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Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

Report Autumn 2018

Melbourn Village College has an excellent reputation for supporting students with all types of special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). We are an inclusive College, and make many adaptations to both mainstream education and the College environment to allow students to manage successfully.  All students have the opportunity to participate fully in the life of the College. We endeavour to support young people to participate in any additional/extra-curricular activity of their choice without any barriers being put in place. We take the overall wellbeing of all students very seriously and support those with social and emotional and mental health difficulties by getting to know our young people very well and offering access to a range of internal and external support services.

Parents/carers of students with (or without) SEND who are interested in applying for a place at the college are invited to contact the School Office to arrange a tour with a member of the Senior Team and, if desired, a meeting with our SENCO to discuss your child's individual needs. Once an application has been made, further meetings can be arranged to ensure a smooth transition. 

Parents/carers of students with an EHC plan and a primary diagnosis of Autism who are interested in a Cabin place, should contact Peter Allcock, Head of Cabin provision, who is based at Comberton Village College, on

We offer a graduated transition with a bespoke number of visits of differing durations with or without parents/carers/teachers or teaching assistants, to reduce anxiety and build confidence about being part of Melbourn Village College.

To view our Trust policy for SEN, click here

Identification of students who require extra help

In the first few weeks of the Autumn term in Year 7 all students undergo

  • Screening for literacy difficulties
  • Cognitive Ability Testing
  • Reading and spelling assessments
  • A range of maths assessments

These screeners help us to understand each child’s potential and identify any barriers to learning that they may have.  We use our best endeavours to put in place the right support to help them to overcome these barriers to learning.

All teachers use a range of differentiation, modification and adaptation techniques to assist students within lessons, and this support is often enough to enable students to make the expected progress.

Further support is then available through extra lessons with teachers, often during enrichment time, to boost their learning further.   Subject teachers and Heads of subject will discuss each child’s progress with parents/carers.

Students who are felt to be in need of a higher level of support, will be assessed and supported by our pastoral, Pupil Premium or SEND teams.  

Any support that is offered will be discussed with parents/carers and their child.

We have good links with our local primary schools and work with them to understand each child’s specific needs and organise a programme of transition to support them.

Any child who starts in Year 8 or above will take some or all of the screening or test options listed above.

Parents/carers, students and teachers can at any time raise a concern about the progress of a child. Our SENCO will work with subject teachers, support staff, parents/carers and the child to identify the reasons behind any difficulty, and signpost, advise or implement a programme of support for the child.  We also work closely with our LOcal Authority Educational Psychologist and SEND Specialist Services team, among other professionals, for guidance and to provide extra support for a child.

What to do if you think that your child may have SEND

If you are concerned that your child is not making the expected progress, your first step is to contact their form tutor or Head of Year. or subject teacher  Staff contact details can be found here. Alternatively you can contact our SENCO, Anna-Lisa Ghale directly at

We will acknowledge receipt of your concern and then typically you will be invited to the College to discuss your concerns. Together we will form an action plan to support your child’s needs.  We will then carry out the plan, and review it with you after an agreed period of time, continuing to assess, plan, and review as necessary.  This is in line with the SEND Code of Practice 2014.

You can also find information about SEND on the Cambridgeshire County Council Website at

There are some additional links at the bottom of this page.

Bullying and SEND

Bullying of all forms is taken very seriously at the College. We are mindful that SEND pupils may be particularly vulnerable and form tutors work closely with the Student Support Centre, pastoral managers and all teaching and support staff. If you are concerned that your child may be being bullied, please contact their form tutor in the first instance.

Support offered at Melbourn Village College

You will be able to follow your child’s academic progress on a regular basis through your parent log in to Go4Schools. You can contract your child's form teacher of subject teacher if you have any concerns.

You will also have two reports a year and a Parents' Evening for your child.

During the Autumn term each year you will be invited to attend a curriculum evening for the year group that your child is in.  These evenings are used to share up to date educational information or changes that have taken place as well as give you information about how you can support your child’s learning.  It is also an opportunity to meet key staff face to face.

We are an inclusive school and teachers will differentiate, adapt and modify lessons to allow all students to make good progress, thus reducing any barriers to learning.  If parents/ carers/teachers or external professionals feel that a child needs extra support we will endeavour to provide the support they need.  All support is planned in consultation with parents/carers. Any students who receive support in the Student Support Centre will have their own personal learning targets set and reviewed at least biannually, and parents/carers are involved in this process.

A small number of children will be referred into our Skills Base provision if they are identified as working below the old national curriculum level 3a in English or maths and need additional social and emotional support. Our Skills Base class has a maximum of 10 pupils and is taught by Student Support Centre staff

We are wheelchair accessible across the majority of the site, with a lift in one of our buildings. Most classrooms are at ground level with ramps and lessons are re-roomed as required to ensure that no wheelchair users are disadvantaged.


For students with medical needs, we follow Cambridgeshire County Council and Goverment guidelines, details of which are available here:

Examples of additional support that can be offered at Melbourn Village College:

  • Small group teaching Skills Base in English and Maths and Science
  • Teaching Assistant support in lesson
  • 1:1 or small group literacy, numeracy and science teaching within curriculum or enrichment time.
  • Additional support for students at GCSE level
  • Small group social and emotional skills support
  • 1:1 social and emotional skills support
  • 1:1 support for mental ill health or poor emotional/mental wellbeing
  • Alternative learning arrangements for students when needed.
  • 1:1 or small group speech therapy support
  • Physiotherapy support programmes as directed by physiotherapists
  • Occupational Therapy support programmes, as directed by occupational therapy
  • 1:1 teaching assistant keyworker support (daily, weekly or as needed)
  • Extended work experience
  • 1:1 or small group Life skills teaching
  • A bespoke curriculum for foundation learners at GCSE
  • 1:1 or small group 'keeping safe' and travel training
  • A supervised and supported space for break and lunchtime

We have an excellent team of teaching assistants  with expertise in a wide range of SEND and disabilities.  For students with EHC plans or higher levels of SEND needs, we assign a TA keyworker who adds an additional layer of daily/weekly support to these students and their families.

Our expertise covers:

  • Moderate to Severe learning difficulties
  • Global developmental delay
  • Autism spectrum conditions (all genders)
  • Attention Deficit disorders/hyperkenetic disorders
  • Dyslexia and literacy difficulties, Dyspraxia
  • Mental health and emotional needs
  • Visual and hearing support (we have a staff member who is able to use BSL)
  • Speech and language difficulties (we have two ELKLAN-trained teaching assistants)
  • A wide range of maths difficulties

We are keen to continue learning and all staff take part in continuing professional development in SEND. We also contribute to regular staff training.

We run social skills support programmes which include building self-confidence as well as life skills programmes to enable our learners to become confident independent students post-16.

We are aware that transitions to secondary school and to post-16 providers can be a time of great anxiety for students and their families, and so we design individualised transition programmes for these times. These transition programmes fit in with Year 7 induction day and post-16 provider days and have been highly valued by our current and past parents and students. Improving out transition to post-16 providers is one of our focuses for this year.

We recognise that many students may suffer from stress, anxiety or other conditions that affect their mental and emotional health or wellbeing. There is a variety of support available at these times for as long as your child needs.  Form teachers provide our first level of support followed by our Heads of Year, Pastoral managers, SENCO, Pupil Premium Manager, Student Support Centre Manager and Assistant Principal for Inclusion. We have our own school Counsellor.

For some students more intensive daily or weekly support is necessary and our Inclusion and Pastoral Managers work closely with these students and their families to help students.  We also work closely with outside agencies to support children and their families when this is needed.

Our Support Team:

  • John Barnes - Assistant Principal Inclusion and Safeguarding Lead
  • Anna-Lisa Ghale - SENCO, Skills Base Lead, Safeguarding
  • Caroline Deadman - Pastoral Liaison Officer - Mental Health
  • Sharon Daly - Pastoral Liaison Officer - Pupil Premium & Young Carers
  • Emma Tidby - Pastoral Liaison Officer - Attendance
  • Amanda Bentley - Student Support Centre Manager
  • And our dedicated team of Teaching Assistants

Useful links:

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