Read DYT’s education policy round up with a literacy and SEND focus.
14th January 2019
This week will be action-packed. The Government prepares for (take 2) of the crunch Brexit vote on Tuesday and many of the big issues in the education sector return to the limelight. The launch of the consultation on Ofsted’s new inspection framework and some worrying findings on school revenue balances are sure to come up when the Education Secretary is grilled by the Education Committee this week.
Before we take a look at what’s to come, the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) published a report stating that grammar schools have a strong record getting disadvantaged pupils into University. This certainly stirred up the education community, including our Director of Operations, Karen Wespieser who said “only thing that we can say about selective education based on this publication is that it is selective in the evidence it offers.”
The zombie policy was an opportunity to re-visit DYT’s fact sheet on why expanding selective education would be a negative step for learners with literacy difficulties.
Coming up this week:
The Education Committee’s inquiry into SEND starts the new year with a roundtable discussion with school leaders, teachers, specialists and support staff on SEND. The inquiry has already covered a wide range of issues, so will be interesting to see which areas the discussion focuses on. Given that there is a Resource Provision Manager, an Educational Psychologist and a Specialist Leader in Education on the panel, I would predict that the future of specialist support services may be covered, something which DYT focused on in our written evidence.
The day will kick off with a big announcement. HMCI, Amanda Spielman will use a speech at the Sixth Form Colleges’ Association winter conference to launch the consultation into Ofsted’s new inspection framework. The new framework, which is due to be implemented in September, will focus more on the quality of the curriculum a school offers and less on examination results. DYT will be calling for a focus on SEND learners in our response to Ofsted’s consultation as well as how literacy provision will feature in the new framework.
Also on Wednesday, Damian Hinds, will face the Education Committee for an accountability session.Schools Week has a preview of what’s likely to come up, including multi-academy trusts and accountability, school exclusions and careers advice. Hinds will be joined by the DfE’s permanent secretary Jonathan Slater.
In the House of Lords, the Government will face an oral question on how schools can encourage participation in art and design subjects.
If you missed it:
Hinds: “teacher workload my number one priority”
Writing for TES, the education Secretary has reiterated his number one priority as reducing teacher workload. He is due to announce key next steps the DfE will take in a “recruitment and retention strategy,” likely to build upon the consultation on QTS and career progression for teachers conducted last year. DYT’s view on this was that inclusion and support for learners with literacy difficulties needs to be “built-in, not bolt on” to ensure the right structures and support are in place at the beginning of a teacher’s career.
New research into the positive impact of early reading
The Nuffield Foundation and Newcastle University published findings that reading to young children in early years boosts language skills by eight months. The team of experts called for greater local authority support to encourage parents and early years workforce to act on this.
Vulnerable pupils ‘struggling to see educational psychologists’
A survey by the UCL Institute of Education and the University of Glasgow found that cuts to Educational Psychologist (EP) numbers is having a detrimental impact on the service they can offer to the most vulnerable pupils. Almost four in five educational psychologists say that staffing shortfalls mean children in their area no longer have fair access to their services. Linked to SEND support services, DYT will be exploring how dyslexia specialists are deployed in Spring 2019.
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