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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Disadvantaged pupils targeted in government’s £700m school catch up plans

The government has pledged to focus £700m in catch up funding for education in England on disadvantaged children, as schools and early years settings recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. Children & Young People Now have reported on the “Recovery Premium”: One-to-one and small group tutoring programmes is another focus of the government’s efforts to help schools and colleges recoverThe one-off recovery premium is worth £302m. The average primary school will receive around £6,000 extra while the average secondary school around £22,000 more. The government expects schools to use this premium money to boost summer provision, such as additional clubs and activities.Schools will also be expected to use “evidence based approaches to supporting disadvantaged pupils from September”, according to the Department for Education.Of the remaining £400m, half will be used to boost tutoring in schools  and language development in early years settings.The other half is for schools to develop face-to-face summer schools. The government expects these to initially target incoming year 7 pupils. ...
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Training for family carers of those with a learning disability.

Identifying early signs of worsening health in a person with a learning disability – specific training for family carers The NHS England and NHS Improvement Learning Disability and Autism Programme is inviting family carers to take part in a workshop. Attending the workshop will help you to be able to identify when the person you care for is becoming more unwell (deteriorating health) and how to tell a health professional about that. The workshop is free and only for parents with children over the age of 16. RESTORE2™ mini is an award winning tool specifically designed for carers to help you to identify soft signs that someone you care for may be unwell and what you should do next. This version of Restore2min™ has been specially adapted for people caring for those with a learning disability. We are inviting family carers to take part in this important one off 90 minute training session which will help you to identify soft signs of deterioration...
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Over £42 million to extend projects for children with SEND

Over £42 million to extend projects for children with SEND

The UK Government has announced "further funding to help raise educational standards, improve services and provide practical support to children with SEND." This includes the Government re-awarding "current contracts and grants which enable schools, colleges, families and local authorities, to support thousands of children with SEND. This includes extending an advice helpline and increased funding for local parent carer forums, support to improve how councils provide local services and improved training for education staff in working with children and young people with specific needs such as autism." Family Fund: £27 million awarded to Family Fund which "supports low-income parents raising children with serious illnesses or disabilities"Providing up to £17,500 for each Parent Carer Forum (an increase of £2500 compared to 2020-21)Funding has been extended for: Council for Disabled Children, Contact, Kids, National Network of Parent Carer Forums, Whole School SEND, Autism Education Trust, Education Training Foundation and Family Fund The aims of the £42 million funding are: Targeted support: monitoring, support and intervention to...
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Disadvantaged pupils offered free data in bid to tackle digital divide

Disadvantaged pupils offered free data in bid to tackle digital divide

The Department for Education is partnering with broadband providers to offer disadvantaged families free data to support home learning during the latest Covid-19 lockdown. Through the partnership schools are being urged to identify children without internet access to request the free data through the government’s Get Help with Technology programme. Providers involved in the programme include EE, which announced this week that it is offering disadvantaged families 20GB of free data per month. Also involved are broadband providers Three, Sky Mobile, SMARTY, Tesco Mobile and Virgin Mobile. This free data offer is available until July 2021. The move comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced this week that schools in England will close until at least February half-term as part of a fresh national lockdown to curb rates of Covid-19 infection. ...
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Plans to support vulnerable children set out as schools close amid third coronavirus lockdown

Plans to support vulnerable children set out as schools close amid third coronavirus lockdown

It was announced last night that all primary and secondary schools and colleges would close for at least six weeks until February half-term to all pupils except the children of frontline workers and vulnerable children. Early years settings, including nurseries and childminders, special schools and alternative education providers will remain open to all pupils, Johnson said. The Department for Education has confirmed it will go ahead with previously announced plans to increase the number of free laptops and 4G routers made available to disadvantaged children. It said it aimed to provide one million devices by the end of the current academic year having handed out 560,000 as of December.The government-funded National Tutoring Programme, aimed at helping the most disadvantaged children impacted by the pandemic catch-up with peers, has said it will continue to provide tutoring remotely – it delivered support to 62,000 pupils last term.Meanwhile, the government has admitted that GCSE, AS and A level exams are “unlikely” to go ahead...
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SEND commissioning strategy (Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland)

SEND commissioning strategy (Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland)

The following organisations have developed a draft joint commissioning strategy for SEND to encourage and develop joint working: East Leicestershire and Rutland CCG Leicester City CCGLeicester City CouncilLeicestershire County CouncilRutland County CouncilWest Leicestershire CCG They are seeking views on the strategy and action plan to ensure the strategy fully reflects the views of those represented, including service providers and individuals in receipt of services commissioned by the organisations listed above. Online Survey Read the draft plan below: ...
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COVID Winter Plan – Impact on Education

COVID Winter Plan – Impact on Education

As you will be aware, the Prime Minister introduced their COVID winter plan yesterday (you can read more on the Gov website here). This plan is fairly extensive, with more aspects (such as the three-tiers) still to be decided. The relevant aspects that you may need to be aware of: The COVID-19 Winter Plan ensures the current national restrictions can be lifted on 2nd December, so across all of England, regardless of tier: The stay at home requirement will end, with domestic and international travel being permitted again subject to guidance in each tier.Shops,personal care,gyms and the wider leisure sector will reopen.Collective worship, weddings and outdoor sports can resume, subject to social distancing.People will no longer be limited to seeing only one other person in outdoor public spaces -the rule of 6 will now apply as it did in the previous set of tiers. Information about Protecting the Vulnerable Under recent national measures, the clinically extremely vulnerable have been advised to take...
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