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

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 Education Select Committee in 2006, schools are in search of an effective replacement tailored to the needs of their young people with SEN. Many teachers share the belief that, amongst other things, cultural change is central to that process, if not an inevitable product of the reforms themselves. We spoke to Gareth Morewood at our recent Supporting High-Quality SEND Teaching in the Classroom conference. As a SENCO and SLE at Priestnall School, Stockport, Gareth believes that this ensuing cultural change can provide a unique opportunity for schools to change how they operate. We asked him to define his vision of ‘cultural change’ and its implications for schools. [vimeo 119248785 w=850 h=479] So what are the key components of cultural change, according to Gareth?

  • Moving away from a ‘medicalised’ structure of provision to a more ‘child-centred’ model – keep the young person at the centre of proceedings, prioritise inclusivity in day-to-day schooling and stay flexible to meet their needs. Keep the young person actively involved in the process.
  • Increased cooperation and engagement with the parents and carers of young people with SEN – make sure that communications are positive and that information is shared clearly.
  • Adopting an increasingly ‘solution-focused’ approach – the new framework encourages schools to promote inclusive values, so be proactive in ensuring that SEN pupils are included in every aspect of school life.
You can see the full interview with Gareth on the Optimus Education website. You can follow Gareth on Twitter at @gdmorewood or on his blog, SENCology.

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