Compelling attendance won’t result in more autistic pupils in school

Originally posted by www.ambitiousaboutautism.org.uk The Government today published its Schools Bill with Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi announcing a 'strict' and 'non-negotiable' approach on school attendance.    The Bill will order schools across England to produce plans for addressing absenteeism. The Government also plans to issue new central guidance on the best approach to fining parents whose children are absent from school. Over 40,000 autistic pupils (31%) were persistent absentees in 2020/21.   Responding to the bill, Jolanta Lasota, Chief Executive of Ambitious about Autism, said:    “These measures are a regressive step and miss the point entirely about why many autistic pupils can’t attend school.   “Autistic young people tell us they desperately want to go to school, just like everyone else, but many can’t because of inaccessible school environments, teaching, and expectations that they be something they are not: neurotypical.  “Compelling these young people to be at a school they can’t access, without the support they need to attend, will not help them learn. Punishing their...
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Key measures proposed in SEND and alternative provision green paper

Key measures proposed in SEND and alternative provision green paper

Legal requirements for councils around inclusion and the creation of national standards focussed on support for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are among a raft of proposals laid out in the government’s SEND green paper. The SEND and alternative provision green paper has been published following the completion of the Department for Education’s long-awaited SEND review which was launched in 2019. The proposals, backed by £70m of new funding, will be subject to a 13-week public consultation due to close on 1 July, DfE has announced. https://youtu.be/Ut_LI2sK1R4 Proposals Increased early intervention for children with SEND and a single system combining SEND and alternative education provision feature highly in the plans. The creation of new national standards across education, health and care to build for a higher performing SEND system are also among measures set out in the paper. The national standards will build on the Children and Families Act 2014 which is currently the subject of an enquiry by peers. The standards look set to...
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Leicester City Council: Q&A on Children Returning to School

Leicester City Council: Q&A on Children Returning to School

As you may be aware, the Department for Education has set out their expectation that all children will be back in school for the Autumn term. The Leicester City Council has set out a series of questions and answers. Questions included are: Returning to school When do schools go back?Should I be worried other schools in the area are not opening on the same date as my child’s school?How safe is it for my child to return to school?My child is very anxious about returning – what support is on offer Attending school Do I have to send my child back to school?If my child is unable to attend, how will their absence be recorded? Will my child continue to get free school meals / vouchersIs my child required to wear school uniform?Will breakfast clubs and after school provision continue? Clinically extremelly vulnerable and shielding My child is currently shielding, can they attend school?Should my child go to school if someone in the house is shielding? Developing symptoms My...
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A joint ministerial letter to children and young people with SEND regarding the full return to educational settings in September 2020

Children & Families Minister Vicky Ford and Care Minister Helen Whately have written an open letter to children and young people with SEND, their parents, families and others who support them. The letter explains the actions that need to be taken to ensure, where possible, all pupils return to their educational settings from September, and responds to some of the concerns and questions that have been raised. Department for Education and Department of Health & Social Care Joint Ministerial LetterDownload Key messages include: The importance for those with special educational needs and disabilities to return to educational settings safely in September so that they can receive face-to-face education and supportReassures that the risk of contracting the virus in educational settings is low and outlines protective measures in place to reduce the risk even further, including the NHS Test and Trace systemMinisters expect a small number of absences from children and young people who remain under the specialist care of a health professional however, the...
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Details on phased wider opening of schools, colleges and nurseries

The Department for Education has released their statements on how schools, colleges and nurseries can begin to prepare to open to more young people from 1st June. You can read the full press release here. All of this depends on the infection rate staying low, and will be monitored daily by the government. The age groups expected to attend school are: Nursery ReceptionYear 1Year 6 The Government is also asking schools, colleges and sixth-form to offer some face to face support to year 10 and year 12 students in preparation of their exams next academic year. There is guidance to the education sector that is available for you to read. Some of the changes include: Reducing the size of classes and keeping children in small groups without mixing with othersStaggered break and lunchtimes, as well as drop offs and pick upsIncreasing the frequency of cleaning, reducing the use of shared items and utilising outdoor space It's key for parents and carers to understand that there...
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