Damian Hinds responds to Dame Christine Lenehan's report into residential special schools
In November 2017, the report 'Good Intentions, Good Enough?' was published; it presented a detailed picture of the residential special schools sector along with recommendations. Damian Hinds' response to this report has now been published.
This response emphasises that SEND is a significant concern for the government, both in the light of this report but also due to the increase in numbers of children and young people with SEND being educated in special schools and settings, and the high numbers of pupils with SEND being excluded from school. The minister discusses some of the challenges within the current system, including joint working between education, health and social care and the pressures on high needs budgets.
Of particular interest to schools will be the emphasis on helping mainstream schools to develop their responses to pupils with SEND (such as through the Whole School SEND consortium), including approaching Ofsted: "I will ask Ofsted to consider how our accountability system can sufficiently reward schools for their (often excellent) work with pupils who need extra support, and to encourage schools to focus on all pupils, not just the highest achievers."
A Leadership Board for children and young people with high needs will be established, as recommended in the report, and the sector will be widely consulted about this.
This response restates the minister's ambition to improve outcomes and experiences for children and young people with SEND and is to be welcomed; we now need to see these postive words translated into actions and we look forward to this.
Tool - 30 Aug 2019 Silver AND Gold Member Only
A useful tool for silver and gold members in the EYFS, primary, secondary and post-16 settings. This resource is designed to help teachers work their way through the graduated approach for those pupils that haven’t necessarily yet been identified with SEN but for whom there are initial concerns.
Tool - 29 Aug 2019 Silver AND Gold Member Only
Available to silver and gold members, this useful person centred working tool is suitable for those supporting pupils in Early Years, Primary, Secondary and post 16 settings. The resource can be used to outline a pupil’s key strengths, needs and the strategies and key adjustments to teaching that are needed every day. It can provide a useful vehicle for meaningful discussion around learning between the teacher and the pupil, involving them positively in discussing effective approaches to enable better engagement. Working in a person-centred way (across the whole setting), including the use of person-centred tools, is essential for not only populating the passport but also for getting the most from using it.
Checklist - 27 Aug 2019 Silver AND Gold Member Only
A useful editable checklist for silver and gold members. Aimed at SENCOs, this resource will help you check that your SEN information report is compliant with statutory requirements, and that it is useful and accessible for parents and young people. This resource will help you to meet statutory requirements and use person-centred practice (it is statutory to publish an SEN information report on a school website; Ofsted often look at it before an inspection).