The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

SEND Code of Practice

Gareth D Morewood

Promoting a better understanding of ADHD in schools

Myths and misunderstandings can create barriers to effective support for pupils with ADHD. Gareth D Morewood shares some advice from a recent event. I have been fortunate to have been part of the work previously developing ADHD care pathways and supporting the development of training materials for...
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Jack Procter-Blain

Providing trainee teachers with meaningful SEND training

Initial teacher training should prepare trainees to work effectively with every pupil in their classroom, including those with SEND. Ever since the Carter review of initial teacher training in 2015, which reminded us that 'good teaching for SEND is good teaching for all children', practitioners and...
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Gareth D Morewood

How to strengthen your SENCO-governor relationship

To the SENCO, a SEND governor can provide supportive accountability and critical friendship. Here are some ways to make this relationship count. Last week I emphasised that the start of the new term is the perfect time for SENCOs to plan strategically for effective SEND provision. But a SENCO is...
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Gareth D Morewood

National SEND inquiry: current challenges and possible solutions

Writing a submission to the government's SEND inquiry provided an opportunity to reflect on the challenges in the current system, and offer some suggestions for change. In a previous post I explained why the Education Committee’s inquiry into support for children and young people with SEND is a...
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Gareth D Morewood

Revisiting the student passport

It has been several years since Priestnall School first introduced student passports. Gareth D Morewood explains why they continue to help secure better outcomes. We have been using student passports at Priestnall School for almost a decade now, and the reason for using them has never been clearer...
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Gareth D Morewood

An integrated approach to working with health services

With a positive disposition, a little creativity and the support of key stakeholders, nothing is impossible. Gareth D Morewood outlines his alternative approach to organising CAMHS consultations. Earlier this week posted a tweet about something I thought reasonably unremarkable. Tomorrow we host...
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Gareth D Morewood

National SEND inquiry: it's time to have your say

A new inquiry promises to review the SEND reforms. We can't afford to waste this opportunity to make our voices heard. The implementation period of the SEND reforms has officially ended, leaving at best a mixed picture with regard to outcomes for young people and families; at worst, a total...
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Gareth D Morewood

Investing in interventions: what does the research tell us?

What makes an intervention effective? How are schools to decide what to fund or deliver? Gareth D Morewood explains what we can glean from the existing literature. I've been involved in many discussions around how we evidence the effectiveness of interventions in improving learning outcomes,...
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Gareth D Morewood

SEND reforms implementation: for better or worse?

A humble SENCO's honest appraisal of the progress we've made over the last four years. 1 April 2018 was a significant date, circled on calendars and etched into memories, for one reason: the end of the implementation period for the SEND Reforms. Or so we thought… There are many ‘old’ Statements of...
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Gareth D Morewood

Five for Easter: looking back at the spring term

With the Easter break in full swing, it's a good time to take stock of the term just gone and consider your SEND priorities going forward. While you are tucking into your Easter eggs, here are five of my latest blog posts that you may have missed. Role models help us define by ability, not...
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