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Welcome to this week’s edition of ‘The Week Ahead’  (16th July 2018) 

Here you will find the latest updates on literacy and SEND policy from Parliament and beyond.  

Things to know:

  • IFS: per pupil spending cut by 8% since 2010 
    The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) published new research showing spending per pupil has reduced by 8% in England, driven by a greater fall in spending by local authorities alongside a 10% rise in pupil numbers. The IFS identified additional support for pupils with SEND as an area affected by Local Authority cutbacks.
  • 2018 SATs results released 
    64% of pupils reached the expected standard in all of reading, writing and maths at key stage 2 in 2018. In reading, 75% of pupils reached the expected standard in 2018, up by 4% from last year. We will look for how SEND learners performed when the full breakdown by pupil characteristics is released in December.
  • Highlights of the first session of Education Committee inquiry into SEND 
    Special Needs Jungle provides a good summary of last week’s evidence session on SEND. Highlights included discussion on the Ofsted/CQC Local Authority inspections, the £6k notional SEND budget and the duties of health and social care teams. Read DYT’s submission and top three lines to the inquiry here.
  • Standards and Testing Agency urge schools with high SEND population to join times table check trial
    The STA is particularly interested in “schools with significant numbers of pupils with special educational needs and disabilities” for their next trail of the online multiplication tables check as they finalise “access arrangements and developing features that will make the MTC as accessible as possible.”



If you missed it:

  • 40 MPs joined a protest over looming £4m in cuts to funding for deaf pupils. According to the National Deaf Children’s Society more than one in ten specialist teachers of the deaf have been lost in the past four years. Following the protest, campaigners met with the Children’s Minister to call for a dedicated bursary to recruit, train and retain teachers of the deaf – read more.
  • “In the rush to convert large numbers of schools to academies, the Department (for Education) did not pay enough attention to ensuring that its scrutiny of applicants was sufficiently rigorous” – said a damning report by the Public Accounts Committee on academies.
  • A new inquiry on disability employment was launched by the Committee for Work and Pensions. Respond here.

This Week:

Monday 16th July 

There will be a question in the House of Lords to the government on what steps they are taking to encourage employers to offer high-quality work experience placements to all students aged 16 to 18.

Tuesday 17th July

At 9:30 am the Education Committee holds a question and answer session with the Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, Anne Milton MP.

Over in the Lords, it is the report stage of the Home Education (Duty of Local Authorities) Bill.  The Bill will make provision for local authorities to monitor the educational, physical and emotional development of children receiving an elective home education.

Wednesday 18th July 

At 10 am Minister for Children and Families, Nadhim Zahawi MP will face the Education Committee to answer questions relating to his brief. Expect SEND to feature heavily following Damian recent speech on accountability for SEND learners, and the Committee’s ongoing inquiry into the effectiveness of the 2014 reforms

After 3 pm, in the Lords there is a question on how the government will increase knowledge of work skills, careers and jobs amongst primary school children.


DYT’s View: DYT endorses an open letter to the education secretary in the tes on 5 July 2018  – ‘Dear Damian, we need to talk about SEND’,  by the co-coordinators of the SEN Policy Research Forum (SENPRF). Their key argument is for a clearer and more positive policy on inclusion and entitlement for children with SEND.

The aim of the SENPRF is to contribute intelligent analysis, knowledge and experience to promote the development of policy and practice for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. The Forum will be concerned with children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities from preschool to post 16.

Find out more about the SENPRF


  • From our partners, Whole School SEND: Who are the leaders building a SEND network of 10,000 schools? (Schools Week)
  • New Chair of the Social Mobility Commission confirmed (
  • Number of secondary pupils in England to rise 15% by 2027 (BBC)
  • Unions press Hinds on teacher pay delay (TES) 
  • £600 million SEND reforms: Disabled children have had poor value for money (Special Needs Jungle)
Get in touch: 

Dan Baynes
Policy & Research Executive