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Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

In Depth

Careers advice for pupils with SEND

Schools and colleges guide shows how to meet careers guidance benchmarks for pupils with SEND.

The good and the bad of SEND reforms

September marks five years since the Children and Families Act 2014 became law, heralding the biggest reforms to special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in a generation.

Securing support for children with SEN

In the context of funding shortfalls for children with special educational needs, Kamena Dorling, head of policy and public affairs at Coram, looks at the increase in appeals against local authority decisions.

Restraint of children: Legal update

Coram Children's Legal Centre explores new guidance on restraint and restrictive interventions for children with SEND.

Increased demand for EHC plans exacerbates SEND funding crisis

With funds lacking to meet families' expectations of special educational needs and disability services, parents and practitioners have pursued education, health and care plans to obtain support, worsening the cash crisis.

Factors for SEND funding crisis

Research findings support local government calls for a 'reboot' of how SEND services are commissioned.

Legal Update: Disabilities and school exclusions

Kamena Dorling, head of policy and public affairs at Coram Children's Legal Centre, examines the impact of a landmark ruling on school exclusions for children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Special Report: Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Amid increasing funding pressures and demand, councils are working to deliver comprehensive health, care and education support for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

Vulnerable children bear brunt of school exclusion increases

An education select committee report concludes a factor in rising levels of school exclusions is that vulnerable pupils are not getting the support they need. The government is being urged to back inclusive school policies.

Commissioning: Rethinking SEND support

Now the SEND transfer deadline has passed, councils must embed a joint approach to commissioning, says Toni Badnall-Neill.

Legal Update: SEND - Single route of redress national trial

April saw the start of a two-year trial of a process that gives parents and young people a single route of redress regarding SEND concerns.

Councils make SEND progress amid concerns over quality

It has taken four years to transfer most children with special educational needs and disabilities to a new support system. While parents appear satisfied with the process, campaigners have criticised the quality of some care plans.

Councils face EHC plan deadline

Kamena Dorling, group head of policy and public affairs at Coram Children's Legal Centre, examines the need for local authorities to transfer children onto education, health and care plans by the end of March.

Inspections: SEND services

The introduction of area-wide multi-agency inspections of special educational needs and disabilities services has highlighted the challenges of implementing system reforms while continuing to deliver quality provision.

Local focus on SEND in schools

Review shows how councils can improve provision to reduce need for out-of-area residential schools.

Inspections: Special schools

The number of children with disabilities educated at special schools is rising. While the proportion of settings achieving a "good" rating is up, there is wide variation between different types of provider.

The key to improving EHC plans

Education health and care plans for SEND children need reforming not scrapping, say three sector experts.

Outstanding school is full of surprises

The Pendlebury Centre pupil referral unit in Stockport has just been awarded its fifth consecutive "outstanding" rating. Tom de Castella went to meet staff and pupils to find out how it achieves such success.

Proposal to boost pupil behaviour

A Hampshire school's inclusion unit may provide a blueprint for addressing behavioural problems of pupils.

How to deliver better EHC plans

Council for Disabled Children guidance for local authorities on producing education, health and care plans for SEND children.

Special educational needs and disabilities - Policy context

Fundamental reforms to services for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities aim to transform the way support is provided and improve education and care outcomes.

Links between SEND and offending

High numbers of children with SEND enter the youth justice system because of inadequate support.

Life after statements

Sweeping changes to special educational needs policy are on the horizon. Charlotte Goddard examines what the reforms will mean for the many families who currently struggle to get support.

Good Practice

Young people with special needs create sessions to educate peers on sexual health

Volunteering charity is supporting more than 500 young people with learning disabilities or autism to learn about sexual education and lead awareness-raising activities.

How therapy helps deaf children get a better start

Auditory Verbal therapy helps children with hearing loss develop their listerning and spoken language skills, enabling them to better grasp early opportunities.

Speech and language: The 30 million word gap

According to one influential piece of research, disadvantaged children hear 30 million fewer words than their peers. Early years expert James Hempsall explores efforts to address the language gap.

Workshops help families get the right support

Programme of workshops gives parents with disabled children the skills and confidence they need to access support services to improve their families' lives.

South London councils improve SEND commissioning

Consortium of local boroughs form a regional framework.

Bags of inspiration to improve literacy skills

Storytelling initiative supports development of children's communication and language skills, helping to tackle early disadvantage through creative learning.

Inspections Clinic: Supporting pupil attainment

Narrowing the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and better-off peers is a key challenge for leaders across all types of schools and one which Ofsted is keeping a close eye on, reports Jo Stephenson.

Supporting reading literacy, Finland

Globalisation and international migration have increased the number of students from immigrant backgrounds across Europe. For these students, learning the language can play a crucial role in their schoolwork, sense of inclusion in the school and integration into society.

Autism support centres, Essex

Council establishes eight specialist centres in mainstream schools to teach children with autism.

Pontville School, Lancashire

Independent special school has developed a child-centred approach to supporting children's speech and language needs.

WIncKS, Warwickshire

Council quality awards scheme recognises early years settings providing inclusive care for children with SEND.

SEND support for care leavers, Cornwall

Cornwall was the first area in England to introduce health passports to help care leavers keep their medical history at hand.

Collaborative project sees young people help design their own prosthetic limbs

Disabled young people who use prosthetic limbs have worked with technicians and clinicians to devise new products that will improve the comfort and quality of prosthetics, making their lives better.

Young Hackney

Youth participation is embedded throughout Hackney Council's youth services.

Achievement for All - The SEND Bubble

Achievement for All has adapted its online learning platform to deliver free training to youth justice professionals.

Ladybirds and Brookvale nurseries, Halton

Ladybirds and Brookvale nursery cluster caters for a high proportion of children with SEND by having a permanent special educational needs co-ordinator (Senco).

Plymouth City Council

Ofsted has applauded Plymouth for its multi-agency work with families to improve outcomes for children and young people with SEND.

Supported internships, Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire Council's supported internship programme is creating first-time pathways to employment for 18- to 25-year-olds with SEND.

Behind the Inspection Ratings: Holiday scheme standards

Revised inspections for residential holiday schemes for disabled children show that as well as providing high-quality care, the best schemes "add considerably to young people's experiences, progress and development".

Skills for the job: Working with autistic children

Patience and consideration are qualities needed to work effectively with children and young people with autism.

Skills for the Job: Tackling disability prejudice

Children's professionals must recognise all forms of disability prejudice so that they can effectively tackle it.

Skills for the Job: Working with blind children

Understanding the impact of visual impairments can make a difference to the outcomes of children who are blind or partially sighted.



Ethnic Disproportionality in the Identification of Special Educational Needs

Researchers at the University of Oxford analysed data from the National Pupil Database for all pupils in England aged five to 16, between 2005 and 2016, to find out which ethnic groups were disproportionally represented in groups of children with SEN, and which types of SEN this applied to.

Barriers Facing Social Workers Undertaking Direct Work With Children and Young People With a Learning Disability Who Communicate Using Non-Verbal Methods

This study asks social workers to identify the barriers and enablers to undertaking direct work with children and young people who have learning disabilities and communicate non-verbally.

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Reforms 2014: Sencos' Perspectives of the First Six Months

The research section for this special report is based on a selection of academic studies which have been explored and summarised by Research in Practice (www.rip.org.uk), part of the Dartington Hall Trust.

Facilitating the Social Participation of Pupils With Special Educational Needs in Mainstream Schools: A Review of School Based Interventions

This systematic review (of 35 studies) investigated school-based interventions that can facilitate the social participation of pupils with SEN in mainstream preschool and primary classrooms.

Classroom Contexts for Learning at Primary and Secondary School: Class Size, Groupings, Interactions and Special Education Needs

This study looks into the experience of pupils with SEND in terms of class size, the ability mix of teaching groups, and interactions with teachers and teaching assistants.

Recognising and Responding to Young People With Learning Disabilities Who Experience, or Are at Risk of, Child Sexual Exploitation in the UK

Findings from recent studies suggest there is an increased risk of child sexual exploitation (CSE) for young people with learning disabilities. However, there is a lack of evidence concerning how best to protect, identify and support these young people. This exploratory study aimed to address this gap by examining the identification of, and support for sexually exploited young people with learning disabilities.

Disability Differentials in Educational Attainment in England

Researchers from the University of Warwick and the London School of Economics set out to discover how academic and social influences contribute to the educational outcomes and choices of young people with disabilities.

"Yes. They are Listening but Do They Hear Us?" Reflections on the Journey of the Barnardo's Participation Project

Barnardo's Participation Project sought to develop ways of involving disabled children and young people in health, social care and children's services planning.

Permanence for disabled children and young people through foster care and adoption: A selective review of international literature

Review discusses concerns and policy directions regarding permanency, policy shift towards adoption and how this is seen as the gold standard of permanency, despite warnings to avoid such a hierarchy.

Peer support for parents of disabled children part 1: perceived outcomes of a one-to-one service, a qualitative study

Parents of disabled children are encouraged by health services to seek peer support. Delivering one-to-one support services is resource intensive and so it is important their effectiveness is evaluated. This qualitative study considers the impact on both recipients and befrienders.

Enablers of help-seeking for deaf and disabled children following abuse and barriers to protection: a qualitative study

Research indicates deaf or disabled children face three- or four-times the risk of abuse compared with non-disabled peers.

Beyond symptom control for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: what can parents do to improve outcomes?

This narrative review of literature aimed to highlight the need for more quality research on the effectiveness of parenting interventions to treat ADHD and and potential alternative benefits.

Parent-mediated Social Communication Therapy for Young Children with Autism

Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disorder that affects about one per cent of children and young people, and can have a profound effect on children's social development into adulthood.

Factors Affecting Age at Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis in UK

A number of initiatives have aimed to increase early diagnosis of ASD - but are children in fact being diagnosed earlier?

Local Authority Short Breaks Statements: Accessibility and Accuracy

Analysis of statements provided by 63 local authorities in England, plus general recommendations to councils.

Pre-school Hyperactivity Problems and Educational Outcomes in Adolescence

Are young children with behavioural problems and ADHD at risk of poor academic outcomes at 16?