The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

SEND

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

Autism and mental health support, without the cost!

Priestnall School's recent event on autism and mental health was a busy hive of discussions, and proof of the fact that long-lasting support need not come at a great cost. I have written previously about mental health , a situation compounded for so many parents, carers and young people with SEND...
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...
Richard Aird

Insight into the Rochford Review: implementation in schools

In the final part of his blog series, review group member Richard Aird outlines the steps schools should take to implement the headline recommendations and help pupils achieve better outcomes. This is the first post in a three-part series on what the Rochford Review recommendations mean for schools...
Read more...
Gareth D Morewood

Funding SEND for effective provision: things just don’t add up!

Meeting needs and provision is something that does not come cheap, as SENCOs across the country will no doubt be aware. As we approach the new year, it's time to be realistic about the funding crisis. This week has seen a lot of news about funding, again! Headlines included ‘ Schools must reduce...
Read more...
Gareth D Morewood

How can we support the emotional regulation of children with autism?

Helping pupils with autism to regulate their emotions and handle changing states will greatly benefit their capacity to engage. Here's a summary of what you need to know and how you can help. Recently I have been fortunate enough to have took part in some powerful discussions with Studio III , who...
Read more...
Gareth D Morewood

Navigating the difficult transition to adulthood

Luke Jackson's Sex, Drugs and Asperger’s Syndrome (ASD): A User Guide to Adulthood is an invaluable first-hand account of navigating the difficult transition to adulthood. This review was first published in the Good Autism Practice Journal in the October 2016 edition (Vol 17, issue 2) One of the...
Read more...
Richard Aird

Insight into the Rochford Review: recommendations and methodologies

A considered review of different assessment methods, along with a recognition of the importance of accountability and equal opportunity, shaped the Review's final report. This is the first post in a three-part series on what the Rochford Review recommendations mean for schools. Follow the links...
Read more...
Richard Aird

Insight into the Rochford Review: changing the culture of assessment

As a member of the Rochford Review group, Richard Aird OBE explains why a much-needed change to statutory assessment is the focus of the review's interim report. This is the first post in a three-part series on what the Rochford Review recommendations mean for schools. Follow the links below to...
Read more...
Gareth D Morewood

Develop a collaborative approach to SEND: improving pupil outcomes

In a fractured climate, schools have to work in partnerships to achieve the best outcomes. We're bringing together all of the advice you'll need to develop a collaborative approach. As I get ready to start a new half term, I have had some time to reflect upon what is currently one of the hardest...
Read more...