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Education in the media: 23 October 2017

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Today’s Education in the Media looks at provisions for SEND pupils, and National Professional Qualifications

LGO report

On Monday, 23 October, the Local Government Ombudsman released a report looking into the transfer of statements for pupils with special educational needs (SEND) to Education, Health and Care plans (EHCs). This was covered by BBC Breakfast.

The department is transferring all children with special educational needs on to new, tailored EHC plans by 31 March 2018. EHC plans looks to simplify the process of getting support for SEND pupils, by setting out in a single document the additional support that pupils need to help them with their special education. As of January 2017 more than 60 per cent of pupils need on special education plans had an EHC. We are supporting councils to make sure all statements transferred by the 31st March, and we know that they are making encouraging progress with this.

This is being done by providing ongoing support through funding, professional advice and a wide range of training and resources for education, health and social care professionals.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

We made fundamental changes to the way the SEND support system works for families, putting them at the center of the process. Councils are making encouraging progress, and we are giving them more than £222 million over four years to help them implement the changes, as well as investing £60 million between 2014 and 2018 in Independent Supporters, who help families in every area through the process.

Nearly three-quarters of parents in a recent survey who received an Education Health and Care plan agreed it led to their child getting the help they needed, and the majority are satisfied with the process. Where there are delays, these must be communicated clearly to families – we continue to support councils with advice and resources to make the transfer process as smooth as possible.

National Professional Qualifications

On Friday, 20 October, the department confirmed the new National Professional Qualifications available for teachers to sign up to.

The department has worked with experts from the education sector, and other sectors, to update and improve NPQs to give teachers what they need to be top class leaders – including a stronger emphasis on financial and risk management and improvement strategies for schools and staff.

The new, gold standard NPQs cover the full range of leadership roles in today’s school system, including, for the first time, a National Professional Qualification for Executive Leadership (NPQEL) for MAT leaders and executive headteachers.

Minister for School Standards Nick Gibb said:

We want every child to reach their potential and great teachers, with strong leadership skills, are at the heart of this.

I hope teachers across the country will feel inspired to sign up for these new, strengthened professional qualifications. They are part of our wider programme to improve the status of the teaching profession, including helping to set up the Chartered College of Teaching and investing £75million in high-quality professional development for teachers in the schools that need it most.

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