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

17th December 2018 

Welcome to the last Week Ahead briefing of 2018. It’s been a tumultuous political year as difficulties over Brexit continue to dominate the attention of Westminster. Whilst this has meant a quieter time for education policy (to the relief of many teachers!) some important policy changes have been side-lined, for example legislation to keep pupils on the roll of a mainstream school, even when referred to alternative provision.

An early Christmas present was delivered to the SEND sector yesterday when the Education Secretary announced that councils will receive an additional £250 million over the next two years to create more specialist places in mainstream schools and a review of the first £6,000 that schools pay for SEND support costs before accessing additional funding from local high needs budgets. Whilst this may not cover everything on the wish list, it is a victory for DYT who have long called for impact of the notional budget to be more transparent and accountable.

At DYT towers we have some exciting content for you to watch out for over the Christmas break – including #DYTAdvent and new blogs reflecting on our policy work in 2018 and looking ahead to what 2019 may bring.

On behalf of everyone at the DYT team, I wish you a merry Christmas and a very happy new year!

Coming up this week:

Monday will see the last Education questions of the year. Damian Hinds and his team face a range of topics from MPs including international funding of education, what the government is doing to improve STEM subjects and a focus on social mobility. The session also provides a last look at what issue is dominating the political rivalry between Labour and Conservative parties.

Regarding SEND, there are a few questions on the order paper to look out for:

Rosie Cooper (West Lancashire) What assessment he has made of progress on delivering the actions set out in the written statement of action issued in response to the 2017 inspection of services for children and young people with SEND in Lancashire?

Debbie Abrahams (Oldham East and Saddleworth) What recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the level of support for SEND learners?

Mark Pawsey (Rugby) What steps is the Department is taking to improve the provision of SEND services?

On Thursday, both Houses of Parliament go into recess, they will return on the 7th January. Thursday is also the last date for DfE data dumps with statistical first releases scheduled for 30 hours free childcare; Further education and skills: supplementary tables; Apprenticeship and levy statistics; and Childcare and early years survey of parents.


If you missed it:

Ofsted publishes new research on the curriculum 

As part of their work to develop the new education inspection framework, Ofsted published a new report alongside a commentary from HMCI, Amanda Spielman. Responding to the research, DYT Director of Operations, Karen Wespieser asked in Schools Week, “Can you have a broad curriculum and focus on the basics?” She concludes, “The real challenge will come not from embedding literacy in a balanced curriculum, but in ensuring that schools have access to the resources they need to ensure equity.” Read Karen’s full piece. 

Gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers narrows, but still remains significant
The government celebrated new statistics showing that the disadvantage gap index had shrunk by 3% in the last year. However, the BBC has published analysis stating poor pupils won’t catch up for 50 years.

Special educational needs review, 2018

Nasen’s Chief Executive, Adam Boddison writes in Schools Week: “The challenges for SEND have reached a critical point this year, but there are still reasons to be cheerful.”  Read the piece here.

Get in touch:

Dan Baynes
Policy Executive