16 Jun

Interesting times in education!

Following a very interesting General Election, we now find ourselves in even more interesting times in education. Whether it’s academies, MATs, life without levels or the Children and Families Act, we have a considerable amount of work to do over the coming years in special education. In addition we are now unsure as to the direction that the new Government, when we get one, will take with regard to many areas of education.

However, the work of the Federation of Leaders in Special Education will carry on, and in partnership with Special Schools Voice we continue to develop a number of areas.

In the East we are holding our annual conference this week at Wyboston Lakes in Bedfordshire where over fifty schools will be represented in this leadership focused event. This has always been a great opportunity to work collaboratively with other schools and leaders, developing initiatives as well as supporting each other.

At the conference we will also be launching the ‘Open Schools’ initiative, where in the coming new educational year we will be giving leaders opportunities to visit other special schools to look at developments and projects that may help their own future plans.

On the 4th July the Eastern Counties are having an Assessment Moderation Day, where assessment leads from each Local Authority will be looking at developing a regional moderation group for the wide range of special needs that our schools cater for. We feel that schools are vulnerable to justifying the progress of their pupils and confirming the quality of their assessment procedures. We feel that this regional group will enable special schools in the East to have a robust system of assessment and moderation that will give parents, OfSTED and other organisations confidence in the levels and progress of each child.

I am personally also very busy opening a new special Free School in September for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders in Norwich, supporting the development of a new Multi Academy Trust of special and mainstream schools and generally trying to keep up with everything that is thrown at us.

We live in ‘interesting times’, as somebody once said. How true!

Barry Payne (FLSE Representative)