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|About||By supporting special schools to speak as one, Special Schools’ Voice can help create the best possible outcomes for children and young people.|
|Mission||Creating change through engagement.|
Special Schools’ Voice (SSV) is a group of like-minded colleagues who have been meeting to consider if the voice of Special schools could be brought together, to have a more coherent and definite impact.
We have widely consulted with Specials schools across the country to seek their views about the establishment of a collaborative that brings together a number of existing associations/groups to represent special schools in a more coherent manner. Responses to a questionnaire sent out earlier in the year strongly supported this proposal, so we are now endeavouring to progress the idea. We feel strongly that in order for SSV to have the impact we seek it needs to be well organised and be centred upon highly effective communication channels that will connect schools to decision makers. In today’s world of websites and Twitter we think that this is all possible. We are anticipating there being no cost to special school’s to become involved with SSV.
At present Government agencies such as the Department for Education and OFSTED, seek the opinion of some of the larger associations that represent Special schools e.g. the SSAT, The National Education Trust, SWALSS and more recently groupings of Special Teaching schools and Special converted academies. In total, according to the DfE census data (2014), there are 97,395 pupils attending 964 special schools. This is 1.2% of the school population.
Head teachers often talk of their frustration that their views, and the interests of their schools, insufficiently influence the formation of national policy. We are therefore asking if we could do things differently, so that these colleagues and their schools feel empowered and involved. At the same time Government policy could be further enhanced and constructed with an understanding of its impact on all children and young people.
SSV does not wish to merely “rehearse the challenges” but sees itself supporting agencies in finding solutions to the challenges we collectively