The Tools For The Task

Six challenges that all SEND settings face  -  and how Earwig provides you with the tools to deal with these.

Whether you run a 300 pupil all-through special school or a 3 pupil additional needs unit in a mainstream school, there are certain core requirements that you need to fulfil. There is an Earwig package that will enable you to carry these out better, and more efficiently.

Challenge 1
Providing relevant vivid accurate teaching evidence
The Solution
The Earwig records and timelines

Even with a team in the classroom, special needs teachers don’t have time during the school day to create evidence records in the old-fashioned way.

The Earwig App makes capturing evidence easy and fast. Snap a photo, a video or a document and turn it into a useful record in seconds.

Commentary can be typed or even dictated, and each record can contain as many images or documents, or as much video as you like. There is no limit. And because it all happens in the cloud, there are no images left on devices to stray outside the school.

At any point, a pupil, subject, topic or target timeline of the relevant evidence can be produced in one click containing all the records created by the staff.

Select any curriculum or target and click on an objective to see exactly what evidence you have. See where the evidence gaps are, and to make sure that they are covered. Create individualised records for the whole class, all in one go.

Identify the next steps for each pupil and create individual lesson plans with a couple of clicks.

Challenge 2
Providing all-round assessment for each pupil with special needs
The Solution
Many frameworks, one package

The first requirement of a modern assessment process for special needs is that it must be capable of handling all the different ways in which teachers engage these pupils. So the solution must be capable of providing and managing  all the many different assessment schemes, curricula and target sets that special schools and their specialist staff and therapists are likely to want to create or use.

Earwig is the only facility that can provide you with access to more than 300 options and accommodate all the frameworks you need, effortlessly, within one system.

These are viewable in the Earwig Framework Library, which you can browse any time .  Just click here. Grading schemes and several other setup options are completely configurable and you can add frameworks as you evolve your teaching strategy.

So, your staff only need to learn one software package for all the teaching evidence, assessment and reporting activity, right across the school.

Challenge 3
Providing pupil-centred learning based on EHCP required outcomes
The Solution
Editable frameworks

In this post-Rochford era, all SEND units now individualise their curricula and formative assessment targets based on the outcomes required by each EHCP.

This all makes sense, but it creates another time-consuming admin task for staff and also makes tracking and reporting on progress more difficult.

The Earwig editable EHCP-based objective setting and assessment module transforms and simplifies this whole process and makes reporting for Annual Reviews much easier and quicker.
It also makes reporting on engagement to PMLD parents a matter of moments.

To have a sneak preview of how this all works, head to The Framework Library and search for ‘EHCP’.

Challenge 4
Managing many different feedback-based formative assessment processes
The Solution
Earwig expectation setting, forecasting and tracking

Implementing an iterative formative assessment process, including reporting against teacher set expectations adds another layer to senior staff workloads. Earwig has put in the hard work behind the scenes to make it all easy for even the most technophobic teachers.

Earwig tracks even the smallest achievements and presents the progress made by each child, against any measure you choose, effortlessly and elegantly.  All you need to do is add the most important bit – the teacher commentary.

A full staff training program and help videos at every stage, ensure that every member of staff feels comfortable using the tools.  We know that teachers aren’t always techies.

We also provide the SLT with a free annual online review of all your assessment activity with an Earwig expert, to ensure that everyone is getting the benefit and eliminating assessment/evidence/reporting stress.

Challenge 5
Continuously improving parental engagement and involvement
The Solution
The Earwig parent dashboard

Real engagement in the learning process is very important for children with special needs and not always easy to achieve.

Many schools are nervous about strategies to increase parental involvement because parents can be very time consuming. Earwig solves this by providing schools with a ready-made parent interface which provides each parent with a window into their child’s life at school, with no extra effort from the staff at all.

Parents can contribute to observations and add records of their own, to add texture to their child’s learning journey. They can also provide evidence to support therapist interventions.

At the core of this is the principle that there should be one place where all those concerned with the welfare and progress of a child with special needs can come together (virtually) to share data, celebrate achievement and generally make sure that everyone is (literally) on the same page.

Challenge 6
Minimising staff workload
The Solution
The Earwig app, report generator and analytic engine

One of the new questions recently added to the Ofsted Inspection Framework is ‘What have you done to reduce staff workloads?’.

Earwig makes pupil management administration easier, faster and better, across the board. But there is a danger that, when you introduce new software and processes, output increases and workload stays the same. So let’s highlight three areas where the time saving is so great that even with an increase in output, staff will find themselves with more free time than they currently have.

The first group that will save time with Earwig are teachers and teaching assistants. The Earwig app make evidence capture a breeze.  So you can take more evidence, organise it much better, and still have time left over of other more productive things. Word-of-mouth evidence suggests that, on average, teachers save 45 minutes a week. But this will vary a lot!

The second group are senior teachers and those responsible for the production of pupil reports. The report generator produces exactly the style of report that you need, with all the data filled in, so you just add your words of wisdom. So much easier and quicker.

The last group in the staff room who will really save a lot of time is the SLT.  The Earwig analytical engine allows leaders to analyse the performance of any pupil cohort for any subject or curriculum and to produce whatever tables and charts are required, with a few clicks. When you have Earwig in place, your holidays really are holidays!


The Earwig boffins keep their ears to the ground, continuously evolving the Earwig systems, processes and training, in consultation with the DfE and special school leaders across the country, to make sure that you are always ahead of the game.

Whatever policy or pedagogy changes may happen in future, Earwig will evolve to accommodate this. So you only need one software package across the school – for the foreseeable future.

Because Earwig is cloud-based, we can easily add facilities and change protocols to deal with new requirements from authorities or schools. Earwig is updated daily. So you are always running the latest version of the software without you ever having to run a system upgrade.