How to write outstanding school SEND Policies & SEND Information Reports
This page gives you information and tools to help you combine your school’s SEND Information Report and SEND Policy.
Can we combine our SEND Information Report and SEND Policy?
Yes. The DfE told us in early 2022 this is OK.
Separately, The Key for School Leaders, a widely trusted source, also asked the DfE. The Key say:
- “The (SEND Information Report) can be included in your SEN policy, or presented as a separate document.”
- “The SEND policy doesn’t have to be published as a separate standalone document.”
- Reference: How to review your SEN policy and information report (albeit you’ll need a log in to unlock the full text).
The Key for School Leaders are seen as very reliable.
Need a document to brief colleagues or governors? Click below to download this “Is it OK?” one page summary:
Combined SEND Information Report and Policy Templates
You can download these templates, in Word format and written in plain English. The primary and secondary ones can both be read by a typical 11 year old and they have a Flesch Reading Ease score of around 70.
From SENDCo Training
School Information Report Images
Sometimes you might need a simple visual to break up text. Whether it’s to show how big your school is (with a Google Earth image), or a a photo of a fiddle tool from Amazon, pictures convey useful information.
Also, pictures show your school’s values and break up the formality of a document – e.g. happy primary pupils playing Shark Top Trumps to soften the formality. After all, when was the last time you saw a formal document (e.g. terms and conditions) with smiling kids and a great white shark?
Is it hard to include images of pupils? After all, the SEND status of a child is private. A ‘work around’ for this is to include this statement early in your document:
“Our photos of children are chosen regardless of whether they have SEND or not. This is inclusion.”
This then opens the door to using photographs of children from your school website or prospectus.
Alternatively, Pixabay offers thousands of free images, and you can use them without the worry of copywrite. Their photos and illustrations, once added to your work, quickly show the reader the topic of a page.
One excellent contributor is Peggy_Marco who provides simple bubble illustrations: pixabay.com/users/peggy_marco-1553824/
Readability for School Documents – Flesch – Kincaid
Use the Flesch Kincaid score in Microsoft Word. This will give you a score of 1 – 100 (where 1 is lowest and 100 is highest). It’s best to aim for a score of 60 – 70 as this is considered plain English. So you have a feel for the scoring system, here’s a few examples:
- 100 = Cat in the Hat
- 90+ = Fantastic Mr Fox
- 80+ = Boy by Roahld Dahl
- 70+ = A Barack Obama speech
- 60+ = A typical BBC news website story
- 50 ish = Stephen Hawking’s Brief History of Time (first 2500 words)
- 30 ish = Academic paper on the transmissibility of new COVID variant
Quick Tip: When you first use the term “Special Educational Needs or Disabilities” add “(SEND)” afterwards. After that, just use “SEND” as it makes for easier reading without losing any meaning.
Useful Link: Readable
The “Readable” website allows you to check the reading score of your text (0 – 100) and offers tips on how to improve.
It allows one free check a day.
Click here to go to Readable in a new tab.
Another way of looking at Accessibility Plans is as a three year SENDCo’s Action Plan. If SENDCos look at it this way, the Accessibility Plan becomes part of their normal cycle of school improvement.
Admittedly, some schools are in Ofsted categories. Schools graded inadequate by Ofsted normally need to focus more on immediate actions for the next three months than actions for the next three years. Once progress has been made, they then can adapt the way they use their accessibility plan to become a Three Year Plan for SEND.
Four Tips to convert SEND pdfs to MS Word:
- Via a simple web tool e.g. www.freepdfconvert.com
- Via a more advanced web tool e.g. www.pdf2go.com
- Buy a convertor (about £40 for a one off purchase)
- Subscribe to Adobe pdf (£16 per month)
Your best option depends on what you do want to do? If you only convert pdfs occasionally, and they have no personal info, you will be fine to use a web tool. If you need to convert pdfs with personal information on (e.g. an EHCP), you must be very mindful of GDPR rules and go for option 3 or 4, checking them against your school’s policies.
Converting Pdfs to Word documents can save hours. Whilst £40 might seem a large outlay, if you regularly need to convert Pdfs, it soon pays for itself in terms of the cost of your time.
More reader friendly Policies
– Accessibility Policy: Go to https://oughtibridgeschool.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Accessibility-Plan-2021-2024.pdf
Other Interesting reads
- SEND Info Reports: What must a SEND information report include
- Accessibility: 7 Tips for helping your readers with dyslexia or VI
Where can I get more advice or support?
- To ask questions or get support for your school’s work, please get in touch.