Read DYT’s education policy round up with a literacy and SEND focus. 

19th November 2018 

The political world was shaken by publication of the Brexit withdrawal agreement last week which led to several government resignations, including the Department for Education’s Parliamentary Private Secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan. Although the EU continues to be the focal point of attention, there are some important events to highlight in the education world.

Coming up this week:

  • Monday: The APPG for Dyslexia and other Specific Learning Difficulties meets at 4 pm. Today’s meeting focuses on the theme: Reasonable Adjustments in the Workplace. Speakers include Hampshire Police and officials from the Department for Work and Pensions. Follow DYT on twitter for updates.


  • Tuesday: The Education Select Committee takes evidence for their SEND inquiry at 10 am. The meeting is the third oral evidence session of the Committee’s inquiry, the discussion is likely to cover the impact of the Children and Families Act 2014. Witnesses include the Disabled Children’s Partnership, the Council for Disabled Children and the Chair of the Bercow Ten Years On Review.


  • Wednesday: The Public Accounts Committee takes evidence from Jonathan Slater, Permanent Secretary, Department for Education and Eileen Milner, Chief Executive, Education and Skills Funding Agency on Academy accounts and performance at 2:30 pm.


  • Thursday: DYT SEND Governance Review Guide training in Manchester at 6 pm. If you are a school Governor or Trustee, sign up to find out how you can use the guide to support SEND learners.

If you missed it:

DYT welcomes “Promising Start” to early language and literacy SEND funding

The Department for Education has announced around £18 million worth of funding to support early development in literacy and language at home on Friday. £6.5 million has been earmarked specifically for projects focused on improving the early years education of children with SEND  responding to the announcement, DYT Chief Executive, Chris Rossiter said “Today’s announcement by the Education Secretary is a promising start and a victory for Driver Youth Trust and other organisations in the sector who have called for a specific focus on SEND in order to improve the language and literacy gap in the early years.”  Read more.

Pupils will get six seconds to complete times tables test questions

The Department for Education has set out the rules for its new times tables test for eight and nine-year-olds ahead of the voluntary roll-out of the new test next year. The five-minute online test will be conducted in Year 4 but schools will not have to set the tests until 2020.

Clues to Ofsted’s new inspection regime in presentation 

The school’s watchdog has provided more detail to their proposed new inspection framework for 2019. The plans seek to refocus school inspections on the quality of education and curriculum while moving away from an emphasis on data and results. DYT’s Joining the Dots report made a number of recommendations to Ofsted to improve the accountability for SEND learners, for instance – Ofsted can require schools to undergo a review of how Pupil Premium funding is spent where disadvantaged pupils are not making expected progress. We suggest that inspectors should do the same for SEND pupils and hope to see progress here in the new framework.

EEF to fund new reading project to improve literacy at home

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) is to fund a study to assess if 20 minutes a day of story activities help parents boost their children’s language skills. The Parents and Children Together programme will be evaluated by the University of Durham. Find out more.


Get in touch:

Dan Baynes
Policy Executive