A look at the events and articles to be aware of in the education and SEND world.
Welcome back to those of you who return to school today! Here at DYT we are excited to be developing new partnerships with schools in Yorkshire, Kent, Buckinghamshire and Reading to implement our Drive for Literacy programme. To keep up to date with all elements of our work sign up to our newsletter here, the first one of the new school year comes out next Monday.
I will be bringing you weekly updates about policy developments in our field every Monday, if you would like to receive this straight in your inbox email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To kick off the new term read this new blog from our Consultant Teacher, Nancy Gedge on the importance of wellbeing for teachers and Jules Daulby’s list of the “tests that every Sendco should have in their assessment toolkit.”
’Superunion’: NUT and ATL Merge forms the largest education union in Europe
The National Education Union officially launched last Friday. The merge between NUT and ATL has led to the amalgamation of over 450,000 members from schools and colleges across the countries.
The merge leads to the NEU becoming the 4th largest trade union in the UK and largest education union in Europe. Professor Howard Stevenson, leading academic from the Nottingham School of Education, argues the merge is a “significant development” in the fight against “unsustainable workloads, budget cuts and system fragmentation”.
The National Education Union will now become a key voice in the debate around the supply and delivery of the teaching profession.
Ofqual to review school exam rules after cheating scandal
Ofqual is to step in this week after it has emerged that teachers leaked information about exams in independent schools. Minister Nick Gibb said that ‘the public must have confidence in the integrity of the exam system’.
Potential shortage over secondary school places looms
Councils across the UK are warning that there could be a shortage of secondary school places as councils creep towards full capacity. The Local Government Association states that schools could be ‘nearly 8000 places short by September 2018 and 125000 short by 2022’
Overall drop in GCSE pass rates after change in scoring system
August witnessed an overall drop in pass rates within the new GCSE scoring system – which grades students from 9-1 rather than A-G.
The widely anticipated change to GCSE scoring came into force this exam cycle, with students receiving their results for the first time under the new system this August. The overall drop has led to some questioning the validity and fairness of the change, with several schools reportedly struggling with the move.
Parliament returns from the summer recess on Tuesday, the agenda is dominated by proceedings related to Brexit but there are a few events that educationalists should be aware of:
House of Commons:
Tuesday, time TBC: Labour’s Frank Field, will propose his Private Members Bill on meals for children during school holidays.
Wednesday, 12pm: Prime Minister’s Questions, the first show down of May v Corbyn will take place. Given Labour’s research over the summer that found that over 600,000 pupils are taught by unqualified teachers and that teachers are £5,000 worse off since 2010, education could well be on the agenda.
Thursday, 15:00: Westminster Hall debate on 16 to 19 education funding led by Nic Dakin MP.
House of Lords:
Wednesday, 10:30am: Citizenship and Civic Engagement Committee: Citizenship and Civic Engagement includes Ms Ann Gross, Director of Special Needs, Disadvantage and Character Policy, Department for Education giving evidence.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Conservative internal elections for ordinary places on the select committees will be held. Follow us throughout the week to find out who will make up the rest of the Education Committee.
APPG ON LEARNING DISABILITY – Committee Room 5, Time: 16:00
The theme of the meeting is Making voting accessible. It will be attended by Minister for the Constitution Chris Skidmore as well as representatives from the Electoral Commission and the Association for Electoral Administrators the APPG will explore the experiences of people with a learning disability when registering to vote and voting itself.
There are a number of relevant groups who are having their AGMs to elect new officers:
In the coming weeks Business Minister Margot James is expected to chair the first ever meeting of the Business Diversity and Inclusion Group, set up to make sure government and businesses work more closely to remove barriers in the workplace. The group will conduct four industry-led diversity reviews, but not a specific focus on disability or SEND. Watch this space…
The first meeting of the APPG for Dyslexia will be taking place in November. We would like to hear your views about what should be raised and focused upon at the meeting, contact email@example.com to share your thoughts.
Action for ASD have set up a petition to order the Government to act on the issue of SEND pupils being excluded from schools. Half of recorded school exclusions are children with SEND, an issue we raised in the government’s consultation in April. Sign the petition here.