Inspiring Futures through Learning (IFtL) has outlined its approach to ensuring that the individual ambition and potential of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) is achieved through targeted support.
A new SEND Strategy is being embedded across IFtL and its 15 schools in Milton Keynes and Corby alongside a comprehensive processes and procedures toolkit which underpins the strategy. Developed in collaboration with SENDCos throughout IFtL, and informed by visits to local special schools and consulting with specialist school leaders, the IFtL SEND Strategy outlines ten key ambitions and principles.
- Everyone is a teacher of SEND.
- Relationships are at the heart of everything we do.
- Excellent teachers and high-quality teaching.
- Celebrate and promote an equitable and diverse community.
- High ambitions including access to a broad, balanced and rich curricula.
- Ambitious progress and outcomes.
- Independent and able to make informed decisions about their futures.
- Fully prepared for the next stage of education and ultimately life.
- Quality professional development for all staff.
- Working skilfully together including with external experts, including the social care and health team.
“At IFtL, we believe in ambitious progress and outcomes for all our young people and this relies on the strength of our schools investing in excellent teachers for every learner with SEND to reach their potential,” explained Kim Kemp, IFtL Head of Quality Assurance and Headteacher at Woodnewton – A Learning Community in Corby, who oversaw the development of the IFtL SEND Strategy and its principles for ‘Every Learner Championed’.
“It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that every SEND learner is valued and receives the best across all areas of school and wider life. This strategy is about putting in the right support in the right place, at the right time. Continuously developing the skills, knowledge and evidence-based research for all our staff and roles is key to ensuring all staff are equipped to provide the best for all our learners with SEND. Leaders across IFtL, including local governors and Trustees, provide astute and insightful challenge to ensure the quality of education enables all learners, including those with SEND, to excel.
“Thanks to Lesley Elder, Headteacher at Fairfields School in Northampton, and Jessie Walker, Headteacher at Maplefields Academy in Corby, for their support and knowledge sharing as part of launch events with IFtL Heads and SENDCos.”
Inclusion and SEND underpin IFtL’s equality objectives – and embedding a SEND strategy features in IFtL’s Strategic Plan for 2022-25 under its Strong Schools strand. The SEND ambition provides a comprehensive approach to supporting children with cognition and learning difficulties, social, emotional and/or mental health needs, communication and interaction needs, and sensory and/or physical needs.
“By embedding this coherent and effective SEND Strategy, we will achieve our vision and values and tirelessly strive to provide accessible, equitable, aspirational opportunities for all our young people,” said IFtL CEO Sarah Bennett, who was formerly a school SENDCo.
“All our schools will deliver high standards across all areas of the curriculum which includes engaging, adaptive, evidence based and rewarding lessons that build rich learner knowledge for life. This will enable our SEND learners to flourish and promote the creation of ambitious, lifelong learners within a positive learning inclusive culture.”
Training around the new IFtL SEND Strategy has also been undertaken with Heads, SENDCOs, Trustees and governors.