We are grateful to @Claire_Ryan12 for suggesting the Law in relation to SEND as a topic for one of our Wednesday evening discussions on @SENexchange which we held on 7.3.18 and to @bjpren for bringing her knowledge and experience to co-host with us.
It was an interesting and useful discussion and we therefore felt that colleagues might appreciate the key questions and points raised to be put together in a blog – so here it is!
You can find and follow the full chat by searching the hashtag #SENexchange for tweets on the evening of 7.3.18
Q1. Who is the SENCO at your school and what training have they received to support them with their role? ( NB reference to mandatory qualification Code of Practice page 108).If you are a teaching SENCO how many planning hours do you get?
A range of responses were received for this question including some colleagues who had completed the SENCO qualification and others that had not. Colleagues had received variable amounts of training in their role and some contributors did not know what training their SENCO had received. Colleagues who are SENCOs had variable amounts of time in order to complete their role. @bjpren reminded everyone that information about the school SENCO should be included in the SEN information report which is a requirement of all school websites. She also reminded us of the school’s duty to ensure the SENCo is qualified (SEN Reg 51/schedule 1). We were also reminded of the difference for FE providers (FE sencop 6.84)
Q2. What training have your school staff had on the SEND Code of Practice?
Contributors spoke of the training / meeting time which had been given to CoP and revised legislation in a positive way.
Q3. How do you ensure the staff involved in leading annual reviews at your school are familiar with SEND law?
Most contributors spoke of members of the senior leadership team or the SENCo in the school leading all annual reviews and spoke of this being a strength of what they do in terms of the person centred approach used.
Q4. How do you effectively liaise with the statutory assessment team in your LA regarding ensuring effective EHCPs for the pupils in your school?
There was variable experience of involvement / support of LAs / statutory assessment team in EHCP work however some really good practice in some LAs shared where members of the statutory assessment team will attend reviews for example.
Q5. How do you ensure the ‘SEN Information report’ on your website is up to date with requirements and is meaningful and useful to your parents / carers?
Many contributors spoke of their SEN information report being reviewed and updated annually including one contributor who spoke of governor role in monitoring this. There were some contributors who were frustrated as they could not find SEN information report on the school websites or were aware that theirs were not compliant so were taking this back as an action. This included some parents / carers who wanted to know some information about the school their child attends.
Q6. How do you ensure you work effectively with other agencies so that the plan is truly an Education, Health and Care plan?
Unsurprisingly there was variable experience of this including alot of frustrations in relation to the engagement or apparent lack of it from some agencies in some areas. Equally there was some really good practice out there involving positive collaborative working
Q7. Any parents / carers out there – where do you find the best support in relation to legal issues relating to your child’s SEND and their provision?
Q8. How do schools and parents / carers best work together regarding ensuring EHCPS are relevant, meaningful and legally compliant?
Contributors commented on the importance of this task and on the open and transparent relationships with parents / carers in relation to making sure the child’s needs are met.
Q9. What about school governors – how do your governors ensure your school is compliant with the law in relation to SEND in your school?
We were reminded by @steveBroach that Governors have a really important ‘best endeavours’ duty to ensure that special educational provision that children in their school need is actually made (s 66 CFA 2014)
Thank you again to all of the contributors to this discussion – we were delighted that during this chat we reached over 4000 followers! We want to continue to ensure SENexchange is relevant and useful to all of our followers so do keep the discussion topic ideas coming in and do keep sharing your free ideas , resources and good practice.
We are grateful for all of your support