Category Archives: SENReforms

Rochford Review Pop – up conference at Swiss Cottage School #scspopup

The Rochford Review and its implications for our learners with SEND is such a significant landmark for those of us who work in the sector so when news of the conference held at Swiss cottage School came up with the opportunity to listen to Diane Rochford, Barry Carpenter, Richard Aird and others came along – it was too good an opportunity to miss. This blog is a brief summary of key points from the day.

Before I start detail some of the points raised I feel it is important to say my over-riding feeling about the day was one of positivity in the sense that all speakers have a genuine desire  to get this right for the full range of our learners with SEND and are striving to do this in their ongoing work as a group and listening to practitioners such as  those present at the conference yesterday.

Diane Rochford

Diane gave an overview of the work and outcomes of the review panel making it clear that their work and any  assessment process which result  encompasses all sectors of the population. They were also clear that they wanted to focus on ‘stage’ rather than’age’ related expectations meaning that the framework should incorporate and celebrate the achievement  of our learners who do not reach age – related expectations. A framework which acknowledges and measures the uniqueness of learners. She also spoke about the assessment framework being a vehicle to bring together different aspects of SEND strategy including EHCP and Code of Practice .

Diane was clear that there is still work to be done including the thorny issue of accountability – a principle which underpins the work we all do as we are all responsible for the outcomes of our learners, but how exactly this will be done is yet to be developed. Diane also encouraged us all to respond to the DfE consultation on the review and it’s outcomes which is scheduled in the Spring term to help shape what is finally implemented. A question about Ofsted was raised by an attendee and Diane reassured the panel that there was an ongoing dialogue with Ofsted and Mary Rayner HMI is part of the review panel.

Richard Aird OBE

Richard was also part of the Rochford Review group and spoke equally passionately about wanting the best outcomes for our full range of learners. He talked about us being ‘pioneers’ of a new way of working with learners with SEND and acknowledged the heated debates that took part during the work of the panel on different aspects of the review but always with the learner and their outcomes at the heart.

The point of the recommendations for him is all about minimising barriers to learning and achievement. He spoke about changing the culture of teaching , learning and assessment to re-discover the ‘magic of teaching’ with a workforce that is fully turned on and tuned in – CPD for staff at the heart of this so we can share our insight and understanding of our pupils and make assessment come alive. The relationships between the adults in the classroom and the pupils at the core of enabling an engagement and real learning to take place

The ‘labelling’ of children e.g. SLD / PMLD and how this can be unhelpful was discussed for as we know two children with the same label, despite any clinical diagnosis might be v different in terms of teaching and learning. Without engagement he stated, learning won’t happen. Motivators, concepts and skills, practical application and generalisation – ‘no point teaching stuff if you can’t use it!’

In terms of accountability, he spoke of the need for schools to be really clear on their own systems and a belief that peer review is the best way of demonstrating accountability ensuring that ‘no school is an island’

He too encouraged practitioners like us to make our voice heard in the consultation – it is too important to let this opportunity pass us by

Barry Carpenter OBE, CBE

Barry spoke about his desire for an assessment process which acknowledges a child as an active learner rather than sitting on the periphery of the system. Barry spoke about how our school population has changed and will continue to change in terms of complexity of needs and for needing an assessment process which is responsive to the changing needs of our learners. He also spoke about the importance of consideration of the mental health needs  of our learners and how this can have a significant impact on their overall learning outcomes.

The Rochford Review have used and incorporated aspects of the DfE funded Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities Research Project within the review recommendations, in particular the Engagement Profile . He also spoke highly of how the Rochford review has built on previous initiatives relating to SEND such as the Green Paper on SEND.

Barry encouraged us to further consider the concept of personalisation and engagement as fundamentals for learning. He talked about how differentiation is not enough…he introduced the ‘meet and greet’ principle in which differentiation allows the learner to ‘meet’ the curriculum but it is personalisation which enables the ‘greet’ the engagement in which learning is most successful- engagement is the glue that ties the student to their targets and that as adults we need to adjust our lens of the 7 areas of engagement  (responsiveness, curiosity, discovery, anticipation, persistence and imagination)  to respond to the child

Workshops

In the afternoon, the 3 workshops for which we were able to attend 2 enabled us to explore some of the issues around the Engagement in more detail

Workshop one – gave a more detailed case study based overview of using the Engagement Profile and scale with our learners who have profound and multiple learning difficulties

Workshop two – allowed us as a group to explore and discuss some of the issues of monitoring and evaluating teaching and learning in the context of the review recommendations

Workshop 3 – focussed on some of the issues of Initial Teacher training in the light of Rochford review recommendations

Finally – Panel interview

The day ended with a panel interview of 4 school leaders ( of which I was pleased to be one) who were asked questions about implications of the review recommendations for their own schools and how they were responding

 

As you would expect, the day raised a number of questions as well as giving more clarity on some aspects of our way forward, however, I share in the belief that this is our opportunity to make a real difference for our learners with SEND and I will certainly be contributing to the consultation. It was an interesting, thought provoking and useful day – thank you to Swiss Cottage School for hosting and for everyone who  presented and  attended for their enthusiasm and engagement.

Measure what you value not value what you measure: Some key messages for SEND

Yesterday was our annual Greater Manchester special school leadership conference and we were really pleased to have Mary Rayner HMI there to speak to us about the implementation of the Common Inspection Framework in the special school context, the implications of national working groups on achievement and evaluation of progress and the Local Area Inspection Framework with regards to schools being part of the local area.

The 50 or so people that attended the conference found Mary’s presentation informative, helpful and reassuring and therefore I felt it would be useful to share the key points she spoke about to a wider audience.

Mary is one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors ( HMI) and is one of Ofsted’s National Leads for SEND. Mary’s substantial leadership experience in the special and mainstream sector gives her immense credibility and her knowledge and experience of the full range of childruen and young people we work with was evident throughout her presentation.

Mary began by emphasising her belief in ‘removal of labels’ such as SLD / PMLD in the sense that geographically these can mean different things to different people. What counts is the individual child, their individual needs and how we can meet them. How could anyone disagree with that?

Common inspection framework – key messages from Mary

  • The CIF is intended to provide coherence, clarity and comparability – schools judged against the same set of standards

Teaching Learning and Assessment

  • Assessment is now in the right place as assessment SHOULD be informing Teaching and learning
  • As inspectors must take account of learning, Mary challenged us as leaders to really consider what it is we value in our school ( e.g. in special school context independence / self help skills, developing of friendships etc) and if we value these things – how do we measure them / show evidence of progress? We need to decide what is good progress for our learners. Inspectors can only take account of information if it is evidenced and moderated to ensure judgements are consistent. The CIF gives us an opportunity to be able to state what we value as part of our ethos – but we have the responsibility to evidence how it impacts on our pupils.
  • We need to tell our school story very clearly and concisely – e.g. if our cohort of pupils has changed and it has meant we have responded and changed our practice – how? why? impact?
  • There is no requirement for ‘data’ to be in a certain format – it can be in many forms – including where relevant and appropriate video evidence for example. As long as you show and evidence progress in a way that is relevant and appropriate to your school and your pupils – that is fine. Important to also take account of pupils for who may have conditions which mean for them there is regression in skills. Make sure their story is told.
  • Define in your own school what pupil ‘work’ is – what does it look like? where would you find it? where would you look for evidence of progress over time? DVDs? Displays?
  • Most important – school practice MUST reflect school policy! e.g. there is no requirement for particular systems of marking – however – if policy says particular requirement then that is what should be seen.
  • Assessment – doesn’t matter what you call it in your school – how do you know it is right? How do you baseline? Measure? moderate to ensure consistency? – using trusted professionals from other schools is sensible to support the process. Don’t avoid moderation with others in other schools even if using different systems – using them to check your systems are robust
  • Need to ensure breadth / depth / range of evidence – if teaching some curriculum areas within others on the timetable – that is fine but needs to be clear
  • Are you sure that all your teachers have the same high expectations?
  • Who are your groups in school – you can decide  within your own context – how do you define them?
  • Baseline is really important. Age, starting points AND time in school are all important as part of measuring and judging progress. Make sure for your own school you have considered what the judgements are and why
  • This is our opportunity to measure all the things we value and present them in a way that is meaningful  AND informs next steps
  • Assessment is linked to curriculum but doesn’t define it

Personal development, behaviour and welfare

 

  • Think about what is must be like to be a pupil at your school – kneel down – see it from their perspective
  • Ensure you are considering preparation for the next stage of education
  • Only use B code in register for actual teaching when you as a school know what is happening and you are monitoring it as a school
  • Improvement in behaviour? How do you know? What are you measuring?
  • You can consider resilience, self – help and independence in this category

Outcomes

  • No longer rule of 3 years of data
  • Professional judgement is important alongside other information you will provide
  • Rochford review – interim report – tried to fill gaps between P8 and what were National curriculum levels. Rochford review have been considering P levels – recommendations currently with ministers and should be published soon
  • P levels can be just a reporting tool. Many schools also use as an assessment tool but don’t have to.
  • Use networks to create comparative information which can be used to evidence progress
  • Can talk about regression and for some children sustaining  achievement

Leadership and management

  • What you do, why do you do it and what is the impact?
  • What is uncompromising ambition in your school ? Define it for yourselves.
  • Do governors share same passion and understanding? Do they understand pupil groups? Do they challenge and support leadership ?
  • What is the effectiveness of SMSC
  • Is vision and ethos clear on website? What information is on your website and what messages does it send about your school. Remember – inspectors will look at this before coming into your school to consider their ‘lines of enquiry’

With regards to Local Area inspections, Mary was just urging us to play our part in the overall information gathering in relation to SEND when inspectors come into school to look at EHCP plans and talk to various stakeholders about their experience of the process.

What was interesting was that after Mary had spoken, there were very few questions. The reason for this was that everybody had felt that Mary had answered the questions they had wanted to ask during her presentation. I hope sharing this with you has answered some of your questions too.

With my best wishes

Mary Isherwood

 

 

Inclusion ( Insert definition here)

inclusion
ɪnˈkluːʒ(ə)n/
noun
 1. the action or state of including or of being included within a group or structure.
“They have been selected for inclusion in the scheme”
Oxford Dictionary

Maybe I am slightly late to the party, however over recent weeks there has been alot of discussion on Twitter with regards to Inclusion of pupils with SEND in mainstream education and a number of blogs which have followed. I am grateful to @JulesDaulby for collating many of them on her blog site here: https://mainstreamsen.wordpress.com/

As I write this I am fully aware of how controversial and emotive this topic can be and how definitions of what ‘Inclusion’ actually is can vary so much, hence, as pondered what it meant to me, it led me to the title of this blog.

Time for me to put my two penneth in………………

I would personally like to approach inclusion from the perspective of all of our pupils being on a continuum of learning needs. In this context, for me inclusion is about a personalised learning package which meets each pupil’s individual and holistic needs. That would include their learning environment whether mainstream, special, part – time in each, unit etc but also their personalised curriculum. For me it is not about one or the other being a preferred option  – it is about what ever is the most appropriate for the individual to meet their needs.

I get frustrated in many ways when I hear links to mainstream schools for our pupils with SEND being referred to as ‘inclusion’ as if they are not included in the system without this. Don’t get me wrong, we work closely with mainstream schools to support them to be as ‘inclusive’ as possible in terms of educating as many pupils with SEND in mainstream settings as possible, however, for some of our pupils, the most ‘inclusive’ setting to meet their needs is actually a base in a specialist setting either for all, most or some of the time.

I know there are many imperfections in the system in terms of being able to achieve the  optimum of personalisation however, my personal position is that I do not see the existence of specialist provisions as being a barrier to inclusion but an essential part of a multi- faceted education system in which I will continue to advocate on behalf of all of our pupils in ensuring their individual needs are met in the best possible way.

 

 

 

#SENreforms: One year on – a special school perspective

The revised Code of Practice for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability has now been statutory for a full academic year. On the publication of the Final Impact research report from the pathfinder Local Authorities I wanted to record the story of Camberwell Park School .

There was a general consensus that the statutory assessment process for children with special educational needs needed to change – an over bureaucratic and excessively lengthy process in which often the child and their needs was a by-product (that was my experience of it).  All of the  messages about the new Code of Practice in which we move away from Statements of Special Educational Needs towards Education, Health and Care Plans -The philosophy of  a more child / family centred process right from 0 – 25 years which is responsive to local need and has all agencies working together for a fully co-ordinated approach – what’s not to love?

Whilst I fully acknowledge it is not yet a perfect system – far from it – despite the challenges we have faced, our overall experience and the feedback we have had from the families, has been of a much more positive way of working – the children, their needs and their outcomes are now much more at the forefront. Let me tell you our successes, challenges and next steps…………………..

As a Manchester headteacher I was pleased that the Local Authority took a proactive approach. They had been a pathfinder for the reforms for young people with SEN from 16 – 25, but also established a multi-agency working party during summer 2014 to prepare for implementation of the reforms the following September.I was pleased to be invited to represent the special school sector in this group. During this term we also wished to be proactive as a school – training key staff in person centred planning and identifying a small cohort of families for us to pilot the revised annual review process. Where ever possible we already included our pupils in annual reviews and they prepared their own report prior to the meetings using symbol communication where needed. We set about updating our pupil booklet however in line with person centred planning tools and requirements for what was then the draft Code of Practice as well as establishing a parent voice booklet.

As a special school, all of our children have already had a statement of special educational needs so our year has been one of conversions of statements to Education, Health, Care Plans. We embarked on an ambitious programme to complete conversions for all of our 93 children in one year!

Our key successes

  • The annual review meetings in the new person centred format have been fantastic! They are very child centred and we have had much more open, honest and informative discussions enabling us to establish meaningful and relevant outcomes for the children and their families. The feedback we have received from parents / carers have included these comments in the most recent parent / carer questionnaire:

‘I think the way the new EHCP have been conducted was a lovely change. Having everyone to contribute was effective and positive.’

‘School meetings have always been informative. The teachers have always wanted to know my thoughts and feelings on subjects that have been discussed.’

  • As already mentioned, pupil voice has always been important but we have worked hard on developing further the tools the children have to express their views  and they continue to amaze us with their ability  to express their likes, dislikes, aspirations for the future and what others can do to help them using their pupil views booklet as a framework. Parents / carers too we have found have valued the family views booklet to help them prepare for discussions in the reviews
  • We grappled with how we relate the outcomes set in the annual reviews / EHCP match to our existing Individual Education Plan programme in which personalised targets focussed on ‘barriers to learning’ are established. The timing of the two things were not marrying therefore the process was not co-ordinated enough. We needed to find a way of setting targets following annual reviews and making sure we follow up  on progress each term including parents / carers and other agencies. We have now established a programme of holding all annual reviews in the autumn term following which all pupils have personalised ‘My Learning Targets’ set using EHCP / annual review outcomes. These are then updated each term including feedback / discussion from parents / carers at parent’s evening and information from other agencies where appropriate and then updated / amended as necessary.
  • We are have worked closely with the high school which most of our pupils move to in terms of the transition reviews to ensure that the move from primary to high school is as smooth as possible for both the child and their family. We have recently included gaining pupil views on their transition programme into our questionnaires to see how prepared the pupils feel for their next stage of education and to inform any changes we might want / need to make to the process.
  • We have worked hard on the SEN Information report on our website – consulting with parents / carers on what they wanted included and trying to make it  as user friendly, informative, relevant and meaningful as possible

Our main challenges

Whilst the results of the changes have been mainly positive, I cannot pretend the year has been without it’s challenges – some of which we have resolved and some are work in progress!

  • Each of the annual reviews are taking much more time – on average one and a half hours, plus all the preparation time and putting together paper work afterwards. Not for one minute am I complaining about giving what is essential and valued time to the children and their families and as has been said, the meetings are one of the biggest successes, however, we feel that the meetings are important enough to ensure it is always a member of the senior management team which leads them, therefore, logistically it has placed a much bigger challenge on our time – not insurmountable but has needed lots of adjustments of roles / responsibilities and timetabling
  • The administration is a nightmare! We haven’t  got this one fully sorted yet and I would be delighted to know if anyone out there has cracked this? We are paying for additional admin time to minute the meetings, however, the meeting format does not lend itself well to direct minuting and doesn’t match directly to the paperwork required by the LA so is requiring a lot of additional time for us proof reading and amending after the meetings have finished
  • Multi- agency involvement continues to be a challenge – one of the central themes of the reforms is that it is a ‘health and care’ plan in addition to education. We have had lots of support from other agencies in trying to find ways forward and for the most part we are now getting multi-agency reports to be included in meetings. There are two key reasons for this challenge – one is that multi-agency team members are much less available than they were due to cut backs in services so often are not able to allocate the time to attend meetings. In addition, when are families are so complex and have many agencies involved, it is difficult to schedule meetings when everyone is available, even well in advance. Working with our multi agency teams we have had some improved success for the forthcoming year identifying the priorities for each child and who it is most essential to attend e.g. nurse, speech and lang therapist, with others contributing a report  – but as the discussion is so valuable at the meetings, in an ideal world they would all be there!

So our next steps……………

I think the honest answer is that it all continues to be work in progress!

Our programme of annual reviews for 2015 / 2016 is already in place and all members of multi-agency teams have had the dates. We will continue to be Passionate about ensuring our pupils achieve the best outcomes possible, be Respectful of all of the individual needs of the pupils and their families, be Organised in making sure everyone has the information they need to contribute, be Understanding of individual circumstances and how we can best support and be Dedicated in ensuring we are the best we can be. Camberwell Park continues to be a school to be PROUD of

Supporting meaningful ‘pupil voice’ for children and young people with #SEN

When @Cherrylkd and I discussed establishing @SENexchange, we were very concious of how broad an area SEN is and we wanted to ensure that it is relevant to the whole SEN community. For this reason we invited our @SENexchange folllowers to suggest possible areas for discussion which we collated into a blog http://wp.me/p5Qdrj-1q. At this time, I added a discussion topic of my own: Pupil voice

Pupil voice is something I am very passionate about and something we have done alot of work on in my own school @Camberwell Park camberwellpark.manchester.dbprimary.com. If our pupils are at the heart of our school , then for me, pupil voice must be an integral part of the school ethos. For us, this starts with being a Unicef Rights Respecting School and ensuring appropriate access for the children to all articles within the UNCRC http://www.unicef.org.uk/Documents/Publication-pdfs/UNCRC_summary.pdf. Indeed Article 23 of the UNCRC spells out our responsibility to ensure children with a disability play an active role in their community, for me having a voice is an important part of this and as @MaryMyatt reminded us in a recent tweet to @SENexchange, it should also be considered as part of ‘British Values’ and SMSC in the school.

As the pupils in my own school have a range of learning needs ranging from more moderate learning difficulties, right through to profound and multiple learning difficulties, sharing their views is not always quite so easy and I believe it is up to us to find a way of supporting and enabling their voice to be heard not just within the school but beyond the school.

A couple of years ago, as a school we appointed a person with a ‘teaching and learning responsibility’ (TLR) to look at how we support pupil voice in their own learning and how we meaningfully implement it across school. What emerged was our 7 stages of pupil voice (video clips and other resources held in the school exemplify each of the stages):

Stage 1- Adult to notice child’s reaction to activity/ experience and give the child the language to describe this

Stage 2- Child to eye-point to demonstrate choice

Stage 3- Child to reach towards or touch object/ symbol/ switch to indicate choice

Stage 4- Child to independently indicate choice by grasping and moving object/ using voice/ signing

Stage 5- Child to say what they have done well or need to try harder with

Stage 6- Child to say what they could do next time to improve

Stage 7- Child to comment on their peer’s achievements

These 7 stages are mainly about children being involved in their learning and their involvement in setting the priority targets for learning and having child friendly Individual Education Plans is part of this too. Pupil self-evaluation of their own learning is now embedded into all classrooms.

Over the last few years in the school, we have developed pupil involvement in whole school self evaluation and school improvement and how we hear the voice of our pupils in a range of ways including developing the running of the school council to ensure pupils have opportunities to discuss a wider range of whole school issues and involving pupils on our learning walks around school to hear their views on aspects such as displays, behaviour and safety, total communication etc, Our pupils are now also regularly involved in recruitment of new staff. The school council have written their own person pupil person specification which goes out with information / application packs. Where appropriate pupils are involved in interview panels asking questions relating to their person specification.

It is also important to me to consider how the views of our pupils are represented beyond our school. I appreciated a tweet from @anameescapesme when the discussion topic regarding pupil voice was first tweeted on @senexchange reminding us about the challenges of LAs listening to the views of our children and young people. At Camberwell Park, the pupils have always been involved in their annual reviews of their Statement of Special Educational Needs, and we have ensured this continues with the change over to Education, Health, Care Plans ( EHCPs). Our pupil voice booklet http://tinyurl.com/np5vjfw  is prepared by the pupils supported by one of the classroom staff prior to the review and the pupil attends their review to share their views with others. Their views are included in the minutes booklet is attached and forms part of the appendices in the EHCPs.

Another important area we have been exploring and developing in terms of pupil voice is that of safeguarding. Our children and young people with learning difficulties are very vulnerable. Giving our pupils the vocabulary and enabling them to have a voice about what is safe, not safe, tell us when they are worried, scared, upset, being bullied etc is really important. Our frustration at how the views and experience of our pupils are disregarded when there have been allegations of abuse has led us as a school to look at how we can support our pupil voice in this area too.

Our ‘pupil voice’ work is by no means a finished product and we are concious of how in our best endeavours to allow pupils a choice, for our some of less able or more complex children the choices we give them are often guided and limited by those which we offer. We would of course use our knowledge of the children and information about the children by others that know them even better than us such as their parents in the choices we have available. We continue to explore however, how we can make pupil voice more meaningful with the bank of strategies we have available. In addition to total communication strategies of signing and symbols, the range of AAC ( Augmentative and alternative communication) products open up new possibilities for us: Ipads,  E-tran frames http://www.communicationmatters.org.uk/page/e-tran-frames  use of PODD ( Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display) Communication Books:http://www.inclusive.co.uk/podd-p6023 and more recently exploration of how we can use Talking mats http://www.talkingmats.com/ are just a few examples. Use of P4C ( Philosophy for Children) throughout the school has also very mjuch supported the ability of our pupils to express their views on a range of important topics.

To end where I started this blog – Pupil voice is an area I am very passionate about and keen to discuss with others – I know there is alot we can ‘exchange’ and learn from each other in this area so really hope that people will join with us on @SENexchange at 7.30 p.m. on Wed 29th April to chat further. My blog only represents my views and the experience of Camberwell Park School. Would be so good to hear from the experience of others  – both mainstream and special and from parents / carers too about how they would like to work with schools to get the views of their child considered.

Our children and young people deserve to be heard  – it is our job to ensure they are!

Thank you

Supporting pupil and parent voice in Statutory Annual Reviews : #SEND Reforms

The pupils are firmly at the heart of Camberwell Park School and having established ways of including pupil voice in all aspects of our work is something already embedded into the school.

We already had a ‘pupil voice’ booklet as part of the statutory annual review process. This included sections about what the pupils like, dislike about school, their achievements, what helps them to learn and what they have to look forward to in the future. The booklets were completed in the classroom supported by a member of the pupils’ class team prior to the review using symbols and other total communication strategies to ensure meaningful access where necessary. Where ever we have felt it appropriate and possible the pupils have attended part of their annual review meeting to present their report and their report has always been included as part of the annual review minutes. Considering how we could build on and develop ensuring the voice of our pupils into the Education, Health, Care Plan (ECHP) process was therefore a natural progression for us.

Our starting point was to consider the information required by the Code of Practice and Local Authority including annual review paperwork linking in to all of the areas to be discussed as part of person centred planning reviews and other aspects about our children that we felt it is essential to include. This includes likes / dislikes, what is important to the child now and in the future, things they are good at / not good at and how best to support them, how they communicate and make decisions and how to keep them safe, healthy and learning as well as their hopes and dreams. We have also included in the booklet, entitled ‘A meeting all about me’, information presented in a child friendly form about who will be present at the meeting to support their understanding and preparation for attending. The booklet is on our school website: http://tinyurl.com/np5vjfw

The pupil voice booklet has been discussed and agreed with the School Council who have in turn discussed and agreed a slightly more simplified version for our youngest children in school.

The children continue to make us proud and amaze us with their ability to share their views on what on the surface may seem really difficult questions for them to consider. Examples of their views include:
“I talk alot and can sometimes make decisions on my own. I sometimes need to be told to do things a number of times’” Pupil quote, Autumn 14
They have also told us what they think about sharing their views at meetings, for example:
“I like joining in meetings. I feel happy because people say how well I am doing. They listen to me. My ‘all about me booklet’ helped me to say what I wanted to say” Pupil quote, Spring 2015
Whilst pupil voice is imperative and for us is a starting point, it is only a part of the holistic person centred planning process. It is about ensuring that throughout the process, everyone involved keeps the child and their needs central at all times in a very genuine way. We believe that as a school, through our policy and procedures, we set the tone for making sure this happens.
Information about our EHCP meetings and process is a part of our SEN Information Report on the school website http://tinyurl.com/kjp9p22 ensuring even before starting at the school expectations are clear. Our SEN Information report links in turn to the Local Offer for our Local Authority (Manchester) in order to place what we are providing in the wider context of other provision available. http://tinyurl.com/kl8mj5n We are working in close liaison with the Local Authority throughout this process of transition from statements to EHCPs making sure what we are doing meets statutory requirements but in a way that is constructive and helpful for the school and others involved.
Parents and carers, their views and involvement are a key part of the EHCP process and our SEN Information report outlines some of the ways we inform, listen to and involve parents / carers in the process. As with the pupils, we provide a parent / carer views booklet to enable them to prepare for the review meeting http://tinyurl.com/nnxtdxu . As with the pupil booklet, the family booklet is based around the information to be discussed and shared at the review and that is required by the Local Authority review paper work for the EHCP. We understand that not all parents /carers find it easy to articulate and represent their views so where needed the pupils’ key workers from their class teams support the parents /carers in completing their views booklet and in helping them prepare for the reviews generally. Parent / carer workshops and coffee mornings have also supported their understanding of the new process, how important their views are and how they can share their views.

Parents /carers have told us how much they like the new person centred planning approach to reviews, for example:
“The review meetings are very informative and helpful. I can ask or put forward any worries I have about my child’s education, health or wellbeing’ Parent quote, Autumn 14
As we are talking about and Education, Health and Care plan, in terms of a holistic understanding of our pupils others involved with the pupils including health staff such as physiotherapists, school nurse and social care staff including social workers, family support workers and short break providers should also be included. To ensure we do not miss anyone important involved in a child’s life from a family perspective, as part of the invitation process we ask parents /carers who they would like to be invited. The importance of co-ordinated multi-agency working to ensure outcomes identified are appropriate and met Members of the multi-agency team have also told us how much they have valued the new ways of working, for example:
“The EHCP meetings I have attended are informative and clarified the important issues for all present supporting the setting of appropriate short term and long term targets. The meetings also celebrated the successes, achievements and progress to date”. Quote, teacher for the deaf, Spring 15

The review meetings themselves are run as Person Centred Planning reviews as established by Helen Sanderson Associates http://tinyurl.com/qgrt5ot . We have found that this organisation, format and style of review has enabled all involved to share their views in an open and confident way which truly does ensure we keep the child and their needs as the central focus throughout.

Our current development in school is around how we ensure that actions relating to outcomes identified for the pupils are fully implemented and met. For this purpose, at Camberwell Park, ‘My learning targets’ (MLTs) have now replaced the previous Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and fully consist of the action plans from the review meeting. In order to ensure the children are fully involved, a child friendly version of MLTs are used in the classrooms and as well as copies being shared with parents / carers following the annual review, a parents’ evening for each of the subsequent two terms ensure families have a chance to discuss and contribute to monitoring of progress towards outcomes. As a school we liaise closely with members of the multi-agency team ensuring information relating to other aspects of a pupil’s holistic action plan are considered throughout the year.

At Camberwell Park we are Passionate about ensuring we fully embrace and respond to the opportunities the SEN Reforms have opened for our pupils. We Respect the individual needs of each and every one of our pupils. We are Organised in the systems we have put in place. We Understand that the pupils’ needs should be seen in the context of their families and we are Dedicated to ensuring our pupils receive and achieve the best outcomes possible. We are PROUD and privileged to be able to work with such amazing pupils and their families