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SEND practitioner self-assessment tool launched

The team at Success North, a partnership led by the Teaching Development Centre at Newcastle College, has launched a tool to help teachers and trainers assess their effectiveness of supporting young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

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The SEND self-assessment tool aims to encourage the post-16 education sector, local authorities and health and social care agencies, to work together to improve outcomes and life chances for young people aged 16 to 25 with SEND.

The self-assessment tool has been produced as part of the SEND Workforce Development Project, a DfE-funded consortium led by the Education and Training Foundation, working with colleagues across the partnership.

The new self-assessment tool is made up of two different components and designed to help a wide range of practitioners – teachers, trainers and tutors – who work with SEND learners on mainstream programmes or specialised provision.

"Staff across the sector will benefit from this comprehensive and user-friendly tool  which supports practitioners at all levels to develop a tailored understanding of their own knowledge and skills and help them to identify specific areas of improvement.  Whether you are new to working with learners with SEND or have a wealth of experience you will find this extremely valuable for your own professional development," says Lisa Fernandes, Specialist Teacher Educator.

Supporting practitioners who work with SEND learners

The tool can be used by practitioners at different stages in their career to assess their skills, as well as those who are established when it comes to working with SEND learners, but want to extend their knowledge and support to other practitioners.

Designed to help practitioners plan for their professional development by highlighting a range of resources to draw on from within teaching and learning settings, using the new tool, practitioners can:

  • self-assess their current skills and knowledge using a 1-3 rating
  • develop an individualised action-plan approach to professional development and set targets for their own development
  • identify resources to support further learning.

The tool has two pathways:

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1. SEND general practitioner tool is designed to support practitioners to identify their understanding and skills and areas for development in relation to:

  • systems and processes for SEND planning
  • identifying appropriate learning outcomes for SEN learners
  • designing and implementing effective, differentiated teaching, learning, assessment.

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2. SEND Level 5 self-assessment tool reflects the opportunity to develop a specialist focus and approach via an introduction to the Level 5 professional development modules and training materials.

This approach is based around:

  • an understanding of the wider landscape of SEND, including models and conceptualisations
  • terminology
  • the range of provision in the sector
  • practical understanding and skills around the areas of assessment and profiling, planning and implementing differentiated/individualised learning
  • assessing and recording progress and developing formative learning dialogue.

Diane Thurston, Director of Education Services at Newcastle College said: “Newcastle College as lead in Success North CETT is immensely proud to have worked with the Education and Training Foundation to develop these tools for practitioners, which we feel will support inclusion for learners in post-16 education and training.

"The tool will complement the development of a SEND Professional development lead programme and a fully-resourced Level 5 programme, which can be cascaded across organisations and networks to equip practitioners across the sector to ensure that more SEND learners have the support they need to succeed in their learning, in life and in the workplace.”

Access the SEND self-assessment tool via the Foundation Online Learning website.