The ‘Three Pillars of SEND Progress’ – my foundational principles to shaping effective SEND provision.

As a consultant SENDCo I’m often drafted in to fight fires, brought in support teams that are under resourced or that simply don’t grasp the importance and responsibility of their role.

I never under estimate the challenges of the job as I know first hand that there’s far more to it that you can learn on a course or from a book. But that’s where the reward is for me, helping to steer the ship in the right direction and providing teams with the leg up they need to find a method of working that enables them to succeed.

I don’t regularly step back to consider my process in this regard. I usually arrive, spend time with the team, review the paperwork, speak with the teaching staff, explore their processes and I prioritise the immediate needs and work through them accordingly.

But I recently had the opportunity to take some time out and consider the processes I go through to ensure ‘progress’ (that’s the key word here, whether it’s pupil progress, or team progress – it’s the process to ensure we do things better and continually seek improvement) and I think I’ve hit on the key foundations to a high achiving SEND team.

I’ve realised that there are ‘Three Pillars of SEND Progress’ and these influence everything I do when working with a SEND team, whether it’s a single school or a MAT these seem to apply in every instance.

Without consistency it becomes extremely challenging to measure progress, you can’t see whether something is on a path to success, or a path to failure, if you cannot accurately compare that which is good to that which is not.

What is consistency? It’s in the paperwork we use, the interventions we deliver, the processes we work through, the expectations that staff have of their roles, the timings that we all strive to work to and the training we provide to our teams.

At it’s most basic level, it could be as simple as standardising the format for your Pupil Passports and other documentation to ensure it captures and provides everything required to be effective.

Obviously there is quality first teaching, but it’s more than that.

It’s being able to identify where there is a need and what that need is.

What are the training, process, experience and resource gaps that exist accross the SEND team?

But more importantly it’s identifying and understanding the skills that you already have. If you understand where you have quality you can use that to the best of your capabilities and build on it throughout the team.

Also note, that Consistency plays a huge role in improving Quality – with defined process and standard documentation we can now create Performas and set a ‘quality’ expectation for the SEND paperwork that comes out of the team and the classrooms.

and lastly…

It’s important that throughout the school you share knowledge and process. Staff and members of the SEND teams need to know that it’s OK to ask for support and that they are not alone. This means having regular internal forums in which you can share SEND best practises, educate each other, conduct training and best use your resources.

Collaboration is more than just the SEND team, it’s the wider school teams also.

So in summary.

If you focus on these three pillars, consistency, quality and collaboration you can determine the most efficient and effective approach to improving the SEND provision within your setting and making positive progress.

If you’d like to learn more about this approach and how working with Senco Services can help you accelerate positive change within your SEND team – then please contact us.

If you want to adopt this approach, then you can download a print out here to act as a reminder.

And, if you’re not sure where you are with your SEND provision, we also do Independent SEND Audits which will help you prioritise where to apply your focus.