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LPEC – September 2017 SEND Update


Welcome back after your summer break. I hope you have all had a restful and relaxing holiday and are ready to face the opportunities and challenges that this academic year will bring.

Since schools broke up in July there have been a number of SEND related reports published so I have précised the key messages for schools.

Special Educational Needs in England – Statistical First Release – DfE – 27th July 2017

Late in July, as schools were breaking up for their well – earned summer break the Department for Education (DfE) published their Special Educational Needs in England 2017 statistics. The key messages were:

  • An increase of 15,470 pupils identified as SEN (2016: 1,228,785 2017: 1,244,255)
  • An increase of 5,380 pupils with a statement or EHCP (2016: 236,805 2017: 242,185)
  • Primary type of need for SEN Support was Moderate Learning Difficulties (25.2%)
  • Primary type of need for statement/EHCP was Autistic Spectrum Disorder (26.9%)
  • An increase in the number of pupils with statement/EHCP attending special school
  • An increase in the number of pupils on SEN Support in Independent Schools

This is the first year since 2010 that we have seen a rise in the number of pupils identified as SEN. This is partly due to the overall increase in the number of pupils in the system, including those aged 0-5 and 16-25. The percentage of pupils with SEN remains at 14.4%.

Just over 10,000 of these new pupils are identified as requiring SEN Support. This could be due to a number of factors:

  • Schools are more confident at identifying SEN in primary years
  • More pupils are entering school with more complex needs that require additional/different provision
  • The changes to curriculum and assessment have resulted in schools identifying more pupils not meeting expected standard at KS1 and KS2.

The remaining 5,380 new pupils have been issued an Education, Health and Care Plan in 2016 – due to the overall increase in the number of pupils in the system especially at 16+ the percentage has remained static at 2.8% since 2007.

Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) Access Arrangement Regulations 2017 – 2018

JCQ have recently published the latest access arrangement regulations for 2017-2018.



Ofsted/CQC Local Area Inspections

By the end of the summer term 37 local area inspections have been completed and outcome letters produced. 12 of these local areas had been required to produce a Written Statement of Action because of the significant areas of weakness in the local area’s practice.

The letters published over the summer are Bury, Cornwall, Enfield, Gloucestershire, Rutland, Wakefield and Windsor and Maidenhead.

More information can be found on the Ofsted website.

Secondary school staff to receive mental health ‘first aid’ training

From June 2017, teachers in secondary schools around the country will take part in a new training programme to help them identify and respond to early signs of mental health issues in children.

The programme, backed in the first year by £200,000 in government funding, and delivered by the social enterprise Mental Health First Aid, will start with 1,000 staff and extend in years 2 and 3 to cover every secondary school in England. They will receive practical advice on how to deal with issues such as depression and anxiety, suicide and psychosis, self-harm, and eating disorders.

They will also be invited to become ‘first aid champions’, sharing their knowledge and experiences across schools and communities to raise awareness and break down stigma and discrimination.

Social Media and Children’s Mental Health: A Review of the Evidence – Education Policy Institute – June 2017

In this report the Education Policy Institute investigates what is known so far about the relationship between young people’s use of social media and their emotional and mental wellbeing.

Review of National Award for SENCOs (NASENCO) – Achievement for All – August 2017

Achievement for All was funded by the Department for Education (DfE) to undertake a project that focused on the National Award for SENCos in 2016/17. The project had three strands and resulted in three reports: Report 1 – Review of the effectiveness of the National Award for SEN Co-ordination; Report 2 – Review the SEN Co-ordination function in the early years and post 16 sector and the possibility of extending the National Award of SEN Co-ordination to providers in these sectors; Report 3 – Review of the National Award for SENCo Provider Group’s Quality Assurance Processes.



Ofsted School inspection update: academic year 2017 to 2018

A special edition of the update produced by Sean Harford – National Director, Education to all Inspectors was published earlier this month.

Main messages for Inspectors:

  1. 2017 marks a year of significant changes to GCSE examinations. Inspectors should not compare results from last year with results this year for the new GCSEs. For secondary school inspections, please call the data analysts, who will help you to understand these changes.
  2. There will be some variability in attainment at school level as a result of changes to the qualifications and numerical grading. However, overall, the outcomes of the 2017 GCSE results are stable. Small fluctuations from previous years at school level should not be over interpreted; talk to our analysts about the significance of any variation.
  3. At A level, the results for both the reformed and non-reformed qualifications are also stable. There has been no major variability in results at national level. Small fluctuations at provider level should not be over-interpreted.
  4. Changes in specifications, assessment and examinations may result in changes in the behaviours of schools. Always consider whether decisions made by leaders and managers are in the best interests of pupils.
  5. Assessment data and information is only a starting point for discussion with schools. It is far from the only piece of evidence that informs judgements about outcomes.
  6. Inspectors will use ‘meaningful data’ to inform areas for investigation. They will not focus on single measures with small cohorts.
  7. Inspectors should continue to treat data from teacher assessments at the end of key stage 2 with caution.

Implications for Teaching and Learning 2017 – Rising Stars – August 2017

Every year, Rising Stars commissions a team of experienced teachers and consultants to review the Key Stage 2 national test papers. They provide analysis of the questions, which help schools prepare children for future tests.

Implications for Teaching and Learning are published every Autumn. In the meantime, they have asked the authors to round up their key findings from the 2017 tests, offering a little preview of what’s to come in the full reports in September.


SEND research reports

A number of SEND related research reports have recently been published by DfE.

SEN Support: A survey of schools and colleges – Helen Johnson, Julia Carroll & Louise Bradley – Coventry University – July 2017

SEN support: A rapid evidence assessment- Julia Carroll, Louise Bradley, Hayley Crawford, Penny Hannant, Helen Johnson & Angela Thompson – Coventry University – July 2017

SEN support: Case studies from schools and colleges – Amy Skipp and Vicky Hopwood – ASK Research – July 2017

The first of these is a very interesting report describing how a small number of schools are providing SEN Support. Nancy Gedge, a Consultant Teacher at Driver Youth Trust has produced an excellent summary of this report.

Copies of all three reports can be found on the DfE website

The wellbeing of secondary school pupils with SEN – Matt Barnes and Eric Harrison – Department of Sociology, City University of London


The promotion of good wellbeing is seen as a way to help children and young people to achieve their potential, and to prepare them for happy and healthy adult lives. Understanding the wellbeing of children and young people has become increasingly salient in both academic research and public policy debates in the last decade. Despite this, there is a lack of research that has specifically looked at the wellbeing of children with Special Educational Needs (SEN). Children with SEN may experience their school and family life in a way that is distinct from those without SEN, for instance they are at greater risk of being bullied (Chatzitheochari et al, 2014), and being excluded or having absences from school (DfE, 2016a) – as well as have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn than most children of the same age. This report attempts to fill this research gap by exploring the wellbeing of secondary school-age children with SEN.

Supporting Mental Health in Schools and Colleges – NatCen Social Research & the National Children’s Bureau Research and Policy Team – August 2017

This report provides a summary of the key findings from the Department for Education (DfE) research into mental health provision in schools and colleges. The research included a national survey of provision, and case studies exploring decision-making, models of delivery and experiences of different approaches to mental health provision followed by a workshop to consolidate learning from the research. This report summarises part of a wider, mixed methods project exploring mental health and character education provision in schools and colleges across England.

SEND Events

Whole School SEND Strategy Summit – Church House – Westminster – Wednesday 20th September

TES SEN Show – Business Design Centre, Islington, London – Friday 6th October and Saturday 7th October

GL Assessment SEN Conference – the Studio, Lever street, Manchester – Wednesday 8th November

ResearchSEND Conference – Sheffield Hallam University – Saturday 18th November



End of Year SEND Update


I am sure that you are all counting down the days to the end of term. There is nearly two weeks to go for some schools and others may have already broken up so may I wish you all a very restful summer break.

Very little happened between May and the middle of June due to the General Election and its aftermath but there has been a little SEND activity in the last few weeks. I have gathered the relevant information together and listed the key points below.

New Minister of State for Children and Families

The new Minister of State for Children and Families has been confirmed as Robert Goodwill MP. His portfolio will cover Children’s Social Care, Early Years and Childcare, Opportunity areas and Social Mobility and SEND. He will also be responsible for safeguarding in schools, Pupil Premium, School Sport and cadets. You can find a full list of the DfE ministerial team towards the bottom of the following link.

The Special Educational Needs in Secondary Education (SENSE) Study – Rob Webster and Peter Blatchford – UCL Institute of Education, London. June 2017

This is the final report from a study of the teaching and support experienced by pupils with statements and EHC Plans in mainstream and special schools. The study builds on the Making a Statement (MAST) study which collected data on the educational experiences of primary pupils.

The Teaching Assistant Deployment Review Guide – Whole School SEND – June 2017

The Teaching Assistant Deployment Review Guide is a framework to evaluate and improve the deployment of TAs within a school. It is based on the SEND Review Guide and it can be used by all schools to evaluate and improve the deployment of their TAs, and is most powerful when used as part of a programme of school to school support.

What maintained schools must publish online?

This is update information that schools maintained by their local authorities must publish on their websites.

What should academies, free schools and colleges publish online?

The updated information that all types of academies, free schools and 16 to 19 colleges should publish on their websites.

0-25 SEND Unit July Newsletter – DfE – July 2017

The latest issue of the DfE SEND Unit newsletter is now available. It covers the following topics:

  • A message from Robert Goodwill MP, Minister of State for Children and Families
  • Funding for SEND support in 2017-18
  • Finalising Transfer Reviews for existing Statements of SEN by 1 April 2018 – monthlyinformation gathering surveys
  • The Rochford Review and Primary assessment in England: consultations now closed
  • Publication of recent reports
  • SEN funding for refugee children resettled under certain government programmes
  • The Right Place – Royal Mencap Society
  • SEND Youth Justice Project – Achievement for All
  • Local Authority workshops on supporting children and young people’s speech
  • language and communication (SLC)
  • Do you have experience working with children and young people who speak English as an additional language (EAL)?
  • New resources available

School Inspection Update – Message to inspectors from the national Director of Education, Ofsted – July 2017

This is the latest update for inspectors and stakeholders containing information and guidance about Ofsted’s inspection work in schools.

Ofsted/CQC Local Area Inspections

At the time of writing 30 local area inspections have been completed and outcome letters produced. 8 of these local areas had been required to produce a Written Statement of Action because of the significant areas of weakness in the local area’s practice. More information can be found on the Ofsted website.

P Scales: attainment targets for pupils with SEN – DfE – June 2017

On 2nd June the DfE published an updated copy of the statutory guidance about the use of P Scales. This caused a great deal of confusion as the consultation on the Rochford Review and the recommendation to remove P Scales was still open at that point.

The only change that was made from the 2014 guidance was  a reference to pre-key stage standards in a footnote on page 3.

Statements of SEN and EHC plans: England, 2017 – DfE Statistical Information – May 2017

The latest statistics and analysis on statements of special educational needs (SEN) and education, health and care (EHC) plans in England was published on 27th May 2017. The key messages from this document is:

  • 12% increase (30,975) in the number of children and young people with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or statement of SEN
  • At January 2017 only 19 LAs are currently on track to meet the April 2018 deadline (120,000 statements still to transfer)
  • Pupils with statement/EHCP are educated in mainstream settings (44.8%) – special schools (42.5%) – alternative provision (0.8%) – further education (11.5%)
  • 4,600 more went to a special school in 2016
  • 14,795 initial requests for an EHC needs assessment that were refused
  • 10,654 children and young people assessed but no decision made
  • 4050 “awaiting provision”
  • 1886 families went to mediation
  • 477 went on to tribunal
  • 6442 families and young people received personal budgets – A new one-stop site for everything you need to know about Dyslexia

The British Dyslexia Association has developed a new one-stop site for all those interested in Dyslexia. It has been funded by the DfE, led by the BDA in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University , Dyspraxia Association and Patoss.

Social Media and children’s mental health: a review of the evidence – Education Policy Institute – June 2017

In this report the Education Policy Institute investigates what is known so far about the relationship between young people’s use of social media nad their emotional and mental well-being.

Key points of SEN Support in schools: What it is and how it should work – Barney Angliss – Special Needs Jungle – June 2017

An excellent article written plus a detailed infographic to help parents understand the SEN Support process. SENCOs may find this useful to share with staff and parents.


News Update – April 2017



I hope you have all had a restful Easter break. Another general election is upon us and purdah has begun. This means that there is a restriction on the work that is carried out by civil servants during the period between the announcement of a general election and the actual day of voting. Thus any policies, information and documentation that were due out have been put on hold.

This also means the DfE will not be able to promote anything that they currently have in the pipeline. However, this does not mean that any current consultation process will cease and I would therefore urge you all to respond to the Primary Assessment in England and the Rochford Review Recommendations consultations as described below.


Primary Assessment in England – Government Consultation – DfE – march 2017

On 30th March Justine Greening announced a comprehensive consultation on all aspects of primary assessment including a baseline assessment, KS1 and KS2 SATS and teacher assessment. The consultation is open until 22nd June and I urge you all to respond.

For more information visit


Primary School Pupil Assessment: Rochford Review Recommendations – Government Consultation – DfE

This consultation is about the future of statutory assessment arrangements for pupils working below the standard of national curriculum tests in England. It is concerned with statutory assessment at the end of KS1 and KS2. This consultation covers the recommendations of replacing P Scales with Pre-Key Stage Standards and introducing the seven areas of engagement for pupils not engaged in subject – specific learning.

For more information visit:

This is your chance to have your say and change the current assessment system.

Later this week I will be providing further information about these two consultations – visit


Behaviour in Schools – DfE – March 2017

This is the report from Tom Bennett’s independent review on behaviour in schools and the government’s response. The report entitled “Creating a Culture: How school leaders can optimise behaviour” sets out Tom’s goal which was to capture and celebrate the excellent practice in leading for good behaviour by inspirational leaders in this field.


Primary school accountability – DfE – April 2017

This is technical guidance on primary accountability and school-level progress measures. This guide is for all primary schools. It sets out how we’ll calculate primary school accountability measures. There is also a video explaining how primary school performance is measured.

There is one significant change from last year and this can be found on page 21of the guidance.


Including pupils below the standard of the test or assessment in 2017

Since the new progress measure were introduced in 2016, the Department has received feedback from schools and stakeholders that the way we included pupils below the standard of the test in the progress measures needs to be refined. Following discussion with schools we intend to make the following changes to the methodology for the 2017 measures:

  • From 2017, we intend to include pupils in special schools in the calculation of key stage 1 prior attainment groups for the progress measures. Including these pupils, will enable us to include a greater number of prior attainment groups for pupils below the standard of the test. Where a pupil is assessed on P-scales at key stage 2, we currently allocate all of these pupils the same nominal point (70), but in 2017 we intend to break down this category further. This, alongside including special school cohorts in the calculation of prior attainment groups, should enable greater like-for-like comparisons between pupils below the standard of the test

  • In 2016, pupils that were entered for the test, but gained too few marks to be allocated a scaled score, were not included in the progress measures. From 2017, we intend to include these pupils by allocating nominal points in these cases.

Subject to testing these approaches once we have the 2017 test and assessment results, we will update this guidance by September to provide further details.


Governance Handbook and Competency Framework – DfE – Updated April 2017

This guidance on the roles and duties of governing boards, and advice on the skills, knowledge and behaviours they need to be effective was completely updated in January 2017 and has recently been updated again. Section 6.4.11 sets out the duties on boards in relation to SEND.

The Driver Youth Trust has an excellent video explaining the responsibility of the Governing Body for learners with Special Educational Needs and Disability.


Funding for optional reception baseline assessments

 As the option to introduce a new reception baseline assessment is part of the primary assessment consultation the DfE has decided that they we will not reimburse schools the cost of using the existing optional reception baseline assessments in the 2017 to 2018 academic year. Current providers may continue to offer baseline assessment products, if schools choose to buy them.


The National Sensory Impairment Partnership Hub

 The National Sensory Impairment Partnership (NatSIP) has recently launched a Sensory Learning Hub. This hub has been set up to provide a centrally held trusted resource for all things related to sensory impairment.

The content has been collated by specialists in the sensory impairment field with a view to supporting the frontline workforce who are working with children and young people who have sensory impairment.

Access to the hub is free but you will need to register first –


Nasen Awards 2017

 Do you know someone who deserves recognition for their work in SEND? Then why not take the time to nominate them for a nasen 2017 award.

To mark nasen’s 25th Birthday in style, they are hosting their very own SEND awards ceremony this autumn.

Nasen is delighted to have the opportunity to recognise and reward those people whose actions can make a real difference to people’s lives. Those shortlisted for an award will be invited to the ceremony which is due to take place on the 19th October at the Museum of London.

These awards are open to ALL settings, including mainstream, special and alternative provision.

For more information about the various categories visit

The application for all nominations will close on Friday 30th June 2017.


Experiences of Education, Health and Care plans : A survey of parents and young people

The DfE recently published the results from their family survey on EHC process.  The Department for Education commissioned a survey of parents and young people with an EHC plan, in order to build a representative national (and, where the data allows, local) picture of how parents and young people in England were experiencing the EHC needs assessment and planning process and the resultant EHC plans. The aim was to assess whether delivery of the EHC needs assessments and planning process and the resultant EHC plans reflected the intentions set out in the Children and Families Act 2014 and the accompanying SEND Code of Practice.

To read the full survey visit:


 The Speech, Language and Communication Framework

The Communication Trust have recently updated their Speech, Language and Communication Framework.

The Speech, Language and Communication Framework (SLCF) is a free online professional development tool, accessible to all, which sets out the skills and knowledge that everyone working with children and young people should have in order to support children and young people’s speech, language and communication (SLC).

The SLCF self-evaluation tool enables individuals to evaluate their skills, knowledge and confidence in SLC, highlight their professional development needs, and to find training, resources or information to ‘fill the gaps’ identified by the SLCF. Individuals can track their CPD progress over time, allowing them to see where their knowledge and confidence has increased.

More information can be found at


School Inspection Newsletter  – Ofsted – March 2017

This edition of the school inspection update contains important information for inspectors that reinforces messages from recent training, notably: further guidance about inspecting pupil progress and not referring to ‘expected progress’; key stage 2 progress from P scales; interpreting key stage 1 charts by prior attainment; and understanding the GCSE reforms.

There is also a reminder about the duty on all schools to have a Supporting Pupils with Medical Conditions Policy.

Children with medical needsSection 100 of the Children and Families Act 2014 places a duty on schools to support pupils with medical conditions. As part of making arrangements for supporting pupils with medical conditions, schools must have a “Supporting pupils with medical conditions” policy and must have regard to guidance issued by the Secretary of State. This guidance is published at:–3


The Supporting the Achievement of Hearing Impaired Children in Special Schools Video – NatSIP

As part of the NatSIP/NDCS project with DfE, a new video has been produced about children and young people with hearing impairment and additional learning needs in a special school


March 2017 Update


New Funding Boost for Pupils with SEND

A £215 million funding boost to transform the lives of thousands of children with special educational needs and disabilities, by increasing school capacity and making it easier for them to access good school places, was announced by Edward Timpson, Minister for Vulnerable Children and Families on 4th March 2017.

Every local council’s allocation is at least £500,000 to enable them to expand and improve their special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) provision, with more than half receiving at least £1 million. Councils will be free to invest the funding as they see fit to help children and young people with education, health and care plans to get a high-quality education.

Find more information and what your local authority has been allocated by visiting

Key Stage 2 tests: how to use access arrangements – DfE – Updated January 2017

This is updated guidance for teachers and headteachers about access arrangements for pupils to participate in the 2017 key stage 2 national curriculum tests. Some pupils with specific needs may need additional arrangements to be put in place so that they can take part in the key stage 2 (KS2) tests. Access arrangements are adjustments that can be made to support pupils. Headteachers and teachers must consider whether any of their pupils will need access arrangements before they administer the tests.

Year 7 literacy and numeracy catch-up premium: guide for schools

The literacy and numeracy catch-up premium gives schools additional funding to support year 7 pupils who did not achieve the expected standard in reading or maths at the end of key stage 2 (KS2). Allocations have been made to state-funded schools.

Phonics screening pilot at year 3

The Standards and Testing Agency (STA) commissioned the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) to run a pilot of the phonics screening check with year 3 pupils who had not met the required standard by the end of year 2. Following the report from the pilot the Department for Education says that it will not proceed any further with the idea of Year 3 pupils retaking phonics tests, after the trial found that nearly half failed for a third time.

 Understanding the needs of disabled children with complex needs or life-limiting conditions – Council for Disabled Children and the True Colours Trust

This report is the first analysis in 10 years of the numbers of children and young people with complex needs or life-limiting conditions and estimates that numbers have increased dramatically by over 50% since 2004, from 49,300 to 73,000 children and young people. The underlying reasons for the increase in numbers include increased life expectancy for babies born with complex disabilities and congenital conditions such as cystic fibrosis.

Together with the True Colours Trust, the Council for Disabled Children commissioned this piece of research to paint a definitive picture of the type of data that is available, to understand what this data tells us about the population and whether it shows us anything useful in terms of developments and/or changes in the population.

Education, Health and Care Plans – Examples of Good Practice – Council for Disabled Children

This resource has been produced to help practitioners write good quality EHC plans that meet both the letter and the spirit of the Children and Families Act 2014.

The first part of this document includes excerpts from real EHC plans that were collected through the local Independent Support network. In the second part there are two EHC plans which draw on real examples but the plans themselves relate to fictional children.

The SEND Reforms in England: Supporting children and young people with speech, language and communication needs – Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists

This report reflects the views and experiences of Speech and Language Therapists in implementing the SEND Reforms and celebrates achievements and examples of positive practice that can be built upon.

Lenehan review of experiences and outcomes in residential special schools and colleges.

A call for evidence has been launched for a new review led by Dame Christine Lenehan into the quality of care of residential special schools due to be published later this year. This independent review into the experiences and outcomes of children and young people in residential special schools and colleges will complement Sir Martin Narey’s report reviewing children’s residential care in England published last year.

For more information and information on how to respond visit

 Lenehan review into care of children with learning disabilities

This review on care and support for children and young people with complex needs involving mental health, learning disabilities and/or autism was carried out by Dame Christine Lenhan. She was asked by the Department of Health to take a strategic overview and recommend what practical action can be taken to co-ordinate care, support and treatment for children and young people with complex needs (and behaviour that challenges) involving mental health problems and learning disabilities and/or autism.

Ofsted and CQC Local Area SEND Inspections

There are now 20 Local area SEND inspection outcome letters available on the Ofsted website. Five of these local areas,  Hartlepool, Rochdale, Sefton, Suffolk and Surrey have all been asked to prepare a Written Statement of Action because of the significant areas of weakness in the local area’s practice.

 New Resources

Engagement for Learning Website

The Engagement for Learning Framework is a resource for educators, including teachers, teaching assistants and therapists working in both mainstream and special education. It enables them to explore and identify effective teaching and learning strategies for children with complex learning difficulties and disabilities, as well as to record, measure and demonstrate learning outcomes in a meaningful way.

Driver Youth Trust Drive for Literacy

The Driver Youth Trust is a national charity dedicated to improving the life chances of children and young people with a focus on those with literacy difficulties and who may have SEND, particularly children with dyslexia.

Drive for Literacy (DfL), is a collaboration between policy and practice and is informed by the evidence of our research. It is a whole school model for literacy, built around the Graduated Approach and starting from Quality First Teaching. Its aim is to build Teacher capability and school capacity to identify and support Learners who struggle with reading, writing, speaking and listening.

There are a number of resources for leaders, teachers and parents.

Mental Health in Schools – The Feel Better place

An online, age appropriate psychological talking therapy and coaching resource for all children aged 5 -16 to build resilience.

Watch an introductory video

Making best use of Teaching Assistants – Education Endowment Foundation

This online course takes you through the EEF guidance that was published in 2015. Using a combination of text, video, curated links and downloadable documents, you will gain a clear understanding of what the guidance advocates, and how to make change happen in your school.

January 2017 Update

Wishing you all a very happy new year!

I hope you all had a relaxing and peaceful break and ready for the challenges that 2017 may bring us.

There were a number of announcements made during December – as usual, on the countdown to a holiday.

Early years funding: changes to funding for 3- and 4-year-olds

On the 12th December the DfE published their response to the consultation on Early Years Funding. This includes information about local authorities having to establish SEN inclusion funds for three and four-year olds in their local funding system from April 2017.

Ofsted and CQC Local Area Inspections

This term Ofsted and CQC have released 8 further outcome letters following their Local Area Inspections. These are for:

  • Bexley

  • Surrey

  • Plymouth

  • North Yorkshire

  • Herefordshire

  • Rochdale

  • Stoke

  • Hertfordshire

These letters set out the strengths and areas for development for each local area in regard to their implementation of SEND reforms. Rochdale and Surrey have both been required to produce a Written Statement of Action because of significant areas of weakness in their local area’s practice.

Ofsted’s Annual Report includes information on SEND

Sir Michael Wilshaw produced his final report as Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector.

Phonics screening check and key stage 1 assessments: England 2016 – DfE – Updated December 2016

This provisional information on the 2016 phonics screening check and assessments at key stage 1, including breakdowns by pupil characteristics now includes the disadvantaged pupil data.

National curriculum assessments: key stage 2, 2016 (revised) – DfE – December 2016

This is revised information on the 2016 national curriculum assessment at key stage 2, including breakdowns by pupil characteristics.

Schools national funding formula: stage 2 – DfE – December 2016

This is the government’s response to the consultation submissions received and the response to the next steps for the national funding formula.

The consultation on Stage 2 of the consultation is now open and will close on 22nd March. The DfE invites your views on:

  • the weighting for each factor in the schools national funding formula

  • the transition to the formula

  • the implementation of the formula

For more information and your opportunity to respond visit:

High Needs Funding Reform – DfE – December 2016

This is the government response to the consultation that ran from March to April 2016 and the government’s response outlining the next steps.

The consultation on the next stage can be found at

New Money to support SEND reforms – DfE – December 2016

The government have announced £40m ‘new burdens’ grant to support local authorities in 2017/2018 and a high needs strategic planning fund for 2016/2017. The money (known as ‘new burdens’) will support the final year of the transitional activity. Money to support Independent Support and Parent Carer Forums will also be announced in January. Local authorities have also received high needs strategic planning fund in 2016-17 to support their planning on how to deploy their high needs budget most effectively if schools have much greater control over their funding. Further information about these funds and their allocations can be  found at:

School Commissioning for SEND: new models, limits and possibilities – SEN Policy Research Forum: Policy paper – January 2016

An early review of the new SEND Policy and legislation: Where are we now – SEN Policy Research Forum: Policy Paper – June 2016

The SEN Policy Research Forum contributes intelligent analysis and uses knowledge and experience to promote the development of policy and practice for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

These two policy papers from 2016 can be found at


 News Update November 2016


The Rochford Review – Final Report

After waiting for over six months the final report from the Rochford Review was published on 19th October. The Rochford Review was established in July 2015 to review statutory assessment arrangements for pupils working below the standard of national curriculum tests. The interim report, published in December 2015 provided an interim solution for reporting outcomes in 2016. It published the interim pre-key stage standards for those pupils working below the expected standard at the end of key stag 1 and key stage 2. The review team then continued discussions, looking at a longer term solution especially about the future of P Scales.

The final report published in October outlines 10 recommendations for those pupils who cannot access statutory assessments as they have not completed the relevant programmes of study when they reach the appropriate chronological age. These recommendations will be part of a wider consultation on Primary Assessment that the government have said will take place in Spring 2017.

A copy of the Final Report can be found at:

Written ministerial statement by Education Secretary Justine Greening on primary education

The key messages were:

  • No changes to assessment until at least 2018 -19

  • Full consultation on primary assessment in the new year

  • Early Years Foundation Stage Profile will remain in place for the 2017 to 2018 academic year

  • Key stage 1 grammar, punctuation and spelling test will remain non-statutory for schools this year, with tests available for teachers to use if they choose

  • No statutory mathematics and reading resits on children’s arrival in year 7 – focus on the steps needed to ensure a child catches up lost ground. High-quality resit papers will be made available for teachers to use if they wish, as part of their ongoing assessments

  • A targeted package of support to make sure that struggling pupils are supported by teachers to catch up in year 7

  • Improved guidance and training for the moderation of teacher assessment

SEND: Experiences with schools and colleges

This report is based on research on the experiences of children with SEND, and their parents, of schools and colleges. The report, written by Lee Scott, is based on conversations with a  small number of parents (80), young people (40) plus discussions with a number of organisations and written feedback from more than 100 people.  The report offers some good examples of where the SEND system is working well but also outlines where parents and young people are no so happy with the system.

Ofsted and CQC Local Area Inspections

The outcome letter for the local area inspection of Rochdale has now been published. This inspection was carried out in September 2016.


Grammar Schools and Special Educational Needs – Driver Youth Trust (DYT)

DYT has created a “fact sheet” to explore how the government’s proposals to lift the ban on new grammar schools could impact on pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).


Measuring and monitoring children and young people’s mental well-being – A toolkit for schools and colleges

Public Health England in partnership with UCL and Anna Freud National Centre have recently published this excellent toolkit which aims to raise awareness amongst school and college staff of the range of validated tools that are available to help measure subjective mental wellbeing amongst the student population. It is hoped that this will help school and college leaders make use of school and college level data to identify the mental wellbeing needs of students and determine how best to address them.

National SEND Forum Conference – Galvanising SEND – The Power of Partnerships

FLSE is pleased to announce that it is facilitating the inaugural NSEND Forum Conference – Galvanising SEND – The Power of Partnerships. The conference will take place on Thursday 17th November at NEC Birmingham. David Bartram – Director for SEND at the London Leadership Strategy will be delivering the keynote speech – Creating outstanding SEND provision through school-to-school collaboration.

All of the National SEND Forum organisations will be present and contributing to the day. There will be a question and answer panel session chaired by Dr Rona Tutt OBE as well as contributions from two groups of young people.

The cost of the day including lunch is £130.

To find out more and to book your place visit





Back to School Update – September 2016


The Department of Education published an updated version of Keeping Children Safe in Education on 5th September 2016. This was revised from the version they published in May 2016. All the changes can be found in Annex H (Pages 71 – 75).–2?mc_cid=485ddf377f&mc_eid=741fc3e474

Ofsted and CQC Local Area Inspection Letters

From May 2016 Ofsted and CQC have been carrying out Local Area Inspections judging the effectiveness of the area in implementing the SEND reforms as set out in the Children and Families Act. Seven outcome letters have now been published.

  • Stoke on Trent

  • Hertfordshire

  • Brighton and Hove

  • Bolton

  • Enfield

  • Gloucestershire

  • Nottinghamshire

They can all be found on the Ofsted website:

Special educational needs in England: January 2016

The statistical information based on the January census data was published in July.  The key messages are:

  • The number of pupils with special educational needs has reduced from 1,301,445 in 2015 to 1,228,785 in 2016

  • 236,805 pupils have a statement of special educational needs or EHC plan. This is an increase of 640 since 2015, but remains equal to 2.8% of the total pupil population

  • 991,980 pupils are on SEN support. This is equal to 11.6% of the total pupil population. This has declined in each of the past six years, falling from 18.3% of pupils in 2010 to 11.6% in 2016

Ofsted Handbooks

Ofsted have updated key inspection documents for September 2016 but with minimal changes. They have also republished the non-association independent school inspection handbook with minor updates in September 2016. Sean Harford – Ofsted National Director – Education has produced a blog outlining the changes.

Changes to Ofsted’s section 5 School Inspection Handbook include:

 Updated information about how staff and pupils are now consulted during inspections online

  • Clarification on who inspectors will meet with to inspect governance

  • Added references to inspectors having consideration for governors’ development in the role as part of the effectiveness of school leadership

  • Amendments to grade descriptors to reflect changes to national assessment and accountability measures

  • Regarding pupil outcomes, revision to guidance about inspecting the performance of disadvantaged pupils to take account of the new measures relating to pupil progress

Changes to guidance on section 8 short, monitoring and unannounced behaviour inspections are:

  • A small amendment to reflect the fact that Ofsted inspectors (as distinct from Her Majesty’s Inspectors) may now be asked on occasion to lead section 8 ‘no formal designation’ inspections

  • Details on new monitoring arrangements for schools rated ‘requires improvement’ and schools causing concern

Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills

Ofsted have also revised their Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills document.

KS 1 and KS2 Assessment 2017

We are still awaiting the outcome of the second phase of the Rochford Review and the future of P Scales. It is unlikely that anything will now change this academic year especially as the DfE have recently announced that the interim frameworks for teacher assessment at the end of key stage 1 and 2 which were meant to be for 2016 only have now been extended to 2017.


This also means that the Pre-key stage interim frameworks introduced in 2016 will be used in 2017 as well.

What must schools publish on-line?

The DfE have updated its guidance on what maintained schools must publish online

  • The school’s contact details

  • Admission arrangements

  • Information on how to access the school’s latest Ofsted report

  • The school’s most recent KS2 results (Primary)

  • The school’s most recent KS4 results(Secondary)

  • The school’s most recent KS5 results (Secondary)

  • Information on how to access DfE performance data

  • Information on curriculum provision, content and approach

  • Names of any phonics or reading schemes used at KS1 (Primary)

  • Details of pupil premium allocation, its use and impact

  • Behaviour policy

  • Charging and remissions policy

  • The school’s statement of ethos and values

  • A special educational needs (SEN) information report

  • Complaints procedures

  • Details of the PE and sport premium (Primary)

  • Year 7 catch-up premium details (Secondary)

  • Governors’ details

  • Annual accounts for at least the previous two years (Academies)

  • An annual report (Academies)

  • The current memorandum of association (Academies)

  • The trust’s articles of association (Academies)

  • The trust’s funding agreement (Academies)

  • Charity trustees’ and members’ names (Academies)

Timelines for schools: mandatory and useful information

Autumn term 2016 timelines are now available to help headteachers, principals and governors plan for the term and academic year ahead.

Book Trust School Library Packs

The School Library Pack is a reading for pleasure programme which is available free to any secondary school or education provider in England with Year 7 students. Containing over 40 free books, the pack can not only boost your library resources but also encourage students to try different types of books they might not usually consider reading.

The School Library Pack for special schools is also available free of charge.




Prime Minister David Cameron helps with a reading lesson at the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Primary School in Westhoughton near Bolton where he met pupils, Lucy Howarth , six, and Will Spibey, five, while on the General Election campaign trail. (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

July News

As we approach the end of yet another very busy year there are a number of papers, policies and information that we await with interest.

  • The outcome of the second part of the Rochford Review – The future of P Scales
  • The second part of the consultation of funding reform
  • The national SEND statistics taken from January census
  • Changes to the Interim Teacher Assessment Standards for 2017
  • The decision on re-sit of SATS in Year 7
  • The on-line times-tables test for Year 6 next summer
  • The replacement for  the doomed baseline assessment
  • The outcomes of the first Ofsted and CQC local area inspections.

I am sure that some of these will be published just as you all break up for your well-earned rest. I will continue to trawl the appropriate websites and gather all the information ready for a news update at the beginning of term.

In the meantime there was some information out last month (even with the referendum and party leadership challenges) and this is set out below.

Schools, Pupils and their Characteristics – DfE – National Statistics – 28th June 2016

This document contains Information collected in the January 2016 school census, including the number of schools and pupils.

SEN data shows that the number of pupils classified with SEN has declined by 1% to 14.4% of pupils (1.22 million). This reduction is in the number of pupils who have SEN Support. Those with statements or EHC Plans has remained at 2.8% ( 237,000)

SEND Support for 2016/17

The DfE have recently awarded a series of contracts to provide information, advice and support to those affected by the SEND reforms.

Strategic Reform Partner  – Council for Disabled Children (CDC) will continue in this role

Support for Parent Carers – Contact a Family and the National Network of Parent Carer Forums will continue to shape local provision.

Independent Supporters – The DfE will continue to fund local Independent Support Teams to help families through the transition process. Local Independent Support teams can be found on the Independent Supporters website

Information, Advice and Support Services are hosted by each local authority to provide impartial and confidential advice. You can find out more about IASS National Network and search for local IASS by visiting the IASS Network website

Specialist Support Contracts 2016/17

The DfE have also confirmed funding for a number of support contracts in relation to implementation of SEND reforms.

Supporting Dyslexia – British Dyslexia Association (BDA)

Supporting Sensory Impairments – National Sensory Impairment Partnership (Natsip)

Supporting the participation of children and young people – Council for Disabled Children

Supporting SENCOs – Achievement for All (AfA)

Supporting young offenders with SEN – Achievement for All (AfA)

Supporting further education – Education and Training Foundation

Supporting Autism – Autism Education Trust (AET)

Supporting Schools – London Leadership Strategy (LLS)

Supporting speech, language and communication needs – The Communication Trust


Technical education overhaul unveiled by Skills Minister


Skills Minister Nick Boles recently published the reforms to transformation of post-16 education with thousands of courses to be replaced with 15 straightforward routes into skilled employment. The skills plan proposes a new system where students who have finished their GCSEs will be able to choose from up to 15 routes providing a clear path to skilled employment.  The first routes will be available from 2019.

Those who are not ready to start an academic or technical option at the age of 16 will be able to opt for a specifically tailored, fully funded ‘transition year’ to equip themselves with the right knowledge and skills needed to move forward in their education.


Information for parents: Results from the 2016 national curriculum at the end of key stage 2


This leaflet is for parents with a child in year 6 at primary school. It explains the arrangements for the 2016 academic year, highlighting what parents need to know about the test results, as well as explaining how teacher assessment judgements work and the information they will receive from their child’s school.


























































































































Teachers live at schoolJune 2016 Update

I hope that you have all had an enjoyable and restful half term and are ready for the busy weeks ahead. Examinations, transition to new schools, teacher assessment, outcomes of SATs, scaled scores and hopefully the future of P Scales will all be on the agenda over the next few weeks.

Please find below all of the key information, documents and reports applicable to SEND that have been published in the last month.

The Key Support for Leaders

The Key’s SENDmatters campaign aims to raise awareness, drive positive outcomes and make a difference for children with special educational needs or disabilities.

Throughout the week beginning 6 June 2016, they will put SEND firmly in the spotlight by giving voice to school leaders’ concerns about the current system of support, and by providing helpful resources.

To get involved, post your SEND stories – successes, challenges, thoughts on what would make a real difference – on social media with the tag #SENDmatters.

The Key’s national survey of over 1,100 school leaders had highlighted a number of key statistics that were picked up by national media.

  • 68% of schools in England are calling for a greater focus on children with SEND in “mainstream” education policy making
  • 89% felt that cuts to local authority services have detrimentally impacted on the support received for pupils with SEND
  • 82% of mainstream schools across England do not have sufficient funding and budget to adequately provide for pupils with SEND
  • 88% felt that Initial Teacher Education did not adequately prepare teachers to support pupils with SEND
  • 75% had pupils who had been waiting longer than the expected time for an assessment of their special educational needs or for an education, health and care plan.

Statements of SEN and EHC plans England: 2016

The DfE National Statistics office has recently produced its annual figures (based on January 2016 census information) on the number of statements and EHC plans are in place. The headline figures show there are:

  • 74,210 statutory EHC plans and 182,105 statements
  • 256,315 combined – increase greater than in previous years
  • 42,005 transfers from statements to EHC plans (18.2%)
  • 2% EHC plans issues within 20 weeks

Keeping Children Safe in Education – DfE – Guidance for implementation from September 2016

The government has now produced its response to the Keeping Children Safe in Education consultation that closed in February 2016.

The new document which will come into effect on 5th September 2016 can be found here:–2

Until 5 September 2016, schools and colleges must continue to use the current statutory guidance dated July 2015.


Complex Needs Training Materials

nasen is delighted to announce the publication of the latest free legislative updates to the Complex Needs training materials. This comprehensive online update sets out the most pressing legal responsibilities above and beyond the Children and Families Act 2014.Whether you’re a SENCO, teacher, teaching assistant, governor or manager, these slide-based online materials are a rich resource designed with you in mind. Access the key information that you’ll need for your school and ensure that you meet all of the necessary legal requirements for your setting.


Focus on SEND training – nasen supported by DfE

Focus on SEND training is a free course aiming to help teachers and educational practitioners working across the 0 – 25 years age range to develop high quality practice in order to better meet the needs of their learners with SEND. It is based on the evidence of what constitutes good continuing professional development (CPD) and so takes a practice- led, enquiry-based and collaborative approach.

The modules explore: high quality practice and what this means for SEND; the participation and engagement both of children or young people and of their parents and families; identifying needs and the role of assessment; the process for arriving at meaningful outcomes; meeting needs and how the cycle of assess, plan, do, review can be used to best effect.  Focus on SEND training offers both online content and opportunities to carry out practical activities in your own setting.

 Sharon Hodgson, Labour MP launches review into SEND provision in Children and Families Act

In her capacity as Shadow Minister for Children and Families, Sharon has launched a review into SEND provision in the Children and Families Act, following analysis which reveals that children with special educational needs and disabilities are falling through the net.

Call for Written Evidence

To submit written evidence to the review, please send no more than 5 pages of A4, type size: 12 point, Arial font, to: including evidence and recommendations no later than 6pm on Friday 29th July 2016.

Hand-written submissions will be accepted, but typed is preferred. To send hand-written evidence, please send it to:

FAO Daniel Robert Tye

c/o Sharon Hodgson MP

House of Commons,

London, SW1A 0AA


Written evidence can include thoughts, stories, evidence of best practice, research or recommendations but are not exclusive to this list. The requirements on length must be strictly adhered too in order for all submissions to be considered.

Information for parents: 2016 national curriculum test results at the end of key stage 1

The Standards and Testing Agency (STA) have produced a leaflet for parents with a child in year 2 at primary school. It explains the arrangements for the 2016 academic year, highlighting what parents need to know about the test results, as well as explaining how teacher assessment judgements work. Schools may want to refer to the leaflet in their own reports to parents.

Key stage 1: codes for reporting teacher assessment in 2016

Teacher assessment (TA) or P scale data must be reported to your local authority (LA) by Thursday 30 June for all eligible pupils at the end of key stage 1 (KS1).

TA is the main focus for end of KS1 assessment and reporting. Schools are required to report TA for English reading, English writing, mathematics and science. It is carried out as part of teaching and learning.

TA provides a judgement that is based on knowledge of how the pupil has performed over time and in a variety of contexts.

In 2016, KS1 TA judgements must be submitted using:

  • the interim TA frameworks
  • the interim pre-key stage standards
  • P scales

Key stage 2: submitting teacher assessment data

Schools must report teacher assessment for English reading, mathematics and science. Teacher assessment is also the main focus for end of key stage 2 English writing assessment and reporting.

In 2016, teacher assessment judgements must be submitted using:

  • the interim teacher assessment frameworks
  • the interim pre-key stage standards
  • P scales

Teacher assessment or P scale data should be submitted for every pupil who is:

  • registered to sit a national curriculum test
  • registered as working below the standard of the tests


Lightening Review: Access to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services – May 2016 – Children’s Commissioner

March 2016 – End of Term SEND Update

cute kid news

 Schools national funding formula consultation – 7th March 2016 – DfE

The government have announced the consultation that will be the start of the process of introducing a national funding formula from 2017 to 2018. This represents an important move towards a system where school funding is allocated on a consistent national formula. As part of this, local authorities will receive funding to help with their responsibilities towards young people with high-level special educational needs on a fair and formulaic basis, so that no pupil is disadvantaged simply by where they live.

The closing date for responses is 17th April.

Education White Paper – Educational Excellence Everywhere – March 2016 – DfE

The education white paper outlines plans to transform England’s schools and build on the progress that has already been made. Alongside a blueprint for a system of full academisation, the white paper outlines significant changes to teacher qualifications which will recognise teachers for the experts that they are and give teaching the same status as doctors and lawyers.

Alongside this are plans to better develop and train the next generation of school leaders and ensure they are working where they are needed most. This is part of the government’s commitment to empower and extend the reach of the best leaders.

Full details can be found on the DfE website

Mental health and behaviour in schools – Updated March 2016 – DfE

This document originally published in June 2014 has been updated to include reviewed source documents and updated references and website links.–2

SEND: guide for health professionals – Updated March 2016 – DfE

This document originally published in September 2014 has been updated to include SEND resources for health care professionals.

 Local area SEND inspection consultation – Response document – March 2016 – Ofsted

From May, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission will inspect local areas’ responsibilities to children and young people with SEND. They will do this by:

  • assessing how well the local area identifies children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities
  • evaluating how effectively the local area meets the needs and improves the outcomes of children and young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities
  • using a wide range of information to evaluate how effectively the local area fulfils its responsibilities
  • talking to children and young people, and their parents and carers, and local partners, including nurseries, schools, colleges and specialist services

To read the consultation response go to the Ofsted website

Ofsted to directly manage early year’s inspections

Ofsted will have full control over the selection, training and management of early years inspectors from April 2017. Bringing early years inspection under direct management means that Ofsted will have full control over the selection, training and management of inspectors, and complete oversight of the quality of inspection.

School inspection newsletter – March 2016

This newsletter provides inspectors and stakeholders with information and guidance about Ofsted’s inspection work in schools.

Key stage 1 tests: how to use access arrangements – March 2016 – STA

This document provides guidance for teachers and headteachers about access arrangements for pupils to participate in the 2016 key stage 1 national curriculum tests.

2016 national curriculum tests for key stages 1 and 2: information for parents – March 2016 – STA

The Standards and Testing Agency have produced a booklet for parents of children who will be taking national curriculum tests at the end of KS1 and KS2 this summer.

School Transport Matters – A report on school transport provision across the UK – March 2016 – STC

The School Transport Consultancy recently published their findings in regard to the crisis in school transport especially for children with SEND.

Flying with Diabetes

The Airport Parking Blog recently highlighted the concerns of people with diabetes when they are flying. This information might be relevant to share with parents.

February 2016


Department for Education 0-25 Special Educational Needs and Disability Unit – February Newsletter

In this month’s newsletter you will find information about:
  • SEND Funding 2016 -17
  • Implementation Update
  • Accountability – Ofsted/CQC update on SEN inspections
  • Interim arrangements for statutory assessment of pupils working below the standards of national curriculum tests
  • Update on entry criteria for students awaiting GCSE results
  • High needs funding for young offenders in custody
  • Applications for the special schools and alternative provision categories in the Pupil Premium Awards 2016
  • Latest resources
  • Training opportunities

House of Commons Library Briefing Paper Special Educational Needs: Support in England – February 2016

The House of Commons library research service provides MPs and other staff with the impartial briefing and evidence base they need to do their work in scrutinising Government, proposing legislation and supporting constituents.  This latest briefing paper gives an overview of the previous SEN system, the reformed system from September 2014 and current research on the effectiveness of the reformed system.

Special Educational Needs and their links to poverty – Joseph Rowntree Foundation & LKMco- February 2016

Across the UK, children with SEND are more likely to experience poverty than others. They are also less likely to experience a fulfilling education or leave school with outcomes that reduce the chances of living in poverty as adults. As such, SEND can be a result of poverty as well as a cause of poverty. This report examines the links between SEND and poverty in the UK.

SEND: guide for health professionals – Department for Education – Revised February 2016

This is the revised guidance for health professionals on the support system for children and young people with special educational needs and disability (SEND). Originally published in September 2014 it has been updated to include information on managing transitions of young people to adult services and added a template letter for clinicians to send to GPs about patients with learning disabilities.

Five things you need to know about changes to primary assessment – Department for Education – February 2016

This article offers an overview of the changes to primary teacher assessment for summer 2016.

Counselling in schools – Department for Education – February 2016

This is revised departmental advice for schools about setting up and improving counselling services for pupils. Originally published in March 2015 this advice has been updated to include new resources and guidance, including an additional section on vulnerable children in the section ‘Counselling in practice’.

Non-maintained special schools: intervention and accountability – Department for Education – February 2016

This guidance for non-maintained special schools (NMSS), including children’s homes registered as special schools outlines how and why the Department for Education will intervene if a NMSS is underperforming or failing, including:
  • failure to meet national minimum standards
  • inadequate residential provision
  • inadequate financial health

Education and Adoption Bill

On 23rd February the Education and Adoption Bill 2015 completed its passage through Parliament and will become law as soon as it receives Royal assent.
 Among the bill’s provisions are:
  • that all ‘inadequate’ schools will be converted to sponsored academies
  • removal of the requirement for consultation from the academy conversion process in many circumstances
  • introduction of a new category of ‘coasting’ schools which will be ‘eligible for intervention’ by Regional Schools Commissioners

 Year 7 catch-up premium: 2015 to 2016 allocations – Department for Education – February 2016

The document offers information about the year 7 catch-up premium allocation figures and conditions of grant for the 2015 to 2016 financial year. The allocations tables show £500 for each pupil in a state-funded school who did not achieve at least level 4 in reading and/or mathematics at key stage 2. The final figures have been calculated using the 2015 key stage 2 data and the autumn 2015 school census data.

Ofsted inspections of schools

You can find all the relevant documents related to inspections listed in one place.
Maintained Schools:
Residential Special Schools:
Early Years and Childcare Providers:
Non-association Independent Schools:

Alternative provision: progress made, but more still to be done – Ofsted – February 2016

A new Ofsted finds that schools still need to do more to ensure both the quality of education and the safety of pupils in alternative provision. Alternative provision refers to education a pupil receives away from their school, arranged by local authorities or by the schools themselves.

Time for change – the challenge ahead – Acevo – February 2016

Since writing the original report and making recommendations following the abuses revealed by the Winterbourne View scandal, Sir Stephen Bubb has published a further report calling for the creation of a learning disability commissioner.

Disabled Children: A Legal Handbook 2nd edition: Steve Broach, Luke Clements and Janet Read

Disabled children: a legal handbook is an authoritative yet accessible guide to the legal rights of disabled children and their families in England and Wales. The authors expertly navigate the many, often overlapping, sources of law, explaining the difference between what public bodies must do to support disabled children and that which they may do.
The handbook aims to empower disabled children and their families through a greater understanding of their rights and entitlements. It is essential reading for the families of disabled children, their advocates and lawyers, voluntary and statutory sector advisers, commissioners, managers and lawyers working for public authorities, education, social and health care professionals, students and academics.
Each chapter has been adapted into a PDF for you to download for free from the Council for Disabled Children’s website.

December 2015


New measures to keep children safe online at school and at home – 22nd December 2015 – DfE

All schools will be required to put in place strengthened measures to protect children from harm online – including cyber bullying, pornography and the risk of radicalisation.

Under the proposals all schools will:

  • need to have appropriate filters and monitoring systems, so that no child can access harmful content via the school’s IT systems and concerns can be spotted quickly

  • be required to ensure that they teach their pupils about safeguarding, including online

The DfE have launched a consultation on changes to their Keeping Children Safe in Education guidance which will end on 16th February.

Research to understand spend by 16-19 institutions on additional needs – 17th December 2015 – DfE

This report looks at how 16 to 19 institutions plan, spend and evaluate their funding to support students with additional needs. In spring 2015, the Department for Education (DfE) commissioned Isos Partnership to undertake research to understand how institutions plan, evaluate and spend their funding on supporting students with additional needs. They explored what institutions were spending in terms of direct support for current students with additional needs, other facilities from which students with additional needs would benefit, and support for prospective students. By ‘additional needs’, they mean any student who requires support additional to and different from an institution’s core offer of teaching and learning, but whose needs do not meet the threshold for high-needs funding.


SEND and alternative provision: area guidelines: Building Bulletin 104 – 16th December 2015 – DfE

This guidance is aimed at school providers, local authorities, dioceses and building professionals. It will also assist school staff and governors involved in school building projects. The purpose of this document is to set out non-statutory area guidelines for buildings (Part A) and to provide guidance on grounds (Part B) for ages 3 to 19 at the following educational settings: special schools, alternative provision (AP), specially resourced provision (SRP) and Units. The area guidelines supersede the recommended areas in Building Bulletin (BB) 102. The guidance does not cover hospital schools although some of the areas will be applicable, nor does it cover the residential facilities that are part of some special schools.

Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions – 11th December 2015 -DfE

This statutory guidance came into force on 1st September 2014 – this document replaces the version published in September 2014.

Section 100 of the Children and Families Act 2014 places a duty on governing bodies, proprietors and management committees to make arrangements for supporting pupils at their school with medical conditions.–3

Statement on the interim recommendations of the Rochford Review – 11th December 2015 – DfE

This is the first document prepared by the independent review of statutory assessment arrangements for pupils working below the standard of national curriculum tests.

The review looked at the small percentage of pupils at key stages 1 and 2 who will not have completed the relevant programme of study when they have reached the appropriate chronological age and as a result will be working below the standard of both the national curriculum tests and the interim teacher assessment frameworks.

This is an interim solution and the review will consider whether P scales remain fit for purpose in the context of the new national curriculum as part of longer-term recommendations.


Childcare Bill: Policy Statement –  4th December 2015 – DfE

The extended free childcare entitlement for working parents of three – and four – year-olds will provide eligible parents with a total of 30 hours of free childcare per week, over 38 weeks.

The government is making good progress towards full implementation of the new entitlement from September 2017. This policy statement was published to both Houses of Parliament to aid Members in their scrutiny of the Childcare Bill.


November 2015

Half-Term Update

I hope you have all had a good break and are well rested and ready to take on the challenges of the next half-term. I have gathered together the key documents and information that was released last half-term that I think you may need to take a look at.

Commission on Assessment without Levels: final report and the government’s response

This report provides advice to schools about how to develop new approaches to pupil assessment that are based on needs of the pupil, follow the school’s curriculum and support effective teaching.

Council for Disabled Children Digest – Autumn Term 2015

A comprehensive round-up of the SEND reforms one year on.

What do the SEND reforms mean for schools?

Council for Disabled Children, SEN Leaders and nasen – October 2015

These three organisations have worked in partnership to produce a briefing for schools on what the SEN and disability reforms mean for schools, one year on from the introduction of the Children and Families Act. The briefing looks at who has responsibility for what and what type of support is available for schools.

A briefing on the changes to timescales for Transfer Reviews – CDC – October 2015

 On 1 September 2015, new requirements came into force that extend the timescales for Transfer Reviews. It follows the announcement made by the Minister, Edward Timpson at the beginning of the summer. To help stakeholders understand and implement these changes CDC have produced a briefing on changes to timescales for transfer reviews.

Joining the dots: Have recent reforms worked for those with SEND? – The Driver Youth Trust

The DYT charity commissioned this report to analyse the effect of the Children and Families Act (2014) on children and young people with SEND. The report is complex and detailed reflecting the multiple systems in which SEND provision in education is provided.

Ofsted and CQC launch new consultation on SEND inspection

 Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) have  launched a consultation on their proposals for inspecting how local areas are meeting their responsibilities to disabled children and young people, and those with special educational needs (SEND). The consultation will close on 4th January 2016 and the new inspection framework is expected to be in place by May 2016.

Department for Education O-25 SEND and Disability Unit October 2015 Newsletter

This newsletter is the next of the regular updates coming from the DfE. This issue covers a number of topics including information on The Local Offer, EHP Plans and SEND appeals to tribunals.

Professional Standards for Teaching Assistants

On October 15th Schools Week announced that the Standards for teaching assistants drawn up seven months ago by frontline volunteers have been ignored by ministers and who are now refusing to publish the document. The standards were never meant to be statutory but they would have supported schools in the effective deployment of their support staff. The draft standards can be found on the Schools Week website.

September 2015

Back to School News

I hope that you have all had a really good holiday and are rested, relaxed and ready for the new academic year. There have been a number of important pieces of information published over the summer that you may have missed.

First ever mental health champion for schools unveiled

A leading campaigner has been named as the Department for Education’s first ever mental health champion for schools – helping to raise awareness and reduce the stigma around young people’s mental health. Natasha Devon MBE – who works as a television pundit and writer – was chosen for the role following her extensive work with young people, which includes launching 2 organisations which give young people practical tips on dealing with mental health and body image concerns.

Transition to the new 0-25 special educational needs and disability system – Departmental advice for local authorities and partners – DfE – September 2015.

This is the third edition of this Departmental advice that has been produced to support local authorities, their partners and families as we go into the second year of the implementation of SEND reforms. It covers how legislation relating to children and young people with SEN in England will operate from 1st September 2015 – 31 March 2018.–3

The common inspection framework: education, skills and early years – Ofsted – August 2015

This revised document sets out how Ofsted will inspect maintained schools and academies, non-association independent schools, further education and skills provision and registered early years settings in England from September 2015.

Non-maintained Special School Regulations

This departmental advice will help schools meet their obligations under the Non-Maintained Special Schools (England) Regulations 2015. This advice is for proprietors, governing bodies, trustees or boards of directors, senior leaders and staff.

SEND pathfinder programme: final report

This is final report from the evaluation of the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) pathfinder programme. The report covers the second 18 months of the pathfinder programme, ending in September 2014, and looks at its effect on:

  • families’ satisfaction with the systems and processes in place to obtain support for their child

  • families’ views about the amount and quality of support available to them

  • families’ views about their own and their child’s health and well being

  • the cost of the assessment and planning processes for obtaining SEND support

Adjustments for candidates with disabilities and learning difficulties – Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments – JCQ – 2015

This is the updated guidance for all secondary schools for pupils who require access arrangements and reasonable adjustments. The SENCO has a much greater role to play than previously and will need to have read and understood this document.

Statistical First Release – Statements of SEN and EHC plans: England 2015

Statistics and analysis on statements of special educational needs (SEN) and education, health and care (EHC) plans in England.

Statistical First Release – Special educational needs in England: January 2015

This publication is based on the data collected in the January 2015 census. The number of pupils with a statement or EHC Plan has remained the same (2.8%) since 2007. This year has seen a significant (2.5%) reduction in the number of pupils receiving SEN Support (replacing school action and school action+).

Finally there was a flurry of documentation after the election – I summarised this in my  End-of-Term News Round-up – if you missed this Click Here

April 2015

The Department for Education had gone very quiet as we headed towards the General Election. However, they produced a large number of documents prior to the Easter break and I have tried to bring them together in this news round-up.
Don’t forget the revised SEND Code of Practice January 2015 came into force on April 1st – this has superseded the July 2014 edition.
You can find a breakdown of the changes on the SEN Expert Solicitors web-site.
New action plan to tackle mental health stigma in schools – March 2015 – DfE
One in 10 children has a diagnosable mental health disorder – around 3 children in every classroom. These new measures will help ensure pupils who may be suffering in silence have the support and knowledge they need to keep themselves healthy and safe, while helping their classmates to develop an understanding of the problems they’re facing.
  • A new visionary blueprint for schools on counselling services, developed in conjunction with children and young people, which provides headteachers with practical advice on how to deliver top-quality school-based counselling services that meet the needs of those it intends to support 
 The Department for Education has also revised its Mental Health and Behaviour Guidance first published in June 2014–2
Future in Mind – Report of the work of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Taskforce – March 2015 – DoH
Promoting, protecting and improving our children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing.
This report makes a number of proposals the government wishes to see by 2020. These include:
  • tackling stigma and improving attitudes to mental illness
  • introducing more access and waiting time standards for services
  • establishing ‘one stop shop’ support services in the community
  • improving access for children and young people who are particularly vulnerable
The report sets out how much of this can be achieved through better working between the NHS, local authorities, voluntary and community services, schools and other local services. It also makes it clear that many of these changes can be achieved by working differently, rather than needing significant investment.
SEND reforms – Letter from Edward Timpson to Local Authorities on delivering the SEND Reforms – March 2015 – DfE
Edward Timpson has outlined 3 developments
  • Supported internships and other preparation for employment for young people with SEND
  • Support offer
  • Accountability arrangements,.
Implementing a new 0-25 special needs system: LAs and partners
Duties and timescales – what you must do and when – March 2015 – DfE
 This document was revised and updated in March 2015. This departmental advice is for local authorities, children’s services, social care, adult social care, health partners, clinical commissioning groups and health and wellbeing boards
The advice explains:
  • the changes being made to the special educational needs and disability (SEND) system
  • what organisations need to do to implement the system
  • how to introduce the legal requirements of the SEND reforms
  • transitional arrangements for all those currently with: •school action or school action plus (and equivalents)
  • statements
  • learning difficulty assessments (LDAs)
Special educational needs and disability: supporting local and national accountability- March 2015 – DFE
 This document provides a framework to:
  • monitor improved outcomes and experiences for children, young people and their families
  • show how the SEND system is performing
  • hold partners to account
  • support self-improvement
Keeping children safe in education – Statutory Guidance for schools and colleges- March 2015 – DfE
Statutory guidance is issued by law, schools and colleges must follow it unless there’s a good reason not to.
This document sets out what schools and colleges must do to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people under the age of 18.
This version replaces the 2014 document.–2
Regional Leads for SEND Reforms
As from the end of March 2015 the SEND Pathfinders ceased operation. The DfE have established 9 Regional Leads to continue to support Local Authorities in the implementation of the SEND Reforms.
  • London Borough of Bromley
  • Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Coventry City Council
  • Dorset County Council
  • Durham County Council
  • Hertfordshire County Council
  • Leicester City Council
  • Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Portsmouth City Council

December 2014

Xmas Logo

 SEND implementation grant allocations by local authority

 The government have announced a further £31.7m to support local authorities to implement the SEND reforms in 2015 – 2016. (this is in addition to the £70m and £45.2m they have already received). This document gives you an outline of the funding for each local authority to continue carrying out SEND reforms in 2015 to 2016.
 SEND reforms: study of local areas’ readiness
An independent report and advice to the DfE on how well local authorities are prepared to carry out SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) reforms. This information is based on a study by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) of 30 local authorities in spring 2014.
 SEND support: easy-read guide for children and young people
A guide for children and young people with learning disabilities on changes to the special needs educational and disability (SEND) system.
 SEND support: easy-read guide for parents
A guide for parents with learning disabilities, explaining changes to the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) system.
These guides have been jointly developed by the Department for Education and Mencap, with help from parents and young people with a learning disability.
SEND pathfinder programme: interim findings
Results from an evaluation of the special educational needs and disability (SEND) pathfinder programme
 SEND legal questions answered
Jane McConnell, CEO of IPSEA has been answering legal questions on the implementation of the SEND Reforms. Around the country there are a number of myths, misconceptions and lies being floated especially around the duties on local authorities and the duties on schools. To get the legal answers visit the Special Needs Jungle website.
Further legal information can be found on the IPSEA website.
 School census
The Spring Term census date will be Thursday 15 January 2015. Schools will be required to record SEN Support (not school action and school action +) for the first time. This document will support local authorities, schools and academies in submitting their school census data to the DfE.,3UX7,30SX9W,820J,1

November 2014

October was a very busy month for me so apologies for not posting an update – here is a a summary bringing together everything that has been going on in the world of SEND.

Young Persons Guide to the Children and families Act 2014

The DfE have produced a summary of the main changes and provisions of the act and how they may affect children and families.

Fairer School Funding – arrangements for 2015 to 2016

The document contains Information about funding arrangements for schools in 2015 to 2016. It was originally published in July but was updated in October

Consultation on SEN and disability: detained persons regulations and revised code

The DfE are consulting on the draft Special Educational Needs and Disability (Detained Persons) Regulations 2015 and the draft revisions to the ‘Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0 to 25 years’
The regulations relate to children and young people (under 19 years old) with special educational needs (SEN) who are detained in youth custody. They will commence from April 2015 and are being introduced as part of the Children and Families Act 2014.
Published: 22nd October                 Closing date: 19th November

Consultation on Performance descriptors for use in key stage 1 and 2 statutory teacher assessment for 2015/2016

The DfE are seeking views on the use and implementation of statutory teacher assessment performance descriptors at the end of KS 1 and 2. The new national curriculum sets high expectations for what teachers should teach but gives them the freedom to decide how to teach. The DfE trust teachers to use their professional judgement in deciding which approach works best for their pupils. The same approach is being given to assessment. The DfE want to set high standards for what pupils should be able to achieve at the end of each key stage but are leaving it up to schools to decide how to assess between these points. The performance descriptors will support teachers in making effective and consistent assessments of their pupils’ attainment.
The DfE proposals are very vague about lower attaining pupils and I would urge you all to look at the consultation and respond with your comments.
Published: 23rd October 2014           Closing date: 18th December

Early years pupil premium and funding for 2-year-olds

The DfE have produced a summary of consultation responses and the government’s response outlining the next steps to be taken.
Early Years Pupil Premium (£300) will be implemented in a small number of local authorities from January 2015 and fully implement from April 2015. The early implementers will also be asked to provide examples of how EY providers are using the EYPP to improve outcomes for disadvantaged children.

Consultation on developing a new set of standards for teaching assistants

The DfE have established an independent panel of leading professionals to develop new national standards for teaching assistants. The panel are seeking views to help them ensure that the new standards help schools make the most of teaching assistants’ skills and experience.

Special educational needs and disability pathfinder evaluation

This is the most recent evaluation of the special educational needs (SEN) and disability pathfinder programme which includes the use of personal budgets across education, health and social care.

SEND disagreement resolution arrangements review

The Children and Families Act 2014 requires there to be a review of arrangements for disagreement resolution. The review will be led jointly by the Department for Education and the Ministry for Justice and will start in April 2015.
For more information about the review will cover and who will be part of the review advisory group visit:

Better Inspections for all

Ofsted is consulting on their proposals for a new framework for the inspection of maintained schools, academies, further education and skills providers, non-association independent schools and registered early years settings.
To have your say visit:

Independent Parental Special Educational Advice (IPSEA)

IPSEA’s new website is packed with resources to get the right education for children and young people with all kinds of SEN/disability.


September 2014

New Appointment

We are delighted to announce that Lorraine has recently been appointed as part-time Director of Chadsgrove Teaching School Alliance.

SEND Reform – Links to useful articles and documents

Over the summer break there have been a number of articles and documents produced to support the implementation of SEND Reforms. You will find all the links below.

Special educational needs and disability – a guide for parents and carers:
Implementing a new 0 – 25 special needs system: LA and partners – Duties and timescales – what you must do and when:
SEN and disability support changes: information for young people:
Education, Health and Care Plan Checklist:
Information for parents from Contact a Family:
SEND System Flow-charts from Special Needs Jungle:
Evaluation of the SEND Pathways Programme:
SEND Reforms Guidance from the Dyslexia -SpLD Trust:
SEND Reforms from the Communication Trust:
The SEND Reforms – What the early years sector needs to know and what they need to do from 4Children:
SEND Information Sheet from Council for Disabled Children:
Transition to the new 0-25 special educational needs and disability system
Children’s Minister Edward Timpson writes to teachers, colleges, local authorities and parents about the SEND reforms.


August 2014

Revised guidance for inspections of maintained schools and academies published on 31 Jul 2014

Ofsted has significantly reduced, by over 275 pages, the amount of guidance it publishes for inspectors, schools and other stakeholders.
There are now three guidance documents:
  • The framework for school inspection
  • The School inspection handbook
  • Inspecting safeguarding in maintained schools and academies.
Inspectors will use this new guidance for the inspection of maintained schools and academies from September 2014.
Key changes
  • The revised School inspection handbook incorporates guidance and briefings for inspectors that were previously spread across a number of documents. The exception is in the area of inspecting safeguarding, where guidance is set out in a separate document
  • Inspectors will make graded judgements for early years and sixth form provision
  • They will no longer record on evidence forms a grade on the quality of teaching for individual lesson observations
  • They will pay even greater attention to a school’s curriculum to ensure that it is appropriately broad and balanced to help prepare young people for life in modern Britain
  • Guidance has also been revised to support inspectors in making judgements following the phased removal of National Curriculum levels from September 2014
  • Schools previously judged to be good will no longer receive an interim assessment letter in the third year after their last section 5 inspection to inform them that they will not be inspected in the forthcoming year. Our inspection selection policy for ‘good’ schools remains unchanged
  • The inspection handbook makes clear that the most important role of teaching is to promote learning and the acquisition of knowledge by pupils and to raise achievement. It reiterates Ofsted’s stated policy that they have no preferred teaching style; it is up to the classroom teacher to determine how they should teach
  • There is clear guidance for inspectors on the duties and responsibilities of school governors.

July 2014

As the SEND Code of Practice goes through the final stages of parliamentary approval, I thought it would be good to bring together the plethora of information, guidance and advice around the SEND agenda that has been made available from DfE in recent weeks.
Here is a list of key documents you may find useful.


Equality Act 2010: advice for schools – DfE – 17th June 2014
This is departmental advice to help schools understand how the Equality Act affects them and how to fulfil their duties under the act.

Mental health and behaviour in schools – DfE – 16th June–2
Guidance on how to identify and support those pupils whose behaviour suggests they may have unmet mental health needs.

Performance – P Scale – attainment targets for pupils with special educational needs – DfE – 16th July 2014
This document supplements the national curriculum by specifying performance attainment targets (P scales) and performance descriptors for pupils aged 5-16 with SEN who cannot access the national curriculum.

Implementing a new 0 to 25 special needs system: LAs and partners – DfE – Updated 22nd July

Draft guidance for LAs: transition to the new 0 to 25 SEND system from 1 September 2014 – DfE – Updated 22nd July
These two documents offer information on the duties and timescales, what must be done by whom and when and the transitional arrangements currently in place.

Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0 to 25 years (draft for approval by Parliament) – DfE – Updated 22nd July 2014

Transitional and saving provisions (made under section 137 of the Children and Families Act 2014) relating to part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014 (children and young people in England with special educational needs or disabilities) – DfE – Updated 22nd July 2014
This code was laid before Parliament on 11 June 2014. It must be approved by Parliament before it comes into force on 1 September 2014. It will help put into place wide-reaching reforms to the SEND system for children and young people aged 0 to 25 in England. The code provides statutory guidance on duties, policies and procedures relating to part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014     and associated regulations.


DfE SEND Code School Leaders slide pack
This slide pack is to raise school leaders’ awareness of the SEND reforms and provides a resource for them to use when preparing governors and staff at the start of the new term.


May 2014 

The first day of May is upon us and a number of documents have arrived in the last few days heralding the start of what is going to be a busy term – “can it get any busier” I hear you say?!
Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions
The Department for Education has issued the proposed text for guidance that will be issued under section 100 of the Children and Families Act 2014 (duty to make arrangements for pupils with medical conditions).
This duty comes into force on 1 September 2014. They are publishing the proposed text in advance so schools can:
  • prepare for implementation
  • understand what will be required when it is in force
The statutory guidance is for governing bodies and equivalent in England. This guidance  issued under Section 100 of the Children and Families Act 2014 places a duty on governing bodies of maintained schools, proprietors of academies and management committees of PRUs to make arrangements for supporting pupils at their school with medical conditions.
You may also like to look at the summary of responses to the consultation on the draft guidance for supporting pupils at school with medical conditions


Special Educational Needs survey 2015

The DfE have also published the guide to support the completion of the SEN2 return in January 2015 by all Local Authorities.
As a result of the Children and families Act 2014, the collection has been changed to allow the collection of information:
  • on those with a statement of SEN and an education, health and care plan (EHC plan) separately,
  • from birth to 25 (for those with EHC plans),
  • on those with assessments ongoing, or completed by 16th January but no decision yet made,
  • on requests for an assessment which was refused,
  • on those with statements or EHC plans who are taken out of school to be home educated
  • on those whose EHC plan was issued within 20 weeks
  • on transferring from existing statements or learning difficulty assessments to EHC plans
  • on whether your LA is on target to transfer statements and learning difficulty assessments within the required timeframes
  • on the number of personal budgets and direct payments taken up and
  • the number of cases going onto mediation


New Scholarships for teachers and SEN support staff

Teachers and support staff will be able to apply for funds up to £1million to develop specialist skills. For the fourth year running, teachers can bid for up to £3,500 while SEN support staff can bid for up to £2,000 to fund training which will improve the support available to children and young people with special educational needs.
The application window for the fourth round will open for 4 weeks from 30 April. To date £7 million has been made available through the fund, benefiting almost 2,000 teachers and support staff in schools across the country.


April 2014

Draft Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 – 25

Revisions to the draft Code of Practice have now been made following the public consultation last year.
  • The legal duties set out in the Code of Practice have been further clarified to reflect concerns about an overall lack of distinction between statutory and non-statutory duties
  • The text on accountability has been strengthened especially the accountability of schools, in relation to supporting pupils without Education, Health and Care plans and on local authorities in relation to the local offer
  • Increased information on disabled children and on post 16 arrangements, particularly the transition to adulthood
  • The Code of Practice has been restructured to make it easier to navigate. New chapters have been added to separate out information for early years, schools and post 16 practitioners and on preparation for adulthood.
The Department for Education has launched a further and final stage in the process of consultation. They are seeking responses to the following two questions:
  1. Does the Code clearly reflect the changes made to the consultation draft to take account of the amendments to the Children and Families Bill?
  2. Do changes to the Code, and the plans to produce supplementary materials address the responses to the main consultation on clarity, layout and accessibility?
If you wish to respond to the e-consultation you will find the relevant documents at:
The consultation period will run from 16 April and responses must be received by 5.00pm on Tuesday 6 May.

March 2014

Ombudsman calls for fair treatment of children with SEN

Fair treatment for children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) is being called for by the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) in a new report.
The report, SEN: Preparing for the Future, urges that children with SEN, and their families, must be treated fairly and receive the support to which they are entitled. It highlights a number of stories from the LGO’s complaints where pupils are being unlawfully excluded from school, being denied specialist support, and many are having their education opportunities limited because of long delays.
 The report also proposes a series of questions that councillors and committees can ask of their local authorities when scrutinising the delivery of services for children with SEN, as well as sharing a number of recommendations based on good practices seen in councils across the country.
More information and a copy of the report can be found here:

February 2014

Children and Families Bill

The Children and Families Bill is currently in the final stages of its passage through Parliament. It is hoped it will receive Royal Assent next month.

PE and Sport premium for primary pupils

The DfE recently announced they were spending over £450 million on improving physical education (PE) and sport in primary schools over the 3 academic years 2013 to 2014, 2014 to 2015 and 2015 to 2016. The funding will be allocated directly to primary headteachers.
Schools can choose how they use the funding, for example to:
  • hire specialist PE teachers or qualified sports coaches to work with primary teachers during PE lessons
  • support and involve the least active children by running after-school sports clubs and holiday clubs, e.g. the Change4Life clubs
  • provide resources and training courses in PE and sport for teachers
  • run sport competitions or increase pupils’ participation in the School Games
  • run sports activities with other schools
Since September 2013, Ofsted inspections    report on PE and sport provision and on how schools spend their additional funding.
DfE will also hold schools accountable by requiring them to publish by April 2014, on their websites, details of how they spend (or will spend) their PE and sport grant. They must also include detail about the impact this funding has on pupils’ PE and sport participation and attainment.