Whole School SEND Frameworks by Matt McArthur
There is a lot of commonality between these frameworks; they provoke dialogue, they promote conscious competency, and they challenge school practitioners to do better. However each framework provides users with a distinct lens through which to view themselves.
The Reflection Framework offers a tightly focussed lens. It is used by classroom teachers to reflect deeply and personally on their daily habits and attitudes. In comparison, the original SEND Review offers a much broader perspective, and raises both operational and strategic questions. The school leadership team use it to comprehensively evaluate school-wide processes and practices. Two frameworks sit alongside the original SEND Review - Teaching Assistants Deployment, and Preparing for Adulthood from the Earliest Years. These offer a sharply focused perspective, specialising on particular facets, but still leading to operational and strategic insights. The SEND Governance Review departs from this, offering a school-wide perspective to those whose responsibilities are more likely to be entirely strategic. Governors and Trustees use it to identify precisely what their roles might be and how they can hold the leaders of settings accountable internally. Finally there is the MAT Review, which offers the broadest perspective. It is aimed at supporting the leadership of Multi Academy Trusts to improve identification, progress and outcomes for learners with SEND across all academies within a trust.
Together these frameworks offer individuals and teams a multi-faceted perspective on SEND within the organisations in which they work. They range from a tightly focussed, operational spotlight for an individual practitioner, to broad strategic oversight of a school or group of schools.
The level of insight that users experience becomes deeper the more they step beyond these documents and engage with a wider audience. Self-evaluation leads users to experience a degree of self-awareness and understanding, from which they can celebrate strengths and identify areas for development. However, the quality of this reflection-on-practice is significantly improved by the coached model of peer review that Whole School SEND advocates. An outside perspective leads users to greater levels of clarity and articulation, and to consider questions from new and different angles. Participation in a community of practice offers users even greater opportunities for insight, as they tap into a greater diversity of perspectives. Members share expertise and best practice, ask for support, access resources and contribute to the development of ongoing SEND projects and practice.