The Children & Families Bill is now almost on the home straight, even though there are still improvements that should be made.
For example the baffling exclusion of higher education from the Bill. I can feel the heat generated by lawyers rubbing their hands together at the thought of the discrimination cases..You had thought of that, Mr Gove, (or Mr Cable or whoever) hadn't you? There's still time! Do it! Come on Mr Timpson, you know it's just plain wrong! It's the embarrassing yet obvious gaping hole in this reform!
Next is haggling over the Code of Practice. There must be more clarity about how to decide what level of help a child should receive or what resources from the Local Offer they are entitled to and at what point this can happen, since there will be no School Action or SA+. Other questions need to be answered such as how much support can a child get without the new Education, Health and Care plan - the replacement for the current statement? Is there a standardised trigger point where an EHC assessment kicks in? Or could it be that a child without an EHCP could have more resources than another child with one?
Local authorities across England are beginning to plan training conferences and resources for their staff to teach them about the new system that will start in September. But with Royal Assent expected at the end of March and I don't even know anymore when the final Code of Practice will be published, the information passed on is likely to be incomplete at best and in need of updating as it becomes available.
The Conference on 11th March in central London features important speakers, including Stephen Kingdom, Deputy Director of SEND at the Department for Education.
Special Needs Jungle is delighted to bring you a special offer that will save you 20% of the cost.
This exciting conference covers implementing the Code of Practice, as well as personal budgets, the Local Offer, staff training and effective use of Teaching Assistants. There are also sessions explaining the complicated issue of funding, how to measure your interventions and most importantly, how to support your SEN children's parents.
The actual link if you are printing this off for someone is http://www.oeconferences.com/SENCode?r=Jungle
Of course, the cost of this conference means it is aimed at teaching practitioners or those funded through work rather than parents themselves, but thanks to the generosity of Optimus, a publication I sometimes write for, I shall be there and I will bring you the highlights of the conference after the event. So it'll almost be the same as being there without the travel.
If you are a parent and think your SENCo should go, please pass this post on to them or share it on social media - it is vital that teaching practitioners get as much information about the changes as possible so they can help our children.
If you would like more information before booking, please call Sara Boomsma of Optimus Education direct on 0207 954 3522.
Are you a non-profit or charity organising a FREE or low cost conference or training session for parents about the new system? Leave details in the comments or email them to me