11th February 2019 

DYT’s Top Story:

The Education Secretary has revealed the “five foundations” by which schools can help build resilience and character in young people and how this will create empowered, confident teenagers. DYT’s Consultant Teacher, Kelly Challis, who is currently deployed to support students in Alternative Provision and SEMH Special Schools has blogged her top tips for supporting a child experiencing intrusive or worrisome thoughts.

News round-up:

Glasses for pupils scheme aims to improve literacy

Research by the EEF has found failing to treat undiagnosed eye conditions like short-sightedness or astigmatism can hamper pupils’ literacy skills. The research body announced five trials to improve literacy provision including REACH Primary, a programme for struggling readers delivered by trained teaching assistants to individually targeted pupils over a period of 20 weeks.

Committee Chair: Scrap “pointless” GCSEs 

Robert Halfon has called for an overhaul of the examination system to remove GCSEs and replace A-Levels with a mix of academic and vocational subjects. Mr Halfon will claim that the current system is failing to prepare young people for technological changes in the workplace.

‘Shocking’ case exposes SEND crisis 

Schools Week reported on an eight-year-old boy with severe learning needs who was denied specialist schooling due to lack of funding by Medway council. Their editorial called for action on SEND funding:“If money isn’t forthcoming, for the sake of schools and councils, the government needs to be honest and tell parents there’s a limit on how much they can afford to provide for SEND pupils.” 

Council won’t back down over dyslexia

TES reports that Warwickshire County Council is sticking with guidance that questions the science behind dyslexia diagnoses, after it was endorsed by Durham University research.

DYT’s Week Ahead:


Westminster Hall debate: 4:30pm – MPs will debate a petition on secondary school opening hours, the BBC previews the debate here.


Education Committee: 10:00am – the SEND inquiry continues, this time focusing on the impact on local authorities and how well they are delivering the 2014 reforms.

Westminster Hall debate: 2:30pm – Liberal Democrat leader, Sir Vince Cable leads a debate on SEND funding. We’ve been calling on the government to look at the way that the SEND notional budget is spent, so that all schools are accountable for the impact this has on pupils, which we first raised in our Joining the Dots report.


Westminster Hall debates: 11:00am – former Cabinet Minister, Esther McVey questions the government about education funding for Cheshire. Conservative backbench MPs have increasingly been more vocal about this as the Treasury’s Comprehensive Spending Review is around the corner – something to keep an eye on!

4:30pm – the Education Committee’s Ben Bradley will be discussing alternative provision in primary schools, DYT told the committee last year that more emphasis should be put on prevention and inclusion rather than reaction and segregation.


House of Lords questions: DfE Minister, Lord Agnew will face questioning on salary levels in multi-academy trusts and the cost to parents and local authorities of appealing education, health and care plan decisions.

Get in touch:

Dan Baynes
Policy Executive