Shine news

March 2019 Education Report

1st March 2019


Education Update

March 2019

As spring approaches, many families are awaiting news of school admissions with secondary school confirmation of places on 1st March and confirmation for primary school places on 16th April.

Parents are advised to look on their local authority website for more information.

If your child has an Education Health and Care Plan in England and is changing schools in September, then the Phase Transfer deadline has passed for transition to primary or secondary school.

Phase Transfer Deadlines 2019

A Phase Transfer means moving between different education stages, such as:

  • Pre-school to primary school
  • Infant to Junior school
  • Junior to Middle school
  • Primary to secondary school
  • Middle to secondary school

The Phase Transfer Deadline for these stages is 15th February.

Your Local Authority should have already reviewed, amended and finalised your child’s EHC Plan so that it names their school setting for September 2019.

If your child is moving from Secondary school to Post 16 Education, then the deadline is 31st March.

If you want to know more then follow the links below:

IPSEA has model letters you can use to prompt a response from your Local Authority.

If the statutory deadlines are not kept and your Local Authority has not written to inform you or to finalise your child’s EHCP, then they are acting unlawfully.


Celebratory approach to SEND Assessment in the Early Years published by DfE

If your child is just about to have a Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Assessment then the DfE offers advice to professionals, which has a much welcome positive tone. Visit them here

Disadvantaged families to benefit from free e-learning Apps

The Department for Education announced there will be free access to education apps to boost Early Learning, literacy and language skills with interactive tools for 2 to 4 year olds in 12 pilot areas across England. Read more here.

Professor Jackie Marsh from Sheffield University is leading the work on children’s digital literacy and is working with a range of organisations, such as the Shine Trust in Leeds, to improve language and communication levels in pre-school children.


Another Shine in the News

Shine Trust (not linked with Shine charity) supports almost a million disadvantaged pupils from 15,000 schools with a range of education and training opportunities.

Ready for School is a project for children in Early Years settings to promote communication and language skills.  

Many families and teachers will already know the Times Tables Rock Stars programme used at school and at home for numeracy skills, which was funded by Shine Trust.

Teachers are invited to apply for funding if they have an idea for teaching children in an exciting and innovative way.

Empathy in Early Years

Children with hydrocephalus can sometimes have difficulty with identifying the feelings of others and showing empathy so these ideas from First Discoverers may help with developing this ability.

Early Years Communication

Family Lives has films, such as Let’s Sing Together, to advise parents and carers about early communication and its benefits for language development and literacy.

Literacy Trust Resources for schools

Literacy Trust has resources for teachers about the Language of Science for children in secondary school who find the subject challenging.

The Literacy Trust also has ideas for World Book Day at the beginning of March.



Recommended Reading

Executive Function and The Frontal Lobe Paradox

Neuroscience News and Research has a short article about executive functioning and the frontal lobes and examines how an insult to that region of the brain can be difficult for specialists to evaluate.

Executive Function and Learning

Executive function can be described as the ‘executive’ of the brain, acting like an air traffic controller to manage tasks. Children have so many tasks to complete in school and executive functioning is particular concern for children with hydrocephalus or spina bifida.

Active for Life has ideas to help children to manage tasks in the classroom and at home.

(Images from Active for Life)

Executive Function Games

Harvard University has executive function games for children aged 7 to 12 years old to download as a pdf.



Keeping up with the Politics of SEND?

Special Needs Jungle has a round-up of information about Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in the news.

  • Further Education and Specialist Post-16 education
  • Local Authorities and Tribunals
  • Exclusions
  • Debate on children with life-limiting conditions

All the debates and records can be viewed or read on the SNJ website



Dates for your Diary

World Book Day 1st March

This time of year, parents are often busy helping their child design a character costume from their favourite book for World Book Day at school so follow this link for inspiration

PD Net meetings

Physical Disabilities Network has several meetings for professionals around England over the next few months. Look on PD Net website for events near you

  • East Group - 8th March in Peterborough
  • North East Group - 15th March in York
  • Midlands Group – 20th March in Warwick
  • North West Group – 22nd March in Oldham

European Neuro Conference for Brain and Spine 26th – 27th March at NEC in Birmingham

This trade event for brain and spine experts has speakers, masterclasses and exhibits from around Europe. Entry is free and you can register on the website 

Ofsted consultation on changes to School Inspection Framework ends on 5th April

Parents are invited to join this Ofsted consultation, which will focus on treating children and young people as individuals “with potential to be unlocked” and assessing schools with staff who are “experts in their subject or field” rather than “teaching to the test”.

Some parents of children with complex health needs may feel that the emphasis a school puts on full attendance for Ofsted figures is detrimental to their child’s physical and emotional well-being, so you have a chance to make your opinion known about this.

If parents have any issues regarding the way that inspections currently affect children with special educational needs and disabilities, then follow the link to respond to the consultation



Thanks to all Shine members who responded to the recent education survey and to everyone who would like to be contacted to give more in-depth responses. The results of the survey will be available next term.

Thanks also to Sharon, Jo, Angela, Christine 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 next Education Update then contact Jan via

All contributions gratefully received.

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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