Welcome to this week’s edition of ‘The Week Ahead’ (9th July 2018) Here you will find the latest updates on literacy and SEND policy from Parliament and beyond.
Things to know:
Damian Hinds’ speech sets out his vision for SEND learners
Speaking at the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, the Education Secretary made a welcome intervention on his vision for SEND learners. Hinds said that “our ambition for these children is exactly the same as it is for all children – we want them to be able to do their best in school and in college and reach their potential, and, afterwards, to find employment and lead happy and fulfilled lives.” Read his full speech here.
Key parts: what Hinds said
The detail of Hinds’ speech was also very interesting and many of his announcements echo DYT’s recommendations to the DfE. Here are some of his key statements:
On exclusions: “We know there has been a steady movement of children with special educational needs out of mainstream schools and into specialist provision, alternative provision and home education. At the same time, rates of exclusion have begun to rise after a period of having calmed down. And I hear too many stories about off-rolling. I want to be clear right now: this is not okay. SEND pupils are not someone else’s problem. Every school is a school for pupils with SEND, and every teacher is a teacher of SEND pupils.”
“While we had record investment in the education for children with complex SEND at £6 billion this year – it’s clear that budgets are under pressure. And, frankly, this is difficult – I can’t say today that I have all the answers. But I am listening to your concerns.”
“I am working with Ofsted to make sure our accountability system sufficiently rewards schools for their work with pupils who need extra support, and to encourage schools to focus on all pupils, not just the highest achievers.
In addition, I will be asking Ofsted and the Care Quality Commissionto design a programme of further local area SEND inspections to follow the current round, due to conclude in 2021; and for their advice on further inspection or monitoring of those areas required to produce a ‘Written Statement of Action’.”
Zahawi: we will create a network of 10,000 schools to share SEND best practice
Speaking at nasen Live, Zahawi welcomed the new Whole School SEND regional leaders, read Schools Week’s coverage.
Ofsted criticised in Education Committee session on SEND
Baroness Warnock told the committee that “the inspectorate does not account enough for the inclusion policies of schools when delivering their final judgment.” Watch the session here.
Rebecca Pow MP led a Westminster Hall debate for speech, language and communication support for children on Wednesday, 4 July. MPs from all sides made powerful speeches and expressed support for Bercow: Ten Years On and its recommendations. Find the video of the debate here.