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This conference looked at the future for SEND provision in England.
It was an opportunity to discuss the recommendations outlined in the SEND and Alternative Provision Green Paper as the Government consults on its proposed reforms, including how to develop a system that is easier to navigate, and methods to improve system capacity.
Further areas for discussion included:
- early intervention - its role in providing adequate support for SEND students - support for early years staff to identify students with additional needs - the role of local SEND systems
- funding - addressing regional variation and inconsistencies in provision - assessing the value for money provided by the system - provision of new school places
- joint working - new local SEND partnerships proposed in the Green Paper - collaborative relationships between local Government, education and health and social care - standards - inspection of services
- alternative provision - integration into local SEND systems, as proposed by Government
- young people’s experiences - achieving improvements put in place - delays in accessing support - reduction of bureaucracy - increasing the confidence of parents and carers
- workforce - support for staff through specialised training at every career stage - mentoring early careers teachers - the possible new SENco National Professional Qualification
- assistive technology - workforce knowledge and understanding - potential to support improvement and greater independence for SEND students
- outcomes and progression:
- raising literacy and numeracy levels for students with SEND - easing the transition to further study and employment
- the role of careers guidance for SEND students - the supported internships programme - local skills improvement plans to address the SEND employment gap
We are pleased to have been able to include keynote sessions with André Imich, SEN and Disability Professional Adviser, SEND Division, Department for Education; and Annamarie Hassall, Chief Executive, nasen.
The conference was an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who attended from the Department for the Economy, NI; NAO; and Ofsted - as well as parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Commons Library.