The provision for children with SEND in mainstream is accessible to all staff who are interested in increasing the inclusion of children with SEND into the classroom to improve outcomes for all
As professionals working in schools we understand that, despite the range of provision available in Southwark and the creation of new options, some needs continue to be difficult to address in mainstream schools and there can be uncertainty regarding the most appropriate pathways at points of transition.
We have experienced this first hand and have developed an approach to successfully incorporate children with Education Health Care (EHC) plans that previously would have met the threshold for a specialist place into the mainstream classroom. We have years of experience working with children with a multitude of high needs and have successfully incorporated their learning into mainstream classroom teaching. By adapting the national curriculum, designing individualised curriculums, and effectively supporting children through intervention and differentiation, we continue to provide an outstanding provision for those children with EHC plans.
We are passionate about inclusion and welcome the opportunity to share this constructively with colleagues across the borough through our hub. We are committed to ensuring the hub will offer a range of support and guidance that is informative, inclusive, supportive, collaborative, individualised and high quality.
We will provide colleagues with a regular electronic update on SEND practices and the most recent available research in this field to inform provision, as well as termly in person training to support staff, teachers and senior leaders on how to provide individualised curriculums for children with EHC plans in mainstream classrooms.
We also aim to provide a 6 week cycle of bespoke coaching sessions for inclusion leads and SENCos to support development of skills and expertise. Our school will also be open on special SEND focussed days for visiting colleagues.
The Common Principles
We are committed to the common principles of delivery for hubs, particularly reducing the attainment gap because as a school we have a high proportion of children entitled to the pupil premium grant. With this, and the local authority’s highest proportion of children with EHC plans outside of a specialist provision we have a large proportion of our school community deemed ‘vulnerable’.
We have addressed this in our own setting by refraining from using the term ‘vulnerable’ and to move towards identification of the barriers to children’s learning rather than ‘labelling’ the children. We have overhauled our pupil premium strategy and moved away from specific intervention and looked at our curriculum and school practices more widely. We have introduced a system with strong links to the SEND code of practice of ‘Assess-Plan-Do-Review’ in which pupil voice is central through the use of pupil conferencing.
We have also moved away from looking at key groups and instead tailor intervention, both in-class and through small group work. For example, a teacher may identify that a small group of their class dislike maths and home-school engagement with maths homework is low. Using this starting point, the teacher can personalise their delivery to that group, arrange parent workshops and adapt planning. Following roughly six weeks of this process, the action plan’s effectiveness is reviewed alongside the children’s progress in the particular area and plans are adapted if necessary.
Our children with EHC plans benefit from the procedures mentioned above and are fully immersed into the whole class’ routine. With this incorporation, we have seen a greater level of class cohesion and children with plans are full immersed into mainstream classroom life.
As a hub we can offer support and strategies to enable all schools to successfully include children with high needs and/or EHC plans within the mainstream classroom.
Alfred Salter Primary School is the hub school for the Provision for children with SEND in mainstream Hub