SENSS Support to Schools

SENCOs, Head Teachers, Teachers
How SENSS will support Schools in the Summer Term

SENSS Advisory Support to Schools from 01.06.20

As schools and settings across Oxfordshire are preparing to reopen for children in nursery classes, YR, Y1 and Y6 and to start to provide some face to face teaching for children in Y10 and Y12, we thought it helpful to inform you about the SENSS offer of advisory support during the Covid-19 recovery phase.

We know that the first priority for you will be to settle children back into their routines and to implement new ways of working to keep people safe. We recognise that accommodating visiting staff is not consistent with the infection control measures you are being asked to implement.

Our approach to resuming Advisory work is therefore as follows:

  • SENSS staff will not resume visits to schools or early years settings, for routine advisory work in June, neither will we conduct any visits to family homes.
  • We will continue to offer remote support and advice using whatever means we can to support from a distance – we encourage schools and early years settings to liaise with SENSS colleagues about how we can be most helpful to you at this time.
  • We will extend remote working opportunities, as far as you are able to accommodate these, to include online contact with children and young people who are in school, if appropriate and as guided by their teachers.
  • We will prioritise work to support children with key transitions in the summer, especially for children who are starting in reception classes and Y6/7 transitions.

Some exceptions to these broad guidelines may be required in individual circumstances where work cannot be conducted remotely. SENSS managers will work with you to identify any children with particular support needs that exceptionally require face to face support, to agree an individual response.

We are adopting a 2 stage approach in the summer term, and will therefore review things towards the end of June on the basis of a) further evidence about the impact of relaxing social distancing on the spread of the virus and b) your experience of reopening schools and any changes to the government recommendations on how this proceeds.

The SENSS offer will then be updated for July and, if possible and appropriate to your needs, face to face work in schools and settings may be reinstated.

We hope that the reopening of schools and settings will mark a (small) step change in our ability to provide and your capacity to make use of remote support. Thank you for your patience a little while longer before we resume ‘in person’ working.