This guide draws on the best practice that already exists within schools and has been produced by teachers and school leaders who deliver excellent provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). We recognise that each school is different and that there is no perfect model of provision. Evidence has shown that purposeful and focused collaboration between schools can improve outcomes for all pupils.The guide provides a framework for schools to review their current provision and for reviewers to support and challenge the schools that they work with. The case studies illustrate the impact that a review of provision can have on the supported school, and also highlight how reviewers and their own schools have benefited from a peer review model. Reviews are often the beginning of an ongoing dialogue and partnership.These partnerships can be between schools in a variety of different settings and there is much to be learned from mainstream and specialist provisions working together. We hope that the guide will offer a foundation for schools to collaborate and build communities of practice that place improving outcomes for all children, including those with SEND, at the centre. The London Leadership Strategy is grateful to the Teaching School Council, NCTL, Challenge Partners,Whole Education,Teaching Leaders, Contact a Family, Council for Disabled Children and the many parents, pupils, schools and school leaders who have given so generously of their time.
David Bartram OBE
David is Director for SEND at the London Leadership Strategy. He has visited and worked with over two hundred SEND departments since March 2009, working collaboratively with London Challenge, NCTL and the Department of Education to support targeted schools. He is responsible for SEND Leaders, a practitioner-led programme that uses SEND peer reviews to support schools to identify areas for improvement within their SEND provision and help embed a focus on SEND into normal school improvement practices. David has sat on a number of SEND consultations at the DfE and gave oral evidence at the Public Bill Committee on the Children and Families Bill. He has presented at ministerial roundtables on SEND reform and he worked closely with the Department of Education on the new Code of Practice.
David has reviewed SEND literature for the Times Educational Supplement and published a number of articles on effective SEND provision. He is a regular speaker at national SEND conferences including the TES SEN Show and the Academies Show. He has also spoken at international conferences in India, Abu Dhabi, Poland and South Africa. David is SEND advisor to the Seychelles government, expert adviser to the GLA and sits on the Leadership Faculty of Teaching Leaders. He has led outstanding SEND provision in London schools for over 15 years. He was previously Assistant Headteacher at Lampton School, where his department won the Inclusion Award at the National Business Education Awards, the same year the school received its third consecutive outstanding judgement.
David has recently taken up the post of Director of SEND for Future Academies, a small family of schools in South Westminster. David was awarded an OBE for services to Special Educational Needs and Disability in the 2016 New Year’s Honours list.
Vijita Patel is the Principal of Swiss Cottage School Development & Research Centre, a 2-19 Special Needs School in the London Borough of Camden. Vijita joined Swiss Cottage School in 2012, leading it as a member of the Executive Team into its 5th Ofsted Outstanding. Vijita is a proponent for effective inclusion of learners with SEND and promotes this agenda through a system leadership model. She believes inclusive philosophies and specialist pedagogy drive sustainable change towards aspirational outcomes.
Vijita works with Mainstream and Special School Headteachers, Senior Leaders, SENCOs, and Local Authority teams on a range of priorities, particularly leading locality and provision developments as the complexity of need increases. She works with Post-Graduate students on personalised learning through research on cognitive processing. She has completed SEND Reviews for mainstream and specialist primary and secondary schools, advocating an ongoing relationship to drive meaningful change which leads to the development of enhanced provisions.
Vijita is a Director of the London Leadership Strategy and works on SEND initiatives such as SEND Leaders. She is also involved in DfE Consultations for SEND Policy and Reform.