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SEN Reforms

Special Needs Jungle covered the SEND reforms from start to finish and has charted the path of disaster ever since. Here are the posts we've written covering the subject specifically, starting with the most recent

If you have a child with a statement or on any level of SEN, you need to know about this and below we have gathered all the posts we've written about SEN reform and politics.

  • We don’t need ”fundamental SEND reform”. Just sharpen the teeth of the legal system we already have.Boy with head on a bookcase and title image Catriona Moore March 10, 2022
    Getting the Children’s Minister’s attention at a webinar this week attended by 200 parents of children with SEND was an excellent opportunity to give him an unmediated insight into our thoughts and fears about the SEND Review. It was also a chance to get some kind of clue about his…
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  • Ofsted / CQC: SEND was bad before the pandemic, it’s worse nowNEW POST: A joint report from Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission finds SEND was bad before the pandemic, it's worse now. Tania Tirraoro June 17, 2021
    Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission have published a joint report after a series of interim “listening and learning” visits to schools during autumn 2020 and Spring 2021.  (Note: This is quite a long-ish article because it's a very, very long report, but at the end are some Ofsted videos…
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  • This Education Policy Institute research proves why every teacher MUST be a teacher of SENDThis Education Policy Institute research proves why every teacher MUST be a teacher of SEND Tania Tirraoro March 19, 2021
    The thing about SEND research, is that to the families it's about, it's not news at all. Of course, decision-makers like data. They like to pore over it and tut and shake their heads. But what changes for children? Ah, yes, this is where the Department for Education says something…
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  • SEND Tribunal trial extended – but it needs more than just time to be a successSEND Tribunal trial extended - but it needs more than just time to be a success Tania Tirraoro November 5, 2019
    Plans have been announced to extend the current trial that gives the SEND Tribunal powers to make non-binding directions for appeals against EHCP health and social care decisions as well as those for education. The Trial is testing a "single route of redress" to include appeals to both health and…
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  • The DfE wants to stop LAs filling SEND funding gapsThe DfE wants to stop councils 
"robbing Peter to pay Paul” to fill empty SEND coffers Tania Tirraoro October 14, 2019
    with Gillian Doherty, SEND Action Last week, the High Court found against campaign group, SEND Action in their judicial review into SEND funding against the Government. You can read about the decision here. Today, the founder of SEND Action, Gillian Doherty, writes on SNJ of the shocking irony in how…
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  • Judge: A remarkable achievement for parents to take the government to courtImage of protestors with words: Judge: "A remarkable achievement for parents to take the government to court" Tania Tirraoro June 28, 2019
    The judgement in the Judicial Review of a group of parents against the government over SEND funding, has been reserved after a two-day hearing. But whatever the ruling, the parents who drove this forward on behalf of all families of children with disabilities were praised by the judge who called…
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  • The government’s legal day of reckoning looms, as families challenge over SEND failuresImage of SEND cuts banner and words: The government's legal day of reckoning looms, as families challenge over SEND failures Tania Tirraoro June 25, 2019
    While most of the country’s politicians are fixated on Brexit and BoJo, vulnerable children have been left to bump along the bottom of the agenda. But not tomorrow. Tomorrow, all eyes will be on the High Court in London as a group of families with disabled children from North Yorkshire, Birmingham,…
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  • SEND inquiry takedown: Parents Vs DfE Tania Tirraoro May 19, 2019
    There have been close to 700 pieces of evidence (and counting) sent in to the SEND Inquiry. Tomorrow, the Department for Education will be giving evidence to the Education Select Committee in person(s). In the grand finale of the oral evidence sessions, Nadim Zahawi MP, the SEND minister; Nick Gibb…
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  • SEND parents tell Ofsted its new draft inspection framework lets vulnerable learners downSEND parents say Ofsted's draft inspection framework lets vulnerable learners down Tania Tirraoro March 2, 2019
    Parents of disabled children have voiced their anger over Ofsted's new draft education Inspection Framework for England, that's under consultation until April 5th 2019. The framework covers early years, maintained schools and academies, non-association independent schools and further education and skills. We'll be soon running a post from SEND leader,…
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  • SEND children are being “traumatised” by not getting the help they need in schoolsSEND children are being "traumatised" by not getting the help they need in schools Tania Tirraoro January 16, 2019
    Watching the parliament TV broadcasts of the  SEN Inquiry has been an interesting affair, but yesterday’s brought tears of outrage to my eyes. More on that in a moment. It was a roundtable event again, with school heads, teachers and SENCos giving their views to the Education select committee, led…
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  • The SEND Jungle 2018: The year parents roaredThe SEND Jungle 2018: The year parents roared Renata Blower December 23, 2018
    It’s been an incredible year in the SEND world, but not because the system has started to work better, or because families are routinely at the centre of decision-making. It’s been incredible because of the numbers of parents who have risen up and demanded an end to cuts to SEND…
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  • What costs £103.7 million and makes disabled children miserable?What costs 103.7million makes disabled children miserable Matt Keer December 14, 2018
    ,, Whether you’re a SEND parent or SEND professional, you’re probably running on vapour right now as we come to the end of the longest term. If you can though, spare a thought for the hard-working statisticians at the Ministry of Justice, who’ve been slaving away over red-hot spreadsheets so…
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  • The struggle in SEND hurts us all. It’s a sign of society gone wrongstruggle SEND hurts all sign of society gone wrong Tania Tirraoro December 5, 2018
    Yesterday I was interviewed by BBC TV news about the Ofsted Annual report. It’s not an unusual occurrence, being contacted by various news organisations to talk about the crisis in SEND. It’s just depressing after more than a decade – and four since the “reforms” – I’m still having to…
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  • The devastating impact of the SENCo workloadSENCo laden with work with words: New research devastating impact SENCo workload Tania Tirraoro November 30, 2018
    70% of SENCOs responding to a national survey said they don't have enough time to complete the demands of the role. Almost three-quarters (74%) said  they frequently feel frustrated by the lack of time allotted and half said they spent the equivalent of a whole extra day, unpaid, (meaning a…
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  • SEND Update: Good intentions…and complaints for young people with SENDSEND Update-good intentions complaints young people SEND Tania Tirraoro August 23, 2018
    A brief update today. Despite it being the middle of summer, the Department for Education is still pumping out information that you, perhaps being on hols, might have overlooked. The first is a response from the Education Secretary, Damian Hinds to Dame Christine Lenehan's residential special school's review, "Good Intentions, Good…
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  • £600 million SEND reforms: Disabled children have had poor value for money£600 million SEND reforms: Disabled children have had poor value for money Matt Keer July 12, 2018
    Money. A chorus of voices are speaking up, telling us there’s not enough of it. Parents, teachers, unions, local authorities, all with different perspectives, but all telling us that we are in the middle of a funding crisis. The process of moving from the old SEND system to the new…
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  • SEND Inquiry: The Baroness, Brian, the man in the middle and much more..SEND Inquiry: The baroness, Brian and the man in the middle Tania Tirraoro July 6, 2018
    The first hearings into the SEND inquiry were held before the Education Select Committee this week. Three esteemed witnesses were gently probed for their views on how the 2014 SEND reforms have played out so far. This post today has two parts - the first is a review of the first…
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  • SEND update: Parental support and EHCP transfer miraclesSEND update: Parental support and EHCP transfer miracles Tania Tirraoro May 10, 2018
    Time for a quick update on what's happening in the world of SEND for you today. A while ago, we told you that the services that support parents and young people through the SEND system were out for contract. The configuration of the services were being changed and you can…
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  • The DfE replies: Accountability in SENDDfe Replies- SEND Accountability Tania Tirraoro February 23, 2018
    This is our final instalment of the answers supplied by the Department for Education to your questions. We grouped your questions into related themes and over the past week we've run the replies baed on SEND provision and EHCP issues. Today is the one about accountability, which is a big…
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  • The DfE on the EHCP transfer deadline. Plus all change for national SEND support servicesdfe on the EHCP transfer - plus changes to SEND support services Tania Tirraoro January 24, 2018
    Following Matt's post last week about Transfer Deadlines and zombie statements, we got in touch with the Department for Education and posed a few questions that we thought you'd like the answers to and they have replied, so I'm sharing everything with you today. Sharing is caring, after all. As…
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  • SEND on the rocks: Can a new minister rescue the reforms from certain disaster?Image of lighthouse with title of post Tania Tirraoro January 10, 2018
    It's all change at the Department for Education. Not only was Justine Greening knocked off her stool as Education Secretary this week, Theresa May's reshuffle has also done for the SEND minister, Robert Goodwill. Ms Greeening has been replaced by Damien Hinds MP, while Nadhim Zahawi, MP for Stratford-on-Avon, steps…
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  • Parliament autism group calls for more autism training, speedier support, more understandingParliament autism group calls for more autism training, speedier support, more understanding Tania Tirraoro November 29, 2017
    A couple of months ago, accompanied by my younger child, I attended the All Party Parliamentary Group on Autism in Westminster, as a witness. We were reassured that the evidence that I and all the other witnesses gave, as well as the other information the APPGA had gathered, would not…
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  • The SEND system is fractured, if not broken. Three new reports prove it.Post title image with cracked background Tania Tirraoro October 24, 2017
    SEND reports are like buses. Nothing for ages, then one, two and now three come along at once, this latest from the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGO). None of them are good news. A while ago, we covered the case of a parent who had taken her council…
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  • Schools breaking the law on helping children with medical conditions Tania Tirraoro October 13, 2017
    A report published by Young Epilepsy says one in three schools in England are effectively breaking the law by not having Individual Healthcare Plans (IHP) in place for children with the condition. And this will also apply for other medical conditions as well. The Children and Families Act 2014 brought in…
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  • School leadership and SEND ignorance Malcolm Reeve September 28, 2017
    In an earlier SNJ blog in 2015 I wrote about the critical role of the SENCO in schools. The SEN Reforms had called on a more strategic role for SENCOs operating as leaders in schools and my key questions on leadership of SEND focused on that developing role. Two years…
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  • Our wish for a mainstream school turned into a nightmaremainstream nightmare Tania Tirraoro September 22, 2017
    We really want to be able to bring you stories of great experiences of the SEND system by families. Sadly, we don't often get sent them and today's parent story is no different. Harminder and her husband have an 11 year old son, Kyle, who has specific learning difficulties (SpLD)…
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  • Horror stories: Recent SEND research for your summer readingHorror stories- send research Tania Tirraoro July 25, 2017
    Dear reader, I am sorry, but I have failed you. A clutch of research reports about SEND have been recently released and I would so love to be able to analyse them in depth and bring you a post about each of them. But I can't. I'm still catching up…
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  • End of school SEND report: Must try harderschool report must try harder Tania Tirraoro July 18, 2017
    It's the end of the school year and children are arriving home up and down the land with their school reports in those scary sealed envelopes. But how have England's local authorities and the Department for Education done this year? SEND parent, Karen Askham, has drawn up her own report…
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  • SEN Support: Poorer outcomes when needs aren’t thoroughly assessedSEN Support: Poorer outcomes when needs not thoroughly assessed Barney Angliss, @AspieDeLaZouch June 20, 2017
    Last week I wrote about the problems facing parents of children in mainstream school whose special needs have been persistently overlooked. While the troubled roll-out of Education, Health & Care Plans has been extensively covered by Special Needs Jungle, little has been published anywhere about the outcomes for children and…
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  • SEND 2017, the state of the special educational needs system revealedSEND 2017, the state of the special educational needs system revealed Tania Tirraoro May 26, 2017
    The annual figures for special educational needs came out yesterday and I spent the day poring over them and making another nice infographic to go alongs with it. 2016 saw a 12% increase in the number of children and young people with legally-backed special educational needs support plans, whether an Education, Health…
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  • Your views invited to help set the agenda for Whole School SENDYour views invited to help set the agenda for Whole School SEND Tania Tirraoro May 5, 2017
    Last month Barney and I participated in the Whole School SEND Summit, spreading our message in a roundtable at the conference about working with parents. More than 200 parents (many attending through the SNJ ticket giveaway), teachers, senior leaders, Multi Academy Trust leaders, SENDCos, governors, local authority leads and third…
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  • Special needs lawyer calls for election pledge to solve SEND disarraySpecial needs lawyer calls for election pledge to solve SEND disarray Tania Tirraoro April 24, 2017
    A young lawyer specialising in special educational needs, who himself has SpLD, has warned the parties in the upcoming election urgent action is needed to fix the disarray in the current state of English Special Educational Needs and Disability provision. Zach Esdaile, a partner at Bowers Solicitors, says recent government research reports…
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  • Two-thirds of parents were happy with their 2015 EHCP experience…Two-thirds of parents happy 2015 EHCP experience Marguerite Haye April 4, 2017
    Along with the slew of information released by the DfE last week came a very long, detailed survey of family experience of the Education, Health and Care Plan process in 2015. It was carried out, apparently, to help construct the SEND accountability framework. And it shows, apparently, that two-thirds of parents and…
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  • Half a billion and counting: Tracking the SEND reforms spendingHalf a billion and countingx Matt Keer March 10, 2017
    We’re now well over two years into the SEND reforms, and the reform journey so far has been long, winding, and very, very expensive – nearly £500m spent to date, according to information gathered by legal firm Boyes Turner. Just last weekend, another £215 million was announced for SEND facilities…
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  • How a parent held her council to account for its SEND failuresHow a parent held her council to account for its SEND failures Tania Tirraoro March 8, 2017
    Today's parent story is a classic case of a local authority's disregard of the SEND reforms: poor communication and lack of cooperative working across services, resulting in a failure to comply with the law. But what can a parent do when an LA has failed in its legal responsibilities? Most…
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  • £215 million cash boost for local areas to improve SEND facilities£215 million cash boost for local areas to improve SEND facilities Tania Tirraoro March 4, 2017
    The Department for Education has today announced £215 million funding for SEND. It's to be split between almost every English council to both create more school places and to improve facilities for children with disabilities. Some local areas get £500k, others get over £6 million and a couple get nothing…
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  • How satisfied are pupils, parents and teachers about SEND in schools? Tania Tirraoro January 23, 2017
    At the end of last week, a couple of surveys were published by the Department for Education. One was a survey of pupils and their respective parents/carers at state schools enticingly entitled, Omnibus survey of pupils and their parents/carers Research report Wave 1 January 2017. The pupils were state schools…
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  • Will more cash guide the battered ship of SEND reform to calmer seas?Will more cash guide the battered ship of SEND reform to calmer seas? Tania Tirraoro January 11, 2017
    Just a quick post after Matt's epic blog yesterday on SEND Inspectors (we have been asked for a right of reply by Ofsted and are happy to do so, so watch this space). The next tax year's SEND funding was announced yesterday, amounting to an increase of £4.2 million on…
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  • The Scott Schools and Colleges SEND report: It’s really rather depressingThe Scott Schools and Colleges SEND review: It's really rather depressing Tania Tirraoro November 2, 2016
    Lee Scott is a very nice man. Earlier this year, at the request of the then Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, he criss-crossed England speaking to schools, colleges, families and local authorities to find out how they all thought the SEND reforms were going. A kind of fact-finding mission, if you…
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  • SEND Inspections: Are they bringing accountability? Your views neededSEND Inspections: Are they bringing accountability? Your views needed Special Needs Jungle September 13, 2016
    As you know, we’ve been following the development of the SEND inspections developed jointly by Ofsted and CQC. Barney has even written a helpful guide for parents to help you understand what they're about. The inspections began in May and so far, results have been made public from seven LAs.…
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  • SEND reforms a botch job? Another report shows families are being failedSEND reforms a botch job? Another report shows families are being failed Tania Tirraoro September 2, 2016
    The SEND reforms are failing to meet the needs of autistic children, according to a new report from the National Autistic Society.  The report, written by Catriona Moore, says far too many parents of the 120,000 children on the autism spectrum in England are facing long and often exhausting battles…
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  • More EHCP research: DfE sends “Experience” survey to familiesImage shows mock-up of an EHCP plan cover Tania Tirraoro July 25, 2016
    From today many parents of children with special educational and young people who have Education, Health and Care Plans will be receiving letters from the Department for Education containing a survey on their EHCP experience. The survey is taking place between July to October and is a chance for families…
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  • Reporting on the EHCP process: Bren’s parent participatory researchReporting on the EHCP process: Bren Prendergast's parent participatory research Bren Prendergast June 29, 2016
    For four weeks from late April to early May I conducted a research survey into how things were going with the SEND reforms – specifically, how EHCPs were going. The Lamb Inquiry (2009) stated that we lacked confidence in the old system. He didn’t think that was anything wrong about…
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  • What parents told the government’s review into the SEND reforms Tania Tirraoro June 22, 2016
    Last week, a group of eight parents, including me and Renata, went along to the Department of Education in London to pass on our experiences of the special educational needs reforms. If you recall, SNJ had been asked to invite some parents for a round-table session with Lee Scott, who…
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  • CALL TO ACTION: Let’s work together to stop SEND Tribunal nightmares Tania Tirraoro June 16, 2016
    Moving the Baker Small Twitter-storm along... Special Needs Jungle would like to use the momentum we have gathered to create a groundswell of SEND community support to: [su_note note_color="#b8f2ce" text_color="#000000" radius="1"] Stop local authorities using tax payers' money to buy in law firms to represent them against parents at the…
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  • Share your experiences of the reforms for Nicky Morgan’s SEND review Tania Tirraoro June 6, 2016
    In just over a week's time, I'm taking a group of parents to the Department for Education to meet former MP, Lee Scott, who has been asked by the Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, to carry out a review into the SEND reforms. Mr Scott has a history of being involved in autism…
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  • Edward Timpson and Jane Ellison: “Our reforms are boosting the life chances of children with SEND”Edward Timpson and Jane Ellison Quote Renata Blower May 26, 2016
    As parent carers we often measure our successes in the little victories we achieve on a day to day basis. They may not seem significant to some, but to us they are milestones that serve to remind us that as a result of our hard work, we are taking steps…
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  • What isn’t working in the transfer from Statement to EHCPWhat isn’t working in the transfer from Statement to EHCP Marguerite Haye April 8, 2016
    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 – that is an EHC needs assessment in accordance with…
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  • Urgent action needed to train all teachers in AutismUrgent action needed to train all teachers in Autism Tania Tirraoro March 29, 2016
    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, I know that schools having better autism training may have…
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  • SEND accountability: What you told the Ofsted consultationSEND accountability: What you told the Ofsted consultation Tania Tirraoro March 14, 2016
    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 and for parents, it can't come a moment too soon.…
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  • Accountability: the number one change you would likeAccountability Debs Aspland March 7, 2016
    In January, we ran a giveaway for a copy of Disabled children, A Legal Handbook.  Congratulations to Lisa Thomas who won the copy. When people entered the giveaway, we also asked them to let us know what one change they would like to see.  As you can imagine, for such…
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  • Facts and stats: the differing views of SEND reform successInfographic Tania Tirraoro February 24, 2016
    Late last week, the DfE published its latest newsletter about the special educational needs and disability reforms. The issue was packed with information and if you want to read it in its entirety, you can do so here. There is far too much to go into in depth in one…
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  • Top tips for navigating an EHCP process – for both parents and SEN departments!Top tips for navigating an EHCP process - for both parents and SEN departments! Helen Gifford February 21, 2016
    Tania writes: Ask anyone who's been through England's new special educational needs statutory assessment as part of the EHCP process, and you're more likely than not to hear a sorry tale. Reality is still far removed from the Utopian vision of parents and practitioners working happily in co-production, that the…
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  • Hands off! SNJ learns new council funding to boost SEND implementation isn’t ring-fencedHands off! SNJ learns new council funding to boost SEND implementation isn't ring-fenced Tania Tirraoro February 9, 2016
    The government announced recently that £80 million was to be given to improve the implementation of the SEND reforms. £38.5 million is for local authorities to tackle the areas where problems are still being encountered such as training, communications, culture change and so on. Each LA is different and so…
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  • £80 million to boost support for Special Educational Needs Debs Aspland February 1, 2016
     On Friday, the Department for Education (DfE) announced that £80 million was to be made available to extend opportunities to children with special educational needs and disabilities. The announcement stated: A multi-million pound package ensuring thousands of children with special educational needs and disability (SEND) have the same opportunities as any…
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  • The DfE answers your Top 10 questions on the changes in SEN and disability education: Part 2The DfE answers your Top 10 questions on the changes in SEN and disability education: Part 2 Tania Tirraoro January 6, 2016
    So, today we have part two of the answers to the Top 10 questions submitted by you, through SNJ, to the Department of Education. Part one, if you missed it, was on Monday, find it here. Part two has answers six to ten about Provision, Personal Budgets, Appeals, Post 16…
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  • The DfE answers your Top 10 questions on the changes in SEN and disability education: Part 1The DfE answers your Top 10 questions on the changes in SEN and disability education: Part 1 Tania Tirraoro January 4, 2016
    For our first post of 2016, it's right back into the thick of it. Last year we asked you to submit your Top 10 questions for the DfE about your experiences of the new SEND system. You certainly did, thank you, and they were so diverse that it was quite…
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  • What parent carers told the Minister at his SEND reform stock-taking sessionparents at the Dfe Tania Tirraoro December 10, 2015
    Earlier this week I attended a round-table event at the Department for Education hosted by the SEND Minister, Ed Timpson. Also in attendance were representatives from various Parent Carer Forums, Amanda Batten, Chief Executive of Contact a Family and Christine Lenehan, Director of the Council for Disabled Children, who led…
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  • An SNJ Infographic of the latest SEND statistics 2015SEN stats summary Tania Tirraoro November 9, 2015
    Last week the DfE released its annual "Special educational needs: an analysis and summary of data sources". It was late, as pointed out by our rather awesome columnist, @AspieDeLaZouch on his own blog, but the DfE insists there was nothing "sinister" about this; it was because of changes in the way the data…
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  • Ask the DfE: Put your SEND queries directly to the man at the ministryStuart Miller with Tania at The Department for Education Tania Tirraoro November 2, 2015
    We have something special for you today - a chance to ask the questions you want about SEND  to the Department for Education. The Deputy Director for SEND, Stuart Miller, took over the role shortly after the reforms were implemented. Stuart's job is to ensure that the reforms are accomplishing…
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  • Inspirational SEND education events and a speech that says it allTania with David Bartram Tania Tirraoro October 15, 2015
    [caption id="attachment_12121" align="aligncenter" width="600"] The gathering[/caption] [caption id="attachment_12119" align="aligncenter" width="600"] The launch team with Sarah Driver, centre[/caption] Yesterday Angela and I went to two events in London that underlined the fight that families still face to get their children the right special education support. A year on from the implementation…
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  • Driver Youth Trust report: SEND reforms led to “Fragmented provision, chaos and confusion” Tania Tirraoro October 14, 2015
    Later on today, Angela and I will be attending the Westminster launch of  "Joining the Dots" a report out today from charity Driver Youth Trust. The report, commissioned from think-action Tank LKMco, explains how in some places reforms have led to chaos and confusion. Fragmented provision makes it hard for…
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  • Consultation on SEND Accountability launched. We look at the big picturesend accountability text image Tania Tirraoro October 13, 2015
    So finally, what we have been waiting for – the public consultation for setting up a system of accountability for the new(ish) Special Educational Needs and Disability system. Of course this should have been firmly in place over a year ago and could have played an important role in helping…
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  • Plain and Simple – Personal Budgets are about having controlPersonal Budgets Debs Aspland October 5, 2015
    Today, we are really delighted to have a guest post from Nic Crosby from In-Control.  Personal Budgets are something many of us have heard about, a few of us have been offered them, but generally, in the words of Genesis, it's a Land of Confusion.  Here, Nic explains more about what…
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  • What you told us about your EHCP experiences. Now tell us how it should be!ehcp - what you told us. text as image Tania Tirraoro September 24, 2015
    A few weeks ago we asked you to send us your EHCP transfer or application experiences, however it's been, to help us build up an up-to-date picture of what’s going on around the country. As well as a clear picture of experiences, we're searching for good practice ideas that we can share.…
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  • The EHCP #1YearOn – views, recommendations and a chance to have your sayehcp how is it for you? Tania Tirraoro September 7, 2015
    The National Autistic Society has published a fairly damning report saying that less than a quarter of parents surveyed are satisfied with new special educational needs system. The NAS is calling on government to completely review the system’s implementation, claiming that a year on parents of children on the autism spectrum…
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  • SEND reforms #1YearOn only 6% of deaf children see support improvementnada as logo image Tania Tirraoro September 2, 2015
    We don't like being negative at SNJ. We really want to be able to write about good practice, great resources and inspirational stories. But the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) reforms have made it really, really hard to do this. We're still waiting for some case studies promised by…
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  • SEND reforms: Transformation or Missed Opportunity?blackboard image with story title: SEND reform, A transformation or an opportunity lost? Tania Tirraoro August 14, 2015
    A research paper discussing the 2014 special educational needs reforms in England, has raised serious questions about the legislation's ability to improve inclusion and equality for those it was designed to help. In his paper, Nick Peacey, Visiting Research Associate, at UCL Institute of Education, questions how the reforms reflect the UK's commitment to international rights…
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  • Dropping SEN figures and the ‘waiting room’ category: the DfE repliessen figures Tania Tirraoro August 5, 2015
    A couple of weeks ago, we reported on the latest SEN figures for England that were released by the Department for Education. We noticed that there had been a rather steep drop in the number of children with SEN - 2.5%. This was largely Year 7 children, who seemed to mysteriously…
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  • Special Educational Needs and Disability Pathfinder final reportpathfinder infographic Special Needs Jungle July 31, 2015
    In September 2014, most of the Pathfinder local authorities, testing the SEND reforms came to an end and the reality of the changes came into force. Yesterday, the Department for Education released the final Impact Research report, an evaluation of the second part of the Pathfinders. The evaluation consisted of 698…
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  • SEN figures show 2.5% drop in children with special educational needs in EnglandSEN figures infographic Tania Tirraoro July 24, 2015
    Just as we agreed to go down to two posts a week over summer (with a week off in August), the Department for Education dropped the 2015 SEN figures. Sigh. So, we've made an infographic to make it easier to see and plucked out a few headlines for you. You…
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  • Changing to an EHC Plan? Time frames are changing. Debs Aspland July 14, 2015
    A few weeks ago, we posted about what to expect when transferring from a Statement to an EHC Plan.  In the post, we discussed the confusion over whether there was 14 or 16 weeks for the Local Authority to effect the change. Well, on Friday at the ADCS conference, (just…
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  • Why SEND department targets mean ‘culture change’ reform may never happenThe Keer boys Matt Keer July 6, 2015
    Today's guest post, from father of two deaf sons, Matt Keer, may shock you. It may, as it did to me, bring you to the edge of angry tears. It's like the plot of a Kafka novel, surreal and senseless. But this is not fiction. These are the very real reasons…
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  • 4000 and counting: Did you have a satisfactory EHC plan issued last year? Debs Aspland May 26, 2015
    Last week, the Department for Education released its Statistical First Release - Statements and EHC Plans. This statistical first release (SFR) publishes data from the annual SEN2 data return, which is mandatory for local authorities to complete. The return is the only source of data to report on all statements…
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  • Parents must advocate for each other to make the new SEND system workKEEP CALM ADVOCATE Tania Tirraoro May 21, 2015
    I was invited to speak at a conference last weekend called #RoadMapforLife at Swiss Cottage school, a special school in north London. Writing the presentation, I was reminded that even though we're all busy with our lives and especially our special needs children, if we want to get the SEND…
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  • SOS!SEN on England’s special needs reforms: The Good, The Bad, The UnchangedSOS!SEN Tania Tirraoro April 28, 2015
    Way back in 2011, I wrote an article about a small SEN legal charity, SOS!SEN, that provides an advisory service to parents trying to ger the right educational support for their children The tour de force behind SOS!SEN is, or rather was, Marion Strudwick, a former head teacher whose cut-glass vowels…
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  • What does Participation look like? A Circle or a Ladder? Debs Aspland April 17, 2015
    As I sat scrolling through Twitter a few weeks ago, I came across a conversation that set me thinking. Kath Evans (Head of Patient Experience at NHS England) was asking if people preferred an image showing “the ladder of participation” or “the circle of involvement”. Circle, Ladder or Venn? Initially…
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  • SEND accountability – we look at the framework and ask for your viewsaccountability venn Tania Tirraoro March 26, 2015
    In what is probably the last act of his current position as Minister for SEND in this parliament, Ed Timpson has announced a much-awaited accountability framework for the new SEND reforms. Hold on, do I hear you ask? Why wasn't this announced last year when the reforms were implemented? Don't…
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  • The SEN Minister responds to your feedback of the special needs reforms so fared timpson letter Tania Tirraoro February 12, 2015
    I received a letter from Ed Timpson, the Minister for Education with responsibility for SEND reform yesterday. It follows the trip Renata and I made to The Department for Education in January to conduct a video interview with him. If you missed them, we split them into chunks, which lots…
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  • A game-changer? Will ruling of illegal Local Offer force councils to do better?LO ruling Tania Tirraoro February 9, 2015
    On Thursday afternoon, we brought you an update from a High Court Judicial Review hearing which found that Warwickshire's SEN & Disability Local Offer plans were so rubbish that they actually broke the law. By the date the new SEND reforms commenced, September 1 2014, every local authority in England was…
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  • The Local Offer and SEND funding: 3rd part of our video chat with the SEN Ministertani renata Tania Tirraoro February 4, 2015
    Our last of the three sections of our video interview with Ed Timpson, the Education Minister with responsibility for SEND reform focuses on both the Local Offer and SEND Funding. We have covered these topics before of course, most recently about SEND funding and a while ago, about the Local Offer.…
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  • SEN reforms and Culture Change: What the Minister said Tania Tirraoro February 3, 2015
    Yesterday we brought you part one of our video interview with the Education Minister in charge of SEN reform, Ed Timpson. [caption id="attachment_10179" align="aligncenter" width="394"] Ed Timpson MP, Minister for Education[/caption] Today, culture change is under the spotlight. We have said on SNJ often, that culture change, in other words…
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  • Accountability and the SEN reforms: SNJ asks the Minister, Ed Timpson (Part 1)Tania, Ed Timpson, Renata Tania Tirraoro February 2, 2015
    As regular readers will know, Renata and I went along to the Department of Education recently to interview the Minister responsible for Special Educational Needs, Ed Timpson. This week we're going to bring you the interview in three parts, all being well, and today is the first part, focusing on…
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  • SEND reforms: What YOU told us Debs Aspland January 26, 2015
    Last week, we asked if you had any views on the SEND reforms in your area so we could pass them on to the SEN Minister, Ed Timpson when SNJ went to the Department for Education last week. And boy, did you tell us! Many of them shared similar concerns about…
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  • State of Play: We interview the SEN Minister in WestminsterTania, Ed Timpson, Renata Tania Tirraoro January 22, 2015
    We had a surprise for the SEN Minister, Ed Timpson, when we went to interview him on video yesterday. Renata and I had headed into Westminster on a grey and dreary morning, her from a tiny bit north, me from a bit west. We were armed with a set of…
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  • Carter Review makes recommendations to improve SEND teacher trainingcarter review Tania Tirraoro January 19, 2015
    We mentioned in a post late last year that a consultation was being carried out into Initial Teacher Training and hope that many of you had an opportunity to contribute. The report,  the Carter Review of Initial Teacher Training (ITT) headed by Sir Andrew Carter OBE has now been published and contains…
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  • SEND reform feedback needed! We’ll give it directly to the Minister.send reform feedback image Tania Tirraoro January 17, 2015
    We have a little trip to the Department for Education this coming week. We'd like to take some direct parental feedback of the reforms. We'd also like direct feedback from teachers, practitioners, LA staff and health/social care providers as we know you read SNJ too and your views are also…
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  • £31 million extra SEND reform funding- but is money the whole problem? Tania Tirraoro December 17, 2014
    The new SEND system has now been in place for a whole term and the first children and young people are being transferred from Statements & Learning Difficulty Assessments or School Action/+ to Educational, Health and Care Plans and SEN Support. We're one of them and we have encountered a…
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  • How goes the development of the Local Offer?what local offer is Tania Tirraoro December 1, 2014
    How goes the Local Offer? Do you really, really want to know? At the end of last week three reports came out about the SEN reform Pathfinder project. One was about workforce development, one about 19-25 years provision and one about the development of the Local Offer. The Pathfinder, if you didn't know,…
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  • Our flow charts included in latest official SEND reform info pack! Tania Tirraoro November 7, 2014
    A very quick post to tell you about something we're really pleased about: our SNJ Flow Charts that we produced in collaboration with the Department for Education have been included in the latest official SEND reform information packs compiled by Mott MacDonald, the organisation managing the changes for the government.…
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  • An unintentional Mystery SEND Shopperjigsaw ehcp Tania Tirraoro November 6, 2014
    It seems that yesterday's post resonated with many, but what most missed was the little reference to my "not mentioning" a non-statutory "Pathways Plan" our LA had invented. I first became aware of this when my friend Rona, whose son is in the same year as Youngest, was notified that…
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  • Some ideas for teachers get started with parental co-production Tania Tirraoro October 6, 2014
    A month in and the new SEN system is still an unknown quantity for many schools. SENCos are still getting to grips with what will replace the IEP and are thinking about the first transfers from Statements to Education, Health and Care Plans. The DfE says a transfer must not…
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  • Fight Club must end, collaboration is the way forward: a SEND Director’s perspectiveMalcolm Reeve Malcolm Reeve October 2, 2014
    Earlier in the year I went with Angela to the London Leadership Strategy conference where I was speaking on a panel about SEN reform, along with a number of experienced education professionals. I deliberately don't dwell on these events too much beforehand in case I start to feel a bit intimidated, which…
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  • Accountability and SEND reform- a guest post from the Dept for Education Tania Tirraoro September 25, 2014
    Last week we had our very first Twitter chat and our guest was Stephen Kingdom, Deputy Director of SEND at the Department for Education. It was really successful and if you missed it, you can catch the roundup of tweets here. While most of the questions received an answer, there…
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  • Twitter Chat with DfE – #SNJSENChathashtag image Debs Aspland September 18, 2014
    Here is a round up of tweets and answers from last night's Tweetchat with Stephen Kingdom, Deputy Director of SEND at the Department for Education
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  • Disabled Students Allowance gets a year’s reprieve: Is it practical or political? Debs Aspland September 16, 2014
    Hark! I hear screeching tyres swivelling in a U-turn.. or is it just the sound of a General Election approaching? Surely that can't be the reason for the most recent about-face from the government. Well, rather than an about-face, it’s more of an, “Ahem, these disabled students might turn out…
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  • Twitter chat with the Department for Education #SNJSENchathashtag image Tania Tirraoro September 10, 2014
    We're really pleased to announce that we will be hosting a Twitter chat for the Department for Education about the new SEN system next Wednesday 17th September LIVE between 20:00 and 21:00. Stephen Kingdom, the Deputy Director for the SEND Division at the DfE will be the man in the…
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  • Transferring to an EHC Plan: Why “managing family expectations” is the opposite of co-production Tania Tirraoro September 8, 2014
    I'm anticipating the next school year with a good deal of trepidation, thanks to the new SEND system. Some day in the next couple of years, the vast majority of our statemented children will be transitioning to an Education, Health and Care Plan. Although the new laws came into force on…
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  • SEND reforms, ready or not? Debs Aspland September 4, 2014
    This morning, the BBC had a report on the SEND reforms and queried whether parents (or schools) were ready for them.  The BBC report that in excess of 1.7million children will be affected by the changes. Many of the families who had been interviewed by the BBC were saying that they…
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  • SEND reforms – some legal myths and realitiesSteve Broach Steve Broach September 3, 2014
    Tania's note: Today, we are delighted to feature a guest post from Steve Broach.  For those who don't already know him (and that is probably very few, if any, of you), Steve is a barrister at Monckton Chambers specialising in cases involving disabled children and young people and children and young people…
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  • SEND Commencement Day is finally here. A new era in Special Educational Needs starts today!commencement day Tania Tirraoro September 1, 2014
    September 1st 2014 - SEND Commencement Day! It's the date that has appeared in the dreams of those in the SEND division of the Department for Education since 2011. Conversely, the date September 1st 2014 has long dogged the nightmares of SEN departments, SENCos and others concerned with implementing the…
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  • Finding out about SENDirect:  Delivering choice and control to families Tania Tirraoro August 28, 2014
    As a result of the SEN reforms, the landscape around special needs has suddenly got a whole lot more complicated. Local Offers, Independent Supporters, Mediation providers, the SEND Gateway and another grouping, SEND consortium, and its new offering called SENDirect. SENDirect is a new online service where organisations that provide services…
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  • All our New SEND system Flow Charts together Tania Tirraoro August 24, 2014
    Below is all our new SEND system system flow charts linked to one page. Do share, send, save and suggest others you'd like to see.
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  • Day 4: The Flow Chart for if you disagree with SEN provision (or lack of it) Tania Tirraoro August 22, 2014
    I think, somehow, that this might prove to be an oft visited post. While the government's aims are for high quality SENCos to interpret the new SEND Code of Practice and skillfully provide the right SEN help to each child who needs it using the Assess, Plan, Do, Review circle…
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  • The new SEND system Flow Chart 3: Conducting an Education, Health & Care Assessment Tania Tirraoro August 21, 2014
    And so, day three... You've applied for an assessment for your child's special educational needs and lo! you get the go ahead from the local authority. What happens next? The main difference is that you, as with the initial application, will be expected to be at the heart of the…
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  • The new SEND system Flow Chart 2: Requesting an Education, Health & Care Assessmentflowchart - request Tania Tirraoro August 20, 2014
    So, after yesterday's post showing the headlines for the Assess, Plan, Do, Review Graduated Approach, we now turn to what happens if you've been there, tried that and the interventions that have been tried have had poor or no results on your child's progress. If that is the case, and…
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  • The new SEND system as a flow chart: Part 1, SEN Supportflow chart Tania Tirraoro August 19, 2014
    Anyone a bit confused about how the new SEN system process, starting on 1st September 2014, will piece together? Where you start, what's next, what's instead of School Action and School Action Plus? We have something that may make it a bit clearer (or at least I hope so as…
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  • DfE publishes Parents’ Guide to new SEND reform (and some other stuff)cop Tania Tirraoro August 15, 2014
    A new guide aimed at explaining the new SEND Code of Practice to parents has been published by the Department for Education. The guide, that we at Special Needs Jungle are pleased to have been invited to have input into, seeks to act as an introduction to the more complicated legalese…
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  • The new SEND Code of Practice approved by Parliament! See our co-produced SEND reform infographic Tania Tirraoro August 8, 2014
    I'm imagining a champagne cork or two is being popped in the Department for Education SEND Division today - the new SEND Code of Practice has been approved, in time for implementation on September 1st 2014. Although this is the vital finish line of the main legislative process that had…
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  • SEN Reform: Resistance is Futile. It’s time to Boldly Go and Make it So Tania Tirraoro August 1, 2014
    Are we there yet? Well, yes, all bar the shouting, all systems are go for September 1st and SEN reform implementation. What that system will be like depends on the quality of the training and the will to do it well. It's been a very long haul that we have…
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  • SEN Minister Ed Timpson talks to Special Needs Jungle (video)Ed Timpson & SNJ Tania Tirraoro July 29, 2014
    We are approaching the SEN reform legislative finish line with Parliamentary approval of the new SEND Code of Practice so close I can feel its breath on the back of my neck. It is, of course not really a finish line at all but an entirely different metaphor - that…
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  • Parents in the cold over developing the Independent Supporter roleindependent support Tania Tirraoro July 23, 2014
    Curiouser and Curiouser. No sooner does the Council for Disabled Children reveal the names of those organisations picked to provide Independent Support to parents in the new Education Health and Care Plan system, than the National Network of Parent Carer Forums drops a bit of a bombshell. The very system…
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  • SEN reform: All about the Independent SupporterIndependen Tania Tirraoro July 21, 2014
    You may have heard that in the new SEN system, parents can ask for support through an Education, Health and Care Assessment by an Independent Supporter. Families can ask for help when they apply for an assessment, if they feel they need it and, crucially, subject to availability.  The government…
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  • Meeting the Minister Debs Aspland July 8, 2014
    On Monday, Tania and I, along with Steph from Steph's Two Girls, headed into London for our meeting with the Minister.  We always seem to face some transport issue whenever we do this (last time, trains were delayed) and this time was no different.  On arrival at Waterloo Station, we had…
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  • Advising parents about SEN reform? Don’t bother, unless you know the FACTS Tania Tirraoro June 30, 2014
    Ed Timpson, the Children & Families Minister in charge of the SEN reforms has made a little YouTube video which seems entirely aimed at emphasisng the role that parent carers have made in developing the reforms and at sending a strong message to local authorities: "No one should lose their…
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  • My hopes for the new Education Health & Care Plan (EHCP) Debs Aspland June 26, 2014
    EHCP stands for Education Health and Care Plan.  Having given it some thought, this is what I want the EHCP to really stand for. E is for Education. E is also for Empathy. Those who work with our families should have empathy with the fact that we did not choose to have a…
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  • Children and Families Act: the Concerns Debs Aspland June 24, 2014
    Last week, I was fortunate enough to be a speaker at the Towards a Postive Future conference in London.  One of the other guest speakers was Elaine Maxwell.  Elaine works at Maxwell Gillott Solicitors, who recently asked "Should the implementation of the Children and Families Bill be delayed?".  Today, I…
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  • SEN Code of Practice: what does this look like in Schools? Debs Aspland June 17, 2014
    At Special Needs Jungle, we are parents of children with SEN ourselves, so we know that you will never have the time to get to the end of a long lengthy post before something more pressing demands your attention. We’ve therefore decided to break down our analysis of the Code of Practice…
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  • Home straight: SEND reforms target pre-summer legal finish lineHome straight: SEND reforms target pre-summer legal finish line Debs Aspland June 12, 2014
    Three days ahead of the deadline for pre-summer parliamentary approval, the Department for Education yesterday laid before Parliament its final draft of the new Code of Practice along with publishing a raft of other vital documents for the new SEND reform system. I've been having trouble sleeping so Tania thoughtfully…
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  • Assess, Plan, Do, Review: involving parents in the new SEN Graduated Response Tania Tirraoro June 9, 2014
    SEN Departments in local authorities in England are currently (or should be) working feverishly on a new "Graduated Response" document aimed at identifying and helping children with special educational needs. In the current system, the graduated response is based on the familiar levels of SEN of School Action and School…
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  • SEN reforms: A school leader’s perspective on the forthcoming changesLondon Leadership Strategy event Tania Tirraoro June 5, 2014
    Next week, I'm taking part in a round-table discussion as part of a conference about the SEN reforms. Not that I'm nervous or anything, but the keynote speaker will be the SEN Minister, Ed Timpson along with influential names in the SEN field such as Jean Gross and IPSEA's Jane…
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  • Pitching the SEN Code of Practice to parents Tania Tirraoro May 19, 2014
    Last Thursday, I was representing Special Needs Jungle among a group of parent carer organisations and forums at the Department for Education. We were there to talk about how best the DfE could explain to parents the new special educational needs reforms as set out in the forthcoming SEN Code…
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  • Personal Budgets: the Good, the Bad and the UglyPersonal budget Debs Aspland May 12, 2014
    There has been much mention of Personal Budgets within the process of the Children and Families Act. There has also been much confusion about Personal Budgets and to be frank, the confusion looks to continue as the Code of Practice, as it stands, and the draft Personal Budget regulations, as…
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  • Naming Independent Special schools in a new EHCP: All about Section 41 Tania Tirraoro May 8, 2014
    In the new Children and Families Act 2014, parents will be able to request a placement (rather than express a preference as it is now) at SOME independent special schools when their child has an Education, Health and Care Plan. There was much excitement about this possibility of being able…
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  • Protecting education for children with medical conditions and life-saving heart equipment for schoolsSchool Boy Tania Tirraoro May 1, 2014
    Much of the unhappiness with the draft Children & Families Bill, now Act, stemmed from its exclusion of children with disabilities or medical conditions who did not have a specific special educational need. To get around this, the government put back the D for disability into the Bill and included…
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  • Do children with SEN get a fair deal? Debs Aspland April 29, 2014
    This was the question being asked by Radio 5 Live this morning.  Radio 5 Live broadcast today from Bromstone School in Broadstairs, where the Head Teacher, Nigel Utton, is passionate about inclusive education.  Not just inclusive for those children with SEN but for all children. I was invited along and was…
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  • The Department for Education answers some practical questions about SEN reformtania tirraoro & stephen Kingdom Tania Tirraoro April 28, 2014
    The upcoming reform in the way SEN support is delivered in schools and colleges in England brings with it much confusion for parents, young people, teachers and other education, health and care practitioners, surrounding the, "who, what, when and where" of the changes. And if you think those inside local…
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  • Is the revised Code of Practice Person-Centred? Debs Aspland April 23, 2014
    Further to Tania’s post last week on our initial views on the new draft Code of Practice, we’re still analyzing the changes in some detail but we wanted to highlight a few points which have jumped out. Family Centred System? In the original draft in October, there was a whole…
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  • The Revised SEN Code of Practice has Arrived Tania Tirraoro April 16, 2014
    It's somewhat more than fashionably late and let's hope, as I said the other day, that the reason is because it has been carefully crafted to be so good that no one can raise a single objection. Branded by both the Departments for Education and Health, the revised Code of…
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  • Dreaming Spires Await – but with no Disabled Students’ Allowance Tania Tirraoro April 14, 2014
    I've been writing, nay, banging on, for some time about the way Higher Education students have been left out of the SEN reforms and the new Education Health and Care plan. The new special educational needs system is supposed to go up to 25 but the idea, I gather, is…
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  • Personal Budgets and other SEN and Disability stories Tania Tirraoro April 13, 2014
    Even though schools are closed for Easter, the Department for Education is still hard at work and managed to publish the Regulations for the new Personal Budgets to go along with the new Education, Health and Care Plans on Friday. Not everyone will qualify for a PB and it will…
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  • Our experience trying out the future of Special Educational NeedsSteph with her daughters Tania Tirraoro April 9, 2014
    I have been lucky to meet a number of other SEN bloggers in person, one being Steph Curtis, of the Steph's Two Girl's blog. Steph, for those who don't yet read her blog (I'm sure when you do, you'll become a regular, like me) writes about both girls but, in…
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  • My son must make his own SEN decisions? Are you kidding? Tania Tirraoro April 7, 2014
    If you read our guest post a week ago from Jane McConnell of IPSEA about her "Red Lights" in the draft Code of Practice, you will have noticed a section on Mental Capacity. We're going to look at this a bit today because I'm feeling a little ticked off. The Children…
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  • SEN reform: Can I still apply for a Statement?SCHOOL CLASSROOM Tania Tirraoro March 31, 2014
    The weeks are ticking by since the Children & Families Bill became an Act. But does this mean that everything in it has become law straight away? The answer to that is NO, but according to many parents, some schools, local authorities and others who should know better are trying…
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  • The draft SEN & Disability Code of Practice 2014: Red light means danger – STOP! Tania Tirraoro March 24, 2014
    The draft SEN Code of Practice is late in being published and there is still no date for it to appear. Jane McConnell, Chief Executive of the SEN legal advocacy charity, IPSEA, has strong views on the Code as it stands and isn't hopeful the new version, when published, will…
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  • How well will ‘Local Offers’ reflect local people?woman with head on laptop keyboard, asleep Tania Tirraoro March 19, 2014
    As part of the SEN reforms, councils have a duty to provide a 'local offer' of services available in their area for children, young people and families with special needs and disabilities. At present local council SEN departments are (or should be) feverishly constructing systems for presenting this vital data…
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  • Risks and opportunities in the new SEN system Tania Tirraoro March 17, 2014
    The Children and Families Act is finally here, delivered by the stork The Department for Education with high hopes and expectations. [caption id="attachment_7603" align="alignright" width="300"] Base image: Claude Covo-Farchi from Paris, France (Une étoile est née) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons[/caption]There are many fine aspects to this Act and even the SEN…
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  • The Children and Families Act 2014 is born Special Needs Jungle March 13, 2014
    Down at the Department for Education, the collective breath of expectant Ministers and civil servants was being held. Then, a cry sounded as news filtered through.. a joyous birth... It's an Act! The Children and Families Bill  was fertilised as a Green Paper, then the Draft Bill was announced and today, cheers…
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  • SEN Reform: Burning questions about Best Endeavours Tania Tirraoro March 12, 2014
    I'm told, unofficially, that the Children & Families Bill is to receive Royal Assent - ie, approved by the Queen, on Thursday 13th March 2014. [caption id="attachment_7537" align="alignright" width="300"] Stephen Kingdon (centre) Gareth Morewood (right)[/caption] Its effects will be enormous and felt for years to come, although the part with…
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  • SEN law, Past, Present & Future from top SEN lawyer, Douglas Silas Tania Tirraoro March 11, 2014
    When I was about to apply for a statutory assessment in the hope of securing a statement for Son1, I consulted an SEN solicitor for an opinion about whether it was worth moving forward because it was perceived by school as a tricky case. Douglas Silas, Principal of London-based, Douglas…
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  • Treat SEN children fairly, local authorities told Tania Tirraoro March 6, 2014
    This report came out this week and we've now had the chance to write about it and we'd love to hear your views too at the end. The report, by the Local Government Ombudsman, calls for fair treatment for SEN children and their families and the support to which they…
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  • SEN reforms – what happens next? Debs Aspland March 3, 2014
    At the end of January, we wrote about the SEN reforms – the story so far and promised a “What happens now” post and here we are. Updates since our post: In early February, after much campaigning from a variety of bodies, a consultation regarding children with a medical condition…
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  • SEN & Disability – the long and winding roadLorraine Petersen Special Needs Jungle February 26, 2014
    Today we're thrilled to bring you a guest article from Lorraine Petersen OBE, who was until recently, the chief executive of NASEN, The National Association for Special Educational Needs. She now runs her own education consultancy. Lorraine has, of course, been very involved in the development of the SEN part…
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  • Using One Page Profiles for your special needs child Debs Aspland February 17, 2014
    In the draft new SEN Code of Practice, there is a brief reference to One Page Profiles and Person Centred Planning. Some organisations and parents already use these tools and know how powerful they can be, however, quite a lot of people don’t even know what they are.  So, I…
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  • Jane’s SEN Reform campaign: A cautious celebrationJames-Jane Raca Tania Tirraoro February 10, 2014
    Last month, Special Needs Jungle helped promote Jane Raca's campaign to change a vital part of the Children and Families bill, that contains the SEND (Special Needs and Disability) reforms for children and young people. Jane Raca is a lawyer and parent of a young man with complex needs. She…
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  • The 11th hour: Caring for Parent Carers Debs Aspland February 5, 2014
    The Children and Families Bill moves ever closer to Royal Assent with amendments still being put forward. It's now at the Third Reading stage and there are a few big amendments and additions being proposed at the reading today including: binning the use of "best endeavours" in making provision for…
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  • Your views needed on supporting children with medical conditions at school Tania Tirraoro February 4, 2014
    The upcoming Education, Health and Care Plan that will replace SEN statements, is intended to integrate a child or young person's needs into one statutory document. It is, however, education-led, meaning that if your child has a medical condition that affects their schooling but not a special educational need per se,…
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  • The pathway to get SEN help after Sept 2014 Tania Tirraoro January 28, 2014
    To break into our two parter about "The Story So Far in the SEN Reforms", the Department for Education yesterday published two reports by SQW, the organisation that is evaluating how the changes are proceeding and developing inside those local authorities that are testing the reforms - known as pathfinders.…
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  • The Story So Far – SEN Reforms Debs Aspland January 27, 2014
    Recently, I've had messages from worried friends about what's happening in the SEN reforms.  The first was, "My ex says that statements are disappearing in September but no one knows" and the other was from a lady who had been offered the chance to be in the pilot for the…
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  • No cash for key workers in the SEN reforms? There is now.fixing the sen system Tania Tirraoro January 7, 2014
    News just in  from the frontline... Just as many local authorities were grappling with the thorny, if not impossible, issue of funding keyworkers to support parents through the new SEN process, the Department for Education has announced a big wedge of cash to make it happen. The £30 million funding…
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  • Are Families Happy with the SEN reforms? Debs Aspland January 6, 2014
    During the Christmas break, as we struggled with the chaos that changes to routine can bring to our homes, the Department for Education put out a statement saying "Parents of children with special educational needs (SEN) are happier than ever with the new support available and have much more control…
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  • Changes announced in the SEN Reforms Debs Aspland December 16, 2013
    Last week, SEN reform Minister, Edward Timpson attended the Local Government Association Special Educational Needs Conference - a real mix of social care, health, education and voluntary sector practitioners, with some parents in attendance too. At the conference, he made a few comments and announcements that we wanted to share.…
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  • Join us & back Jane’s campaign to improve legal rights in SEN Bill Tania Tirraoro December 10, 2013
      "We define ourselves as a society by the priorities we choose" Jane Raca Earlier this year, disabled rights campaigner, Jane Raca and I were speakers on the same panel regarding the SEN changes. Jane is the author of "Standing Up for James" and a website of the same name. James…
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  • The end is nigh – deadlines and concerns around the Code of Practice Debs Aspland December 4, 2013
    The Special Educational Consortium (SEC) is a group of organisations who promote the rights of disabled children and children with special educational needs.  This week they have  announced that they "would be unable to support the draft Code of Practice if it was laid before Parliament for approval in its…
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  • Some SEN statementing questions answered Tania Tirraoro November 26, 2013
    A period of great change is coming to special needs education. It's quite probable that many parents of children with statements or those who are considering applying for one, are feeling somewhat confused at the moment. If it's any comfort, so are a large proportion of people involved in bringing…
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  • Confirmed: No statutory support for Uni Students in SEN reforms Tania Tirraoro October 31, 2013
    It's quite a mountain to climb, getting into university. All those GCSEs, then A-levels or similar. Not to mention the prospect of leaving home for the first time and having no one to clean up after you or do your washing or cook your favourite meals. If you have special…
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  • The letter ‘D’ for Disability, M’Lud Tania Tirraoro October 25, 2013
    On Wednesday, the House of Lords Grand Committee finally reached the amendments relating to part three of the Children & Families Bill - that is the part about the SEND reforms. Hold on, did I say SEN'D'? The Minister, Lord Nash did reiterate that the bill's definition of SEN had…
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  • Legal Aid: Judicial Review only for wealthy parents? Debs Aspland October 21, 2013
    When, as a parent, you hold your child’s final statement, complete with acceptable placement in your trembling hand, you may think it’s okay to heave a huge sigh of relief. Mostly, it is, for a while, but what would you do if you discovered that the provision in the statement…
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  • Crossing over: have your say on moving to the new SEN system Tania Tirraoro October 18, 2013
    And so, here it is. Despite my woeful failure to produce my intended article on the SEN reforms on Monday, I've finally managed it by Friday. Yay me! So a quick catch up: The Children and Families Bill is in the middle of its committee stage in the House of…
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  • The Code of Practice – our best endeavours Debs Aspland October 7, 2013
    Back in March, the Indicative Draft of the new SEN Code of Practice was launched - all 86 pages of it. [caption id="attachment_6431" align="alignleft" width="210"] Source: D C Thomson[/caption] Our initial view was that it was rougher than Desperate Dan's chin so, we were happy to see the draft issued…
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  • Something for the weekend: Draft Code of Practice published and lots more Tania Tirraoro October 4, 2013
    Well, we did say, just at the start of the week, that it was going to be a busy autumn. This morning, the consultation draft Code of Practice was published, just in time for the weekend. We're not going to say too much about it now, but next week we…
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  • The Local Offer – what is it? Debs Aspland October 2, 2013
    We recently ran a quick survey to find out what people actually knew about the SEN reforms and also, how involved they had been in the changes being proposed. One of the results that really jumped out at us was the lack of awareness of what the Local Offer was.  So, as…
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  • SEN Reform: It’s going to be a busy autumnSpecial Needs Jungle- Bridge Tania Tirraoro September 30, 2013
    It’s about to be a busy time for the Children & Families Bill, currently mid-passage through the Houses of Parliament and within which lies a complete re-drawing of the way Special Educational Needs, Health and Care services are delivered in England for children and young people from birth to age…
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  • Special Needs Jungle at the Paces Seminar Debs Aspland September 16, 2013
    On Wednesday, Debs will be at the Paces Seminar -"The Biggest Changes in Special Education in 30 years". Paces: Supporting parents supporting children and young people with disabilities into independent adulthood as active citizens, especially those with cerebral palsy and particularly through conductive education. In 2012, Paces launched an annual…
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  • NAS petition – Single point of appeal for EHC Plans Tania Tirraoro September 7, 2013
    The NAS has launched a petition calling on the Government to amend the Children and Families Bill to create a single point of appeal for challenging provision in Education, Health and Care Plans. This change is essential if the Government are to deliver on their commitment to “ending the agonising battle many parents fight to get…
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  • Parental Co-Production : Your views needed Debs Aspland July 26, 2013
    Our recent post on Parental Co-production really seemed to hit home with many of you.  We received several comments on the blog, on our Facebook page and via our twitter account, so we wanted to expand this and find out more. Have your experiences of parental co-production been positive?  Have…
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  • Is parental co-production just smoke and mirrors? Tania Tirraoro July 24, 2013
    Tania writes... If you're a regular reader of Special Needs Jungle you will know what big advocates we are of parental co-production when decisions are being made about services for our special needs children. A booklet all about co-production in the South East SE7 pathfinder, compiled by all parties involved including parents,…
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  • Special Educational Needs Reforms – sorry, what? Debs Aspland July 18, 2013
    You know us, we talk about the reforms to SEN currently going through parliament. A lot. It's important stuff and if done properly, will revolutionise the experience of future generations of SEN children. And parents - i.e., you and us, are fully (in some areas) involved with the process. [Cue…
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  • Pupil ranking plans are an epic fail for SEN children Debs Aspland July 17, 2013
    Oh dear.  We've always said communication is an issue with the SEN reforms but it's fairly obvious that it spans education as a whole. Can someone please let David Laws and Nick Clegg know about the reforms going through and let them have the memo about "promoting inclusion". When the…
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  • Summer’s here: Where are we in the SEN reform process? Tania Tirraoro July 15, 2013
    Tania writes Well, good question. The answer is we're here, there, everywhere and nowhere, depending on which county you live in. As the long summer break approaches (and enjoy it while it lasts as Mr Gove has it under his microscope - though I can think of better places for…
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  • Children and Families Bill – you need to take action now [2] Debs Aspland June 27, 2013
    Debs writes We recently wrote about some of the changes being proposed in the Children and Families Bill that will not benefit families.  We looked at the duty to identify SEN, the annual review, the time limits and also the format of the Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP). Today,…
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  • Children and Families Bill – you need to act now [1] Debs Aspland June 24, 2013
    Debs writes.... Last week, I had the pleasure of listening to Jane McConnell (IPSEA's Chief Executive) speak at the Towards a Positive Conference. As Jane spoke, I realised that the messages about the Bill are not getting out - either people think the changes don't affect them or the changes…
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  • Evaluation of SEND pathfinder report – some nice weekend reading! Tania Tirraoro June 14, 2013
    The Children and Families Bill has had a busy week, having a third reading in the House of Commons and then a brief first reading in the House of Lords. It really would be nice, by the way, if the DfE could provide a little bit better public notice of…
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  • Sayonara, School Action and School Action Plus Debs Aspland May 31, 2013
    Debs writes.... The Government is proposing to replace the current categories of School Action and School Action Plus with a new single early years and school-based SEN category.  This will mean that your school of choice will have to comply with clear guidance from the Government on the appropriate identification…
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  • Take the SEN reform awareness survey and grab a chance to win!sen reform special needs jungle Debs Aspland May 13, 2013
    Debs writes... Over the past 12 months, we have received a deluge of questions and queries about the SEN reforms.  From this, we can only assume that the word is not getting out to parents (or practitioners) about the changes that are coming. As we don't like to assume anything…
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  • SEN protection to age 25 – unless you go to universitysad student Tania Tirraoro April 30, 2013
    I've been pondering on the SEN section of the Children & Families Bill for a while and I am perplexed by what seems to be an anomaly for some 18-25 year olds. One of the aims of the extension up to 25 is so that young people can avoid a…
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  • Working with parents as partners – a practitioner’s top tips Debs Aspland April 15, 2013
    Debs writes... The Children and Families Bill, currently working its way through parliament is very big on practitioners in education, health and social care working in partnership with parents - or "co-production". Now, this is clearly a fine goal, but it is going to require a shift in attitudes on…
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  • A video about the Surrey SEN reform PathfinderSEN Reform image Tania Tirraoro March 21, 2013
    Tania writes: Here's a video made by the DfE about when Ed Timpson, the SEN Minister, came to Surrey. It features families and young people trialling the Education, Health and Care plan and two key people from the Surrey pathfinder whom I greatly admire, Susie Campbell, Surrey's Pathfinder Manager and…
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  • Special Needs Jungle meet SEN Minister, Edward Timpson Debs Aspland March 19, 2013
    So the big day arrived and of course, it was raining. Tania and I headed into London, to the Department for Education, to meet the Education Minister in charge of the SEN reforms, Ed Timpson. Unfortunately, there was 'the wrong kind of ice' on the conductor rail and  so I…
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  • Draft SEN Code of Practice: Further views Debs Aspland March 18, 2013
    Debs writes.... As the Indicative Code of Practice was published, I was in Guildford delivering Early Support's Key Working in Practice capacity building training.  I was lucky to have ten amazing ladies attend, all of whom understood the benefits of key working and working in partnership and wanted to see this…
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  • Rough Draft SEN Code of Practice publishedSEN Reform image Tania Tirraoro March 15, 2013
    Late yesterday, the DfE published the "Indicative draft Code of Practice" as a "work in progress" to go with the SEN/D provisions in the Children & families bill, now going through parliament. The DfE describe the Code of Practice thus: The SEN Code of Practice is statutory guidance that provides…
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  • Co-production is the key to SEN culture changeco-production tree Tania Tirraoro March 11, 2013
    Tania writes: Last week I spoke at a top-level conference for council Chief Executives and Leaders from the SE7 - seven local authorities across the south-east of England. I was there as part of the Surrey pathfinder, to talk about how parent involvement had become integral to the SEN reform…
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  • Government acts on calls for SEN ‘duty’ for health provision in reforms Debs Aspland March 5, 2013
    The surprising and extremely welcome news today from the Department for Education (DfE) is that there will, after all, be a legal duty on health providers to deliver the provision detailed in the health part of the Education, Health and Care Plan that's currently being developed under the SEN reforms.…
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  • SEN reform progress report: ‘pathfinder champions’ chosen Tania Tirraoro March 5, 2013
    It's been a bumper day of announcements and happenings surrounding SEN reform. First of all, came the publication of a list of local authority groups who have been appointed "pathfinder champions" as they plan to implement the reform to special needs provision in England. At the same time, a joint…
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  • Children and Families Bill – the missing pieces Debs Aspland February 25, 2013
    Earlier this month, we shared our Initial Views on the Children and Families Bill.  Since then, we have had chance to look at the Bill in more detail and wanted to share our views and more importantly to discuss "the missing pieces". As parents, we know the current system and…
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  • SEN Reforms – The Minister visits Tania Tirraoro February 15, 2013
    Last Friday a groups of parents from parent-carer forums around the country came together at the Department for Education to talk about how parental involvement in the pathfinder reforms had influenced the process, what was working and what wasn't. The parents included myself, Debs (who you will recall runs Kent's…
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  • Children and Families Bill – initial views Debs Aspland February 6, 2013
    Finally, the wait is over and the Children and Families Bill, which includes the SEN reforms, has been published. Debs spent yesterday poring over it and here are her initial views: *** Just after 10am yesterday, the Children and Families Bill was released and I started to plough through.  Not…
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  • Children & Families Bill published Tania Tirraoro February 5, 2013
    The Children and Families bill, issued in draft form last year, has just been published. Within this bill are the reforms to the way special educational needs are provisioned, including the replacement of the statement with a single Educational, Health and Care plan that will set out all of a…
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  • Key Working : Whose Job Is It Anyway? Debs Aspland January 22, 2013
    When the SEND Green Paper was launched in March 2011, the Department for Education said they would “test the role of key workers”. Several parents approached our parent-carer forum in Kent asking “What is a key-worker”,  “Can we choose the  key-worker  if we are involved?” and "Can a key worker…
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  • Chinese Whispers and Garth’s Uncle Debs Aspland January 15, 2013
    As you may have read on Friday, Special Needs Jungle has a new regular contributor in Debs Aspland, the director of Kent PEPS and parent of three children, all with disabilities. Today is her first post about the essentials of good communication. Communication:  the imparting or exchanging of information or…
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  • SEN Pre-Legislative Scrutiny report- a précis and my views Tania Tirraoro December 19, 2012
    The Education Select Committee report on its pre-legislative scrutiny of the SEN draft bill has just been published. The scrutiny entailed two oral sessions in which parents, professionals, service users and charities aired their views on the draft legislation. The committee also received more than 200 written submissions, and while…
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  • Pathfinders, politics and parental co-productionGulshanah Choudhuri Tania Tirraoro November 25, 2012
    Last Friday, our parent-carer forum in Surrey, Family Voice joined with Surrey LA and local voluntary and community services to host an SEN reform pathfinder update. Surrey is one of 31 Local Authorities that make up the 20 pathfinder areas, with Surrey being part of the largest group, the SE7.…
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  • SEN Minister offers assurances to parents over Bill wording Tania Tirraoro November 22, 2012
      I'm sharing this information received from the Council for Disabled Children which I hope you'll find interesting. ******** Edward Timpson, the Minister responsible for SEN and Disability within the Department for Education, recently gave evidence to the Education Select Committee on the draft provisions of the Children and Families…
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  • Speech Therapy to stay within educational provision – so said the man from the DfEGulshanah Choudhuri Tania Tirraoro November 21, 2012
    One question on many lips in the reform to the special educational needs system is, with the inclusion of health in an EHCP, where will speech and language provision end up? As it stands at the moment, the Health part of an EHCP is not going to come attached to…
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  • Keep Us Close – Scope’s campaign for better local disability services Tania Tirraoro November 12, 2012
    The charity, Scope, which works to help children and families affected by disabilities, is currently campaigning for improvements to the Children and Families bill, which if you re a regular reader, is currently undergoing pre-legislative scrutiny. Scope Scope's new campaign called Keep Us Close, is pushing for better provision of local services…
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  • Common sense prevails with more time to test the SEN reform proposals Tania Tirraoro November 6, 2012
    [caption id="attachment_2013" align="alignright" width="300"] Minister, Edward Timpson at the Select Committee today[/caption] Education Minister, Edward Timpson, has, it seems, listened to the concerns that so many, including Special Needs Jungle, have voiced - that the pace of SEN reform is too fast and more time needs to be given to…
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  • SEN Reforms: professional views to the select committee Tania Tirraoro October 25, 2012
    The Education Select Committee yesterday heard from various witnesses about the draft legislation on Special Education Needs. Over two and a half hours, professionals gave their views about the draft bill. In this first of two sessions of oral evidence, the Committee heard from local authorities, health, SEN organisations, educational…
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  • When SEN Tribunal looms, seek legal advice Tania Tirraoro October 17, 2012
    Many parents find themselves in the position, as they try to secure a statement for their child with special needs, of having to go to Tribunal when they cannot reach an agreement with their local authority about provision. This is, always, a very stressful situation. It's hoped that the new…
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  • Deadline day for SEN select committee consultation – some views Tania Tirraoro October 11, 2012
    Today is the deadline for the Education Select Committee's call  for responses to the draft SEN bill. I've seen a number of responses so far. Some are concerned about the legal issues raised by the bill, believing that it reduces the statutory protection for special educational needs and children. I…
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  • The SEN bill’s future is in the hands of.. well, what a welcome surprise! Tania Tirraoro September 15, 2012
    The last week has been really hectic with my boys going back to school and a huge workload, but I've just been prompted by a blog comment to write about just who will be responsible for SEN and the draft bill following the reshuffle. Rather than David Laws, who took over…
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  • The SEN draft bill: Have your say – but be quick! Tania Tirraoro September 10, 2012
    The draft SEN bill is now out and will undergo pre-legislative scrutiny by the Education Select Committee. The committee last week issued a call for evidence with their cut off being noon on 11 October, but considering the questions being asked, it might be difficult for full answers to be…
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  • All Change: Back to school news with the new draft SEN bill Tania Tirraoro September 7, 2012
    Back to school for most children this week, except for my kids, whose school finally returns next Tuesday. I'd better check over their uniforms this weekend and get the shoe polish out! Big news in the SEN world this week with the draft SEN bill being published, swiftly followed by…
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  • The draft SEN reform bill – some reactions Tania Tirraoro September 5, 2012
    So fare thee well, Miss Teather, just as the draft bill is published, you get the boot from your job. Hardly seems fair, really, when you've done so much of the legwork and now someone else gets to step in to steer the ship home. Now, I'm not saying in…
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  • Draft SEN legislation published and a response to my open letter to Sarah Teather Tania Tirraoro September 3, 2012
    Well today is the day - the draft legislation has, rather unexpectedly, been published for the reform of provision for children and young people with Special Educational Needs. It had been said to have been put off until October, but that hasn't appeared to have happened. Towards the end of last week, I was…
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  • Special Educational Needs reform update Tania Tirraoro August 21, 2012
    Hope your summer is going okay! We're just back from Italy where we were devoured by relentless mosquitos day and night. Just thought you might like to read this pdf of the June 20th Select Committee on SEN at which Sarah Teather spoke about the SEN reforms. I wrote about…
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  • Active listening: a core skill for SEN reform Tania Tirraoro July 17, 2012
    Yesterday, MumsNet hosted a live web chat with Sarah Teather, Minister of State for Children and Families. I recently posted an open letter to Miss Teather, to which I'm still awaiting a response. Last week I spoke at a Surrey pathfinder event on behalf of Family Voice Surrey and in…
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  • SEN reform views and other news Tania Tirraoro July 13, 2012
    Yesterday I spoke on behalf of Family Voice Surrey at the Surrey County Council SEN pathfinder launch in Cobham. In attendance was Stephen Kingdom, a senior DfE official. I took the opportunity to include in my talk the widely-held opinion (outside of government circles, that is) that October is FAR…
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  • Special Free Schools – is it worth it? Tania Tirraoro June 30, 2012
    A few weeks ago, I was invited to attend a conference about the formation of special free schools. I couldn't make it myself as I had other meetings, but Claire Louise, from the popular and award-winning, A Boy With Asperger's blog, kindly agreed to step in and attend for SNJ.…
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  • Dear Miss Teather, an open letter about the pace of SEN reformpencils Tania Tirraoro June 27, 2012
    Dear Miss Sarah Teather I know you mean well. I know you really want to do something to help improve the lot of kids with special needs. And you might think you understand the challenges faced by parents who have children with SEN and disabilities. But really, you don't. You…
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  • Don’t rush SEN reform – get it right, not fast Tania Tirraoro June 20, 2012
    I've just watched the Education Select Committee on SEN - the Next Steps and many of the concerns raised mirror the points I raised in my presentation at the Towards a Positive Future Conference. Sarah Teather, in her part of the committee, said there will be a 'slight delay' in…
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  • SEN child? Join me and NAS president, Jane Asher, on Sat 16 June Tania Tirraoro June 14, 2012
    So, it's just a couple of days before the Towards a Positive Future Special Educational Needs conference in Newbury - if you can make it at all, it'll be well worth the trip. My presentation is all written and it includes some up to date information on the pathfinder trials…
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  • SEN Green Paper response round up and other special needs stories Tania Tirraoro May 18, 2012
    It's been something of an eventful week for both Special Needs and Special Needs Jungle. Last week, I was called up by a reporter from the Daily Telegraph to ask my views on whether I thought one in five schoolchildren really had special needs. We had a good chat and…
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  • SEN – The Next Steps – My views & Meridian Tonight feature Tania Tirraoro May 15, 2012
    So, there's been much furore today about the headlines for proposals that  450,000 children be 'struck off' the SEN register. This is a bit of a stupid headline, to say the least. I was interviewed by Meridian Tonight (clip at end of post) about it for my views as a…
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  • Special Needs Jungle in the Daily Telegraph. What I really think Tania Tirraoro May 12, 2012
    There's a story about SEN in the Daily Telegraph today "Can 20 per cent of schoolchildren really have special needs?" by Peter Stanford. It's already attracted lots of comments, some informed, others somewhat less so, shall we say. The story is a follow on to other, recent reports blaming rising…
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  • SEN Green Paper: Ministerial “Detailed response” expected next week Tania Tirraoro May 10, 2012
    So, next week government ministers will set out their detailed response and reform timetable as their next steps in the SEN Green Paper. They've been saying it's 'imminent' since February, so we'll see what they've come up with. Ministers say they've committed to making all the necessary legal changes to put…
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  • If ‘child centred’ help is a no-brainer, why isn’t it happening? Tania Tirraoro May 2, 2012
    One thing that's become very familiar in the last few years, both personally and from reading your comments and emails, is how outragously hard it is to get the right medical and psychological support for ASD children and their families. Our family has been waiting for a CAMHS appointment since…
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  • Special needs experts offer views for Labour’s SEN policy reviewWestminster - Copyright Tania Tirraoro all rights reserved Tania Tirraoro March 22, 2012
    Earlier this week, I attended a meeting at Westminster for Labour's SEN policy review, chaired by MP, Sharon Hodgson, Labour's Shadow Minister for Children and Families. Mrs Hodgson is herself the mother of a severely dyslexic son so if anyone understands SEN issues, she does. The issue under discussion in this…
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  • Labour SEN Policy Review – want to get involved? Tania Tirraoro February 24, 2012
    This is taken from the website of Sharon Hodgson MP, but I thought it might be useful to post it here too, in case anyone hasn't seen it and wants to get involved. I am already involved in a meeting on Monday for the Surrey Pathfinder trials for the proposed…
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  • Education and Training (Young People with Autism) Bill introduced. Tania Tirraoro November 2, 2011
    A private member's bill has been introduced in parliament to make provision for the education and training of young people with autism and Asperger’s syndrome and to ensure that work opportunities are provided for them. The bill is being sponsored by Conservative MP for Ilford North, Lee Scott.  Introducing the bill,…
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  • The SEN Green Paper Tania Tirraoro March 10, 2011
    I've been wading my way through the Green Paper on SEN and one thing really sticks out - what happens to those children who, like mine, already have a statement? Parents, like me, fought hard to get them the provision they need, enshrined in law.My boys are both funded by…
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  • Green Paper on SEN – Get Your Voice Heard Tania Tirraoro September 13, 2010
    You have a chance to comment on the newly published Green Paper on children and young people with special educational needs in England and Wales.  See below for more details: On 10 September the Minister of State for Children and Families, Sarah Teather, invited views from everyone with an interest…
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  • The Lamb Inquiry – a reviewLamb Inquiry front cover Tania Tirraoro December 16, 2009
    The long-awaited Lamb inquiry has finally been published today. In it, its author, Brian Lamb has called for a major reform of the current system of SEN. He said, “We need to act urgently to ensure we do not let a generation of children leave school ill-equipped to lead an…
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  • New Autism Act Passes Final Hurdle Tania Tirraoro October 22, 2009
    The National Autistic Society is today celebrating the passing into law of the Autism Act. The following is from their website: The Autism Bill has made it through its final parliamentary stage and will now become the Autism Act. The Act is the first ever disability-specific law in England. The Autism…
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  • Update on Special Educational Needs and Disability (Support) Bill Tania Tirraoro May 17, 2009
    Source: Epolitix: Conservative MP John Bercow makes the case for his Special Educational Needs and Disability (Support) Bill, which has its second reading in the Commons. Through my work conducting a review into children's speech, language and communication services for the government, I already knew that children with special educational…
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  • New SENDIST rules Tania Tirraoro March 3, 2009
    At the same PWP workshop, Simon Oliver, Deputy President of Care Standards Tribunal and judicial lead for SENDIST management team gave a presentation about the new SEND rules. He wanted to set minds at rest about the changes, particularly to the notion that all evidence had to be in by…
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