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The SEND Practitioner: one year and ten issues later

Edward Farrow

This month, The SEND Practitioner is 13 months old.

In a year of seismic education reforms, we’ve published ten issues, have thousands of subscribers, and have interviewed a host of experts in their fields.

From:

  • A leading lawyer to a top person-centred planning expert.
  • The stars of Channel Four’s Educating the East End to the chief executive of nasen.
  • An outstanding SEN author to a highly regarded SENCO.
  • The director of the Autism Education Trust to one of the DfE’s leading civil servants.
  • The former chief executive of nasen to one of our country’s most influential SEND experts and author of the highly regarded Lamb Report.

It’s been an utterly illuminating ride, one that has been made even greater by our genuinely engaged readership, who have asked us questions every step of the way.

To celebrate over a year of The SEND Practitioner, we were delighted to speak to Brian Lamb OBE for the second time yesterday. Brian took centre stage for our inaugural first issue and we thought that it would make perfect sense to talk to him a full nine months after the SEN reforms took place.

The 11th issue Q&A with Brian will publish before the month is out and will be followed closely by June’s 12th issue – featuring an interview with a world-class Cambridge University academic, psychologist and working memory expert.

If you already subscribe to The SEND Practitioner, thank you for reading. If you don’t and would like to, please sign up to our free-zine here.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a selection of quotes from some of our more recent contributors.

Gareth D Morewood on adapting and preparing for SEN reform

‘As with any change, a lot of potential issues may arise. However, with change comes great opportunity. There is an awful lot of information and support out there, so embrace it and you will find that being a SENCO doesn’t need to be a lonely job.’

Read the fifth issue of The SEND Practitioner.

Natalie Packer offers a few final words on preparing for SEN reform

‘Don’t panic! Remember, 1 September is the start of the process. To that end, schools, local authorities and the DfE are all anticipating at least a three-year transition period. It’s an organic process, so we aren’t expected to do everything at once. Develop an action plan to help you prioritise.’

Read the sixth issue of The SEND Practitioner.

Jane Friswell speaks about the post-SEN reform landscape

‘Keep calm and don’t panic. If you’re confident that you’re providing good quality provision for all children in your setting, then the new SEN requirements should not be a great challenge for you.’

Read the seventh issue of The SEND Practitioner.

Exploring Channel Four’s Educating the East End and the SEN landscape

‘[Our] inclusive approach, combined with effective classroom support (particularly in maths and English), means that we are able to meet the needs of our students.’

Read the eighth issue of The SEND Practitioner.

Mark Blois looks at the SEN legal landscape

‘If SEND practitioners get hung up on the pitfalls and negatives, rather than seizing the opportunity to try and push through cultural change, then we probably won’t see the level of change that most would acknowledge that we should.’

Read the ninth issue of The SEND Practitioner.

Colin Newton explores person-centred planning

‘Let’s use the person-centred planning way of working as tools to enable us to reach a truly inclusive society built around the needs of its most challenging and vulnerable young people.’

Read the tenth issue of The SEND Practitioner.

 

Colin Newton sheds light on person-centred planning

‘Let’s make inclusion happen between us, nobody else is going to do it. Don’t wait for the government, and don’t wait for the DfE. We have got to do this together really. Let’s move forward and let’s use the person-centred planning way of working as tools to enable us to reach a truly inclusive society built around the needs of its most challenging and vulnerable young people.’ (Colin Newton)

In our March/April issue of The SEND Practitioner, one of the UK’s leading inclusion pioneers highlights the importance of person-centred planning at a particularly prescient time – one where inclusion and person-centred planning have very much taken centre stage.

Read issue ten of The SEND Practitioner.

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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
Read more

Exploring the SEND legal landscape with leading education lawyer Mark Blois

‘As a lawyer it’s easy to highlight the weaknesses and vulnerable spots in the legislation and the risks and the legal pitfalls that we have discussed. However, if SEND practitioners get hung up on the pitfalls and negatives, rather than seizing the opportunity to try and push through cultural change, then we probably won’t see the level of change that I think most would acknowledge that we should.’ (Mark Blois)

In this month’s issue of The SEND Practitioner, leading education lawyer Mark Blois answers your questions on the complexities of the legal landscape and SEND practice with clarity and verve.

Read the ninth issue of The SEND Practitioner.

Subscribe to The SEND Practitioner.

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
Read more

Exploring Channel 4’s Educating the East End and the SEN landscape

‘[Our] inclusive approach, combined with effective classroom support (particularly in maths and English), means that we are able to meet the needs of our students.’ Francesca Richards (Frederick Bremer’s SENCO)

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.

If you haven’t already done so, we hope that you might take a few minutes in which to read our latest issue of The SEND Practitioner. We also hope that, if you haven’t already seen the series, you might take some time to watch an episode or two. Believe us, it’s worth it.

Read the eighth issue of The SEND Practitioner.

Subscribe to The SEND Practitioner.

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
Read more

Jane Friswell answers your questions about SEN reform

‘Keep calm and don’t panic. If you’re confident that you’re providing good quality provision for all children in your setting, then the new SEN requirements should not be a great challenge for you. Whatever you do, make sure that you use this year as an opportunity to review and reflect on your good, and maybe not so good, practices. Take stock and remember that you’ve only got this year to do that, so make sure that you do it well.’ Jane Friswell

The seventh issue of The SEND Practitioner published today – over six weeks since the SEN reforms ‘kicked in’. Given such degrees of change, we were delighted when Jane Friswell – CEO of nasen – agreed to speak with us. Jane has been instrumental in setting up nasen’s Gateway with the DfE and has 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.

Read the seventh issue of The SEND Practitioner.

Subscribe to The SEND Practitioner.

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 more

Issue seven of The SEND Practitioner will publish in October

We have put The SEND Practitioner on hold for this month. Why, you may ask? We’re waiting for the dust to settle and looking forward to interviewing a big name in SEND this coming October. We’ll keep you posted!

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