Keeping SEN high on the agenda
last updated:01 Dec 2008
Read about a CPD strategy that works for Kingsbridge Community College, Devon.
How does it work?
- There are different layers of support throughout the school year so that all staff can learn from each other and share developed expertise.
- Whole School approach: every October there is a staff development day on SEN. This helps to provide staff with new information on emerging special educational needs, revisit existing areas and share successful strategies in a workshop environment.
- College then uses performance management to ascertain training needs of all staff, taking into account college priorities as well as personal development.
- School develops ‘champions’ to work alongside colleagues for personalised approach to development.
- Weekly school bulletin – there is something about SEN each week.
- All information from learning support is available on the intranet and updates are issued.
- There is an annual review of the TA team with the whole school involved. Also, teachers are given the opportunity to observe TAs in the classroom – to see the others’ jobs and help cut out idea that the TA is there for last minute photocopying; tea person etc. See the whole school review of TAs
- Department approach: standing item of SEN on departmental agendas – under this staff discuss the latest student information sheets; look at individual targets; discuss strategies and ideas for working. Staff feed into student reviews. TAs are attached to departments and are the conduit for information exchange and developing expertise.
- Learning Support Forum – once-termly meeting of all departments which send a representative. This is helpful to get an overview and gives status to the work. The forum meets in school time and looks at the ‘big picture’ strategy.
- Higher level teaching assistant (HLTA) provides specialist support in maths and science.
- Use is made of subject specialist courses which address SEN issues within the subject.
- Departments have weekly briefing meetings Thursday 15 minutes before school – SEN issues can be raised here.
- Individual approach: particular support is given to NQTs and other new members of staff to ensure they are fully aware of the SEN and disability policy; inclusion procedures; the needs of the SEN students and how to meet these needs. See the inclusion presentation.
- There is a learning support information pack for all new staff, and all new staff have a meeting with learning support manager.
- External agencies contribute to staff training when needed.
What is the impact?
- Increased pupil confidence and attainment.
- Distributed leadership of SEN helped by a highly trained TA team.
- All staff have access to information and expertise.
- Big picture strategies known to all staff so the context is clear for their own responsibilities.
- Clear structure of support for professional development.
For more information