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ISSUE 18 November/December 2017

Special Educational Needs & Disability

Magazine for teachers, parents and carers

The Rochford Review

Understanding the DfE response

Shining lights Pearson Shine A Light Awards 2018

Case study Clicker 7 from Crick Software


Is the new SEND system ďŹ t for purpose?

An ESSENTIAL part of the teaching toolkit




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Welcome to SEND Magazine

SMagazine END

Publisher Director Nick Clarke BA (HONS) 07984 306 664

YES, I know, where on earth did that Summer go? Some of you have just returned to school and some have already been back a week or two. With holidays annoyingly staggered across the UK, I’m sure many are already looking ahead to the October half‐term. So, what’s in store over the next few months? Well it’s hard to tell, with the ever changing landscape of educa4on, par4cularly when in comes to Special Educa4onal Needs and Disability.

Personally, I cannotenough believeto Christmas is on the horizon once again so,atasLambeth we approach Recently I was fortunate a5end the launch of ‘Going to Church’, Palacethe in half way through this academic we have talk about. In was the midlands, they Themark latest ‘book without words’year, published by much Booksto Beyond Words, co‐authored by London. recentlyKa4e announced newa young traininglady for with teachers in ‘Mental Health firstinforma4on aid’, a veryabout timelythis thehave wonderful Carpenter, Down’s syndrome. More andcan fantastic initiative be read on Pageat8.a time where anxieties and issues with mental health, especially in book teenagers, seem to be on the rise. Mental Health is such an important issuevital and informa4on now gaining and the updates attentiontoit help needs but there isthe This month, we have a packed edi4on with you through clearlymonths. a long way to go. The consultant rochford report hasPetersen raised a OBE number issuesthe within coming Leading SEND Lorraine talksofabout latestspecial SEND educational needs and Disability so this issue richard oBeSpecial and Claire owens look the updates on Page 10. Lorraine will also be speaking at thisaird years’ Needs London inat October. Dfe response on Pages 14-17. Also speaking at the Business Design Centre will be another two contributors to SEND Magazine, on Page 18 former nasen Ceo lorraine Petersen oBe asks if the current system for senD is fit the wonderful Professor Barry Carpenter CBE and the powerful figure of former NASEN CEO Jane for purpose. Friswell. on Page 10 we have an article from Pearson who are launching their 2018 shine a light awards with the Communication Trust so, get your nominations in now! Professor Barry Carpenter CBE this month talks about behavioural management in his ar4cle on Page 12 we have a case study from Crick software, showcasing the benefits of the Clicker 7 en4tled ‘Disengaged to Engaged’ on Page 16, and Jane opens a poten4al can of worms as she programme and on Page 26 another contributor, Heather stack, writes about the next steps discusses the points within of Moderate and best practice senD. Learning Difficul4es and “are they really a thing of the past?” on Page 18. on Page 30 we have a series of webinars from the senD Group so, make sure you book onto one or all of these to further your CPD. On Page 14 we publish the winners of the 2017 Shine A Light Awards by Pearson Assessment; this years’ event was hosted by singer and musical theatre performer Gareth Gates. The Shine A Light Thank you! Awards highlight achievements of thoseto working withamazing Childrencontibutors and Young and People with like Special We are so blessed at senD Magazine have such I would to take Educa4onal Needs and Disability. is also announced within the ar4cle.along with this opportunity to thank them Next all foryears’ their date support, lorraine Petersen in particular Professor Barry Carpenter oBe and another former nasen Ceo Jane Friswell. at senD One Page 22,we Arran about aMicroso$s’ innova4on with teaching technology Dyslexia, Magazine workSmith hard talks to provide vital resource for all those andand caring for and on Page 24 weand lookyoung at differen4a4on for those with severe learningand difficul4es children people with strategies special educational needs & Disability, withoutand the Downs time syndrome. and kindness of our contibutors, our advertisers, and you our readers, we just would not exist.

enjoy this senDthe Magazine, haveofan amazing Christmas, a happy new andpeople I’ll see Heather Stackedition writesofabout importance social connec4ons with children andyear young youSEND in 2018! with on Page 26 and we finish this edi4on with a list of some of the latest books available to add to your teaching toolkit on Pages 32‐34. Finally, I just want to draw your a5en4on to the next SEND Conference in May 2018. This years’ event at the Sketchley Grange Hotel was a big success so we will be running another event with informa4on to follow in the November issue of SEND Magazine. If you would like to register interest in a5ending and get an early bird 4cket discount email me on Thank you once again for reading and suppor4ng SEND Magazine.

Nick Clarke Publisher

Nick Clarke

SEND Consultant Simon Carnell

Office Manager Helen Clarke



Contributors Professor Barry Carpenter CBE, Lorraine Peterson OBE, Arran Smith, Heather Stack, Jane Friswell. ©SEND Magazine is published by SEND (UK) Ltd Managing Director Nick Clarke

The views and opinions expressed in SEND Magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher. The publisher cannot be held responsible or liable for any incorrect information, opinions of any third parties or omissions. No part of this publication can be reproduced without prior permission from the publisher. Postal Address 42 Cumberland Way,Barwell, Leicestershire. LE9 8HX



Registered AddressC/O David House, Mill Road, Pontnewynydd, Pontypool. NP4 6NG


Download the Zappar app to your smartphone or tablet device from the App Store or Google play. Open the app and view the page through your device wherever you see the icon, poin1ng toward it. Wait a few seconds and see the page come alive!

Watch your issue of SEND Magazine come alive where you see this symbol.



Help struggling writers overcome barriers to progress with DocsPlus - the exam-friendly word processor for secondary schools. DocsPlus will support your learners throughout the ǁƌŝƟŶŐƉƌŽĐĞƐƐ͗

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motor skills, promote sensory informa4on processing, assist with space‐4me orienta4on (4ming, pacing, sequencing, motor planning) encouraging fitness and social skills. The Prac44oner can control energy levels through the choice and pace of music which is a great op4on for ADHD. The joy of this method is that there are no limits to the crea4vity of the Prac44oner or the class or individual. There is a lot of fun & laughter which encourages social communica4on in a group especially when working with games. A mixture of visual applications to create 1600 neworfree special instruc4ons memory tests can school places. be used to challenge or give more variety depending on what is required. Body percussion provides tac4le The national autisticfeedback society which welcomes helpsnew teach & report on residentialguide special schools. levels of physical s4mula4on. It is an incredibly simple method that has endless possibili4es which is Pearson open applications for the 2018 shine what makes it so versa4le, a light awards. especially when working with children.

The focus of RGM is on having fun, encouraging laughter, enjoyment and socialisa4on as much as improving motor skills. It can be carried out as a full session or just to one track of music used to se5le down a class and to help improve concentra4on. It can be used while standing, walking or in si6ng posi4on for the less mobile; in groups or for single par4cipants. However, it is important to remember that RGM is

measureable (unlike some other therapy modali4es that use music) so improvements can be recorded easily and efficiently.




a Clicker 7 case study from angus Council.


richard aird oBe and Claire owens look at the Dfe’s response to the rochford review consultation and what needs to happen to bring about a change in the culture of special education.


lorraine Petersen oBe asks the questions - Is the current system for senD fit for purpose?

Caroline delivered a seminar at the recent SEND Conference Midlands. Here’s what some had to say!

“Fun and prac1cal, can see it being very useful in school.” Manor High School.

“Loved it!” Brookfield Primary.

“Found it very interes1ng and agree with the concept behind the method.” South Leicesterhsire College.


Music and movement for senD.


Founder of The local offer Heather stack looks at best practice and next steps for senD policy.


Next Introduc course:

September 23rd &24 Central London Contact: info@ronniegardinerm

Caroline Russell is a Chartered Physiothe with many years’ experience specialising in the fi Neurology. She train Guy’s Hospital and h worked in the NHS a private sector before starting her own com in 2007. She started working with RGM in and took over runnin UK in 2014. She use in classes and one-to sessions with adults teenagers variety of diagnoses loves the v gives to tre regimes. H is to see RG being used enjoyed by ages in all of the coun and, person wants to st fit as Ronn when she r his age!

Thanks to everyone w joined in so enthusias at the workshop at th Conference at Sketch Grange Hotel, PICTUR LEFT. An excellent conference and I look forward to seeing you again at the next one

Webinars from senD Group for november & December.


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November 2017




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Applications open to create 1,600 new special free school places nineteen local authorities open applications to sponsor new special free schools

More than 1,600 new special free school places will be created across england as 19 local authorities invite applications to run new special free schools. It will mean 19 new schools, providing high quality provision for children with special educational needs and disabilities, will be built through the government’s ambitious free schools programme that provides choice, innovation and higher standards for parents. organisations ranging from successful Multi-academy Trusts to specialist charitable organisations can now apply to the 19 local authorities, setting out how they will be able to meet

the specification for each project. Criteria have been developed by the local authorities, in conjunction with the Department for education, to ensure they meet the needs of each local community and provide muchneeded places for special educational needs and disability (senD) pupils. among the special free school specifications are: • a 200-place school with both early years and post-16 places for pupils between the ages of three and 19 in the Borough of Bedford. • a 100-place school with post-16 provision for pupils between the ages of five to 19 with complex

communication and interaction needs, autism spectrum disorder and other social and mental health needs in Doncaster. • a 125-place school for pupils between the ages of four and 16 with social communication needs and autism spectrum disorder in Hampshire. • a 150-place school with early years and post-16 provision for pupils between the ages of two to 19 with autism spectrum disorder in Croydon. schools system Minister, lord nash, said: • Free schools are providing many good new school places in response to the needs of communities across the country.

“This process will give local authorities the chance to identify expert organisations with proven track records in senD provision to run special schools that will help hundreds of children fulfil their potential.” The new schools are part of the most-recent wave of free schools approved in april, and are separate from government plans to open 30 free schools in partnership with local authorities – as recently announced by education secretary, Justine Greening. since 2015, the government has committed £5.8 billion of basic need funding to deliver the school places needed by 2020.

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National Autistic Society welcomes new report on residential special schools THe national autistic society has welcomed the publication of ‘Good intentions, good enough?’, a review commissioned by the Government of the experiences and outcomes of children and young people in residential special schools and colleges. The review was carried out by Dame Christine lenehan, who is Director of the Council for Disabled Children. Many of the 6,000 children and young people who attend residential schools and colleges in england are on the autism spectrum. These are often young people with the highest level of needs, with communication difficulties, anxiety and sensory differences. residential schools can provide a very beneficial environment for some children

on the autism spectrum. This is because children do not all live near the type of specialist school that may suit them best. Further, some children have needs that can be met most effectively in a school setting that supports them 24 hours a day. The report concludes that, while many children and young people could be educated in their local communities if better support was available, some children will need the particular type of education and support that residential schools can offer, and parents should not have to fight so hard to access this. The national autistic society agrees with this conclusion, and with the recommendation that local areas need to plan school

places more strategically, so that the right support is available when it is needed. The nas also welcomed the announcement by the Government that they are accepting the report’s recommendation to set up a national leadership board for children and young people with high needs, reporting to the minister for children and families.

Catriona Moore, Policy & Parliamentary officer at the national autistic society said: “The most important thing is that every child on the autism spectrum has the opportunity to receive a good education and to achieve their potential. For some children, residential school will be the best option, and this decision should be a positive choice based on the child’s

individual needs, rather than a last resort when other options have failed.”

The national autistic society is supporting an inquiry by the all Party Parliamentary Group on autism (aPPGa) into how well the education system in england works for children and young people on the autism spectrum. The aPPGa will shortly be publishing a report setting out their findings and recommendations.

The Education Rights Service provides impartial, confidential information, advice and support on education rights and entitlements for parents and carers of pre-school and schoolage children with autism to help them get the educational support their child needs. November 2017



Nominations are now open for the 2018 Shine a Light Awards! BrouGHT to you by the Communication Trust and Pearson, the annual shine a light awards return on the 22nd March 2018 to once again unite outstanding individuals and organisations across england, to celebrate innovative work and excellent practice in supporting children and young people's communication development.

Shine a Light Awards 2018: The national awards for developing children’s communication launched as a flagship event in 2011, during the national year of communication, the shine a light awards has been successful in raising the profile and phenomenal achievement of more than 100 organisations, schools and individuals across england. last year’s ceremony was hosted by singer and theatre star Gareth Gates, who has spoken publicly about living with a stutter and the impact this has had on his confidence. 29 individuals and teams across 10 award categories were recognised, as well as children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (slCn). you can watch a short film about the winners at

Nominate an individual or organisation championing communication Do you have an excellent plan in place to support pupils with speech, language and communication needs? Have you or your organisation adopted a fresh and innovative approach to longstanding


November 2017

Young Person of the Year Award Winner: Gregor Gilmore, Bury and host Gareth Gates. slC/n challenges or problems? This is your opportunity to raise the profile of your school, or an individual championing communication. View the criteria for each award category and submit a written or video entry at

2018 Award Categories:

• early years setting of the year award • Primary school of the year award • secondary school/College of the year award • sen school/Group of the year award • slCn Innovation of the year award • Communication Champion of the year award • augmentative and alternative Communication of the year award • youth Justice of the year award • Child/young Person of the year award • The Katie rough Memorial award – new category!

About the organisers:

Pearson: Pearson is an established and well renowned publisher of standardised assessments and interventions that meet the needs of professionals working with children and adults in health, psychology and educational settings worldwide.

Their portfolio of assessments and resources support education professionals working with students of all ages, in mainstream and special education settings who may need additional learning support. They provide reliable tools that are used to profile students’ strengths and weaknesses, identify areas to investigate further and chart progress and development. Working with some of the most respected names in the health, education and psychology fields, their robust and reliable assessments help professionals assess an individual's area of need, and plan measures that can support them throughout their life.

The Communication Trust: The Communication Trust is a coalition of over 50 not-for-profit organisations coming together to support individuals and organisations who work with children and young people in england, to support their speech, language and communication.

Secondary School or College of the Year Award Winner: Tor Bridge High, Plymouth, with event host Gareth Gates, and judges; Malcolm reeve, executive Director for Inclusion at academies education Trust (aeT) and Chris Hall, Director of assessment at Pearson. Their work focuses on supporting children and young people who struggle to communicate because they have speech, language and communication needs (slCn) as well as supporting all children and young people to communicate to the best of their ability.

In 2011 (the national year of communication) the Trust ran Hello in conjunction with Jean Gross, the Government's Communication Champion for Children. Hello aimed to make children's communication a priority in homes and schools across the uK. The shine a light awards were

launched in 2011 as part of Hello and continue to celebrate the outstanding achievements of those who deliver innovative work and excellent practice in supporting children and young people’s communication development. November 2017


Crick Software

Clicker 7 - increasing motivation to write

a study has recently been undertaken by angus Council across eight of its primary schools to investigate the impact of using Clicker 7 to support writing. ClICKer was used to support children across the ability spectrum, including those who usually had no additional support, and those who had significant levels of additional support.

The study analysed work produced by the children and found that pupils experienced significant benefits from using Clicker 7, across all eight schools. This was consistent for pupils of differing abilities and differing levels of experience using the software.

Report Summary

The study was carried out across 8 schools. Training was delivered as two 1.5 hour sessions with a minimum of 4 weeks between sessions. all training was complete by end of March 2017. Work samples were received from 5 of the 8 schools, with samples from 28 pupils being received in total. These showed considerable benefits of using Clicker 7 across all of the schools. This was consistent for pupils of differing abilities and differing levels of experience using Clicker 7. More words were written, more multi-syllabic words were used, less time was taken and less prompts/help were required when pupils used Clicker 7; thus providing benefits to pupils and teachers. Quotes from both teachers and pupils were provided by some participants, which were extremely positive.



Clicker software has been used to varying degrees in school across angus for many years. Two schools had whole school licences of Clicker 6 but many were using a few licences of much older versions. Clicker 7 brings new features and greater usability than previous versions, in particular the ability to use mind mapping (Clicker Boards) in whole class teaching and then rapidly create differentiated resources (Word Banks) to support pupils in their subsequent writing. some studies have shown the benefits of using speech feedback and word prediction (Williams, 2002). limited

November 2017 SEND MAGAZINE

research has been carried out Purpose into the use of technology to This study was undertaken to support writing and none was investigate the impact of using found comparing the use of Clicker 7 to support pupils in technology to angus with support pupils “From what we've writing. a with varying seen, the pupils who've comparative study levels of was undertaken support needs used this have to establish if (Macarthur, benefitted enormously. there were 2000). existing particular benefits I have observed studies have of using Clicker 7 looked into the greater confidence and with identified use of older pupils, with independence in their versions of additional support work. They have also writing needs, and if enjoyed the support benefits were also software, found for pupils opportunity to selfhence the without additional check.” need for a support needs. study using the latest version The use of Clicker 7 across the (Meredith and linda, 2009). whole school and only with

identified pupils was also investigated to try to establish if inclusion was improved by a whole school approach.

Results and Conclusion

use of Clicker 7 resulted in almost three times the number of words being written, with more than twice the number of multi-syllabic words used; also, work was produced more quickly and with less than half the number of mistakes made. additionally, pupils required help or prompting over 6.5 times more when not using Clicker 7 to support writing; thus showing Clicker 7 to be significant in encouraging independent work. The benefits were consistent when analysed across different levels of additional support need (significant, average and minimal) and across different levels of experience of pupils in using Clicker 7 (new, moderate and experienced). Pupils requiring significant or average support wrote 3 times more words, taking over a third less time to complete the work and with over 4 times less help needed. It could tentatively be said that use of Clicker 7 benefits pupils of all levels of ability and benefits can be seen rapidly, even when pupils had used Clicker 7 less than 5 times; however, a greater number of work samples would be required to verify these findings.

The comments that were shared were extremely positive:

Pupils: “I much prefer writing using Clicker.” “I can write more.” “It is easier and it looks better.” “Clicker is good because it helps you with words.” “It helps me do my writing and it is good.” “I like Clicker because you get to voice record and do pictures.” “I like to use Clicker because it helps me with my spelling.” “My hand doesn’t get sore using Clicker.”

Teachers: “The children were able to identify errors and correct them independently.” "It greatly increases the children's motivation to write". “I find Clicker 7 very intuitive and easy to use. It takes minutes for templates and activities to be set up and these can then be easily adapted for future activities.

Further surveys are required to establish differences in using Clicker 7 as a whole school approach rather than for specific small groups or individual pupils, and if inclusion is improved using different approaches. These will be carried out in august/september 2017.

"It greatly increases the children's motivation to write".

The children are motivated and engaged by Clicker 7 and it provides them with good word processing skills for their future development. It has enabled a good deal of our pupils to become much more independent with their writing work.” “It was simple to differentiate work to be suitable for all pupils in the class.” “With a high ratio of eal children, the read back facility is invaluable.” “From what we've seen, the pupils who've used this have benefitted enormously. I have observed greater confidence and independence in their work. They have also enjoyed the opportunity to self-check.”

Clicker 7 is an innovative reading and writing tool designed to help pupils of all abilities to achieve rapid and permanent gains in their literacy skills. If you'd like to find out more, please visit or call 01604 671691 to organise a free staff demonstration.


Macarthur, C.a., 2000. new tools for writing: assistive technology for students with writing difficulties. Topics in language disorders, 20(4), pp.85100. Meridith, l. and linda, P., 2009. Commercial software programs approved for teaching reading and writing in the primary grades: another sobering reality. Journal of research on Technology in education, 42(2), pp.197-216. Williams, s.C., 2002. How speech-feedback and wordprediction software can help students write. Teaching exceptional Children, 34(3), pp.72-78. Additional Information available from Katrina Hands, Assistive Technology ASN Teacher, Angus Council. SEND MAGAZINE November 2017


Rochford review

Rochford Review: DfE response

richard aird oBe and Claire owens look at the Dfe’s response to the rochford review consultation and what needs to happen to bring about a change in the culture of special education.

FolloWInG consultation on the recommendations made by the rochford review (2016), the Department for education (Dfe) published its response at the beginning of the 2017/18 academic year. respondents to the consultation included teachers and school leaders from mainstream and special schools, organisations representing pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (senD) and a small number of parents/carers. Importantly from a democratic perspective, the rochford review recommendations were sufficiently well supported for the Dfe to endorse the general thrust of the proposed reforms. The most significant comment included in the Dfe response is undoubtedly the intention to remove P scale levels as an instrument of statutory assessment.

The evidence gathered by the rochford review in 2016 generated considerable support for the view that P levels were no longer fit for purpose, so it is re-assuring the Dfe is now supporting the recommendation for their removal. However, removal of the P levels will not mean an end to the statutory assessment of pupils by reference to end of key stage national curriculum standards.

In place of P levels, the Dfe is organising a trial of the pre-key stage standards (ie., as described in the rochford review) so that the final versions take account of feedback from how these


November 2017

operate in the classroom for the statutory assessment of pupils who are working below the standard of national curriculum tests, but capable of subjectspecific assessment. unfortunately, there may be a temptation for some school leaders to regard these pre-key standards as being no more than a reincarnation of P levels 5-8. Was this to become a feature, there would be the associated risk that some school leaders might continue “teaching to the test” with pupils being driven through narrow, linear aligned assessment criteria with an overriding ambition of securing more favourable rankings in

school league tables. as far back as 2010 the Dfe was advising schools to, “Consider more holistic approaches to assessment for the small group of children working at very low levels of attainment where progress is not linear”. Despite this advice, in 2015 the Commission for assessment Without levels (CaWl) felt it necessary to comment that a prevailing “school league table mentality” was still encouraging schools to give national curriculum related assessment absolute priority over any other assessment approach. according to Imray (2013),

publications such as the Dfe’s Progression Guidance in 2010 may have prompted some school improvement partners and ofsTeD inspectors to advocate that the vast majority of pupils with learning difficulties should be able to make similar rates of linear progress, further suggesting that ofsTeD required at least 75% of pupils to have attainment levels in the upper quartile of the national data sets before outstanding status could be granted. In relation to the impact such anecdotes were having upon special education, the CaWl report recommended a review of the P scale levels which were brought into being

the rochford review. as well as echoing the findings of the CaWl report, the rochford review endorsed the views expressed by critics such as riddick (2009) who had described the P level approach as “a bureaucratic tool” which was having a “negative impact on the curriculum balance required by some children to meet their needs”. In regards to the Dfe’s decision to trial use of the pre-key stage standards, and in order not to repeat the mistakes attributable to the misuse of P levels, school leaders will need to be guided by what the Dfe is actually stating in its response to the rochford review. special note should be taken that use of the pre-key stage standards is intended to provide “a clear route of progression onto national curriculum assessments”, but only, “if and when pupils are ready” (our emphasis). school leaders will need to interpret how, “if and when pupils are ready” applies to pupils identified as having senD and to help with this, the Dfe’s response states, “It is important schools continue to monitor and support pupils’ development in the four areas of need to foster engagement with the world and to encourage autonomy.” There is a risk that when pupils are beginning to acquire subject specific knowledge, their academic attainment (an aspect

of cognition and learning) might mistakenly be viewed as something discreet from the other three senD areas of need. In the Dfe’s response, the words “engagement” and “autonomy” are used to reduce such a risk and it is important that school leaders understand what these terms mean. In this context, “autonomy” means that before pupils are assessed by reference to the pre-key stage standards, they should not only be able to demonstrate mastery of all the concepts and skills pertaining to key stage descriptors, but they should also be able to generalise and apply this knowledge in ways which the Dfe says will promote their “independence and quality of life”.

The meaning of “engagement” is discussed in detail later in this article. Building on their statement, “There is merit in statutory assessment focusing on areas that support the development of concepts and skills that are prerequisites for progressing onto subject-specific learning”, the Dfe has decided to pilot a new approach to the statutory assessment of pupils who have complex senD working at presubject specific standards. Whereas P level assessment assumed that the cognitive development of pupils with complex senD follows a linear trajectory of attainment, the Dfe is stating how important it is for schools to work holistically, using

whatever assessment approaches they feel are appropriate to assist pupils become autonomous in things which are pre-requisite to subject-specific learning. This is to ensure that schools are providing effective support in all senD areas of need and are adhering to their fundamental duty to prepare pupils for adulthood and promote what the Dfe is describing as “independence and quality of life”.

according to the Dfe’s response, the statutory assessment of pupils with senD is no longer to be based purely on generic, standardised measures of learning and this change is to be welcomed because improved curriculum balance, personalised pedagogy and a more holistic approach to assessment are all desperately needed if the ambitions of recent senD related legislation are to be realised in practice. education, Health and Care Plans (eHCPs) were introduced in an effort to facilitate early intervention into senD issues and ensure that pupils with senD benefit from positive long term outcomes as they enter the adult world.

However, as reported to the House of lords in november 2016, the introduction of eHCPs has not been as successful as was first envisaged and things like inappropriate statutory assessment have very likely

contributed to this. In order to prepare pupils for adulthood, teachers must have a sound appreciation of how curriculum content, pedagogy and assessment can be personalised in response to the idiosyncratic, holistic needs of each pupil. This is where the focus of school leaders and ofsTeD also needs to be, providing much needed support to teachers so that personalised learning targets can not only be successfully embedded into everyday practice, but also facilitate demonstrable, measurable progress towards pre-planned eHCP outcomes in the four areas of need.

Putting “engagement” at the heart of senD provision has already been proven to be highly effective and this is why the Dfe has declared its intention to pilot use of the seven aspects of engagement as recommended by the rochford review. engagement is a child-centred, non-curriculum related approach which is radically different in concept to P level assessment.

The Dfe’s decision to pilot use of the seven aspects of engagement should be regarded as signifying the end of standardisation in the statutory assessment of pupils who have the most complex senD. The seven aspects of engagement in cognition and learning are based on the engagement for learning Framework (elF) published at November 2017


Rochford review 16

the conclusion of the Complex learning Difficulties and Disabilities (ClDD) research project in 2011. The rochford review took what the ClDD had developed primarily as a pedagogical approach, refining and extending the principle so teachers could use the same methodology to accurately assess the performance of pupils whose progress is not always linear. elF uses a process of enquiry into the personalisation of learning in relation to a pupil’s idiosyncratic senD profile, enabling teachers to track even the smallest rates of pupil attainment, using a powerful, evidence based approach (the elF scale) that can be numerically calculated to provide objective data, robust enough to accommodate forensic moderation. This is not done by giving the seven aspects of engagement any relative hierarchical value, but by recording the extent to which a pupil is being engaged via a 0-4 scale in each of the seven aspects during a specific learning task:

The scores from each aspect of engagement are combined to provide a total from which subsequent improvements in pupil engagement can be measured. use of the elF scale is ideal for assessing pupils who do not find linear progression easy because the data readily exemplifies rates of lateral progression. This is in keeping with the Dfe response which includes the statement, “schools have the freedom to use approaches appropriate to their pupils’ needs that demonstrate every kind of progress made by a pupil November 2017

(linear, lateral or consolidation)”. as discussed below, elF can facilitate both summative and formative assessment approaches to help analyse pupil progress in any developmental or curriculum related aspect of improvement: Trialling the pre-key stage standards and piloting of the seven aspects of engagement are to be welcomed, but it is very pertinent to their successful implementation that the vast majority of teachers, together with many school leaders, have never experienced special educational provision without the overarching framework of the national curriculum and statutory P level assessment. It is also pertinent that many teachers will not have had the benefit of in depth senD related professional development, particularly in the use of specialised approaches such as assessing pupil performance by reference to engagement. Given this context, it is crucial that all of the teachers involved in the trial and pilot are provided with a common baseline of understanding and skill, or

otherwise the triangulation of findings during evaluation will prove difficult to establish. although the pilot for assessing pupils working at pre-subject specific standards will only evaluate use of the seven aspects of engagement in the

anecdotally have been known to dismiss such evidence as being insufficiently robust. use of the elF could help overcome this by assisting schools to exemplify holistic pupil progress more objectively. although the Dfe pilot will concentrate on

area of cognition and learning, assessing pupil performance in the other senD areas of need is of equal importance. already, in keeping with the ambitions stated in their pupils’ eHCPs, the best schools devote a lot of time, energy and expense to improving pupil performance in crucial areas such as mobility, interaction, sensory function and emotional regulation. However, evidence about the progress these pupils make as a consequence is not always given sufficient priority by some ofsTeD inspectors, who

use of the seven aspects of engagement in the area of cognition and learning, the schools involved in the pilot are encouraged to use elF across all four senD areas of need and submit the resulting data as part of the formal evaluation. This suggestion might assist the Dfe to further recognise the importance of holistic assessment and perhaps pave the way for legislative change to strengthen the implementation of eHCPs. Mapping and assessing Pupil Progress, now available as

MaPP2 (sissons, 2017) is a tool which can be used very successfully alongside elF to exemplify the acquisition of learning targets relating to the four areas of need, as “without engagement there is no deep learning” (Hargreaves, 2006). MaPP incorporates a Continuum of skills Development (CsD), with which to map learning autonomy via independence, maintenance, fluency and generalisation, thus corresponding very closely to the Dfe’s recommendation. similarly to elF, the CsD is a structured, measurable way of assessing pupil performance in personalised targets and extends the principle of lateral progression by measuring the process of learning autonomy. The relationship between the CsD and scales of engagement can be illustrated using the above diagram adapted from David Hargreaves by The Dales school (2010):

although MaPP also has a bank of learning targets or ‘milestones’ for teachers to select from, care must be taken not to replicate a linear approach to holistic assessment and teachers must select personalised targets strictly according to a pupil’s senD

Author biographies

Richard Aird: Before retiring Richard had 30 years experience as headteacher of four special schools, leading his last school through three successive outstanding OfSTED/HMI inspections. In 2013 he was made an OBE in recognition of his

issues and learning barriers, rather than any pre-prescribed, standardised hierarchy. other sources of learning targets which can be used in response to a pupil’s identified areas of need are available from publications such as sCerTs and the exemplary non-hierarchical approach used in routes for learning.

as recommended by the rochford review, it is essential that schools work collaboratively, particularly across different settings. a collaborative approach is important to both support and moderate the robustness of judgements and data when a combination of elF and MaPP approaches are used to measure progress in personalised learning targets that are non-linear, but in which engagement for learning and autonomy are absolutely crucial for securing eHCP-related outcomes.

Despite the Dfe’s positive response to the rochford review recommendations, there may be some practitioners who feel that abandoning the P levels might somehow undermine what they perceive to be the inclusivity of the education system and its services to special education and he has continued to be closely involved in SEND provision, most recently serving as a member of the Rochford Review. Claire Owens: Claire is Manager of a Special Resource Provision for children with Complex and

notion of equal rights. Members of the rochford review reflected on the topic of equal rights and came to the same conclusion as lacey and scull did in 2015 who reported, “equality and inclusion is not about treating everyone the same but about identifying and mitigating individual learning barriers”. Treating all pupils the same in terms of statutory assessment is not helpful to pupils with senD. although inclusive education might be championed by those who believe it to be “fair”, the concept is nothing more than a social construct and far removed from the objective reality of senD issues which demand discreet, personalised assessment approaches such as those included in the Dfe response. However, before a new culture of personalised senD provision can come to fruition, the pace of change will be dictated by oFsTeD and without a change in the inspection framework, the pace of change will undoubtedly be painfully slow. In relation to shortcomings inherent in the current inspection framework, the rochford review reflected on whether statutory peer review might be a more effective way for judging the performance of senD providers, but even with a growing tendency for schools to participate in peer review, the inspection framework will still require urgent revisions in order to bring it into line with the Dfe response. To be compatible with what the Dfe is stating in its response to the rochford review, ofsted will need to have a stronger focus on how learning targets being set by schools correspond to the eHCPs of the pupils concerned, and how effectively provisions such as curriculum differentiation, personalised pedagogy and formative assessment are securing progress in relation to

Additional Needs at Red Oaks Primary School - a mainstream school located on the North Swindon Learning Campus. She is also currently Chair of a Research and Innovation Group responding to the Rochford Review funded by Swindon Teaching School.

such targets.

References: Carpenter, B. ed. (2011) The Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities Project. London: DfE/SSAT Dales School (2010) and (2016) Assessment and Progression (MAPP) ticle/assessment-progressionmapp/275 DfE (2010) Progression 2010–11: Advice on improving data to raise attainment and maximise the progress of learners with special educational needs. Nottingham: DfE Publications DfE (2014) SEND Code of Practice: 0-25 years (2014). London: DfE. DfE (2015) Commission on Assessment without Levels: final report– The McIntosh Report. London: DfE. DfE (2016) Statutory assessment arrangements for pupils working below the standard of national curriculum tests at key stages 1 and 2 (known as SATs) – The Rochford Review. London: DfE. DfE (2017) Primary school pupil assessment: Rochford Review recommendations Government consultation response: uploads/system/uploads/attachme nt_data/file/644729/Rochford_con sultation_response.pdf Gov UK (2104) The Children and Families Act. London: Gov UK. Gov UK (2017) School inspection handbook: Handbook for inspecting schools in England under section 5 of the Education Act 2005 Hargreaves, D (2006). A New Shape for Schooling? London: SSAT Imray, P. (2013) Can the P scales give a sufficient and accurate assessment of progress for pupils and students with severe or profound and multiple learning difficulties? The SLD Experience 66; 17-25 Lacey, P. and Scull, J. (2015) Inclusive education for learners with severe, profound and multiple learning difficulties in England in E. A. West (ed) Including Learners With Low-Incidence Disabilities (International Perspectives on Inclusive Education, Volume 5). Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 241–268. Long, R. (2016) Briefing Paper Number 07020: Special Educational Needs: support in England. London: House of Lords. Riddick, B. (2009) P scales – The context in F. Ndaji and P. Tymms (ed) The P Scales: Assessing the Progress of Children With Special Educational Needs. London:WileyBlackwell. SCERTS (2007) ?option=com_content&view=articl e&id=2&Itemid Sissons (2017) Mapping and Assessing Pupil Progress (MAPP2) Welsh Assembly (2006) Routes for Learning Assessment Booklet. Cardiff: Crown Copyright November 2017


SEND Update

Is the new SEND System fit for purpose?

In october, just as everyone was going on their half-term break, two very important publications were released that highlighted the many issues surrounding the implementation of the senD reforms. Lorraine Petersen OBE writes. as you are all aware from previous articles I have written, the transitional period for the implementation of the reforms is due to be completed by 31st March 2018, just five months hence. Dfe statistics published earlier this year indicated that only a third of local authorities were on target to have fully implemented the reforms by the March deadline.

In september robert Goodwill, Minister of state for Children and Families sent a letter to all local authorities reminding them of the deadline and how important it was to meet it. The letter also stated: “It is also important to note that any statement of SEN for which a transfer review has not been completed by 31 March 2018 will continue to remain in force from 1 April 2018, until a transfer review has been completed and a decision is made about future provision.” Will this be a get out of jail free card? The two documents I referred to earlier were: ofsted and Care Quality Commission - local area senD Inspections: one year on and The local Government and social Care ombudsman’s education, Health and Care Plans: our first 100 investigations. I would like to be able to report


November 2017

inspections took place in May 2016. By May 2017, ofsted and CQC had completed 30 inspections. Just under a third of the local areas inspected (nine) were required to provide a written statement of action. (Wsoa). This report provides a summary of the main findings from those first 30 local area senD inspections. It identifies the most common strengths and aspects that need improving.

Main Findings

that both documents had lots of positive things to say about the reforms – unfortunately this is not the case. Both are damning reports about a system that is currently not fit for purpose and letting down a large number of children, young people and their families.

Local area SEND inspections: One year on – Ofsted and CQC The former Minister of state for Children and Families commissioned ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to work together to develop and deliver a programme of 152 local area inspections over approximately a five-year period.

Together, the two inspectorates designed a new framework to inspect the effectiveness of local areas in fulfilling their new duties in the ‘special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0 to 25 years’ (the Code of Practice). In those local areas where ofsted/CQC had significant concerns about how effectively the local area was meeting its duties the inspectors judged that a written statement of action (Wsoa) was required. local area leaders must set out in the Wsoa how they are going to tackle the areas of significant concern. The first local area senD

Children and young people identified as needing SEND support had not benefited from the implementation of the Code of Practice well enough. These children and young people had a much poorer experience of the education system than their peers. Too often, local area leaders were not clear how their actions were improving outcomes for those children and young people identified as needing senD support.

Children and young people who have SEND were found to be excluded, absent or missing from school much more frequently than other pupils nationally. even in some local areas that had implemented the Code of Practice well, leaders did not have appropriate plans to deal with the levels of exclusion for these pupils.

School leaders had used unofficial exclusions too readily to cope with children and young people who have SEND. across nearly all local areas inspected, an alarming number of parents said that some school leaders asked them to take their children home. This was in addition, or as an alternative, to fixed-term exclusions. It is illegal.

Access to therapy services was a weakness in half of the local areas inspected. Typically, therapy services were of high quality. However, too many children and young people who have senD experienced long waiting times as well as limited contact with the therapists that they needed. Access to child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) was poor in over a third of local areas. Many parents reported that the threshold to access CaMHs services was too high or waiting times too long. Consequently,

too many children and young people identified as having social, emotional or mental health (seMH) needs did not get the right support until they were in crisis. There had not been enough progress in implementing a coordinated 0–25 service for children and young people who have SEND.

In particular, the commissioning of health services for up to age 25 was inconsistent. For example, in some local areas, therapy and school nursing services had only been commissioned for up to age 19. In other local areas, there was a lack of coordinated planning as young people moved into adult services. Consequently, too many young people who have senD did not get the support and resources they were entitled to once they reached the age of 19. Children’s and young people’s SEND were identified well in the early years, particularly for those with complex needs.

Parents generally felt supported and involved in the process. The co-location of education, health and care services in children’s centres, child development centres and early years settings ensured that many local areas were able to implement the full healthy child programme effectively. Consequently, the delivery of the two-and-a-half year check had been established and had led to timely and accurate early identification. This was particularly the case for children and young people who had the most complex needs. However, the further through the schooling system children progressed, the less established opportunities for education, health and care professionals to work together became, particularly in mainstream schools. This meant that for children and young people whose needs were more subtle, the likelihood of these needs being identified quickly and accurately reduced significantly the older they got.

In over a third of the local areas inspected, leaders across education, health and care did not involve children and young people or their parents sufficiently in planning and reviewing their provision (a process known as coproduction). leaders have not been successful in establishing strong practice when co-producing children and young people’s plans. In particular, there were weaknesses in co-production during the statutory assessment and annual review processes, including when statements of special educational needs were converted to eHC plans.

Many local area leaders were unaware of the depth of frustration among local parents and what their concerns were about. some parents reported a much better experience when working with professionals to plan improvements to local services. However, parental dissatisfaction November 2017


SEND Update

was often a significant factor when inspectors judged that a local area should submit a written statement of action.

A large proportion of parents in the local areas inspected lacked confidence in the ability of mainstream schools to meet their child’s needs. Many parents of children or young people who have senD reported concerns about the quality of staff training and teachers’ ability to meet their child’s specific needs when in mainstream school.

In the most effective local areas, strong strategic leadership had led to established joint working between education, health and care services. This underpinned their success when implementing the reforms of the Code of Practice. In successful local areas, leaders’ strategies were based on thorough evaluations of the effectiveness of services in improving education, health and care outcomes. leaders focused on improving the impact of joint working across services to ensure that they could improve outcomes in areas of weakness. For example, giving the designated medical officer (DMo) or designated clinical officer (DCo) sufficient time resulted in improved joint commissioning arrangements. The statutory assessment process was not working well enough in just over two thirds of local areas inspected (21 in number). In particular, there were common weaknesses in the process for securing the statutory contributions from health and care professionals to assessments. Consequently, the quality of eHC plans varied considerably both within and across the local areas inspected. Local offers were not effective in helping parents to access information and services in over half of the local areas inspected. local area leaders had not promoted their local offers well enough to parents or to frontline staff. as a result, very few parents used their area’s local offer to access the


November 2017

information they needed because they were unaware that the local offer existed.

Local area leaders have had varied success in securing the use of personal budgets. In some local areas, leaders have supported families by allowing a freer approach to how personal budgets can be accessed and used. However, in just under half of the local areas inspected, there were less than five personal budgets allocated. In three local areas, there had been a zero uptake altogether. Typically, this had been as a result of difficulties in developing a cost efficient way to balance parental choice with constrained budgets. The proportions of young people who have SEND who are not in education, employment and training were low, particularly for those who had an EHC plan. In 12 of the 30 local areas inspected, inspectors identified a strength in how leaders had secured appropriate education, employment and training post16.

Children and young people who have SEND and their families typically had good access to high-quality short breaks. Inspectors found only one local area where access to short breaks was weak. It is hoped that local areas including schools will use the findings from this report to review their current practice and ensure excellent outcomes for children, young people and their families with senD. Education, Health and Care Plan: our first 100 investigators - Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman Michael King, local Government and social Care ombudsman, in his introduction to this report states: “The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has now carried out more than 100 detailed investigations on EHC plans. In these initial cases, however, we have seen some families having to push, persist, and go well beyond the call of duty just to confirm the type of support they should receive, and to get it provided. It can be tough enough for these

families, without the disproportionate burden of having to fight the educational system just to get the support to which they are entitled. In some instances, our investigations have shown the new system to have the opposite of its intended effect. We see poor planning by some councils requiring extra meetings to be hastily arranged to meet the statutory obligations; failures to share draft assessments causing delays later in the process; and authorities deferring responsibility to families for getting professional input, among other issues. Our experience shows some councils are struggling to plan and cope with the changes to the SEN system, at a time when all authorities are having to rethink how they deliver services. And some investigations are characterised by councils’ lack of understanding of the process. The end result can be long delays, leaving children and young people missing out on provision and ultimately failing to reach their potential. The

frustration, stress and sense of injustice for the families involved is understandable. When councils then fail to recognise and acknowledge fault, further damage is caused to relationships and trust.”

Common Issues

Delay Delay remains an overriding feature in most complaints about sen that were investigated. This reflects the fact that less than 59% of new eHC plans were issued within the 20 week limit last year. In a few cases families have waited over a year for their plan to be issued.

Gathering evidence to inform the EHC assessment one of the fundamental principles of the act is to provide a holistic approach to assessment and support planning, with all professionals working together with the family. any new request, or a transfer to an eHC Plan, requires an ‘eHC needs assessment’. The local authority is the lead agency in this process. Councils must assess the education, health and social care needs of the child and consider whether updated evidence or new assessments are required in any area. Councils can use existing evidence to do this but only where the person who provided the advice, the local authority and the child’s parent or the young person are satisfied it is sufficient for the purposes of the eHC assessment.

In those cases that were investigated they saw councils not obtaining profession advice within the six-week timeframe, and not giving professionals clear instructions, meaning that the advice obtained is then not detailed and specific enough to write a clear eHC plan.

Meetings and transfer reviews The Code explains the need to involve children, young people and parents in decision making throughout the process of assessing and producing an eHC plan. specifically, as part of the eHC needs assessment, the local authority must invite the parent of the child, or the young person, to attend a meeting with a relevant officer of the authority to discuss the educational,

health care and social care needs of the child or young person. The meeting can be held at the start of the process or once a draft eHC plan has been prepared, but parents must be offered a face-to-face meeting. In those cases that were investigated a number of issues arose: • intending to use the annual review meeting as the transfer meeting but failing to issue the notice so a further meeting has to be held in order to comply with the rules • asking the school to hold the annual review and using this as the transfer meeting even though no relevant local authority officer attends • arranging the meeting too late to meet key transfer deadlines or the timescale for issuing a final eHC plan • telling families at the start of the academic year their next annual review meeting will be used for eHC transfer but then causing confusion by not going ahead with the transfer when the annual review comes round • realising at the end of the eHC

process no meeting has been held and pressuring parents to hold it at short notice (in one case 24 hours) or by telephone so the council meets its statutory deadlines for issuing the eHC plan • failing to consider whether an annual review format with a range of professionals attending is the best one to allow the child or young person to participate fully in the assessment and planning process.

Key phase transfers Key phase transfers are when a child moves between important schooling stages, such as primary to secondary education, or school to college. When children are approaching one of these, councils should have identified the pupils well in advance and allowed sufficient time to complete the transfer review. This would allow enough time for parents to appeal the contents of an eHC plan or named placement before the start of the academic year, and to enable a smooth transition.

This forward planning is not happening in many of the complaints that were received by the ombudsman. Councils were not routinely using the annual review meeting as the transfer meeting, and were not considering early enough if further evidence is needed, and not allowing enough time to complete the process before the deadline to name placement.

Making decisions about placements and provision in a new EHC plan at the draft stage of the eHC needs assessment process families have an opportunity to make a request for a personal budget and a request for a specific school, college or institution. The ombudsman saw cases where discussions about placement happened too late in the eHC needs assessment process. sometimes this is because councils assume, because the placement section of a draft eHC plan has to be left blank to allow parents to express their preference, they cannot discuss options before then. This November 2017


SEND Update

can mean families are surprised by the placement the council names in the final plan, and lead to disagreements and appeals. It can also mean families don’t have enough information about the costs of different options, or miss out on the opportunity to consider if a personal budget or direct payments might be suitable. Use of panels in decision making The use of panels to make decisions about sen placements is becoming an increasingly common practice. The Government recognises that moderating panels can be helpful to aid transparency and consistency, but families can feel excluded from the decision making process and their views ignored. Common issues that were seen include panels: • not making it clear to families whether the decision maker in their case is the sen officer or panel • making a placement decision which has never been discussed with the family, and does not appear to take into account their views • keeping no minutes of their discussions and not giving reasons for decisions. This leaves families, and in some instances sen officers, not able to understand how decisions have been reached • rejecting parental preference placements without calculating if there is any unreasonable additional cost to the public purse (when taking account of the whole cost of placements, including transport) • suggesting placements that are not compatible with professional advice in eHC needs assessments • delaying in considering cases, leading to the eHC plan being issued late.


Failing to name a school in a final EHC Plan During the course of their investigations the ombudsman have seen concerning examples of councils issuing final eHC plans with no school or college named. often this is as a result of consulting schools too late, so that all their places are filled by the time the eHC plan needs

November 2017

to be finalised. To comply with eHC plan timescales, some councils are issuing final plans with only a type of placement named, or no placement named at all, leaving the child without a school place. often the child is out of school and the council may also not be making appropriate interim education provision. The council then uses the time the appeal is pending as effectively a time extension to the eHC

process, issuing a second final eHC plan once it has identified a school place.

Both these reports show a senD system that is fractured and in need of not just a MoT but a full service to ensure that as we go forward all children, young people and their families with senD get the support, provision and outcomes they deserve to meet their special educational needs.

For more information: ent/publications/local-areasend-inspections-one-year-on ationcentre/news/2017/oct/adisproportionate-burden-famil ies-struggling-with-newspecial-educational-needssystem-when-councils-get-it-w rong


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Visit our website to see our full range of books for children and young people with SEND

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Rythym is life

The Ronnie Gardiner Method (RGM) is a multisensory stimulation method developed by the American drummer and jazz musician Ronnie Gardiner. How does this benefit in SEND? Caroline Russell explains.

"Nothing ac4vates the brain so extensively as music," said Oliver Sacks, M.D., professor of neurology at Columbia University and author of ‘Musicophilia’. Brain imaging shows how music lights up so many different areas of the brain so it is the ideal tool to use to encourage and ac4vate neural networks when working with children. The Ronnie Gardiner Method (RGM) is a mul4sensory s4mula4on method driven and measured by rhythm. It aims to increase ac4vity across the networks of the brain and the corpus callosum using music as the portal. RGM was developed by the American drummer & jazz musician Ronnie Gardiner. It uses several specially developed

The white matter of the brain and the extensive Corpus callosum communicating between the 2 hemispheres. RGM aims to increase activity within the networks and across the corpus callosum using music as the portal.

symbol/sound/movement codes which are used to perform

20 SEND Magazine 24 November 2017 September 2017

exercises to the rhythm of music. The method was ini4ally developed to help children understand rhythm and improve coordina4on problems before it was discovered to have such a major effect as well on many neurological condi4ons such as Stroke and Parkinson’s. As teachers you are taking responsibility for helping to develop the most wonderful and fascina4ng organ of the human body ‐ yet the part of the body that is the least understood, the brain. So why not learn about another

tool that can help train these amazing brains to cope with daily life and all the demands we throw at them? Music is rhythm and rhythm is structure; an ADHD child struggles without structure so we need to provide a therapy that gives structure. A child with Asperger’s takes delight in structure while a child with dyslexia may have problems with phonological skills or 4ming deficits which relates back to the need for a therapy with structure and rhythym. Also pleasurable music increases dopamine levels in the brain; this neurotransmi5er is responsible for regula4ng a5en4on, working memory and mo4va4on and has been shown to be at lower levels in ADHD brains. So these children can gain focus and self‐control and improve concentra4on and memory by using music at school or at home. The Ronnie Gardiner Method (RGM) can provide this structure; delivering a therapy programme that encourages concentra4on, a5en4on span, reducing hyperac4vity and strengthening social skills. RGM works to improve balance skills and coordina4on, increase concentra4on and memory, s4mulate le$/right brain communica4on in gross and fine




motor skills, promote sensory   informa4on processing, assist with space‐4me orienta4on (4ming, pacing, sequencing, motor planning) encouraging fitness and social skills. The Prac44oner can control energy levels through the choice and pace of music which is a great op4on for ADHD. The joy of this method is that there are no limits to the crea4vity of the Prac44oner or the class or individual. There is a lot of fun & laughter which encourages social communica4on in a group especially when working with games. A mixture of visual instruc4ons or memory tests can be used to challenge or give more variety depending on     what is required. Body percussion provides tac4le feedback which helps teach & guide levels of physical s4mula4on. It is an incredibly simple method that has endless possibili4es which is what makes it so versa4le, especially when working with      children.







The focus of RGM is on having      fun, encouraging laughter, enjoyment and socialisa4on as much as improving motor skills. It can be carried out as a full session or just to one track of music used to se5le down a class and to help improve concentra4on. It can be used while standing, walking or in si6ng posi4on for the less mobile; in groups or for single par4cipants. However, it is important to remember that RGM is








measureable (unlike some other therapy modali4es that use music) so improvements can be recorded easily and efficiently.

Next Introduction course:

September 23rd &24th Central London Contact: info@ronniegardinermethod.

Caroline Russell is a Chartered Physiotherapist with many years’ experience specialising in the field of Neurology. She trained at “Fun and prac1cal, can see it Guy’s Hospital and has being very useful in school.” worked in the NHS and Manor High School. private sector before starting her own company “Loved it!”  Brookfield   Primary.    in 2007. She started      working   with RGM in 2008 and took over running RGM “Found it very interes1ng UKin 2014. She uses RGM and agree with  the  concept  in classes and one-to-one behind the method.” sessions with adults and South Leicesterhsire College. teenagers with a variety of diagnoses and loves the variety it   gives to treatment regimes. Her goal    is to see RGM    being used and enjoyed by all    ages in all areas   of the country and, personally, wants to stay as fit as Ronnie is when she reaches his age!

Caroline delivered a seminar at the recent SEND Conference Midlands. Here’s what some had to say!

Thanks to everyone who joined in so enthusiastically at the workshop at the SEND Conference at Sketchely Grange Hotel, PICTURED LEFT. An excellent conference and I look forward to seeing you all again at the next one!

September 2017November SEND Magazine 21 2017 25

The Local Offer

Identifying Best Practice – Delivering Extraordinary SEND Support

Founder of The local offer Heather Stack looks at best practice and next steps for senD policy. I’m delivering a conference presentation on ‘Identifying best practice – next steps for senD policy’ for the Westminster Forum in november. as I mull over my brief allotted time to speak, I am drawn to the findings of this social enterprise, The local offer. Firstly, there is much evidence to document particularly poor outcomes following the senD reforms of september 2014. ofsted and CQC’s report, ‘local area senD Inspections – one year on’, published october 2017, looks at how effectively local areas – • Identify children & young people’s senD • Meet the needs of CyP with senD • Improve outcomes for CyP with senD almost a third of those areas inspected were found to have serious weakness with a requirement to produce a Written statement of action (Wsoa). These weaknesses, cited in Main Findings, indicate that many children have not benefited from the Code of Practice. Many were found to be excluded, absent or missing from school more frequently than other children. school leaders used unofficial exclusions too readily as a coping strategy.


November 2017

access to therapy services were poor with associated long waiting times, with access to CaMHs an especial area of concern. There are many more similar concerns, which makes for dispiriting reading. The Institute of Public Policy research’s report, Making the

Difference: Breaking the link between school exclusion and social exclusion, october 2017, states: “excluded children are the most vulnerable; twice as likely to be in the care of the state, four times more likely to have grown up in poverty, seven times more

likely to have sen and ten times more likely to suffer recognised mental health problems.” on the theme of exclusion, Des reynolds, Ce of The engage Trust, which runs 9 alternative provision academies, has stated that their biggest growth areas in exclusions is in the under 7s.

“We have created a much more academically focused system, with high levels of stress and pressure, which some of our most vulnerable children cannot cope with.”

as a school improvement consultant in 2015, working in a south east local authority, leading on sen & disability, I was staggered to find one school with 5 pupils in year 1 they were seeking to permanently exclude. When I challenged this with the Head of school Improvement, I was told, “It’s the only way we’ll get that school out of category. That’s why we’ve got special schools in this authority.” experience tells that parents of children who have been excluded, find themselves also socially excluded, no longer a part of that familiar school run with other local parents. The shame and stigma of a child attending specialist provision persists. The wide geographical intake of many specialist schools, serves to add another layer of isolation, stress and tension to already fraught lives. so, what makes for good or best practice? We cannot easily bundle up a menu of support and dictate this is our process for children with sen or disability. It is much more fluid that, with

support twisting and turning like the flow of a bubbling stream, at times intense and rushed, and at others, slow moving and calm. It is back to our deep-rooted knowledge of the child, and a close understanding of what is going on in the child’s life that impacts not just on educational attainment, but emotional health, happiness and wellbeing too. spend a day in the life of the child and most professionals and practitioners would glean so much more useful information than all the data sharing in the world. Most specialist and targeted services detailed on The local offer site, whose Provider Profiles I check as part of the registration process, offer solutions to the needs of children, schools and families, often in innovative, well evidenced and researched ways. What seems evident, after three years of charting the growth of The local offer, is that there is a growing need for greater access to specialised local provision so that parents and young people are not compelled to travel across many counties, or endure long waiting times to access specialist advice. elements of best practice within schools, include the following

features: • strong internal networks between all key leads, including sen, disability, pupil premium, child protection, nurture groups and looked-after children so that no child falls between the gap of different registers and systems of support; • regular contact points between senCo, the senD support team and parents which is over and above the minimal requirement to review sen support or eHC plans; • regular and ongoing CPD, so that all members of the team can follow their professional interests, compliment the work of the team and are motivated to pursue their chosen career path; • a strong commitment to understanding and meeting the needs of every child in the school, without which, all best practice falls apart; • an up to date knowledge of the local offer, and of all available cross-sector support from education, health and social care services; • attractive, well-resourced and purpose built resource rooms, meeting spaces and support areas to accommodate the needs of the whole school community; • Timely communications with parents that share information as it arrives from external or

internal sources, that are mindful of a balance of sharing successes as well as challenges, and that have multiple channels of communication, both formal and informal; • a focus on the holistic needs of the child, with an awareness of challenges in the child’s home life as well as in the educational setting; • a rich and varied tapestry of support provision, some of which will be off-site, and some delivered during evenings or weekends or holidays to meet the holistic needs of the child and family; • support funding that is allocated flexibly to meeting the child’s needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. It requires thinking outside the box to make this feature a reality, embedded within day-to-day practice.

elements of best practice within specialist and targeted services: • Informed and intelligent advice; There is no substitute for external specialist professional advice, particularly when the needs of any child can be beyond the knowledge base of most subject or class-based teachers. • Timely support: any service that can respond to a November 2017


The Local Offer school or parent’s need for observations, assessment or direct support in a timely manner, with ease of communications, will always feature high on any best practice guide. • simple processes and contractual arrangements; services that are difficult to access, or are tied up in long term contractual obligations are often not the most flexible for schools to partner. above all else, it is the needs of the children that are paramount. Making access to services protracted, or referrals only by selected professionals, does little to increase access to specialist support. • Flexible service delivery: I have seen many services who


November 2017

have a brilliant concept and are meeting high level needs, only to be disappointed that they have ‘packaged’ everything so that a school’s scarce resources are tied up in additional extras that are not necessary. There is a fine line between delivering sustainable services and providing flexible support, but it’s one that most effective specialist organisations must tread. • one-to-one time with children with senD: one of the most valuable aspects of specialist provision is that its focus is on the needs of individuals, rather than year groups or cohorts. Where targeted services offer packages of support to groups of children, there is still a need to understand and get to know

individual personalities, without which the specialist service is no more than a bolt-on to existing school-based provision. • Clearly identified outcomes and regular progress checks: With the best intentions, not all support hits the right spot. Having the wisdom and integrity to admit this, and reconvene to plan and adjust support is essential and helps build partnerships based on trust and honesty between schools and external specialist providers. How many elements of best practice identified here do you employ in your setting or specialist service? The need to review and reflect on what we have learned, and what has been achieved, is never more pressing than when we are dealing with

the fragility and vulnerability of children’s lives. Make it your goal today to strive to embed best practice in your day-to-day habits, routines and practices. Heather Stack is Founder of The Local Offer, a social enterprise striving to transform the landscape of SEND provision. She is available to support the immediate needs of schools and local authorities in addressing outcomes in local area SEND inspections and can be contacted on . The website can be found at


Available to purchase from:

Marilyn Tucknott M.A (Special Educational Needs)

Secondary Resources Key Stage 3 Live Out Loud Small and discrete enough to t in a blazer pocket, this Journal looks like a used notebook. The images are gra ti and scribble-like, as if someone had been doodling. The pages appear thumbed and ink-stained. In fact, it looks subversive which is entirely in keeping with the polarised behaviour and opinions of this age group. Neuroscience tells us that the teenage brain is going through a pruning process, reworking its pathways. This Journal allows the young person to explore those things to which they are ‘at cause’ and to which they are ‘at e ect’, asking them to take a position of empowerment as they move into being a young adult.


The Journal takes the form of a journey from articulating apparently super cial preferences, to exploring sensitive hopes and fears. It sensitively explores body-image and gender issues, thoughts of death and defeat, normality and di erence. It introduces the language of emotional intelligence and the nal page invites the young person to write an instruction manual as to how to understand them- the end of the journey and a new place to start.


Key Stage 4 It’s all in the Mind Subtitled ‘don’t sweat the small stu ’ the Journal’s starting point is that there is much to be angry about- from personal issues to worldwide concerns. It explains that this high state of arousal has an impact upon the body and upon the clarity of the mind. Aimed at 14-15 year olds, it addresses the young person who is feeling overwhelmed, thinking about things that could go wrong and who has a roller-coaster emotions. The Journal assumes that the young person has done ‘a lot of living’ which has informed his or her attitudes and expectations. The reader is invited to review the usefulness of their current thinking, to engage in a reality-check and to consider a more meaningful future. And to keep the inner-critic quiet! Each theme begins with a quote that is in itself a challenge. Prompt questions then invite the young adult to frame their viewpoint and to back it up with life experiences or to discard pre-existing expectations.

©Koa Ltd.

Butter y Print Ltd. 01706 817248

When yo quote codu e


butter enquiries@butter


Personal CPD Keep your knowledge up-to-date

ConTInuInG Professional Development(CPD) is very important in the world of special educational needs and disability and the wider education community. It is getting more and more difficult to go on courses and attend conferences due to


November 2017

financial restraints but within the education sector we still need to thrive and push forward for Continuing Professional Development. The senD Group offers a unique way for teachers, Ta’s and practitioners to gain informal personal CPD

through our webinar programme. The senD Group gathers together highly knowledgeable professionals from their respective fields within senD every Tuesday evening which is a costeffective way to receive informal CPD.

This is the easiest way to grow your knowledge and skills within your respective fields, check out our autumn term timetable listed below. use “senD20” before the end of December to receive a 20% discount on any of our webinars.

SEND Book shop Understanding Maths Learning Difficulties: Dyscalculia, Dyslexia or Dyspraxia? Judy Hornigold

· Why do some pupils experience maths learning difficulties? · How can you determine whether there is a specific learning difficulty such as dyscalculia, dyspraxia or dyslexia? · What teaching strategies can help overcome maths anxiety and specific maths learning difficulties?

Without doubt maths is one of the most important subjects taught in schools and yet it is the one subject that can strike fear and dread in children from the very start of their education.

In this book Judy Hornigold explores potential causes of maths learning difficulties and particularly the specific difficulties that learners with dyscalculia, dyslexia and/or dyspraxia experience. It considers how general maths anxiety impedes mathematical development and then examines whether this, or a more fundamental and specific difficulty with maths such as dyscalculia, is the real root of difficulties. The book then looks in detail at a wide range of strategies to help overcome general maths anxiety

and more specific learning difficulties. It addresses four distinct areas - core number, reasoning, memory and visual spatial awareness as the main areas of difficulty for learners with dyscalculia (core number and reasoning), dyslexia (memory) and dyspraxia (visual spatial awareness). Published by: Open University Press, 2017

Understanding Special Educational Needs and Disability in the Early Years Janice Wearmouth, Abigail Gosling, Julie Beams and Stephanie Davydaitis. Key text provides essential tools for understanding legislation, policy, provision and practice for children in the early years, particularly young children with special educational needs and disability (senD). Based on extensive research and the four areas of need as defined in the special educational needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years (Dfe,

2015), the book charts the development of young children and their growing constructions of learning, communication, language, motor movement and emotion. Providing material that translates into practice in a straightforward and practical way, this text is packed full of personal accounts and case studies, enabling readers to appreciate what the experience

of senD in the early years means for families and professionals, and also to learn more about how they might understand and respond appropriately to a child’s needs. Published by: Routledge, 2017

Starving the Exam Stress Gremlin: A Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Workbook on Managing Exam Stress for Young People Kate Collins-Donnelly

When exam time comes around, the exam stress gremlin is in his element, feeding off your exam fears and anxieties. This workbook teaches you how to starve your gremlin by learning to cope with exam stress. Full of fun

activities based on cognitive behavioural therapy, it is the ideal resource for supporting young people aged 10+.

Published by: Jessica Kingsley, 2017

Illustrated Guide to Dyslexia and its Amazing People

Dyslexia is my Superpower (Most of the time).

an engaging visual explanation of dyslexia, what it means, and how to embrace it. Vibrant images and simple text depict what dyslexia is, along with helpful tools for learning and examples of skills and professions best-suited for people with dyslexia. Includes tips for success, additional games and learning resources. Published by: Jessica Kingsley, 2017

Containing over 100 in-depth interviews with school children and young adults living with dyslexia, this powerful first-hand collection depicts the significance of confidence and self-esteem in propelling children with dyslexia to achieve personal success. The children supply their own illustrations; a handy hints guide; and their own advice to educators. Published by: Jessica Kingsley, 2017

Kate Power & Kathy Iwanczak Forsyth

32 November 2017

Margaret Rooke

The Asperger Teen’s Toolkit Francis Musgrave

With minimal text and fun, comic book style graphics, this is a treasure trove of information for young people with asperger syndrome and their carers. exploring the science of how the human mind works, it gives handy tips on how to cope with all elements of the adult world, including responsibilities, health, sex and relationships. Published by: Jessica Kingsley, 2017

It’s Raining and I’m Okay: A Calming Story to Help Children Relax When They Go Out and About

Adele Devine Children with special needs often feel overwhelmed while out and about, but this simple rhyming story can help them to reduce feelings of anxiety. Ideal for kids aged 3-7, this bright and reassuring picture book offers calming strategies, useful symbols for pre-readers, and downloadable notes to support kids who feel anxious out of the home. Published by: Jessica Kingsley, 2017

Book to review? Send to the address below

Book reviews

ND Magazine September 2017_SEND Magazine 12/09/2017 23:07 Page 33 SEND Magazine

42 Cumberland Way, Barwell, Leicestershire. LE9 8HX

November 2017 33

Teachers notes



Alterna ve and Augmenta ve Communica on Advisory Centre for Educa on A Curriculum for Excellence Area Child Protec on Commi ee Quali ca ons Curriculum and Assessment Authority for Wales A en on Defect Disorder A en on De cit Disorder Informa on and Support Service A en on De cit Hyperac vity Disorder Addi onal Educa onal Needs A ddi onal Educa onal Needs Co-ordinator Au sm Educa on Trust Achievement for All Assessment for Learning Able, Gi ed and Talented Adults with Learning Di cul es Addi onal Learning Support Assessment of Learning Assessment and Quali ca ons Alliance Area/Au s c Resource Base Annual Review Mee ng Au s c Spectrum Disorder A ward Scheme Development and Accredita on Network Addi onal Support Need Addi onal Support for Learning Advanced Skills Teacher Au sm Age Weighted Pupil Unit Bri sh Associa on of Teachers of the Deaf Bri sh Dyslexia Associa on Body Dysmorphic Disorder Bri sh Educa onal Communica ons and Technology Agency Behaviour, Emo onal and Social Di cul es B ehaviour and Educa on Support Teams Bri sh Ins tute of Learning Di cul es Behaviour Improvement Programme Black and Minority Ethnic Building Schools for the Future Bri sh Sign Language Behaviour Support Plan Behaviour Support Team Behaviour Support Unit Child and Family Service Classroom Assistant Common Assessment Framework Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service Cogni ve Ability Test Welsh Joint Educa on Commi ee Northern Ireland Council for the Curriculum,

SEND MAGAZINE January 2017


Examina ons and Assessment Conduct Disorders Council for Disabled Children Cys c Fibrosis Chronic Fa gue Syndrome Children with Mental Health and Educa onal Needs Complex Learning Needs Cerebral Palsy Commission for Racial Equality Commission for Social Care Inspec ons Coordinated Support Plan Code of Prac ce Commission for Racial Equality De cits in A en on, Motor Control and Perceptual Abili es Development Co-ordina on Di cul es (Dyspraxia) Disability Discrimina on Act Disability Equality Duty Disability Equality in Educa on Department for Educa on, Learning and Lifelong Skills Department of Educa on for Northern Ireland Department for Educa on and Skills Disability Living Allowance Disability Rights Commission Downs Syndrome Developmental Coordina on Disorder Dedicated Specialist Provision Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia Dyscaculia Dyslexia Dyspraxia English as an Addi onal Language Ea ng Disorders Emo onal and Behavioural Di cul es Every Child Ma ers Educa on and Library Board Educa on Other than at School Educa onal Psychologist Epilepsy Educa on Reform Act Educa onal Support Assistant O ce of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector and Training in Wales English as a Second Language Educa on Welfare O cer Early Years Ac on Early Years Ac on Plus Early Years Development and Childcare Partnership Further Literacy Support Founda on Learning Tier Fragile X Syndrome Founda on Stage Pro le Gi ed and Talented Generic Learning Di cul es General Teaching Council General Teaching Council for Scotland


Hearing Impairment Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector (of schools) HMI Her Majesty’s Inspectorate HMIE Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Educa on in Scotland Higher Level Teaching HLTA Assistant HSA Home School Agreement IBP Individual Behaviour Plan Individual Educa on Plan IEP Individual Learning Plan ILP INCO Inclusion Co-ordinator IPSEA Independent Panel for Special Educa on Advice IQM Inclusion Quality Mark ISP Individual Support Plan KS Key stage Local Authority LA LAC Looked A er Children LDD Learning Di cul es and Disabili es Learning Mentor LM LSA Learning Support Assistant LSC Learning and Skills Council LSP Learning Support Prac oner LSU Learning Support Unit LTS Learning & Teaching Scotland Mul -Disciplinary Team MDT MLD Moderate Learning Di cul es MD Muscular Dystrophy ME Myalgic Encephalomeli s MND Motor Neurone Disease MSI Mul -Sensory Impairment NAS Na onal Au s c Society NBCS Na onal Blind Children’s Society NDCS Na onal Deaf Children’s Society NEYTCO Na onal Early Years Trainers and Consultants NMSS Non-Maintained Special School NRWS New Rela onship with Schools NSF Na onal Service Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity Services NSSEN Non-Statemented Special Educa onal Needs NWRSENP North West Regional Special Educa onal Needs Partnership Ofqual O ce of the Quali ca ons and Examina ons Regulator Ofsted O ce for Standards in Educa on PATOSS Professional Associa on for Teachers Of Students with Speci c Learning Disabili es PCTs Primary Care Trusts PD Physical Di cul es/ Disabili es PDD Pervasive Development Disorder PMLD Profound and Mul ple Di cul es PSP Personal Support Plan OCD Obsessive Compulsive Disorder ODD Opposi onal De ance Disorder OT Occupa onal Therapist PDA Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome


Pervasive Development Disorder Picture Exchange Communica on System Physical and Medical Di cul es Profound and Mul ple Learning Di cul es Physical and neurological impairment Pupil Referral Unit Parent Partnership Service Physical and Sensory Impairment Physiotherapist Quali ca ons and Curriculum Authority Rapid A achment Disorder Repor ng and Analysis for Improvement through School Self Evalua on Reasonable Adjustment Project Record of Achievement Record of Need Royal Na onal Ins tute of Blind People Speech and Language School Ac on School Ac on Plus Speech and Language Therapist Speech and Communica on Di cul es Social and Emo onal Aspects of Learning Social, Emo onal and Behaviour Di cul es Self Evalua on Form Special Educa onal Needs Advisory Group SEN Advisory and Teaching Service Special Educa onal Needs Co-ordinator Special Educa onal Needs & Disability Special Educa onal Needs and Disability Act Special Educa onal Needs and Disability Tribunal Special Educa onal Needs Joint Ini a ve for Training S peech, language and Communica on Needs Severe Learning Di cul es Spinal Muscular Atrophy School Improvement Partner Seman c Pragma c Disorder Speci c Language and Communica on Di cul es Speci c Learning Di cul es Sco sh Quali ca ons Authority S tatement of Special Educa onal Needs Teaching Assistant Training and Development Agency Teaching and Learning Responsibility Toure es Syndrome Visual Impairment Welsh Joint Educa on Commi ee

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November/December issue of SEND Magazine