The Importance of SEND Network Meetings

by | Oct 4, 2023

Ahoy, my fellow SENCO shipmates! As we navigate the vast seas of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) provisions, there’s nothing quite like a good old SEND network meeting to anchor us. It’s akin to meeting up with fellow sailors to exchange sea tales, maps, and occasionally, a pirate joke or two (no parrots, sadly). But, shenanigans aside, let’s embark on a voyage to understand the significance of these meetings and how they shape the ever-evolving SEND landscape.

 

 

What are SEND Network Meetings?

 

SEND network meetings are gatherings of SENCOs and other professionals engaged in the SEND domain. These meetings can be organised within a local authority, across a trust, or informally between neighbouring schools.  SENsible SENCO runs a weekly network meeting for SENCOs across the country to dip into.

 

Primary Objectives

 

  1. Information Exchange: Sharing latest legislative changes, best practices, and resources.

 

  1. Moderation: Ensuring a consistent approach for a LA or cluster in assessing and providing for students’ needs across different settings.

 

  1. Support: A platform for SENCOs to share challenges, seek advice, and lean on their peers for emotional and professional support.

 

Strengthening SEND Provisions through Meetings

 

Network meetings play a pivotal role in fortifying SEND provisions in various ways:

 

Unified Approach

 

SEND provisions can differ significantly between settings. Regular meetings ensure that all institutions have a shared understanding, leading to a more unified approach in support and resource allocation.

 

Resource Pooling

 

With budgets always a hot topic (and not just because we’d rather spend it on tea and biscuits), these meetings can facilitate the sharing or pooling of resources between schools. This might include joint training sessions, shared interventions, or even collective purchasing to get better deals on essential materials.

 

Professional Development

 

SEND network meetings often serve as mini professional development sessions. SENCOs can learn about the latest intervention strategies, technologies, and educational theories, ensuring that they remain at the forefront of SEND best practices.

 

Supporting the SENCOs: Beyond the Professional Role

 

It’s not just about resources and strategies. SEND network meetings play a crucial role in the wellbeing of SENCOs too.

 

Emotional Wellbeing

 

The role of a SENCO can, at times, be isolating. By connecting with peers, SENCOs have an avenue to share their frustrations, triumphs, and concerns, knowing they’re amongst people who truly understand.

 

Problem Solving

 

Two (or more) heads are often better than one. By discussing specific challenges, SENCOs can brainstorm solutions, drawing from the collective experience of the group.

 

Building a Community

 

These meetings foster a sense of camaraderie, reminding SENCOs that they’re part of a larger community, all striving towards the shared goal of enhancing the educational experience for SEND pupils.

 

To wrap our nautical adventure today, I’d say attending SEND network meetings is a bit like finding a treasure map in the SEND ocean. It’s not just about the X marking the spot; it’s about the journey, the fellow pirates you meet along the way, and the tales you’ll tell. May your SEND endeavours always find favourable winds, and your network meetings be filled with insights, support, and the occasional pirate joke. Fair winds till our next rendezvous!

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