SEND Information Report

Last update 14.8.23

RoleDesignated PersonContact details
SENCOHelen  Dickenson 
Emily Webster 
[email protected] 
[email protected]  
Co-PrincipalsHelen  Dickenson 
Emily Webster 
[email protected] 
[email protected]
SEND GovernorLynne Goodwyn[email protected]
Other senior leaders with responsibility for SENDAmanda Jebb (EYFS & Lower School)
Laura Goodfellow (Middle School)
Helen Dickenson and Emily Webster (Upper School)
[email protected]  
[email protected]  
[email protected] [email protected]  
Pastoral Support LeadsAmanda Jebb (EYFS & Lower School)
Laura Goodfellow (Middle School)
Helen Dickenson and Emily Webster (Upper School)
[email protected]  
[email protected]  
[email protected] [email protected]  
Designated safeguarding leadHelen Dickenson[email protected] 
Designated teacher for looked after childrenHelen Dickenson[email protected]
Mental Health LeadAmanda Jebb[email protected]
Behaviour LeadAmanda Jebb[email protected]
Attendance LeadEmily Webster[email protected] 

Last update 14.8.23

RoleInformationContact details
Educational PsychologistVia SEND Family ServicesSuffolk InfoLink | *SEND Family Services 
Local SEND Information & Support ServicesHome – Suffolk SENDIASS [email protected] 
Local Authority SEN TeamSuffolk InfoLink | *SEND Family Services[email protected] 
[email protected]  
Behaviour Support TeamSusie Mawson 
Children’s Community Learning Disabilities Nursing Team – Behaviour Support – Suffolk County Council 
[email protected]  
Sensory Impairment ServiceSuffolk InfoLink | Sensory & Physical (S&P) Service [email protected]  
Wheelchair Services Wheelchair services ( [email protected]  
Integrated Community Paediatric Services Suffolk InfoLink | *Integrated Community Paediatric Services East Suffolk – 01473 321200 
West Suffolk – 01284 741700 
IPSEAIndependent Provider of Special education Advice
Council for Disabled ChildrenAdvice & resources for professionals and parents

Thomas Wolsey Ormiston Academy is a specialist SEND school which offers inclusive, day education to pupils aged 3 to 16, who have complex physical, medical and/ or sensory needs with associated learning difficulties. There are currently 105 pupils on roll.

The academy’s catchment area includes the whole of Suffolk Local Authority. Very occasionally, pupils are accepted from surrounding Local Authorities, subject to agreement with Suffolk LA.

All pupils of statutory school age, attending Thomas Wolsey Ormiston Academy have an Education, Health, and Care Plan.

Children are referred to our assessment nursery by the Local Authority. During their time in the nursery, children will be assessed by a range of professionals including advisory teachers, educational psychologists, paediatricians, health visitors and GPs to decide what provision they need and whether the academy is best placed to meet them. A Local Authority SEND panel makes the final decision as to whether their needs will be met by TWOA once they reach statutory school age.

Please see our ‘Admissions’ page on this website.

Please see the ‘Policies and Privacy Notices’ page on this website

We work in close partnership with families over many aspects of their child’s education and are guided by their knowledge and experience which is shared through time-tabled meetings such as the Annual Review and Parent/Carer Evenings and less formerly, on a day-to-day basis through our pastoral support structure. We do seek views from ParentView but uptake on this is low which often prohibits any meaningful data. Our Annual Reviews provide us with the best source of information.

Comments from the 22-23 Annual Reviews can be found here.

Periodically, we hold surveys to seek parent/carer opinion about specific school-wide issues, e.g. reading. Due to their disability, many pupils are on the CIN (Child in Need) register which offers additional opportunities for partnership working between families and professionals. For pupils who are Children in Care, parents are involved in all meetings in line with the care order that is in place.

Parents/carers are encouraged to continue supporting learning in the home through the provision of the Learning Map targets and strategies. They are encouraged to take part in other events that happen throughout the year such as EYFS ‘Stay and Play’ sessions and and ‘Share Sessions’ where specialist approaches may be modelled and learning packs sent home.

The parents/carers of pupils accessing learning remotely will also have opportunities to see specialist approaches modelled in class. We aim to provide all pupils accessing remote learning with a minimum of one class-based Teams session daily in addition to physical learning packs.

The annual review process lies at the heart of everything we do. Unless there is good reason not to, all children and young people from Year 7 and up attend their review and where appropriate, younger children will too. Reviews start with pupil voice in a format relevant for that pupil.

‘Consulting’ emerging learners and our youngest children must be done through observation, reflective practice and close partnership working with families and other professionals. Tools such as the Engagement Model are rooted in these principles and provide a structure for staff to ‘listen’ to the voice of the pupil and tailor provision according to each pupil’s interests and motivations.

Pupil feedback on our curriculum offer and special events is sought through surveys and evaluation forms where relevant, sometimes pupil-led. Pupils are also encouraged to evaluate all educational visits and inform future visits and opportunities and be involved in the choice and organisation of key events in the school calendar such as fundraising days, sports day, educational visits and activity days.

There are various forums that pupils can join at academy level and Trust level, including the School Council and the Student Voice Council.

Please see our ‘Assessment’ page on this website.

Transition between different phases within school is carefully planned and pupils are given time and tools to adjust to new settings. Further opportunities such as transition enrichment activities typically accompany the usual transition days, especially when transitioning from Primary to Secondary.

Transition to post 16 provision begins in Year 9 with preparations for adulthood central to the curriculum offer and annual review process. Year 11s participate in a year-long College Link programme which provides them with weekly opportunities in the autumn and summer terms to spend time at different FE, (Further Education) colleges.

Bespoke careers based opportunities are offered in Key Stage 4 and tailored to the needs and interests of each child. For more information see our ‘Careers Education’ page on this website.

The cognitive ability, types of disability and the age range of our learners varies widely. We therefore employ a wide range of specialist methods and approaches which are driven by the needs of each learner.

We work closely with therapists, social services, sensory services and other professionals to provide a holistic, child-centred, multi-professional approach.

As a special school, the provision within Thomas Wolsey Ormiston Academy specifically addresses SEND.

The curriculum is child-centred and combines personalised programmes of study with the class programmes of study to ensure each pupil accesses learning in ways and at a level that is appropriate to their needs and ability.

Class sizes are small and have a high staff-pupil ratio to provide learners with the extra levels of support that they need.

The curriculum is organised around the key areas of need of the EHCP to ensure provision is weighted appropriately. Curriculum provision is delivered in full consultation with therapists – e.g. PD (Physical Development Programmes) are developed alongside the Physiotherapists, Communication and Literacy programmes alongside the Speech and Language Therapists.

Further specialist methods and approaches are built into the curriculum offer such as TACPAC, Sensology, sensory-story-telling and music therapy.

The school has a number of specialist learning environments including sensory dens in most classes, a sensory studio and a sensory room for our learners requiring a more immersive environment or intensive sensory work.

All school staff are receive a core training offer which ensures the safeguarding and care needs of all children are met. This is an ongoing cycle of training which is refreshed each year through PD days and twilights. It includes safeguarding updates tailored to a specialist school setting, feeding, postural management and positioning for learning, manual handling, administration of medication, management of medical conditions including asthma, epilepsy and anaphylaxis.

Training tailored to individual pupils is offered within class and school time and delivered through the Speech and Language Therapists, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and the Moving and Handling Instructor who are based on site. The CCTN (Community Children’s Nursing Team) offer further medical training and support on a needs basis, e.g. instruction in the use of pump fees, and gastrostomy feed systems.

All staff have Norfolk Steps training which is a Positive Behaviour Management Progamme. This is refreshed regularly. Additional training is provided for class teams where further interventions may be required. This is provided in-house by members of the Senior Leadership Team who are trained as trainers.

All members of staff involved with swimming (most class staff) have shallow water training and awareness of the specialist swimming environment, e.g. use of pool hoists.

A wide range of training is delivered by the Speech and Language Therapists and the SCARC (Suffolk Communication Aids Resource Centre) team (also based on site) around the use of AAC (alternative and augmentative communication). Some is part of the core offer, e.g. creating communication cultures and the use of Core Charts. The core offer is generally offered during PD days. Bespoke training according to need is delivered during the school day, often with the pupil or the pupil’s device and family members. This includes PECs (Picture Exchange Communication System), eye-gaze or Talkpad programming.

The Sensory and Communication Service offer further bespoke, needs-led training such as VI, (visual impairment) and HI, (hearing impairment) awareness training. A number of staff are first aid trained including paediatric first aid training.

Teachers receive the majority of their ‘learning-based’ training through a weekly teacher’s meeting. This might include use of specialist software such as Clicker or Inclusive Technology, specialist approaches to literacy and numeracy or specialist assessment methods such as the Engagement Model.

Teachers are given opportunities to lead curriculum areas and become the ‘in-house’ experts in their area by attending specialist training from external providers such as Hirstwood and visiting and linking with other special school leads. Senior Leaders network with other special school settings through membership of organisations such as the FLSE (Federation of Leaders in Special Education) and the ‘Special Heads’ forum to set up visits for teachers and other staff in school and share best practice.

Teachers are also encouraged to extend their skills by spending time in each others’ classes, planning together and sharing ideas and resources. All curriculum planning and resources are stored in shared folders for everyone to access and learn from each other.

Upskilling support staff in SEND teaching and learning techniques and approaches is disseminated via the class teacher through weekly class meetings or through modelling during the school day. All support staff attend a weekly forum with their Head of Department which can provide another training opportunity. All class teams are involved with planning up-coming termly topics where time allows during PD, (professional development) days.

Staff are encouraged and supported to undertake professional qualifications and participate in practitioner-based research. Staff are encouraged to undertake CPD (continuous professional development) of their own developing skills in specialist areas such as Intensive Interaction, Sensory Integration Awareness or Rebound Therapy.

The academy has termly Strategic Progress Board meetings which focus on evaluating the impact of the school’s provision against identified accountability measures.

Pupils are encouraged to participate in events alongside their mainstream peers at all levels and in areas where their skills and interests lie. OAT offer a range of opportunities such as the Student Voice Councils and events such as the Ormiston Showcase or STEMfest. Pupils from the academy have taken part in these events as equals and have won a number of prizes.

The academy’s shared site with Ormiston Endeavour Academy provides easily-accessible opportunities to collaborate on joint projects and ventures.

The academy has also collaborated other local schools outside of the Trust through projects such as the New Wolsey Festival of Youth or the Snape Maltings Celebration of Schools’ Music.

The academy also supports dual registration of pupils where requested by families, with mainstream schools.

Structuring provision around the EHCP means that class-teams focus on developing social, emotional and mental health outcomes which are personalised to each individual each and every day. The Engagement Model, (which starts with an Engagement and Happiness Profile) consolidates this further by ensuring that provision is tailored to the interests and motivations of each learner, giving them a sense of control over their own learning, reducing anxiety and building a sense of achievement.

Pupils are assessed against their own starting points and provision focuses on their abilities rather than their disabilities, building self-esteem and confidence to take on new challenges.

Social, emotional well-being (SEWB) is also delivered through class programmes of study in ways that are appropriate to age and stage of the pupil. Pupils are supported to communicate their needs and express their wishes at all levels of their school experience from their annual review and participation in out-of-school events through to day-to-day choice-making in the classroom.

The academy encourages a respectful relationship between staff and pupils so that pupils feel comfortable to express their feelings or concerns with staff of their choosing. Each class has its own team of staff who get to know the needs of each child in the group very well and build up close, yet professional relationships.

The school has excellent working relationships with a range of health care professionals and related services and seeks support for children requiring more specialist provision beyond the universal offer of the school.

We work very closely with a wide range of professionals, many of whom are based on site and work in ways fully integrated into our educational provision, e.g. SALT, PT, OT, SPLSAs (specialist learning support assistants for those eligible for continuing care) music therapists, intervenors, professionals from SCARC (Suffolk Communication Aid Resource Centre) and specialist teachers from the SES teams (Suffolk Specialist Education teams). They provide both direct engagement with pupils as well as working alongside staff to meet pupil needs.

The majority of multi-professional meetings are hosted at school and pastoral teachers are supported to attend wherever possible in order to build relationships to support best possible outcomes. Further organisations and professionals with whom we work regularly include Family Services, (Local Authority) respite carers, social workers, CCNT (Community Children’s Nursing Team), paediatric consultants, CAMHS, (Children and Adolescent Mental Health Team), EACH, (East Anglia Children’s Hospice) and Educational Psychologists.

In terms of providing learning opportunities for our children, we link with a wide range of organisations and are continually seek to make new contacts in order to provide a rich and rewarding school experience. For more information about this see the ‘Enrichment’ page on this website.

The academy promotes an open relationship with parents/ carers. If a parent/carer has any concerns they are encourage to contact school immediately and request to speak to a member of the Senior Leadership Team who will investigate and respond on the same day wherever possible. The majority of issues are successfully resolved in this way.

The academy has a formal complaints procedure for complaints which are not resolved in this way. This is available on the ‘Policies and Privacy Notices’ page of this website. Hard copies are available on request from the school office.

The school site is on a single level and is fully accessible for children with disabilities. Bespoke arrangements are made for pupils on dual placements with Ormiston Endeavour Academy to ensure equality of access for lessons it is appropriate for pupils to join.

For more information about how the academy is set-up for pupils with SEND see the ‘Facilities and Lettings’ page on this website.