We are all teachers of SEN/D…right!? By @ASTSupportAAli

This short blog will list out for you the 5 principles behind the changes we have made in our school regarding SEN/D and other disadvantaged student’s provision. I shared these 5 points at #TeachMeetSEND today at Oxford University Education Department.

This was organised by @SimonKnight100 and was attended by such amazing people such as, @Chrischivers2, @NancyGedge, @RachelRossiter, @SpectrumSuccess, @Natedtrust_Marc, @90_Maz, @WillJharvey, @Azpiedelazouch, @jonreidobu, @fiona_moody, @HoneybeeVic and @Libby1310 and many more!

 

Extend Leadership

SEN/D and Disadvantaged students provision is best served when everybody is held responsible. It is OK, good/proper for there to be a lead member of SLT who spear heads the drive. Nevertheless, the responsibility, accountability and effectiveness of practice is everyones charge. At my school, we are ensuring all subject teachers, Heads of Departments and Faculty leaders are clear about roles and expectations. Raising achievement of our disadvantaged students is a whole school approach. This needs to be more than just saying it is important, an item on each agenda, a focus of all CPD, an area during observations/learning walks/work scrutiny and so on.

 

Up Skill

Ensure all your staff are given the opportunity to become better informed about the students they are teaching. Provide the framework for them (such as SEN/D registers and so on.) But allow the onus to fall on them for them to seek/gain information/knowledge/experience. (There may have to be some non-negotaible expectations, such us out SPOT Folders.)

Here, we provide drop in CPD every Monday and Thursday; every week. We also have carousel/twilight CPD, with one of the four sessions always falling under the inclusion banner. However, we simply refer to it as Teaching and Learning. Staff are to pick which of the sessions they want to attend and then feedback to their teams/subject areas.

Involve your outside agencies, the specialists both externally and internally to lead, to inspire and to share. We are creating greater links with our feeder primary schools, not just during transition.

The training of staff must apply to support staff, teachers, SLT and Governors.

 

Raise Profile

Make your aims/goals clear and on going. Do not provide big hits and then quiet periods. Do not be driven by what Ofsted expect/want solely. We simply work on where we are and where we want to be. We isolated that disadvantaged students are our single biggest priority, so that is what we are collectively working on, together. Ensuring that the vision, ethos and culture is combined.

Something that has taken me a long time to do has been to carefully and clearly detail out each member of the teams role. I have spent an age making it clear to the whole school, who does what and why. This has raised the status, morale and effectiveness of my team.

 

Step Back

Do not hit your staff with one big initiative after another. Ensure that staff aren’t feeling totally at sea with the changes and ideas. Allow time for them to embed. But, if you do implement something, allow time for it to happen and always follow up.

A big change I have seen is by providing a framework of support to teachers- guidance as to what should be done, before wanting additional support from the Inclusion team has dramatically reduced requests and increased teacher student relationships. Sometimes, just providing clarity and certainty is enough.

 

Aware/Share

Be aware before you share. Being the spear head, or the ultimate guardian of SEN/D it falls on me to ensure I am up to date with the changes. Do not share half baked changes with your staff, shield them from uncertainty and simply, know all the facts before anything needs to be done.

I lead many staff sessions on the SEN/D code of practice, carefully going through, repeating and reaffirming changes. Not, shocking and sending surprises to the whole staff.

 

Our most recent Section 5 Ofsted report has highlighted the Learning Support Department/Inclusion Team as doing really amazing, awesome work! I am so pleased, they are being recognised for all they do.

In an ideal world, my job, director of inclusion, wouldn’t exist.

 

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6 comments

  1. Thanks for this, Amjad. Reminds me of recently reading in the Carter review of ITT: “Good teaching for SEND is good teaching for all children”.

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