Specialist SEN Solicitor
15th November 2021
You usually have to find things out for yourself I’m afraid, through a process of trial and error.
Although you can sometimes learn from other people, your true learning usually only takes place when you experience something for yourself. Learning is also generally through repetition.
The trick here is to always learn from any mistakes the first time around, if possible, and then try to never make the same mistakes again (or never to make the same mistakes in the same way again). However, mistakes (within reason) are often actually good for you, as that is how we often learn.
Also, accept situations for what they are and not what you want them to be. You usually never get it right the first time you try something. So, try to remember that you usually only get something right in the end, by getting it wrong a few times at first. However, be willing to try it again, knowing that, although it may not have worked out for you the first time you tried it, you will get better at it each time that you try it and should then succeed in the end, if you do not give up.
People like to recall how Thomas Edison, who only invented the light bulb on his 10,000th attempt, later said: “I have not failed 10,000 times, I’ve just successfully found 9,999 ways that will not work!”
There is also a real and significant difference between having high expectations and having high aspirations. It is alright to have high aspirations and really go for something, but you always have to manage your own (and other people's) expectations and be prepared to get something wrong. If you have a high expectation that something will work out for you the first time that you try it, you may soon find out that this is often unrealistic and you then will feel probably even more disappointed with the result, even if it was only slightly off what you had hoped for.
It may even be serendipity in hindsight that something did not go the way that you wanted the first time, as something better was waiting for you around the corner. As people say: “Be careful what you wish for.”
You can only see things through your own eyes anyway and not through other people's eyes. Remember, not everyone is like you or thinks like you. You therefore have to find out what works for you through trial and error, as what works for one person does not always work for another person and just because something works for somebody else, doesn't mean that it will work for you. You also often need to experiment with doing new things in different ways, until you eventually find what really works for you. There is no simple or single solution to things, as there are so many different ways of doing things.
Also, not everyone can do everything, so just try to be the best version of yourself, rather than trying to be somebody else. At least, try to be a better version of yourself, if you can. In fact, just aim to get 1% better every day! Also, if you do start comparing yourself with others, you will again feel disappointed, as there will always be other people who are better than you at something.
Finally, try to quickly accept situations for what they are and not what you want them to be. Realise that some days will be good, but some days will be bad. You just have to just hope that the good outweighs the bad, or try to and bring the bad day to a close and get rid of it and then try and make the next day a good day!
So, this week, just try to realise that things do not usually work out the first time for you and be willing to try again.
Remember, you're also just human!
In this week's SEN Update, you will find sections entitled:
I know how busy everyone is, so feel free just to read the sections of interest,
or read everything; the choice is always yours.
I received another email this week from the SEND Division at the Department for Education (DfE), pointing me to an open letter by Will Quince MP, Minister for Children and Families, about the long delayed SEND Review, which stated:
"...I want to assure you that I am wholeheartedly committed to the SEND Review. It is vital work and as we move towards publication of our proposals in the coming months, it is key that your children, families, teachers and others who play a vital role are actively involved.
As parents and carers of children with SEND, you are seeking change to the system so that your children get support earlier and outcomes improve alongside better access to jobs and services. I am committed to delivering the SEND Review quickly but we do need to make sure our proposed changes are robust. The Review has been delayed, in part due to the pandemic which has intensified some of the issues in the system, and we have needed time to reflect on those. We also wanted to do justice to the huge amount of input we have received and take time to check back with people that we had properly understood what they were telling us. I agree improvements are needed – and overdue.
To help us move forward and enable us to publish proposals in the first quarter of 2022, we have established a steering group that brings together government departments with representatives of parents, schools, colleges and early years, local government, health and care and independent experts. You can find out more about the steering group here: www.gov.uk/government/groups/send-review-steering-group.
We will of course continue to work with a wider range of organisations to hear further from young people, parents and those who work with them so they can inform and challenge our thinking.
We still have work to do on the Review and I do not think it is helpful to offer up specific details ahead of publication of the full set of proposals. I think it would be more helpful for people to see them all together, so that they can make an informed judgement about whether they will lead to the lasting changes we all want to see. What I can say at this point is that, based on what we have heard and the evidence we have gathered, we know that it is important that proposals offer a way forward to reduce local variation. We also need to improve early intervention, make clearer the support and services everyone should be able to expect and have funding and accountability systems in place which support this. Improving complex systems is challenging and our proposals must align with other improvement work currently underway, such as the Care Review, recovery planning and wider reform. And we need to make sure changes we propose are supported and understood across health and care services, as well as education providers.
As an indication of this government’s continued commitment to supporting the most disadvantaged children and young people, I was delighted that the recent budget announcement committed £2.6 billion over the next three years for school places for children and young people with SEND, more than tripling current capital funding levels to over £900 million by 2024-25. The Spending Review also delivers an additional £4.7bn for the core schools budget by 2024-25. This settlement includes an additional £1.6bn for schools and high needs in 2022-23, on top of the funding we previously announced. We will confirm in due course how this additional funding for 2022-23, and for the two subsequent years, will be allocated for schools and high needs. This is a hugely positive outcome.
Over the coming months, I will be making more visits and listening to children, young people and their parents and school, college and local authority staff, as well as meeting with SEND organisations and experts, across education, health and care. Their views will influence the proposals we set out in a full public consultation. I strongly encourage people to get involved in that consultation. Your views really matter.
I don’t underestimate the challenge we face. But continuing to listen, and working together, gives us the best chance to make sure all children and young people get the educational experience they deserve.
Will Quince MP
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families"
In terms of other news, here are the articles that I found of interest this week:
GCSE and A-level changes give pupils advance warning of exam content
MoJ is wrong on the SEND Tribunal
‘That will save lives’: the move beyond school food allergy bans
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 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
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