Clear job descriptions for both teachers and TAs would remove misconceptions about provision and accountability. It was made clear that TAs should complement the role of the teacher under the scheduled guidance by the teachers themselves rather as substitute for the teachers. Success criteria will be assessed by lesson observations by SENCo and SLT and through pupil progress meetings.
Training is planned with the support teachers to look at the identification of children and creation of objectives (SMART targets), strategies and suitable assessments for provision /interventions. Staff will also have to be trained on how to input the data and access it to monitor how their support fits in with other provision the children may be accessing. I will have the overall responsibility; however there will be an exception that those staff involved initially will become responsible for their own interventions and groups. The innovation of this study is change in the way staff are accountable for all children’s progress, in turn increasing the quality of provision and support the children get. This will help to increase the effectiveness of provisions and an understanding of how to support children in class better.
Termly interviews with the pupils would ensure that they are involved throughout this process and engaged with the aim of being consulted about the decision taken for them and for taking responsibility for their own learning.
Interviews with the parents of the pupils with SEN would ensure increased parental involvement.
Once the initial stage has been completed, it will need to be reviewed and then the initial group will need to plan how the project will be rolled out to all staff. This will be the challenge as we require all staff to be responsible for knowing the provisions their children are accessing, whilst liaising with the members of staff who are providing the support. In collaboration with the Leadership team, it has also been decided I will have more of a role in the pupil progress meetings with teachers. This will allow me to discuss the needs of the children in relation to the school data. This small change will also increase the need for accountability of teachers to keep up to date and informed with provision their children are accessing.
Finally, following the NASENCo Accreditation Course, as SENCo, I committed to more professional development by enrolling in a local authority course on leading teams effectively, as well as to develop relationships with other schools to share good practice. Success criteria will be my increased ability to manage teams effectively and up-to-date knowledge of SEN issues.
Reflection and Conclusion
This study is very much in its inception. With the initial planning and research completed, and based on my experience of being responsible for all provisions for children with SEN, it has highlighted the need for change. This change has not taken place yet; however there is need for change to take place. The study so far has shown that collaboration is the key to ensuring that everyone is in loop, which goes someway to motivate those involved (Fulhan, 2011). It also demonstrated that working with the TAs is not enough to drive inclusion in the school. As Cowne articulates, ‘Inclusion means developing an ethos where everyone’s contribution is valued and respected, using the views of pupils, parents, TAs and teachers in everyday problem solving and in longer-term policy making.’ (2008, p.82)
The lessons from this assignment are various, crucial realisation is that the SENCo needs to work on many different levels to achieve the desirable effects. The TA’s role is a whole school approach. In particular, the SENCo, with collaboration with the SLT, has a leading role in adjusting attitudes, providing clear guidance and ensuring continuous professional development (CPD) to all staff, not just TAs. The SENCo’s CPD is also crucial to optimise the interaction between school staff and to ensure inclusion.
Research methods in this study have been effective in gaining information needed to put the study on the right track, while being flexible and responsive to change. Through action research, I have been able to gauge the previous effectiveness of provision for SEN and identify where the most effective change can take place in my practices and the effects these have on children’s learning in school.
In terms of initial outcomes for this study it can be said that the school is confident that the use of a provision map will be more effective in managing provision for the children who were previously on school action plan/plus. It is also hoped that this will enable staff to be more engaged with the process of identification, allocation and monitoring of such provision, however this is yet to be proved. It is planned that by the end of the next academic year all the stakeholder (parents, pupils, teachers and TAs) will need to be consulted on the changes and how they have impacted on teaching and learning.
In conclusion, this study is on the way to answer whether the development of provision mapping can improve the whole school accountability for the children with SEN. It has already increased the accountability for the teachers and TAs who support children with SEN and has made positive steps to change the way children’s provision is viewed in school. The objectives will be revisited repeatedly and will be modified along the way depending on the progress of the pupils, participants’ views, and the ethos that will be developed, but the important thing is that the journey has begun.