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The achievement of effective multi-agency working within the SEN arena has proved more difficult to achieve than was initially anticipated. In order to create a climate of change where SEN professionals and agencies can work effectively together it is needed that the participants understand what the barriers to change are. Some of the barriers to achieving more effective multi-agency working within the SEN environment that have been identified by DFes (2007) are professionalism; conflicting priorities of different agencies; dealing with risk and the need to change the culture of organisations. Working in collaboration with other professionals and agencies involves SEN and multi-agency workers moving out of their comfort zone and taking risks. Anning, A. (2001, p.8) highlights, ‘However, little attention has been given to two significant aspects of the operationalisation of integrated services. The first is the challenge for SEN workers of creating new professional identities in the ever changing communities of practice (who I am). The second is for workers to openly communicate and share their personal and professional knowledge in order to create a new version of knowledge (what I know) for a new multi-agency way of working.’ Lownsbrough, H. and O’Leary, D. (2005) states that ‘Despite the genuine support of Every Child Matters, all SEN professionals are faced with the constant challenge of not reverting back to their comfort zone of their organisational boundaries, their professional authority and life inside these traditional boundaries can be far less complex and threatening, and after years of working in a particular fashion they are not easily forgotten. Although no one argues against the benefits of integrated services of multi-agency working Stiff, R. (2007), and there is clear strategic backing and direction for local restructuring and reorganisation to configure SEN services to meet the needs of the most vulnerable children more effectively. There is still little research-based evidence regarding the efficiency of multi-agency strategies or suggesting which activity is most useful, with no comprehensive model of the issues influencing its success Salmon, G. (2004). However, Government has demonstrated substantial commitment to local authorities developing multi-agency partnerships of which SEN is part of, and also providing considerable flexibility for local authorities and communities to develop their own multi-agency activities, tailored to meet their own local needs.”Joined-up” working has deep implications for the professionals working within the SEN teams, and for the agencies that commission their services. In multi-agency team work, professional knowledge boundaries could have a tendency to become blurred, professional identity can become challenged as roles, and responsibilities change. Some SEN team members may struggle to cope with the fragmentation of one version of their professional identity before a new version can be built. Moreover, the rapid pace of SEN reform leaves little time for adjustment as SEN teams move (often within tight time scales) from strategic planning to operational implementation


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