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SEND Special Educational Needs & Disability



March 2017

& the pro’s and con’s of labels

EXCLUSION! Where has inclusion gone?


Understanding sensory processing


Gathering strength through networking


SEND Magazine www.sendmagazine.co.uk @sendmagazine

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Specialist Occupational Therapy (OT) and Sensory Integration (SI) Centre providing independent assessments, treatment, and training to parents, carers and other professionals. Through a wealth of experience and post graduate qualification we are able to offer specialist children and young people’s occupational therapy services to children and young people. Currently working across the community in homes, schools, clinics we now also have the facility to provide group and individual work across a wide range of needs including Ayres Sensory Integration Therapy as well as Sensory Play sessions in the school holidays. There is no criteria for referral, assessments and interventions are bespoke for individual need, aiming to provide specialist services for all children / young people including: • Sensory Processing Disorders (Sensory Integration) • ASD and other non-pervasive developmental disorders • Developmental Coordination Disorders (including dyspraxia and sensory based motor disorders) • Hemiplegia, and other neurological conditions • Developmental Delay

For more information, costs and bookings please see our website www.childrenschoicetherapy.co.uk or contact us by email: childrenschoicetherapy@gmail.com Alison Hart, Sarah Sheffield, Samantha Armitage, Jessica Quinn, Sandra Town, Mel Homan, Kiki Matemba-Belli

Understanding Sensory Processing in the Classroom: 5th May 2017 9am – 3pm This course is for education and other professionals and gives practical and interactive learning around understanding how sensory processing works, the impacts on behaviours and learning, and strategies and approaches for the classroom. Cost: £120 - Lunch provided

Understanding Sensory Processing in the Classroom (2): 23rd May 2017 9am – 3pm This course is for those who would like to build on learning from the first course we offer considering further applying sensory processing understanding in to practical application. Cost: £150 - Lunch provided Both courses are held at Children’s Choice Therapy and SI centre at Lancaster Park, Needwood, Staffordshire. DE13 9PD. Please note: there are stairs access to the training room, please notify course organisers of relevant difficulties.


Bringing together education professionals to share knowledge and demonstrate best practices

SEND Conference Midlands Friday May 5th 2017 Sketchley Grange Hotel

Burbage, nr Hinckley, Warwickshire. LE10 3HU

Tickets are £145 and include lunch and refreshments throughout the day. KEYNOTE SPEAKER Leading SEND advisor and former NASEN CEO Lorraine Peterson OBE delivers the SEND Update and talks about assessment and life after levels.

Workshop: Caroline Russel delivers a workshop using music and movement within SEND the Ronnie Gardiner Method.

Pete Jarrett - Dyscalculia With over 27 years teaching and assessor experience, Pete regularly speaks to conferences and teacher training events around the country about Dyscalculia, maths learning difficulties and classroom practice.


Beccie Hawes Head of Service at Rushall Inclusion Advisory Team and author of ‘The Complete Dyslexia Toolkit’ and co-authored ‘Getting it Right with SEND: A Toolkit for All Primary Schools’.


Professor Barry Carpenter is Honorary Professor at the Universities of Worcester (UK), Limerick (Ireland) , Hamburg (Germany), and Flinders, (Australia). In a career spanning more than 30 years, Barry has held the leadership positions of Academic Director, Chief Executive, Principal, Headteacher, Inspector of Schools and Director of the Centre for Special Education at Westminster College, Oxford. In 2009, he was appointed by the Secretary of State for Education as Director of the Children with Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities Research Project.

TO BOOK CALL 0116 2988768 or visit www.sendconferences.co.uk

Welcome to SEND Magazine

AS publishing editor of SEND Magazine, I’m very proud that we are now in our third year of publishing and appreciate so much the support we have received from contributors in what has been a very challenging time for schools. At SEND Magazine, our writers are simply amazing, with experience beyond words. With leading SEND consultants such as Lorraine Peterson OBE, Professor Barry Carpenter CBE and and Heather Stack, MD of the Local Offer, SEND Magazine continues to support teachers, carers and parents of children and young people with special educational needs and disability, with the expertise and knowledge which is second to none. This month, I’m happy to welcome another former CEO of NASEN, Jane Friswell who, along with those mentioned, through SEND Magazine, provides the best support and discussions for teaching professionals across the UK. This issue Jane writes about the breakdown in inclusion within schools and the ‘exclusion’ that is a blight on our schools today. See page 20. On page 12 Alison Hart of the Children’s Choice Therapist Service talks about sensory processing in the classroom. On page 18 leading SEND Consultant Lorraine Peterson OBE talks about the pro’s and con’s of labelling and the challenges of identification teachers face in schools today. SENCos today benefit from multiple ‘Go-To’ professionals across education, health and social care. Looking at Lee Scott’s report to the Secretary of State for Education, ‘SEND: The schools and colleges experience’ (November 2016) which raised the issue of “the extent to which, in some schools, SENCos were over-stretched or not adequately supported by senior management. Regular contributor and MD of The Local Offer, Heather Stack talks about her own development of strategic circles of strength, a necessary next step for all SENCos working in the new educational landscape post the reforms of September 2014. See page 26. I must also mention SEND Magazine’s own conference on May 5th, SEND Conferences Midlands, at the Sketchley Grange Hotel, Warwickshire. We have an incredible line up of support to provide you with a day of quality CPD. You can find out more about the speakers on the page opposite. Quality CPD at a quality venue with high quality speakers, May 5th is a must for teacher, as we will also have excellent suppliers for you to source materials for your classroom. You can book your place by visiting www.sendconferences.co.uk Within this issue we have freshened the design throughout so, with our latest round up of news, book reviews and features, I hope that once again we at SEND Magazine have provided another valuable resource to support your work and care of children and young people with special educational needs and disability. Thank you for reading!

Nick Clarke

SMagazine END

Publisher Director Nick Clarke BA (HONS) 07984 306 664 nick@sendmagazine.co.uk SEND Consultant Simon Carnell Office Enquiries 01455 642 234

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

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. Postal Address 42 Cumberland Way,Barwell, Leicestershire. LE9 8HX 01455 642 234 WEBSITE www.sendmagazine.co.uk

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Contents P8 NEWS

Overlooking children with SEND.


Multi-million pound funding confirmed for special educational needs & disability.


Government back new social care project for families PLUS new online resource for continence.


Understanding sensory processing in the classroom.


Nessy Learning = Learning happens when it’s fun.


SEND Consultant Lorraine Peterson OBE writes about identification.


Where has inclusion gone? Jane Friswell writes.


Chartered physiotherapist Caroline Russell takes us through the Ronnie Gardiner Method with a case study from a primary school therapist.


Heater Stack, MD of www.thelocaloffer.co.uk and SEND advisor looks at developing strategic circles of strength within SEND.


Latest book releases for SEND


SEND Magazine March 2017



Overlooking children with SEND

Misdiagnosis of SEND in schools means children with real problems are overlooked, teachers warn WELL over half of teachers think parental pressure is leading to children without special educational needs being misdiagnosed while those with genuine problems miss out. A large majority of teachers (57 per cent) think there is a misdiagnosis of SEN in children, according to the survey from GL Assessment, with a similar proportion (54 per cent) blaming parental pressure. Barely a quarter of teachers (26 per cent) say misdiagnosis isn’t an issue. Over three-fifths of teachers (62 per cent) think those with genuine needs are missing out because resources are being diverted to children that don’t really need help, with less than a fifth (18 per cent) disagreeing. Almost three-quarters of teachers (72 per cent) believe 8

some parents want their child to be labelled as having a learning difficulty even though there is little objective evidence to support that status. Only one in ten (10 per cent) disagree. When asked why they thought parents pushed for a diagnosis, almost two-thirds of teachers (64 per cent) said it was because some parents wanted a medical or psychological explanation rather than being willing to accept that their child had a classroom problem that could be addressed by a teacher. However, a large minority (39 per cent) thought it was because some parents wanted a label to help their child gain a competitive advantage in exams, though a similar proportion (37 per cent) thought that wasn’t the case.

SEND Magazine March 2017

On the whole, teachers in the survey, which polled more than 800 teachers across the UK, thought most parents were supportive. Two-thirds (65 per cent) thought parental interaction with them and their schools was appropriate. Only a quarter (25 per cent) thought it was lacking with one in ten (10 per cent) believing it was intrusive and inappropriate. Individual parents, however, presented a much bigger problem. Over half of all teachers polled (52 per cent) complained that at least one parent took up so much of their time that it was difficult to give others sufficient attention, with two-fifths (41 per cent) saying they had to deal with more than one difficult parent. Lorraine Petersen, a special

needs expert and former chief executive of National Association of Special Educational Needs, said she wasn’t surprised by the findings. “Most parents will work on the assumption that the quicker you assess why a child is having difficulties and give him or her a label, the faster you can get extra support. There may also be a sense of relief that comes with being able to ‘blame’ a diagnosed disorder. Parents may think people will be a lot less judgmental of a child's behaviour - and their parenting skills - if they know the child has a label.” Some parents, she pointed out, had the opposite problem and were in complete denial about the support their children needed and resisted having them on a SEN register. But at the www.sendmagazine.co.uk


other extreme were parents who were looking for a label even though their child may not require one. “They feel a label will give the child and perhaps the family additional support that they may not get without it; access to benefits, for instance, or support with exams or a place


in a specialist setting.” Greg Watson, Chief Executive of GL Assessment, said: “Few things are more difficult for a teacher to deal with than a frustrated parent who cannot understand why their child is not doing as well at school as the parent feels they should. Parents

naturally want to know why. But the fact is that a lot of issues children present are best addressed in the classroom not in the clinic, they don’t necessarily need a label and their condition may even be temporary. “A SEN diagnosis is often about

finding the one thing which is holding back a child who might otherwise do much better, rather than identifying a child with a broad difficulty in learning,” Greg adds. “That's why the classroom solution is so often better. Accurate assessment, personalised teaching and targeted support can often overcome a specific difficulty without the disruption that an external intervention can cause to teacher and pupil.” Sue Thompson, Senior Publisher at GL Assessment, said it was imperative that teachers were given as much help as possible to distinguish those children who had learning difficulties that could be addressed by a teacher from those who needed more specialist medical help: “Teachers have to be allowed to make the necessary identification of a child’s educational needs with the appropriate diagnostic tools. It cannot be right that they feel pressured to mislabel children or that educational problems are misdiagnosed as medical ones.”

March 2017 SEND Magazine



Multi-million pound funding confirmed UK Government announce a new investment to support children and families with special educational needs and disabilities.

A MULTI-MILLION pound package to support children with special educational needs and disability (SEND) has been announced. Minister for Vulnerable Children and Families, Edward Timpson, met with members of the National Network of Parent Carer Forums (NNPCF) at the Department for Education on Monday 9 January, where he confirmed funding from April 2017 of nearly £60 million. This funding will help embed the reforms made to the system of support for SEND and continue the support for the groups who have been instrumental in bringing about 10

the progress seen to date.

The funding announced includes: • £15 million for the Independent Supporters programme in 2017 to 2018; run by the Council for Disabled Children, this has been a real driver of change for families navigating the SEND system and improving the experience for them; • £2.3 million for Parent Carer Forums in 2017 to 2018, who bring parents together and provide a voice to influence local decision-making; • £1.8 million to Contact a Family, to support individual Parent Carer Forums and their National

SEND Magazine March 2017

Network, and to run a national helpline for families. The package also includes funding for councils worth £40 million, which the minister wrote to them about shortly before Christmas. This investment, an increase of £4.2 million from last year (2016 to 2017) will support councils to make effective plans for this important final year of the transition to the new SEND system. Minister Edward Timpson said: “These reforms are the most significant we’ve made to the support for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities in a generation and we know that

they are making a difference, thanks to the passion and dedication of all those involved. “As we enter the final year of the transition, I know there are still challenges to overcome, to ensure that the inspiring work going on in many parts of the country is shared with areas where improvements still need to be made. “That’s why I’m delighted to be able to confirm this additional funding for councils and for the groups playing such a vital role in supporting children with SEND. All children, no matter the obstacles they face, should have the same opportunities for success as any other.” www.sendmagazine.co.uk


Government backs innovative projects for children and families

Three projects receive additional funding as part of the children’s social care innovation programme. THREE projects with ambitious plans to transform children’s services in their areas have been awarded a share of more than £7 million in government grant funding. The grant funding from the Department for Education will support projects led by adoption charity Coram, the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council and Dorset County Council. Dorset county council plans to use its funding to improve outcomes for children and families in the county, including through providing additional training and development for staff. The project has been funded for two years. Coram will use its share of the innovation programme funding to

support local authorities in Northamptonshire, Manchester, Reading and Slough to make better use of data to understand the needs of the children in their care. They will also be carrying out work on fostering, including looking at post-18 support.

ERIC, The Children’s Bowel & Bladder Charity has launched a new website with a fresh, modern design based on the charity’s new brand. The website features an innovative tool for health professionals - ERIC’s Children’s Continence Pathway, developed by the award-winning ERIC Nurse Project. If implemented, the pathway has the potential to drastically improve local continence service provision. ERIC’s Children’s Continence Pathway follows a series of flowcharts guiding the reader through best practice in continence care, informing about assessment and intervention and signposting to valuable resources. Resources include a comprehensive continence assessment form; a ‘poo diary’; drinking and toileting reward charts; an intake/output chart; guidance on how to prepare macrogol laxatives; and information about constipation in breastfed babies, all of which can be downloaded from the new ERIC website.

Juliette Randall, ERIC’s CEO said: “This is the first time a generic children’s continence pathway has been created and made readily accessible online. I hope it will be used widely to support the improvement of continence services across the UK. Although presented as a generic tool we can also support health professionals to make it bespoke to their service and welcome anyone to get in touch to find out more. ERIC’s new website is also a fantastic resource for anyone helping children and teenagers manage bowel and bladder problems.” Brenda Cheer, the ERIC Nurse said: “There’s a huge variation in the provision of continence services across the UK. Care is often fragmented with different people providing services for bladders and bowels, for day and night time problems, for children with additional needs and those without. “The Pathway is a one-stop shop for professionals that can help improve paediatric continence services. Parents and carers can also use it to navigate

Edward Timpson, Minister for Vulnerable Children and Families, said: “It is fantastic to see the range of projects funded as part of the innovation programme, and it is clear to me that this work is helping to transform children’s services. We know that children thrive when the professionals who care for them are given the freedom to turn their passion and expertise into providing lifechanging support. The department has worked with each one of these projects to look at what we can learn from their ideas, and it is good to see that many of them will continue to support vulnerable children and families in the future.”

Meanwhile Bradford Metropolitan District Council will deliver its Rethinking Social Care project over the next two years. The project aims to provide integrated care for children and young people with the most complex needs.

New online resource for continence professionals


the care system and work out what help is or should be available.” Several other features have been added to the new ERIC website; • More information has been added to help parents and carers deal with children’s bowel and bladder problems including more real-life stories from kids, teens and parents; • The website is now fully responsive on mobiles and tablets, giving a better browsing experience and a better shopping experience in the overhauled online shop; • Share buttons have been added to all pages so content can be easily shared to social media; • Visitors can now rate and review products in the online shop and comment on news articles and blog posts; • Fun new resources for kids have been added which explain how to look after their bladders and bowels; • The teens pages have been redeveloped based on academic research; • Supporters can now set up

fundraising pages to collect donations for ERIC; • A new online community forum for parents on HealthUnlocked has been created – healthunlocked.com/eric ERIC, The Children’s Bowel & Bladder Charity is the only charity dedicated to the bowel and bladder health of all children and teenagers in the UK. ERIC has been raising awareness of bowel and bladder issues since 1988. ERIC provides expert support, information and understanding to children and teenagers and enables parents, carers and professionals to help them establish good bowel and bladder health. ERIC’s helpline is open Monday - Thursday 10am 2pm Tel. 0845 370 8008 / helpline@eric.org.uk www.eric.org.uk

March 2017 SEND Magazine



Barriers to learning Alison Hart of the Children’s Choice Therapy Service talks about understanding sensory processing in the classroom.

SENSORY Processing is our ability to understand, organise and respond to sensory stimulation. ‘Information continually enters our brain, from the nervous system, every moment of the day’ (Ayres, 2005 p3). Information from the environment and from our own bodies needs to be sifted through so the right information is kept, integrated and acted upon. Sensory stimulation from the environment includes sounds, sights, touch, smells and tastes. Stimulation also comes from our own bodies telling us about our body position in space, how it moves, its position against gravity as well as temperature, texture and pain. Our nervous system has to 12

make sense of all this information, organise it, and decide how to respond. This is the nervous system’s process of self-organisation (Ayres, 2005) and it enables us to do every day things effortlessly. For example, within a noisy classroom the child has to be able to block out the unnecessary sounds and listen to the sounds that matter (auditory discrimination). Some children have sensory processing difficulties. For example, difficulties understanding touch can make wearing school uniforms, having a wash, cleaning teeth, food textures and managing proximity of peers a real challenge. Poor understanding of body position and how our body moves can make motor skills for P.E. and

SEND Magazine March 2017

writing very difficult. Sensory processing difficulties can be seen through children’s behaviour. A poor sense of body position means that excessive fidgeting is often required for the nervous system to know where the body is. Pushing hard against items, being heavy-handed, pressing too hard with the pen, as well as finding comfort in small spaces can all be visible indicators of sensory processing difficulties. Children can also have poor gross and fine motor skills. Where understanding of balance and position against gravity is difficult any movement can feel challenging, resulting in a need for control. Children may seek specific stimulation to help them feel ‘regulated’ and able to

learn, e.g. movement through spinning, visual stimuli, calming through rocking, or maintaining a fixed posture. Sensory Processing is part of normal development but some people respond more quickly to sensory stimuli, while others can present with a slower or delayed response (Dunn, 2011). Therefore our bodies may handle incoming sensory input differently to try to achieve ‘selforganisation’ (Dunn, 2011). Children often present with sensory seeking behaviours such as hand flapping, fidgeting, spinning, wandering, touching others, mouthing, head banging, teeth grinding etc. or equally may present as sedentary and requiring significant stimulation to engage. www.sendmagazine.co.uk


Alternatively children with sensory processing difficulties can be easily overwhelmed by stimuli, leading to distress or avoidance of situations. Occupational Therapists seek to understand the barriers children face when doing everyday things . Therapists use formal and informal assessments to understand the barriers, individual needs of the child, and the impact of the environment. Following assessment, programmes are created to give the child the ‘just right’ input of sensory stimulation to achieve the ideal level of alertness in the central nervous system (Lin et al, 2012) required for new learning. Working alongside education staff the OT can embed strategies and programmes to help children learn and achieve, improving outcomes through levels of engagement. Although it is recognised that ‘another professional programme’ can www.sendmagazine.co.uk

feel like a drain on valuable time, the effective use of sensory programmes can improve children’s engagement, ultimately saving time by achieving realistic goals, and benefiting educational staff (Lin et al, 2012).

Case Study 1: James is 13, non-verbal, attends a special school, and has a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. James loves to play with water, and touching items / self / others. James is continually on the move, finding it difficult to engage in learning. James finds it very difficult to settle to sleep which impacts on the whole family. James is assessed as underresponsive to proprioceptive stimuli (awareness of body position, movement and forces), tactile stimuli (touch, texture, temperature, pain), and overresponsive, (overwhelmed), to

vestibular stimuli (balance and position against gravity). James has a sensory diet (coined by OT Patricia Wilbarger) which is a specific programme of activities giving the child the right sensory input. This is completed by James with support from his TA 3 times daily. This includes: • Supported sitting, bouncing on a gym ball; • Gentle turning, or log rolls along a mat; • Clapping games; • Deep pressure, through use of compression rollers or lying on his front and using the gym ball to give firm consistent pressure. The sensory diet helps the nervous system self-organise. Immediately following his sensory diet, James goes to his work station. His level of alertness is improved seen through improved, eye contact and response to learning tasks. Parents are aware that James has

a sensory diet within the classroom and are instantly aware when this has not been completed as James sleeping pattern deteriorates, whereas when the sensory diet is completed routinely during the day James can settle and sleep well.

Case Study 2: Simon is 7, attending mainstream school. Simon has considerable difficulty settling to sleep, he constantly fidgets through the night, waking frequently. When Simon then gets out of bed he has to get ready for school. He cannot tolerate water on his face, teeth cleaning, or having hair brushed. Clothes feel ‘itchy’ and ‘uncomfortable’ and Mum will have to put his socks on at least 5 times before they feel ‘OK’. Simon doesn’t usually feel hungry in the morning, but Mum encourages him to eat

March 2017 SEND Magazine



something, he will only eat the same make of cereal each day, without milk. All these ‘battles’ often makes Simon late for school. Simon sits next to a girl with long hair, which he complains is always ‘flapping around’ next to

him, and he says he is ‘frightened’ of it touching him. Simon is still thinking about the seams in his socks and finds it very difficult to listen to the teacher. Simon doesn’t like the carpet in the classroom, saying it is ‘spiky’ and he often gets told off for fidgeting. As soon as Simon gets home he takes off all his clothes, and runs back and forth around the home, before settling under his duvet for a while.

OT is working with home and school to create: • Sensory strategies to improve sleep; • Sensory programmes for the morning helping alert Simon before tolerating personal care, and with long-term issues of tolerating clothing; • Exploratory food texture-based diets and related sensory play; • Sensory Programmes for Simon when he arrives at school to aid


SEND Magazine March 2017

the right level of alertness; • Tactile activities and games within his day to help overcome tactile defensiveness • Environmental changes including positioning within the classroom, and relevant errands giving appropriate sensory stimulation and a break from the classroom. Children’s Choice Therapy Service Ltd have the privilege of working alongside education staff within a variety of schools through weekly contracts or individual assessments. A combined approach can adapt classrooms and environments, review timetables, and bring whole class and individual approaches to improve the learning environment and maximise outcomes. Alison Hart MBAOT MSc OT (Community) FHEA Alison Hart qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 1993.

Alison Hart is the managing director and founder of Children’s Choice Therapy Service Ltd, and also lectures at the University of Derby. www.childrenschoicetherapy.co.uk References: Ayres, J. (2005) ‘Sensory Integration and the Child – understanding hidden sensory challenges’ Western Psychological Services Dunn, W. (2011) ‘Best Practice Occupational Therapy – for children and families in community settings’ 2nd ed. Slack Lin, Chien -Lin. Min, YuFan. Chou, Li-Wei. Lin, Chin-Kai (2012) ‘Effectiveness of sensory processing strategies on activity level in inclusive preschool classrooms’ Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment (8) p574-81




Children with dyslexia sometimes need a different approach to their learning. Nessy believes that through the combination of both a structured approach, and making education fun and multisensory (through educational games and strategy videos), children become more engaged, leading to dramatic improvements in understanding


and learning. Dyslexia often causes low selfesteem. It makes learning to read and write much more challenging for students. We want to help change this by turning their education into a more fun and memorable experience. The first step on that journey is to help them understand dyslexia and rediscover their

self-belief and determination to succeed. One of Nessy’s primary goals is to increase awareness and support for the parents and children with dyslexia. We want to provide a way for everyone to get the help they need, which is why we offer these 3 free dyslexia information tools, available at www.nessy.com:

FREE BOOK This fun and engaging picture book helps parents and children

understand dyslexia. Designed to be read together, it covers areas such as the different types of dyslexia, the difficulties associated with dyslexia, but also more positive information such as helpful strategies. Read about celebrities with dyslexia and feel reassured that you're not alone.

FREE TRIAL In collaboration with the British Dyslexia Association, Nessy has created a

free online questionnaire for 5-7 year olds. This is an ideal first step in the process of identifying dyslexia, as a low score is a good indicator that further investigation is needed. After the test there are recommendations and advice, such as suggesting a more formal screening test like Nessy’s Dyslexia Quest.

FREE TRIAL Nessy Reading & Spelling is a fun, multisensory, games and evidence-

based program utilising the proven Orton-Gillingham method. This free trial gives you full access to the software allowing you to take challenges to set targets based on ability level and assigning lessons consisting of videos, games and worksheets to reinforce learning. You will quickly notice high levels of student progress, motivation and in time, excellent results.

Most of all, Nessy believes.... Learning Happens When it's Fun! www.nessy.com


The road to identification

Lorraine Petersen, independent consultant and former Chief Executive of nasen looks at identification SECTION 19 of the Children and Families Act 2014 makes clear that local authorities, in carrying out their functions under the Act in relation to disabled children and young people and those with special educational needs (SEN), must take into consideration: • The views, wishes and feelings of the child or young person, and the child’s parents; • The importance of the child or young person, and the child’s parents, participating as fully as possible in decisions, and being


provided with the information and support necessary to enable participation in those decisions; • The need to support the child or young person, and the child’s parents, in order to facilitate the development of the child or young person and to help them achieve the best possible educational and other outcomes, preparing them effectively for adulthood. This clearly puts children, young people and their parents at the heart of the SEND system. Schools, alongside local

SEND Magazine March 2017

authorities, must have regard to these principles and this, at times, can be very challenging. High quality, differentiated teaching is the first response to SEN and where this is not supporting pupil progress then the school should make further assessments to identify each child’s individual needs. It is at this point when schools will begin to refer to the four broad areas of need to give an overview of the range of needs that might be planned for. The four broad areas are:

• Communication and Interaction; • Cognition and Learning; • Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties; • Sensory and/or physical Needs.

The purpose of using these categories is not to “label” a pupil but to work out what action the school needs to take in order to support the child. Many children will have needs that fit into more than one of these areas. Through detailed assessment the school must


work out what provision they are going to offer to support the pupil. Once the school has identified (and labelled) the child as having SEN, they must take action to remove barriers to learning and put effective special educational provision in place. This is called SEN Support. The decision by the school to place the child on the SEN Register as requiring SEN Support should be done in partnership with parents, meaning that the school must then provide additional and/or different provision, funded from the school budget and offer progress meetings with parents at least three times per year. The labelling has begun. Schools must seek permission from parents should they decide to request external support from an educational psychologist or speech and language therapist. Any results from assessments that are carried out by the school or external professionals should be shared with parents, especially if this results in a diagnosed special educational need and a further label. Some children will require a medical diagnosis for a particular special need through a referral to a GP or paediatrician. This will give a child a medical diagnosis and label for their specific need, for example autism or ADHD. The school should support the parents through this process, which may involve health professionals as well as

education professionals. However, the school must always remember that every child is different and their needs are individual and unique. They should offer provision, therefore, to support the individual needs not the label. Most parents will work on the assumption that the quicker you assess and understand why a child is having difficulties and give the child a label, the faster you can get extra support. There may also be a sense of relief that comes with being able to “blame” a diagnosed disorder. The belief is often that people are a lot less likely to be judgemental of a child's odd behaviour - and their parenting skills - if they know the child has a label. Unfortunately this does not always follow. The process to move from SEN Support to an Education, Health and Care Plan assessment is time consuming and relies on a great deal of evidence collected over a period of time and not just on the gaining of a label. Schools need to work with parents collaboratively during this process to ensure the best possible outcomes for the child. For some schools this may be a challenge as there may be a minority of parents who are not happy with decisions that the school has made. There will be those parents who do not wish their child to have any label, they do not want their child on an

Why might labels be helpful?

• The SEND Code of Practice outlines the four broad areas of need and gives us national labels to use to categorise pupils • Local authorities use labels as criteria for funding allocations • Labels enable professionals to communicate with one another because each one will give a general idea about an individual need • Labels can highlight a difficulty to the wider community and may make the wider population more tolerant to those with SEND • Labels may lead to personalised interventions, teaching strategies and behavioural approaches to support the individual need • Labels may get additional support for schools, parents and families


SEN Register and they do not give consent to any external agency involvement. These parents may be in denial and need a great deal of support to ensure they do the right thing for their child. Schools need to work with parents as early as possible; this means as soon as they assess that the child may be having some difficulties and not making the progress expected. At this point the term ‘special educational needs’ might not be used but the school is alerting parents to the fact there are concerns. In a very small number of cases where parents consistently deny their child access to appropriate support they could be neglecting their duties as parents. In this extreme situation, schools may need to consider this as a safeguarding issue and instigate their safeguarding procedures to ensure the child gets the support they need. At the other extreme are those parents who are looking for a label even though their child may


not require one. They feel that the label will give the child and/or the family additional support that they may not get without the label. For instance, access to benefits, support with examinations, additional health and/or social care support or a place in a specialist setting. If parents and pupils are at the heart of the SEND system then schools must work in partnership with them from as early as possible. If parents feel engaged, listened to and involved they will support schools in making the right judgements about the education of their child. Labels can be very supportive and give a feeling of relief to many parents but what must be remembered is the label is only the beginning; it is the support, the intervention and effective provision that will make the difference. This article forms part of GL Assessment’s new report, ‘Hooked on labels not on need’. Download the report at www.glassessment.co.uk/labels

Why can labels be unhelpful?

• Labels indicate that the difficulty is with the pupil. This may lead to teachers teaching to the label and not offering wider teaching and learning opportunities to meet the individual needs of the pupil • Labels can cause stigma and may lead to long term social, emotional and mental health needs • Labels can influence what people think, especially if they have a limited or negative view of a particular need or disability • Labels can reflect a whole spectrum of difficulties and incorporate many different individuals. This requires us to look beyond the label and not prescribe stereotypical behaviour to each child • The current process in schools is to allocate the label (SEN Support) before we offer additional support. Teachers should be offering high quality, differentiated teaching for all pupils and not waiting until the pupil gets the label • Labels can often put the blame (and the guilt) for a child’s individual needs on the parent and this can cause a great deal of anxiety if they do not feel they are getting the support they need. March 2017 SEND Magazine



SEND School Exclusion: Where has inclusion gone? MD of SEND Consultancy Jane Friswell writes about the negative aects the lack of inclusion within schools can have on our children and young people.


SEND Magazine March 2017



LET’S begin with the premise and belief that most schools do not generally exclude lightly. Many will go to great lengths to work with the most complex of children and young people to avoid exclusion, though some do not. Exclusion gives young people the message that problems can be solved by giving up or walking away when, in my experience, the opposite is true. Challenging young people need more, not less, guidance from supportive adults. Whilst the overall rate of exclusion has been slowing generally across all schools in recent years, the incidence of exclusion for students with SEND has increased sharply. Why then is school exclusion for children and young people on the rise and the educational future of some of our most marginalised students hanging in the balance? Pupils with identified special educational needs & disability (SEND) accounted for just over half of all permanent exclusions www.sendmagazine.co.uk

and fixed-period exclusions (School Exclusion Statistics, 201415, DfE) The most vulnerable group within the excluded from schools population is boys aged 14 years with additional needs. Pupils with SEND (with and without statements or EHCPs) have the highest permanent exclusion rate and are around 7 times more likely to receive a permanent exclusion than pupils with no SEND. The regions with the highest overall rates of permanent exclusion across state-funded primary, secondary and special schools are the West Midlands (at 11 %) and the North West (at 9%). The regions with the lowest rates are the East of England and the South East (both at 5 %).

The region with the highest fixed period exclusion rate is Yorkshire and the Humber (at 5.28 %), whilst the lowest rate was seen in Outer London (3.15 %). In January 2015, Nonsuch Primary School, in the Woodgate Valley area of Birmingham, received both local and national attention after expelling four children with disabilities, the youngest of whom was four years old. This prompted the school’s Chairman of Governors to resign in protest, forcing a local councillor to speak out against the school’s record of exclusions. Upon subsequent appeal, the school rescinded the decision to exclude one particular 10-yearold, blaming “external professionals” for the lack of adequate information and support for the student’s

“Unofficial Exclusions are illegal but are happening”

disabilities. Given this current government’s commitment to improving the systems, processes and provision for children and young people with SEND, how can they account for increased risk of exclusion for pupils with SEND to this significant extent? Promoting and developing independence in our children and young people is a key outcome for education, where enabling success in securing employment and training, leading healthy and fulfilling lives, enjoying friendships should be the longer term outcome for all education providers. The reality for many mainstream schools is that this is not the case. The stranglehold of policy promoting academic competition as the only outcome for educational success often results the narrow response schools feel forced to offer, leading some mainstream schools to actively end encouraging children with SEND and their families to look elsewhere. The importance of shared accountability in our schools for “our” children must not be

March 2017 SEND Magazine



undermined, without which our collective vision of an inclusive schooling system is merely a pipe dream for some. Parents regularly report that their children have been formally or informally excluded from school. These “unofficial” exclusions and seclusion arrangements are not formally registered, recorded or monitored and are simply unacceptable. It is the decision of the head teacher to exclude a pupil and not that of the Local Authority. However, the Local Authority should in effect make it difficult for schools to permanently exclude, ensuring through the interventions which the local area can provide, e.g. Inclusion Support, that other strategies have been fully explored. Unofficial exclusions by schools are, however, a major concern and have significant safeguarding implications, as schools can be less accountable for children out of education. They are illegal. Knowing this, I struggle to find any evidence of cases of misconduct in the teaching profession where Head Teachers have been held to account for excluding a child or young person illegally from school. We must strengthen accountability in this regard. There is a distinct lack of monitoring of initiatives such as “supportive” placements, parttime timetables, part-time attendance, use of alternative provision, vocational training to name a few. Some of our vulnerable population of students with SEND who are either at risk or receive an exclusion from school are further disenfranchised by the options then provided post exclusion – we sell our vulnerable young people short at a time when they need the support of a good school most. Good schools are often creative, pupil-centred in their response to personalising the educational offer for a student who is at high risk of exclusion, these are schools who do not generally exclude lightly. Persistent disruptive behaviour remained the most common reason for permanent exclusions in state-funded primary, secondary and special schools accounting for 1,900 (32.8 per cent) of all permanent exclusions in 2014/15. It is also the most common reason for fixed period exclusions. Building pastoral capacity Reduction on centrally provided support to promote and develop


inclusion with schools is a reality in most local areas. Consequently the capacity to build pastoral support in schools has been diminished; some schools are not prioritising this aspect of their provision. This can lead to a school’s ethos which is not sufficiently inclusive to help some students at risk of exclusion to stay in school. Schools whose ethos is not inclusive can problematise the children who are misbehaving or view them as vulnerable. The pastoral capacity of schools underpins successful outcomes for vulnerable children and young people at greater risk of exclusion from school along with the inclusive commitment of good quality teaching support for every child. Key to pastoral work is having positive relationships and communication with parents. Effective schools deploy counselling as well as learning mentor support and are able to evidence strong and secure parental engagement. Schools track pupils

SEND Magazine March 2017

academically but they should also monitor their emotional intelligence. Work should be regularly undertaken through emotional , social and mental well-being support to examine the issues at play causing misbehaviour. It is important there is both understanding and a rational approach at whole school level. Schools should be assessing the risk of exclusion for some groups or individual students in their schools and tailoring their support, drawing on the expertise of external support agencies to enhance SEN Support arrangements early to prevent exclusion becoming the only option for children and young people in this particular group. The tipping point for schools is inconsistent Individual schools have different thresholds for school exclusion and the current DfE Exclusion Guidance for Schools does not provide sufficient guidance to advise Head Teachers, Governors and Trustees on how to apply a

consistent set of criteria when making the decision to exclude a child or young person. Much depends on the quality of the teaching staff, with “troublesome” pupils offering less challenge to good teachers. It is important that teachers feel empowered, with the skill sets and confidence to deal with difficult behaviour. It is clear that all teachers in schools have not been upskilled sufficiently to face the complexity of emotional, social and mental health need that exists in the classroom. There is a common pattern where more exclusion takes place when a class begins its GCSE studies, removing those young people who may not succeed at Year 11 or those who are disrupting the work of their classmates. Earlier this month, Ofsted has pressed its inspectors to get tough on schools found to be “offrolling” pupils, suggesting those transferring large numbers of children before their Year 11 exams could be penalised.


Sean Harford, Ofsted’s Director of Education, told inspectors to check if the number of pupils on roll reduces towards the school’s final secondary year – indicating they may be being moved elsewhere. In a school inspection update, Harford said there was now “national evidence” that large numbers of pupils were being moved into alternative provision, or to other schools whose rolls are not full – known as “offrolling”. Reportedly, some trusts have high numbers of pupils moving to studio schools and UTCs before year 11, resulting in better GCSE outcomes for the schools they left behind. How many of these students “off-rolled” have identified SEN? Clear anticipatory planning by schools is necessary where a child or young person is potentially on a trajectory to exclusion and this should start early. More focused work is needed between primary and secondary phases of education to ensure that those children who are vulnerable and possibly more likely to be excluded from school are provided with transition support which starts much earlier than the summer term preceding their start at secondary school. This type of transition work is crucial to better understand the often very complex features of children’s needs; social background, mental and emotional well-being.

Equality in education for C & YP with SEND at risk of exclusion Regular and recurrent inconsistencies exist in schools’ ability to review evidence fairly leading to decisions to exclude a students with SEND. In-school investigatory processes of building the case for exclusion can be highly prejudicial and discriminatory in practice for young people with SEND, (Nonsuch Primary School, Birmingham, 2015). The council admitted that 90 per cent of fixed-term – temporary – exclusions from the school in the 2014-15 academic year were children with SEN, and children as young as 4 years old. Some schools Head teachers and Governors are not fully familiar or conversant with the Equality Act (EA), 2010 legislation and their respective duties. Breaches of the EA and cases of individual pupils with SEND excluded from school are increasing. There is no current www.sendmagazine.co.uk


requirement of Ofsted to investigate current understanding and application of the EA requirements in school other than to check compliance with EA requirements. It is often down to individuals, who advocate on behalf of C & YP, who are excluded, to drill down on the EA implications of the arrangements and decisions surrounding exclusion from school. How can we address this? Schools and Governors require ongoing training, support and best practice evidence in supporting young people with SEND at the point of exclusion and how their EA duties apply in these circumstances. The significant increase more recently of appeals to SENDIST (Special Educational Needs Tribunal), suggest that many cases the Tribunal are hearing are in contravention of EA duties which schools must meet – this is unacceptable. The curriculum offer It isn’t rocket science to conclude that for many of our students with SEND at risk of further marginalisation from their education, that the curriculum offer we provide for some is tipping the balance. Their ability to learn and manage their mental health and emotional well-being with appropriate support is jeopardised in many cases by a lack of personalisation of the curriculum offer. In a response to the National

Association for Special Educational Needs (Nasen), the DfE said: "we believe that the introduction of the Progress 8 measure is good news for pupils with SEND" as it ensures the outcomes of all pupils are important in the school performance measure. The DfE also pointed out that there is still no mandatory curriculum, and schools can still amend their curriculum model for special needs students if they think that is in their best interest. Annex A of the DfE guidance gives points scores for level 1 and level 2 qualifications in addition to GCSE and A/AS level. RAISEonline interactive will also allow school staff to look at P8 scores for SEN and other groups compared with their peers nationally. So schools do have some scope to develop a curriculum offer which is meaningful and relevant for our students with additional needs which could support those who are at risk of being excluded from school. How well are schools able to do this within the current funding crisis and the elusive inclusive support we should expect them to provide?

Pupil-centred practices which enable schools to provide a creative response in the design of the curriculum offer for those students who need it is not happening enough in our schools. Where are those schools who are leading the way in offering breadth, balance and personalised pathways to maximise our pupils’ success in the broadest concept of progress? Largely these schools exist within the special school sector where personalising the curriculum offer is the “bread and butter” of their existence, under the most challenging of circumstances for some. Surely we should be enabling our outstanding special schools to lead the way and develop exciting partnerships with mainstream counterparts to spread the personalised curriculum messages they have to offer? We have the data available to analyse and build a more coherent picture of appropriate provision. We need to do this to better understand why exclusion of young people with SEND is increasing. Lack of analysis of reasons for exclusion must improve. We have the means and monitoring arrangements to regularly scrutinise school performance in relation to exclusion, both official and unofficial. Ofsted should be taking a much closer look at those schools where the “off rolling” effect is happening and collating evidence from parents and young people on their views of inclusive and exclusive schooling arrangements. Becoming an Inclusive School is not an option and yet presently, it feels like it is. It may be long road to travel and challenging at times, but ultimately the inclusion journey strengthens a school community and benefits ALL children. The way a school community responds, supports and addresses the individual needs of students creates an environment in which every child and young person is valued, has the opportunity to flourish and not be excluded.

SEND Consultancy is an ambitious social enterprise established with young people with SEND providing tailored support solutions for those working to achieve and improve outcomes for children, young people and their families with SEND. email jane@friswell.com for more information. March 2017 SEND Magazine



Rhythm is life and life is Rhythm The Ronnie Gardner method (RGM) is a multisensory stimulation method developed by the American drummer and jazz musician Ronnie Gardner. Caroline Russell explains.

"NOTHING activates 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 activate neural networks when working with children with ADHD. Also pleasurable music increases dopamine levels in the brain; this neurotransmitter is responsible for regulating attention, working memory and motivation and has been shown to be at lower levels in ADHD brains. So these children can gain focus and self control and improve concentration and memory by using music at school or at home. 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 timing de cits which relates back to the need for a therapy with structure and rhythym. The Ronnie Gardiner Method (RGM) can provide this structure; delivering a therapy programme that encourages concentration, attention span, reducing hyperactivity and strengthening social skills. RGM is a multisensory stimulation method developed by the American drummer & jazz musician Ronnie Gardiner. RGM uses several specially developed symbol/sound/movement codes which are used to perform exercises to the rhythm of music. The method was initially developed to help children understand rhythm & improve coordination problems before it was discovered to have such a major effect as well on many neurological conditions such as Stroke and Parkinson’s. RGM works to improve balance skills & coordination, increase concentration & memory, stimulate left / right brain communication in gross & ne motor skills, promote sensory information processing, assist with space-time

orientation (timing, pacing, sequencing, motor planning) encouraging tness & social skills. The Practitioner can control energy levels through the choice & pace of music which is a great option for ADHD. The joy of this method is that there are no limits to the creativity of the Practitioner or the class or individual. There is a lot of fun & laughter which encourages social communication in a group especially when working with games. A mixture of visual instructions or memory tests can be used to challenge or give more variety depending on what is required. Body percussion provides tactile feedback which helps teach & guide levels of physical stimulation. It is an incredibly simple method that has endless possibilities which is what makes it so versatile, especially when working with children.

For more information contact www.ronniegardinermethod.org.uk

RGM Case studies from a Primary School Remedial Therapist “I work with a young boy with reading issues. He initially resisted participating with the method during the rst 2 lessons but I calmly explained what the exercises were all about and what I was hoping achieve with him. Nowadays he enjoys RGM sessions and does well with the exercises. He reports that he can focus better when reading and has fewer problems

with longer words. There is still work to be done, but there is a distinct improvement.” “Another boy has di culty with understanding the content of what he is reading; the reading of the words themselves is not an issue. In addition to the RGM exercises we do together on a weekly basis, he also reads a few pages every morning. Asked at the end of the day what he has read,

I get quite a story nowadays, when previously he could hardly recall the content.” “A boy in special needs education told me unsolicited: “after I have done some of the ‘thingy-exercises’, I am much faster at learning!” – another reason for me to continue with RGM as part of my approach to reading and learning di culties.”

& worked well with the metronome. The sound codes were great for her as they are so simple. The one she struggled with was “CLAP”; to start with she was saying “PLAP” but we soon managed to correct this. Her focus & attention improved in each session & she looked forward to seeing me each week & learning new choreoscores. Her mother was very

pleased with her progress.” Teaching methods are increasingly using sight, speech and music to support learning abilities. RGM is a fun and e cient tool to help children with motor skill di culties as well as those with reading and/or learning di culties. For more information contact www.ronniegardinermethod.org.uk

From a Fitness Professional “I have been using the method on a 6 year old girl with a growth problem & who has also recently be diagnosed with ADHD & Autism. She has very delayed speech & feeding problems. It was clear from our rst session that she was going to enjoy the challenge. I kept it very simple & let her choose what music we were going to use. She managed to follow the symbols well

Caroline Russell is a Chartered Physiotherapist with many years experience specialising in the eld of Neurology. She trained at Guy’s Hospital and has worked in the NHS and private sector before starting her own company in 2007. She started working with RGM in 2008 and took over running RGM UK in 2014. She uses RGM in classes and one to one sessions with adults and 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 t as Ronnie is when she reaches his age!

For more information contact www.ronniegardinermethod.org.uk

The Local Offer


of strength

Heather Stack, MD of www.thelocaloffer.co.uk and SEND advisor looks at developing strategic circles of strength within SEND


SEND Magazine March 2017

MANY years ago, engaged with a large 900-pupil strong primary school in a deprived area, I worked with an excellent Assistant SENCo. She was a TA supporting the Head Teacher, but in truth, she manned the fort. There was just one major weakness to her systems. Regardless of advice or recommendations to refer pupils on to specialist services, Speech and Language, Educational Psychology, CAMHS, she would defer everything until she had ‘run it by’ the School Nurse. The Nurse lived locally and knew the community well. But more significantly, she had become the Go-To person whom the Assistant SENCo relied upon daily. We might see in this strategy a strength, with close working relationships that blur boundaries

of responsibility, but there is also a weakness. A timely response for these children and their families would have been to heed the advice provided and take the necessary next steps. It took considerable effort to shift these patterns of working which had become, like a security blanket, an extra layer of support and reassurance for a TA doing her best in a challenging context. They also, sadly, slowed down the pace of progress, which perhaps reflected a subconscious desire to stop the ride and get off. The development of Strategic Circles of Strength, a concept I have coined, is a necessary next step for all SENCos working in the new educational landscape post the reforms of September 2014.


The Local Offer

Unlike the Assistant SENCo in my school, SENCos nowadays need multiple Go-To professionals across education, health and social care to whom they have strong strategic and operational relationships. Lee Scott’s Report to the Secretary of State for Education, ‘SEND: The schools and colleges experience’ (November 2016), raised the issue of “the extent to which, in some schools, SENCos were over-stretched or not adequately supported by senior management. Some were given the role as a ‘bolt-on’ to an already busy job.” How difficult it is then, in this over-stretched, multiple roles and responsibilities context, to make the time to form external alliances and strategic partnerships? The concept I’ve developed in Strategic Circles of Strength purposefully blends elements of the Circle of Friends approach to supporting children with a range of disabilities, including Autism, with current business strategic thinking. Circles of Friends emerged in North America in the late 1990s (Whitaker et al, 1998) at a time when I was studying Childhood Autism under the guidance of Dr Glenys Jones and www.sendmagazine.co.uk

Dr Rita Jordan at the University of Birmingham’s School of Education. A dominant theme in the Circles of Friends approach is the development of a support network for the child at the heart of the circle. It is highly effective at identifying vulnerabilities in a child’s life that can be addressed, once the problem has been explored. SENCos, working hard to maintain a work-life balance under intense pressure and often scrutiny from external services, are in danger of becoming isolated, cut off from external contacts and support, just like the child in a Circle of Friends. CYP Now reported in November 2016, at the time of the release of Lee Scott’s Review, of the risk to education support services as council leaders are under pressure to make savings of over £600m. Not only has the educational landscape changed but pressure on councils to reduce the Education Services Grant (ESG) makes for a turbulent time ahead. Postholders come and go, interim positions become the norm, and far from building strategic alliances across education, health and social care, those at

Building Bridges and Forming Alliances

the chalkface can find themselves more isolated than ever before.

Strategic Circles of Strength incorporate the following:

l Named individuals within the same setting, on hand daily, who play a pivotal support role; l Strong contact points with first port of call services across education, health and social care; l Strong contact points with providers of all services that meet each of the four categories of SEND, as defined by the SEN Code of Practice; l Movement of contacts to inner circles as alliances form and partnerships are strengthened; l Awareness of the local offer and the market place of private, public and third sector services; l Awareness of the hidden market place, that first port of call for parents accessing private sector services for education, mental health or physical needs (which forms a part of the local offer); l Contact details mapped visually, with current names and best numbers to contact, on a reference board with the strongest links being those in the inner-most circles.

Strategic Circles of Strength can’t be built overnight, but take time to establish. They are a wonderful resource when implemented. A core strength lies in their intellectual property; the contacts across the sectors and across education, health and social care, who can be relied upon for support, partnership working or can respond, at points of crisis, to immediate need. Developing Strategic Circles of Strength may mean shaking up established ways of doing things, creating new, more flexible and fluid partnerships that are not dependent on lengthy tied-in contracts. Understanding who can deliver services at point of need to support a child at risk of exclusion, or a family in crisis, or a child suffering depression, is crucial. It is no longer enough (if it ever was) to say that a referral has been made to a service that has a waiting time of 18 months before first appointment. There is no strength in that old-style, co-dependent model of working. The service, under-staffed and under-pressure, continues because referrals keep piling in.

March 2017 SEND Magazine


The Local Offer In the new landscape, we explore the local offer and through our Strategic Circles of Strength, know who to call on that can accept a referral the same day.

Strength lies in knowing –

Where to turn and who to call for support; l What services operate in your locality or are non-location dependent and can deliver services; l How to access different services; l How to minimise the time it takes from first identification of a child’s need to the point at which those needs are no longer evident. l

Lee Scott concludes in his review that, within communication, “improvement, across all

agencies and in every area, would go a long way to making a reality of the ‘person-centred’ approach the SEND system is trying to achieve.” Implementing systems to develop Strategic Circles of Strength would go a long way to improving those communications, ensuring that key staff are fully supported and that children’s needs are met in a timely manner. SENCos with access to multiple contact points, in their first circle of support, are far more likely to have positive relationships with parents and achieve good outcomes for all pupils than those who depend, like my old friend, the Assistant SENCo, on a single source of support, regardless of how wonderful that one person might be.

Heather Stack is Founder of The Local Offer, a social enterprise seeking to transform the landscape of SEND provision. She will be talking about Strategic Circles of Strength at a series of SEND conferences in May in York (12 May), Sheffield (18 May) and Liverpool (24 May). For more details please email heather@thelocaloffer.co.uk The website can be found at www.thelocaloffer.co.uk

The Local Offer & Concept Training are proud to present three one-day conferences Moving Forward: Next steps in supporting children & young people with SEMH and/or Autism.

Friday 12th May Aldwark Manor Golf and Spa Hotel, Alne, York Thursday 18th May The Hilton Hotel, Victoria Quays, Sheffield Wednesday 24th May The Mercure Liverpool Atlantic Tower Hotel Delegate rates: Standard delegate rate - £250 + VAT per person Benefits of Attending: − Learn from leading experts in the field of SEMH and autism − Take away resource packs for practical use specially created for the conferences − Tailor your conference experience with a wide choice of workshops − Explore the mini market-place of specialist and targeted services − Expand your network and build collaborations with other professionals Book online www.concept-training.co.uk or email info@thelocaloffer.co.uk or janetprice@concept-training.co.uk


SEND Magazine March 2017



Luke Beardon and Dean Worton – Love, Partnership or Singleton on the Autism Spectrum

Varied and thoughtful collection of true-life reflections on love, marriage and the single life from 26 different autistic adults. Digs deep into the ways in which autism can affect feelings and relationships with others and shows how to make good choices and overcome the bad ones.

Jessica Kingsley Publishers £12.99

Luke Beardon and Dean Worton – Bittersweet on the Autism Spectrum

A diverse collection of insights into life as an autistic adult from hairraising travelling experiences to dynamic parenting, teaching music to volunteering, running a marathon to tackling a PhD; the 28 writers show that being autistic need not be a limiting barrier to enjoying life.

Jessica Kingsley Publishers £12.99

Judy Hornigold – Making Maths Visual and Tactile

A compendium of games and activities to teach key number skills through a progression of over 50 games that build in visualisation techniques and tactile support.

SEN Books £14.00


SEND Magazine March 2017


Tim Dansie – Improving Behaviour Management in your School

Sets out how to create calm spaces for pupils to learn and flourish with simple ideas that can be implemented in any school. Looks at ways of how to overcome challenging behaviours in every day classrooms.

Routledge £24.99

Elizabeth Ramshaw Post-16 SENCO Handbook

Accessible and practical handbook for leaders of sixth forms and colleges of further education which looks at the impact of the SEND Code of Practice on provision and and support for students with additional learning needs. Includes ideas for administration of the process and preparation for transition.

NASEN/David Fulton Publishers £27.99

Tony Attwood and Michelle Garnett – Exploring Depression and Beating the Blues

An effective self-help guide which discusses the different forms depression can take and offers a step-by-step CBT programme designed specifically for adults on the Asperger and autistic spectrum. Looks at increasing self-awareness and identifying personal triggers and offers tools to combat depression.

Jessica Kingsley Publishers £13.99


March 2017 SEND Magazine




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 March 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 HLTA Higher Level Teaching Assistant HSA Home School Agreement IBP Individual Behaviour Plan IEP Individual Educa on Plan ILP Individual Learning Plan INCO Inclusion Co-ordinator IPSEA Independent Panel for Special Educa on Advice IQM Inclusion Quality Mark ISP Individual Support Plan KS Key stage LA Local Authority LAC Looked A er Children LDD Learning Di cul es and Disabili es LM Learning Mentor LSA Learning Support Assistant LSC Learning and Skills Council LSP Learning Support Prac oner LSU Learning Support Unit LTS Learning & Teaching Scotland MDT Mul -Disciplinary Team 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



Bringing together education professionals to share knowledge and demonstrate best practices

SEND Conference Midlands Friday May 5th 2017 Sketchley Grange Hotel

Burbage, nr Hinckley, Warwickshire. LE10 3HU

Tickets are £145 and include lunch and refreshments throughout the day. KEYNOTE SPEAKER Leading SEND advisor and former NASEN CEO Lorraine Peterson OBE delivers the SEND Update and talks about assessment and life after levels.

Workshop: Caroline Russel delivers a workshop using music and movement within SEND the Ronnie Gardiner Method.

Pete Jarrett - Dyscalculia With over 27 years teaching and assessor experience, Pete regularly speaks to conferences and teacher training events around the country about Dyscalculia, maths learning difficulties and classroom practice.


Beccie Hawes Head of Service at Rushall Inclusion Advisory Team and author of ‘The Complete Dyslexia Toolkit’ and co-authored ‘Getting it Right with SEND: A Toolkit for All Primary Schools’.


Professor Barry Carpenter is Honorary Professor at the Universities of Worcester (UK), Limerick (Ireland) , Hamburg (Germany), and Flinders, (Australia). In a career spanning more than 30 years, Barry has held the leadership positions of Academic Director, Chief Executive, Principal, Headteacher, Inspector of Schools and Director of the Centre for Special Education at Westminster College, Oxford. In 2009, he was appointed by the Secretary of State for Education as Director of the Children with Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities Research Project.

TO BOOK CALL 0116 2988768 or visit www.sendconferences.co.uk

Profile for SEND Magazine

SEND Magazine March 2017digital  

Interactive digital magazine for teachers, carers and parents of children and young people with special educational needs & disability.

SEND Magazine March 2017digital  

Interactive digital magazine for teachers, carers and parents of children and young people with special educational needs & disability.