Teachers at a conference

Update from the June SENCO Conference

Our termly  SENCO network conference was held on Monday 17 June, at Cranage Hall. The emphasis of the day was Strategic  SEND Leadership and Management, with all of the workshops and key note speakers delivering on the theme, ‘Excellent advice, great relationships with fantastic colleagues and some inspiring moments’.

The day was opened with an overview of the current position of  SEND in Cheshire East, by Jacky Forster, Director of Education and 14-19 Skills at Cheshire East Council Jacky explained about the improved timeliness of  EHCP needs assessments and the key areas of focus moving forward. As one  SENCO said, ‘Useful over view of the current landscape - gave hope; felt realistic and genuine.’

The council’s Inclusion Quality team shared an overview of what their impact has been over the past 12 months and plans for moving forward. The role has grown enormously and the team are now supporting educational settings, SENCOs , parents and council colleagues in many ways including, help with reviews, support for children, needs assessment applications, and resolution/support with parents and tutors.

The conference then divided into smaller workshops, chosen by the SENCOs , which delivered professional development associated with Strategic  SEND Leadership.

Dr Sean Starr and Professor Michelle Haywood, both from Wolverhampton University, outlined the role of  SEND leadership and how this would be reflected and the impact felt through school. Hannah Moloney shared feedback on the national SENCO workload survey and how this may impact on  SENCO leadership and time in school.

Other workshops, delivered by professionals, included up to date provision mapping and costings, parent and pupil voice, inspirational leadership and  SENCO surgeries.

There were a number of stands for colleagues to visit, throughout the day, which offered information on various support services. Networking opportunities were built into the day, as well as many engagement activities.

SENCOs  who attended the event said:  “Information and inspiration. These days not only inform our practice and empower us as practitioners, but they are also their own kind of therapy - peer discussion and shared understanding, which as sole practitioners in a school is often lacking!”

“Looking forward to the next one! Thanks so much to the Inclusion team who work so hard to deliver these days - their passion and focus ripples through everything in the conference and into us and our practice.”

Save the date for our next  SENCO conference which will be held on Monday 23 September at Cranage Hall, near Holmes Chapel.

For more information on supporting  SEND in education visit our Local Offer.