Catalyst Courier December 2023

Catalyst Courier December 2023


Welcome to our latest edition of the Catalyst Courier. If you have information to share or topics, you’d like us to cover please get in touch ([email protected]

Our December SENDCO Network was held in person, at the Old Parsonage, with information from Dr Teresa Regan, Managing Director and Principal Educational Psychologist who led discussion around the new government SEND Implementation Plan and what this means for us locally. As well as a workshop on – Writing SMART outcomes and an update from Catalyst on sharing resources and information.

Our next SENDCO Network is 31st January 2024


Government SEND Implementation Plan and what this means for us locally.

Teresa talked through the government SEND and AP Improvement Plan.

Currently Manchester City Council is working with DFE as a test site for the improvement plan with the aim of following on this development more widely.

SENDCOs shared feelings from parents that they are “wanting to push onto a Plan because of the concern around difference in provision across schools and worries about how transitioning schools might impact on their child if no statutory plan is in place to direct the school”. It was noted that the SEND and AP national standards in place from 2025 around ordinarily available provision and what schools should need to provide at a SEND support and EHCP level may have an influence on this feeling of uncertainty.

Discussion of the SEND and AP improvement focused on the move to rebalance funding towards earlier identification and support prior to EHCPs with a three-tier focus:

Tier 1 – Outreach

Tier 2 – Short term provision

Tier 3 – Long term provision

and touched on key themes within the local area: 

•promoting an inclusive mainstream system
•building a confident workforce
•managing specialist capacity
•commissioning arrangements
•supporting transition

Workshop: Writing SMART Outcomes

Teresa then led a workshop to support SENDCOs in writing outcomes as this was an area of support raised in the previous Network.

Discussions stared with a clear focus on the need to establish what’s important “To” and “For” the child when completing this process. The document below was discussed and shares information for developing outcomes. 

SENDCOs formulate targets on the following framework:

Specific - Clear about exactly what you are aiming to achieve

Measurable - How will you know the provision/interventions/approaches have made a difference?

Achievable - “achieve ambitious outcomes”

Realistic - Is this likely to be achieved within the timeframe set?

Time-bound/limited - When will this be reviewed? – and how?

SMART Goals for kids

Click here for slides 

SENDCos then had the opportunity to collectively devise SMART targets with information from a case study. SENDCOs shared and evaluated targets devised within the group and shared some reflections on the process:

  • SMART targets initially constructed often need revising and breaking down further to ensure they meet the SMART criteria.
  • Essential to ensure targets work in conjunction towards long term goals.
  • Recognition that the development of SEMH targets may need further work through review of the SMART model as typically targets can begin ambiguous.

Sharing resources & information

Lastly, some updates around the sharing of resources and information were discussed with SENDCOs. Catalyst is currently in a period of ensuring all resources produce on the website are efficiently accessible and the process is user friendly. There have been some updates which are now visible on the website including the inclusion of an interactive resource update on the primary resources and information webpage click here to view. This will be updated in conjunction with the monthly networks.

There is also further work underway to create a more streamlined navigation tool to allow resources to be more accessible and easily shared by professionals and parents alike. A link to the Directory of Resources is now available on the website: 

Click here to access the Resources webpage, then scroll down the page for the Directory: 

Resources and information