Specialist SEN Solicitor
14th June 2021
Give people the chance to learn from a mistake…
We often say, where children are concerned, that if they make a mistake, we should usually not make a big deal out of it, but rather realise that this was an accident and let them learn from it (or us use it as a way to teach them how they can learn from it). We also know not to do something for them, otherwise they will never learn.
Yet how many times do we do this in our personal lives with adults? Too often we are too quick to judge and condemn someone when they just make a mistake. We say to ourselves or others, things like: "They should have known better" or "They are always like that". We sometimes even imagine that they have done it deliberately and not even think that it could have just been a mistake.
How often do we really try to put ourselves in their shoes and see things from their perspective? They may have said or done something which they genuinely thought would work and now, not only do they have to face the consequences and disappointment arising out of their actions, but they now also have you judging them for not being good enough!
Not only is that twice the amount of hurt or shame, it also means that you will have potentially taken away from them a valuable learning opportunity, as people usually become instinctively defensive when they feel like they are being criticised and, not only then try to justify their actions to you or themselves, but also become more entrenched in believing what they did or said was reasonable and find even harder to then admit that it was a mistake, to you or themselves. And it probably was also a mistake that you would have wanted to learn from, if you had been in their place.
So, next time something like this happens to someone around you (adult or child), try not to be too quick to judge them and give them the chance to correct their mistake.
It is what you would want somebody to do for you if the roles were reversed.
In this week's SEN Update, you will find sections entitled:
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THINGS USUALLY COME IN THREES (MORE GOVERNMENT GUIDANCE)
Things usually come in threes, don't they? Well, it's time for more Government guidance/information and this time it is three things at once!
I received an email this week from the SEND Division at the Department of Education (DfE), entitled: 'Summer Schools, Transition to employment toolkit & new NSPCC/DfE helpline', which said:
There are three things that we would like to draw your attention to this [week]:
Summer schools: updated funding allocations and guidance
As part of the wider recovery package to support children and young people with their mental health and wellbeing and to support recovery from the impact of missed face-to-face learning, £200m of funding is available for secondary schools to deliver summer schools this year. Over 80% of eligible mainstream schools have now signed up to the programme. To maximise the funding available for special schools and alternative provision settings, we have now calculated their funding allocations on the basis of 50% of their year 11 cohort being offered a two-week summer school, in recognition that these settings generally have few year 7 pupils. For any special schools or alternative provision settings whose year 7 cohort is larger than their year 11 cohort, those schools’ initial funding allocations will stand.
Today, we published a form at https://form.education.gov.uk/service/summer-schools-programme, asking schools to confirm their arrangements for their summer school by 30 June. Schools that did not complete the initial sign-up form can still join the programme by completing the June confirmation form.
Subject to overall take-up, schools may be able to claim funding to cover additional places and can request this in the June confirmation form. Those schools will be notified quickly of any additional funding, but should plan to deliver their summer school within their published maximum allocation in the meantime.
The guidance on summer schools reflects the change to SEND/alternative provision funding. It also confirms the conditions of funding, has an expanded section on academic, enrichment and mental health resources and provides a link to the DfE summer schools webinar which includes input from headteachers and other experts.
If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Transition to employment toolkit launched by Ambitious about Autism and the Autism Education Trust
Ambitious about Autism and The Autism Education Trust have today launched a new employment toolkit to support autistic young people into the job market. The Transition to employment toolkit is free to download and aims to prevent autistic young people falling out of education, employment or training when they leave school. The toolkit is not just for young autistic people to use, but also for careers professionals and employers, to help them better understand the needs and skills of young autistic people and support them into further education or work. Sections of the toolkit can be easily downloaded and edited and are designed to be used flexibly.
Launch of new NSPCC/DfE helpline for children and young people subjected to unwanted sexual behaviour in an education setting
A new UK wide dedicated helpline has been set up by the NSPCC and the Department for Education to support those who may have been subjected to unwanted sexual behaviour or abuse whilst in an education setting. The helpline is equipped to cover personal incidents or concerns for others, and for both recent and historical events.
DfE has set-up two social media resource packs on Dropbox containing assets to promote the helpline, one to target children and young people, and another for adults. We ask that education settings, along with wider sector organisations, use these resources on their own channels, and also cascade to their community networks. All amplification would be extremely valued, and ultimately help reach someone who vitally needs this support.
Special Educational Needs and Disability Division"
THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON TRIBUNAL HEARINGS (REPORT)
I know that this will not interest/affect everybody, but if it does interest/affect you, I wanted to bring it to your attention, as it is very interesting.
The Legal Education Foundation has just produced a report this week entitled: “Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on tribunals: The experience of tribunal judges“ which was commissioned by the Senior President of Tribunals to understand the impact of COVID-19, identify opportunities for improvement and guide future developments.
(If you don't know, The Legal Education Foundation is an independent grantmaking foundation that focuses on the role of legal education in helping people understand and use the law as a tool for change, as they know there are many people who cannot obtain justice in relation to everyday problems).
The report examines the impact of remote hearings under COVID -19 and sets out 35 recommendations to guide their use as the tribunals move toward recovery and their website says:
"The grant-giving charity The Legal Education Foundation has today published research that sheds light on the experience of tribunal judges as they adapted to the use of remote hearings in the early months of the pandemic. The report: “Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on tribunals: The experience of tribunal judges“ was commissioned by the Senior President of Tribunals to understand the impact of COVID-19, identify opportunities for improvement and guide future developments.
The survey on which the report is based captured the experiences of over 1500 tribunal judicial office holders who were asked to reflect on the remote hearings they had taken part in between March and July 2020. The 35 recommendations presented in the report set out immediate practical and longer- term steps to improve the experience of judicial office holders and to ensure that remote hearings are deployed in a manner that secures safe, effective and efficient access to justice.
The research gathered the views of judicial office holders on a range of topics including:
i.) their satisfaction with the support and guidance they were offered;
ii.) their views on the technology that was used,
iii.) their perceptions of the impact of remote hearings on the practical and emotional barriers to participation experienced by appellants;
iv.) the effect of proceeding remotely on their ability to identify and make adjustments for vulnerable appellants;
v.) the influence of remote hearings on the structure of hearings and
vi.) any changes to their decision-making process that had occurred in response to proceeding with hearings remotely.
The survey also explores the impact of remote hearings on the well-being and morale of judicial office holders.
The report’s recommendations include:
You can read the full report here.
LATEST NEWS ONLINE
Again, here are other news articles that I found this week:
Is sleep a ‘magic pill’ for teen wellness in a mental health crisis?
Girls asked for nudes by up to 11 boys a night, Ofsted finds
Unions call for return of masks to secondary classrooms in England
After a year at home, children with disabilities deserve priority vaccination
‘Tutors change daily’: headteachers call for schools to control England Covid catchup money
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.