22 December 2019

Parents/GST meeting redacted paragraph on SEND

On 18 November 2019, less than an hour after Mr Dunne's resignation letter had been circulated, five parents attended a long-awaited meeting with the Good Shepherd Trust.

Parents had been calling for an open meeting with the trust for a number of weeks, but the GST refused and instead proposed a meeting with a small number of parents. The full attendance list is as follows:

Julia Jones JJ (Parent); Andrew Stocks AS (Parent); Laura Sutton LS (Parent), Ian Birdsey IB (Parent); Alex Tear AT (Interim Chief Executive, The Good Shepherd Trust); Revd Cathy Blair CB (Vice Chair, Local Governing Committee Ashley School); Martyn McCarthy MM (Member, Local Governing Committee Ashley School); Lou Digweed LG (Parent and note- taker); Sally Condie SC (Governance Officer The Good Shepherd Trust and note-taker)

The full agreed minutes of the meeting can be read here. There was one section of the minutes, concerning the school's SEND provision, which the GST refused to agree, but accepted that parents would be free to publish it as they saw fit. It has been passed to me to publish on this website.

The text in bold highlights the redacted paragraphs with a couple of lines either side for context and to allow you to find them in the full minutes:

"IB therefore moved to raise Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND) as the next concern (5), stating that the school needs to do more in terms of SEND provision.

He believes parents welcomed the new SEND lead joining the school in Autumn 2019, an appointment MM confirmed that was made by the LGC.

When asked a question on the criteria for the new SEND lead’s selection, AT responded that SEND provision is a statutory responsibility and any one appointed must have the relevant qualification or be on the way to achieving it. MM advised that appointments are a sensitive issue and whilst AT offered to provide more information in this area that was appropriate for distribution, he respectfully pointed out that as the questions centred on the recruitment process, and were therefore not for parents (as stakeholders rather than customers - as parents are not customers of Ashley School) to receive.

It was noted by IB, LS, JJ, LS and LD that AT, CB and MM were not able to confirm whether the new SEND lead was already qualified or working towards the required SEND qualifications and that no information regarding the new SEND lead’s training and experience was shared at the meeting.

IB affirmed the parental support for the SEND council instigated last year, and their willingness to work with the SEND lead and give her time."

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