Welcome to this week’s edition of ‘The Week Ahead’ (11th June 2018)
Here you will find the latest updates on literacy and SEND policy from Parliament and beyond.
Things to know:
Deadline: SEND inquiry closes this Thursday
The deadline for responses to the Education Committee’s SEND inquiry closes on Thursday. If you still have thoughts email them to firstname.lastname@example.org for us to add to our response – see below for the main arguments we will be making to the committee. Find out more about the inquiry and make your own response here.
Attend: Transparency on Exclusions inaugural meeting
This Saturday, DYT will host the first meeting of the Transparency on Exclusions campaign. This event is to plan and organise a campaign to fight for better data on official and unofficial exclusions in the English school system. The aim is to explore ways to reduce exclusions based on practice, values and the law. A need to know the full data is vital. Register to attend and find out more.
Exclusions of autistic pupils up 60%
The meeting comes as figures from the national charity Ambitious about Autism show that exclusions of children with autism increased by at least 44% in every part of England between 2011-12 and 2015-16. Read Tes’ coverage.
Hinds and Rayner appear at NGA conference
The Education Secretary issued a “call to arms” to school governors on Saturday calling for business leaders to volunteer at their local schools. Hinds also committed to tackling excessive pay in MATs and promoting greater diversity on governing bodies. Labour’s Angela Rayner also spoke at the conference in which she said we need to “encourage mainstream schools to see SEND students as people instead of someone who is disadvantaged” – which was welcomed by our CEO.
DYT will be launching the SEND Governance Review Guide this month,which draws upon the six features of effective governance to set out a framework for how to ensure that learners with SEND access high-quality provision. Register for a ticket to the launch in London.
If you missed it:
Last Friday marked a year since the 2017 General Election which saw the surprise result of a Conservative Minority government, TES reflects a year on about how the result has impacted education policy.
All day: consideration of Lords amendments to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill
Education Committee, 10 am: Session on life chances, witnesses include UCL Institute of Education’s Dominic Wyse and Sir Kevan Collins of the EEF.
House of Commons chamber, Adjournment debate: Anneliese Dodds will raise the Sound Reading system and strategies to improve literacy with the government.
With Thursday’s deadline approaching for the Education Committee’s SEND inquiry, we take a look at some of the main arguments DYT will be making in our submission:
Although it is important for the committee’s inquiry to investigate the impact of the 2014 SEND reforms, if the inquiry focuses purely on this it will miss the bigger picture of how unprecedented upheaval in the education sector has affected children and young people with special needs. We recommend that the committee fully considers the impact of school accountability measures, reforms to pupil assessments and the level of school funding in their inquiry.
We have made a series of recommendations for the committee to consider on a policy-level, our main message to the inquiry is that policy-makers must make SEND learners a priority. Too often, the 1.2 million learners with SEND are overlooked by the government and in the education system. 8 in 10 of SEND learners are in mainstream schools, however, rather than being treated as a mainstream policy issue SEND is often “bolted on” rather than being “built-in” to the core of educational reforms and strategies.
The Department for Education should support schools through extra targeted funding, rewards for inclusive schools and by strengthening the accountability framework so that it focuses on improving outcomes for SEND learners. There is already a precedent of this through the introduction of the Pupil Premium fund.