Levelling Up – Widening participation for pupils with SEND

by | May 10, 2022 | Leadership, Curriculum

Levelling Up – Widening participation for pupils with SEND

Levelling Up Learning – widening participation for pupils with SEND – a training course from Learning Cultures

The recent SEND Green paper published by the Department of Education brings into sharp focus the need to look more closely at how schools across the country ensure pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) have the same access to a high-quality of education as any other learner. The paper acknowledges that provision and how it is managed and funded needs to change. There is, the paper concludes, a vicious cycle of late intervention, low confidence and inefficient resource allocation. The vision for change is to turn this vicious cycle into a virtuous one where there will be a single national SEND and alternative provision system.

Levelling Up  - Widening participation for pupils with SEND
SEND pupils can achieve so much with positive attitudes, relevant resources and high quality pedagogy and CPD

The hope is that most children and young people who have SEND will be able to access the support they need to thrive in their local mainstream setting without unnecessary bureaucratic processes or the need for an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and a placement in special or alternative provision.

The aim is for greater national consistency in the support that is available, how it is accessed and how it is funded. This all requires early and accurate identification of needs, the highest quality teaching and associated CPD and absolutely no delay in access to targeted support.

The Schools’ White Paper that came out at the same time aligns with the recommendations in the SEND Green Paper. There is a promise of an additional £1 billion of funding this year and next to support children and young people with the most complex needs. The White Paper talks about ambitious reforms of mainstream provision through excellent teacher training and development where evidence of best practice is shared and cascaded to ensure that all teachers can build on what is known to work well.

The special education agenda is incorporated into the ambition by the government that all schools will belong to a ‘family of schools’ by the end of this decade. Their view is that this will strengthen the offer of alternative provision and will enhance the learning experience of those pupils with SEND who belong to main stream schools.

Developing excellent provision from early years to adulthood

Building strong provision through partnership and coalition

Excellent provision starts here and now. The focus on building well-defined partnerships where the pupil and their needs are always centre stage is something that we need to have clearly established now and for the future.

A focus on recent OFSTED reports just over the past few months of 2022 show that in many schools there is a lack of cohesion and consistency in how pupils with SEND have access to the curriculum and have their specific needs carefully defined and addressed. How they are taught and supported by teaching and support staff also attracts some criticism. It is acknowledged that many teachers do not have the relevant and recent training to guarantee excellent provision.

What can we do now to embrace a new emphasis on special needs?

Recognising best practice across the sector is essential in determining how each mainstream school and alternative provider can begin to define a vision for the future for all pupils with special needs. Strategic collaboration requires a well-crafted vision that is communicated to everyone involved in the development of a targeted approach to managing SEND provision. The goal must be to ensure all pupils with special educational needs receive the best education that aligns with the best possible practice across the sector. This must involve a synergy with other local providers, the school community and all other stakeholders involved in the process.

Creating a symmetry within a learning culture

Through a thorough review of the evidence of what works and a deep dive into research provided by specialists working in the field of special needs provision, Learning Cultures has developed a powerful new training opportunity that intertwines previous good practice with new and innovative strategies that focus on the strands that are informed as a result of the recent review of SEND provision, the recent Green Paper and the Schools’ White Paper that focuses on similar messages of a collaborative and collective approach to achievement for all.

How coaching can help to realise the vision for widening participation

Our training always builds in an element linked to the philosophies that align with coaching. Building a coaching element into CPD that focuses on how to create Professional Learning Communities that become a catalyst for the sharing and cascading of good practice, a focus on positive outcomes and the realisation of powerful, challenging and innovative goals will all support the building of a strategy for levelling up and widening participation that leads to every pupil achieving their full potential.

Our live webinar Levelling up – Widening Participation for Pupils with SEND looks in detail at assessment, tracking and intervention and then focuses on the coaching models that will support powerful conversations that make a different and shape the third element which is supporting schools and those working in alternative provision with building on what currently works well and what can be changed to enhance learning and development for all pupils.

Levelling up – Widening Participation for Pupils with SEND Book your place now.

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