Mastery for all: Less talk – more action!

Last week’s blog, following our theme of mastery for all, was about aiming high – and enabling all children to achieve their best. This week, as we are still in January, and thinking about making the most of this new year, and decade, Let’s look back at some of the issues that parents posted about in Special Needs Jungle – that are still not resolved.

Nov: 2018 featured the SENCO workload. According to a survey, 70% of SENCOs (SEND Co-ordinators in schools) felt that they do not have enough time to address the needs of SEND pupils. A further comment was about the so-called ‘high needs’ taking up most of SENCO time, leaving pupils with ‘just SEN’ neglected. No wonder, the system is in a mess. And, it seems, nothing has improved since then, as we move into 2020.

Matt Keer, posting in December 2018: asked ‘What costs 103.7 million and makes disabled children miserable? Answer, SENDIST appeals. Families won 89% of their appeals, but the cost was sky high. Why not attend to the needs of these children in school, and by the LA, without having to waste all this money? Again – a disgusting reflection on what is happening.

Again, in December, 2018, did we have a present for SEND children, or was it Scrooge dressed up as Santa? The DFE announced a package to support children with complex needs and disabilities, with more training for Educational Psychologists to help keep up with the need for specialist advice. A new SEND leadership was set up to work closely with charities, schools and families. Is it happening? What has this achieved? Anything?

Renata Blower suggested (in SEN Jungle) it should be the year that parents roar and rise up to demand their rights. Yet, have they? Are they? I do not hear any roar. Is it still a jungle out there for children and young people with SEND?

2020: let’s have some New Year, and New Decade goals:
– Every child in school will have their needs met, whatever their SEND categorisation;
All children will achieve the best they can;
Society and schools will value the developmental pace and potential of every child;
Schools and society will aim high for all children – not just the high fliers;
Schools and parents will work more closely to achieve success for all.

Obviously, it is easier said than done, but ‘less talk: more action’ .means parents making the loudest roar they can – in the most effective way. Make this year, and decade work.
Start by finding out WHAT your child learns and HOW. My books will help – Support Your Child with SEND (Book 1) and at successive Key Stages (Books 2 to 4), by Sylvia Edwards, are available from Lulu in printed form, and from Amazon, in printed form and ebooks. Visit my website:

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