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Confidence through competence

Real Training - How to carry out a SEND Review using the latest online training

Whole School SEND's Online SEND Reviewer Training, powered by Real Training 

SEND Reviewer training, is now accessible online, but why should you train to undertake a SEND Review using the Whole School SEND Review tool and what is the purpose of a SEND Review? 

What is the purpose of a SEND Review? Any school is able to commission or undertake a Whole School SEND Review in order to evaluate the effectiveness of its provision for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities. This includes mainstream schools, alternative provisions and specialist settings. A SEND review should help to ensure that all children, in all educational settings, achieve their very best, including the knowledge, skills and qualifications that they need for successful transition into adulthood, further education and employment. 

This evaluation of provision effectiveness is a collaborative process of inquiry which identifies strengths, areas for development, and importantly, next steps. The findings from SEND reviews will play a crucial role in helping improve SEND provision and strategy, so that learners are appropriately supported to achieve good outcomes. 

A SEND Review is

  • Focused on self-evaluation 
  • A practitioner-led process developed through collaboration 
  • Powered by peer-to-peer support 
  • Non-confrontational 

A SEND Review is not

  • An Ofsted inspection 
  • To review the capacity of the SENCo 
  • About gathering evidence against anyone 
  • A judgement of any kind

The review process is detail-oriented and normally takes two to three days. This includes the preparatory work before going into the school, the time needed to collect evidence during the school visit, and the report writing and feedback that takes place after the review. Many schools will establish an ongoing relationship with their reviewer who can provide follow-up support and advice. Bear in mind that the timescale for a review would normally be two to three weeks from preparation to reporting.  

A SEND review should be led by an experienced, independent system leader who has a track record of improving outcomes for pupils with SEND. Having said that, being an experienced leader does not necessarily guarantee fool proof confidence in contributing to this process. Even experienced leaders will benefit from appropriate training in carrying out SEND Reviews.

SEND Reviewer Training, now online 

Since 2018, Whole School SEND has delivered in-person SEND Reviewer Training to SENCos and SEN leaders working in educational settings, looking for the necessary tools to work through the various stages of SEND reviews. This training takes attendees through the stages needed to prepare for the review, carry out the SEND review itself and feedback the outcomes of the review with confidence. 

Of course, the time constraints of education professionals, together with present, COVID-19 circumstances may present a barrier to undertaking SEND Reviewer Training. For this reason, Whole School SEND has partnered with Real Training to provide a freely-available Online SEND Reviewer Training course which translates the SEND Reviewer Training content into an accessible, fully-online course that supports delegates to engage constructively together in SEND Reviews. 

The benefits of this peer-reviewing together with self-evaluation and reflective practice are widely known and well understood. However, the successful implementation of these approaches can be challenging to achieve in practice. By enrolling in this course, you will commit to improving your confidence in overcoming these challenges, while taking a positive step towards improving SEND provision, within your setting and beyond.

What will you gain from completing this course?  

By the end of the course, delegates will have completed a Whole School SEND Review (either face-to-face or virtually, depending on COVID restrictions) as both SEND Review Host and Peer Reviewer. You will have shared best practice and exchanged feedback on other delegates’ SEND Reviews. This training will help you to identify and respond to any gaps in the training and resources available to schools, while building your confidence in carrying out effective reviews. 

Furthermore, on completion of your course activities, you will:   

  • Understand the aims of the SEND Review process 
  • Engage in communities of practice – self-sustaining professional communities supporting each other to raise attainment for all 
  • Use the Review to drive school Improvement 
  • Confidently and effectively execute the 6 stages of the SEND Review process 
  • Pair with another participant based on your declared support needs, known as a ‘SEND Professional Partner’, to train together online, and subsequently to undertake the school reviews together 

You may be brand new to your role as a SEN professional and looking to take the first steps in understanding the process of reviews. Alternatively, you may be experienced, but not ‘expert’, meaning that you have a firm grasp on the review process, but not enough confidence in executing it. Perhaps there is a certain type of school that you have yet to review, and you would like to engage in learning and collaboration to improve your readiness in reviewing this setting. If so, this course is for you.  

Whether you are new to your role or an experienced specialist education professional, this training, tailored to a wide range of confidence levels, will help you to maximise your positive impact in the SEND Review process.