Welcome to this week’s edition of ‘The Week Ahead’ (21st May 2018)
Here you will find the latest updates on literacy and SEND policy from Parliament and beyond.
Things to know:
SATs maths paper a ‘nightmare’Reports about last week’s 40-minute maths test suggested there was “too much wording to wade through to really get to the maths,” something that could have a significant impact on learners with literacy difficulties. Elsewhere, the general consensus is that the reading and SPAG elements of the English test were ‘hard but fair’ – read more of the reaction to last week’s tests.
Nick Gibb faces Education Committee The Minister for School Standards will appear in front of the committee at 10am on Tuesday. The session will focus on the government’s mission to narrow the attainment gap for disadvantaged learners, expect grammar schools and last week’s exams to come up as well.
Education Secretary visits Hastings for Mental Health Awareness Week Damian Hinds welcomed mental health support services and further funding to Hastings through the Opportunity Area programme. The NSPCC found that school referrals for children’s mental health treatment rose by a third in findings published last week.
Greening: ‘TV subtitles boost literacy’ Former Education Secretary, Justine Greening has called for the government to play a more “active” role in helping parents to create a home learning environment. Speaking at a Sutton Trust event in New York, Greening said that parents who struggle with reading themselves should put subtitles on the TV to improve their child’s literacy. Her comments were supported by the National Literacy Trust.
DYT’s View: With SATs and GCSEs starting last week we take a look back on DYT’s work on assessment. We believe that assessment is important to establish an indication of how our children are developing the skills needed for later life. We seek to contribute with a focus on how assessment specifically affects SEND learners, ensuring that appropriate test design and arrangements are in place to make the exams process as inclusive as possible.
We are concerned that the focus on maths and English in primary testing is narrowing the curriculum significantly, especially for SEND learners.
The government should consider whether the KS2 tests, as they stand, in the light of the Equalities Act (2010) are discriminatory against SEND learners.
Any change to primary assessment must consider the way in which assessment affects both the content of the curriculum and classroom practice regarding reading. This has a particular disadvantage for learners with literacy difficulties. Even with access arrangements which help SEND learners to take statutory tests, these cannot mitigate against inaccessible test design.