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

Sara Boomsma

Supporting high-quality SEND

Yesterday, it was our inaugural Supporting High-Quality SEND Teaching in the Classroom conference. The event was attended by nearly 150 education professionals including SENCOs, Assistant Headteachers and Inclusion Managers, to name but a few. The day kicked off with an inspiring keynote from Gareth D Morewood (@gdmorewood) from Priestnall School sharing how to develop a whole-school approach to SEND. Gareth clarified what the reforms mean for both classroom teachers and the SLT, summarised below.

The classroom teacher should:

  • focus on outcomes for the child
  • be responsible for meeting special educational needs
  • have high aspirations for every student
  • involve parents/carers and students in planning and reviewing.

The Head and SLT need to:

  • consider how SENCOs fit into the strategic management of the school, including how they feed into strategic decisions
  • ensure SENCOs have sufficient time and resources to carry out their function
  • examine the relationship between school and parents/carers to ensure it is as strong as it can be.

The day then explored some of these key themes in greater depth. Speakers shared differentiation strategies and staff training ideas to ensure colleagues in the classroom are equipped to deliver quality-first teaching. In addition, a great session by Elizabeth Burns, SENCO, St James' Catholic High School provided guidance on how to effectively deploy TAs for maximum impact in the classroom. Furthermore, Tania Tirraoro (@TaniaLT) from Special Needs Jungle shared some best practice for working effectively with parents. Ensuring every teacher in your school feels confident delivering high-quality SEND teaching is a new and significant responsibility placed on the SENCO. To ensure that this vital and necessary new expectation is being met in every classroom, it is crucial that all colleagues are given plenty of support and the opportunity for effective training and CPD.

If you missed this conference or were unable to attend, make sure you don't miss our upcoming 13th Annual SENCo update conference: Embedding the 0-25 SEND Code of Practice 2015 on May 5th.

Further reading

You will need to log in to access the pieces below but if your school or setting does not have a membership then simply take out a free trial to read for free.

Make sure to check out the SEND for Classroom Teachers: Providing quality first, inclusive teaching training pack by Gareth Morewood. You can also follow him on his blog, SENCology


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