Specialist SEN Solicitor
22nd February 2021
I hope that many parents and teachers (or those who are both currently) managed to get a bit of a rest over this last week, if it was half-term break for you (I know that not everyone was off at the same time).
There always seems so much still to do though, so it's good therefore for us to stop once in a while and think about what we are doing, before we do it. We are usually so busy though trying to get through all the tasks on our lists everyday, that we often forget to first ask ourselves if the task we are doing is really necessary or not.
And the reality is that few people ever really get to the end of their task list each day, which means that the remaining tasks are then just added onto our task list for tomorrow, which we will never get through again, so that the remaining tasks are then just added to our task list for the day after - it is a never ending cycle which will eventually just overwhelm us!
So, try and stop for a minute first and think about what you are doing and the decide if it really needs to be done, or even if it can be done in a different way. Sometimes, when you stop and think about something you are going to do, you will be surprised to find that you may not have to do it, either now, later or at all.
Go on, try it - you may find that you do not really have to do so much...
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I hope many parents and teachers have had a chance in the last week or so to take it a bit easier over the half-term break
I saw a tweet this week (again) from 'Contact' which I thought may be helpful to share here, which said:
"Dreading the return to home schooling after this week's half-term break? We can help.
With so many children struggling to adapt to #remotelearning, our Listening Ear team have put together some top tips to help you out. Check them out below"
It then gave a link to a page called: 'Top tips for home schooling', which some parents may find useful.
Hope this helps.
There were also a couple of interesting things I saw this week in respect of children and SEND provision.
The first was the final speech in post by Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England, entitled: 'Building back better', which said it was: '...a challenge to the Prime Minister to show he is serious about children by putting them at the heart of his post-Covid plans' and that warned: '...that the Prime Minister’s promise to ‘level up’ will be ‘just a slogan unless it focuses on children’.
In the speech, Anne Longfield reflects on her six years as Children’s Commissioner and looks ahead to the challenges to childhood brought about by the pandemic.
You can read the speech for yourself here, or you can watch a video of an interview with her about it here.
The second thing that I saw was the report by Special Needs Jungle entitled: 'Provision denied', which said 'Children with SEND have had their needs and education “pushed to one side, for the convenience of the majority.”' and summarised itself as follows:
'Special Needs Jungle survey shows a widespread failure to restore disabled children’s SEND provision when children returned to school in the Autumn Term 2020.
45 recommendations sourced from parents' comments to put things right for disabled learners' educational support in 2021'
You can read it/about it again for yourself here.
Finally, in terms of news, it was a bit slow (I guess that some education journalists are parents too or also need a break!)
But still, here's a few news articles that I found of interest:
Covid: Testing means 'staggered' school return, say heads
Special needs pupils in England 'pushed to one side' in Covid crisis
'Reckless' if all pupils back 8 March, say teachers' unions
Where can I find further information?
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 digital copies of the magazines: SEN Magazine and Autism Eye which are both very helpful to any parents or professionals involved with children/young people with SEN.
Keep safe until next week.
With best wishes
P.S I understand that there are a number of educational or other useful resources now on the web, so I would be very grateful if you could let me know of any that you find that other people may find useful, so that I can direct people to it.