The first of a series of exhibition sites – on Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) – launched this week as part of the Education and Training Foundation’s redevelopment and renewal of the Excellence Gateway.
The new site features CPD resources that have been developed as part of a previous Foundation project alongside the Gateway’s most relevant resources including the toolkit for creating accessible resources. The exhibition site also features links to useful websites and to departmental guidance for learning providers on meeting the needs of learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, creating a one-stop shop for providers wanting to improve their practice.
The Children and Families Act set a new legislative framework for children and young people being implemented from 1 September 2014. This creates new responsibilities for FE providers, who will be required to adhere to the new SEND Code of Practice, and admit students if the institution is named in an Education Health and Care Plan (which will replace the Learning Difficulty Assessment).
The Foundation ran a programme between November 2013 and March 2014 aimed at supporting and developing the skills of staff working with learners with learning difficulties or disabilities (based on the RARPA process), and consulted extensively with the sector prior to redeveloping and renewing the resources available on the site.
Alison Boulton, Chief Executive, The Association of National Specialist Colleges (NATSPEC) said “Colleges have a lot to do in a very short time, with new duties to meet from September. They must use their ‘best endeavours’ to meet the needs of all students with learning difficulties or disabilities, with or without an Education Health and Care Plan, and need to think about what this means in practice. It may require a review of assessment, curriculum or personalised support, and further staff training and development. The new focus is on outcomes, in particular employment and living more independently – how will colleges ensure they support students to achieve their goals in these areas?”
As well as RARPA Quick Guides and Toolkits, visitors to the new site can access materials to support the process of review and staff self-evaluation, review learner progress, find advice on how to standardise RARPA across their organisation, and access descriptions of initial approaches to staff development, and some of the CPD approaches that have been developed.
The full redevelopment of the Excellence Gateway will be complete by 31st January 2015. To visit the SEND exhibition site please visit : http://send.excellencegateway.org.uk/
For more information about Recognising and recording progress and achievement (RARPA) please visit: http://www.excellencegateway.org.uk/node/25745
To read the guidance on the new legislative framework set out in The Children and Families Act please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/implementing-the-0-to-25-special-needs-system-further-education
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