AT EVEREST, we do a lot to help and support students and a lot happens behind the scenes that most people don’t know about.

The SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator) at Everest Community Academy is Ms Wells, who is in charge of a small team that supports 20 per cent of students in our school who need the extra help.

Overall, 2.9 per cent of children across the nation have/are entitled to an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP).

To be supported by the SENCO team, the school brings in a professional to assess the student to see if they show the key signs of needing extra help.

This could be a disability or something not so obvious like autism or anger issues etc.

If the student does show some sort of sign of needing extra help, then whoever your SENCO leader is (in our case, Ms Wells) will make sure someone is in their lessons and that they are given the hours of support recommended and that their parent/carer is contacted.

At Everest, Ms Wells has put in place many interventions like paired reading where Year 9 and 10 listen to Year 7 and 8 read, and the most well known one that is being used in schools everywhere is ELSA.

Miss Bicknell and Miss Rashley run ELSA.

ELSA stands for Educational Literacy Support Assistant, this is where a student or a small group of students sit with a TA and do various activities that can help their growth mindset, anger management or social involvement.

Some of the interventions include paired reading, timetables practice, English (spelling punctuation and grammar) and basic maths. Students are taken out of that lesson for an hour a week over a six week period.

Prior to exams a SENCO can apply for a range of Access Arrangements, including extra time for exams, a smaller, less intimidating room and TA support.

We have amazing staff that support students who need it.