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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.

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

Edward Farrow

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.

What is The SEND Practitioner?

Edward Farrow

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.

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.

Backed by the British Accreditation Council (BAC)

We are delighted to have been officially recognised as a centre of learning and excellence by the British Accreditation Council (BAC).

Siobhan Mellor, director of Real Training:

‘We’re happy with BAC’s thorough analysis of the learning experience for our delegates – from the booking process, admin and finance systems as well as the teaching, tutoring and learning that we offer through our courses. We are pleased that they have given us their stamp of recognition for excellent training. We work hard to continually build on the strengths of our training for professionals in education and know how important it is to deliver excellent training for teachers, particularly as these are the very people who strive to deliver great learning in their own education settings.

‘BAC’s inspection – with their experience of accrediting training across the UK – has recognised Real Training’s outstanding areas of practice. We will continue to improve (it’s in our nature as educational psychologists to keep looking for the next steps!), but, at this moment, we want to stand back and feel proud of our BAC accreditation seal of approval.’

Find out more about BAC.

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