Considering how much time trustees and governors spend volunteering to support schools, it is clear they care about getting it right for all children, including those with SEND (special educational needs and/or disabilities). It is therefore puzzling that in some schools the strategic decisions made at board level do not always result in making the school more inclusive.
Think SEND! is a concept designed to avoid the unintended consequences of board decisions and to ensure that SEND remains the responsibility of all board members. Sometimes, boards may abdicate their general responsibilities for SEND because they feel the SEND governor/trustee has that responsibility. This can result in the wider board focusing their strategic decision-making on pupils without SEND, while the SEND governor/trustee finds themselves a lone voice in advocating for pupils with SEND.
In this article, first featured in NGA’s Governing Matters membership magazine, chief executive of nasen, Professor Adam Boddison, talks about adopting the principle of thinking about SEND in all decisions to benefit everyone in the school.
The article covers:
- collective responsibility - designing an inclusive system
- considering SEND in all decisions
- thinking ahead to minimise the adverse impact of decisions