10-point Version of the DfE’s Back-to-School Guidance for SEND learners

With the news that everyone will be returning to school/college" from March 8th, the Department for Education has once again issued separate operational guidance for schools and for specialist settings: Additional operational guidance for special schools, special post-16 institutions and alternative provision. Below is a bit of a breakdown of some of the important points that you should be aware of. 1. Attendance The attendance section in the specialist and alternative settings guidance emphasises that from March 8th, attendance is mandatory for all, unless they receive a positive test result or have to self-isolate. It is vital for pupils and students to attend school or college to minimise, as far as possible, the longer-term impact of the pandemic on their education, wellbeing and wider development. The usual rules on school attendance apply to all pupils including:- parents’ duty to secure their child’s regular attendance at school (where the child is a registered pupil at school, and they are of compulsory school age)-...
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Disadvantaged pupils targeted in government’s £700m school catch up plans

The government has pledged to focus £700m in catch up funding for education in England on disadvantaged children, as schools and early years settings recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. Children & Young People Now have reported on the "Recovery Premium": One-to-one and small group tutoring programmes is another focus of the government's efforts to help schools and colleges recoverThe one-off recovery premium is worth £302m. The average primary school will receive around £6,000 extra while the average secondary school around £22,000 more. The government expects schools to use this premium money to boost summer provision, such as additional clubs and activities.Schools will also be expected to use “evidence based approaches to supporting disadvantaged pupils from September”, according to the Department for Education.Of the remaining £400m, half will be used to boost tutoring in schools  and language development in early years settings.The other half is for schools to develop face-to-face summer schools. The government expects these to initially target incoming year 7 pupils. ...
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Changing Lives Through Childcare Workshop

Changing Lives Through Childcare is a short interactive workshop designed for everyone who works directly with families with pre school children. It provides a timely update for experienced staff and a comprehensive overview for new team members from children’s centres teams, health visitors, JobCentre Plus, social care, schools, and other community groups etc. Booking essentialTo book your places, please click here.Here you can register, add the event directly to your calendar, and see who else is attending. Please remember to state your role, organisation and yourlocal authority area when booking. ...
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Training for family carers of those with a learning disability.

Identifying early signs of worsening health in a person with a learning disability – specific training for family carers The NHS England and NHS Improvement Learning Disability and Autism Programme is inviting family carers to take part in a workshop. Attending the workshop will help you to be able to identify when the person you care for is becoming more unwell (deteriorating health) and how to tell a health professional about that. The workshop is free and only for parents with children over the age of 16. RESTORE2™ mini is an award winning tool specifically designed for carers to help you to identify soft signs that someone you care for may be unwell and what you should do next. This version of Restore2min™ has been specially adapted for people caring for those with a learning disability. We are inviting family carers to take part in this important one off 90 minute training session which will help you to identify soft signs of deterioration...
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Over £42 million to extend projects for children with SEND

Over £42 million to extend projects for children with SEND

The UK Government has announced "further funding to help raise educational standards, improve services and provide practical support to children with SEND." This includes the Government re-awarding "current contracts and grants which enable schools, colleges, families and local authorities, to support thousands of children with SEND. This includes extending an advice helpline and increased funding for local parent carer forums, support to improve how councils provide local services and improved training for education staff in working with children and young people with specific needs such as autism." Family Fund: £27 million awarded to Family Fund which "supports low-income parents raising children with serious illnesses or disabilities"Providing up to £17,500 for each Parent Carer Forum (an increase of £2500 compared to 2020-21)Funding has been extended for: Council for Disabled Children, Contact, Kids, National Network of Parent Carer Forums, Whole School SEND, Autism Education Trust, Education Training Foundation and Family Fund The aims of the £42 million funding are: Targeted support: monitoring, support and intervention to...
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Autistic children facing mental health crisis during lockdown, charity warns

Autistic children facing mental health crisis during lockdown, charity warns

The mental health and emotional wellbeing of autistic children is worsening amid the current coronavirus lockdown, a survey has revealed. Three quarters of more than 2,000 autistic children and their parents surveyed said they feel more anxious since the health crisis and think they will need ongoing mental health support. More than half (56 per cent) said they feel stressed. A similar proportion (54 per cent) said they felt overwhelmed during the pandemic, according to the survey by the charity Ambitious about Autism. The disruption to the routines of young autistic people's lives amid the crisis is causing stress and additional mental health issues including eating disorders, the survey found. “Medical services have been cancelled, routines lost, there are things we can’t do and people we can’t see anymore,” said one respondent. “For me this has caused trouble with an eating disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder- almost agoraphobia.”  Social distancing measures, especially for those who have an exemption from wearing a facemask, are also causing concern. One autistic young...
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Schools to remain closed till March

The Prime Minister has today been giving statements to the Houses of Parliament, including the plans for the reopening of schools. He has made it clear that: A 2 week plan/warning will be released when it is deemed safe for children and young people to return to schoolsThis is currently not expected to happen till March at the earliestChildren and Young People with EHCPs can still attend schools ...
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