At the start of the summer term, the Department for Education (DfE) is consulting on a revised draft of the special educational needs (SEN) Code of Practice. Since the 2013 consultation, the DfE has made some changes, including clarifying what schools must do, and how joint commissioning will work. In the new draft, schools are also held to greater account for supporting pupils without education, health and care plans. The Department will publish a response after the consultation closes on 6 May.
Schools will also be giving thought to the new statutory guidance on safeguarding, which came into force over the Easter holidays. We have a summary of the document for members of our school leader service.
Ofsted has announced it will be talking to the Department and unions about the way it inspects schools rated ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’. The chief inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw has suggested that schools rated ‘good’ should receive light-touch visits every two to three years. Full inspections would only be triggered when inspectors see significant changes.
Later in the term, schools will be handling returns for the school census (for submission by 11 June). Then, from 30 June, all employees will have the right to request flexible working. We have an article on our school leader website explaining how this and other changes introduced in the Children and Families Act may affect schools.
The last date for UCAS applications for students moving on from secondary schools is 30 June, and Key Stage 2 SATs results will land in primary schools in early July.