Recommendation 6 - Supporting Good Assessment
The contents of this page are extracted from our Response to "Rochford Review: Final Report" that was first published in November 2016. The document can be downloaded in its entirety by clicking here.
Inclusion was never fully implemented. The big easy aspects were done – the more able SEND pupils moved into mainstream, special schools were closed etc. but a lot of the other aspects were not addressed. One of these was training, there is a big skills gap in some mainstream schools, especially when it comes to dealing with pupils with SEND. I am not referring to the more common things like Autism training and so on, but the basic understanding of P levels and the expectations of pupils working at significantly lower levels of ability. A SENCo in mainstream often works alone in their school, maybe meeting up with other SENCos for support, but not necessarily receiving the training and support that they need. The importance of SEND in mainstream schools is often low and I am not sure that the inclusion of the SENCo in the Senior Management Team has actually happened in a large number of schools. I am hoping that in the coming years all teachers will receive additional focused training on assessing the development of pupils with SEND.
How Does this Affect B Squared?
Our assessment has always supported teachers working with pupils significantly below age related expectations. Some teachers do not feel confident about setting appropriate work for these pupils. Our assessment frameworks identify appropriate skills for these pupils helping the teacher to confidently plan and deliver lessons that are in line with the topics offered to the rest of the class but with skills that are appropriate to the developmental stage of the pupil with additional needs. This helps to support every pupil’s development.
One of the challenges with the lack of guidance on assessment is that each school can implement their own approach. Freedom has its rewards and its challenges. It will create difficulties when teachers move between schools, as they will need to change their approach. Schools will need to use a system that is easy to understand and use. A system that promotes standardisation helps with moderation both within the school and externally.
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