A challenging year ahead, the need for good communication and making sure your voice is heard
Welcome back to the new school year – does that summer holiday already seem months ago? What a year it is going to be in the world of SEN. We have new proposed legislation regarding the Green Paper reforms, we have the Pathfinder projects reporting, we have the Education Select Committee looking into the reforms, we have a new minister for SEN (Edward Timpson MP), we have an advisory group set up to advise on the Green Paper reforms (I have just been invited on to that group so I will make sure the voice of leaders in special education is heard), we have an increasing number of special schools (56 at the last count) and PRUs considering the implications of academy status and finding their place in the new educational landscape, we have the effects of the GCSE fiasco over the summer which would have affected many of our member school students, we have a new OFSTED framework, we have the first specific SEN ITT courses for a generation of teachers being conceived and written and to cap it all we have new funding arrangements coming into force from April next year. Gasp for breath!
Through all that we still have our schools to lead and steering a way through all of the above will be immensely challenging. More than ever we need to make sure our voice is heard. I shall be doing all I can this year to make sure that happens and I know you will all be doing your part too. In this year good two-way communication between all of us is going to be more important than ever. We are here to represent your views so do let us have them and keep in touch with me or any of the FLSE Executive members. David Bateson and Barry Payne are leading on Achievement, Attainment and Progress for children with SEND (I know Barry has had a meeting about KS4 on behalf of FLSE with OFSTED this week and no doubt will update us shortly). Mark Dale-Emberton is leading on the new funding arrangements. Please also support your regional FLSE rep. and for any actions you want taken forward please let them know so that they can bring them to the Executive Meetings.
On Monday 24th there is the 3rd Capita SEN conference and I know many of you will be attending so I look forward to seeing you there.
Best wishes for the new school year and let's make the most of the opportunities we have to influence change in the interests of our students.