Welcome to this week’s edition of ‘The Week Ahead’ (16th July 2018)
Here you will find the latest updates on literacy and SEND policy from Parliament and beyond.
Things to know:
Damian Hinds unveils new measures to support teachers with ‘workload crisis’ The Education Secretary was on the front page of The Guardian on Saturday where he committed to tackling teacher workload. His Department announced a number of measures including an online toolkit and clarifications on marking expectations in an attempt to free up staff.
15% rise in permanent exclusions
For the third year in a row, exclusions have risen, overall 7,720 pupils were permanently excluded last year, and 381,865 pupils were suspended. Pupils with identified SEND accounted for around half of all permanent exclusions (46.7%) and have a permanent exclusion rate 6 times greater than pupils with no SEND. Read DYT’s response to the Timpson Review on School Exclusions.
Children’s Literacy Charity: Intervention research The Children’s Literacy Charity (CLC) has asked the education and youth think-and-action tank, LKMco, to conduct research in order to better understand: – Schools’ appetite for the type of literacy support they provide
–What schools are looking for from this type of support Participate in the survey here.
Joint union letter to Damian Hinds regarding STRB pay recommendations
The General Secretaries of the top five teaching unions have sent a letter to the Secretary of State urging him to decide on his response to the School Teachers’ Review Body report on teachers’ pay for September 2018. Hinds looks like he will avoid answering the question over the summer, whilst the National Education Union has promised a “summer of anger” to force his hand
If you missed it:
At Prime Minister’s Questions, Theresa May was questioned by David Drew about schools needing extra funding in order to support their SEND learners. In her response, the PM said she has “long championed the need for SEND learners to be provided for in the setting which is most appropriate for them.” Watch here.
Nadhim Zahawi was asked by Lucy Powell in the Education Select Committee last Wednesday, “what more can we actually do, in terms of that stick, not just a carrot, to require schools and groups of schools to ensure that they are inclusive” – echoing a theme we drew upon in our Joining the Dots report. Watch the whole of the Education Committee session here.
Peter Kyle asked a series of Parliamentary Questions on behalf of DYT:
What steps is the DfE taking to ensure that the Centre of Excellence for Literacy Teaching provides support for learners with dyslexia and other literacy needs? In his response, Nick Gibb said that “there is evidence that structured, systematic synthetic phonics teaching, in addition to engaging with reading books, can also help pupils in reception and Key Stage 1 with dyslexia to read well.”
– DYT will continue to push the DfE to ensure the Centre of Excellence spreads best practice on support for learners with literacy difficulties.
What assessment (the DfE) has made of the effect of specialist teachers on the progress of dyslexic learners; if he will undertake a review of the provision of dyslexia specialists in England; and if he will make a statement? The government’s response penned by Nadhim Zahawi glazed over dyslexia specialists but said that “the availability of dyslexia support should be included in the Local Offer of services for children and young people with SEND. Where gaps in provision are identified, education partners should work together to ensure that the Local Offer responds to requirements.”– DYT will be carrying out research over the next year into Local Offers to analyse the quality of specialist support.
Tuesday 24th July
Legislation: Home Education (Duty of Local Authorities) Bill [HL] – Third reading in the House of Lords.
Parliament is in recess from 24th July until 4th September.
The Education Committee publishes its Fifth Report of Session 2017-19, “Forgotten children: alternative provision and the scandal of ever-increasing exclusions” this Wednesday.
DYT engaged with this inquiry through both written and oral evidence, we welcomed the inquiry into Alternative Provision (AP). However, we suggested there should be a greater focus on the root cause of exclusions for those learners with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and especially those with unidentified learning difficulties such as dyslexia and Developmental Language Disorder (DLD).
Our key message is that prevention rather than reaction should always be the priority and permanent exclusion leading to an AP setting should always be the last resort.