Filtering what matters in the education sector.
The week got off to a busy start with Education Questions yesterday, the last one of 2017 saw clashes on school funding, home education and accountability of MATs. We also learnt of two new announcements from Justine Greening – a consultation on strengthening Qualified Teacher Status in February 2019 and the launch of a “social mobility action plan” (with Greening expected to make a speech to launch this on Thursday). We will be awaiting to see what firm commitments are made and ask again – where does SEND fit into the grand plan?
Over the weekend we saw two big SEND stories break, Ofsted’s Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman will use the launch of the their Annual Report to warn against the rise of results-based exclusion practices and teaching unions have warned about a “black hole” in high-needs funding. As we approach the new year, there is plenty for SEND advocates to be shouting at the government about.
Spielman to condemn schools that push out underachieving pupils to boost results
Westminster Education Forum on primary assessment
DYT Facilitator Richard Selfridge presented at the Westminster Education Forum’s discussion on primary assessment last week.
Richard was quoted in a Schools Week article about calls to boycott the reception baseline assessment, stating that the fact that “people are discussing boycotts at this stage” highlights the “concerns that people in the profession have about the new assessment.”
DYT presentation in Parliament to dyslexia group
DYT Policy & Research Executive, Dan Baynes gave a presentation at the most recent All Party Parliamentary Group on Dyslexia on the 29th November.
Dan looked at primary assessment reform that is on the horizon and the need to return to the recommendations of the Rose Report on the access and availability of dyslexia specialists as we approach it’s ten year anniversary.
Watch his presentation slide show.
For the last time in 2017 the Education team faced a series of questions from MPs – see here for the main topics that came up.
In regard to SEND, there were two questions on how the Secretary of State is ensuring that school staff are properly trained and have adequate resources to support autistic learners (from Rosie Cooper MP). Sir Edward Davey raised the issue of Kingston’s high needs budget which is set to be overspent this year by £6.5 million, or 35%—the worst in London.
Read all the questions and answers here.
On Tuesday evening, Luciana Berger leads an adjournment debate in the House of Commons on the green paper on mental health in schools.
DYT will respond, ensuring the link between dyslexia & SEND with mental health conditions is prioritised.
On Thursday, Lord Addington will raise an Oral Question on the “Transferring of responsibilities relating to Disabled Students’ Allowances for some students to higher education providers.”
This will be followed by a debate on a report on vulnerable children by the Children’s Commissioner for England. The report in July found that children with Special Educational Needs accounted for half of all permanent exclusions, despite being 14 percent of the school population – read this brief ahead of the debate.
New report by the National Literacy Trust
1 in 8 of the nation’s most disadvantaged children say they don’t have a book of their own at home, according to new research published by the National Literacy Trust as they launch their Christmas Stories campaign.
The research report, Book ownership and reading outcomes, found that children who own a book are 15 times more likely to read above the level expected for their age and are four times less likely to read below the expected level.
Exposed! Nationwide transport charges for SEND learners
Two thirds of county councils are charging post-16 SEND learners for transport to and from their lessons, FE Week has discovered.
#ToYouFromTes: The myth of inclusion
Rob Webster writes in TES about how his latest research, the biggest observational study of children with SEND conducted in the UK – demonstrates that inclusion is not truly being practised in mainstream education.
DYT on the road – TA training event in York