I was fortunate enough to recently take part in a professional development session to use the Students with Educational Needs Tool (SEN Tool – found in the DoEWA Portal under Reporting to Parents), run by the SEN Autism team.
It allows teachers to develop Individual (and Group) Education Plans for their students using standardised objectives – meaning they can be transferred easily from school to school when a student’s Integris data is transferred. The ease of its use, the professional look of the resulting document, and the ability to use it for reviewing and developing alternate reporting processes for those students for whom the mainstream formal reports are inappropriate makes it an amazing tool… and yet I can find very few cases of it being used in schools!
This week, we rolled it out across our school. Having added all bar one of my IEPs to the system last term, I demonstrated the ease of adding an IEP to the system for the staff by using my remaining one. Teachers were then given the opportunity to work together within the library lab setting to add their own IEPs – across the course of the afternoon, our school can now boast to not only having all IEPs up-to-date, but also using clear learning intentions and objectives that should be transferrable across all schools (they are based on Australian Curriculum for literacy and numeracy, and the K-10 Syllabus for Health).
The power of the process comes in the reporting, however. The ability to go into the Reporting to Parents interface, change the drop down menu from K-10 Curriculum to SEN, and then report on the progress of the IEP for each student is a clear, accountable way for teachers to demonstrate they are catering for all students within their class.
If you are in a Western Australian government school, I recommend you check it out:
Just as a side note, working with the kindy and pre-primary teachers, we have come up with a way of also using the SEN Tool to create a formal report that looks similar to the Years 1 to 7 reports, but without fiddling with Word Templates, and also being able to maintain a permanent record – and yet allowing the teachers to report against some of the fine-grain points from the Foundation level curriculum.