Change for the sake of change: the Academisation of schools

Change for the sake of change: the Academisation of schools

George Osborne announced in the budget yesterday plans to turn all schools in England into academies.

As someone who has been a school governor for many years as well as a regular visitor to a wide variety of schools I don’t see the logic behind this policy decision.  Here’s some of my concerns over these announcements:

There is no mandate for this: this policy wasn’t in the Conservative Party manifesto.  It’s a major change, and yet nobody has voted for it.

There is no evidence for this: all the data I’ve read seems to indicate that the performance of academies compared to LEA controlled schools is no better.

There is no freedom in choice: as Geoff Barton, headteacher of King Edward VI School, a 14-18 comprehensive school in Suffolk wrote on the TES

“academisation is no longer a treat, an incentive, a perk or a bribe. It’s apparently the new bog standard, the final breaking up of England’s collective school system and a wilful boot into the notion of democratically elected councils taking responsibilities for the institutions where most parents choose to educate their children.”

A rejection of parents and communities on Governing Bodies: Governors are volunteers acting as critical friends to the school leadership.  I’ve been committed to this role in two different schools over a number of years.  In both schools I’ve used advice and support from the Local Education Authority to deal with a number of complex issues around personnel, finance, Federisation, Ofsted, and more.  Under the Academisation agenda this all changes, some Multi-Academy Trusts have great support networks, but others do not – the support is much more varied than it currently is.  In addition the government are scrapping the role of parent governors in favour of professionals with the “right skills” – these groups are becoming business boards which leads to focuses on finances and data rather than caring about making choices that benefits the pupils education.

Education - Secondary SchoolThere is no solution to school places, recruitment and finances: many schools struggle to recruit good teachers let alone head teachers.  Currently this is supported by effective Councils trying to share the resources across their area.  Equally Councils currently have responsibility for managing the provision of school places – again who will ensure an unbiased provision of places.  Cash flow in schools is currently very finely managed over a three year cycle, with very limited opportunities for development or building projects.  Most schools are heavily reliant on their Council for the maintenance schedules for the bigger pieces of work.

The government doesn’t understand teachers: teachers are leaving the profession in their droves because they aren’t given the freedom to teach.  Instead they are bound by paper work, targets, and an ever-changing curriculum.  To top this all off, the government has also announced a radical shakeup of teacher qualifications, scrapping qualified teachers status (QTS) and introducing a more open-ended system of accreditation.  Ministers want a more challenging accreditation brought in, which will be based on a teacher’s performance in the classroom and judged by their headteacher and another senior school leader.

And what about the wider issues: Councils currently have responsibility for not just education, but related issues such as school transport and special educational needs.  It isn’t clear how these areas will be managed by a series of rivalling academies with their own individual agendas.

Who actually wants to be an Academy Trust? Multi-Academy Trusts can be big businesses but they don’t currently have a track record of being profit making so where is the government expecting all these sponsors to come from?

 

 

 

Governor training: RAISEonline to improve our schools

HCC governor services

Last night’s governor training was on “RAISEonline to improve our schools” and was led by Chris Martin, from Hampshire Inspection and Advisory Service:

Christine Gilbert, ex head of Ofsted said:

“It is data that will challenge thinking and stimulate discussion leading to improved practice.  It is data than enables progress to be monitored.”

Why should governors use data?

  • School self-evaluation
  • School accountability
  • Preparation for external inspection and accountability
  • Ensuring school is setting challenging and aspirational targets for the future (pupils, cohort and school)
  • Monitoring progress of pupils and cohorts in the school
  • Developing a vision and strategic direction
  • Performance managing the headteacher
  • Determining the allocation of resources: for example, Pupil Premium

 

Important not to over-simplify data analysis as the organisations are full of people and complex and so it needs to be dealt with sensitively.  RAISEonline focuses on self-evaluation.

 

RAISEonline: Key Processes

  • RAISEonline makes use of the existing data collected nationally through the school census and the KS2 testing agency.
  • The data is matched together using the Unique Pupil Number (UPN).
  • RAISEonline is an unvalidated report in October, this is unamended data.  Schools have a chance to check that data set.
  • After the school’s checking exercise a second set of validated data is due in March (including the Data Dashboard).
  • The validated data is used to construct the Performance Tables (normally 15th December).

 

Establishing Protocols

  • The National Governors Association recommends each Governing Body should nominate a couple of governors to have access as a minimum, to allow you to see all the data.
  • Each year in the autumn term, the school’s RAISE Summary Report should be presented by a member of the SLT to a Full GB meeting.
  • The Governing Body must decide how it will consider and analyse the more detailed data, and may set up a committee to consider this or ensure the monitoring of school performance data is within the remit of another committee (Strategy Committee).

 

Key Understanding

Purple G on a page means it is important for Governors to look at.

Significance: any piece of data can naturally fluctuate down to chance.  Based on Standard Deviation, e.g. 26.8 +/- 1.0 is outside national average 28.2 and so is significant.  A – will mean that significance has not been calculated, often because the percentage is too near 0 or 100.  But in the reading example there was no test, it was done as a combination of writing and entered later.

Point Scores: L x 6 + 3 = Point Scores (with +2 for A and -2 for C).

Trends: look at overall journey, but ————— in-between columns means that the way of calculating the APS:

2009 Eng, Mat, Sci

2010: Eng, Mat

2012: Writing teacher assessed, combined with reading to create English, Maths

2013: Writing, Reading, Maths

The formula for creating the APS for all subjects is:

(W+R)

———  + M

2

——————

2

So Maths has a higher weighting, and SPAG is excluded from the All Subjects APS.

Sample size: Instead of FSM it may be old FSM ratings of DIAG Deprivation Scores.

Types of Indicator: Attainment: What did they get – their Points Score.  Threshold measures reaching a particular standard, e.g. Level 4 – doesn’t matter if you got Level 4, Level 5 or Level 6 you passed the Level 4 threshold.  Point Score is focussing on the overall attainment of all pupils.  Progress: the difference from beginning to end – expected 2 levels, e.g L2 at KS1 to L4 at KS2.  Value Added looks at all those on a L2B and looks at how they did in KS2 and then it is compared to the school and national averages – you increase this to move the goal posts and to increase the progress.  With Levels going it will be much more focussed on Value Added.  Achievement: OFSTED’s criteria putting together attainment and progress – high attainment but no progress isn’t good enough; attainment is really low, but children arrived with such low levels so fantastic progress.

 

RAISEonline Context

  • FMS 2012 onwards is FSM Ever6.
  • Stability is what % of children lasted from 1st October to the last day they were able to be taught within that school.
  • ADACI – every postcode is ranked on the ADACI score – it is the average of where your children live – not where your school is based.
  • Gender balance – are we doing anything differently; do we need to tailor the curriculum for a particular class?
  • Attendance and Exclusion data is painfully slow and so often not on first RAISEonline but the HT should be able to state those in the absence of the data in the Unammended Report.  Median trend line for school’s for FSM level shows schools similar to the context.  Do you have a few pupils absent a lot; do you have a lot of pupils absent a little bit.
  • Prior Attainment: pupils who were not in mainstream education, in the country etc., are not counted – see the coverage to see how many are counted.  School APS is based on the pupils scores – not the school score – so it will be the scores of the pupils you have even if they did KS1 in another school.  Prior attainment bands are: Low L1, Middle L2, High L3.

 

RAISEonline Attainment

  • Tests in 2013 schools are below the floor standard if:
  • Fewer than 60% of pupils do not achieve Level 4 or above.
  • It is below the English median for progression by 2 levels in reading (91%), in writing (95%) and in maths (92%).
  • For 2014 it is fewer than 65%.
  • If prior attainment was green then attainment should be more likely to be green – in essence not something to celebrate as much as blue or blank in prior attainment to green.

 

RAISEonline Progress

  • Key is to look at the trends, are we maintaining or growing success.
  • Ask HT for 2014 and 2015 predicted trends.
  • 2 levels of progress is no longer good enough, they on average push their children further.
  • Key to dissect and understand not just whole school, but e.g. how well L1 progress, how well L3 progress.
  • Good means you have to be within at or close to (approximately 5% normally) of the National Average APS.
  • Value Added: coverage says how many of cohort have a KS1 result.  A value added score of 100.8, with a range of 0.6 would be 100.2 to 101.4.   100 is the average national value added score.  Every child has got 0.8 points above what the national average for progress was that year which is why it is a moveable figure.  If the 100.00 sits within the range of the VA Score for the school it won’t be green or blue.
  • In Maths and Writing every mark literally contributes to VA.
  • Value Added Line – you want to be above the line – the pupils got higher than expected – the further the distance from the line shows someone who got much higher than expected.
  • Your school can produce any table or graph with any characteristics, e.g. FSM v non-FSM, SEN v non-SEN, boys v girls through the interactive reports.

 

RAISEonline Closing/Narrowing the Gaps

  • Focus on the tables with three years to look at the trend of closing the gap.
  • Within School Gap – service children have limited attainment different, the funding is linked to emotional support – that’s why FSM and LAC are highlighted in these tables.  Always check which characteristics you are analysing.  Anything less than 10 is low, anything over 30 is extremely worrying.  Attainment has to be linked to progress, as often FSM has much lower prior attainment so look at both attainment and the prior attainment.
  • National Benchmark is important to ensure we don’t focus too much on CLA/FSM to the detriment of CLA/FSM.  We want gradual improvement of non-CLA/FSM pupils with higher improvement in CLA/FSM pupils – but we will never close the gap.
  • Which characteristic drives the under performance if FSM and SEN for example.

 

What other performance data is available to us?

  • School Data – are your predictions right and if not there is something wrong in the system – want similar data to RAISEonline and should be able to give you.
  • OFSTED Data Dashboard
  • Performance Tables
  • Fischer Family Trust Data Dashboard – been around a lot longer than RAISEonline – does a comparison to similar schools with same characteristics (creating lower expectations of schools with more FSM but this is not the world we live in), looks at what results might be for next 3 years given the information of pupils; do a lot of 3 year trends which is more reliable, but in 3 years a school could be completely different e.g. change in SLT.

 

What other data would we like?

  • Pupil attitudes
  • Engagement in community activities
  • Participation in sport
  • Behaviour

 

How effectively is the school using the data from RAISEonline

  • Is it referenced in self-evaluation documents?
  • Is it referenced in the SIP?
  • Does the school use the question level analysis function?
  • Does it inform performance management processes?
  • Which staff members receive RAISEonline data?
  • Is it used to inform annual review meetings with curriculum leaders etc.
  • What other data does the school use to triangulate with the data from RAISEonline?

 

Some key messages

  • RAISEonline may provide cause for celebration
  • RAISEonline is a tool for asking robust questions
  • RAISEonline provides insight into the performance of the school, but it is not the only source of evidence.
  • RAISEonline needs to be used sensitively.
  • RAISEonline’s greatest value will be the insights that it provides into plans for school improvement.
  • RAISEonline looks back, governors look forwards
  • Focus on trends
  • Watch your sample size
  • Understand significance.

Governor Training on PSHE in the New Curriculum

PSHE logo

This evening I attended governor training on PSHE in the New Curriculum by Glyn Wright, County Inspector/Adviser Personal Development Learning.

 

Made mandatory for schools to publish how they are delivering PSHE within the curriculum, alongside other curriculum subjects.

Think of your most memorable event in your time at school as a pupil?  Most were related to non-curriculum activities e.g. drama, sports.

Activity: Which topics do you think you should not be covered in school using the must, should and could criteria.  PFEG (Personal Finance Education Group) has some fantastic resources regarding enterprise and finance.

New school food plan leading to school meals for all children in the Infants School.

Hampshire educates 10% of the service children in the country

Drivers for teaching PSHE (and Citizenship)

  • United Nations Convention for the Rights of the Child
  • The Importance of Teaching (2010 White Paper for DfE)
  • Healthy Lives; Healthy People (White Paper for Health including a large part on the responsibilities of schools to ensure young people are prepared to have healthy lives)
  • Drugs Strategy

Ofsted PSHE Report 1st May 2013: Not Yet Good Enough

  • Learning in PSHE education was good or better in 60% of schools and required improvement or was inadequate in 40%.
  • Sex and relationships education required improvement in over a third of schools:
  • Lack of high-quality, age-appropriate sex and relationships education in more than a third of schools is a concern as it may leave children and young people vulnerable to inappropriate sexual behaviours and sexual exploitation.
  • In just under half of schools, pupils had received lessons about staying safe but few had developed the schools.
  • Pupils understood the importance of applying security settings on social networking sites but did not always know how to set them or had not bothered to do so.
  • Most understood the dangers to health of tobacco and illegal drugs but were less aware of the physical and social damage.
  • one third of respondents to the online surrey wanted to learn how to deal with mental health issues such as coping with stress, bereavement and eating disorders.  1 in 25 children lose a significant adult whilst they are at school – Simon Says is a great charity working in this area.
  • Knowledge and understanding of budgeting and economic enterprise were at least good in half of the primary schools and in two thirds of the secondary schools.
  • Learning about careers was good or better in half of the secondary schools.
  • Teaching required improvement in 42% of primary and 38% of secondary schools.
  • Too many teachers lacked expertise in teaching sensitive and controversial issues, which resulted in some topics such as sexuality, mental health and domestic violence being omitted from the curriculum.
  • In 20% of schools, staff had received little or no training to teach PSHE education.  Teaching was not good in any of these schools.
  • By far the weakest aspect of teaching was the assessment of pupils’ learning.
  • The curriculum was good or better in two thirds of primary and secondary schools.
  • The curriculum was usually more coherent and comprehensive in schools that offered discrete PSHE education lessons across the school.
  • In 80% of primary and secondary schools, outside speakers made ac valuable contribution by bringing a wide range of expertise and life experiences to the PSHE education programme.
  • The development of pupils’ personal and social skills through PSHE education-related activities was at least good in 42 of the 50 schools visited.  However, few schools monitor and analyse the take-up of extra-curricular activities.
  • Pupils’ personal and social skills required improvement where the casual use of homophobic and disables language was commonplace.
  • The majority of schools provided good PSHE education for disabled pupils and those with special education needs.
  • The quality of leadership and management in PSHE education was: at least good in 56% of schools; required improvement in 42%; was inadequate in 2% of schools
  • All the schools that required improvement in PSHE education overall required improvement in leadership and management.
  • In a third of primary and secondary schools the subject leader was inadequately trained for a leadership role and given too little time to meet with their team.
  • In half of primary and two thirds of secondary schools the monitoring and evaluation of the quality of teaching and learning were deficient.

Key characteristics of outstanding schools (12/50 – 24%)

  • Pupils demonstrate excellent personal and social skills.
  • All pupils share a sense of pride in the contribution they make in school.
  • Pupils can describe what they have learnt with maturity and enthusiasm.
  • Pupils are independent learners and take responsibility.
  • Teachers have excellent subject knowledge and skills.
  • Teaching activities meet the needs of different groups and individuals.
  • Teachers are skilful in teaching sensitive and controversial topics
  • Teachers use questioning effectively
  • Teachers assess learning rigorously
  • The curriculum is innovative and creative
  • The curriculum is regularly reviewed and revised.
  • The curriculum is designed to meet the specific needs of disabled pupils and those with SEN, and those in challenging circumstances.
  • High-quality enrichment activities make an outstanding contribution to the development of PSHE education skills.
  • School leaders champion PSHE education.
  • Leaders and managers rigorously monitor the quality of teaching.

Key characteristics of PSHE education that require improvement or are inadequate (20/50 schools)

  • The assessment of pupils learning lacks rigour.
  • The monitoring and evaluation of the quality of teaching are ineffective
  • Teachers are poorly trained
  • The curriculum is not sufficiently coherent or comprehensive.

Ofsted Supplementary Guidance: Achievements in PSHE

“Pupils demonstrate exceptional independence; they think critically, articulate their learning and their views with great confidence and work constructively with others … Pupils, appropriate to their age and capability, have an excellent understanding of relationships, sexual development, sexual consent and respect.  They have a strong understanding of the principles which underpin positive parenting.  They understand extremely well how to keep themselves and others healthy and safe and are very well aware, for example, of the dangers of substance misuse. …  Pupils have a very strong understanding of how to recognise and deal with mental health problems such as stress or eating disorders; how to develop resilience and resist peer pressure; and where to go to seek further help and advice.  All understand very well the impact of bullying on others …  Pupil make outstanding progress in developing understanding and skills in relation to business, enterprise, money management, the world of work and employability.”

Ofsted Supplementary Guidance: The Curriculum and SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social, Cultural)

“The programme is explicit, comprehensive and coherent.  The statutory elements of sex and relationships education (SRE) are fully met.  The programme for personal well-being is very highly regarded by pupils and enables them to lead safe and healthy lives.  The curriculum provides a very strong platform for pupils’ future economic well-being.  Local data is fully taken into account when planning … Pupils and teachers are fully engaged in influencing the content and evaluation the quality of the curriculum.  The subject makes an outstanding and sustained contribution to pupils’ spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development and reinforces well a range of personal and thinking skills.”

SMSC was strengthened in 2012 and every Ofsted report since then has had at least 1 paragraph on this.

PSHE and Citizenship will be inspected through the lens of SMSC

Ofsted Supplementary Guidance: Leadership & Management

“The subject is very well resourced in terms of curriculum time, staff training, management time and the use of external services and materials … Statutory requirements in SRE are fully met.  The monitoring of teaching and learning in PSHE is rigorous … Subject leadership inspires confidence and a whole-hearted commitment from pupils and staff … PSHE has a very high profile in the life of the school and is at the forefront of whole-school initiatives … Discrimination, including prejudiced-based bullying is tackled with vigour.  Very strong links exist with partner schools, parents, carers and external agencies to reinforce the very high standard of PSHE education.”

Governors still have to okay Sex and Relationships Education resources, SRE is often within a wider PDR policy.

Visiting speakers

Visiting speakers are a key resource that should fit into your programme and have a detailed SLA to protect both sides.  Don’t

Childline Schools Service 

Jan McDonald, Childline Programme from the NSPCC for primary schools.

Set up in 2011, delivering to every primary school in the country.  There has been a big shift in CP, now focussing on Year 5 & 6 talking about abuse in an age appropriate way, including

In March 2013 over 40,000 children in CP Register.  Research shows a further 8 per child will be suffering abuse or maltreatment.

Abuse is normally disclosed in secondary years, but it normally happens in their primary years.

The programme runs:

  • Normally a 30 minute assembly – how to recognise physical, abuse, emotional, sexual, bullying and neglect and how to get help.
  • 2 weeks later run a 1 hour interactive workshop for each class where the children work in small groups with sensitive case studies to enable them to understand abuse and sources of help in more depth.
  • Use a speech bubble called Buddy which symbolises the right of children to keep safe, and to be listened to.  Each child at the end of their workshop designs their own buddy kit to develop their own personal network for support.

It is a free service, Ofsted have recognised it as a service; and also supports Safeguarding.

98% of teachers have said they would recommend the service.

Currently nothing for Infants due to funding, it runs a rolling service every 2 years to cover all pupils.

Redesigning Early Help Services in Hampshire

jayne.shelbourn.barrow@hants.gov.uk

  • Independent Review of Child Protection: A child-centred system (Eileen Munro, 2011)
  • Independent Review on Early Intervention Delivery: Early Intervention: The Next Steps and Smart Investment, Massive Savings (Graham Allen)
  • Hampshire Children & Young People’s Plan (CYPP) 2012-2015

In Hampshire Early Help is facilitated by:

  • An effective referral and assessment process, co-ordinating by locality teams, based on a shared understanding of the thresholds for services.
  • Local expertise and co-ordination of services through Local Children’s Partnerships
  • Strong home-to-school links
  • Healthy Child Programme (0-19 year olds)

The new model:

  • Has just been launched to Eastleigh and is due across the county but October.
  • Focus on the child and family’s journey
  • Seamless pathway of interventions as they move in and out of services, step up /step down across the windscreen of need
  • A range of effective, evidence-based services in place to address assessed needs
  • Practitioners needs to understand their role both when providing a service as a single agency and multi-agency.

Level 4

Statutory Social Care Intervention

Level 3

Targeted Early Help (coordinated multi-agency response)

Early Help hub provision

Level 2

Early Help (single agency / partnership working)

Schools, LCPs, Health, Children’s Centres, YSS, commissioning grants

Level 1

Universal (inc) schools (including PSHE), GPs, Health Visiting, Early Years settings

 

School receive a non CP disclosure in Level 1 (e.g. mum using alcohol) so it moves to a Level 2 where a school can make a referral and it would work, we can hold them in the school, knowing the parent is asking support, someone is visiting the home once a week.  But sometimes despite all that it doesn’t work and the situation deteriorates.  Aim is to create multi-agency hubs at Level 3 to hold children in an effective way.

Key example issues in Level 1 for education are:

  • CAMHS
  • Family breakdown
  • Sexual exploitation

The Current Status of PSHE

  • No set curriculum – the Government has allowed schools to choose their own plan and programme.
  • PSHE education remains a non-statutory subject BUT section 2.5 of the National Curriculum framework document states that: “All schools should make provision for personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE), drawing on good practice.”
  • “An important and necessary part of all pupils’ education”
  • “Schools should seek to use PSHE education to build, where appropriate, on the statutory content already outlined in the national curriculum, the basic school curriculum and in statutory guidance on: drug education, financial education, sex and relationship education (SRE) and the importance of physical activity and diet for a healthy lifestyle.”
  • PSHE education is a means to fulfilling the statutory duties on schools.
  • Every state-funded school must offer a curriculum which is balanced and broadly based and which promotes the SMSC development; prepares pupils at the school for the opportunity, responsibilities and experiences of later life.”

PSHE Association – Programme of Study – KS1-4

  • Core Theme 1: Health and wellbeing
  • Core Theme 2: Relationships
  • Core Theme 3: Living in the wider world: KS1 and 2 Economic wellbeing and being a responsible citizen; KS3 and 4 Economic wellbeing, careers and the world of work.

Download this resource at the PSHE Association website

Spring Term 2014 – Curriculum & Qualifications

All schools must publish their school curriculum by subject and academic year, including their provision of personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE).  To support schools in doing this, the PSHE Association has published its own guidance on drafting and reviewing a school’s se and relationship policy and a suggested programme of study for PSHE.

The School Library Service

Bridget Rowley looks after School Library Service book lists for example on antibullying, new arrivals pack, bereavement, primary SMSC, PSHE linking to pupil premium.

The role of the PSHE (and Citizenship) Curriculum

  • PDL Matters news resources provides:
  • Early Help
  • Supporting key health messages
  • Supporting the School Food Plan: Free School Meals for all Infant School pupils – lunches all together will get you an opportunity to enrich the programme for PSHE

Other key resources

  • Supporting Personal Development Learning Hampshire Guidelines has individual module support.
  • Keeping on Track with Learning – e-profile for pupils to do linked to a powerpoint – pupils mapping and tracking what they do across all subjects.
  • The Hampshire School self-evaluation tool for the promotion of SMSC development

 

Governor Training on Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum

boy_girl_painting

On Thursday night I attended Hampshire Governor training on Governor Training on Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum led by Luciana Lattanzi – Early Years Advisor (West) – also Proforma Moderation Manager for HCC.

Writing Targets

Personal opinion is that the writing targets are not overly ambitious – they are what a 5 year old should be able to do!  Revised KS1/KS2 curriculum should have been launched at the same time as the EYFS curriculum but them being out of sync has made this more challenging.

Moderation agreement info re: writing should be in the summer term Year R briefings.

EYFS Policy and Documents

Revised Early Years Foundation Stage September 2012: Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage – the statutory document is much more slimmed down.  But Early Education were requested to develop Development Matters which is a non-statutory guide.  Following this Early Years Outcomes published in September 2013 which is purely one column from Development Matters

The new EYFS is much simpler, clearer, and leads to less paperwork.  Focuses more on learning and development: split communication (3 prime areas) from literacy (4 specific areas).  Reduces the number of early learning goals from 69 to 17:

  • Mandatory progress check aged 2 in a setting, sits alongside health check, and by 2015 these will be merged!
  • Simplifies assessment at age 5 – removes the 117 point scale, best fit judgement
  • Stronger focus on working with and supporting parents
  • Welfare requirements

Kept the original four themes:

A unique child + Positive relationship + Enabling environments = Learning and development

A number of musts still in the statutory guidance, not changing but reinforcing the good elements of practice:

  • Practitioners must reflect on the different ways that children learn and reflect these in their practice (1.0)
  • Practitioners must consider the individual needs, interested and stage of development of each child in their care (1.7)

Enabling environments

The environment is very important.  A lot of research on children needing the opportunity to have natural materials around them – so instead of buying lots of plastic boxes and objects using acorns etc.  The sensitivity of children’s fingertips isn’t as good as it was due to touching hard plastic too much – which then effects handwriting.  Moving to more natural subdued colours and materials.

Really important within an Early Years environment that the children can access the resources through the order.  How do we enable them to use real adult products, e.g. crockery cups instead of plastic cups where they know they aren’t real and won’t break so they then throw them around.  We need to allow children to encounter risk to learn to manage risk.  The majority of children can self-select provided they are given the opportunity to manage risk.  Hazards are still a no – risks are a yes.

Greater expectations, e.g. numbers to 10 is now numbers to 20 – but the calculation parts of number is still single digits.  Using more recent research on what average 5 year olds can actually do.

What are the subtle differences between pre-school and Year R environments.

Balance of the Seven Areas

Birth to age 3 focuses on the Prime Areas and then moves onto the Specific Areas implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity (1.9).

Adults formalise play and call them hobbies and call them leisure pursuits, instead of role playing we watch the soap or go to the theatre.  We think about it but don’t physically have to do it, children have to do it physically.

What can Governors do?

  • Do you have Early Years subject leaders?
  • Reflect about Early Years in the finance meeting – ensuring that you create budget for staff to visit pre-schools for transition
  • Engaging with families and parents
  • Meet Year R parents the summer before they start
  • Survey of parents asking about transition experience
  • Invite the Early Years lead to come and speak to Curriculum Committee in the same way as the Literacy and Maths subject leaders do
  • Supported and resourced a parenting course free of charge for a parenting course, including a free creche, seeing an impact with not just the children but also develop better relationships with parents.
  • ECar scheme, expensive but makes an impact.
  • Nurture room using Governor expertise to support funding
  • Breakfast Club to improve attendance

Planning for play and playful learning

The end of reception judgements have to come predominantly from child-led initiatives, what they do for themselves.

“There is an ongoing judgement to be made by practitioners about the balance between activities led by children, and activities led or guided by adults.  Practitioners met respond to each child’s emerging needs.”

Strong Partnership with Parents

Other carers, relatives and childminders should feel able to be involved in the school, and should be involved in holistically making the judgements on the child.

Parents can put things on online for the school to access and link with home.  For example using Magic Moments at Romsey Abbey Primary to send a photo to parents to show how children are playing.  

Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents.

Tracking progress in Year R

Must track progress against age/stage bands.  Focussed on initial on entry data – a judgement made of where each pupil is by half-term, but the assessment shouldn’t happen until the child feels settled.  Periodic judgement data using ongoing formative assessments leading to a review of Early Learning Goals in the June Summative Assessment.

The new assessment process has confused some schools leading to many cautiously assessing children to age 3 when they are probably beyond that, but equally some nurseries and pre-schools are assessing overly optimistically.

How the formative assessment is completed is for each school to decide for themselves.  

Observations

  • Should not entail prolonged breaks from interaction with children, nor require excessive paperwork.
  • Are what you see and hear, based on what the child says, does or pro dues.
  • Rely on good key-person practice and on people taking responsibility.
  • Are used as evidence and analysed to make assessments.

Evidence needed for assessment

  • Predominantly from child-initiated opportunities
  • Significant steps, ‘wow/gosh’ moments, ‘one off observations
  • Samples of children’s workPhotographs
  • Contributions from parents
  • Annotated planning

Paperwork should be limited to that which is absolutely necessary (2.2)

Making Judgments: Best-fit

When making a decision practitioners must

  • Consider the entirety of the Age Stage band descriptor/ELG
  • Create the most accurate ‘Best-fit’ picture – holistic view of the whole descriptor
  • Sections of the descriptor are not to be seen in isolation
  • Must compare to an earlier or later age/stage band.

Now not focussed on can they do it all, but which description do they best predominantly fit into.  You must compare with the different levels to then decide which goal best fits.

Making judgement

  • Review knowledge of each child from all sources: collected observations; annotated planning; professional dialogue between practitioners.
  • Responsibility of the practitioner to use their professional judgment to decide levels of development.

EYFS Profile

Purpose: Inform parents about their child’s development against the ELGs and the characteristics of effective learning; to support smooth transition to Key Stage 1 by informing the professional dialogue between the Foundation Stage and KS1 teachers.

EYFS Profile Data – New Measures

Good Level of Development (GLD)

Attaining expected or exceeding levels in all 3 primer areas of learning and development and in literacy and maths from the specific areas, a total of 12 ELGs.

Average Point Score

The total number of points achieved across all 17 ELGs.  Maximum is 51 points (17 x 3) and minimum is 17 pmts (17 x 1).  The national measure will be the average of all child’s scores.  Usually available in November, the first statistical release.

EYFSP Data 2013

Statutory duty for every parent to receive scores for each of the 17 ELGs and a commentary on the three characteristics of effective learning and for the schools to provide an opportunity for a parent to discuss that with the school.  

What can Governors do?

What data do you receive for Early Years?  Potentially view summer birthdays at a vulnerable group – in one school led to an additional LSA in that class.

Ofsted – latest documents

No standardised models of assessment or on how typical progress is expected.  Cf. The Framework for School Inspection (Jan 2014): explains the principles, process and focus of inspections; School Inspection Handbook (Jan 2014): provides guidance for inspectors conduction inspections including how judgements are made and grade descriptors; Subsidiary Guidance (Jan 2014): additional guidance for inspectors.

Achieving the ELGs can be good or poor progress – it is always about the next steps for their child – there should be no ceiling put on their learning.  Debate over whether or not you label children as Gifted & Talented or does that label cause problems at a later stage if they naturally plateau later in KS1, so focus on “Must, Should, Could”.

Can discuss what we should expert from a cohort based on the evidence of the local pre-schools and nurseries, for Luciana’s team to help provide interventions.

SEN Conference – Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants

The last session of the Hampshire County Council SEN Conference was entitled “Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants” and led by Rob Webster, Principal Special Needs Officer

HCC governor services

Working in HCC since April 2013.  Was at the Institute of Education in London before that.

Some aims:

  • Understand why schools need to examine how TAs are used
  • Take a closer look at factors that affect TAs effectiveness
  • What is the role and purpose of TAs?
  • Explore things shcools could do different.  Maximising the impact of TAs.

Background

There is an assumption that TAs help raise pupil standards, but there had been little systematic research on impact over long-term and under everyday classroom conditions – there had been bits on literacy interventions etc.  The Deployment and Impact of Support Staff (DISS) project (2009) focussed on all support staff, especially TAs.  This then led to the Effective Deployment of TAs (EDTA) in 2011.

Scale of the DISS project

  • 17,800+ biennial national questionaire survey.
  • Analysis of impact of TA uspport on 8,200 pupils in 153 mainstream schools.
  • Observations of 680+ pupils and 100+ TAs in 114 schools.
  • Detailed case studies in 65 cschools.
  • Interviews with 280+ heads, SENCos, teachers and TAs.
  • Analysis of adult-to-pupil talk (teacher and TAs) in 16 lessons

Comparison of TA Support verses non TA Support within a classroom environment.

Year National Curriculum sub-level
English Maths Science
1 -1.5 -1
2 -1.5 -1 -1
3 -2 -2
6 -1 -0.75 -1
7 -2 -1.5
9 -1 -0.75 -1
10 -1*

 

  • expressed as 1 GCSE grade

 

  • Pupils with Statements profoundly affected by current arrangements: those with the most TA support, made the least progress.
  • Used statistical techniques that control for variables known to affect attainment (e.g. SEN, FSM, prior attachment).
  • It is NOT the fault of TAs
  • Organisational and structural factors over which TAs have little or no control.

Issues of

  • Conditions of employment
  • Preparedness
  • Characteristics

DISS: Which pupils do adults work with

 

Interaction by pupil level of SEN Teacher TA
Non-SEN 55% 27%
School Action 24% 32%
School Action Plus or SEN statement 21% 41%

TAs rarely worked with middle and higher attaining pupils.  The higher the level of need, the more interaction with TAs and the less interaction the teachers.

  • Teachers spent more time explaining concepts.  TA explanations were sometimes inaccurate or confusing.
  • Teachers provided more feedback.  TAs more likely to prompt pupils and supply answers.
  • Teachers linked current lesson to pupils’ prior knowledge, promoted pupils’ thinking and cognitive engagement in a task.  TAs more concerned with task completion.
  • Teachers ‘open up’ talk; TAs close talk down.

Preparedness

  • 75% teachers have no training to work with/manage TAs
  • 75% teachers no allocated planning or feedback time.
  • Teacher-TA meetings depended on TA’s goodwill.
  • TAs underprepared: having to tune into teachers talk for content/instructions.

Key messages from the research

  • Pupils with SEN receive more support from TAs than teachers
  • TA support is alternative to teacher support – not additional
  • Pupils with SEN separated from classroom, teacher and peers
  • TAs have main responsibility for teaching pupils with statements
  • Training for teachers key factor in current arrangements
  • TAs pedagogical input is well intentioned, but unlikely to narrow attainment gap
  • Currency of statements seem problematic as written in hours for TA.

Implications for practice

  • A fundamental rethink is required if schools are going to get the best use from their TAs – and help pupils.
  • Organisational and strucutral factors need attention:
  • Deployment of TAs (and teachers)
  • Practice: TAs interactions with pupils
  • Preparedness of teachers and TAs.

Rethinking the TA’s role

  • Pupil Premium is built on spending the money leading to outcomes, but that isn’t the case.  It is how and on what you spend it than can cause outcomes to be met.

Effective Deployment of TAs Project

  • Collaborated with 40 teachers and TAs in 10 schools (20 pairs) with the aim to develop and evaluated alternative strategies to TA preparedness, deployment and practice under normal funding.
  • Developed over one academic year, spending one term on each of the three areas.
  • This has become the basis for Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants which has a programme of work that any school can work through and examine how they use TAs.

Conduct an audit

  • Changes cannot be decided until you know what requires change.
  • Decision-makers: make sure you know what you think you know.
  • Obtain objective and subjective pictures of current practice.
  • Opportunity to identify and build on existing good practice.
  • Check out www.schoolsupportstaff.net/mitatools.html

Decisions about deployment

What do you want the role and purpose of TAs to be?  Teaching role and non-teaching roles (admin, SEAL, mobility, class organisation).  This is a collaborative process of challenge and change – not about assessing how effective TAs are.  The problem arise when TA role “drifts” from non-teaching towards teaching.  25% of the school workforce are currently TAs.

Key questions

  • Can/should TAs be as effective as teachers without the same professional development?  Or pay?
  • Should TAs routinely teach pupils with the most demanding SEN?
  • If TAs can be as effective as TAs then teachers should be worried as they cost a lot less!

TAs and Pupils with SEN

What OFSTED are looking for:

Quality of teaching – Inspectors must evaluate the use that is made of TAs.

The Teacher is responsible for progress and development of all pupils.

TAs and Interventions

When TAs lead interventions they often get positive outcomes.  Why does this impact get lost in the terms of wider/annual attainment?  There often seems to be the world of the Classroom and the world of the TA with the pupils having to make the link themselves.  Teachers and TAs need to help them make sense of this.  An interventions health check:

  • Are we using good intervention programmes, are we using good programmes badly?
  • Do we need to update the training?
  • How effective are our reporting mechanisms to teachers?
  • Do teachers engage with interventions and progress data?

Making best use of TAs time

A third of the time teachers are just being part of the classroom audience – that raises questions around value for money.  The TA repeats word-for-word the teachers instructions for a specific child, creating “stereo-teaching” – the child is now trying to listen to two voices instead of one.

Decisions about Practice

Set TAs free from unhelpful patterns of behaviour that underpin less effective types of talk:

  • The impulse to complete tasks
  • Not allowing time for pupils to think and respond
  • Taking peer role of “talk partner”

Teachers use more open ended questions than TAs who used closed questioning.    Need to reflect on forms of questioning that keep responsibility for learning with pupil.  Pupils can become dependent on TA, they can almost not engage with work unless TA does the work for the pupil.  Changing this helps to avoid spoon-feeding and pupils developing independence.

Key Findings

All the schools involved made widespread changes “no going back” to how things were.  Teachers spent more time with pupils with SEN – a professional satisfaction.

  • Teachers made better use of TA time in lessons.
  • TAs questioning improved.
  • Quality and clarity of lesson plans improved; less “going in blind”.
  • TAs feel more valued, appreciated, more confident about role.

 

Questions, Comments, Discussion

  • In your research were TAs more effectively used in Primary than Secondary given they more often stay in 1 classroom?  The research seems to suggest not, but there are greater challenges in secondary schools moving from classroom to classroom, where inconsistency is much more of an issue according to the research.
  • Where were the schools located?  The first study was from England & Wales and representative of the population, e.g. rural v urban.

 

Further reading

  • Reassessing the impact of Teaching Assistants – that’s the research
  • Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants – designed for Head Teachers and Teachers
  • Teaching Assistants: A guide to good practice – download at www.oxfordprimary.co.uk

SEN Conference – Pupil Premium

The third session of the Hampshire County Council SEN Conference was entitled “Pupil Premium” and led by Glynis Wright, County Inspector/Adviser (PDL)

HCC governor services

Outcomes, outcomes, outcomes

What do we want for all of our young people?

To maximise potential, to be self-assured, confident, enthused with great aspirations with life skills prepared for adult life.

Interestingly when we talk with parents they don’t include academic achievement.

The Pupil Premium has been given to this to help resolve this.

FSM, Service Children, CiC, SEN

In each school we will have pupils on FSM, pupils entitled to FSM but parents haven’t completed paperwork.  The news this week about pupils in Infant schools gaining FSM will change this, especially if widened to .

CiC may be worth double funding if they’ve been registered for FSM – £900 for FSM Ever 6 and a claim for being in care for 6 months plus.  Service children can claim £300.  Under Ever3 you can claim for 3 years after the parent(s) have left the forces.  So are you asking the questions that need to be asked.

SEN children some of whom gain additional funding, and some you find funding for from the budget.  If you have Service Children with SEN there is a concern over the delay in getting them assessed – the issue of turbulence contributing.

Who are the vulnerable groups in your schools?

What characteristics might they show?  Traveller families, SEN, CiC, high turbulence, young carers, EAL, BME, boys.  OFSTED will want to know how you’re addressing these issues, and what individual teachers are doing to address these needs.

For those CYP who are vulnerable but as yet gained no funding how can you scoop up and help them benefit from what htey’re putting in place.  218 out of 581 schools responded to Pupil Premium survey – used a small portion of Pupil Premium to better train Teachers and Staff, e.g. in doing 1-2-1 or peer educators – that is how it will be sustainable post 2015 if the funding stops.

Background to Pupil Premium

Introduced in April 2011 for FSM only at £450.  No real pressure on schools, and so an ad-hoc system developed with some schools putting it in general budget.  £623 in 2012.  £900 in 2013 with the proviso of accountability.  Only 47% of HCC Schools have anything on website in March 2013.  Will be £1,300 for Primary only on 1st April 2014.  Josie Matthews at HCC says still no news for Secondary, but £500 catch up for every child who arrives in school with no Level 4+ in English and Maths.

Sutton Trust EEF Teaching and Learning Toolkit 2011 “What works”

  1. Effective feedback
  2. Metacognition and self-regulation
  3. Peer tutoring
  4. Early intervention
  5. 1-2-1 tutoring
  6. ICT
  7. Phonics
  8. Parental involvement

Sutton Trust Research 2013

  1. Effective feedback ££ +8mths
  2. Metacognition and self-regulation ££ +8mths
  3. Peer tutoring ££££ +6mths
  4. Early Years interventions £££££ +6mths
  5. 1-2-1 tutoring ££££ +5mths
  6. Homework (secondary) £££ +5mths
  7. Collaborative learning £ +5mths
  8. Phonics £ +4mths

What else

Sometimes schools are too focussed on academic – more of the same that has already failed them.  We need to help unlock their lust ofr learning.  Some of these soft interventions do make a real difference:

  • Breakfast clubs
  • After-school programmes – e.g. ROC challenge, school productions
  • Multi-agency teams in school
  • Parenting support
  • Allocate best teachers to disadvantaged children

Yes you need to show progress but there are other ways of measuring in addition to levels of progress.

OFSTED Report January 2013

Pupil Premium: How schools are spending the funding successfully to maximise achievement is the follow up to the report published in September 2012.  Need to use the Pupil Premium Analysis & Challenge Toolkit for Schools:

  • Governor’s knowledge and awareness
  • Leaders and managers actions
  • Pupil’s progress and attainment

Overall, will governors know and be able to intervene quickly if outcomes are not improving in the way that they want them to?

The Government have been very clever putting the onus on Governors and have parents as sentry’s checking up on this via the info you have to place on your website.

 

SEN Conference – Implementing the SEN reforms – the next phase

The first session of the Hampshire County Council SEN Conference was entitled “Implementing the SEN reforms – the next phase” and led by Andre Imich, SEN & Disability Profession Adviser for the DfE.

HCC governor services

£5.9bn spent per year on SEN in Education.  It has undergone little change whilst the rest of public services, education and the voluntary sector has seen much change.  The focus now is less on assessment and more on outcomes.  The Government wanted a review so that people felt listened to and involved in the change.

In 2011 Councils were asked to be pathways which Hampshire and Southampton have tried – it’s been challenging and led to robust dialogue.  Much of the forward agenda is based and supported through pathfinders.  Change has been where possible evidence based.

In February 2013 the Children and Families Bill was published with the hope that it becomes an Act next year.  Since March 2013 published Draft Codes.  The 1996 Education Act is only a spine, it is the Code and Regulations which affect the day-to-day.  Talking to Parliament has been a long and challenging process – it is due in the House of Lords next week, and expecting some debate.  SEN dominates two thirds of the bill, and getting most of the interest in Parliament.

Our Vision

  • Children’s SEN are picked up early and support is routinely pt in place quickly.  //  Change to funding should bring clarity of roles, the more schools are given money the more they can put things in place outside of bureaucratic processes.
  • Staff have knowledge, understanding and skills to provide the right support for CYP who have SEN or are disabled.  //  What makes the difference is what staff do in the day to day work rather than staff in County Hall.
  • Parents know what they can reasonably expect their local school college, LA and local services to provide, without having to fight for it.  //  Focus on parents rights but process has been so complex they haven’t been able to mobilise their rights.
  • Aspirations for CYP is raised through an increased focus on life outcomes.  //  The SEN gap has not narrowed at all which is an issue, children with SEN are 8 more times likely to be bullied, they are more likely to be excluded, more likely to have poor attendance, more likely to be in the NEET population – we need to focus on supporting older young people to get into a productive situation when education drops off the agenda.  We need to focus on the outcomes we are striving for.
  • For more complex needs, an integrated assessment and a single Education, Health and Care Plan from birth to 25.
  • There is greater control for parents and young people over the services they and their family use.

Children and Families Bill 2013 – 7 Key Highlights

1. Involvement of children, young people and parents at the heart of the legislation.

This is a cultural change.  Came out with a Green Paper in 2011 with the vision for the future which was welcomed by many people – mainly because like through a stick of rick parents, children and young people were the focus.  With the Bill it was clear this had become lost – this is hard to write into statutory language.  People obey law without grace – they do it because they have to.  But we want to see the way we interact with families and they interact with us.  We all have room for change on this front.  Also tried to include parents at the heart of other parts of the agenda, e.g. Local Offer requires CYP and parental involvement by law.  At school level we want to see reviews to be genuinely personal, involving parents and CYP in the policy and new approaches, e.g. the new National Curriculum.

2. More co-ordinated assessment process; new 0-25 Education, Health and Care Plan

The system works but it is clunky, mechanistic approach that is not really about the individual, but a group of professionals writing a report which the LA Officer has to make sense of, write to the family and the family write to the LA.  These are challenging children which challenges the views of professionals – we need much better sharing and dialogue.  We need discussion of provision for outcomes – practices that actually work – it’s too easy to recommend x, y, or z because that’s what we’ve always done without thinking about how it helps the child’s learning.

Assessment and Planning

31 LAs working as Pathfinders – each allowed to do it how they want which led to diverse ways of doing.

  • We need to see assessment as genuine reviews that are person-centred.
  • A “tell us once” approach to sharing information – many families complain about having to say their story several times – this is idealistic but we can certainly improve.
  • CYP and families at centre; involved in making decisions throughout – amazing how often the child’s voice is not heard in the statement or the professional advice.
  • Effective co-ordination between education, health and care services – we’ve not got there yet – something we need to continue to work on.
  • Practitioners engaged and committed to single assessment and planning – it’s often quite easy to change parental ways of working but practitioners still struggle to change, e.g. writing about child’s views.
  • Key-working approaches to provide a single point of contact – working with families with most complex needs, warmly welcomed by families, very good in early years but problems with rules and laws in school system mean it hasn’t worked their properly.  Having someone dedicated to them to help them work through the system.

EHCPs – different from statements.

  • Personal centred, focussed on outcomes, specific about provision – some examples are first person as though written by the young person.
  • Clear, concise, readable and accessible.
  • Fulfill statutory duties and support portability across areas.
  • Support preparation for key transition points.

3. LA, health and care services to commission services jointly re: SEN & disabilities.

  • New duty for health to work together with education and care to provide and arrange local services for CYP who have SEN.
  • Amendment to Bill (March 2013): a legal duty on Clinical Commissioning Groups to secure the health services that are specified in EHC Plans.  //  A duty for the individual child.

 

4. LAs to publish a clear, transparent local offer of services for all CYP with SEN

  • Fantastic bits of work in LAs and voluntary sector but often not clear what services are available and how to access them.
  • The LA will be statutory required to work with local families and parents to develop the local offer.
  • Every school, health and care service is under a statutory obligation to co-operate and share with the LA.

5. New statutory protections for young people aged 16-25; stronger focus on preparing for adulthood.

School system of statements, School Action and School Action +, and a system called Learning Difficulty Assessments for those in College and FE.  Not much in common between the two systems so creating a single system, bringing in statutory protection and rights for 16-25 year olds.  Young people will be allowed to appeal to tribunal for the first time.

In terms of definition:

  • Children is 0-16 – up to statutory leaving age which is still 16 years old.
  • A young person is those aged 17+.  Their rights are invested in themselves not their parents, e.g. correspondence will be directed to them, discussion primarily with them, the only party who can appeal to the tribunal unless the YP lacks capacity – which is a legal minefield.

6. Offer of a personal budget for families and young people with a Plan, extending choice ad control over their support.

At the end of the plan will be a list of costs/resources that are required – which will sometimes include additional support beyond what is normally available within education.  It is an area of controversy.

This is an optional thing – not many families actually want to take it up – not really about money or purchasing equipment, but about the personalisation of their programme – having a greater degree of control over the provision.

7. All SEN duties to apply equally to all schools, incl. Academies and Free Schools

Parents and children should see no difference in treatment regardless of schools.

 

Further Key Developments.

School Governing Bodies 

Must ensure there is a qualified teacher designated as a SENCo.  In a Free School, only 1 teacher by law has to be qualified – the SENCo – that is how important the SEN agenda is.

Publication of information changing from 17 to publish on their website about the implementation of the Governing Body’s policy for pupils with SEN, must be updated annually, the information required to be set out in regs.

 

SEN Support

  • In accurate identification of School Action and School Action +.  Now having a single category of SEN Support – refocus on genuine SEN that require additional support.
  • 1.25mn children are on School Action and School Action + so need a large-scale review.

 

BESD – Behaviour and Emotional Support Difficulties

  • 52% of respondents judged the current category as a catch all and focussed on poor behaviour.
  • The new Code will have a redefined category.

 

The new (0-25) SEN Code of Practice

  • The new SEN Code will be a draft for consultation.
  • It will be a single piece of statutory guidance to replace the current Code of Practice, the Learning Difficulties Assessment guidance and the DfE’s Inclusive Schooling guidance.
  • It will cover 0-25.
  • Everyone has to have regard to it – you must do what is in the Code of Practice unless you can demonstrate a reason for doing it a different way that is equally as good or better.

Implications for Governors of schools and colleges

  • New Code of Practice will be in place for Sept 2014 – the final code will come in April or May following Parliament.
  • Reinforced role of SENCo
  • Application of Additional SEN Support Category
  • Putting parents and children at the heart of the system
  • Greater clarity about what school/college provides – clearer info published on each school/college’s website.
  • Work with LA on local offer
  • Working with Education, Health and Care Plans – used instead of Statements, will look different, more person centered which affects Annual Reviews.
  • Improved transition planning and arrangements.
  • Support families in using personal budgets.
  • Outcomes / outcomes / outcomes

 

Timetable for Reform

  • 2013 – improved Bill in Parliament
  • Spring 2014 – Royal Assent
  • September 2014 – reforms go live (meeting original green paper commitment).

 

There will be a graduated transition over a 3 year period, with the LA responsible for planning that.  All new assessments from September 2014 will be done the new way.  LAs can start doing it this way now, there are no barriers or legal issues with doing it this way.

Change of School Action to SEN Support could be done in 1 term due to the termly review all pupils have.

 

Questions, Comments, Discussion

  1. In terms of the practitioners being involved in the assessment – how often – and who will be reviewing it to ensure the outcomes are met?  The day-to-day level will be managed by the school, and school governors have a duty to ensure that it is done.  Requirement for an annual (at least) review, and requirements on professionals to co-operate so should see much healthier reviews.  Schools will be co-ordinating the reviews, not the LA.  Schools have always had to manage their process – it is some of the services who will feel the pressure.
  2. How will parents be informed about the changes, and how iwll they be advised to implement the budget to gain the outcomes?  Worked with lots of voluntary organisations who will communicate alongside government.  Will have a Code of Practice for CYP and Parents.  Since the last Code of Practice Parent-Carer Forums have come into play.  Hope published info on local offer will also help.  The LA have to provide support from trained people if parents wish to take the budget up.
  3. Multi-agency work seems to be lowering with a focus instead on SENCo and Schools.  Schools don’t want to exclude children but feel they’ve done all they could and their is a limit of services.  The Local Commissioning Groups, should identify gaps of provision and increase the provision over a number of years.  Not an overnight formula, but should work at the general level of local provision and also individual children.
  4. What support is their for CYP and Parents who don’t have the capacity to engage with the process?  Who will help them?  Parent-Partnership services have held their hands through the progress, there will be an announcement on the theory of key-workers – that needs targeted to the families who you refer to.  We genuinely believe there isn’t a parent out there who doesn’t want the best for their child.  Unlike CAF key workers there will be greater support for these, and will be funded.
  5. Can parents still request an assessment?  Yes, wasn’t clear in the original guidance, made clearer.
  6. All very well, but if professionals not in place how will it work, e.g. physiotherapists and speech therapists aren’t accessible currently.  The market will need to develop and will take time, but sometimes we provide services, e.g. TAs without thinking how to get the best value, rather than using evidence based assessment.  Some children now who are seen as requiring therapy who probably need better support in classrooms.  There will always be issues of quantity and supply, most schools want Educational Psychology time, they’re willing to pay for it but it is still difficult to gain it.  Schools will choose how they spend their money.
  7. Work within Health, hear what you’re saying, want to get into schools, but more cutbacks coming which will challenge it, Commissioners need to talk with Education to resolve this.  The Duty on Health will help this, and CCG’s will have to react.  There are 212 CCGs compared with 252 LAs which will lead to some challenges.
  8. Secondary Governor, in one of the most deprived areas in the country, the concept of trialling for after 16s is critical – we need more apprenticeships – it is only up to firms good will.  Put in place supported internship, expect employers to take on apprentices as per Disability Discrimination Act.  They may require longer time at school to develop basic skills such as literacy, which will have flexibility, especially in the 16-19 Agenda.  One fifth of schools are secondary in the country.
  9. Do parents have a duty to undertake an assessment, do parents have the right to stop an assessment going ahead.  They have the right to voice an opinion if it is requested by the school.  The LA then has to make a decision on whether or not to proceed.  They can proceed without parental permission.  However, it is a long-time since when an LA has done this given the assessments own’t work without parental support.  The LA find that time works – time to dialogue and reach a consensus.
  10. Little confidence that health would engage financially – what power would a key worker have to bring health to the table, and what financial incentive is there for health?  Key workers don’t have powers, they are there to support parents.  DOn’t underestimate the challenge but driven it through the legal framework, so it will happen.  On a general level there are struggles.  There is no funding, but they have t reflect on their priorities – SEN CYP are one of the few groups that have a legal standing as a priority for health care services.