While your head teacher or principal is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the school, the strategic responsibilities lie with the governing board (or if you’re a MAT with the trustees who may have delegated to local committees).
All schools should have either a member of the governing board, or a committee, with specific oversight of the school's arrangements for special educational needs and disability (SEND), as set out in the SEND Code of Practice.
The role of the nominated person or board is to monitor, evaluate and review the SEND policy on a regular basis and ensure that the other school policies fully support pupil outcomes.
Here we outline the key areas you’ll need to provide supporting information for and how our SEND management software, Provision Map, can help you.
Key questions: The SENCO
Part of the governors’ role is liaising with the SENCO about current policy and practice and they’ll need to understand:
Who is the SENCO?
Are they qualified?
How often are they in school?
How long have they been in role?
How long do they get for the SENCO role?
Are they a member of the SLT, if not, who do they link to?
Governors need to have an overview of provisions that are in place and support the SENCO in decisions about SEND provision across the school. They look annually at data/reports about the performance of SEND students, and strive for the best education for all children, including those with SEND.
Key questions: How inclusive is the school?
These key questions will help governors to assess how inclusive the school is:
Do we comply with the SEN policy and Equalities Act 2010?
What reasonable adjustments are made?
Is the accessibility plan up to date?
What is extra-curricular access like?
What is the attendance of SEND pupils and what actions are taken to support SEND attendance?
What do exclusions look like for SEND pupils and what actions are taken to support/avoid exclusions?
What does transition look like?
It’s important to provide easy-to-access, detailed, digital evidence of inclusion. This is where Provision Map can help. With it you can create a detailed report with the provisions you have in place and what pupils are involved.
It's a good idea to add reasonable adjustments as provisions or, at the very least, as a box on a plan. This provides an evidence trail of what’s in place for pupils and allows you to share this very inclusive approach with the governing board.
You can also use Provision Map to:
Evidence additional support for pupils
Attendance of pupils with special educational needs can be slightly lower than the average. For students with additional needs, missing school can put them at an even greater disadvantage than their peers. You need staff, time and resources to ensure those children don't fall further behind, communication is upheld and that a smooth pathway to return is possible. Your governors need to know what you’re doing to support attendance and what additional resources you may need.
Provide easy-to-access data on exclusions
Post-exclusion, or to avoid an exclusion, pupils often need behaviour programmes and intensive staff support. While you need to report exclusions data to governors regularly, sometimes an exclusions panel must be formed (when the fixed term exclusions reach a certain value or when the child is permanently excluded) at which the governors must consider if the child’s needs have been identified and catered for sufficiently to avoid the exclusion in the first place.
Key questions: Quality of teaching/progress
Does teaching meet needs?
Are the gaps narrowing?
Is progress accelerated?
What is the effectiveness of the interventions used?
Are they value for money?
How is additional adult support used?
How is the impact of this measured?
What is the impact of the use of external agencies?
If you need to demonstrate the use of staff, especially when trying to show you need more staff, Provision Map can help you. You can even get a break down for individual staff members, including how many students they are involved with and the number of hours they have allocated. You can also include your external agencies as named staff in the provisions.
Measuring individual pupil progress
The reason schools put interventions and provisions in place for students is because they’re not currently where they’re expected to be. But for an individual pupil that could mean they're one mark away from a pre-determined threshold or they're several years behind their age-related expectation. When you measure their individual progress, it can be confusing. By working within a defined set of parameters – such as a GAS or RAG scale – you can measure and see which interventions are having a positive impact.
The advantage of working in this way means different interventions which use different pieces of baseline data can be compared. Where you have one intervention that measures how many words students can spell from the HFW list and want to compare it to another intervention that used spelling ages, you now have a tool for doing that. You can compare whether your maths interventions are more successful than your literacy interventions.
Fast and easy provision mapping information
With Provision Map you can share key information about students in a variety of formats, from comprehensive plans (that fully meet the requirements of the SEND Code of Practice) to passports or one-page profiles.
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