Our CPD/Training Offer

We can your teams to keep up to date with best practice by attending one of our training or CPD sessions. Our highly skilled and engaging trainers are all experts in their field.

Requestable Training Offer

Governor Learning Walks, Support & Challenge Visits

Venue: At your setting

Focus set by school

Audience: Governors & SLT

This training is to enable governors to be upskilled in their role and also develop relationships with subject/area coordinators. The visit agenda will be set in partnership to enable the best outcomes possible. This could involve:

  • Learning Walks
  • Book Looks
  • Pupil Conferences
  • Governor/Coordinator meetings

All of the above will ensure that governors can offer support and challenge. It will also offer guidance and practice ready for Ofsted conversations.

Various dates available – email mike.stapleton-chambers@halton.gov.uk

Peer to Peer SEND Review
Venue: At your setting

Date: Limited dates still available for 23/24


What is a Peer-to-Peer Review?


A Peer-to-Peer review should evaluate the effectiveness of a school’s provision for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). This includes mainstream schools, alternative provisions and specialist settings. The review should help to ensure that all children, in all educational settings, achieve their very best, including the knowledge, skills and qualifications that they need for successful transition, further education and employment.

The review process includes the preparatory work before going into the school, the time needed to collect evidence during the school visit, and the report writing and feedback that takes place after the review. Many schools will establish an ongoing relationship with their reviewer who can provide follow-up support and advice. The timescale for a review would normally be two to three weeks from preparation to reporting (NASEN 2020).


Purpose of Reviews:


  1. Raising attainment and improving outcomes for pupils with SEND
  2. Improving the quality of provision for pupils with SEND
  3. Ensure SEND pupils receive the support at the right time
  4. Supporting the effective implementation of the SEND reforms
  5. Reviewing the quality and value for money of inclusive practice at a school
  6. Gaining a fresh perspective on provision from an experienced system leader
  7. External validation of a school’s evaluation of its SEND provision including how is supports Children who are Looked After and who may also have SEND.


Leadership of Reviews


Peer reviews in Halton will be managed by Mike Stapleton-Chambers working with other LA colleagues during the pilot phase and in time supported by the, yet to be identified and trained, Quality Assurance SENCOs.  The review process draws upon the NASEN review materials, and all lead reviewers will complete training.


Review Team

The review teams will each be comprised of a recognised SEND leader from a school context, or a Halton SENDor Education  officer; an experienced teacher from a Special school or resource base or other experienced and suitable leaders/ SENCOs from Halton schools.  All SENCOs across Halton will be required to attend a review as part of their CPD every other academic year.  In smaller schools, teams of 3 people will complete the reviews, in larger schools we will try to have 4+ reviewers.


All reviews are Peer to Peer although the ‘review lead’ manages the process and writes the draft report, all of the Peer team manage the review on the day, communication with school leaders and feedback to schools collaboratively.  The lead reviewer’s school will be paid £350 for the additional administration time required with their peer review schools.  For supporting reviewers, peer reviews provide an invaluable CPD opportunity.


Five Stages of the Review


1 2 3 4 5








School completes

self-evaluation of

current provision

The reviewer requests

preparatory information,
analyses relevant data
and confirms programme

The reviewer visits

the schools, collects
evidence and delivers
verbal feedback

The reviewer submits a written report within a timescale agreed with the school The school may agree follow-up visits and


  1. Self-Evaluation

A school should take the opportunity to self-evaluate its SEND provision before the review takes place. This can provide useful information to the reviewer and also help the school to focus on what it does well and areas for development. Completing a self-evaluation template (Appendix A) can be a useful starting point for schools to think about and reflect on the nature and quality of their current provision and decision-making and the impact that it has for children with SEND. It is envisioned that the school and the LA will agree on a specific theme for the review and that the school self-review would potentially guide that. Some themes might include, absence, AP etc…


  1. Preparation

Prior to the review:


2:1 The lead reviewer will contact the school to request:

  1. Any focus areas the school would like the reviewers to look at (see examples of Focus Areas below)
  2. The review timetable to start at 8.30AM with a pre-meeting between reviewers. [No school activity to be planned prior to 8.30am]
  3. A completed SEN Pre-Visit Questionnaire, Appendix E.


2:2 School MAY wish to send, as available:

  • Comparative Data headlines for identified SEND or not identified SEND – outcomes and progress. This may be included in the school Self Evaluation Form (SEF) or aspects of the SEN Development Plan/School improvement Plan. This might be covered by School’s SEND on a page document.


2:3 The Peer-to-Peer Team will commit to look at:

  • The SEND information report and school website
  • Please refer to appendix   for an overview of SEN documents/ policies and references which should be see on the schools website.




2:4 Possible additional activities before the review day:

SENCOs and school leaders could opt to have a 30-minute meeting/phone call with the lead reviewer a few weeks prior to the actual review date. This has previously helped the lead support the school in preparing for the review, deciding on an agenda and agreeing an outline agenda for the day of the review.


All reviews to date have involved parents having an opportunity to express their views.  This could be by questionnaire before the review or phone call/face to face meeting during the review.  Your school may already gather this information – if so it’s useful to share it as part of the pre-preview information you send to reviewers.


2:5 Focus Areas

Reviewers and schools have found it helpful before the visit for the school to select or propose a focus area or key questions, for example:


  1. Are pupils with SEND making progress?
  2. How effectively does the school capture outcomes for pupils with SEND? (refer to Appendix1 – NASEN)
    1. How is the school able to evidence the difference it makes for children with SEND?

    e.g. enables the student to attend, increases attendance, improves attitude to learning…

    1. Are pupils prepared for the next stage of life and learning? Travel training assessments conducted/programmes in place?
    2. How effective is the leadership and management of SEND within your school/academy?
    3. How effective is the school managing the flow of pupils between/off/onto stages of SEND?
    4. How effective is the environment in enabling the children to reach their full potential?
    5. How effective are the communications regarding SEND pupils in school?
    6. How effective is our SEND support, especially for Children who are Looked After or those in receipt of Pupil Premium?


    1. School Visit

    Most reviews start by 8.30 am giving opportunity for the Review teams to meet staff and settle in before they see pupils arrive and start informal conversations. It is intended that, following feedback to Head and SENCO, the team leave school by 1.00pm [primary] or 2.30pm [secondary]. Please advise the team as to whether your school will be providing lunch.


    3:1 Timetable and roles

    During the school visit, reviewers will follow a timetable [set by the school and agreed with the lead reviewer, refer to example in Appendix C].  The school needs to note on the timetable to accommodate roles A, B and C as set out below [doubling up where there are more than 3 reviewers]:


    • Person A: Talking to pupils, time in classrooms and SEND groups (it might be that a reviewer follows one student).
    • Person B: wider classrooms/school overview and parent, staff and governor conversations
    • Person C: time in classrooms and SEN paperwork, processes, data including soft data, impact of interventions


    School staff are welcome to join the review team at any part of the day, however we do suggest that some pupils might be put off by senior staff presence in pupil meetings. We ask schools to please ensure that time is allocated for the review team to meet – just together – mid morning [20 mins] and just prior to the feedback meeting to school [ideally 30 mins]. Please ensure that the headteacher can be represented in feedback.


    During the review

    • Reviewers

    Reviewers will find it helpful to gather evidence in a variety of ways including:

    • Lesson drop-ins where there are children in a class with SEND
    • Tracking of one student identified as having SEND needs
    • Observation of intervention sessions for pupils with SEND
    • A tour of the school/ Learning walks
    • Paperwork scrutiny – SEN file and individual pupil paperwork
    • SEN Attainment and progress data
    • Observation of unstructured activities such as break time and lunchtime clubs
    • Review case studies on pupils – including children who may be in receipt of pupil

    premium, pupil premium plus, previously looked after, students with a social worker or

    Children in Care.


    3.3 Documents:

    The following documentation MAY be helpful for the school to present [if it currently exists] and if so, it would be useful for the school to ensure that they have accessible:

    • SEND development plan
    • A provision map – including finance
    • Any Current progress data, including pre/post Intervention data
    • An outline of roles and responsibilities within the SEND team -including Policy and practice for deployment of teaching assistants – induction and training of same
    • Details of the school’s use of alternative/off-site provision for SEND students and assessment of its effectiveness
    • Exemplar pupil passports or similar
    • Details of CPD programme for staff relating to SEND.


    3.4 Possible activities to gather evidence on the day (Appendix C):

    1. See SEN planning paperwork/ data tracking/ action plans etc.
    2. Look at individual pupil tracking/plans/pupil work
    3. Have opportunity to speak with the SENCO [ideally available for 20 mins early in the morning and 20-30 mins later on] and relevant SMT – including the HT.
    4. Opportunity to speak with some pupils in groups – EHCP/SEN/ School Support pupils and non-SEN [mainstream] pupils who encounter SEN pupils in class [15 mins each]
    5. Opportunity to speak to staff member/s/TAs – and the SEN governor [15 mins max each – and possible to phone the governor if need be].
    6. Time in classrooms/around school on a learning walk. One option [in a secondary school] is a pupil pursuit – where one reviewer observes in classrooms looking at beginnings middles and ends of lessons for a number of SEN pupils and seeing them in different contexts
    7. Potential discussion with parents – 20 mins – perhaps at the start of the day or by telephone and pre-agreed times.
    8. Review school’s SEN processes/flow on/off the SEN register


    Review teams may use aspects of the attached paperwork [Appendix B below] to support in their role – none of this is compulsory – as a quality assurance support.


    1. Reporting

    4.1 Following the review, a short report will be submitted to the school, based upon the verbal feedback given on the day and recorded by Peers on the attached form [Appendix D]. Reporting will consider responses to the schools focus areas or key questions, will suggest a small number of development points and will suggest how best practice, where evident, should be more widely shared.


    1. Follow Up

    Where required or requested, the school and the review team may agree follow up visits or support, this could be a phone call or support with a particular area of focus highlighted by the review.  Schools may also agree a return visit with the reviewer to review progress with the recommendations, or the reviewer may be able to signpost schools to practitioners or organisations who can provide ongoing support.


    To book: email mike.stapleton-chambers@halton.gov.uk

    SEND Learning Walks

    Venue: At your setting

    Date: Various dates available

    Audience: School in general

     School Improvement Halton will work with SENCO, Inclusion Teams and governors to develop your SEND offer

     To book email: mike.stapleton-chambers@halton.gov.uk

    SEND Outcomes Meetings

    Venue: At your setting

    Date: Various dates available

    Audience: SENDCo and School Leadership Teams

     This training is designed to ensure schools are meeting the needs of their SEND pupils in line with the statutory guidance set by the DfE. Advisors will signpost and update you on services available that you might not be currently using. They will also be able to help with current issues around SEND at your school 

    To Book email – mike.stapleton-chambers@halton.gov.uk