Specialist SEN Solicitor
12th July 2021
Being busy is not always being productive...
A lot of people mistake being 'busy' for being 'productive'. They naturally think to themselves that if they put the hours in, they will then see the consequential productivity rewards come at the end of a task or job. But that does not always work in the reality of today's world, where we are now often dealing with the mindset of a knowledge worker, rather than the mindset of a manual worker.
Let me explain.
You measure a manual worker's productivity by the amount of manual work that they get through in a given time frame. Logic then dictates that, if they can do a certain number of tasks within a given timeframe, you can then easily measure if they are being more or less productive in the time allocated to them by calculating their output. However, somewhat counter-intuitively, this is almost the opposite way of measuring a knowledge worker's productivity.
A knowledge worker is usually more creative and their creativity usually comes in moments of inspiration. Just sitting at a desk for a set period of time and feeling busy because they are speaking to people, dealing with emails or phonecalls, or organising what they have to do into lists, does not mean that they always 'do' and will have been necessarily productive for that same length of time. And, funnily enough, creativity often comes at moments that a knowledge worker is actually away from their desk (although they often then need to be at their desk to ultimately turn that theoretical creativity into something more practical and tangible).
I have found that I am actually more productive when I have less to do, but am then able to just focus on the task that I want or need to do, without having any distractions to interrupt me. This then means that I can just get on and 'do' it. Ironically, when I work this way, it also allows me to do more things in less time (provided that I have also organised myself efficiently).
But it is no good you just reading this, as you will not truly believe that what I am saying may be true. You need to also take a leap of faith and really try it for yourself in practise to see that it actually can work for you too. And if it doesn't work for you the first time, or even the first few times, don't just give up, keep trying after checking to see whether there is really a distraction that you hadn't noticed before standing in your way.
It really works - honestly!
In this week's SEN Update, you will find sections entitled:
I know how busy everyone always is, so please feel free just to read the sections that are of interest to you or read everything; the choice is always yours.
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PLANS TO END COVID RESTRICTIONS IN EDUCATION SETTINGS
With the announcement at the beginning of the week about the Covid-19 restrictions being eased, the Government/Department for Education (DfE) has issued a raft of new guidance for educational settings
I can do no better than to quote from an email that I subsequently received from the DfE's Special Educational Needs and Disability Division, which stated:
The lifting of Covid restrictions in education settings will take place in line with the general removal of restrictions for England at Step 4. Subject to a final review of the data next week, these legal restrictions will end on Monday 19 July.
We are changing the controls that apply in early years, schools, colleges and higher education institutions to maintain a baseline of protective measures while maximising attendance and minimising disruption to children and young people’s education. When we move to Step 4 of the roadmap, we will be removing the need to keep children and young people in consistent groups (‘bubbles’) in schools, colleges and out-of-school settings and the need to reduce mixing in early years settings.
To support this we have published new guidance for arrangements in education settings from Step 4, covering both the summer period and the following term, when children will return to school:
· Guidance for special schools and other specialist settings
· Actions for schools during the coronavirus outbreak
· Actions for FE colleges and providers during the coronavirus outbreak
· Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus outbreak
· Use of PPE in education, childcare and children’s social care
Guidance for out-of-school settings, children’s social care, apprenticeships and parents will be updated over the next 2 days.
From 16 August, the legal requirement to self-isolate for contacts of a positive case will end for everyone aged under 18, and for adults who have been fully vaccinated. This means that from the autumn term, only those who test positive will need to self-isolate.
From Step 4, NHS test and trace will carry out contact tracing in all education settings rather than it being run by the school or college. Those identified as close contacts will be advised to take a PCR test, and only need to isolate if they test positive. Everyone must self-isolate if they have symptoms of Covid or a positive test result.
More details on the announcement can be found here Covid restrictions in education settings to end at Step 4 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)"
Hope that this helps.
CONSULTATION ON BEHAVIOUR MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES
The Department for Education (DfE) also sent out another email later this week through the SEND Division entitled: 'Consultation on Behaviour Management Strategies'.
Again, I can do no better than to quote from the email, which stated:
Earlier this year, the Secretary of State announced that we will be consulting on revisions to both the behaviour and exclusions guidance later this year.
To help inform guidance revisions we launched a call for evidence on behaviour management strategies, mobile phones, managed moves, and in-school units on 29 June 2021. The call for evidence will be open for a total of six weeks and will close on 10 August 2021.
You can submit your views here: Behaviour management strategies, in-school units and managed moves - Department for Education - Citizen Space
We would be grateful if you could disseminate this amongst your networks. We would like to add that this will not be the only point that we expect individuals to provide their views to us on these areas and intend to provide further time for the sector to provide evidence to us during the consultation period in autumn.
We look forward to receiving your response.
Special Educational Needs and Disability Division'
From what I have read, not everyone agrees with how this may affect children and young people with SEN, so if this is something that concerns you, I encourage ou to respond.
LATEST NEWS ONLINE
In terms of news, here are the articles that I found of interest this week:
Huge surge in number of pupils sent home due to Covid
UK Covid: rates of long Covid likely to increase significantly, particularly among young, warns Chris Whitty – as it happened
Covid bubbles to be axed in England's schools
Ofsted: Put SEND pupils 'at centre' of Covid recovery
Again, aside from clicking on the relevant links for more information, I would also remind you of the very useful resources and information provided on the following websites:
- Council for Disabled Children
- Special Needs Jungle
I would also highlight again the fact that you can now get a digital copy of the magazine: Autism Eye which is very helpful to any parents or professionals involved with children/young people with Autism.
Keep safe until next week.
With best wishes
P.S. I understand that there are many educational items, news articles, or other useful resources on the web, so I would be very grateful if you could let me know of any that you find that you think that others may find useful, so that I can direct people to them.