The DfES has reminded schools and SENCOs that in order to comply with the statutory framework and have regard to The SEN Code of Practice, it is necessary for schools to: 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

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

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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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

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

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

The number of children permanently excluded from schools in England has increased by more than 6%. read more

LEAs across England have shown very little progress towards inclusion nationally, according to a report from the Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education (CSIE).* read more

A recently published review of external SEN support for schools in England highlights variations in both the quality and quantity of services across the country. The review, carried out by Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMI) also makes a number of recommendations, describes features of effective practice and outlines standards that can be used to identify and develop such practice. read more

Many statistics point to the potential risks and disadvantages of being a boy, but how can we help them fulfil their potential? Maggie Dent investigates read more

Amelia Wallington reflects, on the basis of her own work as a solicitor working in the field of education law, on recent debates about the SEN framework and whether or not it is helping children, parents, or professionals. Her call for legislative change adds weight to the view that the government is wrong to think that the framework can continue to provide an effective means of meeting children’s special educational needs. read more

The Department for Education and Skills has launched a consultation seeking views on the draft of the first cross-government guidance on information sharing in respect of children and young people. read more

Improving inclusive practice read more

This article discusses Mary Warnock’s 2005 pamphlet on special educational needs policy, and her call for an urgent review of it. A flurry of political debate took place in both houses of parliament before the summer recess that year

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The recently published report Inclusion: the Impact of LEA Support and Outreach Services (July 2005) summarises a review, undertaken by Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMI) of the quality of external special educational needs (SEN) support available to schools in English LEAs. read more

A unique combination of sound and touch is bringing a whole new world of teaching opportunities into both special needs and mainstream education. read more

From 1 September all teachers with timetabled teaching commitments became entitled to PPA time (eg 2.5 hours, or half a day a week for many primary teachers). read more

Disabled children and young people can experience discrimination related to their disability in contexts that extend beyond school as the following story illustrates. read more

In June 2005 the DfES published Extended Schools: Access to Opportunities and Services for All – A Prospectus (Ref.1408-2005DOC-EN). The document outlines a vision of a wide range of activities that all children should have access to beyond the school day, and details how this vision will come to fruition by 2010, with reference to a timetable and funding arrangements.

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For an overview of the growing interest in inclusive education internationally, the UNESCO inclusion website is well worth looking at. read more

Education for young people in secure settings is undergoing radical change. Further work is being undertaken to ensure that educational opportunities in custody are comparable to those in the community. read more

On 20 July 2005 the new Education and Skills Committee met for the first time since the general election, having been constituted the week before, and re-elected Barry Shearman (Labour MP , Huddersfield) as its chairman. read more

What would you do if faced with a child having an asthma attack? Jo Viner Smith, BAppSc, lays out a quick guide for teachers as explained in SportEX Health magazine

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NASEN, QCA and the University of Cambridge have collaborated to produce advice and guidance on using and moderating the P scales. read more

This article examines the role of the learning mentor and how they can be deployed in the school for the benefit of the whole learning community. David Morley reports read more

Are you truly providing every opportunity you can to allow your most able students to thrive, while also not disadvantaging others? Michele Paule outlines action you can take to ensure you identify these students and then are able to shape the best provision for them. read more

Schools are failing to adequately provide for students’ emotional health and wellbeing. A lot of this is down to ignorance, the findings of a new report from Ofsted reveal – only half of all schools were even aware of Government guidelines on how to meet the needs of the one in 10 pupils who have mental health difficulties

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There are many theories about boys’ underachievement in our education system, but it’s important that schools are given direct, practical ways to tackle it at ground level read more

SENCOs will find two recent publications helpful for developing dyslexia-friendly schools – one for adult literacy and numeracy skills, the other from the primary national strategy

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