Developing SEND Advocates

A significant part of the Whole School SEND approach is to create a new community of SEND advocates primed to develop the capacity of school to school support and inspire change in SEND provision across the education system. 

In response to demand from both schools and school staff with an interest in SEND, we are piloting a personal development programme for SEND Advocates over 2017/18. 

 We are looking to recruit a school based cohort of 28 individuals, including at least one from each opportunity area.  

Recognising the important role that parents and other experts play in shaping the SEND system we have also funded four additional spaces for parents/non school-based leads.

This is a unique personal development programme designed to develop the skills of participants to advocate and be a SEND leader through sharing ‘what works’.  It is likely to lead to developmental and funded opportunities, as well as the prospect of leading on high profile work locally and nationally

The Programme

This is a year-long programme with the majority of the input over Autumn Term 2017 and Spring Term 2018.

The programme is funded in part by the Department for Education and may include opportunities to attend DfE policy meetings and network with civil servants.

Participants will:

  • Attend personal development conferences 
  • Develop local SEND Review capacity 
  • Represent/speak on behalf of WSS at conferences
  • Write/contribute to at least 2 blogs/reports on behalf of WSS
  • Input into at least one of the WSS 2017/18 development activities e.g. WSS Governance, WSS Commissioning, WSS Assessment
  • Help increase local capacity by identifying/recommending colleagues for future iterations of the programme

The programme is free to attend for selected participants. Participants are expected to cover own travel, and schools are expected to fund release, however bursaries may be available where this is challenging. 


In addition to a focus on SEND provision, the programme will address the skills needed to inform policy and practice at scale, for example:

  • Models of school led school improvement
  • Writing policy papers and informing policy debate
  • Speaking at conferences 
  • Working with civil servants
  • Programme design, particularly in local areas 
  • Leading teams of SEND reviewers
  • Working with the media/social media 
  • Presentation training

While acceptance is not  a guarantee of paid consultancy, there is an expectation that delegates would be in a position to support Whole School SEND and other SEND work going forward in order to expand our network and knowledge base.


Desirable Attributes:

  • Knowledge and understanding of key SEND issues
  • Experience of excellent school based SEND provision 
  • Experience carrying out SEND Reviews or similar school support
  • Commitment to feeding into policy and practice at strategic level              
  • Understanding of the evidence base underpinning effective SEND provision
  • Able to travel and work flexibly  


Please call us on 020 3096 7705 or email for more information.

To apply, please fill in the EOI form above and email it to Please note there will not be interviews and applications will be processed on information supplied in the EOI.

The deadline for applications is 15th September 2017.

Whole School SEND