LPEC News Update – May 2021

Dear Colleagues

I hope you are all well and have enjoyed a pleasant long weekend.

BBC Bitesize

The BBC has said that it will continue to provide learning support for teachers and pupils into the summer months.

A three-hour Bitesize Learning Zone will be launched on CBBC and BBC iPlayer on school days, including new episodes of Bitesize Daily. This means that the Bitesize Learning Zone will continue to be on T V for those without internet access.

From June, it will include new episodes of Bitesize Daily Primary, focusing on maths and English, offering primary school children detailed catch-up lessons in these subjects. Episodes of Bitesize Daily Secondary will also continue to be available on BBC iPlayer and for students in years 10 and 11.

Teaching about relationships, sex and health – Updated 16th March

This guidance offers support and training materials for schools to help train teachers on relationships, sex and health education. This has been updated with a link to the being safe training module which has now been published. The DfE has also added a training module on teaching RSHE to pupils with SEND.

PE and sport premium for primary schools – Updated 16th March

This guidance on how much PE and sport premium funding schools receive and advice on how it should be spent has been updated with information about any PE and sport premium carried forward from the 2019 to 2020 academic year. The deadline to spend carried forward funding is now the end of the 2020 to 2021 academic year.

Carried forward unspent PE and sport premium grant funding from the 2019 to 2020 academic year

As a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the Department for Education took steps to relax the ring-fencing arrangements for the PE and sport premium in the 2019 to 2020 academic year to allow any unspent grant to be carried forward into the 2020 to 2021 academic year.

Any under-spends carried forward from the 2019 to 2020 academic year will need to be spent in full by the end of the 2020 to 2021 academic year. Schools should factor this into spending plans for their 2020 to 2021 PE and sport premium allocation. The 2020 to 2021 conditions of grant documents have been updated to reflect this.

Area SEND inspections to restart – Ofsted News Story – 19th March

Area SEND inspections, which Ofsted carry out jointly with the Care Quality Commission, are set to begin again. They were paused in March 2020, owing to the impact of COVID-19.

From April 2021, they will start revisiting areas where we had significant concerns about SEND provision when we last inspected them. When we select local areas for re-visits, we will take into account the time that has lapsed since each local area was required to produce a written statement of action. The areas will be given 10 working days’ notice ahead of a re-visit.

Ofsted/CQC plan to restart full area SEND inspections from June 2021 at the earliest. These visits will be to areas that have not yet been inspected under the current framework. The precise restart date for full inspections will be kept under review, subject to government guidance and any COVID-19 restrictions in place at the time.

They are currently developing a new area SEND inspection framework and will continue to engage stakeholders on the framework’s design and we will consult publicly as part of its development

Teaching music in schools – 26th March

This guidance for schools is to help teach music at key stages 1, 2 and 3 and progress pupils through the national curriculum. It contains non-statutory guidance – Model Music Curriculum KS1 – 3.

Full Ofsted inspections expected from September – News Story – 29th March

During the summer term, the majority of Ofsted’s activity will continue to be lighter-touch monitoring inspections, as have been in place since January, with a fuller inspection only taking place where there has been a clear improvement from a current Inadequate or Requires Improvement rating, or where there are serious concerns, particularly in relation to safeguarding.

Ofsted has set out further detail of its plans for the summer term, covering the full range of its inspection activity.

Pupil premium – Updated 30th March

This policy paper on the extra funding schools receive to help improve outcomes for disadvantaged children and other pupils who need extra support has been updated with a link to ‘Pupil premium: allocations and conditions of grant 2021 to 2022’ and added information on the requirements of schools.

As part of the pupil premium allocations and conditions of grant for 2021 to 2022, schools are now required to:

  • demonstrate, from the next academic year, how their spending decisions are informed by research evidence (condition 7)
  • use the strategy statement templates to publish their pupil premium strategy (condition 8)

Government launches review into sexual abuse in schools – Press Release – 31st March

Following a significant number of young people offering testimonials describing sexual abuse by other young people to the Everyone’s Involved website. The Department for Education immediately launched a review of sexual abuse in schools.

A new helpline, run by the NSPCC has been launched to support potential victims of sexual harassment and abuse in educational settings. Young people and adults can contact the NSPCC helpline, Report Abuse in Education on 0800 136 663 or email help@nspcc.org.uk

The DfE have also asked Ofsted to undertake an immediate review of safeguarding policies in state and independent schools. The review will look at the extent and the severity of the issue and ensure schools have appropriate processes in place to allow pupils to report concerns freely, knowing these will be taken seriously and dealt with swiftly and appropriately.

Behaviour experts to support schools with poor discipline – Press Release – 7th April

Heads and Behaviour Leads from some of England’s highest performing schools and Multi Academy Trusts (MATs) have today been confirmed as mentors and trainers in the Department’s £10 million Behaviour Hubs programme.

Designed to support schools struggling with poor discipline, training through the Behaviour Hubs for the first group of participating schools will commence from the start of the summer term, at a time when a minority of pupils may need extra support from their schools to re-engage with education following the pandemic.

The lead schools and MATs will work closely with the schools they are supporting to diagnose what could be improved, develop and launch new behaviour approaches and policies and provide ongoing mentoring and support.

£280m capital funding boost for children and young people with SEND – Press Release – 9th April

Councils will receive the funding to create new places in schools, academies, colleges and early years settings. The funding will improve existing provision to create modern, fit-for-purpose spaces suited to a wider range of pupil needs. This could be by contributing to the cost of creating a whole new special school, or by improving accessibility, such as installing ramps, handrails or ceiling hoists.

Our education inspection handbooks have changed. What’s new? What do you need to know? – Blog Post – 19th April

Sean Harford, HMI, Ofsted’s National Director for Education, explains the changes to the school inspection handbooks.

All the changes can be found here.

Changes to the early years foundation stage (EYFS) framework – Updated 20th April

This guidance contains the EYFS framework changes from September 2021. Pre-reception early years providers can get the facts about the changes and what they mean in this new document.

All schools and early years providers must follow the new early years foundation stage framework from September 2021.

The new statutory framework is now available

Development matters’ is the new non-statutory curriculum guidance for the new EYFS framework that everyone can use from September 2021.

Summer schools programme – Updated 26th April

The summer schools programme is open to secondary schools. The aim of the programme is to deliver a short summer school offering a blend of academic education and enrichment activities. state-funded secondary and special schools, non-maintained special schools, pupil referral units and alternative provision can apply. This guidance explains everything you need to know about setting up a summer school.

The sign-up form is now available.

 Multiplication tables check – Updated 20th April

This information and guidance for primary schools is about the multiplication tables check. It has been updated with administration guidance. The multiplication tables check (MTC) is optional for primary schools in 2021.

Ofqual confirms detail on submitting grades and evidence for this year’s GCSE, AS and A level grades – 27th April

  • Grades can be submitted from 26 May.
  • Deadline for submission of data, including grades for the endorsements, is 18 June.
  • Every centre will be asked to provide evidence of student work. Exam boards will request evidence for at least 1 A level subject and 2 GCSE subjects (one of which is likely to be either English language or maths).
  • All centres will be asked to provide the evidence used to determine the grades for at least 5 students for each of these subjects.
  • Exam Boards will let centres know which subjects and students have been selected in the week beginning 21 June.
  • Evidence will need to be returned to exam boards within 48 hours of the request.

Ofsted publishes science research review – the first in a series of subject reviews – 29th April

Ofsted has published the first review in a new series looking at what makes for a high-quality education in different subjects across the curriculum.

The Big Ask

The Big Ask is the largest ever survey of young people in England. It’s being run by The Children’s Commissioner whose role it is to speak up for all children across the country and get their views heard. Oak National Academy are hosting an assembly to share the Big Ask with your students. The five-minute assembly talks about why the survey is important and what it is for. The survey closes on the 19th May.

TES SEN Show Poetry Competition

The TES SEN Show has announced the launch of their brand-new national poetry competition for pupils in primary and secondary education to promote creative writing and conversation around SEND inclusion in the classroom.

Focusing on the theme ‘Dreams and Aspirations: a vision for SEND inclusion’, pupils are invited to put pen to paper and transform their thoughts, experiences, and aspirations into a poem to help encourage the development of dreams and aspirations amongst all children and young people, especially those with SEND.

The deadline for submissions is Saturday 31 July.


Virtual SEND Conference – 21st May – Online

Link Live – 21st & 22nd May – Online

Nasen Live – 24th September – Vox Conference Centre in Birmingham.

TES SEN Show – 8th & 9th October – Business Design Centre, London

New Reports

Identifying pupils with special educational needs and disabilities – Education Policy Institute and Nuffield Foundation – 19th March

This new study from the Education Policy Institute (EPI), funded by the Nuffield Foundation, highlights significant inconsistencies in how children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in England are identified and supported.

The research, which is the first study to fully quantify how SEND support varies nationally, shows that access to support is decided by a “postcode lottery” – with the chances of receiving SEND support from the school or from the local authority largely dictated by the school that a child attends, rather than their individual circumstances.

Over a million children are currently registered as having special educational needs in England – with as many 4 in 10 of all pupils recorded as having SEND at some point during their time at school.

The longitudinal research, which tracks hundreds of thousands of pupils from a single year group through primary school, reveals that the huge variation in SEND support for children can be explained by inconsistent approaches to identifying children.

Deployment of Specialists in Mainstream Schools

The Sea View Trust and East Lancashire Inclusion Partnership, supported by Blackpool Research School, undertook research to provide an in-depth understanding of the effective deployment of specialists in mainstream settings. The aim being to increase awareness amongst school leaders of the wider range of support available to schools to enrich their provision at the whole school (universal) and Special Educational Needs (SEN) support levels.

Forgotten. Left behind. Overlooked – All Party Parliamentary Group for SEND

This report, from the APPG for SEND, details the experiences of young people with SEND and their educational transitions during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Some of the key messages within the report are:

  • The Covid-19 pandemic has amplified the problems and issues that were already present in the SEND system.
  • The manner and speed in which the lockdown and closure of school happened had a negative impact of children and young people with SEN and their families. Many were left without support.
  • The impact on schools of Covid-19 related costs and losses of income has exacerbated the SEND funding crisis.
  • The government guidance for special schools and alternative provision was frequently published later than guidance for mainstream schools. This led settings and young people with SEND to be seen as, and feel like, an “afterthought”.
  • The Coronavirus Act and the reduction in requirements of local authorities and schools to make ‘reasonable endeavours’ has had a negative impact of the support available for young people with SEND and their families. There is concern that this impact could be long-lasting.


Public Health England – School Zone

Public Health England have produced a suite of new resources to support students’ mental and physical wellbeing. Their new physical and mental wellbeing lessons for Year 6, and KS3 and KS4 explore the link between physical and mental wellbeing, with engaging video content and quizzes.

Also take a look at the Worry Tree and Unhelpful thoughts for bite-sized mental wellbeing activities for KS3 and KS4.

Leading on Inclusion – The Role of the SENCO – Routledge

This new publication in the nasen Spotlight series contains a range of perspectives on inclusion, giving SENCOs the opportunity to consider the principles and practice, to the role of the SENCO.

Developmental Language Disorder Guide – ICAN, nasen & Whole School SEND

This guide will help you understand more about DLD, including how to identify and support DLD in your classroom. Most children and young people with DLD attend mainstream schools, and teachers can make a huge difference to their outcomes – with the right support in place, they can do very well.

Scroll to Top

Subscribe to my Newsletter!

Sign up to receive details of my latest news, blogs, videos and forthcoming training straight to your inbox

Need help or have questions about anything on this site? Please feel free to contact me using the button below: