Compelling attendance won’t result in more autistic pupils in school

Originally posted by www.ambitiousaboutautism.org.uk The Government today published its Schools Bill with Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi announcing a 'strict' and 'non-negotiable' approach on school attendance.    The Bill will order schools across England to produce plans for addressing absenteeism. The Government also plans to issue new central guidance on the best approach to fining parents whose children are absent from school. Over 40,000 autistic pupils (31%) were persistent absentees in 2020/21.   Responding to the bill, Jolanta Lasota, Chief Executive of Ambitious about Autism, said:    “These measures are a regressive step and miss the point entirely about why many autistic pupils can’t attend school.   “Autistic young people tell us they desperately want to go to school, just like everyone else, but many can’t because of inaccessible school environments, teaching, and expectations that they be something they are not: neurotypical.  “Compelling these young people to be at a school they can’t access, without the support they need to attend, will not help them learn. Punishing their...
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Inquiry launches into mental health and behaviour in schools

Inquiry launches into mental health and behaviour in schools

A coalition of more than 200 charities, academics and children’s professionals is launching an inquiry to explore links between mental health and behaviour among school pupils. Concerns around schools in England using punitive approaches to tackle challenging behaviour have prompted the inquiry, which is being launched by the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition. Tactics used by schools include exclusion and placing children in isolation in so-called removal rooms. The coalition fears there has been an increase in tough measures to curb challenging behaviour by schools following Covid-19 lockdowns. It warns that such measures come amid escalating mental health problems among young people. One in six pupils aged between six and 16 have a mental health problem as of 2021, compared to one in nine in 2017, said the coalition. Often challenging behaviour can be caused by “underlying conditions, unmet emotional needs, difficulties at home, at school or in the community, and exposure to trauma”, it added. The inquiry will look at how current school...
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Key measures proposed in SEND and alternative provision green paper

Key measures proposed in SEND and alternative provision green paper

Legal requirements for councils around inclusion and the creation of national standards focussed on support for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are among a raft of proposals laid out in the government’s SEND green paper. The SEND and alternative provision green paper has been published following the completion of the Department for Education’s long-awaited SEND review which was launched in 2019. The proposals, backed by £70m of new funding, will be subject to a 13-week public consultation due to close on 1 July, DfE has announced. https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ut_LI2sK1R4?feature=oembed Proposals Increased early intervention for children with SEND and a single system combining SEND and alternative education provision feature highly in the plans. The creation of new national standards across education, health and care to build for a higher performing SEND system are also among measures set out in the paper. The national standards will build on the Children and Families Act 2014 which is currently the subject of an enquiry by peers. The standards look set...
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SEND review ‘steering group’ appointed to push through reforms

Children's minister defends delays to landmark review and warns Covid has 'intensified' issues Children's Minister: Will Quince The government has named 23 members of a steering group set up to help push through its much-delayed SEND review, as a minister warned Covid had “intensified” issues. In an open letter to parents of pupils with special educational needs and disabilities, children’s minister Will Quince said improvements to the system were “needed, and overdue”. The steering group will “help us move forward” with the review, he added. The SEND review was first promised in September 2019. The government has now missed three of its own deadlines to publish it, with Covid cited as a major contributor to the delays. Education secretary Nadhim Zahawi said last week that he was hoping to have it out “in the first quarter of next year” so it can “dovetail” with a planned schools white paper. In his letter, Quince said the pandemic had “intensified some of the issues in the system, and...
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Education Secretary Backs Home Education Register

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi has reiterated his support for the introduction of a home education register. Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi was giving evidence to the Education Select Committee. Image: Parliament TV Speaking at a Parliamentary hearing this morning (Wednesday), Zahawi said he was “absolutely committed” to the creation of a register of elective home-educated (EHE) children, which would be maintained by local authorities. The measure was a key proposal in the Children Not in School consultation paper published in April 2019 alongside a planned duty on parents to register their child as being home schooled and for councils to provide additional support for EHE children. The government has yet to publish its response to the consultation, which was criticised by members of the Education Select Committee who were questioning Zahawi. Caroline Johnson, Conservative MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham, said: “I am unsure why it is taking so long? This is a safeguarding issue…we know that some people are not doing a good job [home...
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Responding to Emotional Wellbeing & Mental Health Needs of CYP: Event

Join the National Children’s Bureau as they present information about strategic responses to the emotional wellbeing and mental health needs of children and young people. You can view the full advert below: Image Depicts: The Lottery Community Fund logo on the left, and on the right states “Delivered by” with the National Children’s Bureau logo. Responding to emotional wellbeing and mental health needs of children and young people: learning from HeadStart partnerships Please join us to hear about strategic responses to the emotional wellbeing and mental health needs of children and young people. Wednesday 20th October 2021 1-4pm.Please register here This event is delivered by the National Children’s Bureau in collaboration with the HeadStart Partnerships. Evidence shows that children and young people’s emotional wellbeing and mental health is worsening.1 As the current pandemic continues, local areas are considering how best to identify need, address vulnerabilities and increase access to support and treatment quickly and effectively. This is an opportunity to hear examples of good practice from HeadStart...
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Future Rutland

Future Rutland

Life's been very hard and very different for us all over the past year, due to COVID-19. There are positive signs we might be nearing the end of the pandemic, but our world has changed. We need a new plan for the future... So, we want to start a conversation with you, to understand: What you value most about your life here in RutlandWhat your expectations are for yourself and your familyWhat your expectations are for future generations To take part in Future Rutland, please visit their website. We’re asking themed questions: Your life in Rutland - from 1 AprilLeisure and recreation - from 6 AprilEnvironment and climate change - from 12 AprilGetting around - from 12 AprilHealth and wellbeing - from 26 AprilLearning, skills and employment - from 26 AprilLiving in Rutland - from 10 MayPublic services, and how we spend your money - from 10 MayKeeping the conversation going - from 24 May If you have any questions please email them at: rutlandconversation@rutland.gov.uk ...
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SEND pupils treated as an afterthought during pandemic, report says

SEND pupils treated as an afterthought during pandemic, report says

Children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) have been treated as an afterthought by the government during the Covid-19 pandemic, a report has warned. The report warns that advice to special schools was frequently published later than guidance for mainstream schools when pandemic restrictions, including lockdowns and school closures, were ordered by government. “This led settings and young people with SEND to be seen as, and feel like, an afterthought,”  the report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for SEND says The report, called Forgotten. Left behind. Overlooked, details the experiences of children and young people with SEND during the pandemic in 2020. Remote teaching was particularly hard to access for some SEND children, found the report, which includes recommendations for change from a raft of charities and children’s organisations. Among those contributing was the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS), which said that remote learning options were not accessible for deaf children without additional communication support, such as speech to text software or sign...
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10-point Version of the DfE’s Back-to-School Guidance for SEND learners

With the news that everyone will be returning to school/college" from March 8th, the Department for Education has once again issued separate operational guidance for schools and for specialist settings: Additional operational guidance for special schools, special post-16 institutions and alternative provision. Below is a bit of a breakdown of some of the important points that you should be aware of. 1. Attendance The attendance section in the specialist and alternative settings guidance emphasises that from March 8th, attendance is mandatory for all, unless they receive a positive test result or have to self-isolate. It is vital for pupils and students to attend school or college to minimise, as far as possible, the longer-term impact of the pandemic on their education, wellbeing and wider development. The usual rules on school attendance apply to all pupils including:- parents’ duty to secure their child’s regular attendance at school (where the child is a registered pupil at school, and they are of compulsory school age)-...
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