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

7th January 2019 

Happy New Year! I hope you had an enjoyable and restful break. To see in the new year I have blogged reflecting on some of DYT’s work and achievements in 2018 and take a look ahead to what we might expect from educational policy in 2019.

It was a busy Christmas period for Education Secretary Damian Hinds who made announcements on schools cutting down on the use of plastics,  a new activity ‘passport’ and first aid training to become a part of the curriculum. As Parliament returns today expect the bigger educational issues (Ofsted, funding and teacher recruitment to name a few…) to be back on the agenda very soon.

Coming up this week:


The Education Committee will hold their third session of the “fourth industrial revolution” inquiry which is examining how best to prepare young people for future opportunities. This session, which begins at 10 am, will see MPs questioning technology and educational experts on how educational technology can have an impact in the classroom. Experts include David Brown, Professor of Interactive Systems for Social Inclusion at Nottingham Trent University, so we’ll be on the lookout for any mentions of assitive technology and how it can support learners with literacy difficulties. Over in Westminster Hall at 2:30 pm, there’s a debate on apprenticeships and skills policy.


The Joint Committee on Human Rights will be taking evidence from NHS England and the Care Quality Commission on the detention of young people with learning disabilities and autism. This forms part of the committee’s inquiry into the conditions in learning disability inpatient units.


In the House of Lords former government Minister, Lord Nash leads a debate on the contribution made by free schools to improving educational standards and is likely to be a lively affair – the EPI published a report in 2017 stating that free schools are helping to create new school places but have been ineffective in targeting areas of low school quality.

If you missed it:

Two in five believe they would be a good teacher 

The Independent reported on findings from the DfE’s Get into Teaching campaign finding that despite two in five people thinking they have the traits to be a good teacher, the Department has missed it’s recruitment targets in the number of trainees in secondary school subjects.

Four in ten EHCPs take longer than legal limit 

The BBC has published research showing that 26,505 EHCPs took longer to finalise than the 20 week statutory limit. The longest wait for an individual application was in Suffolk – where it took the council 1,023 days, or nearly three years, to finalise one EHCP application.

Conversation has “bigger impact” than word count in developing children’s language 

Tes reported on new research from the USA, that suggests that the number of times children aged 18 to 24 months are engaged in a back-and-forth exchange with an adult is related to their verbal skills as they grow up.

A minority of teachers felt their school’s assessment approach worked well for pupils with SEND, finds report  

A new report by the NFER on behalf of the DfE into the approaches that schools have used to assess pupils since the removal of national curriculum levels in 2014 found that teachers had concerns about how assessment was working for SEND learners, especially in that their school’s approach did not adequately recognise the small steps of progress made.

Educationalists recognised in New Year’s Honours 

Schools Week covers the education-related recipients of an honour in 2019. The list includes the winner of the Global Teacher Prize, Andria Zafirakou and Ruth Muskin (whose firm RM Literacy Ltd produces phonics materials).

Get in touch:

Dan Baynes
Policy Executive