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Issue 3.6 Dignity & Respect: SEND

Dear colleagues,

Over my 5 years leading the Church of England Foundation for Education Leadership, I have launched many new ideas and opportunities for MATs and schools. However, nothing has had the level of response as the suggestion to bring together a National SEND Network for primary and secondary schools – it was quite remarkable – both deeply encouraging (in terms of the people who responded to this call) and also deeply challenging (in terms of the depth of need in the sector). We’re delighted to play our part and had a wonderful first scoping meeting with MAT leaders, school leaders, SENDCOs and Diocese Education Teams – all coming together to design an amazing network programme for 2022-23. More details of this and how to get your organisation involved will come after half term. We will also bring forward a co-ordinated national response to the SEND/AP Green Paper.

As part of this network, we are delighted to bring our next CCC podcast episode to you today – with leading SEND thinker Gary Aubin. It’s a brilliant conversation – and one that is well worth listening to – not just if you are a SENDCO, but in any and every leadership role – for the leadership of SEND is not the sole domain of the SENDCO but needs to become a whole school/MAT approach where we are seeing all our decision-making through the eyes of SEND.

In our Vision for Education we talk about the dignity of each child - seeing every child as a unique individual of inherent worth. Our sector doesn’t always feel like that – in fact, the society in which we live says to us daily – not that you are of inherent worth, but that you are of conditional worth. Our Christian faith calls us to prioritise the marginalised and the vulnerable, and although there are of course very real challenges to doing this in terms of funding/capacity etc., it is a call that we need to place at the centre of our vision together.

With continue thanks for all you are doing and deep encouragement for the week ahead.

Andy Wolfe

Executive Director of Education