What, Why and How?
Free CPD to help practitioners implement the Graduated Approach as outlined in the SEND Code of Practice
You’re possibly a Head teacher that has identified a need to improve classroom practice in your setting; or maybe you are Inclusion Lead and are trying to embed the graduated approach; you might even be at the ‘chalk face’ and are keen to develop your own practice in order to better meet the needs of all of your learners, including those with SEN. In short, you’ve identified the ‘what’ you would like to do in your setting but are unsure about the ‘how’.
Before considering the ‘how’, let’s think about the ‘why’.
Of course there is the ‘professional factor’ which means (hopefully) that as a profession we strive to be life-long learners in order to improve what we do because we not only care about excellence but also, and more importantly, the children and young people with whom we work. There is another dimension to this however. For senior managers there is a heightened awareness of the need for accountability and to be able to show (and prove) that your institution is ‘doing the right thing’; SEN figures large in the new September 2015 Ofsted framework for example. Those with leadership responsibility for SEN will be acutely aware of the recent SEN reforms (has it really been over a year since the new Code of Practice came into force?). The Code of Practice makes it very clear that provision and responsibility for SEN sits with the classroom practitioner. This is coupled with the fact that the role of the SENCO/Inclusion Lead has become, a more strategic one. Finally, for practitioners, in addition to the afore mentioned Code of Practice, the 2012 Teacher Standards, the 2014 Professional Standards for Teachers and Trainers in Education and Training (for post 16 providers) and the 2013 Early Years Teacher Standards all make it clear that they are responsible for their students with SEND.
We now have the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ but are still left with the ‘how’. Just how do you go about addressing all the above in a way that will engage staff, not be burdensome on their time, relate to their current classroom practice, fit in with the school cycle of professional development and CPD and be suitably flexible to fit in with other CPD needs?
In April 2015, nasen was successful in its bid to secure funding from the DfE, through the National Prospectus Grant, in order to develop free online SEN CPD for all class and subject teachers, practitioners and tutors across the 0 – 25 years age range in England.
This CPD will help practitioners implement the Graduated Approach, as outlined in the SEND Code of Practice, through its embedding in the process of High Quality Teaching / Practice. It is this which the Code identifies as being not only core provision in meeting the needs of learners with SEN but also a means of addressing lower level needs before they become SEN. So, by undertaking this CPD, practitioners will be in a position to better identify and meet the needs of children and young people with SEN.
Sound good so far? The next thing you need to know is how it works.
The CPD will take a practice led, enquiry-based approach and consist of approximately 9 hours of learning which will be available 24 hours a day. There will be 6 modules, the first 5 of which will have knowledge based content, practical activities for the learner to work through in their setting and guidance for reflection in order to support the practitioner in consolidating their learning. Learners will record their reflections in a virtual learning log / journal. This can be used as part of the performance management process.
Module 6 draws inspiration from the action research process and enables learners to use what they have learnt, in context, in order to identify ways of improving their practice.
In addition, there is also a virtual forum where learners in a setting can share with each other their learning, thoughts, ideas, successes etc.
Finally, the next step is to begin using the course. Although you can register interest, unfortunately you can’t sign up just yet as the training isn’t due to ‘go live’ until March 2016. In the meantime however you can begin to plan for its use through the use of the Collaborative Learning webcast which will you support you with preparation to use the offer (and other CPD too).
See you in March!
Michael has a background in primary education both in the UK and abroad and has worked as a class teacher, SENCo and Deputy Head. Since 2008 Michael worked for Birmingham Local Authority as part of the leadership team of a SEN advisory service developing schools’ provision for children and young people with SEN. Michael was seconded to nasen in August 2015 to work on the DfE funded project to develop a nationwide offer of free online CPD for all practitioners in sectors from 0 – 25.