Parents’ and Carers’ Guide to the new Special Educational Needs & Disability Inspections

send inspections

Accountability for the quality of provision in England’s reformed Special Educational Needs and Disability system has long been on parents’ minds. Now, further details about the joint inspection framework for have been published so here’s an update of what you … Keep Reading…

My #Undiagnosed Day video to say thanks to those who get care right.

You cannot improve the system by alienating the professional that are the system

I have three children. All three have an undiagnosed genetic condition. One is a wheelchair user, has feeding tubes, and complex medical needs, one is a bit wobbly on his feet, is on the autistic spectrum and falls down a … Keep Reading…

My SWAN journey from denial to motivation with my undiagnosed son

claire with rowan

Today is Undiagnosed Children’s Day, a nationwide event aimed at increasing awareness of SWAN or Syndromes Without A Name (also known as an undiagnosed genetic condition). Around 6,000 disabled children are born every year with a condition so rare, doctors haven’t seen or … Keep Reading…

Work and the parent carer: a choice or a right?

work and the parent carer

Today I am delighted to introduce Sarah Down who has agreed to write a guest post for us. Sarah is mother to a lively four and a half year old with complex disabilities and no diagnosis. Life has taught her … Keep Reading…

Honest and useful assessment for children with SEND is not just about attainment

Nancy Gedge photo

A couple of months ago I was invited to speak at the Academies Show in London on the subject of assessment for children with SEND.  It was very exciting (and flattering) to find such an email in my inbox, so … Keep Reading…

Teenage years and special needs: from angel to devil and back again

Teenage years and special needs: From Angel to Devil and back again

Puberty with any teenager can be a tricky business and a time of immense change for everyone in the family. If your child has special needs on top of that, the flood of teenage hormones can become overwhelming to you … Keep Reading…

What isn’t working in the transfer from Statement to EHCP

What isn’t working in the transfer from Statement to EHCP

By 1 April 2018, local authorities must have transferred all children and young people with statements of SEN to the new SEN and disability system who meet the criteria for an EHC plan. Local authorities must conduct a Transfer Review … Keep Reading…

Believe me: it’s not awareness that’s the problem with autism

Believe me: it's not awareness that's the problem with autism

So here we are again, Autism Awareness Week. Every year people go to great lengths to fundraise, stage events, write posts and generally try to raise the profile of what is arguably already the most well-known condition in childhood. In 2016, … Keep Reading…

Guiding children with autism to learn co-regulation

Guiding children with autism to learn co-regulation

In my first SNJ post I gave a brief overview of Bright Futures School and how we use ‘guiding’ (derived from the autism intervention Relationship Development Intervention or RDI) to work on the difficulties at the heart of autism. These … Keep Reading…

Urgent action needed to train all teachers in Autism

Urgent action needed to train all teachers in Autism

Last week, the National Autistic Society and Ambitious about Autism sent an open letter to the Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, calling on her to make sure that all teachers receive autism training. As the parent to two boys with ASD, … Keep Reading…

What the Government’s SEND statistics mean for children

What the Government’s SEND statistics mean for children

In my December blog I shared that I would follow up on the government’s SEND figures for schools. These are released annually in early summer and are based upon returns from all schools in England, made each January. I’ve looked at … Keep Reading…

Is Peer Support a replacement for professional mental health support?

Is Peer Mentoring a replacement for professional mental health support?

Over 50% of Mental Health problems start in childhood and we are all well aware of the difficulties many children have in accessing appropriate treatment from their local Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services. The Department for Education has a new … Keep Reading…

Parents making high-level progress on the SEND health agenda

parents meet at the Dept of health

It’s been a busy week hasn’t it? The budget revealed further cuts in the offing for disabled people – although Nicky Morgan said later they were just a “suggestion”, which was interesting. As it happens, Mrs Morgan, the Education Secretary, … Keep Reading…

SEND accountability: What you told the Ofsted consultation

SEND accountability: What you told the Ofsted consultation

Late last week, Ofsted released its report on responses from parents, carers and practitioners – anyone with an interest – to the formal consultation on the proposed SEND Inspection Framework. The framework is due to be launched in May 2016 … Keep Reading…