End of Term News Round-up

As prepare for your summer break I thought it would be helpful to do a final update on news that has been published in the last few weeks. As usual there has been a flurry of documentation from DfE and Ofsted right at the end of term when you are all extremely busy and may have missed some or all of them.

Funding for young people with special educational needs – DfE – July 2015

Over the past five years, there have been significant reforms to education funding arrangements to make them more transparent, consistent and fair. Changes to the way in which support for young people with special educational needs (SEN) is funded have been an important aspect of this, and these changes have been designed to support wider reforms of the SEN and disability (SEND) policy framework. In particular, the changes have brought much closer alignment between the funding of high needs in schools and in other post-16 institutions.

This report identifies how the current funding arrangements for children and young people with SEN work, and how they can be improved.


0-25 Special Educational Needs and Disability Unit – July 2015 Newsletter

This newsletter from the DfE contains important information on a number of topics.

  • New transition arrangements – changes to the timescale for Education, Health and care (EHC) needs assessments in transfer reviews

  • Using existing assessment advice and information for EHC needs assessments

  • A summary of the results of the June 2015 Local Authority (LA) and Parent Carer Forum (PCF) surveys – more details in Annex A at the end of this newsletter

  • Sharing information on children and young people with learning disabilities with GPs

  • Post-16 update

  • Consultation on plans for the SEND Inspection Framework

  • Data and research to support local area benchmarking and measure user experience

  • Update on SEN2 data published in May 2015


Edward Timpson’s Letter to Directors of Children’s Services – July 2015

The Minister of State for Children and Families has written to all local authorities to let them know of two measures he has put in place to support the transfer from statements to Education, Health and Care Plans.

Firstly, providing a series of regional events which will help local authorities learn from each other and draw on the most effective approaches that local areas have developed for transfer reviews to ensure they are undertaken in a timely and person-centred way.

Secondly, extending the maximum time-scale for transferring individual statements from 16 – 20 weeks – this will take effect from 1st September 2015.


Assessment Review – July 2015

Diane Rochford, Executive Headteacher of the John F. Kennedy School in East London will oversee a new review into how to assess accurately pupils with lower attainment.It is estimated that there are more than 50,000 pupils whose ability falls below the standard required to take national curriculum tests. The review will consider how best to assess the attainment and progress of this group of pupils so that parents know how their children are doing and schools can be given appropriate credit for the work they do to support their pupils. The review will publish a final report by December 2015. Further information on the membership of the group and its terms of reference will be published on GOV.UK by September.

This review is in addition to the Commission on Assessment without Levels which the DfE launched in March 2015.

It is not clear if this new assessment review will include P Scales – I will keep you posted with any further information.


 The Pupil Premium – Next steps – Education Endowment Foundation and Sutton Trust

The Pupil Premium Summit took place on the 1st July 2015> It was jointly organised by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and the Sutton Trust and brought together leading policy-makers, academics and the teaching profession to discuss how best to improve attainment for disadvantaged pupils, closing the gap between them and their peers. This document was launched at the summit and contains a number of recommendations on how the Pupil Premium should be deployed in the coming years.

The recommendations are:

  • Continued support for the pupil premium, to improve attainment for disadvantaged pupils

  • Continue paying the pupil premium on the basis of disadvantage, not prior attainment

  • A strong commitment to the promotion of rigorous evidence, particularly where it has been tested in randomised control trials

  • Improve teacher training and professional development so that all school leaders and classroom teachers understand how to use data and research effectively

  • More effective systems to allow schools to identify pupil premium funding

  • Extension of pupil premium awards so that schools that successfully and consistently improve results for all while narrowing the attainment gap are properly rewarded


Baseline Assessment

The Standards and Testing Agency (STA) has approved three providers for the Baseline Assessment. They are:

  • Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring, Durham University (CEM)

  • Early Excellence

  • National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER)

If schools have previously chosen a provider that is no longer on the list of approved providers, they can still use their selected provider. However, the DfE will not reimburse any costs and or report your progress.

Statistical Analysis – Statements of SEN and EHC plans: England 2015

This document contains statistics and analysis on statements of special educational needs (SEN) and education, health and care (EHC) plans in England based on data from the January 2015 census.

The headline figures are:

  • 4205 statutory Education, Health and Care Plans

  • 1360 new EHC Plans

  • 2765 Transferred statements to EHC plans

  • 235,980 statements in place

  • 25,780 new statements issued in 2014