This is an excellent introductory text to special educational needs and inclusion. It is aimed at trainee teachers and addresses relevant Professional Standards for QTS, but is certainly not constrained by these. The book is organised around three key themes of: principles and policies of special educational needs; working with others; and practical applications in the primary classroom.

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The DfES has issued a revised version of its guidance aimed to support schools and local authorities in recording pupils’ needs in the Pupil Level Annual Schools Census (PLASC).* Data is used to help with planning, to study trends and to monitor the outcomes of initiatives and interventions for pupils with different types of SEN. read more

The future of the SEN Regional Partnerships has been confirmed until 2008. They will have a wider remit, which will include issues affecting vulnerable children. read more

The interim report* of the Rose review of the teaching of early reading has attracted most attention for its support of the approach, which is generally understood as ‘synthetic’ phonics. read more

Dr Ruth MacConville, head of the SEN Service in Ealing, describes how one local authority has taken seriously what is often the rhetoric of policy, and developed an ongoing approach to consulting disabled children and young people through conferencing. read more

Learning mentors come from all walks of life. They offer the chance for a positive role model and individual attention to many young people, who otherwise would not have that opportunity. Kathy Salter and Rhonda Twidle, drawing on their own experience as mentors, describe how the role has developed in recent years, and how it can complement the support provided by SEN specialists. read more

Ian Summers, husband of a SENCO employee in Norfolk, describes how he developed a SEN diary to help his wife save time at work, thus enabling her to focus her attention on meeting the needs of pupils. read more

A new report evaluates the New Relationship with Schools (NRwS) in trial local authorities and schools. read more

The security risks faced by schools are many and varied. This breadth of scope is mirrored by the numerous legal issues relating to security. Mark Blois from Browne Jacobson LLP offers an overview of some of the most important issues, followed by some advice on good practice. read more

The House of Commons Education and Skills Committee, one of a number of the house’s select committees, started its inquiry into special educational needs at the beginning of October. read more

On 18 November 2004 the then secretary of state for education and skills, Charles Clarke, announced the government’s expectation that schools should be working in collaboration to improve behaviour and tackle truancy by September 2007. read more

Literacy and literature read more

In its evidence to the SEN inquiry, the charity I CAN calls for a three-pronged strategic programme to actively support children’s speech and language development, comprising: read more

A new report* has queried whether there is sufficient capacity and effective management in the system to deliver the new arrangements for Every Child Matters successfully in all council areas. read more

In their report Serious Play: an Evaluation of Arts Activities in Pupil Referral Units and Learning Support Units, Wilkin, Gulliver and Kinder (2005) review the work of seven arts projects (four PRU based and three LSU based) that have taken place in recent years. read more

John Liddle, head of services to education, AbilityNet East, challenges readers to think anew about the effective use of technology to support children with special educational needs and how this has implications for the role of learning support assistants. read more

Chris Terrell outlines the benefits of using Tooncards, an exciting new resource for teachers, which he has developed, offering teachers additional possibilities for enhancing communication, engagement and understanding in the classroom. read more

Linda Evans considers the implications for SENCOs in helping trainee and newly qualified teachers (NQTs) to develop effective strategies for meeting pupils’ individual needs. read more

Recent statements from the DfES raise questions over the admission of pupils with special educational needs to the self-governing ‘trust’ schools proposed in the new education white paper. read more

The title of this book combines two of the biggest ‘buzz terms’ emerging in the field of mainstream education during the last decade. Each resonates with a distinctive snap, crackle and pop when referred to by academics, school practitioners and parent groups. read more

SENCOs working with pupils with emotional, behavioural and social difficulties will be interested in the findings of three recent surveys, which indicate the extent of mental health problems among children and young people, and attempt to improve professional support for them

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Based on his keynote address to the 2006 PSHE and citizenship conference, Dr Christopher Williams discusses the importance of change. read more

In February 2006, it was announced that Secondary schools in England were to receive a guaranteed minimum increase in their core funding of 3.4% per pupil for 2006-07. read more

The DfES has issued a new version of the Governing Body Decision Planner which it first produced in 2000 as part of guidance clarifying the roles of governing bodies and heads. read more

According to the DfES: ‘Governing Bodies are and will be school leaders.’ (Governing the School of the Future, 2005). read more

Spring 2006 heralds the arrival of the National Governors’ Association (NGA) as the National Association of School Governors (NASG) and the National Governors’ Council (NGC) have merged into a single entity. read more

The government is encouraging primary schools to set up school councils. read more

Some time this term your school will be sent an email which will give a site reference and password for downloading the template of your school profile. read more

An implementation plan for the government’s reform of 14-19 education has been published. read more

Ofsted has criticised the level of support many schools are receiving from their governing bodies to help them implement the government’s programme for remodelling the school workforce. read more

Headteachers have welcomed the government’s plans to give them more powers to discipline students but say they are yet to be convinced that the move will make a great deal of difference in dealing with bad behaviour. read more

The government is hoping that the concessions it has made to critics of its education white paper will be enough to get its new Education and Inspections Bill through parliament. read more

A report by Ofsted is largely enthusiastic about the success of a selection of full service extended schools. read more

The DfES has produced an extensive toolkit to support financial management in schools. read more

A group of health experts has warned that the recent attention given to improving the quality of school meals has overshadowed moves to get children to drink more

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Ofsted says it is ‘very pleased – but not complacent’ at the way its new style school inspections are going. read more

The Government has just published an Independent Study into School Leadership, which includes recommendations on training and recruitment of leaders. This article examines the current shortage of leadership candidates, and contrasts this with the surplus of NQTs

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As the Change for Children programme progresses, Simon Collister looks at how more and more children with medical conditions are having their needs met in mainstream settings. read more

Ofsted’s latest report on the Behaviour Improvement Programme (BIP), Improving Behaviour and Attendance in Primary Schools shows it has had a good impact on both primary and secondary schools but in a minority of secondary schools behaviour and attendance have deteriorated. read more

For the teacher wishing to develop pupils’ thinking skills, there are many books, models and approaches to choose from, each with its own philosophies and strengths, writes Andy Bowman read more

I CAN, the charity that helps children communicate has coined the term ‘communication disability’ to encompass the problems faced by all 1.2 million children and young people across the UK with speech, language or communication difficulties or delays. read more

Delegates on Lynne Copp’s training courses often ask, ‘How can we realistically stop the long hours culture in teaching, and should we?’ Here Lynne suggests ways to redress the work-life balance

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Pilot schemes designed to examine the practical questions of building on phonics teaching are already present in primary schools and early years settings, while SENCOs will be especially interested in reported benefits of intensive one-to-one individual support in this area read more

As integrated services for children become the norm, key workers, or lead professionals, are likely to play an increasingly important role in coordinating support for children and young people with SEN or disabilities. Recently published research identifies what effective key worker support looks like in practice and what should be done to ensure that it is effective. These findings and their implications are likely to be of particular interest to SENCOs who may take on key worker roles in the future. read more

SENCOs are well aware of the importance of professionals and parents working together as emphasised in the SEN Code of Practice and Removing Barriers to Achievement. In this article Wendy Magee, Solihull SNAP (Special Needs Active Partnership) senior coordinator describes the joint development in partnership with parents of Hand in Hand – a resource folder for schools and services. read more

Governance expert Joan Sallis expresses her reservations about the White Paper. read more

The drive to improve the quality of food in schools has taken another step forward with the publication of a report by the independent School Meals Review Panel. read more

Ofsted has long stressed the importance of governors being involved in the strategic development of their school and been critical when they fail to carry out that role effectively. read more

Since September 2005, as part of the new framework for inspection for children’s services, schools are expected to demonstrate how they are contributing to the five national outcomes for children stipulated by Every Child Matters and the Children Act 2004

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The two national governors’ organisations have agreed to merge to create a single body to represent and support school governors. read more