This is my first update for 2015.
In this update you will find sections entitled:
As I always say, I know how busy everyone is, so please feel free either to read just the sections that are of interest to you or read everything; the choice is always yours
(To ensure you never miss one, you can get my updates by email, by completing your details at the bottom of this page or by using our Social Media links)
STILL GETTING TO GRIPS WITH THINGS
(THE NEW SEN FRAMEWORK)
So it’s now been four months since the implementation of the new SEN framework in September 2014 and everybody is now fully on top of things, aren’t we? Aren’t we??
I am sure that some of you reading this are already now used to doing things differently from before, so may even want to skip over this section. But, for the rest of us, it seems that we are still getting to grips with everything.
Whilst some things appear to have been tweaked or have even stayed the same, there are many others, where there have been some fundamental changes. Unfortunately, I have already seen for myself in the past few months that many people (both parents and professionals) are still finding it quite hard to work out some of the changes that have happened and what they should be doing now.
The most pressing things for everyone currently seem to me, to be, theoretically, the issue of everyone now ‘working together’ and, practically, the issue of transferring ‘Statements’ into ‘Education, Health & Care (EHC) Plans’.
Although I provided information about the latter in my Autumn (Half Term) 2014 update, it seems to me that many people may still benefit from reading this information again (or for the first time if they did not manage to read it back then), so I am highlighting it again here.
You will find it at Transitioning ‘Statements to EHC Plans’.
NEW EMAIL COURSE ON SEN CODE OF PRACTICE (COP)
As you may know, I spent my summer break last year, working day and night to put together an eBook: ‘A Guide to the SEN Code of Practice’, so that it would be ready for everyone prior to the start of the new academic year, ahead of the implementation of the new SEN Framework at the beginning of September 2014.
Although many readers of these ‘SEN Updates’ have since kindly purchased a copy, some people have told me that they haven't had the time to read it yet, whilst others have told me that they haven't bought it yet, as they know they wouldn't have the time to read it!
So, to try and make everyone's life a bit easier, I have now put together a 15-day email course, which tells you about the new SEN Framework/Code of Practice in 'bitesize' chunks, by way of a chapter a day of the Guide.
I am sure that you will understand that, although it appears to be the same links in the text of the email course as in the eBook, most of these will not work (as they mainly link to resources in the eBook itself, or to further information on my website). So, I am afraid that if you cannot wait to find out more after reading to the end of a chapter, or if you want to be able to use the links properly, then you will need to purchase a copy of the eBook!
I hope that by doing things this way, it will make everyone's life easier again.
SPRING TERM TRAINING DATES RELEASED FOR SEN COP
I have recently released Spring term dates for the training days I am currently giving at my offices about the new SEN framework entitled ‘Turning Theory into Practice’ (now commonly referred to as ‘TTIP’). I have provided this training a lot already during the Autumn term to many different types of people/organisations, both parents and professionals, and they have proved very popular (you can read ‘What Delegates Say (TTIP)’ for yourself here).
The training is CPD accredited (for everyone) and is aimed at:
There are six dates (13/28 January, 19/24 February, and 11/19 March 2015) but, this time, rather than aiming each training day at a different audience as I did in the Autumn, there are three dates aimed at particular groups but three dates where there is no specific audience and training will be provided for everyone (including 19 February 2015, which takes place in Half-term as I know that some people working in education settings said that they were unable to attend last time).
(N.B. Although training days are at my offices, I can provide the same training at other venues for organisations (e.g. schools, colleges, local authorities, etc.) if requested.)
RECENT/FORTHCOMING SEN EVENTS
Although there were a few SEN events during the Autumn Term, there was not very much to highlight. However, this term there are a few things happening which I want to draw your attention to in advance, as follows:
I also thought that I would use this opportunity to draw your attention to two publications that I find very helpful to read every couple of months, which you may also benefit from:
NOT ANOTHER AWARD!
If you have read my updates previously (in particular the one for Autumn (Half Term) 2014), then you will know that, soon afterwards, I was due to undertake my fifth international cycle challenge to raise money for Norwood (a charity for children and young people with disabilities) using a specially modified recumbent trike.
I am pleased to now tell you that I completed the ride successfully during November 2014. Then, to my surprise but delight, the night after I returned, I was given a ‘Points of Light’ award personally by the Prime Minister, David Cameron, at a fundraising dinner. This was in recognition of my ‘Outstanding Volunteering’, by having now raised £125,000 for charity these past few years. More impressive to my children though was the fact that Simon Cowell was in the audience and also came over to congratulate me!
If you are interested, you can watch a short video of what David Cameron said about me here. It is not often that you get ‘bigged up’ by the Prime Minster!
Can I also be a bit cheeky though and ask you to consider sponsoring me still and thereby helping me raise some more for children and young people with disabilities. I am still slightly short of the £20,000 target that I set myself this time (and you know for definite now that I have already done it!)
You can still do so at:
As I say, sometimes things happen...
With good wishes
by Douglas Silas, specialist SEN Solicitor