New policies - changing practices

Envisioning the role of
the SENCO: New
policies - changing
Seán Bracken: [email protected]
Revisiting policy
New ways of working
Managing people and resources
Navigating real tensions
Assuming leadership?
Policy perspectives
• Some key aspects of the programme of
change may be phased in. While welcome,
this may also lead to confusion while old and
new systems operate concurrently.
• In terms of the CoP, SENCOs will have a critical
role in updating parents, SEN governors and
school staff (Robinson, 2013)
Policy perspectives & challenges
– It is unclear who will be responsible for enforcing social care and
health provision that is provided for in the resulting “plan”. Often
disputes arise in respect of the provision to be provided for a child,
commonly these disputes occur in respect of the therapy provision
delivered by the NHS.
– It is not clear who will co-ordinate the single assessment to ensure
that reports are prepared within the 20 week deadline. The
voluntary/charitable sector simply does not have the resources to do
this and the Government has underestimated significantly the
administrative burden which the present system places on Local
– It is unclear what sanctions will be taken against the NHS or social
care for failing to comply within the time limits.
– Local Authorities are already affected by the absence of timely
advices from health or social care under the current assessment
framework. It is unclear how the new process would address this
New ways of working
• The role of families and the pupil voice and
participation are critical
• There may be implications for the much more
family orientated engagement, this
reorientation is welcome but may demand
more resources:
Collaborating with
parents and providers
Developing effective
Feeding into systems
wide approaches.
Informing and Liaising
with leadership
Adopting whole school
(informed) approaches
Engaging with staff
Networking with peers Buying in particular
Assessing effectiveness
Managing resources & expectations
• Need for significant focus on interpersonal skills
• Disputes arise because typically parents will
argue that the local offer is not adequate or
cannot meet their child’s needs. The proposals
within the SEN Green Paper, do not address
this issue.
– This is also about managing expectations, knowing
what is available and ensuring that parents do not
have unrealistic expectations.
Management of resources VS
advocacy for pupils?
Management of resources VS
advocacy for pupils
Schools have an amount identified within their
overall budget, called the notional SEN budget.
This is not a ring-fenced amount, and it is for the
school to provide, high quality appropriate support
from the whole of its budget. Although colleges do
not have a notional SEN budget, they also have
additional funding for students with SEN. As with
schools, this funding is not ring-fenced and they
are expected to provide appropriate, high quality
SEN support using all available resources. (Draft
CoP PP 86/87)
A new role for SENCO leadership?
• Class and subject teachers, supported by the
senior leadership team, should make regular
assessments of progress for all pupils. Where
pupils are falling behind or making inadequate
progress given their age and starting point they
should be given extra support. (CoP 72)
• The SENCO has an important role to play with
the head teacher and governing body, in
determining the strategic development of SEN
policy and provision in the school. They will be
most effective in that role if they are part of the
school leadership team (CoP 79).
Code of Practice: Consultation process
Developing a cohesive response
• Provide a critically informed (M7)
reading of the document
• Initiate a shared response as SENCOs
to significant changes in the
• Inform others and orient change.
The Task
• Each group reads about 10 pages of the
document ( 20 minutes)
• Provides a critical interpretation and engages
in an informed response to the consultation
document. Share your impressions on the
document online (15 minutes)
• Share responses (2/ 3 minutes)
• Collated document will be shared.
Illustration – From the Introduction
Please critique the Draft CoP using the
consultation (Word) document
Table / Section /
Table / Section
Table / Section
13 163-167
14 167-172
15 4 areas and Early Years
16 Writing the Plan (102114)
140-155 (specific cir)
18 Family centred (1726)
Local Offer (42-53)

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