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Thank You To Our Super Stockport SENCOs!

Super SENCOs

I would like to say a massive thank-you to all of our SENCO colleagues who attended the conference on Friday. The discussion was rich and certainly made for some good reflection across the system; this was very much the start of our inclusion/equity agenda discussions.

 Remember to consider the following questions, in preparation for us coming together again on the 21 October 2021, and progressing this agenda further:

 • What do you see as the greatest challenges as far as inclusion and fairness are concerned?

• In what ways does your school encourage collaboration and experimentation amongst the staff members?

• How do you know and ensure that there are high expectations for all students?

• To what extent does your school have a culture of inclusion?

 I would also like to say thanks for all of your input and support for our pupils with SEND during this most challenging year. I hope you get a well earned rest over summer and I look forward to working with you all in the next academic year.

 Thanks, Bev Millway.

Sharing good practice from our schools

st marys

Gaining parental feedback at St Mary's, Marple Bridge


In March 2021, our parents/careers of children with SEND were asked to complete a short questionnaire, using Microsoft Sway. The purpose was to ascertain how they felt about the SEND support provided, what impact we made and what we can do to improve the service that we offer to our children and parents across the school. We administered the survey using Microsoft Forms which was really quick and simple to send to our parents/careers; more importantly, the results were easy to interpret.  We were delighted with the findings and going forward it has helped us to develop strategies within school for our SEND learners. 


56% of our parent/carers of children with SEND completed the questionnaire. 


In addition to a set of agree/disagree statements, parents/carers were asked, "What does St Mary's do well?"

  • I think the school is really aware of my child's needs. I am extremely happy with the assistance the class teacher gives. My child feels very supported by the teaching assistant emotionally.
  • Keeping me informed of my child's progress and plans.. Supporting my child in school.
  • Very informative at parents evening.
  • Communication, nurturing and excellent support during the current crisis
  • Communicating regularly with parents.
  • Excellent communication between SENCO and parents, approachable and highly skilled staff and good rapport with pupils.
  • Keeping my child happy, listening to parental feedback, following through with agreed actions. The SENCo has an excellent understanding of my child. Her SEN support is pro active and has helped support my child's learning dramatically . We are very grateful.
  • Staff incredibly nurturing / caring with my child and have really gone the extra mile to help support him in transition reception. I know my child has a support plan and his teacher has really actioned this on a day to day basis ..consistently every day ..from small group work to improve social skills, confidence, to mindfulness, giant journaling etc. The small consistent things done everyday at school have had a real positive impact on my child's development & progression & wellbeing.
  • The school are being extremely supportive in very challenging times, everyone supporting my child is extremely patient and non judgmental. The school has a very caring environment which my child finds very reassuring.
  • My child's class teacher is so on it and really understands my child where we build a plan together which is then executed with the rest of the team. My child's teaching assistant is so supportive of my child's interventions and I know my child likes spending that one on one time with her. We feel my child's needs are very recognised and not that I particularly need to talk to someone, I know I can if I have any concerns. 
  • You can be sure your child is being well looked after.

Parents/carers were also asked, "What could St Mary's do better?"

  • Currently, nothing.
  • Regular, scheduled check-ins - just email - to check all things are in place and the child is accessing as identified in the plan, rather than the parent getting in touch when there is an issue. Gives more opportunity for positive feedback rather than the parent getting in touch with issues.
  • In class I would like my child to be able to use more technology, such as dictate/ read back on word? Access to an online dictionary/ thesaurus. Audio books. Perhaps an introduction to touch typing?
  • More access to a computer in school and opportunity to practice typing up his work
  • Although I know it's a difficult time, being kept up to date with speech and language availability at school.
  • I don't think there is anything, it's the length of time it takes to access support outside of school that could be better.
  • Happy with everything.
  • Next steps agreed, in response to feedback:
  • Send a monthly check-in email to parents
  • Review how technology can be used to support our learners with SEND
  • To implement a touch typing programme for learners with SEND
  • Continue updating the Inclusion TEAMS page with useful hints, tips and access to free courses.

Caroline Britton, Inclusion Lead, St Mary's Voluntary Academy in Marple Bridge

Greave school

Multi - agency partnerships at Greave Primary:  working with outside agencies to support teachers in meeting the needs of all children within their classroom.  


‘Due to having very limited TA support in my classroom and also due to the COVID regulations, providing interventions in the classroom was extremely difficult and I was concerned that I wasn't meeting the needs of all the children.

My children with SEN were finding the school day long and static and this was impacting their engagement with learning.

To meet the needs of all the learners in the classroom and to promote independence through QFT, I worked with our Learning Support Service teacher and our SENCo and created English, Maths and Motor Skills areas in the classroom for the children to use independently. These incorporated support activities such as 'Magic Letters' alongside more challenging activities for the more able children. 

 The learning areas have so far been very successful. Children work together and without the need for prompting, the children who have received the Magic Letter intervention previously, have been the experts and have 'mentored' their peers, demonstrating how to use it. Children are keen to use the areas and they support one another with their learning in these areas.’ 

Year 3 class teacher Ruth Wilson


The SENCO (Jenny Edwards) and LSS teacher (Ann Worrall) continue to hold SEND clinics for all class teachers, exploring ways to encourage and support independence as well as sharing resources which can be used for universal provision in the classroom.


A case study: working with outside agencies to support families and improve outcomes for children with SEND at Westmorland Primary.


Child X is in Year 1. She has an EHCP, with full time support.  Concerns about progress have been raised, including concerns linked to her very limited food choices; she does not eat at all during the school day if the food on offer at school is inappropriate. Parents have, to date, shown limited understanding of the complexity of need, including with regard to her not eating during the school day.

After discussion with our EHC case worker, I decided to have an interim review. Attending the meeting were: SENCo, Deputy head, Mum, Dad, Class teacher, LSA, Mid-day assistant, school buy in SALT therapist, NHS SALT therapist (virtual), translator (Ethnic Diversity Team), EHCP case worker (virtual), Shadowing case worker (virtual)

The NHS therapist came into school the day before the review  to assess child X and update her suggested targets (straight onto the plan, held within our school system) She also attended the review meeting and was able to add further advice, such as the following: 

 'During discussions about aspirations and outcomes ... concerns were raised about X’s restricted eating and that she did not seem to experience hunger. Recommendations for these specific targets are noted below:

- Continue to model emotions to X in real time. Talk to her about how you and she are feeling in situations ... Exaggerate your facial expressions whilst doing this. You can also use visuals to demonstrate to X how you are feeling/to allow her to point to how she is feeling – e.g. a simple emotions board/thermometer

- Adults should also be modelling to X about when they feel hungry – modelling that their stomach is rumbling and that it needs food. Adults should also model that their stomach is quiet and happy after eating.

The outcome of the meeting is that mum, dad, school and agencies are now working more closely and collaboratively to ensure that we can meet Child X's needs. This included Child X bringing in a packed lunch the very next day, which she happily ate in full!

I feel that this example shows the power of bringing together our agencies to work in ways that support improved outcomes for our children. It takes a lot time to organise but is definitely worth it!

Nic Pritchard, SENCO, Westmorland Primary 

Update from the EHCP team


Revised EHC Needs Assessment Request Form

This was launched on 7th June 2021 along with our Operational Guidance booklet. Should anyone have any questions about how to complete this please contact us and we can arrange to offer some further support to assist you. 

Revised EHC Review Paperwork

We currently have a small number of SENCOs from our Working Group piloting our new EHC Annual Review Form. 

Early feedback from one of our colleagues is that it is ‘A definite improvement on the old one, and much more in line with co-production with parents and pupil involvement.’

We will continue to pilot and improve this paperwork which we hope you share with you soon.

The EHCP Team 

We have recently recruited to 3 of our 4 vacant EHCP Caseworker Posts and have two new starters in the team - Angela Lucy and Danielle Lomax. We anticipate that our other new team member, Kelly, will be able to join us before the end of the summer holidays.

It our intention that after they have completed their first few weeks with us, we will be able to advise as to which groups of schools each of our caseworkers will be working to as from September 2021.

Annual Reviews and Amended EHC Plans

We have been able to source some additional capacity for the team and are currently working hard to ensure our records of annual reviews for pupils with EHC Plans are up to date by the end of this academic year - ensuring that all annual review paperwork received has been actioned and any outstanding reviews followed up with those schools and settings concerned.

With our new EHCP Caseworkers we have been able to make a start on clearing the backlog of amended Education Health and Care Plans from this academic year and so as these are issued you will start to see these coming out to you over the new few weeks.

Many thanks,

John Gelder, Operational Lead EHCP team

Making SEND everyone's business!


Autism Awareness training for primary and secondary schools

Dear SENCOs,

I am pleased to announce that our multi-agency 'Autism Awareness training for primary and secondary schools' is now ready to share with you.

You can access the training via Learning Leads in the 'useful resources' section of the SENCO network area. It is also available on Stockport's Learning Pool

Please note that we have devised this training so that you can watch the powerpoint whilst we talk you through the slides, to enable you to access this training at a time that suits you.

Our vision is for this training to be rolled out to all staff, including lunchtime staff and support staff.  It would also be helpful if you can collate which staff have accessed the training.

In addition, in case you missed it in the Monday update, the 'Managing behaviours that challenge' course is also ready. The link below takes you to a Youtube recording of a session delivered recently by HYMS staff, linked to strategies from 'Ride the Rapids'. It's a 2 hour session, but well worth the watch and as it is recorded, can be watched in chunks. It will also be a great tool to signpost parents to, especially those who are currently on the waiting list for assessments.

Seashell Positive Behaviour Support webinar / June 2021 - YouTube

We would welcome your feedback as SENCOs; please let me know what you think of these training resources and what else you need, using the email below: 

Many thanks

Cheryl Knupfer (Autism Team Manager)


Raising the voice of young people with SEND in Stockport through SAYS (Stockport Action Youth Speakers)


It is important now, more than ever, to ensure we capture the voice of children & young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities in Stockport, particularly about the services, support and activities that are available for them.

Meetings take place three-weekly currently, face-to-face as well as virtual attendance, at 5pm on Mondays. If you know of any young people who may be interested in joining, please encourage them to get involved.

Please encourage as many young people aged 13 to 25 with SEN them to get involved, have their say and shape the Stockport of the future, making SEND everyone’s business. 

There may also be messages that need to be heard by the Council and Health professions in Stockport that you hear through the work you do and it would be great if you could get in touch about how to share that and help influence and shape our priorities.

With thanks

Michelle Bellis, Strategic Participation Leader

News from our inclusion services


LSS Maths Update: a new opportunity to build your school provision for supporting learners with SEND in numeracy.


MATHS RECOVERY (New Opportunity for September 2021)

In September LSS are launching the Maths Recovery intervention, a programme that links closely to the recommendations made by the recent Mathematics Research Review. 

The Maths Recovery Programme addresses many areas of these OFSTED findings and recommendations:

  • ‘highly systematic’ approach and gives teachers access to coherent resources for planning, instruction and rehearsal of content
  • provides explicit, systematic instruction and systematic rehearsal of declarative and procedural knowledge
  • long-term retrieval of core content should be a focus of teachers’ and leaders’ planning.
  • helps pupils to develop ‘automatic recall’ of key concepts to prevent their working memory from becoming overloaded
  • progression is by intelligent design rather than by choice or chance.
  • avoids creating a reliance on memory aids or physical resources
  • pupils gradually cease to depend on some early methods of counting and calculating which can hinder later progress
  • helps pupils to avoid relying on guesswork or unstructured trial and error
  • ensures that anxious pupils acquire core mathematical knowledge and start to experience success, those pupils will then begin to associate the subject with enjoyment and motivation

LSS have, initially, 20 free places for 10 interested and committed schools (primary and secondary) to train to assess for, deliver and manage the intervention in their own setting. Unfortunately, these places have already been filled, but if you would like to find out more and register your interest for the second phase, please contact


New Spelling Scheme for KS2

The brand-new spelling scheme, Scode (sounds and their codes) has been written and developed by Jill Warburton (LSS) and Emma Skeldon (KS3 & 4 English Lead) and is an advanced synthetic phonics spelling scheme for KS2 children, covering all aspects of the 2014 National Curriculum.

The scheme is a systematic and logical system that focuses on children developing a comprehensive understanding of the entire English spelling code through phonics and the origins and etymology of words. Curriculum words, suffixes, prefixes, and homophones are all taught through sounds and codes.

As well as being a fascinating, gross, and hilarious spelling scheme, it has been written and developed to support children with specific spelling difficulties within the mainstream classroom; how dyslexic pupils learn best is at the forefront to this scheme. Cognitive overload, working memory, revisiting, recapping, and overlearning have all been taken into consideration, as well as providing additional resources for intervention groups.

Homework, pre and post assessments, PowerPoint teaching aids are just some of the features included. 

Take a look at the website for more information, or contact us or  

Thank you

Farewell and thank you to Tina Russell-Cruise from Stockport Inclusion Team

From September 2021 I will be taking early retirement after 14 years in the role of Inclusion Co-Ordinator.

It has been a privilege to work with such dedicated and skilled SENCos and other professionals in the authority. I have always felt welcomed into school families – thank you for this.

We know that there are changes coming to SEND in Stockport and I am sure that the wellbeing of our children and families will continue to remain central to practice.

I will always be proud of what we have achieved together.

Tina Russell-Cruise

Other Useful Resources


FREE teaching resources to educate students about the impact of drinking alcohol during pregnancy 

Following a launch event on 24th June, we’re delighted to now be able to share a suite of unique teaching resources to encourage conversations with young adults about issues of responsibility, alcohol and pregnancy, as well as wider sexual health issues.

The free teaching materials have been produced by The Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership and Oldham Theatre Workshop and are designed for students in Years 9, 10 and 11.

The central resource is a short 45 minute film, titled Birthday, that can be watched as a whole or in three shorter segments with accompanying lesson plan guides.

Birthday is an important part of The Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership programme to raise awareness of alcohol harm to unborn babies and to end new cases of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)Bringing understanding of FASD to a young audience is part of our prevention strategy and Birthday draws on the real-life experiences of families affected.

We believe Birthday is a unique approach to ending new cases of FASD and has the potential to influence the future choices that young adults make regarding their drinking behaviour. But it is only going to achieve that if it is used in schools and educational settings.

·       Watch a short clip of the film

·       Register to access the resources

If you have any questions or wish to get on touch with us about Birthday please contact: Róisín Reynolds, Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership, or Rachael Nielsen, Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership,