Friday Update – 29 January 2016

This week I highlight guidance on the new primary school accountability system, proposed changes to the schools admissions process and the announcement of additional funding to help Local Authorities with the transition from SEN Statements to Education, Health and Care Plans.

NEW PRIMARY SCHOOL ACCOUNTABILITY GUIDANCE
This week the Department for Education (DfE) published guidance on the new primary school accountability system that will be implemented from 2016, including information on how a school’s progress scores will be measured and a new floor standard.

PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE SCHOOLS ADMISSIONS PROCESS
On Monday the Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, announced there would be a public consultation on proposed changes to the schools admissions process. The Government intends to change the rules to:

  • prevent objections to a school or local authority’s admissions arrangements from outside the local area;
  • stop vexatious complaints against faith schools from secularist campaign groups;
  • require admissions authorities to consult on their admission arrangements every 4 years rather than the current 7.

ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR THE TRANSITION FROM SEN STATEMENTS TO EDUCATION, HEALTH AND CARE PLANS
As many of you are already aware SEN Statements have been replaced by new Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) for children with special educational needs and disability (SEND). There is a period of transition for the move from SEN Statements to EHCPs and it was announced today that Local Authorities will receive £35.8 million in implementation funding in 2016/17 (an increase of £4 million from last year) to recognise the additional duties placed on them as a result of the transition to EHCPs.

In addition, the Government is also pledging to fund this work for an additional year in 2017/18, to ensure the transition to the new system by April 2018.