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SEND Information Report 2022

We will provide a learning environment that empowers, challenges and encourages individual success and social responsibility.

St Matthias Academy actively promotes the principles of equality and inclusion for all its students.


St Matthias Academy is a special academy for pupils who have been unable to remain in their mainstream provider. We are part of Learn@ Multi Academy Trust and work in close partnership with the other Academies in the Trust: residential special school Notton House, special schools Soundwell, Sky and KnowleDGE and Lansdown Park Alternative Provision.

The Academy accepts pupils from Key Stages 2 to 4. As an inclusive provider we cater for a range of needs and abilities. These include: social, emotional and mental health needs, moderate learning difficulties, pupils with speech language and communication needs and pupils on the autistic spectrum. Therefore we have a duty in relation to identifying and supporting all pupils with special educational needs whether or not they have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).


There are four categories of need identified in the Special Needs Code of Practice 2015.

These are:

  • Cognition and Learning;
  • Social Emotional and Mental Health;
  • Communication and Interaction;
  • Sensory and Physical.

Pupils with identified SEN are taught alongside their peers but will access a range

additional support strategies and resources and teaching specific to their needs.


As an Academy we:

  • Ensure that all young people have access to good or outstanding teaching
  • Provide a differentiated curriculum in order to meet the needs of the learners at St Matthias
  • Check on the progress of the young people and identify, plan for and deliver any additional support the young people may need
  • Provide personalised learning, which may include using additional providers, personalised timetables and use of specialist advice
  • Work closely with multi-agencies in order to be able to support the young people as best we can


Who can I speak to if I think my child has special educational needs?

If you feel your child may need some extra support at St Matthias, please talk to their tutor. Alternatively, you can arrange see the SENDCo directly to discuss their needs. We strive to have open and honest relationships with our parents and would hope that you feel confident in talking to us about the support you feel your child needs.

SENDCo: Julie Caswell

Assistant SENDCo: Rob Sales (Brentry)


The SENDCo is responsible for:

  • Managing the support for the young people with SEND and/or disabilities at St Matthias. The SENDCo will oversee that pupil’s needs with SEND are met.
  • Coordinating all the support for young people with special educational needs (SEN) and or disabilities, and developing the Academy’s SEND Policy to make sure all children get a consistent, high quality response to meeting their needs in school.
  • Making sure that the Academy Council is kept up to date about issues relating to SEND.
  • Following a graduated response appropriate to the needs of the individual.
  • Overseeing the annual review and ECHP processes


How can I support my child at home?

We welcome any opportunity to work collaboratively with parents/carers and are always happy to share strategies and resources that support your child. Tutors make regular contact home and invite you to be involved in the target setting for your child as well as discussions around next steps for your child. We are happy to meet with parents throughout the year.


How will I know if my child is making progress?

Teachers regularly assess children’s progress; this information is sent out biannually in reports. If your child’s teacher or tutor is concerned about their progress, they will contact you to discuss these concerns.  Tutors will feedback progress at least every 6 weeks and review the targets set in the Bristol SEN support plan. For those pupils who have an EHCP, this document is reviewed at least every year at an annual review meeting where parent/carer, pupil and any relevant professional will be invited to the meeting to discuss progress and review targets. Parents/carers will be invited to attend any reviews together with staff involved within school. Should they be unable to attend, we will do everything we can to include their views in the final draft of the review.

Some children may have multi-agency meetings where many different staff from a variety of outside agencies meets to discuss progress and decide the best ways to support. You will always be informed and invited to these meetings as your views and ideas are vital to building a clear picture of the child. If parents/carers feel they would like support from outside school, they will be directed to the Supportive Parents support line on 0117 989 7725, please see agencies section of the school website for further information.


How does the school know if a child may need extra help?

When children are first admitted to the school, they are given time to settle in and complete baseline assessments across the subjects. Information about learning needs is acquired from conversations with the child, the family and also previous school’s records if available. If Special Educational Needs are indicated, the school usually undertakes some in-house assessments before developing a Bristol SEN support plan to address those needs.

At St Matthias, staff undertake regular training to develop their skills at identifying and working with pupils with special educational needs. Due to smaller class sizes and a high ratio of staff to pupils, identification of needs can occur with observation, assessing and recording of both pupils academic and behavioural progress and needs.

All teachers and support staff are responsible for identifying pupils with SEN and, in collaboration with the Special Education Coordinator (SENDCo), will ensure that those pupils requiring different or additional support are identified at an early stage.

This process is done in collaboration with the parents/carers. St Matthias recognises the unique insight that parents/carers have into their child’s needs and are encouraged to discuss the needs of their child with their tutor. 

Pupils and young people with special educational needs often have a unique knowledge of their own needs and circumstances and their own views about what sort of support they would like to help them make the most of their education. They will be encouraged to participate in designing their Bristol SEN support plan and be actively involved with target setting and provision decisions. 


How will my child be supported as when they move to St Matthias?

At St Matthias Academy, we endeavour to ensure transitions between schools are given due consideration and care to ensure that our pupils feel emotionally prepared for the changes ahead of them. Supported transitions may be offered in line with the child’s need.

  • An induction meeting occurs the week prior to starting at the school to introduce the school’s processes and procedures, this offers a space for questions to be asked and concerns to be raised. Parent and carers are given an admissions pack and encouraged to look on the school website to support them in enabling their child to settle into school routines.
  • For children with identified or unconfirmed SEND, the SENDCo may also meet with parents/carers to allow concerns to be raised and solutions to any perceived challenges to be established
  • The previous school will be contacted and records will be requested.
  • If the child is moving on, visits to the new provision will be arranged and a transition programme devised in line with the child’s needs.


How will you help my child who has SEN?

St Matthias strives to deliver an education which meets the needs of every learner and differentiation of classwork will occur to ensure that individual needs are met.

This could include:

  • use of different teaching and learning styles;
  • deployment of extra staff to work with the pupil;
  • provision of alternative learning materials/special equipment;
  • different groupings;
  • provision of targeted 1:1 interventions
  • staff development/training to undertake more effective strategies;
  • access to LA support services for advice on strategies, equipment or staff


  • access to speech and language therapist, educational psychologist, primary mental health worker, school nurse or other indicated professional.
  • implementing programmes supplied by other agencies e.g. the speech and

language therapist (SALT), occupational therapist (OT) or for more complex

cases, the Educational Psychologist.


How will we know if the support that’s been put in place is working?

We utilise data related to academic, social, emotional and wellbeing outcomes. The school will consider the views of teaching and non-teaching staff, parents, carers and pupils. Effective provision would be evidenced through:

  • progress in all areas of learning, self-esteem and skills levels through Boxall
  • feedback from pupils, parents, staff, governors, LA and OfSTED inspections;
  • recognising and valuing all forms of achievement including personal development

and well-being.


What support will there be for my child’s wellbeing?

Each tutor provides pastoral care during morning registration every day as will the Learning Facilitators who support the pupils throughout the day. At St Matthias we have a team of learning mentors who provide social and emotional support and work on specific areas with the young people.

The timetable includes mentor sessions and wellbeing sessions which aims to improve students’ skills and knowledge in five areas of wellbeing: giving, keep learning, be healthy, me in my environment and connect.

The Academy has access to a wide range of professionals and can make referrals to other agencies in liaison with home.

Bristol’s SEND Local Offer

The SEND Local Offer is a resource which is designed to support children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities and their families. It describes the services and provision that are available both to those families in Bristol that have an Education, Health and Care Plan and those who do not have a plan, but still experience some form of special educational need. The SEND Local Offer includes information about public services across education, health and social care, as well as those provided by the private, voluntary and community sectors. This can be accessed at


SEND Academy Councillor

The SEND Academy Councillor is responsible for:

  • Making sure that the Academy has an up to date SEND policy.
  • Making sure that the Academy has appropriate provision and has made necessary adaptations to meet the needs of all young people in the Academy.
  • Understanding and monitoring the support given to young people with SEND in the Academy.
  • Reporting to the full Academy Council


What do I do if I would like to make a complaint?

Please see the St Matthias website for further details.

We must by law offer you the following stages to resolve your complaint:

Stage 1 – provide an opportunity for you to resolve your complaint informally, for example by discussing the issue with a senior member of staff.

Stage 2 - If you are still not happy, we should accept a written formal complaint from you, which will normally be responded to by the Head Teacher or Chair of the Academy Council.

Stage 3 - If you remain dissatisfied, we should organise a hearing with a panel made up of at least 3 people not involved in the complaint, one of whom must be independent of the management and running of the Academy.

If you are still unhappy then your final option is to refer your complaint to the Education Funding Agency, but they will only look at complaints that have followed all 3 stages detailed above.


Key Staff

Colin Cattanach, CEO

Eileen Flynn, Chair of the Academy Council

Academy Council Representative for SEND - There is currently a vacancy for this council representative

Aileen Morrison, Head Teacher

Simon Quinn, Deputy Head Teacher

Simon Kershaw, Assistant Head Teacher

Sarah Jones, Assistant Head Teacher

Hannah Grant, SENDCo

Julie Caswell, Assistant SENDCo