Teacher Handbook: SEND – Embedding inclusive practice

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:

A new handbook for teachers who support young people with SEN is advising on how to embed inclusive practice in the classroom and across the school.

It has been published by special needs association Nasen with input from experts at the Whole School SEND consortium and Merton Special Training Association.

Entitled Teacher Handbook: SEND – Embedding inclusive practice, the handbook is aimed at supporting primary, secondary and specialist teachers, teaching assistants, senior leaders and headteachers who work with children and young people with SEND and learning differences.

Its lead authors are Amelie Thompson, headteacher and head of inclusion at Gipsy Hill Federation, and Katherine Walsh, lead for inclusion at River Learning Trust and the Education Endowment Foundation’s SEND Review project director.

It offers both whole-school and whole-class approaches to SEND provision, as well as subject-specific and condition-specific guidance across eight key areas:

  • Understanding the role of the teacher: Including guidance on legislation; Ofsted; intersectionality; safeguarding, and language used between colleagues.
  • Knowledge of the learner: Understanding how children learn; giving pupils a voice, and working closely with families.
  • Planning inclusive lessons: Including quality inclusive pedagogy; inclusive teaching and learning approaches; unconscious and conscious barriers; the language used with learners; working with Teaching Assistants, and remote education.
  • Creating an inclusive environment: Discussing barriers to learning; reasonable adjustments; classroom environments; teaching routines and practice; resource implications for learners with SEND; supporting learners with sensory needs, and transitions.
  • Subject-specific guidance: Covering primary and secondary guidance for maths, English, science, drama, PE, computing and – at secondary level only – modern foreign languages.
  • Graduated approach: Detailing the teacher’s role in identification of SEND; gathering a holistic understanding of learners; working with the SENCO, specialist teachers and external agencies, and exploring the engagement model.
  • Strategies to scaffold learning: On cognition and learning; communication and interaction; sensory and/or physical needs; social, emotional and mental health difficulties; neurodiversity, and co-occurrence of need.
  • Teacher wellbeing: How teacher wellbeing can be enhanced within the workplace; how distributive leadership of SEND in schools help teacher wellbeing; how environments and supervision can support, and the SEND resources helpful to teacher wellbeing.

The Whole School SEND is a consortium of charities, schools, and organisations, committed to helping children and young people with SEND or learning differences reach their full potential. It is hosted by Nasen.

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