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Supporting Alfie: Implementing the SEND Code of Practice

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Introduction: Supporting Alfie: Implementing the SEND Code of Practice

This business report aims to focus on the prescribed case study of Alfie. Alfie is a five years old boy, who has been diagnosed with ASD or Autism Spectrum Disorder, Dyspraxia or DCD, or Development and coordination disorder or DCD. Apart from that, Alfie is also diagnosed with several other neurological disorders or complex needs. Considering the case scenario, it has been seen Alfie is non-verbal and has disabilities like communicating by any form of language, unable to withstand noise, and excessive sounds. In the classroom program, it is often seen that Alfie used to face difficulty concentrating on his work, and used to be violent towards himself or others. Additionally, the case scenario also states that Alfie has difficulties doing regular activities, like brushing his teeth, eating, or dressing. As a result, these incapabilities, actually make Alfie mentally distressed, which in turn impacts the cognitive behavioural approach of the concerned individual, negatively. According to the case scenario, Alfie and his family used to receive support from various professionals, like CAMHS or Child and Adult Mental Health Service, The continence Tean, and the Paediatrician. Speech and Language therapists. Considering the entire case scenario of Alfie, SEN can be included as inclusion criteria, to meet their need for Alfie. Additionally, to address the specific needs of the concerned individual and his family, SEND Code Of Practice can also be included at the professional level. More specifically, SEND Code of Practice has been set up to offer proper guidelines to the organization, and those who have to work with and used to offer support to children or young people with specific needs. In this report, the focus will solely be given to the legislative practices, with which professionals can provide early-year settings and supports to children with needs.

Discussion

Legislation

SEND Code of Practice or Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice can be defined as the regulation or guidance for the professionals and organisations who work for and provide support to children and young people with special education needs within the age range of 0-25 years. More specifically, this regulation includes statutory guidelines for the academic institutions and schools, and local authorities to fulfil the special educational needs and disabilities of the children. This Code of Practice used to includes the regulations like: The children and Families Act, of 2014, The Equality Act, of 2010, and the Special Education Needs and Disability Regulation, of 2014. As per the SEN, “a child if he or she has learning difficulty or disabilities, which can be referred as the special educational needs, specifical provision should be made for that concern individual” (Castro-Kemp & Samuels, 2022). This regulation also includes the criteria, based on which professionals can include the care process under the inclusion of SEND Code of Practice. According to the SEN guidelines,

A child with compulsory school age can be identified as she or he has learning difficulties and disabilities when he or she:

  1. Has significant difficulties learning that others of the same age or

  2. Has significant disabilities which prevent on hinder him or her from making use of facilities

This code of practice also includes other four broad areas to provide an overview of the range of needs that any educational institution or school should follow to provide basic education to the children like Alfie. More specifically, if the focus has been given to the case scenario of Alfie, it can be seen that Alfie is a five-years-old boy, who has just started the receive mainstream education, besides he is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum disorder, Development, and co-ordination disorder or DCD, Epilepsy and other neurological diseases (Cowell, 2016). Considering his approach to doing regular activities at school, it can be seen that Alfie is struggling with doing his duties in a classroom environment. And often he is becoming fliting between activities which makes him frustrated, aggressive, and violent towards himself and his surrounding people. He has difficulties to be socialized or communicating with other children of his age. So, considering this scenario, it can be stated that the inclusion of SEND code of practice is essential in the organizational setup for Alfie. It includes communication and interaction practices which in turn incorporate the students like Alfie who has language., speech and communication needs or SLCN and used to face difficulties communicating with people (Crane et al., 2022).

Additionally, when it comes to offering professional help and early year setting and supports to Alfie and his family, as per the SEND Code of Practice, the focus must be given to the cognition and learning process (Curran, 2019). This includes children who have learning disabilities or special learning difficulties due to dyspraxia or dyslexia. In SEND inclusion practice, Alfie is also appropriate to include due to his sensory needs. According to the Case Scenario, Alfie has a sensitivity to the sound- or he cannot bear excessive sound. And thus he used to lack his concentration on his activities in classroom activities (Curran & Boddison, 2021). Additionally, Alfie has difficulties communicating with people by using any communication language.

SEND Code of Practice

As discussed earlier in this report, SEND Code of practice can be defined as statutory guidance for those organisations, that work with and for children with disabilities and special needs. With this code of practice, it can be ensured that children with special educational needs can access fair education, irrespective of their disabilities or special learning abilities. Though this code of practice is not a legal document, it contains legal requirements and statutory guidance, which are based on the Children and Family Act, 2014, Equality Act, 2010 and the Special Education Needs and Disability Regulation, 2014 (Dimitrellou, & Male, 2020). Under this Code of practice, the Department for Education, UK or DfE used to encourages schools, academic institutions, nurses and caregivers as well as healthcare professionals in the UK to obey the proper practice guideline to make sure that their behavioural approach and practice proforma towards children with disabilities are inclusive and diverse.

As education professionals, it seems to be important to follow the legal guidelines and requirements mentioned in SEND code of Practices without any exception and should abide by the statutory guideline of the UK government unless there is a strong scenario (Hellawell, 2017).

According to the case scenario of Alfie, it can be stated that, as per the types of disabilities, Alfie can be categorised as an SEN child or a child with special educational needs. Often when there is a scope of approaching or implementing code at practice set-up, the terms SEND and SEN use interchangeably. SEND is used to refer the children who have special educational needs and disabilities like Alfie (Hellawell, 2018). On the other hand, SEN refers to those children who have special educational needs but the child doesn't need to have any disabilities. Therefore, considering the case scenario of Alfie, the five years old boy with special educational needs and multiple neurological disorders must come under the SEND (Hellawell, 2019). And SEND Code of Practice, 2014 should be followed by the caregivers and other educational professionals when it comes to offering basic or foundational education to him.

Assessing and supporting a child’s individual needs

Prior an in-depth analysis of the case scenario of Alfie has been carried out. Based on the case scenario and the con concept related to SEND Code of Practice, it can be stated that every child with specific educational needs and disabilities is entitled to an appropriate education. On the other hand, based on the Equality Act, of 2010 and SEND Code of Practice, of 2015, every school or academic institution are liable to identify and address the SEN of the students that they support (Powell, 2019). To acquire this aim, the foremost principles, that school of Alfie and his healthcare professionals should be obligated to:

  1. ensure the children, like Alfie with the SEN, must have to be engaged in activities of school or classroom program, besides his difficulties maintaining concentration in a classroom environment (Send code of practice: Caring for special educational needs and disabled people. Learning Journals. 2021)

  2. A teach or responsible early year setting practitioner should be allocated for Alfie who will be responsible to coordinate the child with SEN provision, SEN co-ordinators or SENCO (Tutt & Williams, 2015)

  3. Here another important inclusion is to involve the parents of Alfie when it comes to offering special educational needs to the concerned individual.

  4. Another important responsibility of the Concerned authorities in terms of Alfie will be, the concerned professionals, who are responsible to offer necessary support to Alfie and his family member, an SEN information report should be prepared and arrangements should be set up by school authorities to ease the admission process of the disabled children. In this scenario, steps should be taken to prevent disabled children or children like Alfie with special educational needs from being treated less favourably concerning others.

  5. SEN children should also be identified as professionals on the SEN register through the provision mapping process.

  6. Most importantly, as per the SEND code of practice, the professionals who are responsible to provide care and support to children with special educational needs and disabilities like Alfie, should take proper training related to how to make a plan to offer early care setting approach and supports to those children with special needs.

Inclusion

Considering the case scenario, it can be stated that every child has the right to fair education, irrespective of the ability of the children. Though this is not only important in the case of education, but also important for society to meet the special needs of the disabilities, and make these children included and equal within society (Watts, 2022). Therefore, at school or in an early day-care setting, the teachers and professionals should be well-versed in the needs of children like Alfie and should understand the way to cater to their needs. This scenario or inclusion plan can help children like Alfie to develop cognitive behavioural approaches and feel confident in their own abilities. According to (Warnes, Done & Knowler, 2022), every child with SEND needs to provide the same consideration as other children and provide equal opportunities. As per the case scenario, Alfie has a learning disability as well as a communication problem and sound sensitivity. More specifically, it seems to be difficult for Alfie to withstand the excess sound, which restricts him to concentrate on his work. In the classroom environment, Alfie found it difficult to do his work, which made him aggressive towards others. In such a scenario, as per the SEND code of Practice, the school authorities will not be liable to restrict Alfie from accessing basic education from mainstream school or to be socialised with other children of his age within the school.

The inclusion plan for Alfie

One of the important principles of SEND code of practice is to underpin the code by the educational professional. As the early-year practitioner for Alfie, it should be important to encourage him to be actively involved in classroom activities. Besides the lack of a cognitive behavioural approach or difficulties communicating or being socialised with other children of his age, Alfie should be encouraged to take part in team activities (Dimitrello & Male, 2020). To provide support to Alfie, the early year practitioner must follow the collaborative approach between the health, education and social care services, ad organisations to provide the best scope for adulthood to Alfie.

Another important early-year educational plan for Alfie should be to create a supportive as well as positive environment without any exception. More specifically, as an early care practitioner, it should be important to underpin a positive and supportive environment for every student within the school's policies, culture and practices (Castro-Kemp & Samuels, 2022). Here a consistent and positive behavioural approach should be maintained between the education professionals and students like Alfie throughout the classroom program. In such a scenario, the following strategic approaches can be followed:

  1. Actively promoting the wellbeing of the students: here the focus can be given to the use of explicit teaching programs or strategies to ensure the mental health and wellbeing of the children with special educational needs and disabilities like Alfie as well as other students (as per statutory health curriculum requirements) (Crane et al. 2022). The introduction of a class-feeling board can be another approach, where the educational professional or other professionals who are associated with the well-being management process Alfie can engage him with the class’ daily routine, where Alfie can get a chance to state his feelings towards the classroom program. Here every child, including Alfie can get a chance to express their emotional mindset by attaching their name or photographs to the class chart that contains different feelings. This can help Alfie, who has a problem communicating every with language tools, in terms of expressing his emotion in a visual way. It can indicate how to work with Alfie or how to modify the care plan for him to provide the best-fitted mental health and well-being support to him.

  2. Developing positive relationships- prioritising, modelling, and encouraging positive relationships is another important strategy to support the SEND children. Many children with special educational needs and disabilities used to face incidence like a bully, and isolation when they try to access education from mainstream schools (Curran, 2019). In such a scenario, the early daycare practitioner should maintain a positive attitude to difference and support Alfie with social difficulties. A close friendship is an extremely important tactic with which, the professional can easily communicate with Alfie.

  3. Communication with parents- while it comes to offering the best mental health care and support to Alfie, along with easy access to education from mainstream school, communication and engagement of parents within the program is important. When working with the child with SEND, knowledge-sharing and keeping lines of interaction open can help the professional to support the child most effectively. Open communication with parents of Alfie can help healthcare and educational professionals to understand strengths and difficulties of Alfie (Hellawell, 2017). This can also be defined as the statutory duty of communication with parents of the children with SEND to ensure positive outcomes in the well-being process.

Conclusion

To conclude this report, it can be stated that SEND Code of Practice is an important legal inclusion to support children with special learning needs and disabilities. In this report, the primary focus has been given to the case scenario of Alfie, who is a five-year-old boy who started to access fundamental education from mainstream school. The case scenario also shows that Alfie can be categorised as SEND child with learning disabilities and multiple other disorders, for which he needs a proper educational and care plan. In this report, the focus has been completely given to SEND code of practice and how to apply this practice in real time.

References

Castro-Kemp, S., & Samuels, A. (2022). Working together: A review of cross-sector collaborative practices in provision for children with special educational needs and disabilities. Research in Developmental Disabilities120, 104127.https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0891422221002766

Cowell, N. (2016). The SEND Code of Practice 0–25 years: policy, provision and practice.https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=OiOJCwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=%220+25+years%22+send+code&ots=XuFnedZBXT&sig=kX4pKuvBHsH3jGscaEn27Q0gYdo

Crane, L., Davies, J., Fritz, A., O’Brien, S., Worsley, A., & Remington, A. (2022). Autistic young people’s experiences of transitioning to adulthood following the Children and Families Act 2014. British Educational Research Journal48(1), 22-48.https://bera-journals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/berj.3753

Curran, H. (2019). ‘The SEND Code of Practice has given me clout’: a phenomenological study illustrating how SENCos managed the introduction of the SEND reforms. British Journal of Special Education46(1), 76-93.

Curran, H., & Boddison, A. (2021). ‘It's the best job in the world, but one of the hardest, loneliest, most misunderstood roles in a school.’Understanding the complexity of the SENCO role post?SEND reform. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs21(1), 39-48.https://wrap.warwick.ac.uk/87432/1/WRAP_cedar-300317-wrap_-cedar_review.pdf

Dimitrellou, E., & Male, D. (2020). Understanding what makes a positive school experience for pupils with SEND: can their voices inform inclusive practice?. Journal of research in special educational needs20(2), 87-96.https://nasenjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1471-3802.12457

Hellawell, B. (2017). A review of parent–professional partnerships and some new obligations and concerns arising from the introduction of the SEND Code of Practice 2015. British Journal of Special Education44(4), 411-430.

Hellawell, B. (2018). Understanding and challenging the SEND Code of Practice. Understanding and Challenging the SEND Code of Practice, 1-176.https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00071005.2017.1363374

Hellawell, B. (2019). An ethical audit of the SEND CoP 2015: professional partnership working and the division of ethical labour. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs19(1), 15-26.https://www.torrossa.com/gs/resourceProxy?an=5018864&publisher=FZ7200

Powell, L. (2019.). The send code of practice: What, why and how? Inside Government Blog. Retrieved March 8, 2023, from https://blog.insidegovernment.co.uk/schools/send-code-of-practice

Send code of practice: Caring for special educational needs and disabled people. Learning Journals. (2021, June 29). Retrieved March 8, 2023, from https://learningjournals.co.uk/send-code-of-practice/

Tutt, R., & Williams, P. (2015). The SEND code of practice 0-25 years: Policy, provision and practice. Sage. https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=OiOJCwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=SEND+Code+of+practices&ots=XuFnedZzYQ&sig=10fcKX4Wh08NncF8DRkx1qwtT3w&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=SEND%20Code%20of%20practices&f=false

Warnes, E., Done, E. J., & Knowler, H. (2022). Mainstream teachers’ concerns about inclusive education for children with special educational needs and disability in England under pre?pandemic conditions. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs22(1), 31-43.https://nasenjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1471-3802.12525

Watts, C. (2022, September 30). Supporting pupils with Sen in the classroom: Guidance for teachers. The Hub | High Speed Training. Retrieved March 8, 2023, from https://www.highspeedtraining.co.uk/hub/supporting-pupils-with-sen-in-the-classroom

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