Education & SEN - Lorraine Petersen The Voice Education & SEN - Lorraine Petersen

There were a number of announcements made during December – as usual, on the countdown to a holiday.

Early years funding: changes to funding for 3- and 4-year-olds

On the 12th December the DfE published their response to the consultation on Early Years Funding. This includes information about local authorities having to establish SEN inclusion funds for three and four-year olds in their local funding system from April 2017.

Ofsted and CQC Local Area Inspections

This term Ofsted and CQC have released 8 further outcome letters following their Local Area Inspections. These are for:

  • Bexley
  • Surrey
  • Plymouth
  • North Yorkshire
  • Herefordshire
  • Rochdale
  • Stoke
  • Hertfordshire

These letters set out the strengths and areas for development for each local area in regard to their implementation of SEND reforms. Rochdale and Surrey have both been required to produce a Written Statement of Action because of significant areas of weakness in their local area’s practice.

Ofsted’s Annual Report includes information on SEND

Sir Michael Wilshaw produced his final report as Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector.

Phonics screening check and key stage 1 assessments: England 2016 – DfE – Updated December 2016

This provisional information on the 2016 phonics screening check and assessments at key stage 1, including breakdowns by pupil characteristics now includes the disadvantaged pupil data.

National curriculum assessments: key stage 2, 2016 (revised) – DfE – December 2016

This is revised information on the 2016 national curriculum assessment at key stage 2, including breakdowns by pupil characteristics.

Schools national funding formula: stage 2 – DfE – December 2016

This is the government’s response to the consultation submissions received and the response to the next steps for the national funding formula.

The consultation on Stage 2 of the consultation is now open and will close on 22nd March. The DfE invites your views on:

  • the weighting for each factor in the schools national funding formula
  • the transition to the formula
  • the implementation of the formula

For more information and your opportunity to respond visit:

High Needs Funding Reform – DfE – December 2016

This is the government response to the consultation that ran from March to April 2016 and the government’s response outlining the next steps.

The consultation on the next stage can be found at

New Money to support SEND reforms – DfE – December 2016

The government have announced £40m ‘new burdens’ grant to support local authorities in 2017/2018 and a high needs strategic planning fund for 2016/2017. The money (known as ‘new burdens’) will support the final year of the transitional activity. Money to support Independent Support and Parent Carer Forums will also be announced in January. Local authorities have also received high needs strategic planning fund in 2016-17 to support their planning on how to deploy their high needs budget most effectively if schools have much greater control over their funding. Further information about these funds and their allocations can be  found at:

School Commissioning for SEND: new models, limits and possibilities – SEN Policy Research Forum: Policy paper – January 2016

An early review of the new SEND Policy and legislation: Where are we now – SEN Policy Research Forum: Policy Paper – June 2016

The SEN Policy Research Forum contributes intelligent analysis and uses knowledge and experience to promote the development of policy and practice for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

These two policy papers from 2016 can be found at

Written by Lorraine Petersen and originally published here on