Five articles that caught our attention this week
In a week where the BBC ran a regular feature in its breakfast show about children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, we have picked out some of the most interesting and topical news items from the news this week.
1. Carrie and David Grant speak out about SEN in their family
TV presenters Carrie and David Grant talk about their four children with various special needs, the need for flexible parenting, their worries that they cannot get the services their children need – and ultimately, their optimism that their input will help the children develop creativity and self-esteem.
2. Why I had to home-educate my daughter
One mother talks about having to educate her daughter who has Special Educational Needs at home despite it being a real struggle. The number of children with an SEN Statement or EHC Plan being home schooled has risen by 57% since 2013. This mother blames the school for not giving her the right support.
3. Guardian Public Service Awards 2017 health and wellbeing winner: Highgate primary school
Interesting report of a Primary school in London that has developed an award-winning pastoral care model using trainee psychotherapists and counsellors. Permanent exclusions and referrals to child and adolescent mental health services this year have been cut to zero. Behaviour has significantly improved and staff wellbeing and retention has also increased. All good – but there will not be enough trainees for every school to emulate this innovative model. And who will employ them once they are qualified?
4. Heartbreaking surge in NSPCC calls from abused disabled children – and how you can help them
The number of desperate disabled children calling Childline for help has surged by 13% in the past year. Over 8,000 children with a wide range of disabilities are calling to report all kinds of abuse and bullying. This is likely to be a massive underrepresentation, as so many disabled children cannot make that call.
5. Help a Hungry Child: Inside the school surrounded by fast food shops where children go hungry
Not directly about SEND but so closely related to it is a report from a school in Greenford which goes out of its way to feed children who come into school with little or no food at breakfast or for lunch. How sad that the UK has so many hungry children that this year the Evening Standard and The Independent‘s Christmas campaign is raising money to provide food in the most disadvantaged primary schools in London.