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OWN Trust SEND Group Meeting 09.11.23

By Carly Pearson, SENCo, Nene Valley Primary School, OWN Trust

The Trust SEND meeting took place virtually on 9th November, and we welcomed our new link SEND governors to the group. It was attended by the school SENCos, the OWN Trust CEO, the OWN Trust Governance and Compliance Manager, and the link SEND governors from each school. The Chair of Trustees usually attends but sent her apologies on this occasion.

The school SENCOs shared progress towards the actions outlined in the Trust SEND Improvement Plan 22-24, which was reviewed during the training day at the start of the term. This has seen the development of a Trust-wide Ordinarily Available Provision (OAP) e-guide, improved partnerships with external SEND parent forums and delivery of parent/carer workshops in each school, increased alignment in the Assess, Plan, Do, Review (APDR) processes in each school and developments in the use of standardised testing to be used diagnostically for individual learners and to help track progress. This is part of a two-year improvement plan and milestones will be reviewed again in the new year.

The CEO shared some useful information regarding the local SEND picture and unwelcome changes in staffing at the strategic level within the SEND and Inclusion Team at Peterborough City Council. SENCOs also gave feedback following the Trust Development session with Mary Abeyasekera (Executive Director of SEND, Meridian Trust) and our respective Ofsted inspections that took place in the Summer Term. The good quality of SEND provision in all three schools was celebrated and recognised.

Finally, we reflected on expectation vs reality of levels of SEND within our new EYFS (Reception) cohorts. Due to the proactive efforts of the SENCos in completing outreach work with feeder childcare settings, the majority of children with SEND needs were already known to the schools and therefore provision could be matched accordingly to support the transition. Challenges around resource deployment, capacity, and workload were also discussed following an unexpected rise in the number of new starters joining schools mid-year who have moderate to high levels of SEND and/or no previous educational experience.