We were delighted by the Secretary of State’s insight into our work as the lead school within our Swiss Cottage Teaching School Alliance. She recognised how collaborative working was facilitated and extended through the workings of the Alliance, and that school to school support is not the preserve of leaders, but of our teachers and teaching assistants. We discussed the importance of inclusive pedagogy to the vision of the TSA and celebrated how much we have grown as a school through the joint working and joint learning we share with partner schools.
We were given a terrific opportunity to bring together a group of young and dynamic teachers and teaching assistants to meet the Secretary of State. They represented the deep SEN expertise of our professionals from Swiss Cottage School. They shared how this SEN expertise has been developed through school based teacher training and school based professional learning opportunities.
Nicky Morgan wanted to hear their voices. She quickly tapped into the importance of their experience in both mainstream and special, and how these complement and support their learning. She was particularly interested and aware of the teachers’ thoughts on mainstream teacher training and the need for more experience of SEN for all teachers.
The teachers explained how children with SEN are often invisible within the community. I made the link between this comment and our strategy as a Teaching School for making very strong and sustainable links with mainstream; where the value of SEN expertise is valued, nurtured, and fully explored.
Nicky Morgan was very warm and encouraging of the group, genuinely interested in the views and experiences of our teachers and teaching assistants. She was really quite taken with the idea of multi-agency teams on site, and recognised the importance of their role-not just for intervention but actually for shaping our curriculum.
She was keen to explore the various routes into teaching, and confirmed her belief in the value of school based training.
Posted By: Margaret Mulholland, Director of Development and Research Centre