INFORMATION and SUPPORT
Working with schools has shown us that access to accurate information, advice and support as and when they need it is crucial. Simply getting a straight forward answer to a parent whose child has special needs can’t wait. Which is why our exclusive, £20 per month membership can change all that.
During a busy day, when you need advice or urgent support, our staff can help. We can support you with deciphering the latest legislation, give advice on how to speed up processes and cut through the bureaucracy, as well as counsel on family liaison issues, and can signpost to the relevant agencies to contact. What’s more, we will keep you up to date with new information and legislation so you are always on track.
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Students in your care must make some form of progress; it may be progress with literacy, attendance or improved mental and emotional wellbeing. We understand the emphasis on building resilience and character amongst children and young people but also realise that often those with special needs have these in abundance, but sometimes this is not immediately evident. There may be a number of factors that are having an impact on progress, from inconsistent family support, to a lack of suitable interventions, reports or therapies. We can support you to develop students’ progress both at an individual and strategic level. We have the time and expertise to identify issues and provide resolutions that get pupils back on track. Crucially we can help you implement an ‘Assess, Plan, Do, Review’ cycle which gives you the tools to self evaluate and effectively monitor and report on the progress of students with additional needs.
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When relationships break down it makes planning for that child extremely difficult and even detrimental to their progress. Communication between families and schools can deteriorate for many reasons, it may be because of families’ frustration having to tell the same story, or raise the same concerns, to a multitude of different people.
Keyworkers perform a vital role, but rarely is this their only role, which makes availability and consistency a struggle.
We provide an independent keyworker service for schools, which offers families emotional and practical support, avoids problems escalating and helps them build resilience. This approach can also minimise the need for other, higher-cost, crisis services. We know, for example, that effective keyworking, co-production and increased family satisfaction reduces the number of conflict situations. We are experienced in identifying potential funding and other opportunities for families, whilst making sure those services and resources are targeted and used most effectively. In this way keyworking helps to promote a positive relationship between the school and the family for the whole of the childs’ educational journey.
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The paperwork trails for Education, Health and Care needs assessments can be confusing and laborious, especially when it comes to working cross border, with different local authorities and health providers. We have significant training and expertise in the legalities surrounding assessments and our in depth knowledge, in areas such as transfer review timescales means we can tackle any issues that may be holding up the process and get things done quicker. We are adept at pulling together successful supporting educational evidence for a request, in terms of aspirations, outcomes and provision, which frees up your time to focus more on the students and less on the administration. We are able to cover the whole spectrum of difficulties and the full age range of 0 – 25 for EHC needs assessments.
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Our team has significant expertise and experience of working in a Special Needs Co-ordinator role, which includes leadership of special needs, English as an additional Language and Children in Care. However, the rapidly changing SEN landscape has brought with it ever greater demands on the role of the SENCO managing responsibilities from teaching and family liaison to EHC Plans, SEN Support, budgets and training.
Trying to navigate this minefield, with limited time and resources, has meant that many SENCOs are struggling to find a balance or are having to rely on temporary fixes to deal with problems. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach here. We offer SENCOs a free review meeting to identify the main pressure points and explore where we can use our skills to provide long term solutions. We don’t believe in short cuts but we do believe in using our specialist expertise to work smarter and cut through the bureaucracy, so that SENCO’s can deliver better outcomes for their students, more effectively.
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We have a range of training packages that cover many of the issues affecting the delivery of special educational needs in schools. We also offer a more bespoke affordable package, either following an audit of your training needs or by creating a course to address a specific subject you would like to learn more about. Examples include training on SEND Reforms, medical needs, systems and processes, parental collaboration, governor support and engaging with other services.
We also offer an in-depth review of your current systems and protocols for children and young people with additional needs. This can encompass those with special needs and English as an Additional Language. We audit using the ‘Assess, Plan, Do, Review’ cycle; engage with your leadership team and recommend where training would help. We use our self-assessment review tool to help you develop your short, medium and long term plans. These techniques have been welcomed by ofsted inspectors in schools we have worked with, as they give a clear indication that the team and school are fully aware of their strengths and challenges and have an improvement plan in place.