Thursday, 8 May 2014

IT'S THE LAW, JIM, BUT NOT AS WE KNOW IT

Independent CE-schools will take some understanding...

The following applies to England, after 1 September this year. Three groups of people particularly should already be paying particular attention:
  • parents considering educating their child in a CE-school outside the 'maintained' system (outside the state system)
  • people running or working within such schools and considering how things will be in future
  • individuals and organisations thinking of options for new CE-schooling in the future
The new law is very close to coming into force, but details are still being finalised. In today's Special Needs Jungle Tania Tirraoro offers a very fair overview of this particularly complex corner.

Everything will change, but for many people an awful lot may remain much the same. The advocates, lawyers, tribunals and courts are going to have a busy time trying to knock this into workable shape over forthcoming years. The politicians, micro- and macro-, may take a further bite or two. Meanwhile Joe Soap is stuck with what there is and, whatever else you think of the situation that Tania Tirraoro describes, it is clear that this will involve nuances understandings and judgements that, however fine they might be, may have serious effect upon the lives, plans and outcomes of individuals in all three groups listed above.

That includes everybody in England concerned with Conductive Education for children and young people  and the children involved, actually and potentially.

Reference

Tirraoro, T. (2014) Planning to name an independent special school on a new EHCP? You may need to think again, Special Needs Jungle, 8 May




2 comments:

  1. In essence, Andrew, it is only independent schools that will have to be approved. The article is misleading in respect of non-maintained special schools (such as Paces School) which are all already fully included within the remit of the Act. This does mean that like all maintained schools (of whatever hue), academies and free schools, non-maintained special schools will be obliged to admit a child where the LA names the school in the child's EHC Plan. There is a theoretical possibility that this could result in a school being required to admit a child for whom the school is not a suitable placement but the possibility does seem infinitesimal. The always excellent Special Needs Jungle is on firm ground in respect of Independent Schools. But this is not new. Throughout the debate on the Children and Families Bill, some (but not all) Independent schools expressed concerns about their loss of independence (control) as regards pupil admissions. It is to accommodate these that independent schools will be able to 'opt-in' or 'opt-out' (provided they accept the consequences of so doing, as SNJ makes clear). This is little more than a technicality and not the cause for widespread concern that SNJ (on this rare occasion) presents. There are reasons for concern, but this is not a particularly strong one. Hope this helps.

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    1. Thanks, Norman, for your nuanced comment on this, clarifying the situation. It clarifies thinhs, for me, anyway because this is a little corner of a world that I once knew that seems to be surviving into he new age. surviving into the new. It may well be Greek to others.

      It involved a distinction that was 'historical' when I knew first met it ('independent' vs 'non-maintained'). With so much being tidied up and changed in this new legislation it is odd that this bit has been left to survive to the potential confusion of future families (and others). IF SNJ can be confused here, what hope for most people.

      I cannot but guess the number of pupils that are currently involved in receiving at the moment some form of CE in English 'independent' and 'non-maintained special schools. I suspect this to be, to use your word, infinitesimal. But it is at least conceivable that future pioneers and founders might look again to these surviving routes 'out' in the future.

      Andrew

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