Final SEND News – 20.21 Academic Year

Well done for making it through the toughest year that I have known in my 42 years of working within the education sector. The challenges and difficulties have been unprecedented and even as I write this, with less than a week to go until the end of term for many of you, we are still seeing bubbles collapsing and more and more staff and students having to self-isolate.

The DfE have not been helpful at this really difficult time – still producing really important documentation when you are all limping to the end of term.

Teaching a broad and balanced curriculum for education recovery – 2nd July

This contains optional guidance for school leaders and staff in reception, and key stages 1 to 3, who are responsible for the curriculum and its teaching.

This non-statutory guidance is for teachers and leaders in reception and key stages 1, 2 and 3 who are responsible for the curriculum and its teaching. It offers suggestions to help schools decide how to prioritise elements within their curriculum for education recovery.

These suggestions are based on the good practice evident in many schools, as exemplified in the case studies. While the guidance states that schools should follow these suggestions, this language is used for clarity and the guidance remains optional.

Proposals to drive up training standards for teachers – Press Release 5th July

The Government has launched a consultation setting out proposed changes to improve training to develop world class teachers. Trainee teachers could benefit from new, high-quality training courses as part of Government proposals to drive up standards of teacher training and make sure every young person can be taught by a brilliant teacher.

The Government has launched a seven-week consultation on recommendations from a review of the Initial Teacher Training (ITT) market, led by Ian Bauckham and an expert panel.

The closing date is 22nd August.

Sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges – Updated 6th July

This guidance containing advice for schools and colleges on how to prevent and respond to reports of sexual violence and harassment between children has been updated with new guidance that will come into force on the 1st September.

Keeping children safe in education – Updated 6th July – From September 1st 2021

This statutory guidance has been updated and will come into force on 1st September 2021. Schools continue to use the existing guidance until then.

There are a number of significant changes which I have précised in a blog which you can find here.

Actions for schools during the coronavirus outbreak – Updated 6th July

This should be implemented as the country moves to Step 4 of the roadmap. This was confirmed by the Prime Minster on 12th July.

This guidance contains what all schools will need to do during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It has been updated to reflect the move to Step 4

This document re-iterates a number of the measure that were in the special school guidance and include information on:

  • Risk assessment
  • Mixing and ‘bubbles’
  • Tracing close contacts and isolation
  • Face coverings
  • Stepping measures up and down
  • Control measures – hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, use of personal protective equipment (PPE), cleaning, ventilation, testing and self-isolation,
  • Attendance, Remote Education and Education Recovery
  • School Workforce
  • Educational Visits
  • Inspection

Choosing a phonics teaching programme – Updated 10th July

This guidance sets out what the government is doing to help schools choose a phonics teaching programme. It has been updated the guidance on choosing a phonics teaching programme and added the new list of validated systematic synthetic phonics (SSP) programmes.

The following is the current list of validated SSP programmes:

  • Bug Club Phonics
  • Essential Letters and Sounds
  • Floppy’s Phonics[footnote 1]
  • Jolly Phonics[footnote 1]
  • Letterland
  • Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised
  • No Nonsense Phonics
  • Phonics International
  • Read Write Inc.
  • Rocket Phonics
  • Sound Discovery
  • Sounds Together
  • Sounds-Write
  • Success for All Phonics

There will be further opportunity for publishers to submit their programme for validation but in the meantime schools need to check to ensure the scheme they are using has not been removed (eg. Letters and Sounds).

Rediscover Summer – 10th July

You may wish to share this guidance with your families – it sets out plans of ways you they can safely rediscover summer.

The reading framework: teaching the foundations of literacy – 10th July

This guidance, published on a Saturday at the very end of the academic year, sets out guidance for schools to meet existing expectations for teaching early reading.

This guidance:

  • focuses on the early stages of teaching reading and the contribution of talk, stories and systematic synthetic phonics (SSP)
  • supports primary school leaders to evaluate their teaching of early reading and best practice for improving early reading, especially in Reception and Year 1, and older pupils who have not yet mastered the foundations of reading
  • helps schools to meet existing expectations for teaching early reading, as set out in:
    • the national curriculum programmes of study
    • the statutory framework for the early years foundation stage
    • Ofsted’s education inspection framework

Arrangements for the assessment and awarding of vocational, technical and other general qualifications: 2021 to 2022​ – 12th July

Ofqual and DfE l have launched an open consultation on the arrangements for assessing and awarding vocational and technical qualifications (VTQs) and other general qualifications in the academic year 2021 to 2022.

Consultation closes on 26th July

I do hope you all a very restful summer break.

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