Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
Research - Outcomes, Parental Involvement and Evidence-based practice(91 Posts)
I need (as do we all actually) quotes, policies, documents, references, guidelines, reports etc. that say the following things:
1) Parental involvement in their child's education is paramount.
2) Outcomes for children are increased when agencies work together.
3) Evidence-based practice is the responibility of ALL professionals working with children (particularly with SN)
The documents will guide SALTs, Autism Outreach, LAs in general, Teachers, TAs, SENCos, EPs etc. in their work and approach.
I'll do my own research too and post what I have here already and what I find.
To improve understanding of what support and interventions work for children and young
people with SLCN we recommend that the Government considers a programme of
research to enhance the evidence base and inform delivery of better outcomes for
children and young people. [Recommendation 26]
To increase the effectiveness of Childrens Trust arrangements to facilitate joint working,
the priority afforded to SLCN by Childrens Trusts and hence the impact on provision and
outcomes for children and young people with SLCN, we recommend that each Childrens
Trust appoints an appropriate senior member of its governing board to lead on speech,
language and communication in the local area. This leadership role should include
overseeing a drive to improve outcomes. [Recommendation 30]
In 2009 the Government will introduce a new Comprehensive Area Assessment (CAA) of
outcomes delivered by local authorities, both independently and in partnership with others. To help ensure that Childrens Trusts fulfil their responsibilities for children and young people with
SLCN, we recommend that the new CAA takes account of the effectiveness of Childrens
Trusts in facilitating joint working and effective commissioning to deliver improved
outcomes for children and young people with SLCN. [Recommendation 32]
In line with the focus on leadership development within Lord Darzis report of his NHS Next Stage Review, we recommend that the Department of Health supports the development of appropriately skilled and experienced clinical leaders who can interpret policy and research to support the delivery of evidence- based practice for children and young people with SLCN. [Recommendation 36]
1.14 Ensuring that parents and families have a good understanding of the importance of speech, language and communication and the information and advice to support their childs development is vitally important in improving outcomes for children and young people with SLCN.
1.24 Families are central to improving outcomes for children and young people, so the right
information and advice at the right time is vital
3.16 An example is in the working practices of SLT services in six case study areas. Research29 found that relatively few areas are collecting data on efficacy of therapeutic interventions. It raised a further concern about how SLT services can provide data about the range of activities they carry out, and the outcomes of these activities, in a way that fits both health and education data collection and analysis requirements.
3.17 We do not under-estimate the challenge of commissioning services to deliver outcomes, such as
improvements in the communication skills of those in universal early years and school settings
or developing the confidence and self-esteem of those with severe SLCN. However, we found
little evidence that services were outcomes-focused or commissioned with outcomes in mind.
In some areas, activity data and other output measures, such as numbers of children and young
people seen and waiting times, were used but there was little evidence that these were set with
a shared understanding of what constitutes good performance.
3.45 Research40 further found that although both SLTs and EPs are trained in research skills as part
of their professional training courses, there were few examples of research projects helping to
develop evidence based practice, or to evaluate interventions and provision for children and
young people with SLCN. This is a significant wasted opportunity. Parents also raised concerns about the accessibility of specialist SLTs and the opportunities available for new SLTs to gain
specialist knowledge and skills.
3.46 The RCSLT considers that the development of clinical expertise is essential in order to ensure
that clinical practice is developed and delivered on the basis of evidence of efficacy. Specialist
SLTs are responsible for the appropriate clinical support, education and training to more junior
SLTs, as well as to the wider childrens workforce, including in schools. These clinical leaders also
provide the back up expertise which, amongst other roles, enables them to be directly involved
in complex cases. It is essential to maintain specialist SLTs in the workforce skills mix in order to
ensure long term sustainability of wider workforce development.
3.47 Other specialist professionals are also a vital resource to train colleagues and deliver collaborative
working to improve outcomes for children and young people. For example, staff working in
special schools will have specialist expertise that could be very usefully shared in their local area
to support colleagues working with children and young people with SLCN in other settings.
3.48 In recognition of the fact that language skills need to be supported and developed with and
through the full range of people interacting with the child, the team around the child was cited
consistently by professionals and families as an effective way to bring together the individuals
and expertise required to meet a childs needs. Importantly, parents saw themselves as members
of the team and welcomed the increasing recognition from professionals of their vital role.
Have you heard of The Communication Trust? They are at the forefront of next years national year of SLCN. They have a website and ICan also has some info on it.
3.76 In this report we have highlighted the importance of designing and planning provision around a
clear set of outcomes for children and young people. It is also important that provision is based
on sound evidence of what works.
4.17 The Governments Every Child Matters programme has placed a strong emphasis on improving
outcomes for children and young people through better joint working between services,
including sharing objectives, pooling budgets and developing integrated service delivery.
4.18 In particular, the Government has taken steps to promote and support joint working at both
strategic and operational levels through the concept of Childrens Trusts and joint training
opportunities through the Joint Professional Development Framework.
4.19 Childrens Trusts, underpinned by the Children Act 2004 duty to cooperate, bring together all
services for children and young people in an area in order to focus on improving outcomes. The
vision is for professionals to work in effective multi-disciplinary teams, to be trained jointly and
to be co-located, often in extended schools or Childrens Centres. Joint working is supported by
integrated processes, such as the Common Assessment Framework.
4.20 Whilst integrated delivery can be fostered in many ways, and at many levels, making sure the
system overall is meeting the right needs for the right children and young people requires
effective strategies led jointly by senior managers.
4.21 However, we found that although Childrens Trusts should bring many benefits for children and
young people, in practice they did not appear to be having any significant impact on provision
and outcomes for children and young people with SLCN.
4.22 It is clear, therefore, that senior leaders working through Childrens Trust arrangements do
not usually afford speech, language and communication the priority which it deserves. This is
presumably because they are not sufficiently aware of its importance for all children and young
people in their area and they do not appreciate fully the unwelcome consequences of failing
to support those children and young people with SLCN. In addition to prioritisation, there is a
practical problem arising from the different approaches of health commissioners compared with
those of education services, including schools. The former are working to a payment by results
system that tags each individual by a diagnosis. This approach is at odds with the long-standing
approach in education, namely to avoid the need for and use of diagnoses but to focus on needs.
4.31 In 2009 Government will introduce a new Comprehensive Area Assessment (CAA) of outcomes
delivered by local authorities, both independently and in partnership with others. To help ensure
that Childrens Trusts fulfil their responsibilities for children and young people with SLCN, we
recommend that the new CAA takes account of the effectiveness of Childrens Trusts in
facilitating joint working and effective commissioning to deliver improved outcomes for
children and young people with SLCN.
Early identification and intervention are essential to avoid poor social and economic
outcomes in later life. The evidence that early intervention brings benefits and its absence
incurs costs is there for all to see. The task is to act on that evidence systematically in
delivering policy and allocating resources.
●● A continuum of services, designed around the family, is needed. Thought must be given
to what is the best possible service to each individual child or young person at all stages of
development. Crucially, services must be personalised to meet the needs of the individual.
●● Joint working is critical. We have seen abundant evidence of the damage that is done
when professionals operate in isolation from each other and the result is anything but
splendid. We are resolved that the joint working recommended in a panoply of legislation,
policy and guidance should now take root at national and local levels alike.
SEN Code of Practice
1.5 Fundamental Principles parents2 have a vital role to play in supporting their childs education
1.6 Critical Success Factors
LEAs, schools and settings exploit best practice when devising interventions
special education professionals and parents work in partnership
special education professionals take into account the views of individual parents in
respect of their childs particular needs
interventions for each child are reviewed regularly to assess their impact, the childs
progress and the views of the child, their teachers and their parents
there is close co-operation between all the agencies concerned and a multidisciplinary
approach to the resolution of issues
1.7 Strategic Planning Partnerships Meeting the needs of children and young people with SEN successfully requires partnership
between all those involved LEAs, schools, parents, pupils, health and social services and
other agencies. Partnerships can only work when there is a clear understanding of the
respective aims, roles and responsibilities of the partners and the nature of their
relationships, which in turn depends on clarity of information, good communication and
*1:11 An essential function of the LEA is to make effective arrangements for SEN by ensuring
children and young people with SEN can benefit from co-ordinated provision by
developing close partnerships with parents, schools, health and social services and
the voluntary sector
SEN Code of Practice 2
2.1 Partnership with parents plays a key role in promoting a culture of co-operation between
parents, schools12, LEAs and others. This is important in enabling children and young
people with SEN to achieve their potential.
2:2 Parents13 hold key information and have a critical role to play in their childrens education.
They have unique strengths, knowledge and experience to contribute to the shared view
of a childs needs and the best ways of supporting them. It is therefore essential that all
professionals (schools, LEAs and other agencies) actively seek to work with parents and
value the contribution they make. The work of professionals can be more effective when
parents are involved and account is taken of their wishes, feelings and perspectives on
their childrens development. This is particularly so when a child has special educational
needs. All parents of children with special educational needs should be treated as
They should be supported so as to be able and empowered to:
recognise and fulfil their responsibilities as parents and play an active and valued role
in their childrens education
have knowledge of their childs entitlement within the SEN framework
make their views known about how their child is educated
have access to information, advice and support during assessment and any related
decision-making processes about special educational provision.
2:6 Positive attitudes to parents, user-friendly information and procedures and awareness of
support needs are important. There should be no presumption about what parents can or
cannot do to support their childrens learning. Stereotypic views of parents are unhelpful
and should be challenged. All staff should bear in mind the pressures a parent may be
under because of the childs needs.
2:7 To make communications effective professionals should:
acknowledge and draw on parental knowledge and expertise in relation to their child
recognise the personal and emotional investment of parents and be aware of their
ensure that parents understand procedures, are aware of how to access support in
preparing their contributions, and are given documents to be discussed well before
respect the validity of differing perspectives and seek constructive ways of reconciling
recognise the need for flexibility in the timing and structure of meetings
2.10 It is
vitally important that schools welcome and encourage parents to participate from the
outset and throughout their childs educational career at the school. Schools need to regularly review their policies to ensure that they encourage active partnership with
parents and do not present barriers to participation.
SEN Code of practice 4
4:6 Practitioners should work closely with all parents to listen to their views so as to build on
childrens previous experiences, knowledge, understanding and skills, and provide
opportunities to develop in six areas of learning:
personal, social and emotional development
communication, language and literacy
knowledge and understanding of the world
4:13 The key test for action is evidence that the childs current rate of progress is inadequate.
There should not be an assumption that all children will progress at the same rate. A
judgement has to be made in each case as to what it is reasonable to expect that
particular child to achieve. Where progress is not adequate, it will be necessary to take
some additional or different action to enable the child to learn more effectively. Whatever
the level of pupils difficulties, the key test of how far their learning needs are being met is
whether they are making adequate progress
4.14 Adequate progress can be defined in a number of ways. It might, for instance, be
closes the attainment gap between the child and the childs peers
prevents the attainment gap growing wider
is similar to that of peers starting from the same attainment baseline, but less than
that of the majority of peers
matches or betters the childs previous rate of progress
ensures access to the full curriculum
demonstrates an improvement in self-help, social or personal skills
demonstrates improvements in the pupils behaviour.
The Role of the SENCO
4:15 Early education settings, except specialist SEN provision, will need to identify a member
of staff to act as the special educational needs coordinator (SENCO)17. In the case of
accredited childminders who are part of an approved network, the SENCO role may be
shared between individual childminders and the coordinator of the network. The SENCO
should have responsibility for:
ensuring liaison with parents and other professionals in respect of children with
special educational needs
advising and supporting other practitioners in the setting
ensuring that appropriate Individual Education Plans are in place
ensuring that relevant background information about individual children with
special educational needs is collected, recorded and updated.
4:16 The SENCO should take the lead in further assessment of the childs particular strengths
and weaknesses; in planning future support for the child in discussion with colleagues;
and in monitoring and subsequently reviewing the action taken.
The SENCO should also
ensure that appropriate records are kept including a record of children at Early Years
Action and Early Years Action Plus and those with statements. The practitioner usually
responsible for the child should remain responsible for working with the child on a daily
basis and for planning and delivering an individualised programme.
Parents should always
be consulted and kept informed of the action taken to help the child, and of the outcome
of this action.
4:23 As an important part of the Early Years Action the SENCO and colleagues should collect all
known information about the child and seek additional new information from the parents.
The SENCO should build on the existing
knowledge of the child; multi-agency input is often very significant for young children.
4:24 Parents are the prime source of information in many cases. The information collected can be maintained as part of the childs individual record. Settings should make sure that parents are as fully
involved as possible with their childs education and should always be kept fully informed about how the setting is seeking to meet their childs needs.
4:27 Strategies employed to enable the child to progress should be recorded within an Individual Education Plan (IEP); this should include information about the short-term targets set for the child, the teaching strategies and the provision to be put in place, when the plan is to be reviewed, and the outcome of the action taken.
The IEP should only record that which is additional to or different from the differentiated curriculum plan that is in place as part of normal provision. The IEP should be crisply written and focus on
three or four key targets. IEPs should be discussed with parents and the child.
4:28 Ideally IEPs should be continually kept under review, and in such circumstances there
cannot simply be a fixed term or a formal meeting for reviews. However IEPs should be
reviewed regularly and at least three times a year. Reviews need not be unduly formal, but
parents views on the childs progress should be sought, and they should be consulted as
part of the review process
Did you see the study which Leicester University did, which all the papers covered last Friday - headline: having "pushy"/conscientious parents who get involved in the child's education is one of the most important factors in outcome of kid (and also improves the school). Bet they'll hate that one!
SEN Code of Practice 10
Working in Partnership
10:1 Meeting the special educational needs of individual children requires flexible working on the
part of statutory agencies. They need to communicate and agree policies and protocols
that ensure that there is a seamless service. Working supportively and in partnership with
parents and the children and young people themselves will ensure that everyone involved
understands the responses of the professionals concerned, and lead to a better quality
10:2 Maintained schools must publish information that includes the schools arrangements
for working in partnership with LEA support services, health and social services, the
Connexions Service and any relevant local and national voluntary organizations. Teachers
have a great deal of expertise in identifying and meeting the needs of their pupils. External
support services can however play an important part in helping schools identify, assess
and make provision for pupils with special educational needs.
Principles of inter-agency working for children with SEN:
10:3 All services for children with SEN should focus on identifying and addressing the needs
of children and enabling them to improve their situation through:
continual engagement with the child and parents
dissemination of effective approaches and techniques.
10:4 The objective should be to provide integrated, high quality, holistic support focused on
the needs of the child. Such provision should be based on a shared perspective and
should build wherever possible on mutual understanding and agreement. Services should
adopt a flexible child-centred approach to service delivery to ensure that the changing
needs and priorities of the child and their parents70 can be met at any given time.
10:5 All agencies should recognise the need for effective collaboration of services involved with
the child and with parents. Consultative responsibilities and effective communication
systems at management and practitioner levels should be clearly identified.
in organisational structures and working practices should reflect this principle. Joint
planning arrangements should:
take account of good practice
ensure consultation with all relevant services
publicise decisions to parents and professionals
regularly review policies and objectives.
10:12 The SENCO and class teachers need to be very clear why they need external assistance.
If there is an identifiable lack of expertise within the range that can be offered by the staff
in a mainstream school, then the school should consider seeking external advice. Even
when outside specialists are involved the SENCO still has prime responsibility for
coordinating the special educational provision made for the child and for any decisions
taken over this.
SEN Toolkit 5
34 The frequency with which the IEP is revised, and the timing of such reviews,
including discussion with parents, should always be dependent on the nature
of the pupils needs and the provision being made to meet those needs. It may
be that some targets are achieved more quickly than others and hence the
total IEP changes gradually.
SEN Toolkit 3
Resolution of disagreement
3. Parents2, schools3, LEAs and others should start talking as soon as difficulties
become apparent. Talking about concerns as soon as they arise may help
prevent potential problems from developing into major disagreements Dialogue should be built on a foundation of trust, respect, clarity and
openness. Schools and LEAs should be flexible in the way in which they
encourage early dialogue and ensure that they are able to respond to parents
needs in the most appropriate way. The views of parents should be actively
sought and valued.
4. Good communications and the sharing of information between parents and
schools, and between parents and LEAs is the key to good relationships.
By talking early on there is greater chance of resolving potential problems.
The longer things are left, the harder they become to resolve. Parent
partnership services can play an important role in preventing disagreements
by encouraging dialogue between the parents and the school or LEA, as soon
as difficulties arise, to explore different options at an early stage
Recommendation 4 parents should have direct access to the multi-agency teams based
in schools or partnerships of schools.
Recommendation 5 the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) develops
guidance on the effective deployment of teaching assistants.
Recommendation 8 preparation for working with parents of disabled children and
children with SEN is included in initial and continuing training
across the childrens workforce.
Recommendation 13 the core offer developed through Aiming High for Disabled
Children is extended to provide a set of principles for engagement
by schools and childrens services with parents of children with
Recommendation 14 current improvements in parent engagement should take full
account of disabled children and children with SEN.
Recommendation 17 annual review meetings for children with a statement include a
consideration of information needs of parents and children and
Recommendation 50 an evaluation of a number of different educational psychology
service models is carried out. The impact on outcomes for children
and on parental confidence should be a key part of the evaluation.
2.4 In meetings with parents early in the Inquiry, it was apparent that, in many of
the discussions between schools and parents and between local authorities
and parents, there was little focus on outcomes for children. Rather the focus
was on the type and amount of provision and often on agreeing a number of
hours of support from a learning support assistant. What was apparent was that
few of the parents the Inquiry met seemed to have been encouraged to have
a discussion about the outcomes they expected, or aspired to, for their child or
how best these outcomes might be achieved.
2.12 In the letter sent to the Secretary of State in December 2008, Brian Lamb
identified a lack of focus on outcomes in discussions with parents of children
There needs to be a much clearer focus on both attainment and wider outcomes for
disabled children and children with SEN at every level of the system: at school, local
authority and national level; for children at School Action, School Action Plus and for
children with a statement; in school and in the extended day.
This proposal has now been translated into the Achievement for All pilot.
2.20 First, children who have fallen behind in their learning need the best possible
teaching, with teachers who have high expectations and use a range of strategies
●● drawing on a detailed understanding of where children are in their learning
using assessment to inform learning;
●● using a range of approaches to engage children in their learning;
●● using opportunities for pupils to interact with their peers in learning;
●● using practical activities to support childrens learning;
●● full engagement with childrens parents.
2.23 There is a risk that the use of the SEN label itself leads to lower expectations or
less vigorous intervention. Equally it should not be assumed that children who
are working at or near age-related expectations do not have SEN. There needs
to be a greater awareness of the specific difficulties that may affect childrens
progress and attainment and, in particular, their profile of attainment, which may
2.31 It will be important for services to know who is using direct access in this way
and whether there are groups of parents and carers who are not accessing the
service. School based multi-agency teams should be developed in the light of
this knowledge. The importance of access at this stage is its potential to address
problems early and to promote a collaborative problem-solving approach. The
early and positive engagement with parents can increase parents confidence that
schools and services are responsive to difficulties that children encounter.
2.36 Teaching assistants have a useful role in supporting teachers in classrooms; in
working with teachers to support a wide range of children in their learning; in
providing targeted interventions for individuals and small groups of children,
under the direction of a teacher, and on programmes and interventions for which
they have been trained.
To ensure that children benefit from the support of
teaching assistants there has to be a ruthless focus on the impact of how they are
deployed and on the skills they need to support childrens learning. Underpinning
this is a core principle that the teacher takes responsibility for the outcomes of
every child, through planning and the monitoring of progress.
2.55 teachers need to be up-to-date with research evidence on the
most effective practice in their particular area, need to be skilled in adapting
and tailoring approaches for children
skills in working with parents
2.59 Engagement with parents is critical to childrens progress. Training needs to be
embedded in the preparation of everyone who works with parents. It is welcome
that training for teachers in working with parents of disabled children and
children with SEN is now included as a specific unit in the initial teacher training
materials developed by the TDA.
2.60 Training in working with parents needs to be available to those already in service
who have regular contact with parents of disabled children and children with
SEN, in particular:
●● local authority officers working in SEN sections;
●● teachers in their induction;
●● SENCOs, through the training developed for them; and
●● a wide range of professionals who may fulfil the role of lead professional or
2.62 The evidence shows that improving parental confidence is dependent on a
number of factors. Key amongst them is honest, open communication and a
culture that values listening to parents are vital. Everyone working with parents of
disabled children and children with SEN needs to be prepared to be part of that
2.63 Training for a structured conversation with parents is an important element of the
new SEN outcomes pilot, Achievement for All. The materials for Achievement for
All should be made widely available, not just to the pilot schools and authorities.
A stronger voice for parents
3.1 Good, honest and open communication is key to the development of positive
working relationships and requires practitioners who listen to parents and are
trusted by them. Parents confidence in the SEN system and in schools and local
authorities in particular, is significantly coloured by the quality of communication
Personal contact is a key factor for parents of children with SEN
and no information system will be valued that does not make provision for faceto-
3.2 The quality of communication both affects and is a reflection of the working
relationships between professionals and parents. The worst communication
generates significant levels of hostility
3.5 Good communication is not just better for parents and professionals, it is better
for children. In the most successful schools, the effective engagement of parents
has an impact on childrens progress
3.19 The survey carried out for the Inquiry identified the need for face-to-face
meetings and for a range of information for parents. Overall it identified the need
for a more consumer focused and more personalised approach to the provision
3.34 Times of transition are particularly stressful for children with SEN and their
parents. It is important that parents information needs should be recognised and
considered in regular meetings with parents.
Local Strategic support
4.8 Where a range of provision is developed and, in particular, a range of specialist
expertise is deployed in response to need, parents do not have to go in search
of it. Where relevant provision and expertise are not available locally, parents do
go in search of it. This is where personal and financial resources enter into the
equation: parents with the greatest resources will undertake the most arduous
search. Parents should not have to embark on this search in the first place.
4.15 There also needs to be a tighter focus on outcomes for children and value for
money. This needs to be informed by what is known about the most effective
approaches in securing childrens progress.
5.1 In a system which is in so many ways characterised by variation, parents need
an objective view of the quality and effectiveness of different forms of provision.
Accountability needs to be robust enough to give parents confidence that,
where standards fall short, they will be challenged. Yet many feel that they are
left to police the system for themselves, that outcomes for their child matter less
than for other children, and that they themselves are made to feel they are a
nuisance when they ask questions or challenge.
5.2 There needs to be the tightest accountability for children who are not making
good progress or are not achieving good outcomes: our best data, our best
challenge through governors, school improvement partners and elected
members, and our best and most highly qualified inspectors judging the quality
of provision and outcomes for the nations most vulnerable children.
Sickof No, I hadn't seen that. I'll search for it.
Join the discussion
Please login first.