Your views sought on proposed changes to specialist teaching
Buckinghamshire Council has launched a consultation on how it delivers specialist teaching and is keen to hear from individuals, families, schools and other education organisations on the proposed changes.
Specialist teachers are part of the council’s Integrated SEND Service and provide educational support and assistance to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) across Buckinghamshire.
Currently specialist teachers deliver only to children and young people with an EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan). Under the new proposals, specialist teacher advice would benefit more children and young people with SEND, including those who do not have an ECHP. New and varied ways of providing support would also be available.
Anita Cranmer, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services said: “We want to make it absolutely clear from the outset, this consultation is not about proposing cuts or reductions to our specialist teaching resource. However, we know that there are many children and young people in the county who might benefit from support that is currently not available to them under our existing system. By altering the way we work, we hope to provide support to a greater number of children and young people, to ensure that all are given the opportunity to access high quality education and achieve the best outcomes.”
In addition to providing support to a greater number of children and young people, the proposed changes are designed to introduce a new and improved approach to specialist teaching that builds on research and best practice examples from elsewhere in the country and makes the best use of the resources available.
Specialist teachers support children and young people with a range of needs. This consultation applies specifically to teachers who work with pupils with:
• Autism and language needs
• Difficulties with understanding, including Downs Syndrome and specific learning difficulties
• Physical difficulties
The proposed changes do not cover specialist teaching for children and young people with sensory impairments including hearing, visual or multi-sensory impairments.
The consultation will run from Monday 8 November until Sunday 19 December. Anyone with an interest in SEND is invited to take part. A number of online consultation events have been arranged for people to find out more information and ask questions. These take place on:
• Tuesday 16 November, 7pm to 8pm
• Tuesday 23 November, 11.30am to 12.30pm
• Friday 26 November, 11am to 12pm
To attend one of these events please email: email@example.com or phone: 0300 131 6000.
Anita Cranmer continued: “It is really important that we hear what everyone has to say on this topic. We have worked closely with partner organisations to develop these proposals but we need to fully understand what people think about them and how they might work. Our ultimate aim is to support all our children and young people in their education, helping them to thrive and giving tailored and appropriate support when and where it is needed.”
To take part in the consultation visit our website https://yourvoicebucks.citizenspace.com/schools/specialist-teaching-2021/. Paper copies of the consultation are available on request. To receive a paper copy contact firstname.lastname@example.org