John McKee, Chair of Secondary Heads Forum, shared with us his perspective on the work of local schools during the pandemic.
“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable. These words have resonated with secondary school heads throughout this extremely challenging period for the young people across our city. Meeting the needs of our SEND pupils has been at the forefront of our planning as we have worked hard to implement a recovery curriculum. This has demanded honest reflection and the sharing of good practice with each other and our partners at AMAZE and PaCC. With disruption to routines and limited access to a range of support services we appreciate the disproportional impact that the pandemic is having on SEND children and their families. Countering this has demanded a strengthening of dialogue between school and home. Good relationships have helped us to ensure that we are doing are very best to meet the specific needs of each and every SEND child. We have framed our work around the four broad questions that Ofsted are asking schools:
- How have children and young people with SEND experienced the pandemic so far?
- What has worked well in supporting children and young people with SEND?
- What have the challenges been and what has not worked so well?
- What are the plans for supporting these children and young people in the future?
Ensuring our schools are both Covid-19 secure and fully inclusive is a big challenge. ‘Getting things right’ is nuanced. However, all Secondary Heads in Brighton and Hove are determined that the pandemic doesn’t disadvantage our most vulnerable children. Our intention is to continue to develop the flexibility and decisiveness of our responses to the serious and far reaching challenges created by this ongoing situation.”
John McKee – Chair of Secondary Heads Forum