Reply To: Ofsted/ Senco Questions

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    Hi, these 6 experiences are taken from SENCo forum posts on Facebook

    Ofsted inspection info (new framework) from a SENCo forum – might be useful

    Experience 1

    We had the notification call at around 11.30am. All of slt were sat around a speakerphone for the 90 min phone-call. This phone-call was similar to before, but with the addition of negotiating the deep dives and organising timetables. By the end of the call we knew the 4 deep dive areas and were asked to send timetables by 4pm if possible. This is where the tricky bit of working out who would cover the subject leaders to enable them to go on the learning walks with the inspectors.
    The following morning, the team of inspectors met the staff at 8.30am and did the usual spiel. Then they went pretty much straight in to the deep dives with the subject leads.
    I was spoken to as designated safeguarding lead in the afternoon but the single central record was checked in the morning.
    At around 4pm on the first day, all of slt were invited as observers to the inspection team’s meeting. This is where they discussed their days findings and what they wanted to look at the following day.
    I was timetabled to speak about SEND and Personal Development and was given 1hr.
    The general qs that I can remember were:
    -what qualifications do I have to do the role and what insight did the nasenco award give me?
    -gave info such as no on sen register, no of ehcps
    -asked our primary area of need and how I support with that, what provision we have, how do I know it’s our primary area. -same questions with our secondary area
    -what are main challenges in this school
    -what would I expect inspectors to see if doing a learning walk focusing on pupils with send
    -case study of a pupil with ehcp (pupil of my choice)
    -what progress do pupils with Send make at this school? What am I doing to support this?
    -discussed the lea ofsted outcomes and what impact I’d seen
    -discussed budget cuts and how I was making sure pupils were still supported despite reduced ta support etc

    I had an hour to talk about everything I was doing, and ran completely out of time. I wasn’t given any time to speak of the work I’d done on EAL which was frustrating, so I practically chased the poor man up the corridor to tell him about that.
    I found my report for governors that I’d written was really useful as it had all the data I needed to back up what I was saying, all in one place.
    I wasn’t expecting to have to talk about Personal development and to have it as part of my SEND meeting was a bit of a shock. He asked a lot about the extra curricular opportunities we offer, responsibilities such as house captains, sports leaders etc. I talked about our pastoral support team and how our family workers support parents too with various parenting courses. I had written a list of all the things we do which helped as it’s so embedded in what we do, it’s easy to forget!

    After the meeting, I had to choose 8 pupils of my choice, from the Sen register from yr 3-6. They met as a group with the inspector, and I was asked to wait outside. Not sure what else was said but did hear him ask if I was a pupil at this school and I was a little bit different, would I be able to make friends?

    At the end of day 2, around 4pm, slt were again observers at the team meeting. Here we found out what gradings we were being given. Then the governors joined us and we basically sat through it all again.

    That’s pretty much how it went!

    We recently got an outstanding under the new framework and the key for me as SENCo was demonstrating I knew the pupils on the register really well, and could demonstrate excellent inclusion in the wider curriculum. I had folders out with obvious tracking so they didn’t dig into that.
    They asked to see SEN books from some year groups and compared them to those of the rest of the class. They were looking for inclusion (that they had been given the same opportunity or experience) but with differentiation where needed.

    They asked about how well our curriculum was suited for Sen children and how I knew that (observations book looks intervention records etc). They also wanted to make sure teachers worked with Sen pupils as well as LSA’s. And how I kept up the profile of Sen.

    4th experience
    The over-riding thing was to know that I knew the children, and how I knew the children had access to the whole curriculum.
    They LOVED it when I talked about the fact that we had a core belief in full inclusion – not withdrawing the children all the time for intervention groups, but finding ways to support them in the classroom. Giving them access to the lesson so that we never put a ceiling on their learning, but making sure that they had appropriate opportunities to work at their own level too. We do a lot of paired work, and the pairs switch around all the time. Lots of peer to peer modelling and peer to peer assessment.
    My inspectors wanted to see that we expected equal amounts of progress each term from SEN (from their starting point) as the rest of the children in the year group. That we had high expectations from our SEN pupils and that they were all moving forward.
    But most importantly, the fact I could talk in detail about any child they picked seemed to impress them most.

    We had Ofsted in last week for a section 5 inspection. Below are a list of questions they asked. They didn’t ask me anything about my data. That said, I did tell her I had only been in the job 3.5 weeks.

    – How is your curriculum adapted for Sen chn?
    -. Can you give me an example of a child whose provision you have adapted?
    – what strategies do you have in place to manage behaviour?
    – I’ve seen a number of distraction/fidget methods being used around the school. How do you measure their impact?
    – what interventions do you run to support chn that are on Sen register or who may be behind?
    – What lunch/after school clubs do you offer?
    – How many SEND chn attend these clubs?
    – Want percentage uptake?
    – How are the children actively seeking encouraged to participate?
    – what training have you had for your role?
    – do you feel you’re well supported, who by & how?
    – what is your workload like?
    – Do you feel Well-being is of a concern?
    – safeguarding
    – TAs – what training have they had?
    – how are the TAs feeling as a result of the restructure?
    – do you do an agenda for your meetings? Are they allowed to ask questions/raise points? (she checked this with TAs when they met)

    He asked me…
    Describe the intervention process for Dyslexia and how the local authority are involved.
    Have you had adequate support from the LA?
    How do you plan to deal with children with SEN who come in midway through the school year?
    Do you have a plan format?
    What are provision maps and what benefits do they have?
    How do you assess children on the SEN Register? How have you collated the children on your SEN Register?
    Why are certain children on your Register?
    Is the percentage of children on your register above or below SEN national?
    You have a child who has significant emotional needs – what have you done as SENCo to help his teacher?
    What are the assessments for progress used in school which help your SEN children?
    How do you decide on the interventions used?
    Give me an example of an intervention used (not phonics interventions)
    Discuss the child on a part-time timetable – why is he part-time?
    How has this impacted on his progress?
    What has been done to plug the gaps?
    How are the other agencies involved with him been communicating with you?
    Has it been effective?
    Why is he doing a maths intervention when he is doing mainstream maths objectives?
    What do you think are the strengths of SEN in the school?
    Is there anything else you wish to say about SEN?