Dixons Unity Academy | Special Educational Needs
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Dixons Unity Academy

Special Educational Needs

At Dixons Unity, we are committed to ensuring that the environment in which all students learn is happy, safe, and secure, and that everyone is encouraged to achieve to the very best of their potential, to climb their personal mountain and go on to live happy and purposeful lives. We are committed to ensuring that every student gets the extra support that is needed and deliver this through a trained and dedicated team. Our support packages are tailored with a focus on our core values of resilience, integrity, and respect.

Key Contacts

Phil Grayson

Assistant Vice Principal – Inclusion


Megan McFarlane



Gini Martin

Strategic Inclusion Lead


Lyndsey Hazelwood

Second in SEND


Patrick Royal-Lawson

Wellbeing Manager


Teaching and Learning

We are committed to constantly improving and developing our classroom practice to meet most needs our students have through our main timetable and routines. Our high-quality classroom teaching and whole academy routines provide the foundation and starting point for all of our students, and we are then able to build on this to provide the targeted group work and specialist, sometimes individualised, provision that some students need.

Staffing and Timetable

We ensure a high-quality learning experience for our most vulnerable learners by differentiating the timetable to allow a more focussed and tailored learning experience. These students will have two additional literacy and numeracy lessons which focus on gaps in learning supported by additional literacy intervention through the Lexia programme. Any provision that is additional to or different from our whole academy timetable and routines will be built around specific students’ needs. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • The Wellbeing Room – a calm, quiet space where identified students can visit at allocated times of the day.
  • The Learning Support Room – a space that operated on a more ad hoc basis, students can drop in if feeling stressed or anxious.

Identification of Needs

Information from primary school, families, and agencies, alongside our own programme of screening and baseline testing, are the main ways in which we identify individual needs. In addition, any member of staff or parent / carer can raise a concern that would then be investigated fully by the SENCO. We support students with a range of needs, including communication and interaction, social, emotional, and mental health needs, physical and medical needs, sensory needs, autism, and ADHD.

Assess Plan Do Review

Our ‘assess plan do review’ processes are embedded into our whole academy routines and day to day practice, with SEND students prioritised to ensure their provision and support is effective. The SENCO and SEND team maintain an overview of SEND students’ outcomes, attendance, behaviour, and access to opportunities, and will intervene and advocate at the first required opportunity.


A successful transition from primary school is key to the success and wellbeing of any student and so a rigorous and supportive transition programme is put in place. All students who receive a place at the academy are visited at their primary school and are welcomed in to the academy for a bespoke visit. There are two transition days for all secondary students at the beginning of July each year, both at Dixons Unity Academy, and additional transition visits are arranged for vulnerable students. For students with an EHCP, the SENCO will attend their Year 6 transition Annual Review to ensure families are fully informed of provision at the academy.

Collaborative Working with Families and Supporting Agencies

Dixons Unity may involve specialists / professionals from outside agencies to advise them on early identification of SEND along with effective support and intervention methods. Providing a high-quality education is of paramount importance and we believe that a close working relationship between the academy, student and parents / carers is crucial in achieving this. We actively seek to collaborate with parents / carers on a cycle-by-cycle basis but understand that things can change much more quickly than this. We are always happy to arrange a meeting or phone-call to discuss a student’s provision and how best to meet their needs.