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National Autistic Society AGM SEN Presentation Nov 09
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National Autistic Society AGM SEN Presentation Nov 09


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  • Focusing primarily on England, but will say a bit more later about our work in other parts of the UK, esp Wales
  • IDP – written by people from the Autism department at Birmingham University School of Education. This is the url for the website (it’s not in your handouts) but if you put Autism Inclusion Development Programme into Google you can find it that way. There is one for primary and secondary schools and another for early years settings
  • Lots of videos of young people. Parents and different profesionals
  • Show last two chapters of the DVD
  • We tried to assist parents to get involved in a range of ways – 3 focus groups, incl one in Bristol, advertised the online survey through website and let branches know about the (small number of) events. Realise not every
  • Not just Government who makes the law. Decisions made by judges affect how the law’s interpreted. Begun to work on legal cases to make sure good protections for people with autism (also Gary McKinnon). School trying to argue that child’s behaviour was not related to his disability (ADHD). In the end, judge agreed – worrying. Looking at what we can do with EHRC.
  • What next? Education Bill towards the end of this year – looking at behaviour, SEN, inspections, home education Likely to have a new Government by June next year (after general election)
  • Transcript

    • 1. Transforming the SEN system: Policy & Campaigns education work in 2009   Beth Reid Policy Manager Annual General Meeting 14 November 2009
    • 2. Teacher training
      • School SENCO regulations
        • From September 2009:
        • All SENCOs to be qualified teachers
        • All new SENCOs to have training in SEN, including autism
      • New SEN modules for initial teacher training include autism
      • New Government autism resources for school staff
        • Inclusion Development Programme published (England)
        • Autism Toolbox (Scotland) launched at Daldorch School
    • 3.  
    • 4.  
    • 5. Bullying
      • Guidance produced for schools last year on bullying of children with SEN and disabilities
      • Specific focus on autism, including case studies
      • Person with autism features in DVD to support school bullying guidance
      • Government consulted with NAS on requirement for all schools to record incidents of bullying
      • Government considering improving parental complaint system
    • 6. Behaviour issues
      • NAS made sure that the Education and Skills Bill didn’t create a loophole which could make it easier to remove pupils who have challenging behaviour from their school – new protections in place for children with SEN
      • Discussed behaviour issues with Sir Alan Steer as part of his review
      • Steer Report on behaviour in school calls for improved identification and early intervention for children with SEN and better support for teachers
      • Quotes NAS evidence on informal (illegal) exclusions
    • 7. Home education
      • Government commissioned independent review of home education in January, focusing on child protection issues
      • Strong concerns from home-educating parents
      • NAS met with Graham Badman, Review chair, and was invited onto advisory group - only specific interest group represented
      • Review recommends registration and monitoring of home education
      • Limited SEN recommendations in final report, review come under considerable criticism
      • NAS gave evidence to Parliamentary select committee and is discussing SEN issues with Ofsted
      • We want to see more support available for home-educated children with autism
    • 8. SEN & Disability (Support) Bill
      • Private members bill taken forward by John Bercow MP
      • Aimed to improve support for children with SEN and disabilities in school
      • Led by NAS, supported by Special Educational Consortium and SEN charities
      • Four-hour debate in Parliament in May
      • Held roundtable seminar with key agencies (Ofsted, teacher training agency, unions) and produced report
    • 9. SEN&D Bill continued: Govt commitments
      • Government commitments in response to the Bill include:
      • requirement for local authorities to plan strategically for specialist support for children with SEN and disabilities
      • every school inspection report to include SEN and disabilities
      • to promote Quality Standards for SEN support and outreach services
      • to highlight importance of reducing exclusions of pupils with SEN
    • 10. Lamb Inquiry
      • Inquiry into assessment process for SEN and parental confidence started March 2008
      • Led by Brian Lamb of Special Educational Consortium
      • NAS organised focus groups with three branches/ parents groups
    • 11. Lamb Inquiry (continued)
      • Several interim Government announcements:
        • £31 million over 2 years for pilot projects to identify best practice approaches to improving outcomes for children with SEN
        • £7 million for embedding SEN and disability considerations in mainstream policies and programmes, such as training for school leadership.
        • Support to make statements clearer
        • Support schools in assessing what constitutes good progress for children with SEN
        • New right of appeal for parents if statement isn’t amended after a review
      • Final report due shortly, looking at support for children with SEN but no statement
    • 12. Work with political parties
      • General election spring 2010
      • Making sure all parties think about SEN and autism
      • Labour
      • Event at Labour party conference: how to improve the SEN system
      • Schools Minister Diana Johnson talked with parents, professionals and party members about what needs to change in SEN system
      • Conservatives
      • Meeting with all key Conservative MPs and advisors
      • Assisting with policy development
      • Liberal Democrats
      • Held event to feed into education policy development and wrote report for them
      • Working with all key Liberal Democrat MPs
    • 13. Autism Education Trust
      • Continue to host and be a lead partner in Autism Education Trust
      • Brings together 25 organisations and groups working in education for children with autism to promote good practice and joint working
      • Published two toolkits for professionals to help them personalise education to each child, and work with families from different backgrounds
      • Working to improve local authority commissioning (planning and provision) of services
      • Conference and series of roadshows focusing on transitions
      • Extra £80,000 Government funding announced in SEN and Disability Support Bill debate
    • 14. Transition to adulthood
      • Autism Act 2009 requires guidance on transition
      • £19 million Transition Support Programme to improve transition to adulthood for young disabled people
      • Specific focus on autism within Programme
      • NAS part of reference group for Programme
      • £10,000 project on work experience and autism
      • £200,000 funding for research looking at what makes a successful transition for young people with autism at University of York
      • All Party Parliamentary Group on Autism held inquiry into transition
    • 15. What else?
      • Changes to SEN& Disability Tribunal
      • Raised NAS and parental concerns in Parliament
      • Worked with Advocacy for Education team to ensure clear and accurate information available
      • Ofsted SEN & disability review
      • Broad review of how well current legal frameworks meet children’s needs (education, equality, social care, Aiming High for Disabled Children)
    • 16. Autism Bill: children
      • Government agreed to make local areas plan to meet the needs of children with autism
      • New legal duty to plan for needs of all children with SEN and disabilities
      • NAS now working with Government to make this happen
    • 17. Beyond England : Wales
      • Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) developing Autism Spectrum Disorder Quality Standards for Education
      • ‘ Statements or something better?’ – £2million WAG project looking at new options for the SEN (now Additional Learning Needs) system. Focusing on:
        • role of SENCOs
        • ensuring quality
        • supporting children with less complex needs
        • involving professionals beyond education
      • Pilots have just started. No legal changes expected before 2013
      • NAS talking to WAG about meeting needs of children across autism spectrum, and about legal protections for those in pilot areas
    • 18.
      • Scotland
      • Additional Support for Learning Amendment Act 2009
      • Draft Code of Practice been published, will be finalised in 2010
      • Northern Ireland
      • Review of SEN just started, looking at different options
      Beyond England: the rest of the UK
    • 19. Legal work
      • “ Joined” case going to High Court about a boy excluded from school for scratching teacher
      • We wanted to try to prevent weakening of disability discrimination protections for children and adults with behavioural difficulties
      • Very complex case. Despite our evidence, lost case on crucial point
      • Working with Equality and Human Rights Commission to get new protections
    • 20. Disability Living Allowance
      • Last year Government announced plans to redesign child DLA claim form
      • NAS pushed to be included in the initial working group looking at the redesign
      • NAS have commented on draft versions of the form and have asked parents of children with autism what they think of the new form
      • Form has improved significantly, more autism friendly
      • Form due to be completed and in use by 2010, funding permitting
    • 21. Key achievements in 2009
      • As of September, school SENCOs now have to be qualified teachers
      • New SENCOs will get SEN training including autism
      • The Autism Inclusion Development Programme provides training to teachers on autism
      • A new DVD to prevent bullying of disabled children includes a chapter on autism
      • The revised child DLA form is being piloted which is much more autism friendly
      • Ofsted inspections will have a new SEN and disability focus
      • Forthcoming
      • New requirement on local authorities and partners to do strategic planning for children with SEN and disabilities
      • Parents will gain a new right to appeal if statement is not amended after annual review
    • 22.
      • Questions?
      • For more information
      • contact