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  • Writer's pictureBeth Morrant

How schools can support SEN pupils to 'catch-up'

Updated: Dec 20, 2021

July is the time when many SENCos, senior leaders and managers reflect on the past academic year and evaluate impacts.

Data is gathered and reports prepared.

Diaries are updated and paperwork filed.

It’s also a time for looking ahead to the new school year in September and getting ready.

If you’re in the middle of your reflection, evaluation and preparation, have you made a plan for CPD and training?

Speech & language is going to be a big focus for the 2021-22 academic year.

Especially with children who are from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Historically, these children have always had a higher prevalence of speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) and the pandemic has certainly left its mark.

It’s not only children from disadvantaged backgrounds who can have SLCN but in many schools, the data tends to correlate between Special Educational Needs and Pupil Premium.

We’ve seen from this current academic year that differences in abilities within classes and age groups has widened and there is even more of a noticeable gap than before the pandemic.

The need to support children to ‘catch-up’ and ‘close the gap’ is a hot topic and funding has been provided for schools and education settings to use as they see fit.

Many have spent it on training, resources and interventions, with lots of schools taking advantage of the remote CPD opportunities provided by The Speech and Language Garden’s online courses.

It's not just catch-up funding that can be applied for this vital training, school leaders have allocated SEN, PP and CPD budgets too.

Looking ahead to the next steps and requirements of schools, the quality of education will be judged by Ofsted on the intentions of schools to ensure curriculums are provided to meet the needs of all learners.

Knowledge of conditions and needs faced by children will be judged, as well as the use of strategies implemented by education staff to support children with SLCN.

The impacts of this quality first teaching will be measured in multiple ways, not just with looking at data but by asking the children and parents themselves how they feel about their learning and education.

The training package of 6 courses and 13 specialist resources enables schools to meet training and CPD needs via remote learning for their staff teams.

Individuals can log onto the online portal from any device, at any time and access the pre-recorded course content.

This flexibility also supports staff who may find it tricky to attend training due to childcare needs or contracted hours.

In addition, learners will have access to my inbox where they can email me questions about the courses, the children in their classes queries on how to tweak strategies to meet individual needs and so on.

In case you haven’t heard of me, I’m Beth Morrant, a Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist with over a decade of experience working in mainstream schools and preschools.

I’ve provided training to hundreds of education staff and I’m keen to share my knowledge, skills, experience and advice to help children with SEN and SLCN to grow and meet their potential.

If you’d like to find out more about the online training courses I’ve created for school and education settings, click this link:

Beth xx


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