You may have heard about Whole School SEND Professional Development Groups – they offer an unrivalled space for teachers and school leaders to provide peer-to-peer reflection, challenge and support.
Each group is facilitated by a Whole School SEND Regional Leader, who empowers participants to make significant improvements to individual practice as well as to the development of strategic, inclusive provision for all children and young people in their setting.
Meeting 5 times over the course of a year, the groups enjoy tailored support that enables them to focus on a specific area of need so that they can develop and implement a bespoke school improvement project. All participants come from maintained schools or FE colleges, and there is a great mix of individual settings, as well as groups of settings from MATs who work naturally in partnership with each other.
Last year’s cohort produced some outstanding projects, with one school developing a new referral system that feeds directly into their inclusion register and provision map, another increased attendance of children and young people with SEND through the introduction of a school dog mentor.
Tim James, Director of Inclusion at Bedford Academy – shared his experience of taking part in the programme, and the subsequent improved attendance in learners experiencing emotionally based school avoidance, in this blog.
“I am coming to school every day on time – I am now able to see my friends on the playground; this makes me feel much happier.”
Year 4 Pupil