April 2019 Newsletter

Dear Colleagues

I hope that you are all looking forward to your holiday – it has been a long term and I wish you all a very relaxing Easter break.

LA Stakeholders meeting on Local Area Inspections

On 28th March Sue Hewitt, FLSE Chair, attended the LA Stakeholders meeting at the DfE. The meeting was to give an update on the Local Area Inspections. Sue has shared the notes from this meeting on the FLSE website: https://flse.sendforum.org/resources/

Equals and FLSE (North East) Aspects of Engagement Response

Representatives of Equals and FLSE North East recently met to consider the potential statutory imposition of the Aspects of Engagement by the DfE. They presented their report at the recent National SEND Forum meeting. You can find a copy on the FLSE website: https://flse.sendforum.org/resources/

We would welcome any comments from members on this topic.

Girls and Autism

The NAHT recently hosted an excellent conference dedicated to Girls and Autism. The day was very well attended and also saw the launch of a new book Girls and Autism – Educational, Family and Personal Perspectives. The book is edited by Barry Carpenter, Francesca Happë and Jo Egerton and is published by Routledge. Every chapter gives a different ‘voice’ to this much needed topic.


pdnet Standards and training

pdnet is a long-established national organisation that provides professionals in education with support in promoting positive outcomes for children and young people with physical disability.

Pdnet recently secured some DfE funding and have produced the pdnet standards. The pdnet Standards provide a practical structure for schools and settings to self-evaluate current provision and reflect on the effectiveness of their organisation in meeting the diverse needs of children and young people with physical disability. A set of Standards has been developed for all three educational phases: Early Years, Schools & Post-16. Four key areas identify the knowledge, skills, actions and attitudes needed to successfully support and nurture a learner with a physical disability


They are also offering Level 1 training – the free online training modules are designed for anyone working within an educational setting who needs to develop their awareness and understanding of physical disability and the impact it can have on learning.


Special Needs Jungle

I am sure many of you already read the excellent articles published by Special Needs Jungle.  The most recent one is based on the meeting that Sue attended (see above).  For many more excellent articles visit their web-site https://specialneedsjungle.com/

Review of post-16 qualifications at level 3 and below in England

Plans to stop funding qualifications that do not provide the same high-quality education as new T Levels and world-class A Levels were published on the 19 March by Education Secretary Damian Hinds.

This consultation is the first stage of the government’s review of post-16 level 3 and below qualifications (excluding T Levels, A Levels and GCSEs). It asks for views on the high-level principles and outlines proposals for the removal of funding approval for unreformed qualifications.

The closing date for the consultation is 10th June.


Home education: call for evidence and revised DfE guidance

The long awaited government response to the consolation on Home Education was published on 2nd April. Many of the respondents to the Call for Evidence are passionate defenders of the right of parents to educate their children at home. The government has no wish to alter that basic right.

However, the government does not believe that the significant increase in children deemed to be educated at home which has taken place in recent years has arisen from any significant growth in those who believe in the virtues of home education for its own sake. Rather, it believes that the factors leading to a significant proportion of the children now receiving education at home are more negative.

The government now intends to consult on possible legislation based on the following:

  • the introduction of a duty on local authorities to maintain a register of children of compulsory school age who do not attend schools of a specified type (mostly state-funded or registered independent schools). This would apply to children who are not receiving their principal education in mainstream schools. It would not apply to those children who are in mainstream schools but are also receiving supplementary education in out of school settings – such as those who may attend an afterschool club, religious settings or a weekend club as an addition to their principal education through a mainstream school;
  • the introduction of a duty on parents to inform their local authority when their child is not attending a mainstream school;
  • the introduction of a duty on settings attended by the children on the register to respond to enquiries from local authorities as to whether a specific child attends that setting;
  • the introduction of a duty on local authorities to provide support to home educating families – if it is requested by such families.

For the response to the initial consultation please visit:


The revised Elected Home Education documentation can be found: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/elective-home-education

FLSE Website Update

The FLSE website will be updated over Easter. If you have anything you would like to share with colleagues please let me have it and I will put on website.

National SEND Forum

As you are all aware the National SEND Forum is enabled by FLSE. You can find the minutes of previous meetings on their website.




Adverse Childhood Events in Education – helping schools to understand and support

Wednesday 1st May

Church House Westminster, Dean’s Yard, London, SW10 3NZ

Almost half of children in the UK experience at least one significant Adverse Childhood Event, such as abuse, neglect or the loss of a parent from their lives. ACEs have a major impact on adult health and wellbeing.



After 26 years in London, and due to increasing visitor demand, the TES SEN Show is expanding in 2019 with the launch of an additional new event: TES SEN North.

TES SEN North 2019 will take place in the heart of Manchester at the iconic Manchester Central, to provide SEN professionals from across the UK with a new opportunity to access high-quality, relevant SEN training, suppliers and learning opportunities, and in turn to provide specialist SEN suppliers, associations and charities with a new way to reach SEN professionals nationally.

10th and 11th May 2019


FLSE East Annual Conference

20th – 21st June 2019

“Innovation In Special Schools Working Differently – Making A Difference”

Venue:  Wyboston Lakes Executive Centre  – Robinson Suite

For further information and booking form: https://flse.sendforum.org/latest-news/

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