An exciting new pilot is starting in Warwickshire which is set to change how WCC supports children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in mainstream schools.
The new specialist programme has been created following the outcomes of the Ofsted and Care Quality Commission SEND inspection in Warwickshire last year which found that many children and young people with specialist educational needs and/or disabilities had been placed in specialist settings when their needs could have been better met in mainstream schools.
As part of the improvement plans, the local authority wants all children and young people in Warwickshire to lead a fulfilling life and be part of their communities. This includes promoting inclusion in mainstream schools, providing the skills and resources to support children and young people with SEND.
The pilot, which will initially be introduced in five Warwickshire schools, will use a model for understanding challenging behaviours called Collaborative and Proactive Solutions (CPS) developed by psychologist Dr Ross Greene; the author of The Explosive Child and Lost at School. Based on over 30 years of experience and research, the model works with children and young people to identify and solve the problems that are causing the behaviour. Beyond every 'challenging behaviour' there is a need or expectation a young person is struggling with. The young person is then supported to develop the skills they need to overcome the challenges they face. The model has been used successfully across the world including in USA, Canada, Australia and Sweden.
Schools taking part in the pilot include Hartshill Academy, Nuneaton Academy, The George Eliot Academy, Quinton Primary School and Studley St Mary’s Primary School. A further 20 schools will join the pilot over the next 12 months.
As part of the pilot, schools will receive support from CPS trainers for the first 15 weeks, to gain skills and experience in the problem-solving approach working with a group of children and young people. The first group of schools will then support further schools to adopt the approach. The initial pilot is being funded by Warwickshire County Council.
Councillor Izzi Seccombe OBE, Leader of Warwickshire County Council said: “This approach has been used successfully across the world to support the most at-risk children and young people. It is hoped that these outcomes can be replicated in Warwickshire as we continue to improve SEND support and ensure that all children and young people can lead a fulfilling life and be part of their local communities.”
Tricia Elliott from Warwickshire Parent Carer Voice said: “Many of our SEND parents will already be familiar with Dr Ross Greene’s approach and we are excited to see Warwickshire County Council investing in moving away from the traditional behaviourist approach that so often does not work for children who are struggling with a special education need, such as autism or ADHD, or a social, emotional and mental health difficulty. We were also delighted to see so many school staff responding positively to Ross's approach and are optimistic that Warwickshire schools will have a much better understanding of the needs of SEND children in school following this approach.”
To find out more about support for children and young people in Warwickshire with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities visit Warwickshire’s Local Offer at https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/send.