X Close

IOE Blog

Home

Expert opinion from IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society

Menu

SEND Green Paper: what kind of training would help professionals better support children and young people?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital4 October 2022

Workshop participants in a session

Photo: Jason Ilagan for UCL Faculty of Education and Society

Miriam McBreen and Jo Van Herwegen.

In our third blog post responding to the DFE’s Green Paper reviewing the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) system, we consider what training the workforce needs so that practitioners are equipped to effectively support pupils with SEND. This involves considering the role of multiple educational professionals, including Special Education Needs Coordinators (SENCOs), teachers and teaching assistants (TAs).

SENCOs play a central role in supporting children with SEND. They coordinate children’s provision, help implement the graduated response to need, and work with key stakeholders around the child. SENCOs are currently required to have a Master’s level qualification and it is important that this qualification be maintained. It helps ensure that they have access to up-to-date research, develop critical engagement with current issues in the field, and become reflective in their practice. Indeed, Esposito and Carroll demonstrate a range of evidence that SENCOs are critically engaging with research at the (more…)

SEND Green Paper: How do we update the processes used in the SEND system to make it more efficient?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital26 September 2022

Early diagnosis is crucial. Photo:  RetyiRetyi / Pixabay

Miriam McBreen and Jo Van Herwegen.

In our second blog post responding to the DFE’s Green Paper on the future of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and alternative provision (AP), we look at how processes need to change to ensure the system more effectively supports these pupils.

This includes a need to improve the Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) process, in particular with regards to diagnosis and labelling, and to support practitioners to work more effectively with families.

First of all, the EHCP process needs updating. While the SEND code of practice suggests actively involving the child and parents, our research suggests the child’s voice is often not captured where it could be. Research from Tyan and Van Herwegen suggests the voices of children with intellectual disabilities as young as five years old can be accurately captured when professionals have appropriate training. This highlights the (more…)

SEND Green Paper: how can we update the system to improve children and young people’s experiences and outcomes?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital23 September 2022

Photo: olly via Adobe Stock

 Jo Van Herwegen and Miriam McBreen.

Children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) too often report negative experiences of the UK educational system, and have poorer outcomes compared to their peers.

Responding to the Department for Education’s Green Paper on the future of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and alternative provision (AP), we consider how provision can be improved to ensure that more children and young people have positive educational experiences, as well as better outcomes.

In the first of three blogs, we propose ways to improve standards for supporting children with SEND, both during their time in school and beyond.

First of all, standards should be established to support pupils with SEND during transitions, such as the move from primary (more…)

Proceed with caution: unravelling the evidence behind the DFE’s Covid guidance on teaching assistants

Blog Editor, IOE Digital17 July 2020

Rob Webster.

In the early stages of the UK government’s response to the Coronavirus health emergency, it was common to hear that decisions were ‘being led by the science’. As attention begins to shift to addressing the impact of school closures on the attainment gap, it is essential that schools adopt a similar evidence-based approach.

The DfE’s guidance for the full opening of schools in September contains the following advice for school leaders on deploying teaching assistants (TAs) and other support staff:

“Where support staff capacity is available, schools may consider using this to support catch-up provision or targeted interventions. Teaching assistants may also be deployed to lead groups or cover lessons, under the direction and supervision of a qualified, or nominated, teacher”.

This section of the DfE guidance goes on to point school leaders towards the practical recommendations contained in the Education Endowment Foundation’s (EEF) Making Best Use of Teaching Assistants report. Ordinarily, a link to the EEF’s work in DfE literature is a tacit signal to the reader that the advice being provided is trustworthy, robust (more…)

Supply and demand: Looking to the past to meet the inclusive challenge ahead

Blog Editor, IOE Digital29 January 2019

Rob Webster.
It’s no secret pupil numbers are rising. By 2023, secondary mainstream schools will need to have found the space for an additional 376,000 young people. If current prevalence is any indication, we can expect at least 45,300 of these extra pupils to have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). A further 6,800 will have needs complex enough to qualify for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).
The geographic distribution of these young people will, of course, be uneven. But if it were even, it would mean each existing secondary mainstream school in England would need to accommodate 15 additional pupils with SEND, two of whom would have an EHCP. The populations of special schools and alternative provisions (AP)[1]are also set to boom, by 15% and 19% respectively. That’s a further 13,000 or so young people with SEND.
If you think the solution to the increase is, in part or in whole, to up the capacity of (more…)

Special needs: politicians should check the evidence before making claims about inclusion

Blog Editor, IOE Digital30 June 2017

Rob Webster. 
Last week, a video of controversial comments made in the Australian Parliament about pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) provoked international headlines. Voice wavering and clumsily tripping over her words, Senator Pauline Hanson unmistakably suggested that “we need to get rid of these people” from mainstream classrooms, because their presence “held back” others:
Most of the time the teacher spends so much time on them, they forget about the child who is straining at the bit and wants to go ahead in leaps and bounds in their education”.
Educators, researchers, advocates and parents of children with (more…)