A look at the events and articles to be aware of in the education and SEND world.
Education Questions (2:30pm)
Justine Greening and her team face the dispatch box for the first time in this new parliamentary year, they face 25 questions on a range of topics.
Highlights to watch out for:
Greening will also face topical questions until 3:30pm, her battle with opposite number, Angela Rayner should be interesting to watch given Labour’s increase in attacks on the government on the subject of teacher pay and training over the summer break.
A formal motion to establish select committees will be approved on Monday afternoon. The Education Committee is expected to hold a planning meeting to agree new inquiries, watch out for announcements of new inquiries and hearings on Tuesday. Last week the Conservatives elected their membership of the committee, the new members are:
We will be briefing on the who the new members of the committee are shortly.
Westminster Hall debate on the waiting time standard for autism diagnosis (9:30-11am).
Labour MP Bambos Charalambous leads a debate on autism diagnosis. He will say that research suggests children with autism are waiting over three and a half years for a diagnosis, despite NICE guidance that no one should wait more than three months. This leads to children being left without access to support at school and is a cause of avoidable mental health problems.
House of Lords, (after 2pm) – Debate on the impact of the English Baccalaureate on the take-up of creative and technical subjects, and the case for broadening the curriculum
Led by Baroness Stedman-Scott. Over the weekend, Schools Minister Nick Gibb said that arts are excluded from EBacc so pupils can “specialise in different things.”
Parliament will be in recess for the party conference season, returning on 9 October.
Look out for the Week Ahead brief to follow what happens at the party conferences.
Today in the HoC I highlighted lack of supply in childcare for parents of children with special educational needs, more must be done to help pic.twitter.com/teDPt0qOO3
— Thelma Walker MP (@Thelma_WalkerMP) September 6, 2017
In a debate on Free Childcare Entitlement, Thelma Walker, new Labour MP and Education Committee member asked Robert Goodwill, “What does the Minister have to say to the parents of children with special educational needs who cannot access childcare for their children?”
The Minister for Children and Families replied, “I am absolutely determined to do what we can to help the parents of children with special educational needs. I have had a number of meetings already, despite my short time in the Department, about ensuring that the money that we are spending is spent effectively and ensuring that parents get the support that they need.”
Elsewhere, in a House of Lords debate on the age for criminal responsibility, Baroness Bottomley of Nettlestone cited the number of people with SEND in the criminal justice system: “If you look at the mental ill-health of young people in youth custody, about 30% suffer from attention deficit disorder, compared with 6% of the population; 57% have *dyslexia*, compared with 10% of the population; 20% have learning disabilities, compared with 2% of the population; 60% have speech problems, compared with 5% of the population.”
The Secretary of State for Education has announced plans to review school transport statutory guidance to make sure all local authorities are providing school transport for eligible children with special educational needs.
A Department for Education spokesperson said:
“We are investing £222million over four years to help local authorities improve special educational needs and disability (SEND) services and local authorities must provide school transport for all eligible children with SEND.
“In light of the findings by Contact, the department will review the statutory guidance for local authorities to ensure it is clear.”
BBC News – Disabled child travel cuts ‘force parents to work less.’ Read here.
TES – Permanent exclusions ‘skyrocket’ by as much as 300% in a year. Read here.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has laid out her Government’s priorities for the next year with an Education bill at the forefront of the SNP’s legislative programme this year.
The Times (£) – Oxford sued for ‘mishandling’ special needs. Read here.