1:1 Academy tour
  • Meeting Academy SEND students to discuss Academy life
  • Meeting Academy teaching staff
  • Coming to the Academy for lunch
  • Coming to the Academy for half and full days

Our SEND Year 11 students benefit from additional support when transferring to Post 16.

This plan can include:
  • Securing funding for additional support
  • Personalised visits to establishments
  • Taster sessions with support
  • Transition meetings with Post 16 support staff
  • Youth Directions Personal Advisor Support

Local Offer

Stockton’s Local Offer provides information to parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities, aged 0 – 25, to help them to understand what services and support, they and their families can expect from a range of local agencies within the local authority and neighbouring area.

Stockton's Local Offer


For issues relating to complaints  from parents of SEN pupils concerning the provisions made at Thornaby Academy, please refer to our complaints policy.