Strategy Summit Feedback
Here we examine the feedback submitted on the recent Whole School SEND Strategy Summit.
Our intention is to identify common themes, in order to give a sense of what delegates took away from the event and what they would like to see in the future.
The Strategy Summit was for regional leads, Inclusion Leads, Directors of Inclusion, teachers, senior leaders, SENDCos, parents, trustees and governors - those with a strong commitment to improving outcomes for learners with SEND.
It focussed on approaches to including and supporting learners with SEND across regions, local authorities, MATs and other groups of schools.
Our aim was to strengthen our community of over 4000 practitioners, leaders and advocates in order to develop thinking around cross-school inclusion and drive improvement nationwide.
A programme including all speakers and workshop hosts is here.
What were your take-home messages from the keynote speeches?
- The issues highlighted by keynote speakers mirrored delegates own concerns, and gave some a wider perspective.
- It was useful to have identified shared priorities and challenges using clear evidence, and this created a sense of consensus.
- The importance of strong leadership concerning SEND. In schools and across groups of schools senior leaders and governors must take on shared responsibility for improving SEND provision. In other words they must take a whole school approach to improving outcomes of learners with SEND.
- “We must collectively get leaders (HTs and DfE) on board with prioritising SEND. The evidence is out there on all the negative outcomes / costs to society if we don’t change.”
- The importance of collaboration, between and beyond schools, in order to identify answers in the system and help each other improve
- “Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about on all sides (schools, LAs, parents). Many people have already made the effort to understand, accommodate and include. And let’s do all we can to get the others to join us.”
- The focus on cultures and approaches with Multi-Academy Trusts was useful, and there were strategies that could be taken away.
How could they have been improved?
- A Question and Answer session after the keynotes.
- More information about the workshop sessions, in order to clarify the content and format.
Following the keynotes, delegates moved on to a series of roundtable workshops hosted by a diverse range of voices in SEND. The full line-up is here.
What did you learn / reflect on? How will you change your own practice?
- Useful data on SEND issues, especially exclusion rates, and the power of data to drive change.
- New strategies and approaches to take away.
- Enhanced awareness of the range of review frameworks available, including the SEND Review, the Teaching Assistant Deployment Review and SEND Reflection Framework.
- The MAT SEND Framework, a review tool which launched at the event. It is available in draft form for feedback here.
- The importance of CPD, both personally and in order to support for less experienced members of staff.
- The value of sharing ideas within a community of practice.
- The importance of taking ideas back to settings in order to share learning more widely and involve entire teams.
- “Reminds me of the need to continuously research ways to improve and look outward rather than inward.”
- “Being new to role the send review has provided me an excellent template to begin my role as director of SEND across my MAT. It’s given me a platform to explore and question our current practice across whole school and ask for greater accountability from leadership.”
How could they have been improved? What content would you like to be covered next time?
- More practical, in depth strategies and support to take away.
- More examples / case studies of successful practice.
- Advice / strategies for getting colleagues involved and increasing support.
- More time to network and find avenues for collaboration.
- More on the Preparing for Adulthood Agenda, including the PfA review in development by Council for Disabled Children, Swiss Cottage School and London Leadership Strategy.
- A clearer focus of the overall day in order to go into deeper detail.
- Clearer focus from table hosts, in order to enable detailed discussion.
- More time per workshop, in order to ask more questions.
- Clearer and more frequent briefing before and on the day
- Some weren’t clear on the format
- Some expected more interaction from workshops, some less
How can WSS help you in future?
- Keep growing as a network and pulling in more members, and provide more opportunities to network with these members.
- More training, especially the MAT SEND Leaders LINK, which launches this Autumn.
- Continue to encourage people to use the Review documents and share the outcomes using the SEND Gateway.
- “Continue to keep good clear information being readily accessible. Continue to raise importance of SEND students who add so much to our community and workforce and need recognition and plenty of good quality resources to support and value their learning.”
- “Continue to involve people at the fore of delivering teaching and learning for pupils with SEND in the policy making.”
- “I'd like to keep in touch with the network of people there, there is a vast pool of knowledge & experience I'm sure could help us”
- “It was a really valuable day both professionally and personally... It was great to know that there is such a powerful peer group working towards the same core values.”
Moving forward we will continue to record and respond to your feedback. This is your network - we hope that by providing frequent chances for input we can ensure that Whole School SEND remains relevant and responsive to the needs of our members.