Interview - Dr Adam Boddison

Monday, May 28, 2018

Chief executive, nasen

Nasen has been granted £3.4m over two years from the DfE to support the workforce in special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

Part of the new contract will be to create eight school-led hubs...

The hubs will bring together local SEND networks to support school improvement within their region. Through them, we are looking to grow the Whole School SEND Community of Practice to reach 10,000 schools by March 2020. Schools will be committing to a set of inclusive principles and to prioritising SEND in their regions. The hubs are not necessarily about creating anything new, but bring together networks and resources that already exist.

Will you be doing any work with early years settings/ Reception classes?

The scope of this contract is primarily to support the development of the workforce in school-based settings, which does include some early years provision. One of nasen’s partners in the Whole School SEND consortium is Achievement for All, who will be considering how existing resources, such as the SEND Review tool, may be used in the context of the Early Years Foundation Stage. We will also be increasing the volume of resources and activity on the SEND Gateway (www.sendgateway.org.uk), which allows you to filter and search for early years resources.

Can you tell us more about your plans for the SEND Review?

The SEND Review is an excellent place to start for any school that wants to prioritise SEND and improve provision for children and young people. By expanding the Community of Practice, we aim to encourage as many schools as possible to undertake a SEND Review. This will increase the demand for professional development and resources across the sector and has the potential to make our school system more inclusive.

The vast majority of schools want to be inclusive and to meet the needs of learners with SEND. However, there are competing, and often conflicting, priorities in schools and many are not sure where to start. Our wider vision is to join up the established SEND networks, to remind people about the excellent resources that already exist and to shine a light on effective practice wherever it may be. The SEND reforms were the right reforms and we now need to ensure that the reality lives up to the ambition.

Can you tell us more about the Early Years SENCo qualification?

If we can appropriately identify and meet the needs of children in early years, we maximise their chances of being included and achieving their potential at school. In order to support this, nasen has been working with the DfE and others to develop a qualification specification for a Level 3 early years SENCo. We hope that this will encourage the development of accredited qualifications leading to more of these specialist roles appearing in early years settings. Nasen is also working towards securing funding to roll out the existing Level 3 City of Liverpool Early Years SENCo Award nationally, in partnership with School Improvement Liverpool, building on its current excellent track record.

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