They arise from the Teachers’ Standards, the Equality Act 2010, the Children and Families Act (2014) and the new Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Code of Practice (2014).
In 2016 the Government revised the ITT framework to explicitly set out the responsibilities and professional expectations of teachers. For SEND learners in particular it is important that teachers are capable of delivering Standard 5:
Teachers are responsible for every child in the class. They have to adapt their teaching, through Quality First Teaching, to respond to the strengths and needs of all pupils. It is the teacher who is responsible for this, not the TA, and not the SENCo.
For many learners who have literacy difficulties, the right support will mean that they learn strategies to overcome their problems. However, for a small group who are severely affected, their ‘impairment’ has the effect of meaning they are not able to carry out the normal day to day activity of reading and writing, and they are therefore ‘disabled’ and reasonable adjustments are a legal obligation of the school.
The Local Offer should not simply be a directory of existing services. Its success depends as much upon full engagement with children, young people and their parents and carers as on the information it contains. The process of developing the Local Offer will help local authorities and their health partners to improve provision.
It is debatable how useful or successful the Local Offer is proving to be. DYT lobbied on it when the legislation was being introduced as, with no mandatory minimum requirements of delivery, it risked being merely a directory. However, it is there for parents to use and to ask questions of their Local Authority and we would welcome any feedback parents have in this regard.
The Graduated Approach details how a school assesses a learner’s progress in line with their peers and determines when support may be recommended and what it may entail. It is now a requirement, not a recommended approach. It is a cycle of Assess, Plan, Do and Review, and teachers deliver it for all learners. It is especially relevant when a learner is finding something difficult, for example reading and writing.
The Graduated Approach maps progress from universal to specialist, as outlined in the last Special Educational Needs Code of Practice. Lots of schools refer to it as a wave model. It is worth noting that it is the intervention that has the label, not the learner.