FAO Headteachers and SENCos
There has been widespread recognition that the current arrangements for accessing the SEN Support Services in Northumberland via the SEN SLAs have led to some inequity in the reach of the services. There have been a number of opportunities for feedback around the model of delivery and it has become a key focus of the Local Authority to make some changes which will serve to ensure that schools can be universally supported with specialist advice to inform their provision for learners with SEND.
As a consequence, from September 2020, we are pleased to announce that there will be a core offer from our specialist teaching services which will be free at the point of delivery, and will sit alongside a limited traded offer. Details will follow shortly after February half term to enable schools to consider both the impact of this on their budgets, and on the way in which they fulfil their duties to SEND learners following a graduated approach.
Within their specialist areas, the teams will offer ‘Learner in Context’ visits which will provide support to you in the identification of need, the planning of provision and will indicate and/or include further individual assessment where necessary. What schools can expect from those visits will be detailed for each service.
Having reviewed and benchmarked possible models for the Educational Psychology against national and regional practice, our team will offer a core partnership-based offer to enhance their current availability to include all schools. Work as it looks now will continue to be traded.
Our plan is to run this new model for two full academic years in order to evaluate it fully. To do this, we will seek feedback from schools and others using the services as well as from the services themselves. It is of great importance that a system of support is fit for purpose and achieves the aims it sets out to do.
We hope that you see this as a major step forward in our support for SEND and look forward to sharing more detail with you after half term.