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The SEND Practitioner is five months old

 

This month, The SEND Practitioner will be five months old. And if you said in response: ‘that’s not old’, well, you’d be absolutely right. It is, however, a milestone that we’re rather pleased to have reached. Why? Because in the deepest darkest depths of winter, when the germ of The SEND Practitioner was being discussed in our London office, we knew one thing – that we wanted to produce a monthly free-zine for SEND practitioners containing informative guidance from some of the best SEND practitioners and experts around.

To date, we think that we’ve done that. Just a few short weeks past the summer solstice – and many months from the winter one – we’ve produced four free-zines packed full of insights from some of the leading SEND experts in their fields. We’ve asked our experts the questions that our SENCOs want to ask and have looked at the prospective SEND reforms from a broad range of perspectives. Not only that, hundreds of SENCOs and SEND professionals have joined our list since we first published The SEND Practitioner – which we like to think is a pretty good ‘thumbs up’.

To mark The SEND Practitioner’s fifth month – equal to the lifespan of the dragonflies that flit around Greenwich Park just a stone’s throw from our London office – we are pleased to include a few choice quotes from the marvellous experts who have graced our pages. Thank you to our SENCOs, to Brian Lamb OBE, Lorraine Petersen OBE, Stephen Kingdom, Steve Huggett, and our loyal band of readers – we couldn’t have produced it without you.

From the author of the influential Lamb Inquiry 2009, to the former director of nasen; from the DfE’s most senior SEN civil servant, to the director of the Autism Education Trust, The SEND Practitioner has featured the voices of a host of SEND luminaries.

I’ve jotted down a few author grab quotes from each of our issues to give you a taste of their thoughts. If you want to find out more, simply click on the link that follows each quote to read the actual issue.

Brian Lamb OBE on preparing for the new Code of Practice (Issue one)

‘The Code of Practice is about a change in culture. It sees children with SEN as the school’s responsibility, delivering a personalised approach that recognises that they might need additional specialist support.’

Read the first issue of The SEND Practitioner.

Lorraine Petersen OBE on the Children and Families Act 2014 (Issue two)

‘It’s a time of great opportunity and yet it’s a long journey that we’ve been on since 2011. It will probably be 2016-2017 before we start to see the fruits of this. However, in the long term, I really do feel that it will be better for our children.’

Read the second issue of The SEND Practitioner.

Stephen Kingdom on SEN reform (Issue three)

‘This isn’t a big bang, a lot has been going on over time to help the teaching profession increase its capacity and capability to support children with SEN.’

Read the third issue of The SEND Practitioner.

Steve Huggett on SEN reform (Issue four)

‘The proof of the pudding will be in the eating. It’s what we do about it – rather than what we say about it – that will be critical.’

Read the fourth issue of The SEND Practitioner.

We’ve got a couple of interesting summer issues lined up – and we’re also arranging discounts to a key SEND reform conference this autumn for all of our readers.

So, if you’ve stumbled across this blog and would like to receive it in your in box every month, you can sign-up here. Or, if you have any comments, queries or suggestions, do get in touch.

We talk to the Autism Education Trust’s Steve Huggett about SEN reform

‘The proof of the pudding will be in the eating. It’s what we do about it – rather than what we say about it – that will be critical.’ Steve Huggett

We published the fourth issue of The SEND Practitioner shortly after the SEND Code of Practice was laid before Parliament on 11 June. We were particularly pleased to feature a Q&A on the prospective SEND reforms with Steve Huggett – director of the Autism Education Trust. Steve answered a broad range of your reform questions. Ultimately, reflecting, that the new legislation has a lot of potential to maintain and develop the principles of good practice.

Read the fourth issue of The SEND Practitioner.

Subscribe to The SEND Practitioner.

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 more

The final SEND Code of Practice was laid before Parliament on 11 June

We are pleased to announce that the final SEND Code of Practice and Regulations were placed before Parliament last week. The Code is rather a large document, but we’ve had a quick look through and we’re really pleased to know that we fully comply with the changes that are due to take place this September.

If you are interested in the particular detail of the Code and Regulations – and how they apply to us – please take a look at the excerpts that we have taken from the Code and the Regulations respectively.

Excerpt from the Code of Practice

6.85 The SENCO must be a qualified teacher working at the school. A newly appointed SENCO must be a qualified teacher and, where they have not previously been the SENCO at that or any other relevant school for a total period of more than twelve months, they must achieve a National Award in Special Educational Needs Co-ordination within three years of appointment.

6.86 A National Award must be a postgraduate course accredited by a recognised higher education provider. The National College for Teaching and Leadership has worked with providers to develop a set of learning outcomes (see the References section under Chapter 6 for a link). When appointing staff or arranging for them to study for a National Award schools should satisfy themselves that the chosen course will meet these outcomes and equip the SENCO to fulfil the duties outlined in this Code. Any selected course should be at least equivalent to 60 credits at postgraduate study.

Read the Code of Practice in full.

Regulations

Prescribed qualifications and experience of SENCOs

49. (1) The appropriate authority of a relevant school must ensure that the SENCO appointed under section 67(2) of the Act meets all of the requirements in either paragraph (2) or (3).

(2) The requirements in this paragraph are that the SENCO–

(a)is a qualified teacher;

(b)if required to complete an induction period under regulations made under section 135A of the Education Act 2002(1), has satisfactorily completed such an induction period; and

(c)is working as a teacher at the school.

(3) The requirement in this paragraph is that the SENCO is the head teacher or acting head teacher (or equivalent in the case of an Academy school) of the school.

(4) Where a person becomes the SENCO at a relevant school after 1st September 2009, and has not previously been the SENCO at that or any other relevant school for a total period of more than twelve months, the appropriate authority of the school must ensure that, if the person is the SENCO at the school at any time after the third anniversary of the date on which that person becomes a SENCO, that person holds the qualification, mentioned in paragraph (5).

(5) The qualification referred to in paragraph (4) is a postgraduate qualification in special educational needs co-ordination, for the time being known as “The National Award for Special Educational Needs Co-ordination”, awarded by a recognised body.

(6) For the purposes of paragraph (5), a recognised body is a body designated by the Secretary of State by order made under section 216(1) of the Education Reform Act 1988(2);

Read the Regulations in full.

We ask the DfE’s Stephen Kingdom our SENCOs’ questions on SEN reform

‘This isn’t a big bang, a lot has been going on over time to help the teaching profession increase its capacity and capability to support children with SEN.’ Stephen Kingdom

For issue three of The SEND Practitioner, we thought that we would speak to one of the Act’s and Code’s key civil servants. We know that SENCOs have a lot of questions and wanted to be the voice of our SENCOs. With that in mind, we asked all of the SENCOs who have ever trained with us to send us their questions. We received a host of fascinating questions, compiled them and took them to the hallowed halls of the Department for Education’s Stephen Kingdom.

Stephen answered them eloquently and persuasively and we are delighted to feature them in the third issue of The SEND Practitioner.

Read the third issue of The SEND Practitioner.

Subscribe to The SEND Practitioner.

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 more

What is The SEND Practitioner?

Whilst it might not have escaped your attention, we launched our first issue of The SEND Practitioner a couple of months ago.

Our aim is to publish an illuminating free monthly publication disseminating the latest thinking from experts and practitioners across the SEND spectrum. To date, we’ve interviewed Brian Lamb OBE (author of the influential Lamb Report), Lorraine Petersen OBE (former CEO of nasen) and a group of SENCOs on many aspects of SEND education. In the next issue, we’re particularly excited to be speaking to the DfE’s Stephen Kingdom. Stephen is the DfE’s Deputy Director of SEND and will be answering a broad range of questions that we will source from educationalists who subscribe to The SEND Practitioner.

The Children and Families Act 2014 and the forthcoming Code of Practice mean that this year is set to be one of the more challenging years for educationalists. With this in mind, we hope that this blog, The SEND Practitioner and our Twitter feed will keep all of our students, delegates and experts in the loop – with the latest guidance, advice and expertise from those in the know to those on the go.

You will be able to access a copy of both published issues of The SEND Practitioner on our website very shortly.

In the meantime, you can sign-up to and read the first two issues of The SEND Practitioner here.

 

Lorraine Petersen OBE on the Children and Families Act and the new Code of Practice

‘It’s a time of great opportunity and yet it’s a long journey that we’ve been on since 2011. It will probably be 2016-2017 before we start to see the fruits of this. However, in the long term, I really do feel that it will be better for our children.’ Lorraine Petersen OBE

Yesterday, in response to the Children and Families Act receiving Royal Assent, we published issue two of The SEND Practitioner.

Our clients, delegates, students, SENCOs, EPs and teachers are practising in a climate of great uncertainty. We know that they want to make the necessary adjustments to their work in advance of the forthcoming Code of Practice – which puts flesh on the bones of how the Act should be followed. However, with such a tight deadline looming, we thought that it would be wise to interview one of the key people in this area.

In issue two, Lorraine Petersen OBE, former CEO of nasen, sheds light on the Act and the new Code and gives the real answers to the real problems that SEND practitioners may encounter in September of this year.

Read the second issue of The SEND Practitioner.

Subscribe to The SEND Practitioner.

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 more

We publish our first free-zine: The SEND Practitioner

In late February, as part of our ongoing commitment to excellence in SEND practice, we introduced a free monthly ezine for all of our current and previous students. The SEND Practitioner covers a variety of expert-led topics, offering the latest practical insights.

These exciting free-zines discuss the most pressing issues facing the SEND practitioner today with real experts and expertise.

March’s issue contains up-to-the-minute guidance on the forthcoming Code of Practice: what changes are taking place; what should practitioners do to prepare; and what will it mean for them? Brian Lamb OBE, author of the influential Lamb Inquiry, discusses his thoughts alongside a group of SENCOs and a timeline to change. April’s issue features Lorraine Petersen’s (former CEO of nasen) illuminating insights on the Act and the prospective Code.

In May’s issue, our Q&A with Stephen Kingdom (the DfE’s Deputy Director of SEND) will enable us to discuss the most pressing issues and questions with a key government figure. To this end, if you have a question that you would like to ask Stephen, please contact our editor by email.

You will be able to access a copy of both published issues of The SEND Practitioner on our website very shortly.

In the meantime, you can sign-up to and read the first two issues of The SEND Practitioner here.

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