Are SEND students being let down?

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23 November 2016 by Anne Heavey
This question was asked at ATL conference in 2016. As the results of our SEND survey show, clearly there is still a long way to go in making sure pupils with SEND get the support that they need to thrive.
Desks in a classroom

On the 26 of November we will be holding workshops at the ATL Independent Schools Conference to explore key themes from the 2014 SEND Code of Practice and reflect on how we can use these opportunities to pupils with SEND enjoy and achieve at school.

Pupil and Family voice

Putting pupils and families at the centre of SEND provision was one of the biggest changes in the new SEND Code of Practice. Identifying and supporting SEND learners should now be a collaborative process. This is a huge step toward ending what the DfE have identified as a “combative and confrontational” culture. In the past, many families and pupils felt that they had to fight for support and that provision planning was “done to” rather than “done with” them.

Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs)

Statements have been replaced with Education, Health and Care plans (EHCPs). By April 2018 all children with statements should be transferred onto these new EHCPs. EHCPs are updated annually and contain agreed “outcomes” for the pupil. The plan sets out how these will be achieved. Every Local Authority has their own template for an EHCP, but in theory they should contain the same sections.

Tracking Progress

The new focus on setting outcomes brings with it a responsibility to ensure that support and interventions are having a positive impact. This needs to be tracked and evidenced over time. We want to know how we ensure that our provision is effective and how do we monitor progress toward achieving expected outcomes?

This will be a positive session at the Conference, highlighting opportunities and sharing good ideas. We know that funding and resourcing for SEND just isn’t good enough, and ATL will keep calling for more investment, but in the meantime, there is a lot we can do to improve the experiences of pupils with SEND.

You can find the details of our SEND survey here.

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