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More than a few marvellous words on autism with Steve Silberman

Issue 14 of The SEND Practitioner published on Saturday 13 February.

Our in-depth discussion with the New York Times bestselling author of Neurotribes was well-received.

Steve Silberman tackled our readers’ questions with aplomb, discussing:

  • Whether a normal person can fully realise and understand the autistic day-to-day realisation of simply not belonging.
  • How SENCOs can best support secondary school autistic children in mainstream classes.
  • The merits of pursuing causation research.
  • The differences between genders vis a vis autistic traits.
  • The value of Asperger’s case studies for supporting personalisation in education.
  • Lorna Wing’s legacy.
  • The future of autism.

Read issue 14 of The SEND Practitioner.

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We’re recruiting for two marketing professionals

We’re pleased to announce that we’re searching for two part-time marketing professionals to join our growing company at our offices in London and Canterbury.

If you’re looking for a dynamic and exciting role where you can really cut your marketing teeth, then this might just be the job for you.

If you’re interested in either of these positions, simply download the attachments below.

The application deadline is 17.00 on 18 January 2016. If you have any queries, call us and ask for Geraldine Bloomfield.

Edward Timpson’s speech outlines his perception of the SEND reforms’ progress

On 11 November 2015, Edward Timpson, the Children’s and Families Minister, addressed the Council for Disabled Children (CDC) conference on the progress of the SEND reforms.

‘All areas are well on with implementing the reforms:

  • They all have transition plans in place and are making progress.
  • They all have a Local Offer — although there is still work to do to improve their quality and local co-production arrangements. Where real thought, creativity and co-operation has flourished, it’s had great results.
  • Take the good example of a strong Local Offer in the Isle of Wight, for instance. They set up a ‘Young Inspector’ Programme to increase the involvement [of] children and young people with disabilities and additional needs, and these Young Inspectors have gone on to make a significant contribution to the Isle of Wight’s Local Offer.
  • Parent Carer Forums and Independent Supporters are up and running in every area.
  • And it’s great to see so many Forums actively shaping implementation in their local area — in June, a survey of Parent Carer Forums said that 67% were very, or extremely, well engaged. 67% is good. 100% would be of course much better, but it’s encouraging all the same.
  • And 90% of parents and young people who had help from an Independent Supporter said it was very useful, a clear justification for their introduction to help the reforms bite and enable families to be — and feel — much better supported through the assessment and planning stages in particular.’

Read Edward Timpson’s speech in full.

Examining Channel 4’s Educating Cardiff through the eyes of Ian Whittaker

Just under one year ago, we were privileged to interview key members of staff from Channel 4’s Educating the East End. With this in mind, Educating Cardiff — the latest incarnation of the series — espouses a similarly pupil-centred approach to its predecessor. We were delighted, therefore, to be able to pose our readers’ questions to Ian Whittaker (assistant head teacher, SEN line manager and star of the show). The latest issue of The SEND Practitioner contains this interview and published earlier on this month.

‘We choose to work in this school because we choose to work for the underdog. It would be easy to go somewhere else, but our members of staff are profoundly committed to pupils as individuals — their life stories, their backgrounds and their families.’

Ian Whittaker

Read the 13th issue of The SEND Practitioner.

The DfE publishes its SEN statistics

on 29 September 2015, the DfE’s press office spoke to us and confirmed that ‘Children with special needs — an analysis 2015’ would still be published, but in a slightly different way: ‘to make it more user friendly and better organised’. On 4 November, the DfE remained true to their word by publishing ‘Special educational needs: an analysis and summary of data sources’.

Read their analysis.

Access the DfE’s full range of SEN statistics.

The DfE’s response to the cancellation of ‘Children with special needs: an analysis – 2015’

During the course of the day, we noticed that the DfE’s ‘Children with special needs: an analysis – 2015’ statistics release hadn’t been published. Indeed, the DfE’s message on its website contained the following message:

Statistics release cancelled

From 2015, we shall cease the publication of ‘Children with special educational needs: an analysis’ in its current format. This change will mean that SEN data and associated commentary will no longer be collated from other source data; however, we shall replace this with a document signposting users to all relevant releases, with a cover note on date of releases, to enable them to find existing data easily in a timely manner on gov.uk.’

For more detail, see http://bit.ly/1MYh3wY

As a result of this, we spoke to a DfE press officer a few moments ago. He provided us with the following statement:

‘Ultimately, the publication itself hasn’t been cancelled. We’re changing the way that it’s published to make it a bit more user friendly and better organised really. So, it will be published there in due course and it will be regularly updated rather than published annually. So, it was slightly misleading what was originally on there, so we hope that that clears it up a little bit.’

We asked for a ballpark publication date, but he was unable to provide us with a firm figure. He did, however, assure us that he will keep us posted. In turn, we will let you know as soon as we have an inkling.

Examining hearing impairment with Susan Daniels OBE

Hearing impairment with Susan Daniels

‘Deafness is not a learning disability and yet in England just 36% of deaf children achieved five good GCSEs last year, compared to 65% of hearing children.’ Susan Daniels OBE in the 12th issue of The SEND Practitioner

In line with Susan Daniel’s startling statistic, we published the 12th issue of The SEND Practitioner on the day of the GCSE results.

Read issue 12 of The SEND Practitioner.

Sign up to The SEND Practitioner.

Our SEND Programme delegates graduate at Middlesex University

It was lovely and rewarding to witness a small proportion of our dedicated delegates receive their PGCerts and MEds at Middlesex University this morning. To see their months and years of hard work come to fruition on their day of graduation means a great deal to all of us at Real Training. Congratulations to all of our hard-working graduates today, it’s been a pleasure to have studied with you.

Find out more about our Master of Education (MEd) and the SEND Programme.

The SEN-reform health check with Brian Lamb OBE

‘If you stick with the values behind the Code of Practice – with its real focus on outcomes (not provision) and on parental and young people’s involvement – you will see real, improved outcomes. … Let these positive outcomes determine your path and your provision will follow.’ Brian Lamb in the 11th issue of The SEND Practitioner

We published the 11th issue of The SEND Practitioner with Brian Lamb yesterday – nine months to the day from when the SEN reforms kicked into play.

Read issue 11 of The SEND Practitioner.

Sign up to The SEND Practitioner.

We’ve just had a great time at nasen Live

We had a super time exhibiting at nasen live on 20–21 May. It was great to meet so many people and to introduce them to the merits of our Professional Assessment Programme; National Award; CCET and MEd SEND. We also enjoyed attending excellent talks by leading education lawyer Mark Blois and nasen chief executive Jane Friswell – both of whom have featured in our online publication: The SEND Practitioner.

Sign up to The SEND Practitioner.

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