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Issue ten: The SEND Practitioner

The SEND Practitioner
Issue ten
Person-centred planning
March/April 2015
A Q&A with inclusion expert
Colin Newton

Editorial

To celebrate our one-year anniversary we are delighted to feature our recent conversation with Colin Newton – one of the UK’s leading inclusion pioneers. Colin’s interest in this area was sparked by a lecture tour that he helped to organise in the mid-90s. As part of that programme, he brushed shoulders with two of the world’s foremost inclusion gurus. Since then, he hasn’t looked back – writing and publishing many books on the subject and forming one of the country’s most respected inclusion companies.

More recently, the new Code of Practice and the inclusive approach that it espouses, has led to inclusion and person-centred planning taking centre stage. In light of this, there are few better people to talk about this subject and answer your questions.

We hope that you enjoy this issue and want to thank you for continuing to subscribe to The SEND Practitioner. In the last year, we have interviewed many respected SEND practitioners and are delighted to have increased our readership by more than 1,000 since our launch.

As ever, if you have any questions, queries, thoughts or suggestions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.

Kind regards,

Edward Farrow
Editor
editor@realgroup.co.uk
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Issue nine: The SEND Practitioner

The SEND Practitioner
Issue nine
The SEN legal landscape
January/February 2015
A Q&A with leading education lawyer Mark Blois

Editorial

In issue five of The SEND Practitioner, Gareth Morewood emphasised the fact that SENCOs should prepare themselves for the raft of legislative changes by really getting to know the law. However, at the time of writing (July 2014) the legislative changes were yet to come into effect. As a result, much commentary of the time was, by its very nature, circumspect.

Since then, five challenging months have elapsed in which SEND practitioners have begun to adapt to the new framework. And whilst aspects of the new framework are short on detail and require case law decisions to clarify the legal guidance that can be given, there has been some progress as the dust has begun to settle. However, it’s a long journey ahead and will take years, not months, to embed this cultural change.

With this challenge and the words of previous contributors to The SEND Practitioner echoing in my mind, I was thrilled when Mark Blois said that he would be happy to talk to me. I had seen Mark speak at a key SEN framework conference towards the end of last year and had been particularly struck by his calm, cogent and rigorous analysis of the legal landscape and his rare ability to communicate legal complexities with clarity and verve.

Before you read on, I should warn you that this is a tome of an issue, containing a decent selection of the reader questions that some of you have sent to me. Mark was kind enough to give me over an hour of his time and this Q&A is the distilled fruit of a very large interview transcript. However, ultimately, one should not cut corners with the law and it is in this legal spirit that I am really pleased to offer you Mark’s illuminating analysis.

I hope that you find a few moments in which to read it and, ultimately, I hope that you find it useful. As ever, please do get in touch if you have any comments, queries or suggestions.

Kind regards,

Edward Farrow
Editor
editor@realgroup.co.uk
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Issue eight: The SEND Practitioner

The SEND Practitioner
Issue eight
Channel Four’s Educating the East End and the SEN landscape
November 2014
A Q&A with Frederick Bremer’s deputy head and SENCO

Editorial

Towards the end of October, my partner and her teaching colleagues were crestfallen when Educating the East End aired its final episode. I hadn’t seen it, but I had been aware of it. I had read heart-warming reviews about the brilliance of this Walthamstow comprehensive school in the national press; and had been told by a producer friend that this is how fly-on-the-wall TV should be made. So, when my director mentioned that he might just be able to wangle an interview with one of the stars of the show, I jumped at the chance.

It was a revelation and a joy to discover that Educating the East End is the most wonderful antidote to reality TV imaginable and a break from the go-getting obsession with ‘self’ that is the mark of much of this genre. In contrast, this series celebrates the vital importance of schools, pupils, and the communities that they serve. From senior management, to school staff; from pupils, to parents; Educating the East End is a singular triumph that champions the nurturing power of a school that really does place the pupil at the heart of everything. To bear witness to the school’s holistic approach and to see the joy that its staff and pupils gleaned from each other was a rare privilege. To see the progress that each pupil made whatever their background, ability, or disability was remarkable.

Against a landscape of ever-present change in education, it is genuinely inspiring to see what a pupil-centred approach really looks like. To speak to Frederick Bremer’s deputy head (Emma Hillman) and SENCO (Francesca Richards) and realise that this has also enabled them to navigate the SEN reforms relatively easily was instructive. I hope that you find this piece illuminating. I also hope that, if you haven’t already seen the series, then you might take a little time over Christmas to sit down and watch an episode or two. Believe me, it’s worth it.

Kind regards,

Edward Farrow
Editor
editor@realgroup.co.uk
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Issue seven: The SEND Practitioner

 

The SEND Practitioner
Issue seven
In the wake of September
– the post-SEN reform landscape
October 2014
A Q&A with nasen’s Jane Friswell

 

Editorial

The SEN reforms ‘kicked in’ over six weeks ago. Since then, teachers and settings across the country have been trying to make sense of the myriad of changes sweeping through education. With this in mind, we held off publishing a September version of The SEND Practitioner. We thought that, given the raft of changes, it might be a trifle premature. Fittingly, during this brief hiatus, we received a number of emails from our readers focusing on a range of queries from the accountability and funding transparency of local authorities, through to questions about the Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

Given such degrees of change, we were delighted when Jane Friswell – CEO of nasen – agreed to speak to us. Jane has been instrumental in setting up nasen’s Gateway with the DfE and has an in-depth understanding of the SEN reforms. If you want to know what you really need to know, then Jane’s responses will enlighten, inform and ground you in the year ahead.

As ever, if you have any thoughts, queries, comments or concerns, please do get in touch.

Kind regards,

Edward Farrow
Editor
editor@realgroup.co.uk
Read the full issue

The SEND Practitioner archive

What is The SEND Practitioner?

This e-zine is an excellent source of free information on the most pressing topics and issues faced by SEND practitioners.

In the wake of 1 September reforms, we wanted to give our readers and our experts a bit of time to digest the changes ‘on the ground’ as the dust continues to settle. We are therefore delighted that our seventh issue responds to our readers’ pressing questions, with a special feature with Jane Friswell — nasen’s chief executive.

If there is anything that you want us to write about, are unsure of, or would like to comment on, please do email our editor. It would be good to hear from you.

Issue six: The SEND Practitioner

The SEND Practitioner
Issue six 
When September comes – a few final words on preparing for SEN reform

August 2014
A Q&A with Natalie Packer  with key quotes from previous contributors

Editorial

The time has come, the holidays are drawing to a close and every town, village and city echoes with the urgent bustle of August’s last hurrah. After a long and lovely summer, September is almost here. And yet, this isn’t just any old September. For many a teacher, parent and pupil, this is a September to trump all other Septembers a September defined by some of the most seismic reforms to education in recent memory.

So, as you linger in the shadows of the ‘back to school’ feeling that always casts shade this time of year, we hope to shed light on what you should do and what you should expect when September comes. To that end, and to allay your fears, we are delighted to feature a Q&A with author and education expert Natalie Packer. Not only that, we have trawled through the past five issues of The SEND Practitioner to bring you a ‘pep talk’ of expert quotes to spur you on into September and beyond.

The new school year is always an exciting and daunting time, but it’s also one that offers real opportunity. We wish you the best of luck for the new academic year and hope that this helps you on your way.

If you have any thoughts, queries, comments or concerns, please do get in touch.

Kind regards,

Edward Farrow
Editor
editor@realgroup.co.uk
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Issue five: The SEND Practitioner

The SEND Practitioner
Issue five
A Q&A with Gareth D Morewood – adapting and preparing for SEN reform
July 2014

Editorial

On Tuesday 29 July, at 15.29, with a clarion call to arms, the DfE tweeted that: “our new Code has been given the seal of approval”. One could almost hear the cheers and roars of approval break, like a wave, across the country. Finally, after many weeks of ping ponging between the Houses, this lengthy rally – of which the Commonwealth Games would most probably be proud – had reached its natural conclusion. With the Act and the new Code in place come 1 September, the proof and the pudding will take centre stage in under five weeks.

With that in mind, and with such a short time between now and September, we want to do our best to help SEND professionals prepare. We were therefore delighted when Gareth D Morewood – SENCO, author and all-round SEND guru – agreed to answer your questions. We collated your questions, put them to Gareth and he has really shed light on this complex area.

This is truly a bumper issue. However, with the changes in September being so significant, we wanted to create something that you can refer to in the coming weeks. To that end, and because there is so much useful practical information here, we have created a clickable contents list with abridged questions just below this editorial to help you navigate this tome.

We hope that you find this month’s e-zine particularly useful. If you have any queries, thoughts, comments or concerns, please do get in touch.

Kind regards,

Edward Farrow
Editor
editor@realgroup.co.uk

Read the full issue

Issue four: The SEND Practitioner

 

The SEND Practitioner
Issue four
A Q&A with Steve Huggett – director of the Autism Education Trust
June 2014

 

Editorial

On 11 June, the SEND Code of Practice was finally laid before Parliament – where it will be subject to scrutiny from both the House of Lords and the House of Commons. With so much happening in such a short space of time, we thought that it would be a good opportunity to speak to Steve Huggett – the Autism Education Trust’s (AET’s) director. Steve, formerly a principal educational psychologist and teacher, has directed the AET since 2011 and provides some particularly illuminating insights into the SEN reforms and the Code of Practice at a prescient time.

Thank you for taking the time to read this e-zine. I hope that you find it useful and, as ever, would welcome any comments or suggestions that you might have.

Kind regards,

Edward Farrow
Editor
editor@realgroup.co.uk Read the full issue

Issue three: The SEND Practitioner

 

The SEND Practitioner
Issue three
A Q&A with the DfE’s Stephen Kingdom
May 2014

 

Editorial

As part of our ongoing commitment to SEND practitioners, we wanted to put your questions on the forthcoming SEN reforms directly to the government. We asked you to let us know the key questions that you would like to ask and received a great response. We collated the questions and posed them to Stephen Kingdom – the civil servant behind the new Code of Practice and the Children and Families Act 2014.

As ever, thank you for your interest and thank you for taking the time to send us your questions. We hope that you find this issue useful and would welcome any comments or suggestions that you might have.

Kind regards,

Edward Farrow
Editor
editor@realgroup.co.uk
Read the full issue

Issue two: The SEND Practitioner

The SEND Practitioner
Issue two
The Children and Families Act 2014 is born
April 2014

Editorial

On 13 March, after a fair amount of time ping ponging around the two parliamentary houses, the Children and Families Act finally received Royal Assent. This particular landmark is an important staging post, but one staging post on an exacting and demanding legislative journey that began as far back as 2011. Now the race is on, the legislative touch paper has been lit, the Royal Assent starting pistol has sounded and local authorities across the country are racing to put as much as possible in place before September. And yet, in the midst of this, the forthcoming SEN Code of Practice (that puts flesh on the bones of how the Act should be followed) is set to be issued “shortly ahead of reforms coming into force in September” (GOV.UK).

Against this background, there is inevitably a great deal of uncertainty as to how schools, their leaders and SENCOs will prepare for, and adapt to, the new Code of Practice. With this in mind – and building on Brian Lamb’s opening analysis in our first issue – we spoke with Lorraine Petersen (former CEO of nasen) to get her illuminating insights on the Act and the prospective Code.

Kind regards,

Edward Farrow
Editor
editor@realgroup.co.uk

Read the full issue

The SEND Practitioner

  • Issue 19: The SEND Practitioner

    Professor Simon Baron-Cohen discusses how the social pressure on girls to fit in and conform can mask their autism, making it difficult for teachers and practitioners to identify. Dr Sarah Hendrickx also explores the issue of autistic girls ‘hiding in plain sight’, and what she feels are the advantages and disadvantages of the expansion of specialist support for girls. Dr Wenn Lawson draws on his own experience of gender dysphoria and autism, to discuss the links between the two conditions and the ways in which he overcame these barriers.

  • Issue 19 of The SEND Practitioner: Watch this space!

    Over the weekend, a slight technical glitch left us unable to publish issue 19 of The SEND Practitioner. We’re glad to let you know that it’s been ironed out and will publish here on Sunday 21 May instead. Pop back this Sunday to read our conversations with Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, Dr Sarah Hendrickx and Dr Wenn Lawson […]

  • Issue 18: The SEND Practitioner

    Edward Timpson MP (minister of state for vulnerable children and families) and Dr Adam Boddison (CEO of nasen) answer our readers’ questions on the Code of Practice, early identification, nominal budgets, the new national curriculum, the Rochford Review, SEND and teacher training courses, and 2017 and beyond, Brian Lamb OBE looks at the SEND reforms and asks where are we now?

  • Issue 17: The SEND Practitioner

    Anne Longfield OBE (Children’s Commissioner for England) discusses the state of the nation’s child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) via: CAMHS cuts, SEN general annual grant (GAG) funding, demographics, exclusions, legal aid, and the post-Brexit landscape.

    Sarah Norris (senior educational psychologist (EP)) explores the particular challenges facing professionals who support children and young people with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) difficulties.

  • Issue 16: The SEND Practitioner

    An autism special issue with Dr Temple Grandin, Steve Silberman and Dr Sue Sheppard; curated from previous issues especially for the Autism Show.

  • Issue 15: The SEND Practitioner

    Dr Temple Grandin answers the questions that you put to her. Dr Sue Sheppard speaks about Lorna Wing, autism in the UK, the importance of good training and the future for young people with autism. Brian Lamb OBE writes about the government’s latest education White Paper and its possible impact on the SEND reforms.

  • Issue 14: The SEND Practitioner

    Exploring autism with Steve Silberman – author of Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity and winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 2015.

  • Issue 13: The SEND Practitioner

    Examining Channel 4’s Educating Cardiff with Ian Whittaker – key member of staff and SEN line manager at Willows High School.

  • Issue 12: The SEND Practitioner

    Looking at the hearing impairment landscape with Susan Daniels OBE.

  • Issue 11: The SEND Practitioner

    An SEN-reform health-check with Brian Lamb.

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