SEND Provision

Our vision and how we hope to achieve it 

Our mission at MVLA is to equip our students with the qualities that they will need for success whatever their destination. To achieve this, we place high value on:

  • Knowing our students, their strengths, their needs and their progress.
  • Personalised planning, monitoring
  • Reviewing intervention and progress on a regular basis.
  • Developing positive and respectful relationships
  • High quality teaching
  • Comprehensive information, support, advice and guidance to ensure students’ wellbeing

At MVLA we cater for pupils with a range of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

There are four broad areas of SEND. These are:

Cognition and Learning
This includes children with Specific Learning Difficulties, Moderate Learning Difficulties, Severe Learning Difficulties and Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties.

Communication and Interaction
This area of needs includes children with Autism Spectrum Condition and those with Speech, Language and Communication Needs.

Social, Emotional and Mental Health
This includes any pupils who have an emotional, social or mental health needs that is impacting on their ability to learn.

Sensory and/or Physical Difficulties
This area includes children with hearing impairment, visual impairment, multi-sensory impairment and physical difficulties.

Please click this link to find out more information about Manchester’s Local Offer.

Our SEND Policy can be downloaded here:

SEND Policy

How we know if a child/young person has special educational needs 

Before admission to MVLA we hold a pre-induction meeting to gain an understanding of the student’s needs, strengths and aspirations. This meeting will usually involve the student, a representative from the referring school and parents/carers.

As part of the admission paperwork, schools provide a detailed overview of the student’s academic progress to date. This includes information about the student’s known medical, academic and behavioural needs.

As soon as the student has settled into the school we carry out baseline assessments in reading, writing and numeracy. This will usually happen within the first couple of weeks after admission.

Students will continue to be assessed in a range of areas. In addition to termly assessments in each subject, the baseline assessments are repeated up to three times per year to review progress. Formative assessment is used on an ongoing basis.

Where pupils have specific needs, specialists assessments and reviews will be carried out.

How we give students with SEND voice 

All students have opportunities to have their voice heard. We pride ourselves in being a listening and responsive school and the small group sizes allow pupils to build strong relationships with staff.  Staff encourage all students to be open and honest about their needs and challenges.

Students with a EHC plan have regular person-centred reviews which the students plan for and attend. They are invited to discuss their experiences at MVLA.

There are regular meetings with referring schools in which pupils are asked for their views and to share what is going well and if they feel that they have any unmet needs.

Regular contact is maintained with parents and the progress of their child is discussed on a regular basis.

Our aim is to form effective partnerships with parents and are consulted at every stage and to support their children.

A school council has recently been introduced; this has provided an additional platform for students to have their voice heard and students regularly participate in recruitment processes at MVLA

Support we offer for children’s/young people’s health and general wellbeing 

The needs of some of our students can make it difficult for them to behave appropriately in school. We put great emphasis on prevention starting with building positive and trusting relationships with students and their parents and carers. We aim to provide a curriculum and an environment in which the students experience success and see themselves as successful learners. Staff are trained to help students recognise their potential and to overcome barriers to learning, such as challenging behaviour.

We have a range of therapeutic offers, as well as a range of academic interventions, that we provide at MVLA for personalised and tailored responses to individual needs.

Specialist external services

At MVLA, we have qualified staff who can meet literacy, language communication and emotional needs of the students referred to us. However, it is sometimes beneficial for us to work with external services to ensure that our students receive specialist or intensive support. If it is felt that a student needs additional support, over and above what is offered, then referrals will be made to an external service to request further assessment

Services that we work in partnership with include CAMHS, Speech and Language therapy, Youth Offending Team, ECLYPSE (drugs and alcohol support) and Educational Psychologists etc.

Referrals to support services can be made at any time. These referrals will always be discussed with the parent and learner, prior to any additional assessment taking place.

How we check that a child / young person is making progress and how we keep parents informed 

Student progress at MVLA is informed by on-going teacher assessment of academic levels and attitude to learning. These formal assessments take place three times per year and will be used to judge progress towards the desired outcomes and assess the impact of current actions and interventions. If any intervention does not appear to be working when the student’s needs will be discussed at a review meeting where an alternative intervention might be considered.

The student’s parents/carers, MVLA staff and other professions are part of this discussion and action plan is created.


Where students are not making the progress expected, they may be referred to the MVLA SEND Lead. The SEND Lead will consider the current plan and provide advice and guidance. This might include referral of the student for more specialist assessment, e.g. of speech, language and communication needs or assessment by an educational psychologist. The results of these assessments will be shared with the student, parent and MVLA staff. If there is a need for further SEND support, a request for statutory assessment might be submitted with parental approval. This could lead the student to having an Educational Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

What we do to help children/young people with special educational needs (SEND)

All teachers have a responsibility for teaching students with SEND. Classes are small (usually a maximum of 8 students). Pupils are taught in broad ability groups. Teachers plan lessons taking into account the needs of all their students. Where individual support is needed this is arranged.


Students will be given additional support appropriate to their needs, this may include:

  • Individual Tuition
  • In-class support
  • Small group teaching
  • TA Support
  • Behaviour support in all areas
  • Target setting for all students-academic, social and personal
  • Pupil profiles for all students detailing SEND Needs and strategies to meet those needs
  • Counselling
  • Literacy and numeracy interventions

Each student is offered an appropriate curriculum which may include:

  • Entry level core subjects
  • AQA unit awards
  • GCSEs
  • Vocational courses

Programmed support offered by outside agencies are often used to support the work of staff.

All interventions are planned accordingly to need, and are reviewed termly.

The SEND specialist has overall responsibility for students with SEND. In addition, each student will have a keyworker or a tutor who will support them.

The school arranges for pupils who are taking examinations to have appropriate access arrangements.

How we prepare for children/young people joining our school and leaving our school 

When students first attend MVLA they and their parents /carers are part of a pre-induction meeting. This includes a review of referral documentation, student and parent interview, assessment of current academic levels, strengths and needs. MVLA staff advise students and parents regarding the pathway which they will follow at MVLA and in their return to school.

Where possible it is intended that pupils will be reintegrated and supported to return to mainstream school. They will follow a curriculum with close pastoral support, which is designed to equip students with the skills and attitudes needed in mainstream. Some of the younger students will be assessed for additional needs and might then go to a school which is specially programmed to meet their needs.

All students participate in a careers programme through Our Futures. All SEND students have access to additional careers interviews and students with an EHCP plan will also have a transition plan for moving onto further education

In year 11 all MVLA students will work with the MVLA Careers Advisor, to prepare for transition to Sixth Form, College or training in Year 12. This will include support to select appropriate courses and colleges, make applications to colleges, prepare for interviews and attend interviews.

If there are concerns about student post-16 plans, additional support will be offered via Advising Our Futures

Every Year 11 leaver has an identified destination in further education, an apprenticeship or other training provision before they leave us. We will then continue to track students after leaving MVLA

Staff training

A programme of Continuing Professional Development is available to all staff at MVLA. CPD is very important to us. It is approached strategically and is linked to individual staff appraisal. This training includes raising awareness and knowledge of specific additional needs. Staff have access to training in the area of speech, language and communication needs, ADHD, ASD and differentiation.

Who to contact for more information or to discuss a concern 

If parents feel that they need to raise concerns, they will always find that our staff are approachable and responsive. We can be contacted at any time and will often be able to resolve issues immediately. If your concern needs detailed discussion we will arrange for a meeting to take place at a time where concerns can be discussed at more length.