As Parliament and schools return this week, welcome to ‘The Week Ahead’ – I hope you had a great summer break! Here you will find the latest updates on literacy and SEND policy from Parliament and beyond.  

3rd September 2018 

In case you missed it:

  • Education Secretary’s main priorities revealed  
    TES have managed to get access to a policy document revealing Damian Hinds’ major priorities. The 2-sided paper handed out to external policy groups maintained that the Department’s key focus areas include “prioritising the most disadvantaged” and improving “character, resilience and well-being” of pupils – SEND was included in a list of six “tier 1 principles.”
  • On that note, Damian Hinds has given an interview to TES this week… 
    In which he downplayed the chance of new funding from the Treasury and claimed ‘evidence shows grammars boost social mobility’ – which gives DYT another chance to set out why we think the return of grammar schools will be negative for learners with literacy difficulties.
  • Hinds asks Ofsted to do more to recognise mainstream schools that excel in supporting pupils with SEND
    In a letter to the Council for Disabled Children, Damian Hinds “will ask Ofsted to consider how our accountability system can sufficiently reward schools for their work with pupils who need extra support and to encourage schools to focus on all pupils, not just the highest achievers.” Ofsted commented: “Our new framework, which will come into effect in September 2019, will include measures to ensure that schools focus on all pupils.”
  • Introduce financial incentives to tackle teacher shortages 
    The Education Policy Institute published a state of the teacher labour market which found that the pupil-to-teacher ratio has risen to 17, whilst teacher training applications are down by 5%.The new research also examines the latest figures on how highly-qualified teachers vary across different subjects and areas in England. The report calls for “salary supplements” to maths and science “specialists” where there is “strong evidence” that provision will improve, a recommendation criticised by teacher unions as “unfair and demoralising” for those not receiving extra cash.
Over the summer:

  • The Department for Education released a new toolkit to help schools save money. 
    The announcement has been heavily criticised by teachers and unions as fears have been raised about the impact on the teaching of arts subjects and school trips.
  • Driver Youth Trust recommendations adopted in three reports
    A busy end to the school year saw three new reports published which all reflected recommendations from DYT. Catch up here.
Coming up:
  • Parliament returns on Tuesday, it’s a fairly quiet week on the education front with a debate on supporting children in need into adulthood and on how to ensure high-quality careers education and advice is available to all students.
  • The Education Select Committee continue their inquires into SEND and school funding.  
Keep up to date with DYT’s campaigning work
DYT’s View: We are delighted to announce that the DYT team will be jetting off around the country to speak at the events over the next few weeks to discuss how our educational, policy and research work challenges the system ensure every young person can access the highest quality education that is responsive to their literacy needs.

This Saturday, our Director of Education, Jules Daulby and Director of Operations, Karen Wespieser will present at the ResearchEd National Conference on Saturday 8th September.

They will reviewing the latest research and debate in their presentation: ‘What is dyslexia?’

See more events DYT are speaking at

  • Projects to improve education for children with additional needs (
  • GCSE results day 2018: The main trends in entries and grades (FTT Education datalab)
  • DfE to spend £2.3m on new army of cost-cutting consultants (Schools Week)
  • Schools ‘off-roll thousands to boost results’ (TES)
  • Number of SEND pupils rises for second year in a row (DYT)

Get in touch: 

Dan Baynes
Policy & Research Executive