On Friday 7th June I attended a meeting with the Inclusion and Learning Services team within Sheffield City Council Educational Department to discuss concerns around the safeguarding, EHCP, learning, stress plans and Risk Assessments of several pupils within the Sheffield Hallam school district.
A number of cases were discussed prioritising the needs and best interests of the child while maintaining communication with parents and families.
After consulting the team about how I can help to ensure Special Educational Needs are met it was clear that there are multiple issues inhibiting the learning and development of SEN pupils. For example, the funding of Special Educational Needs including the outdated Pupil Premium formulae.
Additionally, the school inspection process can lead to schools and teachers feeling under too much pressure to meet targets. It is possible that inspections focus too much on analysing the performance of the school over the progress of SEN pupils.
Following this, I now intend to put pressure on the government on behalf of Sheffield City Council to enact meaningful reforms. Our potential strategies moving forward include:
• More Hubs in main stream schools
• Upgrading technology to match specific needs of SEN children
• Proactive working with Heads, with early intervention and integrated resources.
Special Education Needs campaigns are particularly close to my heart given my own disabilities and intend to continue to press this issue in Westminster moving forward.