Secondary Research into Provision for SEND

The recent research into provision for SEND within secondary schools across Southampton, commissioned by the Local Authority, is now complete. SAOS would like to thank all secondary schools for participating in this exciting piece of work. This short piece of action research identifies the strengths of secondary school provision for students with SEND, in order to provide a city wide overview in which good practice and expertise can be shared. It also considers the particular barriers faced by secondary schools and examines how schools are working to overcome these. Whilst there continues to be fairly negative press both nationally and locally about the quality of SEND provision in secondary schools and the challenges of reduced funding, the research highlights how some schools are developing innovative ways to maximise resources and provide flexible pathways of provision for pupils with SEND in SCC. The complete research is available via the SIP website.

Secondary Support 2019-20

The dates and programme for secondary training are as follows:
  • Distributed leadership of SEND – Wed 6th November 9:30-12:30
  • Developing a graduated approach – Thursday 28th November 9:30-12:30
  • Measuring progress of pupils with SEND – Wed 29th January 9:30-12:30
  • Pupil and parent voice – Thursday 27th Feb 9:30-12:30
Headteachers, SENCos and SEND Governors are all invited to attend. These sessions will take place at Testlands Hub, Green Lane. Booking is now available via the SIP website. In addition, secondary schools are invited to contact SAOS direct if they would like to take up the offer of a pupil surgery to facilitate problem solving around identified pupils.

Changes to where referrals are sent

There has been a change to how referrals to SAOS are now received and processed. As from September 18, all referrals need to be sent directly to SAOS via Anycomms. The deadline for requests is midday on Monday each week. Forms received after this date will be processed the following week. If a referral form lacks adequate information for the Outreach Advisory Teacher to carry out their initial visit, the forms may be returned, leading to potential delay to support.

Secondary Support

SAOS have been commissioned by the Local Authority to carry out a review of SEND provision across secondary schools in the city, during the academic year 18-19. The feedback from reviews will help to inform how secondary schools work with outreach provision in the future. For this reason, secondary schools will not have access to individual pupil referrals for the coming academic year. However, each school will have the opportunity to book a ‘surgery’ with an Outreach Advisory Teacher to discuss pupils with whom they have concerns or to use our telephone consultation on Tuesday afternoons.

Successful Outcomes: Sustainability Over Time

SIP & SAOS ACTION Research: June 2017

This short piece of action research seeks to identify the characteristics that ensure impact from external interventions delivered by Southampton Advisory Outreach Service for SEND can be sustained over time.

It considers how the service can work with schools to establish self sustaining systems that reduce dependency, thereby freeing the service to focus resources where there is greatest need.

The research suggests that sustainable progress is dependent on the continued setting of specific targets that allow progress to be measured and evidenced over time. However, it also suggests that schools need to consider the wider progress made by pupils that cannot be captured by narrow progress measures. Furthermore, the research identifies some key factors that ensure pupils continue to make progress once external support is withdrawn. These include consistency in how support is delivered and effective communication systems that help to maintain consistent approaches to support and allow for adaptation as part of the cycle of ‘assess, plan, do and review’. Furthermore, the research considers how schools retain motivation to continue with recommendations once external support is withdrawn and the conditions that are needed to foster ongoing commitment.

0-25 SEND Inspection February 2017

A joint inspection of the 0-25 SEND provision within Southampton took place at the beginning of February. The letter was published at the end of term and identifies the significant impact of the SAOS team upon the quality of SEND provision within mainstream schools. The work of SAOS was identified as the second of seven main findings and attributes their work as a ‘key factor in implementing (0-25) reforms’. During the week of the inspection SAOS received high praise from mainstream settings and overall the work of SAOS has been celebrated as being significant to the positive outcome of the inspection. Thank you to all those mainstream schools who were involved in the inspection and who highlighted to inspectors the difference the service makes to outcomes for pupils with special educational needs.

Action Research, 2016 – 2017

Following the outcomes from the research carried out last year, SAOS are currently carrying out case studies to examine successful outcomes and sustainability over time.

Key questions:

  • Do pupils who exceeded their targets continue to make progress once outreach intervention is concluded?
  • What are the factors that impact on sustainability?


The service will carry out 5 case studies of pupils who exceeded their targets during 15-16. The mainstream school will receive a follow up visits at 6 months, following the conclusion of the outreach intervention. Data will be collated by Outreach Advisory Teachers as follows:

  • An observation of the pupil in class (qualitative)
  • Staff questionnaire (quantitative)
  • Structured interview (qualitative)

Vacancy For Class Teacher

Springwell School is seeking a teacher to join them this Spring Term – January 2017 who is dynamic in their approach to making learning fun and accessible for all pupils. The successful candidates will work with an excellent staff team who are both forward thinking and innovative. A well-developed induction programme will provide in depth support and guidance. Please visit Springwell School website for further information.

SAOS Action Research now available

SAOS ACTION Research 2015-2016

Maximising pupil progress and building school capacity

The research sets out to investigate the challenges for SAOS in measuring the impact of short term interventions for pupils with special educational needs, seeking to identify the factors that contribute to successful intervention. It also highlights considerations for enhanced partnership working between the Southampton Advisory Outreach Service for SEND and city schools in order to ensure that pupils with special educational needs achieve the best positive outcomes.

The complete research and a summary document of key findings can be found in resources or below: