Solihull Academy


    • Please see attached the flyer with information about our Cygnet Workshops next term.

      These workshops are for parents and carers who have a child / children with a confirmed diagnosis of autism.

      Sessions will take place via Microsoft Teams and delegates must be able to attend ALL sessions.


      If you have a family who would like to attend, please email Wendy Fitzmaurice, Lead Professional,  wendy.fitzmaurice@solihull. to book a place, including the following information:

      - the parents’ names and email address
      - child’s name
      - child’s date of birth


Our SENDCo is Mr Lee Nolan.

0121 709 5420 or via email:

The SENDCO completed the National SENDCo Award in 2017.

What are the aims of our provision in regard to students with special educational needs and/or disability?

We aim to provide a stimulating and caring environment, in which everybody can thrive. Every teacher is responsible for supporting students with SEND. For students such as ours in an alternative provision like Solihull Academy, SEND support is absolutely crucial in addressing barrier to learning and progress.

At Solihull Academy we believe that every student is entitled to an education that is best suited to their individual strengths and needs and gives them the best chance for improved life chances. The Academy builds it therapeutic personalised curriculum on 4 pillars. To ensure that all students progress into Further Education, Employment or training alongside reducing Suspensions and eliminating Permanent Exclusions. The final pillar is to support students to exceed their own personal Baseline Measures.

We recognise each student is an individual and as such strive to provide a bespoke and flexible learning experience. We recognise that a student’s emotional needs must be met alongside their learning needs.

Our comprehensive Mental Health provision caters for students with social, emotional, or mental health difficulties, both long and short term that are experienced by our students, offering 1:1 and group support on a variety of well-being and mental health concerns.

What kinds of special educational needs are provided for?

 Solihull Academy caters for a diverse student body. At Solihull academy we provide additional and/or different provision for a range of needs including:

  • Communication and interaction, for example, autistic spectrum condition, Asperger’s Syndrome, speech and language difficulties
  • Cognition and learning, for example, dyslexia, dyspraxia and Moderate learning difficulties
  • Social, emotional and mental health difficulties, for example, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Sensory and/or physical needs, for example, visual impairments, hearing impairments, processing difficulties, epilepsy.

How do we identify special educational needs and/or a disability?

Students identified as SEND by original referring schools are placed on the register during the transition process to Solihull Academy. EHC Plan reviews are attended by the SENDCo to ensure that commitment can be made to deliver the provision required by the EHC Plan. Upon their attendance to Solihull Academy, students are offered a bespoke transition timetable to suit their needs in transferring to our provision, this includes baseline assessments for Reading, Spelling and Cognitive Ability using the GL Assessment digital package. These assessments will use standardised scoring to establish where the students have difficulties.

Medical needs are assessed via School Nurse, GP or Children’s Mental Health Services (CAMHS/SOLAR) and a review will be held in school to ascertain the levels of support required following a diagnosis from a member of the healthcare profession. Health referral teams such as physical therapy or sensory support service are appointed directly by the NHS and Local Authority and often work within school to support students to offer minimal disruption to their attendance to school.

Dyslexia screening is available within school and strategies and support provided for the profile of difficulty by our LSA and CTA and externally if required from the Support Services from the Local Authority.

Speech, Language and Communication difficulties can also be assessed in house. Students who are identified on the register for this need will be assessed to establish the intervention that is required.

Externally, we can request assessments from the Educational Psychology Service (EPS), SISS Autism team and CAMHS/SOLAR; requests of this type are completed by the SENDCo or the Director of Inclusion Gavin Cornell.

Exam Access Arrangements testing is completed internally and will be applied for where appropriate. The academy is committed to providing students with the necessary arrangements to be successful and aim for them to be in place throughout Key Stage 4.

Social, Emotional and Mental Health screening is available within school using the Revised Children’s Anxiety and Depression Scale (RCADS) which measures anxiety and depression symptoms.

Teachers can consult with the SENDCo regarding academic concerns for students that are not progressing in line with their peers or are showing specific difficulties. Following this the relevant support is appointed and delivered from a member of staff within the year team. This may be dropping into lesson to support or withdrawal from lesson for a specific intervention. The English department will assess the student’s reading ages using the NGRT online. Student’s whose standardised score falls below 84 will be referred for support.

Occasionally support is put in place following parental request and this is considered on an individual student basis by the SENDCo.

What adaptions are there to the curriculum and learning environment at Solihull Academy?

Solihull Academy offers a different structure to the curriculum and environment to other mainstream schools. The year group size is smaller than mainstream settings and is split into groups of a maximum 10-12 students. It provides a bespoke therapeutic curriculum to support all our learners. Our universal provision is founded on reducing micro aggressions this includes.

Uniform Policy – Black footwear, black trousers/jogging bottoms, school t-shirt and or school jumper/jacket.
Check ins – Students are required to check all belongings to a secure location for the duration of the day and have the opportunity to receive pastoral support.
Detentions – Students will not be asked to remain for detention but are required to attend restorative meetings.
No isolation – Students will not be isolated but instead rehabilitated through the Key Provision (the alternative suspension program).
Positive framing – Teachers will use language of choice and emotional coaching. We model and request the students are safe, ready to learn, respectful, resilient and restorative.
Multiple social time options – We offer outdoor space, indoor space, sports facilities and quiet mentoring.
No external supply teachers – We cover all staff absence internally to provide consistency and continuity.

For students with SEND further adaptations in curriculum and environmental may be made on a student by student basis, common examples include Time Out Pass, 2 Minute Hallway Passes (allow students to leave lesson before the bell to travel down quiet corridors), Visual Timetables, or TA support, Personalised curriculums, use of whiteboards, task boards, sensory room, a blackout tent, withdrawal for intervention, exams access arrangements, uniform passes (physical or sensory difficulty), specific seating plans, coloured overlays, highlighting, coloured paper / resources, use of laptops for those with fine motor difficulty, enlarged font, as well as differentiation by resource, outcome or task.

Solihull Academy operates and inclusive approach that caters for students with social, emotional or mental health difficulties both long and short term. This is provision managed by the SENDCo and caters for all year groups on an individual student basis. Solihull Academy supports difficulties the students are experiencing that may be affecting their academic progress but also address non-academic progress.

Skills will be taught for self-care and promoting positive wellbeing and mental health. We also deliver themed ‘Awareness Raising’ activities during circle time. Mental Health First Aid is available in house due to a number of qualified staff within the Solihull Academy team.

For students requiring more specialist support, tiered 1:1 support is available on a variety of wellbeing and mental health concerns, both long term and short term being experienced by our students. THRIVE intervention will be delivered on both a group and 1:1 basis. IAPT (talking therapy) counselling will be delivered weekly to students identified as requiring weekly long-term intervention on a 1:1 basis. 

Each year group is supported by a Pupil Progress Manager and an Assistant Head of Year; this support will involve aspects of advocacy, assessment, strategic planning, staff/parent liaison and intervention to form a systematic approach for the inclusion of all students in the year group.

We have an in-house Youth worker and Therapy Dog called Jaxon. All students receive the opportunity to interact with Jaxon and if required, referrals are made for Jaxon & Jane counselling support, which offers a range of psychological therapies such as CBT.

Communication and Language Curriculum is key to developing skills and supporting students with Speech, Language and Communication Needs.

Looked After Children (LAC) are identified by the LA’s LACES Virtual School team and are supported in school by the Designated Teacher Mr Gavin Cornell and Mr Nolan who is also the school’s SENDCo, these students receive a Personalised Education Plan review every term and a LAC review every 6 months.

SEND students will be supported by staff members within the pastoral Year team. These roles include building a relationship with students and parents, monitoring the students’ progress, developing student’s Individual Provision Plans and supporting staff to deliver strategies which contribute to their provision. The pastoral team will work collaboratively with teachers and support staff to plan and deliver effective English language support to students with English as an additional language. The aim is to speed their acquisition of English and facilitate access to the curriculum. Pupils who are EAL are not added to the SEND register but are given specific support to ensure they can access the curriculum fully.

All staff at Solihull Academy demonstrate full commitment to maximising inclusion, developing appropriate learning environments and making reasonable adjustments in teaching methods and approaches therefore making SEND a whole school responsibility.

How we involve students and their parents/carers?

Parents/carers are encouraged to play an active role within their child’s education. Parents are consulted by letter and are required to give consent for their students to engage with any outside agency. If there are any queries regarding provision, or if parents require an update, the SENDCo or relevant staff member will be available to contact by phone or email. Where a meeting is required, the Academy will endeavour to facilitate this. The SENDCo will also hold specific parent / carer meetings such as SEND reviews, IPP reviews, parent coffee mornings or workshops to discuss the student’s current progress and update their support requirements.

Students are welcome to attend all parental / outside agency meetings and student voice is considered at all stages of support and intervention. Student views are central to the review process and students are encouraged to contribute through a medium that suits them.

How do we assess and review young people’s progress towards their outcomes?

Student’s progress is closely monitored and is reviewed every half term, in line with whole school assessment points. Their intervention will then be adjusted to suit the outcomes of their review directly linked to the progress they are making. Student’s reading ages are also closely monitored. Progress within interventions is carefully tracked by the member of staff who is delivering their intervention. If we feel an intervention is ineffective it will be adjusted. Parents/carers are invited to attend reviews which are completed by the student and their key member of staff, in the absence of parents/carers and then an advisory letter and renewed IPP would be sent home. Parents are invited to liaise with outside agencies in an open transparent manner regarding the progress their child is making with that agency.

How do we support young people moving between phases of education and in preparing for adulthood?

Transition into Solihull Academy is considered to be extremely important in our school. The students on SEND register are identified early in the referral process and from the very start of the provision our team will liaise with secondary schools in the borough to visit students. As part of the extended transition process, the SENDCo will also attend their SEND / EHCP reviews.

Transition to Key Stage 4 and then onto Key Stage 5 are supported by form tutors, Pupil Progress Managers, Assistant Head of Year, Teaching Assistants and also the Leadership Team. This support includes ongoing Careers advice and guidance during enrichment time. Students will attend courses within Key Stage 4 at college, supported by their year team staff, transitions to college provision can be supported by relationships made during this time. For transition onto Key Stage 5 students receive a bespoke aftercare package in an attempt to ensure they are attending viable placements. This may include support with applications, visits, interviews, advice, and mentoring.

What is the Solihull Academy approach to teaching children and young people with SEND?

Quality First Teaching in the classroom is fundamental to the progress of all students and our staff are able to make the adjustments required to commit to fully inclusive practise. A robust reporting system allows identification of additional support required and a dynamic team allows specific support and advice to be provided.

We have further added to our ability to cater for more diverse needs through the Pathfinder, Mercury and Saturn provisions. Please see the relevant sections on the website to find out more about these provisions.

How the Academy works collaboratively with outside agencies and other providers?

We liaise with a variety of outside agencies to meet the needs of our students. • The Local Authority Autism Team to work with students on an individual basis but also to deliver workshops for the student’s specific needs.

  • The School Nurse team provide weekly drop-in services, as well as responding to direct requests for medical testing for our students.
  • The LA SEN Assessment and Review Team will work closely with Mr Nolan to assess student’s needs for Educational Health and Care Plans and maintain existing EHC Plans for our students.
  • We will seek support form SISS for specific SEND support such as Sensory Support.
  • SOLAR support is available for students whose referrals meet threshold for this service and our school will support the student’s attendance to appointments.
  • We work closely with college providers to secure vocational pathways for students.
  • Referring schools and/or professionals contribute to all IPP’s and safety plans.

Where can the Local Authority's local offer be found?

This information is available on:

Home - Solihull 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 Solihull 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.

What is the complaints process?

Solihull Academy encourages parents/carers to contact the academy with any concerns/complaints regarding SEND. Your first point of contact would be:

Mr Lee Nolan (SENDCO)
0121 709 5420

If you are not satisfied that your concern has been addressed, then speak to the Solihull Academy Principal and explain that you are not satisfied that your concern has not been addressed. You can also ask for the academy governor’s representative. If your concern is with the local authority, then the SENDCo can advise on how to go about sharing your concerns with the relevant personnel.

The Parent Partnership Service provides independent information and advice. You can get further information on the Family Action Website: Solihull SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) Information, Advice and Support Service - Family Action ( (Solihull SENDIAS) on: 01215 165 713 or