As an extended school, Chesnut Lodge School in Halton provides inclusive after-school and holiday provision for children with additional needs and mainstream children. Heather Austin, their deputy head, explores why it has been a success

With 20% of children leaving school with lower than expected literacy levels, additional support is needed. Reading Recovery, a reading intervention programme developed in 1993, offers exactly that, say Rebecca Jenkin and Isobel Goss

Sound is now an integral part of the sensory environments that exist in many special schools, and the latest technology involved encourages interaction, stimulation and feedback

Are pupils with special educational needs receiving the level of music provision they ought, as LAs and schools are getting more money for it than ever before?

Louise Coigley enhances and develops the communication of SEN children and adults through inclusive storytelling. Michael Jones describes seeing her in action

Following the government’s rejection of the recommendation that the link between assessment of children’s SEN and funding for their provision be broken, John Wright discusses the reaction of the select committee who proposed the change

Michael Farrell considers a wide range of provision for pupils with development coordination disorder, or dyspraxia

Michael Farrell considers provision for pupils with moderate learning difficulties (MLD)

Special education consultant Michael Farrell considers provision for pupils with severe learning difficulties (SLD)

It all depends on the SEN and disability discrimination regimes. David Ruebain, Chris Barnett and David Wolfe examine a recent case that sets out some limits

Consultant Harriet Goodman describes two years’ work with staff at New Rush Hall special school to help build even more reflective practice

Who gets the final say in deciding when a statement of SEN comes to an end? David Ruebain, Chris Barnett and David Wolfe unravel a complex new case

Pauline Holbrook, national inclusion coordinator for the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, talks to SENCO Update about the nature and role of specialist SEN schools and gives advice on how to make the most of the expertise within them and the services they provide

A recent Ofsted survey of 28 good or outstanding PRUs sought to identify what contributes to effective practice. It also reveals some of the barriers to it, including insufficient data from schools and LAs and inadequate decisions about long-term placement

The Reading Recovery programme has established a reputation as an effective intervention for pupils at risk of failing to learn to read. A new research review examines its strengths and weaknesses

Sarah Whitehead describes a project that she undertook as part of a postgraduate professional development course for SENCOs. She highlights the value of having time for systematic professional reflection, and how this can be used to good effect when introducing ‘Catch Up’, an intervention designed to support reading development

Sal McKeown looks at some of the implications of the renewed primary Framework for those working with children with special educational needs

Gross motor skills are the movements of the large muscles of the body. These activities will help to develop and improve gross motor skills.

Pragmatics refers to the ability to communicate in social situations. These classroom activities will help all children to develop social communication skills.

Michael Farrell looks at a number of different areas in which special provision is needed

A research study on tackling low achievement suggests that children with special educational needs form a large percentage of low achievers but more could be done to assist them through their schooling

A new report considers why some children who did well at Key Stage 1 do not maintain the same rate of progress at Key Stage 2

Special education consultant Michael Farrell considers provision for pupils with orthopaedic impairments and motor disorders

The curriculum review section of most direct interest to SENCOs concerns organising the curriculum. SENCO Update reports

New research evaluates how effectively Sure Start programmes help children with special needs and disabilities

Inclusion of SEN students requires lots of involvement from teaching assistants. Enid Alston introduces a new training course designed to help

This article examines the role of the learning mentor and how they can be deployed in the school for the benefit of the whole learning community. David Morley reports

Many SENCOs in primary schools also have a designated responsibility for G&T children. New guidance should ensure that effective provision for this group of children is in place. It may also help clarify whether or not SENCOs can be expected to take primary responsibility for this task

The 2020 Vision report calls for personalised learning to be designed to reduce the ‘persistent and unacceptable gaps in average attainment between different groups of pupils’.

Linda Evans suggests how SENCOs can plan and deliver training on subjects which feature prominently in the role of most teaching assistants (TAs)

ICT can enhance opportunities for inclusive learning. However, getting the right ICT tools in place to support this process can be a daunting prospect. In this article Gerald Haigh, in conversation with SENCOs, shows what is possible and argues that simple innovations tailored to individual needs often work best.

QUESTION: What considerations should we apply when considering permanent exclusion of a pupil with special educational needs?

This series of classroom activities will be useful for SENCOs, teachers, assistants and mentors. Each page focuses on a different skill set – from spatial awareness to visual discrimination to semantic knowledge

The government’s 10-year strategy for childcare, Choice for parents, the best start for children, promised to establish a single coherent development and learning framework for all young children from birth to the age of five. The DfES is currently consulting on the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), which provides that framework.

This month’s professional update summarises the requirements of the Disability Equality Duty (DED) for the public sector and outlines the steps that schools, colleges and local authorities will need to take to ensure that they comply with new legislative requirements.

Many SENCOs, though aware of the benefits of ICT, are a bit wary of its complexities. Gerald Haigh provides a user-friendly guide

The Special Educational Needs Regional Partnerships (SEN RPs) have made a substantial and marked contribution to the government’s agenda regarding provision for pupils with SEN, according to a report* from the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER).

Researchers based at the University of Bristol are examining the support for children with complex communication needs – in both mainstream and special schools – to express their views and make decisions for themselves.

The Manifesto for Education Outside the Classroom promotes high-quality outdoor learning experiences to support cognitive skills and aid personal development – gardening fits the bill, says Dr Susan Johnson

What duty of care does a school educational psychologist owe a pupil and, if the psychologist is negligent, what damages will the LEA be liable for?

When does an LEA education officer owe a duty of care to pupils? How far does this duty extend? Michael Segal looks at important new case law.

The National Autistic Society has developed a flexible learning programme for schools.

Dr Steve Rayner (School of Education, University of Birmingham) explores recent criticisms of the use of learning styles in education, arguing that they are, when used in well-considered ways, an essential feature of personalised learning.

A Summary of DfES Statistical First Release – SFR 42/2005 (September 2005) indicates that in January 2005 nearly 8.3 million pupils attended 25,300 maintained and independent schools in England. Ninety-one percent of pupils were taught in maintained nursery, primary and secondary schools; 7% of pupils attended independent schools; 1% of pupils attended maintained and non-maintained special schools. Overall numbers for each type of placement are listed below:

The DfES is currently undertaking a consultation about the development of quality standards for SEN support and outreach services with a strong focus on strengthening inclusion.

In their report Serious Play: an Evaluation of Arts Activities in Pupil Referral Units and Learning Support Units, Wilkin, Gulliver and Kinder (2005) review the work of seven arts projects (four PRU based and three LSU based) that have taken place in recent years.

In its evidence to the SEN inquiry, the charity I CAN calls for a three-pronged strategic programme to actively support children’s speech and language development, comprising:

A recently published review of external SEN support for schools in England highlights variations in both the quality and quantity of services across the country. The review, carried out by Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMI) also makes a number of recommendations, describes features of effective practice and outlines standards that can be used to identify and develop such practice.

Education for young people in secure settings is undergoing radical change. Further work is being undertaken to ensure that educational opportunities in custody are comparable to those in the community.

A unique combination of sound and touch is bringing a whole new world of teaching opportunities into both special needs and mainstream education.

The recently published report Inclusion: the Impact of LEA Support and Outreach Services (July 2005) summarises a review, undertaken by Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMI) of the quality of external special educational needs (SEN) support available to schools in English LEAs.

NASEN, QCA and the University of Cambridge have collaborated to produce advice and guidance on using and moderating the P scales.

Category: