A report said that the estimated prevalence of autism (including Asperger's Syndrome) in school age children in Northern Ireland had increased by 67 per cent across all health and social care trusts between 2008-09 and 2013-14, from 1.2 per cent of the compulsory school age population to 2.0 per cent.
Source: The Prevalence of Autism (including Asperger's Syndrome) in School Age Children in Northern Ireland 2014, Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety
A special issue of a journal examined a range of issues related to educational inclusion.
Source: British Journal of Sociology of Education, Volume 35 Issue 5
Links: Table of contents
Notes: Articles included:
Wayne Veck, 'Disability and inclusive education in times of austerity'
Mairtin Mac an Ghaill and Chris Haywood, 'Pakistani and Bangladeshi young men: re-racialization, class and masculinity within the neo-liberal school'
Kate D'Arcy, 'Home education, school, Travellers and educational inclusion'
An article examined estimates of societal economic costs, including indirect costs, associated with autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs) in the United Kingdom and the United States of America. It said that the cost of lifetime support for an individual with an ASD and intellectual disability was over $2 million in the United States and ï¿½1.5 million in the United Kingdom. It said that the largest cost components for children were special education services and parental productivity loss, while for adults the highest costs related to supported accommodation/residential care and individual productivity loss, and medical costs were much higher than for children. It discussed implications for policy, including in addressing the impact on parents.
Source: Ariane Buescher, Zuleyha Cidav, Martin Knapp, and David Mandell, 'Costs of autism spectrum disorders in the United Kingdom and the United States', Journal of American Medical Association Pediatrics, Volume 168 Issue 8
A series of reports provided results from stage 2 of an evaluation of the special educational needs and disability (SEND) pathfinder programme. SEND was intended to provide personalized care and assistance through a continual birth-to-25 system, and was due to be implemented from September 2014. Reports from the pathfinder evaluation covered topics including: findings from the qualitative research conducted with 31 families who participated in the new education, health and care planning pathway (and received an EHC plan); understanding the comparative costs of providing the special educational needs (SEN) processes for newcomers to the SEN system; collaborative working with the health sector; collaborative working with the social care sector; engagement of schools; and the transition to post-16 provision and engagement of providers in that sector.
Source: Lucy Smith, Genevieve Cameron, and Tim Vanson, Evaluation of the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Pathfinder Programme ï¿½ Impact Research Report: Qualitative research with families (second cohort), Research Report 356A, Department for Education
Source: Meera Craston, Christopher Carr, Rhian Spivack, and Graham Thom, Evaluation of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Pathfinder Programme: Understanding the comparative costs of delivering the EHC planning and SEN Statementing processes for newcomers to the SEN system, Research Report 356B, Department for Education
Source: Meera Craston, Tarran Macmillan, Kathryn Hill, and Christopher Carr, Evaluation of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Pathfinder Programme ï¿½ Thematic Report: Collaborative working with health, Research Report 356C, Department for Education
Source: Rhian Spivack, Meera Craston, and Rachel Redman, Evaluation of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Pathfinder Programme ï¿½ Thematic Report: Collaborative working with social care, Research Report 356D, Department for Education
Source: Kathryn Hill, Graham Thom, Christopher Carr, and Maya Agur, Evaluation of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Pathfinder Programme ï¿½ Thematic Report: Engagement of schools, Research Report 356E, Department for Education
Source: Graham Thom, Maya Agur, and Kerry Daff, Evaluation of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Pathfinder Programme ï¿½ Thematic Report: Transition and the engagement of post-16 providers, Research Report 356F, Department for Education
A report evaluated schemes that piloted the extension of the right to make an appeal or claim to the Special Educational Needs Tribunal for Wales to children and young people. It concluded that the systems and processes were in place and generally well regarded, but a lack of use of the new right during the evaluation period meant that the systems had not yet been fully tested, and there were some outstanding areas of uncertainty.
Source: Duncan Holtom, with Sarah Lloyd-Jones and Jack Watkins, Evaluation of a Pilot of Young People's Rights to Appeal and Claim to the Special Educational Needs Tribunal for Wales – Final report, Research Paper 65/2014, Welsh Government
A report examined the potential use of POET (a personal outcomes evaluation tool) for measuring impact in education, health and social care plans, and personal budgets for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities. It said that the limited initial testing of the first iteration of the tool had demonstrated its potential.
Source: Measuring the Outcomes of EHC Plans and Personal Budgets, In Control
The Scottish Government published its response to a consultation on draft guidance on improving access to education, as required by the Disability Strategies and Pupils' Educational Records (Scotland) Act 2002.
Source: Planning Improvements for Disabled Pupils' Access to Education: Consultation report, Scottish Government
Links: Consultation response
The government issued new non-statutory advice to schools in England regarding mental health and behaviour. It said that one in ten children and young people aged 5 to 16 had a clinically diagnosed mental health disorder and around one in seven had problems at a less severe level. The advice had been developed to clarify the responsibility of schools and to identify how to support a child or young person whose behaviour may be related to an unmet mental health need. The advice would be reviewed in October 2014.
Source: Mental Health and Behaviour in Schools: Departmental advice for school staff, Department for Education
The Welsh Government began consultation on proposals to introduce a new legislative framework for supporting children and young people with additional learning needs, including: changes to the processes of assessment, planning, and monitoring; the provision of information and advice; and provision for resolving concerns and appeals. The consultation would close on 25 July 2014.
Source: Legislative Proposals for Additional Learning Needs, WG21275, Welsh Government
Links: White paper
A report examined the experiences of learners with dyslexia in primary, secondary, and special schools, the provision made by local authorities, and the programmes of initial teacher education currently offered by universities in Scotland. It said that local authorities were improving services for supporting learners with dyslexia, but provision needed to be more consistent. The report made a range of recommendations for improvements including training, the recording and meeting of need, and early intervention.
Source: Making Sense: Education for children and young people with dyslexia in Scotland, Education Scotland
The government began consultation on the revised draft special educational needs and disability code of practice for 0-25 year olds. The consultation would close on 6 May 2014.
Source: Revision to the SEN and Disability Code of Practice: 0-25 years, Department for Education
A government department published reports that evaluated progress on the special educational needs and disability (SEND) pathfinder programme in England, and examined the pathfinders' readiness to implement key reforms (related to the Children and Families Bill) to provide better support to children and young people and their families. The second report also reviewed the effectiveness of the pathfinder champions.
Source 1: Tarran Macmillan, Rhian Spivack, Graham Thom, and Meera Craston, The SEN and Disability Pathfinder Programme Evaluation: Progress and indicative costs of the reforms, Research Report RR330, Department for Education
Source 2: Kathryn Hill, Meera Craston, Kerry Daff, and Tarran Macmillan, The SEN and Disability Pathfinder Programme Evaluation: Readiness for reform and effectiveness of Pathfinder Champions, Research Report RR329, Department for Education
The Children and Families Act 2014 was given Royal assent. The Act provided for (among other things): reform of the adoption system; the introduction of greater flexibility in parental leave arrangements; reform of the system of special educational needs; strengthening the role of the children's rights watchdog; reduction in delays in the family justice system; and reduction in regulation of the childcare sector.
Source: Children and Families Act 2014, Department for Education, TSO
A paper provided an overview of findings from research into the reading and dyslexia of oral deaf children. It said that half of the children in the study had reading difficulties and, although the research had identified deaf children with dyslexic profiles, not all of those children were among the poorest readers. The paper called for specialist and individualized intervention along similar lines to that currently offered to hearing children with dyslexia.
Source: Rosalind Herman, Penny Roy, and Fiona Kyle, Reading, Dyslexia and Oral Deaf Children: From research to practice, City University, London
The Northern Ireland Assembly published a cross-departmental strategy and action plan for people with autism, outlining a whole of life approach for service provision.
Source: The Autism Strategy (2013 ï¿½ 2020) and Action Plan (2013 ï¿½ 2016), Northern Ireland Executive
A government minister announced an additional £30 million of funding to recruit and train 1800 independent supporters to assist parents through the new special educational needs process that would arise following the enactment of proposals in the Children and Families Bill. The supporters would be drawn from independent voluntary, community and private organizations and would be available by September 2014 to assist parents. The Council for Disabled Children would now trial the recruitment and training.
Source: Press release 7 January 2014, Department for Education
A report evaluated keyworking in relation to the Education, Health and Care (EHC) assessment and planning process, as part of the overall evaluation of the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Pathfinder Programme. The EHC was designed to lead to a single, co-ordinated plan for education, health and care and the report said that keyworking during this phase needed to cover four main areas: co-ordination; planning and assessment; information and signposting; and emotional and practical support. It said that co-producing the EHC Plan with families could be time-consuming and emotionally demanding, and that co-ordinating provision across different professionals and service areas required strong organizational skills and the authority and ability to influence. The report said that different staffing models had been adopted in the five pathfinder areas. It outlined issues around training and development, and said that longer term plans for key working needed to consider how to deliver ongoing support.
Source: Kathryn Hill, Meera Craston, Kerry Daff, and Graham Thom, Special Educational Needs and Disability Pathfinder Programme Evaluation Thematic Report: Key working and workforce development (Pt 1), Research Report 326A, Department for Education
A report evaluated the Education, Health and Care (EHC) Planning Pathway for families that were new to the special educational needs system, as part of the overall evaluation of the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Pathfinder Programme. The EHC was designed to lead to a single, co-ordinated plan for education, health and care and the report said that the new processes could lead to better quality plans, as they enabled professionals to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the child or young person. The five pathfinder areas appeared to retain their previous approaches to eligibility, but the report noted three main differences between the new method and the former SEN statementing process: more emphasis on gathering information from across services at the point of referral; greater involvement of the family at assessment and planning phases; and a more family centred plan with greater focus on outcomes. The report noted the key challenges and proposed solutions.
Source: Rhian Spivack, Meera Craston, Graham Thom, and Christopher Carr, Special Educational Needs and Disability Pathfinder Programme Evaluation Thematic Report: The Education, Health and Care (EHC) Planning Pathway for families that are new to the SEN system, Research Report 326B, Department for Education