Shine news

April Education Update

7th April 2019


Education Update

April 2019

Now that it’s Spring many families will have had confirmation of school places for secondary school pupils, followed by primary school places to be announced on 16th April.

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. Please see the March Education Update for information and advice about this.


Preparing for Transition

National Autistic Society has guidance about starting school and transition to a new school, which is useful for all children with a neurological condition.


SENCO and Parent Teamwork?

This Special Needs Jungle article provides guidance on making parent-SENCO partnerships work for the benefit of children with additional needs.


Public Consultations about Education

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

Parents are invited to join this Ofsted consultation, so you have a chance to make your opinion known.

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.

There is also a link to Special Needs Jungle about the impact of Ofsted inspections on children with SEND.


  • Post 16 consultation closes on 10th June

This Post-16 consultation is about qualifications in this age group for young people working at Level 3 or below, excluding GCSEs, A Levels and new T Levels.


Guidance and Resources

  • Department for Education Guidance about Relationships and Sex Education

RSE has been in the news recently and the DfE has published guidance to help parents and carers to understand about recent changes, giving children the knowledge to be healthy, happy and safe.


  • Giving Help to Others has PSHE Curriculum linked resources

Team Margot and NHS Blood and Transplant have teamed up to produce these free materials for schools, including a film for school assemblies, about being a potential donor.


  • Learn about the Brain with online 3D Brain

3D Brain is available online and also as a free app from the DNA Learning Centre.


SEND Training opportunities for professionals and parent carers

  • Safeguarding in Education on-line courses with NSPCC

The NSPCC has child protection resources and training


  • Disabled Living courses

Disabled Living has a range of online courses with some about neuro-cognition, such as Autism Awareness.


  • Secondary school teaching

Voice for Secondary Education has positive behaviour strategies for the classroom.


  • Key strategies for Teaching Assistants

Autistic Spectrum Learning has a downloadable pdf here with 10 Top Tips to support students to stay on task in the classroom.


  • Reflective Teaching and Personalised Learning

Personalised learning is in the education news again, so here is a reminder of some advice for teachers from the Teaching and Learning Research programme from 10 years ago.


Additional Needs and Health

BBC Teach – ‘I can’t go to school today’ films

These films about health needs, living with illness and disabilities can help children gain a greater understanding of their time in hospital and receiving treatment.


More News about Apps

My SEND App for Hidden Disabilities

Last year, some Shine staff and members trialled an app for hidden disabilities to help memory, using social stories, prompts and routines. The new version is My SEND app. Users can now trial this system for 7 days, which comes pre-loaded with a sample app as a starting point.

You can either delete all the information and start afresh or you can look at the functions of the sample app and build on it. 

 Users would need to sign up on the website and will get immediate access for a 7 day free trial.

 If you need longer to get used to the app’s functions then contact Dani on 01773 814093, mentioning that Shine referred you and they can increase this period.  


Dates for your Diary

  • Schools and Academies show at Excel London on 3rd-4th April

This show has SEND talks and exhibitions too.


  • TES SEN North at Manchester Central on 10th-11th May

This show has a special needs focus and is free. 


  • Autism Conference at The Studio, Riverside West, Leeds, Wednesday 15th May, 9.30-4pm

This conference is run by the Witherslack group and has a range of speakers, who are experts in autism and related neurological conditions. The cost is £10 to £12 per person.  



  • Shine’s Hydrocephalus and Learning seminars continue

These twilight sessions were piloted in October 2018 and are now being extended around England. These FREE seminars from 4pm to 7pm are for teachers, SEN teams and parents and carers in partnership.

There will be information and advice about:

  • causes, treatments and effects of hydrocephalus
  • sensory, working memory, executive functioning and behaviour differences
  • guidance on classroom strategies
  • duties of schools when teaching children with hydrocephalus.

Speakers include hydrocephalus nurses from local children’s hospitals, Shine education staff and Irwin Mitchell education advisers.

  • 8th July at Irwin Mitchell offices in Crawley
  • 15th July at Irwin Mitchell offices in Birmingham

Early booking is advised by contacting or 01733 555988


A fond farewell to Sharon Saville and Naomi Marston, shining lights of the Shine South team in England, who have given vital advice about education over many years at Shine. Naomi and Sharon are leaving at the end of March and they will be really missed by parents, professionals and all the staff at Shine charity. We wish them well for the future.


Thanks to Jo, Liz, Christine, Angela, Sharon, Laura and to everyone else for their contributions to the latest Education 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 are gratefully received and if not shared next month then they’re sure to be added to new education materials currently in production.

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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