Every school in England will receive a copy of the SEND Review Guide on 8th August 2016, part-funded by the Department for Education and produced by teachers and school leaders. The SEND Review Guide was created in partnership with over forty outstanding special and mainstream schools, as well as organisations such as Contact a Family, Ofsted, the Council for Disabled Children, the Institute of Education and the Teaching Schools Council. It is powered by the London Leadership Strategy (LLS), a not-for-profit organisation created by school leaders for school leaders to transform schools and improve outcomes for children. The SEND Review Guide is available for free via www.thesendreview.com.
The Review Guide is based on the Pupil Premium Review and can be used by all schools to audit their own SEND provision. It is, however, most powerful when used as part of a programme of school-to-school support. A direct response to the increasing gap in outcomes between students with SEND and their peers, the Review Guide was created with the purpose of empowering schools to improve their SEND provision. It is made up of a paper-based audit, examples of good practice, guidance on how to carry out a review of SEND provision and self-evaluation templates. The Review Guide is free for schools to use and schools are able to partner with other schools to use the Review Guide with minimal costs.
Individual SEND Reviews have already been used in MATs, standalone schools, teaching school alliances, special schools and school networks. Reviews piloted in schools in London and Birmingham have helped to improve SEND provision and contributed to higher teaching standards for all pupils. The impact of the Review was described as “transformational” by the Oaks Collegiate in Birmingham.
The Review Guide has been developed by over 50 contributors, many of them serving school practitioners. These contributors included 12 Headteachers/Principals, seven Deputy Heads/Vice Principals and 10 SENCOs, as well as a variety of education professionals and parents/carers of children with SEND.
The aim of the Guide is to ensure that children and young people with SEND are:
Based on a school-to-school support model and with a focus on improving outcomes for all pupils, the Review Guide will continue to embed a culture of inclusion, collaboration and support within education.
David Bartram, LLS’s Director of SEND and co-author of the Review Guide, said: “There has always been a wealth of expertise in our schools and this Guide draws on some of the best practice in SEND that already exists within the system. Our aim has been to produce a practical framework for schools to self-evaluate their provision and promote purposeful, focused collaboration between schools in the area of SEND.”
Maria Constantinou, Deputy Headteacher and SEND Leader at St. Mary’s Primary School in London, said: “Supporting another school has had an immense impact on me as a practitioner. The coaching dialogue with colleagues has always aimed to be pragmatic, positive and empowering, resulting not only in reflection about other schools’ practice, but also on the nature of SEND practice in my own setting”.
Vijita Patel, Director at LLS and Principal at Swiss Cottage School in London, said: "The SEND Review process promotes practitioner-led developments through peer-to-peer review which is anchored in 8 key areas of effective SEND provision. I believe it is a powerful tool for enhancing provisions through collaboration and sharing of best practice. Self-evaluation at the core of the review also encourages accessible system analysis and promotes sustainable developments which respond to changing provisions."