Our pick of the most topical news around SEND issues this week
1.Educational support for deaf children in England ‘in complete disarray’
Report on the dwindling support for Deaf children in schools, following a survey by Consortium for Research into Deaf Education led by the National Deaf Children’s Society. Numbers of specialist teachers have fallen by 17% and are likely to plummet as qualified teachers of the Deaf retire. The lack of expertise means that support is dwindling and more Deaf children will fail in mainstream settings.
2.Disabilities are not always obvious. Don’t judge us without knowing the full story
An article about the public perception of invisible disabilities, and the impact on people who have them. How we see ourselves and how we are perceived by others is very closely linked. It points out that we have a long way to go before our community understands that we are surrounded by people with invisible illnesses and disabilities. This chimes perfectly with ASEND’s Come To My Rescue Campaign, raising public awareness of children with invisible disabilities and the struggles
3.Magician Dynamo surprises Hampshire youth club
Encouragement from Magician Dynamo for children at a youth club in Hampshire which supports young people with a range of needs and disabilities. Shows what innovative and heartfelt approaches can do – those who want to see how magic can be a fantastic tool for children with SEN and SEMH needs should also check out the inspirational Kevin Spencer and his work with children and young people with a range of disabilities including Autism and ADHD http://www.spencersmagic.com/hocus-focus/
4.Ongoing benefit changes
Describes move to Universal Credit for families with a disabled child. By December 2018 the full Universal Credit service will apply to new claims by families with fewer than three dependent children everywhere in the country, and by March 2022 all existing claimants of means-tested benefits and tax credits. Contact a Family are concerned that many families with disabled children will be worse off on Universal Credit over time.
5.Capital funding for developments to special educational provision – January 2018
An article from Hillingdon council announcing new money for places in specialist SEND provision. On the face of it a good thing and this may go some way to meeting the need for additional special school and alternative provision places. It will do nothing to stem the increasing demand as real terms funding cuts in mainstream school mean then they are ever less able to meet the needs of disabled children in inclusive settings. A perfect storm for SEND.