Robert Goodwill is new minister responsible for SEND
Since Edward Timpson lost his seat in the general election earlier this month, he has been replaced as minister for vulnerable children and families by Robert Goodwill.
Edward Timpson was the minister who saw us through the reforms to the SEND system under the Code of Practice (2015), and he was a strong advocate for the sector. However, he lost his seat in the election and so there have had to be some changes in the Department for Education.
It has been decided to combine the position of minister for vulnerable children and families with part of Caroline Dineage's previous position as minister for women, equalities and early years. This makes Robert Goodwill the minister for early years and childcare as well as vulnerable children and families.
This could have some potential benefits, including a more joined-up approach between early years and SEND; if this works well, then it could help to improve the early identification and support of children's needs and may mean that funding is more focused on the crucial early years. However, it does mean that Robert Goodwill has a very large remit, with the danger that SEND is not at the top of the list, especially as the entitlement to 30-hours free childcare comes in this September.
Robert Goodwill's background is in the European parliament, in the Department for Transport and the Home Office. We hope he takes the time and trouble to listen to experts both within and outside of the Department for Education.
In addition, Nick Gibb takes on responsibility for mental health as part of his role as Schools Standards Minister, and Lord John Nash has a wide ranging role which includes responsibility for alternative provision.
So we will wait and see how these new roles develop, and will keep you informed of any developments.
Information - 22 May 2018
Find out how one nursery setting has used our free online resources to help staff support children with special educational needs and disabilities.
Checklist - 01 May 2018 Silver AND Gold Member Only
This editable checklist will help practitioners in the Early Years to see what records they need to collect for a child about whom they have emerging concerns. There is text explaining what is needed and a one-page checklist to put in a child's file to support effective record keeping.
Tool - 27 Apr 2018 Gold AND Silver Member Only
If you are a key person working in the Early Years, this flowchart will help you to structure your response to children with emerging needs. It uses a graduated approach, following 'universal', 'targeted' and 'personalised' levels of support. It would make a useful addition to your file, or print it out on A3 and put it on the staff noticeboard for everyone to refer to.