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

Gareth D Morewood

SEND at half term: 'and breathe...'

As colleagues reach the end (or beginning) of their half term break, it's a good time to reflect on the issues we've covered so far.

This is the 100th post in my 'SENcology' series!

For further insights into the world of SEND provision, browse the full list of posts so far. 

As some colleagues reach the end of their half-term break, others are just about to start. I am always conscious that this time of year can really fly by, as the journey towards the next academic year (and preparation for exams) gathers momentum.

There will be more over the coming weeks on the most pertinent issues for SEND, but here’s a summary of some of the key points from our perspective. 

Mental health

Mental health continues to receive a substantial amount of press attention, and while it’s great that we’re raising awareness of issues with children and young people’s mental health, it’s important that we match words with action. 

I’ve previously written on the notion of parity of esteem and provided some free materials and support from our recent autism and mental health event

Finance and funding

Much has been written about the current financial pressures on schools, and my recent post wasn’t received without its fair share of comment and debate!

Fairer Funding issues aside, schools need a secure level of core funding simply to exist. Essex headteachers spell out the reality of school budget cuts far clearer than I have managed.

Remember – the law trumps all!

The importance of knowing and being able to reference legal obligations must not be overlooked in this time of challenge and change. I’ve written previously on how SENCOs can keep the law in mind, especially when overseeing the transition from Statements to EHCPs.

Knowing the law has been one of the most empowering skill-sets during my career, and I would never underestimate its importance. 

Support for SENCOs

I think it is always important to remember that whatever national crises we may face, there will always be SENCOs ‘on the ground’ trying to do the best for children, young people and their families every day.

I’ve recently highlighted where a new SENCO may find support in a network of colleagues, and my post about implementing school improvement for SEND in three straightforward stages could also prove useful in these challenging times.

Whether you’re finishing your break or desperately waiting for it to start, it’s important to maintain some perspective. We see how challenging SEND provision can be every day, but we hope that these posts offer some reassurance, possibly even a little inspiration to colleagues, parents and carers.

We will return after half term with a look at pathways into adulthood, and the final year of reforms implementation. Never a dull moment for sure! 

Categories: 
Tags: 

Similar Posts

Joanna Grace

'Tis a sensory season!

Christmas can be an exciting but overwhelming time, particularly for young people with SEND. Joanna Grace shares strategies to help children cope with and enjoy the festive period. Stepping out the door in the early morning last week, I turned to my little boy and said, “I think I can smell...
Read more...
Gareth D Morewood

Prioritising wellbeing: putting yourself first

With work-related stress on the rise, school staff need to be thinking about putting themselves first. Gareth D Morewood looks at ways of supporting stress to directly improve wellbeing. The recently published Teacher Wellbeing Index highlights disproportionately high levels of stress amongst...
Read more...
Elizabeth Holmes

The SEND inquiry: getting it right for children, families and schools

It's been five years since the last biggest education reforms for young people with SEND were introduced, but how successful have these reforms been? Elizabeth Holmes looks at some of the findings and responses to the SEND inquiry report. In April 2018, the Education Committee launched their SEND...
Read more...