The TES is reporting recommendations that Ofsted should have further powers to check on how schools are helping pupils with special educational needs to ensure the benefits of recent reforms reach all vulnerable children.
The Joining the Dots report from LKMco, an education thinktank, warns that provision for young people with special educational needs and disability (SEND) is becoming fragmented – despite reforms which aimed to provide a “simpler and more joined up” system.
“The dominant rhetoric behind reform has been that of ‘autonomy’,” says the report, commissioned by the Driver Youth Trust, a literacy charity.
“Autonomy allows new players to work with schools and some provision has improved substantially as a result. Yet an autonomous environment is also a risky one: in relation to SEND we find that while some schools have thrived, others are struggling to provide high-quality teaching and additional support for their learners…”
“Some headteachers are using their freedom to innovate in ways that have a profound impact on pupils. However, those that lack confidence, experience or understanding of SEND find it harder to respond effectively and not all place an equally high priority on these pupils because they do not see doing so as critical to school improvement,” the report says…
The report finds four key causes of fragmentation:
- Changes to the role of local authorities have been poorly communicated
- An emerging but disorganised middle tier
- A disparate school funding system
- Isolated schools
Read or download the report in full:DYT_JoinTheDotsReportOctober2015
Would you endorse the warnings of increased fragmentation made in this report?
There are 22 recommendations made – including initial teacher training to ensure newly qualified teachers can support SEND pupils – and thoughts or reactions?
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