SEND support in schools: it’s all a bit of a pickle.

This term has been a massive ridiculous mess of ridiculousness and messiness. The year since March has been insane. I saw a thing on Facebook the other day that read:

January, February March, COVID, Christmas.

It’s not wrong. The year has been pretty pants.

And pretty pants is how I’m feeling about the SEND provision system in England, or as I more accurately write: the gazillions of systems that exist across schools and Local Authorities and Academy Trusts in England because of all the de-centralised fun-ness that is the current policy situation. This comes from working in the system, evaluating and exploring other people’s experiences of the system and supporting kids and families now, through the system.

It’s just a hot mess.

Today, on Twitter, there were a few posts that I read that people’s applications for assessments for EHCPs, or their EHCPs had been rejected. People were having difficulty getting on board with parental requests, schools were having difficulty getting parents on board with their thoughts on how to best support kids.

And even then, once you get everyone singing from the same songsheet, it’s an utter mess of paperwork, and processes and, let’s be real, emotional turmoil to even get your foot in the door for an assessment, to see whether you might perhaps, possibly, maybe meet some arbitrary criteria (set within each Local Authority under the banner of freedom from bureaucracy) for an elusive EHCP.

People are lost in a system that is to top-heavy it’s collapsing and so impenetrable that those at the bottom end (parents, teachers, kids) can’t make head nor tail of how to navigate it.

Anyway, nothing to be said or done, over and above what I’m doing in my not-teaching-at-school roles but it did not half make me cross and sad all at the same time.

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