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

Why we need more ethical SEND leaders

Knowing and doing what is right should be a SENCO's guiding principle, irrespective of outside pressure. Gareth Morewood makes the case for ethical leadership. As we professionals continue to struggle with the injustices of a system that seems to work well for very few young people and their...
Read more...
Gareth D Morewood

A new professional pathway for SENCOs

Initial training and later professional development mean nothing if they don't reflect our needs. The modern SENCO is no exception. Earlier this week I explained why we need to rethink the role of SENCO . The post prompted much discussion about the SENCO’s significance, and how decisions on the...
Read more...
Jack Procter-Blain

Making the most of speech and language therapy

Speech and language skills are essential if pupils in Reception are to be expected to access the curriculum. I found out how one TA has helped improve her school's provision for SLCN. On Tuesday it was revealed that the government will not continue funding for The Communication Trust , a charity...
Read more...
Gareth D Morewood

Time to rethink the 'effective SENCO'

Never has time been such a precious asset to the SENCO, whose professional status needs to be carefully reconsidered if they are expected to progress in the role. It has always been important for me to reflect on my own practice as SENCO and identify new opportunities to develop my skills. All...
Read more...
Gareth D Morewood

What makes a good investment in SEND?

A whole-school approach to improving outcomes for pupils with SEND means not only an investment of money, but also training priorities and time. SEND provision is too often directed toward those with more complex needs or EHCPs. This means that young people with SEND who are identified and...
Read more...
Sofia Correia A...

How do we define (and meet) outcomes for pupils with SEND?

Schools have a duty to put pupils' needs and aspirations at the centre of SEND provision. It is vital that we understand 'outcomes', and the steps we can take to meet them. Throughout my time as a teaching assistant, I've often discussed: how we define ‘outcomes’ in relation to pupils with SEND how...
Read more...
Gareth D Morewood

Help, I'm a new SENCO and I don't know where to start!

If you're new to the profession, the role of the SENCO might initially seem complex and unsupported. It's important to know that you're never alone! Over a typical week, I will receive about twenty e-mails and tweets from fellow SENCOs across the country and about ten or so from parents and carers...
Read more...
Gareth D Morewood

SEND provision: a three-stage plan for school improvement

The 'assess, plan, do, review' model is worth keeping at the centre of any efforts to improve a school's SEND provision. Here's an example of how it can be put into practice. Occasionally I’m asked to visit schools and support them with SEND provision as part of a whole-school review. I don’t do...
Read more...
Gareth D Morewood

The updates and changes SENCOs need to know about

With constant additions to SEND reforms, Gareth D Morewood lists the top things SENCOs need to be aware of. After delivering keynote addresses and workshops at a few SENCO conferences this last week I feel it is useful to give a quick update on some of the key issues regarding SEND implementation...
Read more...
Evie Prysor-Jones

How to get an education, health and care plan

The complicated process of getting an EHC plan may be different for every local authority, but the legal essentials should be the same. Evie Prysor-Jones presents a best practice example. It has been over a year since the SEN reforms came into play, yet almost daily I talk to SENCOs or parents who...
Read more...