Developing a deeper understanding of how special educational needs are met within our SEND system, where we have gaps and what can be done to improve inclusion for Children & Young People with EHCPs.
There was a vibrant and purposeful atmosphere at the recent SEND Continuum Event held by Wiltshire Council at County Hall on 12 May 2023. A wide range of stakeholders attended including representatives from mainstream, special and independent schools, health colleagues, providers of alternative provision, Local Authority colleagues involved in supporting young people with SEND and parent/carers and representatives. The aim of this event was to develop a deeper understanding of how special educational needs are met within our SEND system, where we have gaps and what can be done to improve inclusion for Children & Young People with EHCPs.
Young peoples' experiences and parent/carer voice were central to the day, informing our thinking. We heard a father's moving account of the journey of his son who is now a successful university student and sportsman and watched a video of his son giving us his views. A range of other young people and parents' perspectives were captured in video and audio clips as well as via written contributions. All contributors were asked to respond to the following prompts:
- tell us about your education now and what's working for you
- tell us about your experience/s of education in the past, what didn't work so well and what might have made a difference for you
- what would be your key message to people in Wiltshire who organise education for young people like you?
All participants actively worked together to think about key issues and potential solutions which were woven into a graphic representation throughout the day.
A draft development plan will be shared with everyone who attended for comments so that next steps can be actioned.
A comment from an Alternative Provision Provider:
It was great to meet people from all corners of SEND and AP that share the same core values and goals for the young people we support.
Quote from a health colleague attendee:
Hearing from parents and young people was very powerful and gave useful insight into planning service developments.
An independent special school head teacher who attended said:
It was great to put faces to email addresses and just having a whole room of passionate educators that really want to make a difference felt so positive.
For more ways to get involved and have your voice heard please visit our Getting Involved page.