Supporting Children & Young People with SEND

Published: Monday November 06 2023 by Lauren Fisher

Supporting Children & Young People with SEND

Support Education Teaching SEND Disabilities Teachers

At justteachers, we understand that education is certainly not one-size-fits-all. Every child is unique, and it’s our responsibility to ensure that their individual learning journey is inclusive, supportive, and enriching. In this blog post, we’ll explore the world of Special Educational Needs (SEND) and the crucial role played by support staff in making education a brighter experience for all. We’ll delve into the definitions, the evolving landscape of inclusive education, and the diverse range of SEND conditions that may affect children.

Defining Special Educational Needs (SEND):

Special Educational Needs, as defined by the Department for Education’s Special Educational Needs Code of Practice (2001), encompass children with learning difficulties. While some may have physical disabilities, many children with learning difficulties do not show visible signs of SEND.

For children with SEND, these difficulties can manifest as either a significantly greater struggle in learning compared to their peers or as a disability that hinders their access to standard educational facilities. It’s important to note that even though many schools have transitioned to academies, the responsibility for pupils with SEN still lies with the local authority.

The Carter Review and Inclusive Education:

The Carter Review of initial teacher training in 2015 emphasized the importance of supporting children with SEND, highlighting that “good teaching for SEND is good teaching for all children.” This underlines the notion that all teachers are potentially teachers of SEND. In line with the new SEND Code of Practice (DfE, 2014), it’s critical that all new teachers receive training on how to support children with SEND.

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From Access to Participation and Progress:

Inclusive education has come a long way since its initial focus on ‘access.’ It now encompasses ‘participation’ and ‘progress,’ recognising that individual differences can enrich the lives and learning of all students. Inclusive education is about dismantling societal barriers that hinder individuals from reaching their full potential.

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Supporting children with SEND:

Working with children who have SEND requires patience, empathy, and a willingness to adapt to individual needs. Support staff who understand different SEND conditions can provide targeted support through strategies like implementing visual aids, adapting learning materials, offering one-to-one support, and using positive reinforcement techniques.

The Importance of Inclusive Language & Removing Barriers:

In recent years, we’ve become more inclusive in our language and thinking by using terms like ‘differently able’ and ‘neurodiverse.’ This recognises that some individuals have unique cognitive processes.

Inclusion isn’t just about allowing pupils in; it’s about empowering them to learn and flourish. It involves adapting the learning environment, using multiple approaches to tasks, and considering alternative forms of assessment.

To embrace inclusion fully, it’s essential to develop the knowledge and empathy required to cater to the needs of all pupils. It’s about ensuring academic success and nurturing contributing members of society.

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Inclusive Education Is About Structure:

Inclusive education is about structuring schools, classrooms, and lessons to create a supportive environment that challenges and engages all learners.

Support staff play a vital role in fostering a sense of belonging and improving the social and emotional wellbeing of children with SEND.

Inclusivity extends to respecting people from all backgrounds and cultures, teaching the importance of tolerance and fostering a more understanding society.

Inclusion is about ensuring that every child, regardless of their abilities or background, can reach their full potential. Support staff who are knowledgeable about working with children who have SEND can make a significant difference in their educational outcomes and overall well-being. It is crucial for support staff to receive appropriate training and support to enable them to provide effective and targeted support for children with SEND.

In this ever-evolving landscape of education, we must all work together to ensure that no child is left behind. By embracing inclusive education, we can create a brighter, more equal future for all children, regardless of their unique learning needs.

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justteachers has produced a complementary set of podcasts, exclusively available to our registered candidates. Episode 3 of our free CPD series, titled ‘Supporting Children & Young People with SEND,’ features insights from an Executive Headteacher, an SEMH Specialist, and a valued justteachers client, providing expert guidance on this crucial topic.

If you’re eager to gain access to our CPD suite and explore supply opportunities with justteachers, start the registration process with us today. Our CPD resources are accessible to all registered support staff, whether you’re an ECT or an experienced qualified teacher.

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