Following the promotion of Penny Mordaunt MP to Secretary of State for International Development, Sarah Newton has been appointed as the new Minister for Disabled People. Newton has been the MP for Truro and Falmouth since 2010, previously she was assistant government whip and a minister at the Home Office.
Before politics she worked IBIS, Citibank and American Express and was Director of Age Concern UK. Newton’s role will focus on cross-governmental disability issues and the Disability Confident employment scheme.
Presenting at the Westminster Education Forum, Adam Boddison, Chief Executive of Nasen revealed new data that shows that the proportion of pupils with statements or EHCPs in special schools rose from 36 per cent in 2007 to 44 per cent for maintained special schools in 2017. Boddison claimed that the increase is causing a “capacity problem” in special schools, which are “bursting at the seams” and also claimed new accountability measures meant that schools have ‘little room’ for inclusion.
Catch up with Education Questions including questions on SEND learners in home education, high needs funding in Stoke, access to extra-curricular activities for SEND learners and what more the government can do to support autistic learners in mainstream schools.
Written Questions and answers over the last week:
APPG for Young Disabled People, 1:00pm, Thatcher Room, Portcullis House
The meeting will discuss the access of public transport for younger disabled people.
Work and Pensions oral questions, 2:30pm, House of Commons
Question Time, 2:30pm, House of Lords
The third question will be asked by Lord Addington on payment of Disabled Students’ Allowance to dyslexic students.
Oral evidence session, 10:15, Education Committee
The Education Committee questions the Children’s Commissioner for England Anne Longfield OBE as part of its series of accountability hearings early in the new Parliament. Questions will cover the role and work of the Commissioner, which was set up to promote and protect the rights of children in England, while the session will also be a chance for the Committee to ask about broader issues affecting the rights of young people.
Oral evidence session, 3:30pm, Economic Affairs Committee
Will look into the economics of higher, further and technical education with Sir Anthony Seldon, Vice Chancellor, Buckingham University.
Short debate, 1:00pm. House Of Lords
Lord Bird leads debate on “What new resources and strategies the Government will implement to ensure that every child has the opportunity to attend a good school and that all schools are fairly funded, as announced in the Queen’s Speech.”
Anti-Bullying Week is coordinated by the Anti-Bullying Alliance and takes place this year from 13th – 17th November and is supported by SafeToNet.
Anti-Bullying Week shines a spotlight on bullying and encourages all children, teachers and parents to take action against bullying throughout the year. The theme this year is ‘All Different, All Equal.’
The Special Education Consortium (of which DYT is part) is conducing a survey into this important area – please help by completing the survey to express your views.
The closing date for the survey is Friday 17 November, so if you haven’t already, please fill in the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SMTMRS6
Improve teacher education to help SEND pupils, research says. A report by the University of Cambridge says that teacher education must “urgently” be upgraded to improve learning for pupils with SEND (Schools Week)
‘1 in 5 teachers aware of illegal SEND exclusions.’ The NEU’s survey revealed that 20% of teachers are aware of illegal exclusions within their setting. (TES)
Private pupils better placed to get help for special needs. “Higher rates of diagnosis for dyslexia, dyspraxia and mental health problems have pushed the number of special arrangement provisions up by 31 per cent in independent secondary schools over the past three years, compared with 23 per cent in the state sector.” (The Times £)
Headteachers demand more school cash in letter to Hammond. “Five-thousand headteachers have endorsed a letter to the chancellor to demand more money for schools, warning of deep cuts to resources, soaring class sizes and further “desperate” pleas for cash if the new national funding formula is not reformed.” (The Guardian)