New scholarships for teachers and SEN support staff

Jean Hutchins has alerted us to the new round of funding for SEN staff in schools. Here is the link:

– and this is what it says! NB the four week application time starting today!

Teachers and special educational needs (SEN) support staff will from today be able to apply for funds from the National Scholarship Fund worth up to £1 million to develop their specialist knowledge and skills.

For the fourth year running, teachers can bid for up to £3,500 while SENsupport staff can bid for up to £2,000 to fund training which will improve the support available to children and young people with special educational needs.

The application window for the fourth round will open for 4 weeks from 30 April. To date £7 million has been made available through the fund, benefiting almost 2,000 teachers and support staff in schools across the country.

Charlie Taylor, Chief Executive of the National College for Teaching and Leadership, said:

We believe that a teaching profession that values continual professional development is crucial to raising standards in our schools.

These scholarships – alongside other reforms to improve teacher recruitment and training – will help deliver our objective to raise the status of teachers.

Donna Frost Phillips, a successful applicant from the third round of the fund, said:

The fund has allowed me to undertake the specialist dyslexia training course, which I would not have been able to do without this funding. The course is having a direct impact on the literacy development of the learner that I am working with through my training.

The school will have a specialist teacher on site, which means children and teachers will have access to specialist advice teaching, meaning they won’t have to buy in specialist support.

The outcome of the fourth round will be announced in August 2014.

Notes to editors

The National Scholarship Fund is open to all qualified teachers and SENsupport staff in eligible schools. Applications are assessed against stringent criteria and verified by a panel of experts.

Applicants are assessed on the following criteria:

  • priority specialism of SEN
  • support from school – teachers and support staff are required to demonstrate support from their school in terms of accessing resources and being able to carry out activities within and outside the school

The guidance National scholarships for teachers and SEND support staff has more information.

The bursaries will fund up to 50% of a training or development course, up to a maximum of £3,500 for teachers and £2,000 for SEN support staff.


More money for teaching Maths, English & SEN in FE Colleges

I am grateful to Jean Hutchins for bringing this to our attention:

31 July, 2013 at 11:15pm

Money to improve numeracy and literacy teaching to young people was
announced by Vince Cable.

Press release: Bursaries of up to £20,000 offered to teach maths,

English or Special Educational Needs (SEN)

Adult Dyslexia Report

In the 40 years that the British Dyslexia Association has been campaigning there has been many changes in the world of dyslexia, some of them good.

In light of this milestone, the British Dyslexia Association has produced a report looking back at the last 40 years and has made recommendations for the future.

In partnership with The Dyslexia Foundation and after consulting 100 organisations, this report is a wide ranging and comprehensive assessment of the current provision for adults with dyslexia.

The link to the full report is here:

Initial Teacher Training Campaign

The BDA has launched a campaign and would like your help. Please read the following information which can also be found on their website

‘One in ten people have dyslexia and many of these go undiagnosed and unrecognised. Often this is because teachers lack the skills to identify and support children who are dyslexic and need to be diagnosed or given extra support. To help this a government report (The Rose Review (2009)) recommended that Initial Teacher Training (ITT) should include Dyslexia/SpLD. However, there is currently no mandatory minimum level of Dyslexia/SpLD training that the Initial Teacher Training course providers must deliver.

The BDA is campaigning to remedy this. In order to do this we have set up a petition on the government petition website stating that there should be a compulsory module on Dyslexia. If this petition reaches 100,000 signatures then this issue will be debated in the House of Commons.

The petition only runs for a year so every signature counts, your signature could make a difference enabling teacher to help hundreds of thousands of dyslexic pupils. We believe that dyslexic children have just as much of a right to education by teachers that understand them and their condition as any other child.

We hope that you feel the same, if you do then please take a moment to sign our petition at

Many thanks for your help in supporting our cause’.



How do I sign the petition?

We understand that sometimes these petitions can be confusing so we’ve designed a handy step-by-step guide to help you.

1) Enter the following address into the address bar at the top of your web browser.
2) Click the purple “sign this petition” button.
3) Fill in your details; name, address, email address etc. The purpose of this information is to verify that you’re a real person and only signing the petition once.
4) Fill in the reCapticha box with whatever words you see displayed in the box. Again, this is to prove that you’re a human being and not a computer program generating false signatures.
5) Check the “agree to terms and conditions” box.
6) Click the purple “sign this petition” box.
7) You’ll now receive an email asking you to confirm that you did indeed sign the petition.

Congratuations, you’ve now completed all the steps to sign our petition!

Thank you very much.


The Future of Special Educational Needs?

On 9th March 2011,Children’s Minister Sarah Teather unveiled proposals which would mean the biggest programme of reform in the education and health support for children with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities in 30 years.
Why do things need to change?
 parents find themselves having to battle their way through the current system in order to get the support they believe their child needs. This can be very frustrating.
 this often develops into an adversarial assessment process with the local authority providing the assessments and the funding needed for support
 SEN statements do not join up the education, health and care support for the child
 multiple assessments from different providers often lead to delays in getting support
 too many children are being identified with SEN. In recent years the proportion of children with SEN but without statements has nearly doubled – from 10 per cent of all pupils in 1995 to 18.2 per cent or 1.5 million children in 2010. If you include the 2.7% who have Statements, that’s 1 in 5 children in this country identified as having SEN. (source Dept of Education)
The ideas set out in the Green Paper have been informed by the views and expertise of families, teachers, local authorities, health professionals and national and local organisations working with them.
What are the aims of the Green Paper?
 high quality early identification and intervention for all children where they need it, such as the health and development review for children aged between 2 and 2½ years.
 to ensure assessment and plans run from birth to 25 years old – this will cover the awkward transition from teenage years to early adult working life.
 replace School Action & School Action Plus categories of SEN with a single Early Years setting-based category and school-based category of SEN;
 a new single assessment process and ‘Education, Health and Care Plan’ by 2014; health and social services is included in the package of support, along with education. This will replace the Statementing process but will provide the same statutory protection to parents as the statement of SEN and will include a commitment from all parties to provide their services. There is an aim to reduce the time it takes to complete this process and if there is disagreement between the Local Authority and the parents then it is hoped that the matter can be settled through mediation rather than Tribunal.
 overhaul teacher training and professional development to better help pupils with special educational needs and to raise their attainment
 local authorities and other services will set out a local offer of all services available; this will be ‘easy to understand’.
 the option of a personal budget by 2014 for all families with children with a statement of SEN or a new Education, Health and Care Plan; Key workers will be trained to advise families and help them navigate the range of help available across health, education and social care.
 give parents a real choice of school, either a mainstream or special school; they will remove the current bias towards inclusion. Preferences will be met “unless the choice would not meet the needs of the child, be incompatible with the efficient education of other children, or be an inefficient use of resources.”
 introduce greater independence to the assessment of children’s needs. There is mention of targeted funding to voluntary and community sector organisations that have a strong track record of delivering high quality services relating to assessment and support.
The 4 month consultation which began on 9 March will run to 30 June 2011. A period of testing proposals in local areas will commence in September 2011. Detailed plans should emerge the end of the year, and will form the basis for any necessary legislative changes to be taken forward from May 2012 at the earliest.

What has been the response so far?
The BDA has welcomed measures to enable earlier assessment of children, but is deeply concerned at the present severe cuts to Local Authority special educational needs teaching and assessment personnel and the impact this will have on delivery of services to Dyslexic pupils.

The BDA has welcomed the increased collaboration between health, education and social care as well as suggestions for improved transparency and parental choice. The increased participation of the voluntary and charitable sector they also welcome although funding for the latter will be a crucial issue.

This is of necessity only a brief summary of the Green Paper. Full details can be found at
A head teacher quoted in the Green Paper says: “If I want to go somewhere I’ve never been before in my car – I get a map. A good map shows all the routes and the landscapes and the options. Where is the map for families to use if their child is identified with SEN? Here is our chance to create a map – one that all people can understand – using common language and well explained assessments.”
Barbara Lowe May 2011