Autism in Venice - and Education

6th Sep 2017
I post a lot about the successes and achievements of Kipper, now age 10. Many of which Kipper’s Dad and I have taken most of the responsibility for, until recently, when we now include his school. This blog is different. This is where I give a snap-shot of two hours taken from a trip of a lifetime and the impact autism can have.

The TA Review challenging schools to improve their TA Deployment

30th Jun 2017
English schools spend nearly £5 billion a year on teaching assistants. They are the number one pupil premium spend, and are highly valued by teachers and parents as a vital part of the support network for children with SEND. 

The grateful SEND Parent and a cup of tea

26th Jun 2017
Yesterday I learned that my 10 yr old autistic son, who attends an ASD resource base in a primary mainstream school, has been selected to be next year’s Leader of the School Orchestra. This is wonderful news for his confidence and self-esteem; it’s wonderful for us as his proud parents, too; and it’s a true testament to the inclusive nature of the school he attends. When I first heard the news from his teacher, I was in tears.

A very warm welcome to Simon Knight!

12th Jun 2017
  We are delighted to announce the appointment of Simon Knight as Director of Whole School SEND!       

An update from Whole School SEND partners

25th May 2017
Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants A massive thank you to all of those who expressed an interest in the MITA project. We have now recruited more than 100 participant schools and 23 fantastic TA Reviewers. The project is set to be the most comprehensive of its kind and we are very excited for the year ahead.

Sifting through noise

27th Mar 2017
One of my highlights at the Whole School SEND Summit in February was meeting a deaf parent and her signer. Because the event was being staged at large round tables, with acres of bright windows facing Gallions Point Marina and the London City Airport, unsupported lip-reading would have been impossible: signing provided the parent with essential support to enable her participation. Without it, we would have lost one of the most perceptive and challenging contributions of the day.

The Summit: blogger feedback

20th Mar 2017
In the weeks since the Whole School SEND Summit in february we have been delighted to feature in a number of blogs looking back at the event, the lessons learned and next steps. Have a look below and continue the conversation on the Summit Group here and by connecting via Twitter and Facebook.

Edward Timpson Pledges Wholescale Review of SEND Provision in UK Schools

9th Mar 2017
Appearing at the Whole School SEND Summit on thec 23rd Feb, Minister for Vulnerable Children and Families Edward Timpson pledged a thorough review of special and mainstream school capacity across the UK, with £23,000,000 allocated to help LAs do strategic review of SEND places, and a £215m capital funding boost to “build new school places (and) to improve and enhance facilities that are already on site” for children on Education, Health and Care plans.

The Use of an Open-ended '8 Field Focus' in the LLS SEND Review: Some Notes

14th Feb 2017
“We believe that the knowledge for school improvement is owned by schools, exists within schools and should be shared between schools. In short it is not about the best leading the rest, but about co-construction and collaboration. London Leadership Strategy develops school leadership through careful brokering of relationships and bespoke support – matching the right schools and leaders together in programmes that are carefully focused around hard outcomes for pupils.”

Building a Community in SEND

31st Jan 2017
On the 10th of January Minister of State for Vulnerable Children and Families, Edward Timpson MP, announced £60,000,000 in new funding for special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The funding, coming into play from April 2017 onwards, aims to ensure that “all children, no matter the obstacles they face, should have the same opportunities for success as any other”.