Friday, 4 March 2011

Green Paper: D-4

Leaks and lobbying
Look out for CE?

This morning the weekly Times Educational Supplement carries an advance story on the Green Paper, based presumably on a Government leak. (News management: what a tawdry way to run a democracy.) This confirm thats the Green Paper will indeed be published next Tuesday. There is plenty of coy 'ministers will say' etc., but all generalities, nothing concrete.

According to reporter Kerra Maddern, the Green Paper will include –
  • a major 'overhaul' of teacher-training – leading to 'vast improvements'
  • major changes in how children are asessed to make this process 'less adversorial'
  • more placements in special schools for teachers in training
  • scholarships for teachers to study SEN
  • extra training for classroom staff who are not teachers (ncluding training to become teachers)
  • outstanding special schools may become 'teaching schools' to train teachers from their local areas
So far, that's it. No suggestion that, never mind the question of shrinking budgets, the system may be running empty on pedagogy for some groups of children. Still, it is early days, there are four leaking and lobbying days left till D-Day, and after that there will b yet more chances to explore any emerging contraditions (how many we shall be informed on Tuesday –  again 'presumably').

On the adversarial front

Two pages earlier in today's issue, the TES carries a separate article by the same reporter. This reports a joint statement by Independent Parental Special Education Advice and the Advisory Centre for Education. The two advocacy charities predict that newly enacted legislation will result this year in a further hike in the continually rising number of parents' appeals against SEN decisions.

This is one of the things that the Government intends proposals in the forthcoming Green Paper to put a stop to.

Ms Maddern reports –

The Department of Education was unavailable for comment.

Leaks only, one presumes, for the next few days.

Deaf children with other developmental disorders

So far all that has been officially revealed is that the Department puts great emphasis on rejigging 'assessment' (predictive assessment?), and that it is planning ways for teachers to know what they are doing. For some children anyway, and their families, the problems faced are rather wider than this, and run rather deeper.

Following a recent survey by the the University of Manchester, the National Deaf Children’s Society is taking up public cudgels on behalf of multiply disabled children, in advance of the Green Paper. Says Nicola Slator, one of the parents interviewed in the study –

My biggest frustration is that professionals don’t work together. I spend all my time as a go-between, juggling appointments because they don’t work together, when I should be spending more time with Rebecca and my other children. Instead of doctors and teachers focussing only on their area of practice, they need to see the whole child and be willing to work together.

And says Susan Daniels of NDCS –

We are alarmed by the findings of this research which shows services are not geared up to support or care for children who are deaf and have other disabilities. It is particularly shocking to discover the low expectations that some professionals have of these children, often seeing the collection of conditions rather than the child.

There may be further such statements in the lead-up period to the Green Paper (including, dare one expect it, something on behalf of Conductive Education?)


Maddern, K. (2011) SEN Green Paper will call for training overhaul: but reform programme could be at odds with need for departmental spending cuts., Times Educational Supplement, 4 March, p.14

Maddern, K. (2011) Parent power predicted to see surge in SEN ppeals: charities expect legal changes to lead to further rise in tribunal hearings, Times Educational Supplement, 4 March, p.12

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand that this weekend's Sunday Times will have an article by Education Correspondent Jack Grimston ahead of the Green Paper, with a focus on proposals for Free 'special' Schools.

Saturday, 5 March 2011 at 09:30:00 GMT  
Blogger Andrew Sutton said...

Thanks Norman. On Sunday, I may just revert to an old pre-Internet behaviour, voraciously browsing the morning's paper at the newsagent's.

The Murdoch press aside, though, it probably more comfortable and effective to do so via Google Mail.

But ess fun.


Saturday, 5 March 2011 at 10:06:00 GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No sign of the expected article on Free 'special' Schools in today's Sunday Times. Maybe another Sunday?

Sunday, 6 March 2011 at 21:19:00 GMT  

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