From education to employment

SEND and What Next?

Dr Anita Devi, TeamADL CIC, Founder & CEO

The academic year has ended.  It has been a crazy year on so many levels, politically in the UK, overseas in Ukraine and within the education sector.  There seems to a great urgency … mainly I believe for the electoral cycle in 2024.  But education should not be determined by elections, more on this later.

I have lost count of the initiatives / communications currently being passed through by the Department of Education and associated bodies / authorities.  Here are just a few reminders from this last year:

(Consultation type activities in bold)

September 2021Seven further T-Levels introduced (FE)
Vaccines programme pupils aged 12 and up
The Big Ask Survey – Children’s Commissioner
[New Education Secretary of State]
October 2021Multiply Programme for adults who don’t have a GCSE grade C/4 or higher in Maths
November 2021New temporary COVID-19 measures for early year settings, out-of-school settings, schools, colleges and universities (Omicron)
December 2021Institutes of Technology announcement (Red Letter Day)–2/institutes-of-technology (FE / HE)
January 2022School Attendance Consultation launched
Call on universities to end the use of Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) to silence abuse victims (HE)
February 2022Political impartiality guidance for schools – what you need to know
[Ukraine war] à Impact students in schools and anxiety in our learners
March 2022Children and Families Act 2014 Inquiry (House of Lords)
Schools White Paper 2022
SEND & AP Green Paper 2022
April 2022Health and Care Act 2022 (impacts SEND)
Skills Act 2022 (FE)
May 2022SATs
National review into the murders of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes and Star Hobson (Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel)
June 2022SEND
Census data published (rising numbers)
A new approach to area SEND inspections (Ofsted) – consultation
School registers and national thresholds for legal intervention – consultation
GCSEs / A Levels
July 2022SATs Results (KS2) issues
[Three Education Secretaries of State in a week]
Behaviour in schools (Advice)
Suspension and Permanent Exclusion from maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units in England, including pupil movement (Guidance)Distribution of life saving defibrillators National Tutoring Programme allocations for 2022-23

This year we have had 4 Education Secretaries of State (Williamson, Zahawi, Donelan, Cleverly).

Is it any wonder that frontline colleagues in education are tired.  Since the pandemic we have all worked non-stop.  There has been little time to rest, reflect and reset.  It is to that end many of us collectively wrote to the most recent Minister / Education Secretary of State.  Do read the Open Letter and if you agree, sign / and share. Letter speaks of the need for a defined values and vision for education that goes beyond the electoral cycle.  Do tell us what you think.

In recent months I have written about:

I write this current piece after my submission to The SEND & AP Green Paper this week.  I’m sure my submission (like others) will be in the public domain in due course.  I did respond to all 22 questions with my considered views, ideas, case studies and questions.

There is a lot of information from all the submissions for the DfE to consider.  I have been reassured by civil servants that all comments will be reviewed, not just the most frequent.  My biggest concern is how they will align the dots.  Given the way the questions were asked (mostly opened ended), they will possibly undertake a thematic analysis.  It will be interesting to know what themes they will use and what they will uncover, especially issues and points they were not expecting

SEND – what next?

We will probably not see any major announcements till December.  Ofsted has already said their new area SEND Inspection Framework will be released at the end of the year, for implementation in the first quarter of 2023. 

In the meantime, as practitioners need to just keep doing what we always do i.e., the best for our children and young people and their families.  We live in strange times and operate in a strange sector that has no clarity on a long-term vision values for education.

Other innovative SEND projects like 365 SEND are taking off and my hope is in the coming days we will see a more dialogue-based approach to improving what we do, how we and why.  Thereby placing the responsibility of SEND on all and by all.

Have a restful summer and thank you all for your hard work this year.  If you haven’t had a chance yet, do look at the comments from this years’ SEND Leaders’ Appreciation Day – I’m sure there are comments there that describe you too!

Till next academic year ???? Rest, relax and stay well!

By Dr Anita Devi, TeamADL CIC, Founder & CEO

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