Specialist contracts supporting the SEND reforms

The Department for Education have confirmed that the following specialist support for implementing the SEND reforms will be available for 2016-2017:

1. Supporting dyslexia


The British Dyslexia Association in partnership with Dyslexia Action, Dyspraxia Foundation, Helen Arkell Dyslexia Centre, Patoss and Manchester Metropolitan University will be working together to promote best practice for those delivering dyslexia support. They will be producing resources & materials for professionals, parents, carers and children and young people with speech and learning difficulties. Video resources for teachers will also be produced and they will further develop and extend BDA Dyslexia Friendly Quality Mark and Literacy Leap award schemes.

2. Supporting Sensory Impairment


Natsip will be promoting effective practice and helping improve specialist advice on sensory impairment in EHC assessments and plans. They also aim to harness technology for children and young people with sensory impairments to improve accessibility and outcomes. Over the course of the year they will be developing online resources and training for front line workers and build on existing evidence of sensory impairment EHC plans to provide guidance on best practice examples. They will also be setting up a national advisory group on SI technology.

3. Supporting the participation of children and young people


The Council for Disabled Children and KIDS are working in partnership to deliver a programme of activity focused on helping disabled children and young people understand the changes in the law and helping practitioners improve the way they participate with at both the strategic level and in practice. The programme of activity includes regional and national young people’s advisory group, 3 national events, a pilot programme working with 3 local authorities and a programme of communication activity to promote understanding of the reforms.

4. Supporting SENCOs


Achievement for All are working in partnership with Plymouth University to support the national award for SEN co-ordination and review the SEN co-ordination role in the early years and post-16 sectors. The project has three work streams which are:

  • Reviewing the effectiveness of the National Award for SEN Co-ordination and leading the forum of current providers of the Award.
  • Reviewing the SEN Co-ordination function in the Early Years and post-16 sectors
  • Reviewing the possibility of extending the National Award of SEN Co-ordination to providers in the EY and post-16 sectors

5. Supporting young offenders with SEN


Achievement for All are working together with the Association of Youth Offending Team Managers and Manchester University to support professionals working with or for the youth justice system to bring about a culture and behaviour change around effective joint working. It will work to build connections between professionals within and beyond the secure estate and run a series of regional and online training events aimed at improving the knowledge, skills and confidence of practitioners working with young offenders with SEN.

6. Supporting further education


The Education and Training Foundation are developing training to support teaching staff as well as practical sessions for practitioners, leaders and governors. They also host an online resource bank with information and advice about dyslexia.

Throughout the programme they will be examining the implications and impact of the reforms on practitioners and leaders and reporting on the impact and effectiveness of the training provision.

7. Supporting autism


The Autism Education Trust have extended their programme of support this year and will be creating four additional training hubs with a special focus on post-16 support. They will launch five new regional networks focusing on a special school and special unit network and a regional local authority strategic network. They will also be delivering a project to help prevent young people with autism from being excluded from school.

8. Supporting schools


The London Leadership Strategy aim to build the SEND Review principles into wider school-led school improvement agenda. Alongside work with Regional School Commissioners and Teaching School Council this work will also specifically look at three areas raised by schools as key issues during the last two years of LLS SEND work. These include developing a dedicated SEND programme for classroom teachers, support on how to make effective use of teaching assistants and helping pupils with SEND prepare for adulthood

9. Supporting speech, language and communication needs


The Communications Trust will be focusing on increasing awareness and understanding of Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) across the workforce and with national and local policy makers. They will continue to build the evidence base for best practice and support the sectors capacity to respond to the changing landscape. They will be delivering a range of activities including an analysis of workforce development, teacher training, online learning for practitioners, guidance on commissioning as well as continuing their work with local champions and the further education network.