Policy Update, Oct 16

A look at the events and articles to be aware of in the education and SEND world.

Powered By Driver Youth Trust.

From Last Week 

First Opportunity Area plans announced 

The delivery plans for the first 6 opportunity areas have been released by the Department for Education. They outline the priorities and methodology behind funding plans in each of the areas – read the policy paper here.


New £20m funding to improve children’s social care 

Robert Goodwill MP, the Children’s Minister launches multi-million pound support package to improve the lives of vulnerable children. Find out more here.


Parliamentary debate on UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 

Catch up with last Thursday’s debate on government policy towards disabled people and the recent UN report which heavily criticised the government and recommended 80 changes that are needed.

In Parliament 


Westminster Hall – 2:30pm – 4:00pm 

Debate on supporting and safeguarding adults with learning disabilities, to be moved by Catherine McKinnell, MP for Newcastle upon Tyne North (pictured above).

Education committee oral evidence session – 10:00am 

Inquiry on Fostering

The session focuses on the issue of placement stability and the appropriate matching of young people to foster carers, and will also discuss the different structural and delivery models which local authorities are currently implementing to deliver their children’s services.

Witnesses include leading figures from children’s organisations, organisations supporting foster carers and young people in care, and representatives of services which structure and deliver children’s services


Committee on International Development – Oral Evidence Session, 2:00pm

The session is on the Department For International Development’s work on education around the world.


A petition to Justine Greening: “Stop using labels as an excuse! Teach disabled children to read and write #TeachUsToo” has reached over 190,000 signatures.

The petition states that “special needs teachers must believe in the potential of their pupils, take the time to find out how the different children will access literacy, and then teach them.”

Find out more and sign the petition here.

The 20 most influential figures in British Education?

The Seldon List 2017 – Sir Anthony Seldon lists the 20 figures who he believes are having or will have the most powerful effect on our schools and universities, read it here.

In the News 


Simon Knight writes for TES: ‘Our inequitable education system risks limiting the life chances of many children with SEND.’ Read it here.

DYT’s Nancy Gedge also appeared in TES, reflecting on Amanda Spielman’s speech last week: ‘Ofsted needs to take responsibility for the narrow, dry curriculum that puts our children off school.’ Read the full piece here.

The Welsh Government have published an annual report on school exclusions which shows that last year children with SEND had 10 times the rate of temporary exclusion from school. Read the BBC’s coverage here. 


Dan Baynes is Policy and Research Executive for Driver Youth Trust

Dan Baynes, Driver Youth Trust