Welcome to this week’s edition of ‘The Week Ahead’  (9th July 2018) 
Here you will find the latest updates on literacy and SEND policy from Parliament and beyond.  

Things to know:

  • Damian Hinds’ speech sets out his vision for SEND learners
    Speaking at the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, the Education Secretary made a welcome intervention on his vision for SEND learners. Hinds said that “our ambition for these children is exactly the same as it is for all children – we want them to be able to do their best in school and in college and reach their potential, and, afterwards, to find employment and lead happy and fulfilled lives.” Read his full speech here.
  • Key parts: what Hinds said
    The detail of Hinds’ speech was also very interesting and many of his announcements echo DYT’s recommendations to the DfE. Here are some of his key statements:

    On exclusions: 

    We know there has been a steady movement of children with special educational needs out of mainstream schools and into specialist provision, alternative provision and home education. At the same time, rates of exclusion have begun to rise after a period of having calmed down. And I hear too many stories about off-rolling. I want to be clear right now: this is not okay. SEND pupils are not someone else’s problem. Every school is a school for pupils with SEND, and every teacher is a teacher of SEND pupils.”On funding: 
    “While we had record investment in the education for children with complex SEND at £6 billion this year – it’s clear that budgets are under pressure. And, frankly, this is difficult – I can’t say today that I have all the answers. But I am listening to your concerns.”On Ofsted: 
    “I am working with Ofsted to make sure our accountability system sufficiently rewards schools for their work with pupils who need extra support, and to encourage schools to focus on all pupils, not just the highest achievers.In addition, I will be asking Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission to design a programme of further local area SEND inspections to follow the current round, due to conclude in 2021; and for their advice on further inspection or monitoring of those areas required to produce a ‘Written Statement of Action’.”
  • Zahawi: we will create a network of 10,000 schools to share SEND best practice 
    Speaking at nasen Live, Zahawi welcomed the new Whole School SEND regional leaders, read Schools Week’s coverage.
  • Ofsted criticised in Education Committee session on SEND 
    Baroness Warnock told the committee that “the inspectorate does not account enough for the inclusion policies of schools when delivering their final judgment.” Watch the session here.

If you missed it:

  • The House of Commons Library has produced briefings on policies and services for people with a learning disability in England and on Department for Education spending.
  • Rebecca Pow MP led a Westminster Hall debate for speech, language and communication support for children on Wednesday, 4 July. MPs from all sides made powerful speeches and expressed support for Bercow: Ten Years On and its recommendations. Find the video of the debate here.
  • Angela Rayner appeared at the recent APPG on Assistive Technology.

This Week:


Tuesday 10th July 

At 10 am the Education Committee will hold a session on life chances. Bob Reitemeier, the Chief Executive of I CAN and Minister of State Nadhim Zahawi are among those who will be questioned.

Wednesday 11th July

At 9:30 am the Education Committee holds a pre-appointment hearing with Dame Martina Milburn, the Government’s preferred candidate for Chair of the Social Mobility Commission.

After 3 pm – the House of Lords has an oral question from Lord Touhig on ways to ensure disabled children are not unfairly excluded from school. Find out more on DYT’s position on this matter below.

DYT’s View: 
DYT’s Director of Education, Jules Daulby presented at the Westminster Briefing session on School Exclusions: Policy and Improving Practice for Vulnerable Students. 

Jules ran through an update to the statistics behind official and unofficial exclusions, as well as methods that can prevent exclusions.

View her presentation here.

Read more: 

  • The stats – Special needs pupils seven times more likely to be excluded
  • Our view – DYT response to Exclusions Review
  • Watch – Jules gives evidence to the Education Select Committee
  • Blog – Exclusions. Last resort or first thought?

  • DYT’s CEO, Chris Rossiter, led #UKGovChat to talk about the SEND Governance Review guide and holding headteachers to account – catch up here.
  • Karen Wespieser joins Driver Youth Trust as Director of Operations (DYT)
  • Education secretary Damian Hinds attacks schools that ‘off-roll’ special needs pupils to improve league table rankings (The Independent)
  • Research into phonics use to teach adults needed (TES)
  • Ambition School Leadership and Institute for Teaching to merge into new charity (Schools Week)
  • ‘Dear Damian, we need to talk about SEND’ (TES)

Get in touch: 

Dan Baynes
Policy & Research Executive