- ITEM 1: Welcome and introductions
Dr Deborah Robinson welcomed established and new members of the group.
DR outlined the central purpose of the PSSG (established in 2009) which had been to develop the quality and impact of ITE programmes in the areas of SEND and inclusive practice. The group welcomed the opportunity to take the work of the group forward in sustaining a strong commitment to ITE whilst broadening its remit to non ITE programmes and professional development for a wider professional group working in the field.
- ITEM 2: Impact of the PSSG (ITE NQT survey results)
The group discussed the most recent ITE NQT survey results noting the positive movements that had been made in the level of preparedness for the SEND among student teachers emerging from the University of Derby noting that the PSSG had played a significant role in securing this impact.
- ITEM 3: Report from ITE: Developments to Programmes.
DH reported on the development of School Direct noting that a significant number of the current cohort were working in special schools. Teacher Education was continuing to prioritise SEND and was working closely with two organisations to develop its programmes further: the Communication Trust and the British Dyslexia Association. On 9/1/14 a planning meeting was taking place in order to further the development of training programmes for students and local teachers.
ITEM 4: Report from non ITE: Developments to Programmes
DR introduced the new Foundation degree for SEND which was running from September 2014 and which had been developed in response to local and national need for highly qualified staff in the field. The group welcomed this development.
- ITEM 5: The remit of the PSSG – review and development
The group reviewed the existing remit of the PSSG and agreed that the remit should be revised to:
- Extend beyond ITE to address professional developments across the sector
- Replace the concept of ‘partnership’ with ‘network.’ It was suggested that the PSSG should become a professional development network that collaborates in pursuit of positive outcomes for practitioners in the field and hence for children and young people. It was agreed that the group would need a new name to capture its new remit.
- Support a focus on the development of effective practice in both special and mainstream schools
- Pursue the development of schools as places that were ready, willing and able to include diverse learners.
MB noted that the changing context made this an important venture given the diminished role of local authorities in providing professional development.
BJ noted that networks were becoming increasingly important in the current context. It was suggested that the Well Trust were invited into membership of the PSSG given what is likely to be a shared concern for professional development and networking for the benefit of children and young people.
ACTION: DR will revise the remit statement and bring it to the next meeting for discussion and assent. DR will bring suggestions for the renaming of the group to the next meeting. DR will approach the well trust and invite their membership.
- ITEM 6: Developing the PSSG
The group put forward a number of ideas and aspirations that could form the work of the group in the future:
- To develop materials (including video footage) that would prepare both ITE and non-ITE students for placements in special schools
- To develop a professional development website where members could share information, opportunities and publish materials for a wider audience in pursuit of positive outcomes for children and young people.
- To establish research and development projects pursuing the specific goals of the PSSG. To gain funding for such projects
- To establish itself as a centre of knowledge and effective practice in the area of professional development for SEND and inclusive practice