The Tes SEN Show: Promoting access and inclusion for pupils with SEN


With special educational needs taking centre stage at the Tes SEN Show, which of the many seminars should those in attendance pay special attention too?

As Tradewind Recruitment will be in attendance at this year’s event, we’ve taken a closer look at the key topics that the various industry experts will discuss.

From the latest developments in SEN to new regulations, every workshop will seek to address the issues that are of pivotal importance in the current education system.

On Friday 5 October, Phil Snell, associate for the early years, and Philippa Stobbs, assistant director, Council for Disabled Children will discuss ways of promoting access and inclusion for young people with SEN and disabilities.

While the talk will be particularly useful for those looking to follow the Early Years Foundation Stage guidance on standards, many of the ideas are relevant for all teaching staff.

Part of the discussion will focus on access and inclusion following the introduction of the 30 hours entitlement for three and four-year-old children of working parents.

Many of the conclusions in the seminar come from a Department for Education funded project, while the pair will also seek to review the barriers and solutions that influence how young people can access and be included in the early years entitlement.

By adopting personalised approaches, teaching staff can help to ensure that young people with SEN have a greater chance of achieving their potential.

Childcare entitlement

Parents can access 30 hours of free childcare if they fulfil a set of criteria relating to earnings, working hours and other factors.

Designed to support working families across England, the allowance is provided for 38 weeks, meaning 1,140 hours per year can be used.

The entitlement is available for full day care such as nurseries, as well as at schools or with childminders, at session providers such as playgroups, after-school clubs and at Sure Start Children’s Centres.

The support relates to studies from the early 2000s that revealed that families of disabled children were two and a half times more likely to have no parent working, with the need for care listed as a major contributory factor.

The regulation

Under the Equality Act 2010, schools must produce accessibility plans for pupils with SEN, designed to ensure that they can participate as fully as possible in the curriculum.

This includes alterations to the physical school environment, as all children with SEND and their families are entitled to equal access to services, regardless of religion, linguistic background, ethnic origin, gender, culture, disability or sexual orientation.

The importance of accessible information

Improving access to information is key, as it should be both readily accessible and easy to understand, therefore ensuring that pupils with SEN are not put at too great a disadvantage.

There is, therefore, a need to promote existing materials and guidance that relate to SEN, while all teaching staff should be made aware of where to locate specialist support.

Ultimately, by focusing on inclusive practices and by removing potential barriers to learning, the learning environment can be improved and pupils can benefit.

We look forward to hearing what Phil and Philippa have to say on the topic. Meanwhile, if you’re visiting the Tes SEN Show this year, you’ll find us at Stall 119 – come and say hi!