Special education – where do we go from here?

SSAT’s event in May 2017 addressed some of the key issues at the forefront of the thinking of everyone who is involved in special education in 2017.

View past event details

Delegates who attended this conference felt it was “inspirational” and “relevant”.

One theme resonated throughout the day and that was that we should put learners and their needs first. All the schools who presented on the day echoed messages from the Rochford report ‐ we need to ensure that assessment is not leading the curriculum but that the curriculum leads to students making progress which could be clearly articulated.

Many schools are dissatisfied with the assessment tools they are currently using. In some schools this is leading teachers to look to the next measurable step to be recognised within the assessment framework and tailor the curriculum to this rather than let the curriculum lead assessment and progress.

When stepping away from this model, how do schools know that their systems are robust and the information about progress would stand up to scrutiny? One such way that was used by most of the schools presenting was peer review. Some reported that they found it more demanding than when speaking to an OFSTED inspector. Peer review can provide schools with a developmental approach to review changes and offer the opportunity to work with other school leaders to review each other’s schools and plan for further improvement. More information on the peer review programme.

During the conference a call went out for any schools considering becoming Independent Specialist Providers (ISP) of post 19 provision or schools that are already ISP to form a network to provide support and guidance to each other.

The first meeting is likely to take place in Sheffield. It was clear during the conference that there is a continued commitment from special schools to work together to avoid everyone re‐inventing the wheel. If you are working on a project why not share it on the Special Schools email forum (which is one of your membership benefits) and ask colleagues if they are also working on the same idea/ area and share ideas/thinking with each other.

If you are not on the email forum accessing this membership benefit, please email SEN.