New Academies must comply with SEN Legislation… So what next??


Whatever we think about Academies, they are here to stay and in the lead up to the Academies Act 2010, ALLFIE felt that it was better to focus on making sure that all existing and any new academies complied with SEN legislation rather than questioning the existence of Academies as a potential signal of further privatisation of the education system in the UK. We know already that most existing Academy schools are required by law to cater for all children including those who have severe learning difficulties labels. However the original Academies Bill didn’t appear to be clear about there being the same obligation on the new Academies.
Now the Academies Act is here we really want to start to gather information directly from teachers, parents and young people about their experiences of academies so ALLFIE can monitor how existing and new Academies are doing in terms of including disabled learners, staff and parents. So we want to hear from you if you are:
Teaching staff working in academy schools;
Parents who have tried or are trying to get your child into an academy school;
Parents who already have your child in an academy school;
Disabled children and young people who are attending an academy school at the moment.


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2 Responses to “New Academies must comply with SEN Legislation… So what next??”

  1. Malc says:

    I have a disabled (ASD) child that joined a secondary school before it was an academy, this was a troublesome change for him to move from Junior, but the provisions were in place to ensure he had full access to education and care. Once the school changed to academy status, a lot of these provisions were wound down or altered in a way that didn’t suit my sons disability, he reacted badly to this and the academy staff (overall) have failed to cope with his disability over the years he has been a pupil. The management of this academy has persued several avenues of blame rather than adapting to meet his needs fully, these include pointing the finger at his initial SEN 1to1 teacher (who left after feeling pressured(her words not mine)), alleged failings of outsourced SEN resources, after school placements, allegations of abuse at home, further teacher blame, current SEN teacher blame, social services blames etc etc. My Son is now 14 and the academy, after severely damaging my childs education, self esteem, confidence and overall personality had to admit (despite a culture of failed intimidation) that they were unable to adapt to meet his needs and now another placement is being sought for him that would be provided for by the local authority, OR, what seems more likely is that the academy will pay for it….which i’m sure will look better on paper reports of the schools performance that exclusion or change of school.

    My experience of the academy having dealt from pre to current status is that it is run very much more like a business than a school and wants to remove any children that present a challenge to increase efficiency rather than make necessary changes to recognise a childs disability.

    It is worth noting that working very closely with the junior school meant a much smoother and calmer time for my son and the school, whereas being treated like an outsider, an abuser not a carer, a recipient of problem reports but not a contributor to change (until VERY recently when they gave up) has meant a disabled child has gone through his formative years at the academy kicking and screaming (literally) they failed to adapt to meets his needs and even failed their duty of care the ensure he didn’t hurt himself or others resulting in trips to hospital and damaged equipment.

    I am sure as with any school, not all academies are the same. It is the individuals that make an academy.


    • Gilli says:

      Hi – given that your post is from some years now I am wondering what the outcomes to the situation you found yourself in with regards to your son’s continuation through education. I am facing possibly similar challenges and would be interested to hear how your son got on – many thanks

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