The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

SEND Code of Practice

Gareth D Morewood

Keeping parent and carer confidence high on our agendas

Engaging with parents and carers is a vital component of the SEND Code of Practice 2015. Gareth D Morewood examines what strategies work well to ensure that it is still a key priority. The Lamb Inquiry Ever since the Lamb Inquiry into special educational needs and parental confidence there has been...
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Gareth D Morewood

SEN and EHCPs: the law STILL trumps all

Understanding the legalities involved can make the transition to education, health and care plans much easier for schools, parents/carers and the young person. Gareth Morewood explains why. Just under a year ago I wrote ‘ The Law Trumps All’ in SENCology. A year on, and the messages are still as...
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Gareth D Morewood

Personal budgets: what are the possibilities?

Personal budgets have been a feature of the SEND reforms from inception, yet national statistics show they are relatively unused. Perhaps the KIDS project has the answer. There were 1,360 new educational health care (EHC) plans issued in 2014 and 2,765 EHC plans transferred from statements or LDAs...
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Gareth D Morewood

Inclusion: what do parents and carers think?

To cap off this series on inclusion, three parents and carers explain, in their own words, how much the inclusive culture of our school has meant to them. If you haven’t already, be sure to read the first , second and third parts of this blog series. Dianne Dianne is the mother of George (now aged...
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Tom Kerslake

Cultural change in SEN provision – a call to action for schools

Following last September’s revision of the SEND Code of Practice, there is now the expectation that every teacher should be a teacher of pupils with SEN, and this has led to much talk of a ‘cultural change’ in SEN provision. Moving from a system that was deemed ‘not fit for purpose’ by the...
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Gareth D Morewood

EHCP transition reviews: reflecting on the process

One of the biggest challenges that SENCos face is ensuring the facilitation of multi-agency involvement . Although there clearly isn’t any ‘magic bullet’ here, and local issues are most definitely a significant factor, the following action plan ensured the best outcomes for our reviews. Ensure...
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Gareth D Morewood

EHCP transition reviews: our experiences and practical advice

During the last week of November, our Year 11 transition reviews took place for 11 of our students with statements of SEN. Although the reviews were planned in advance, and assessments were coordinated to avoid too much pressure on the young people and parents/carers, this was nothing short of some...
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Evie Prysor-Jones

The New Send Framework: Legal Obligations and Practical Solutions

There was a very serious atmosphere at the SEND conference on Tuesday 11th November, with many people muttering in hushed voices and an obvious impatience to get started. The aim of the conference was to calm worries and answer questions that the new SEND Code of Practice 2014 has given rise to, so...
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Gareth D Morewood

Planning for EHC plan transfers

From September 2014 the Children and Families Act 2014 became law. A key element of this is the replacement of Statements of Special Educational Needs with Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans. Main differences The main differences are that the EHC plan: is more person centred with more...
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Gareth D Morewood

Starting the new SENCO year in 2014 – don’t panic…

The end of the summer break always gives those who work in schools that ‘funny feeling’: sometimes excitement for new jobs or roles – and often anxiety and a sense of disbelief! With the SEND reform becoming reality from 1 st September, this year will be even more challenging for the SENCO. Don’t...
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