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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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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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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Vicky Ford MP: Letter to CYP with SEND, their parents/carers and professionals

Vicky Ford MP: Letter to CYP with SEND, their parents/carers and professionals

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families, Vicky Ford MP, has released a letter to all children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), their parents/carers and families, and others who support them. "I recognise that this is an extremely challenging period, especially for children and young people with SEND, their families and carers and those who work to support them. I hope this letter gives you some reassurance that the education, health and wellbeing of children and young people with SEND continue to be a top priority for the government during these difficult times and we continue to be incredibly grateful to all those who work so hard to support children and young people with SEND."— Vicky Ford, MP This provides information on: School AttendanceChildren and Young People who are clinically extremely vulnerableRemote EducationWinter package to provide further support for children and familiesFace coverings in educational settingsRespite CareHealth Services for CYP with SEND ...
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Transport to school and other places of education: autumn term 2020

In preparation of schools fully reopening in the Autumn, the government has issued guidance on transport to and from school. You can read the full guidance here. Part A provides guidance for Local Authorities on managing the capacity and demand for public transport.Part B provides guidance about the provision of dedicated home to school/college transport in the autumn term. Specific mentions of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Local authorities should take account of the particular needs of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and, where necessary, be informed by the views provided by the parents and school.The system of controls: protective measures "Children with SEND: When deciding on the package of measures that is appropriate on transport for children and young people with special educational needs, local authorities will need to take account the particular needs of the children using the transport, and to be informed by the views of the parents and school. Special schools tend to...
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A joint ministerial letter to children and young people with SEND regarding the full return to educational settings in September 2020

Children & Families Minister Vicky Ford and Care Minister Helen Whately have written an open letter to children and young people with SEND, their parents, families and others who support them. The letter explains the actions that need to be taken to ensure, where possible, all pupils return to their educational settings from September, and responds to some of the concerns and questions that have been raised. Department for Education and Department of Health & Social Care Joint Ministerial LetterDownload Key messages include: The importance for those with special educational needs and disabilities to return to educational settings safely in September so that they can receive face-to-face education and supportReassures that the risk of contracting the virus in educational settings is low and outlines protective measures in place to reduce the risk even further, including the NHS Test and Trace systemMinisters expect a small number of absences from children and young people who remain under the specialist care of a health professional however, the...
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Department for Education: Supporting Children and Young People with SEND

The Department for Education have released their guidance to schools and colleges on supporting children and young people with SEND during the reopening of education settings. The key elements of the guidance is around updating risk assessments and how the phased return to education settings will be managed. Particular care will be needed in planning for and supporting children and young people with EHC plans to return to their schools and colleges. In the spirit of coproduction, educational settings should contact parents and involve them in decisions about their child who has an EHC plan.Similarly, they should contact and involve young people over 16 who have EHC plans.Schools and colleges will need to ensure that they have the staffing needed to support children and young people at safe ratios.Local authorities will also need to reinstate safe home to school transport arrangements. Differentiated Return to School “We recognise that some children and young people with EHC plans will need careful preparation for their return, for...
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Mental Health Awareness Week

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week which is organised by the Mental Health Foundation, and the theme they have chosen this year is Kindness. We have chosen kindness because of its singular ability to unlock our shared humanity. Kindness strengthens relationships, develops community and deepens solidarity. It is a cornerstone of our individual and collective mental health. Wisdom from every culture across history recognises that kindness is something that all human beings need to experience and practise to be fully alive.Mark Rowland, Chief Executive, Mental Health FoundationFor more, go to their article here. What can you do? Reflect on an act of kindness. Share your stories and pictures (with permission) of kindness during the week using #KindnessMatters and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeekUse the Mental Health Foundation resources in your family, school, workplace and community to join with thousands in practising acts of kindness to yourself and others during the week Share your ideas on how you think we could build a kinder society that would support...
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System for children with special needs in England ‘riddled with inequalities’

Damning report by MPs finds many pupils miss out on support and end up being excluded from education. Children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are being failed by a system “riddled with unexplained inequalities”, according to a damning parliamentary report. The report says many of the 1.3 million pupils in England with SEND are not getting the support they need and end up being excluded from school, damaging their education, wellbeing and future life chances. You can read more in the Guardian or TES. What do you think about these findings? ...
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