June Education Report

30th June 2018


Welcome to Shines’ monthly Education blog, with information and advice about Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.



  • SEND Training for Early Years School staff

The government has announced funding to develop the role of EY SEND Co-ordinators, as part of the EY Workforce strategy. Click on the link for more information.

  • Foundation Years

Foundation Years is promoting the CDC SEND Early Years Toolkit for pre-school settings.

  • Pre-school Learning Alliance

PLA has advice on free childcare entitlement and the Family Corner has good advice on Learning through Play.

  • Mind the Word Gap

News about the multi-million pound government fund to boost children’s early language skills and to close the Word Gap experienced by disadvantaged children:

  • Measuring Progress in Primary Schools

NFER has been chosen as the preferred supplier to design and deliver the new Reception Baseline Assessment, including the trial and pilot phases planned for 2022-2023. How children with additional needs will be assessed has not been revealed yet. Follow the link for more information.

  • More than a Score

To add balance to the early testing debate More than a Score argues that over-testing is damaging children’s education. If you would like to read more about the campaign of More than a Score, follow the link -




  • Preparing for Adulthood

PfA has created a Quick Guide to Funding for Students aged 16 to 25 with SEND with the Education and Skills Funding Council.




  •  Interconnections Guide for Families

This ‘Guide for families with a child who has complex needs and the professionals who care for them’ has expert advice from around the world.

  • Inclusive Sports News

Daisy Inclusive UK focuses on sports in educational settings, Disability Awareness courses and creating pan-disability groups.

Follow the link for more information:

  • Information Advice and Support Services Network Newsletter

Sign up for the IASS Network newsletter for the new Knowledge is Power Toolkit, developed in conjunction with ALLFIE, about the social model of disability and self-advocacy.

  • Irwin Mitchell Fact Sheets and template letters

IM expert Public Law and Human Rights solicitors have produced a series of fact sheets and template letters for families on issues such as Education, Health and Social Care, Human Rights, Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards. Follow the link to see a range of materials.

  • Parent Zone and Digital Families Magazine

Parent Zone works with the Family Fund to provide internet safety training, making the internet work for families, offering services for schools and providing a free digital parents’ guide.

  • Family Fund - Emergency Essentials

The Children in Need Appeal is funding Emergency Essentials through the Family Fund. SDWs can register as referrers in order to support families in need.

  • PD Net and All Party Parliamentary Groups about Physical Disabilities

Information from PD Net: “Members living in or near London may be interested to know about various All Party Parliamentary Groups, which meet in the Palace of Westminster from time to time to discuss specific topics.


These may be of interest to people with physical disabilities:


These groups are open to members of the public and if you email the secretariats asking to go on their mailing lists they will respond positively. These meetings are interesting and instructive, you hear from people's lived experience, and you get a chance to speak directly to parliamentarians who may have an impact on policy.” 

If you would like to receive future editions of the Department for Education’s 0-25 SEND Newsletter please email


  • Department for Education Annual Statistical Review of EHC Plans in England

Here are a few headlines from the government’s Statistical Review of EHC Plans and the full report can be found by following the link -

    • The DfE figures show that EHC Plan numbers rose sharply in 2017 and demand is 17% higher than in 2016.
    • The fastest growth in EHC Plans is in Post-16 age group with a 45% rise at a time when Local Authorities don’t have a meaningful lift in resources. This is leading LAs to worry about costs for high-needs SEND.
    • The overall rate of EHC Plan completion within the 20 weeks limit has improved slightly from 59% in 2017 to 65% in 2017.
    • The gap between the numbers of children and young people with an EHCP attending mainstream and special schools has narrowed, indicating a steady drift away from mainstream schools.
    • There’s also been a 9% drop in children and young people with an EHCP being taught in mainstream SEND units and resource bases.

These figures could indicate that it may be harder for some families to get an EHCP for their child in different parts of England. The statistics could also be showing that the inclusion of children with additional needs in mainstream schools is becoming harder too.

In order to find out the stories behind the numbers, Shine will be conducting a survey about education later this year. If you would like to share your experiences of education then email

If you would like to read a longer summary of the full review and see a helpful infographic, you can also go to Special Needs Jungle and read the article entitled ‘Are we bedded in yet?’  -



  • Shine Northern Ireland has an information day about education on Saturday 2nd June

There will be talks for families about changes in the law, who to turn to for advice and how to support children with hydrocephalus at home, tips for managing at school and coping with homework:

  • FestABLE - the National Festival of Specialist Learning is at the National Star College on Saturday 2nd June.

The keynote speaker will be Sally Philips, actor and parent of a child with Down syndrome. Tickets for professionals are £45, the cost for parent carers is £15 and tickets for children and young people cost £10. For further details go to:

  • NatSIP Working Day on Thursday  7th June at Hamilton House London WC1 H9BD

The theme is ‘Meeting the Needs of a diverse SEND population’ for leaders and senior providers. NatSIP also has a good sensory learning hub -



  • Transition to Adult Life - The Care Act - Action for Kids Transition seminar is on Wednesday 20th June in central London at the St Alban’s Centre, Baldwin’s Gardens London EC1N 7AB. The cost per place is £15 for families and £45 for professionals, including lunch:
  • PDNet Conference Friday 29th June with the theme ‘Unlocking Potential’

At King Power Stadium in Leicester, costing £120 per delegate with workshops on Transition, Examinations and Assessments, Inclusive Creative Arts and Inclusive technology:

  • Nasen Conference Friday 6th July at ICC in Birmingham for SEND professionals:

Coming soon! Book of the Month for Shine under 5s, in conjunction with Book Start, with ideas for supporting your child’s development at home.

Hope the weather stays fine for everyone on Sunshine Wheel and Walk events this summer.

Thanks once again to Sharon, Jo, Christine, Kathy, Liz and to everyone else for their many ideas and contributions to the latest Update.

If you’d like to share information or advice about Education with Shine staff, members and interested professionals in the Education Update for July then contact Jan via

All contributions are gratefully received and if not shared over the next few months then they’re sure to be added to education materials currently in production for the new Shine website.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information in this Update is accurate at the time of publishing. The information provided does not constitute legal or professional advice and opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher.

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