The independent review of the current provision available for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) commissioned by the Committee for Education Sports and Culture (ESC) was published on 8th April 2021. The National Association of Special Educational Needs (nasen) undertook the review which makes 18 recommendations.

You can read the full report here or click on the image below.

Front cover of the nasen report

More information.

Deputy Dudley-Owen, President of ESC and Nick Hynes, Head of Inclusion and Services for Children & Schools, presented the report to the GDA Committee and Nick Hynes, together with Catherine Hall and Carol Le Page, from the GDA, held a GDA members evening to go through the recommendations. A further drop in day on Education was held by Catherine and Carol to ensure that all members had an opportunity to provide feedback.

Catherine Hall, the education representative of the Guernsey Disability Alliance, said:

‘We see this report as very positive. It clearly recognises that action needs to be taken on many of the issues we’ve previously highlighted. We’re pleased with the independence and high quality of this report and reassured that the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture accepts it and will act upon it.’

If you would like to see the slides from the presentation to members of the report click here or click the image below.

First slide of the presentation to GDA members - click here to access the pdf of all the slides

What will the GDA be doing now?

The GDAs policy on Education is for all education to be as inclusive as possible. In this respect the GDA is aiming for Article 24 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) to be followed. See the UNCRPD page on Article 24 here or click on the slide below for more details.

UNCRPD Article 24 - Education. Click here to go to UN page.

The GDA is keen to work with the Committee for Education Sports and Culture to help it and other States Committees and organisations to implement the recommendations of the review which have been accepted by the Committee.

The GDA can help by:

  1. representing the views of our members, both individuals and other member organisations
  2. being a “senior user” on programme and project boards set up to implement the recommendations. The senior user has the following responsibilities:
    • To specify the needs (requirements) of the parents and learners.
    • To liaise between the Project Management Team and the parents and learners.
    • To make sure the solution will meet the needs of the parents and learners, especially in terms of quality and ease of use, and against requirements.
    • To help supply information on the benefits of any changes.
  3. lobby for resources to be provided
  4. hold politicians to account to ensure that the recommendations are implemented.

If you want to speak to anyone about education you can contact Carol Le Page – Director Social Policy for the GDA in the first instance whose contact details are:

Telephone: 07839 189995

email: carol@disabilityalliance@org.gg

Either Carol or Catherine will then help to answer your query.

Recommendations of the SEND Review

The recommendations are in different timed phases under immediate, short term, and medium term recommendations.

Immediate Recommendations

1. Instigate a more nuanced approach to the collation and analysis of data in relation to the prevalence and distribution of SEND. This includes, but is not limited to, comparisons of academic progress and attainment between learners with non cognitive SEND and those without SEND, as well as comparing outcomes by area of need. A broader notion of outcomes should also be introduced to ensure that outcomes are meaningful for learners across the full spectrum of needs, for example the extent to which learners are appropriately prepared for adulthood. Ensure that these analytics are used to target resources and to inform strategic decision making.

2. Clarify the diagnostic pathways for autism and ADHD, and ensure the retention of an on-island Clinical Lead so that the ASD diagnostic service is able to become sustainable within Guernsey and Alderney.

3. Ensure the multi-agency approach to transition between schools and further education is equally effective for all learners with SEND, irrespective of whether or not they have a Determination of SEN.

4. Service Level Agreements should consistently be in place with all third sector providers, with a common understanding of expectations in relation to provision and impact.

5. Ensure that existing anti-bullying initiatives have a sufficient focus on SEND and inclusion.

Short Term Recommendations

6. Provide a clear and unambiguous expectation of the ‘ordinarily-available provision’ in schools. This should provide absolute clarity for families, school leaders and teachers on what should routinely be provided in school and what might be provided centrally a teacher of learners with SEND’ and ‘every leader is a leader of SEND’.

7. Build capacity in the workforce through a substantial and ongoing programme of professional development, with a particular focus on SENCOs, teachers, leaders and LSAs. This will build on work that has already begun in this area for SENCOs. As part of this capacity-building programme, the status and impact of LSAs should be improved through specialist accreditation and more effective deployment.

8. Ensure that coproduction with families is embedded in every part of the SEND system from identification through to provision. A particular focus should be placed on improving parental partnerships at the ‘entry-point’ of the system to address misconceptions and establish a common understanding of expectations.

9. Expand the age-range for access to SEND provision from 5-18 to 0-25. Introduce targeted strategies to support the early identification of SEND and preparation for adulthood.

10. Ensure that each school has a full-time SENCO (i.e. non-teaching) who is part of the senior leadership team. Where appropriate, an Assistant SENCO or administrative support should also be put in place. The SENCO should play a key role in the development of universal provision and in ensuring the accurate and timely identification of SEND.

11. Introduce a real-terms year-on-year increase to the overall level of resource for SEND and inclusion aligned to the raised expectations of universal provision and the broadening of provision to include learners with SEND from 0-25.

12. Adapt the Guernsey Young People’s Survey so that it has a stronger emphasis on SEND and inclusion. As well as additional questions, the analysis across all areas of the survey should consider differences between young people with SEND and young people without SEND.

13. Consider commissioning regular external SEND reviews at school and setting level to provide a more granular insight into inclusion in practice.

Medium Term Recommendations

14. Using the established ordinarily-available provision as the baseline, establish a strategy for a staged-elevation of the level of universal provision over time to improve the overall inclusivity of the education system. The strategy should be based on the evidence and the five headline recommendations in the Education Endowment Foundation report: SEN in mainstream schools (EEF, 2020). SENCOs and specialist providers (including schools, services and the third sector) should be central in driving this forwards.

15. There should be greater strategic and operational alignment between Education Services and Health and Social Care Services. Where appropriate, teams should be co-located and budgets should be pooled to improve efficiency and to improve the experience of families.

16. Update the SEN Code of Practice to reflect the latest available evidence on what works and the renewed commitment to inclusive and effective SEND provision.

17. Education Service leaders should work with Ofsted to ensure that school inspections and the subsequent reports include an appropriate emphasis on SEND and inclusion.

18. Introduce a SEND governance function to all schools and settings to provide independent and specialist support and challenge.