The Code of Practice states ‘there should be a member of the governing body or a subcommittee with specific oversight of the school’s arrangements for SEN and disability’ (Paragraph 6.3). The Code of Practice does not set out what this role entails. However, best practice and guidance published by the Key for school governors suggests that the role of a SEND governor includes:
Helping to raise awareness of SEND issues at governing body meetings.
Ensuring that the school’s notional SEN budget is appropriately allocated to support pupils with SEN. Giving up-to-date information to the governing body on the quality and effectiveness of SEN and disability provisions within the school.
Helping to review the school’s policy on provision for pupils with SEND
Monitoring and informing the governing body how the school / college publishes the schools SEND offer / SEN Information Report in accordance.
Having clear working knowledge of the SEND Code of Practice.
Being aware of their schools systems with regard to SEND provision.
Build a good working relationship with their SENCO.
In general, it is not necessary or appropriate for a SEND governor to view the list of pupils receiving SEND support. When a SEND governor visits the school, the aim of the visit would normally be to discuss the processes for supporting pupils with SEND, rather than to assess and comment on provision for individual children. The visit would normally be led by the SENCO. However it may be appropriate to discuss particular child if specific concerns have been raised by a parent. It might also be appropriate where a child’s needs require extra equipment, such as an accessibility ramp, which could affect the budget. Any actions or decision taken must be reported to the full governing body.
SEND Governor: Supporting and challenging SEN provision / strategies
Part of a Governor’s role is to ask challenging questions and for SEN Governors they are expected to question the SEN provision and strategies put into place by the school/college, in order to ensure the organisation is using its best endeavours to support all of their pupils/students. It may be useful for SEN Governors to make regular visits to the SENCO. During this visit, it would be appropriate to ask challenging questions on the impact of SEN strategies and provision.
Reporting to Governors
The SEND Governor may want to provide the governing body with regular SEND reports. These reports could provide a summary or update on:
An update on the school’s move to the new SEND system
How the school identifies pupils with SEND
The pupils’ progress
Work with external agencies
A profile of all pupils with SEN, including the total number of pupils on the school’s SEN record; their identified areas of need; their gender; and their ethnic background
A log of SEN-related professional development undertaken by staff
Information on the accessibility of the school’s building, curriculum and printed materials, and how this might be improved
A breakdown of the school’s budget for SEN and how it is deployed
A list of outcomes for pupils with SEN, including details of:
o Their achievements
o Pupils’ and parents’ involvement in annual review meetings
o Any exclusions, permanent or fixed term
o Attendance and absences, both authorised an unauthorised
An update on the school’s SEN policy, explaining any reasons for making changes and the possible impact or provision