What do we call it? I don't know how many of you follow Twitter but there's an interesting discussion happening on the changing of language around SEND. It began with a talk by Mary Myatt (if you haven't read her books or seen Mary speak I'd thoroughly recommend it) at NorthernRocks17. This is a yearly education event held in Leeds and organised by Debra Kidd and Emma Hardy MP. Congratulations to Emma, previously a primary school teacher, who has just been elected. Mary Myatt was telling us from work she had undertaken, how students in middle and lower classes (or tables) were often not challenged in the same way as the highest attaining learners. She went on to say that differentiation was a stupid word, 'Why would we do it differently?' Mary asked recommending instead, teachers begin at the same point then work from there. I know what Mary means, it is a constant source of surprise to me that students with the most complex needs are often (not always I might add, excellent cultures in some schools) virtually disapplied from learning, and phrases such as 'I don't do homework' are common in many mainstream schools. This may correlate with age meaning by year 11 these learners have lost agency, feel undervalued and are pretty much just going through the motions rather than exercising the manic urgency to achieve from other students in higher groups. An interesting statistic to think about which Mary gave us was that in one study, 88% of students in the bottom stream at age 4 were still there by year 11. I have transgressed from my original point about language but does affirming language relate to action? Does it really matter what we call it? We just need to 'do' it. But what is it? And how do we do it? What does it look like? Do you think the word differentiation has become toxic? Should we stop using the phrase SEND? Or replacing special with additional as some schools have. How do we move from a deficit model to one where all learners are celebrated and the highest expectations co-exist with an understanding of the requirements needed to achieve. I'm coming back to this question next week and hope you will join in with what I'm calling the #sendlingo discussion. Will a shift in language mean a more inclusive culture within schools? And by inclusive I mean ensuring every learner is given the facility to access the curriculum and the instruments to show how much they know.