Children & Young People Bulletin: April 2022

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Children & Young People Bulletin

April 2022

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SEND Green Paper

The Government has published a SEND and alternative provision green paper, setting out a vision for a single, national SEND and alternative provision system that will introduce new standards in the quality of support given to children. It also proposes a simplified Education, Health and Care Plan, and a new legal requirement for councils to introduce local inclusion plans. In addition, there is a focus on ensuring mainstream education is more inclusive and better at identifying and supporting needs.

In our media response on the Green Paper, we said it was good to see measures to increase mainstream inclusion, and that councils, as convenors of local SEND systems, will be able to bring education and health partners to the table where everyone is accountable for SEND provision. We said while the reforms will take time to be implemented, government should move quickly and work with councils to eliminate high needs deficits. We also produced a detailed briefing with our views on the SEND Green Paper.

Schools White Paper

This week, DfE published its Schools White Paper. This sets out the Government’s ambition for a school system that helps every child in England to fulfil their potential. The White Paper also looks to define the roles and responsibilities of all those involved in the system, including the role of councils, and sets out how they plan to ensure councils have the right powers to deliver in their role at the heart of the new system. The Government has also announced it will be giving councils powers to set up their own multi-academy trusts (MATs), which the LGA has long campaigned for. In our media response on the White Paper, we said we were pleased government acted on our call for councils to be allowed to set up their own MATs, and that it was also good councils are to be given powers to direct all schools, including academies, to admit pupils that are out-of-school and make sure they are back in the classroom as quickly as possible. You can find a detailed briefing with our views on the Schools White Paper on our website.

Supporting children arriving from Ukraine

The LGA is collating information for councils in relation to the ongoing war in Ukraine, including information on Government schemes and announcements and related LGA support. We will continue to update this with information and good practice, in addition to working with Government to ensure children who arrive from Ukraine are safe and can get the support they need. The Secretary of State for Education, Nadhim Zahawi, has written to all local authority chief executives and directors of children’s services to thank councils for the support for new arrivals and highlighting the rights of Ukrainian children to access education and childcare.

Resources to support with the mental health impact of racism

The Anna Freud Centre has created free resources for schools to support staff to understand the mental health impact of racism on children and young people, and to feel more confident in addressing related concerns. The new resources will help staff to build a whole school approach to anti-racism. The resources include advice and guidance on representation in the curriculum, staff training, policy templates, case studies with suggestions for celebration activities which involve the whole school community, and suggested support for students and staff.

Funding for Mental Health Designated Lead in Schools

The opportunity for grant funding to become a Designated Senior Lead for mental health in school is still available. This funding will support staff to implement an effective whole school or college approach to mental health and wellbeing. The grant is available to eligible state schools and colleges in England.

Minister for Children and Families letter to Early Years

The Minister for Children and Families Will Quince has written to all those working in the early years sector recognising the role that early years educators play in the lives of children and their families, calling for nominations from the early years sector to be submitted for future rounds of the Queen’s honours.

Home to school transport contracts

The LGA and the Institute of Licensing have produced a guidance note on home to school transport contracts. It provides a brief overview of the role of responsible councils with regards to home to school contracts and licensing authorities with regards to safeguarding in taxi/private hire vehicle (PHV) licensing, and suggests some recommended actions.

Provision of Religious Education

The Religious Education Policy Unit (REPU) is a collective body of RE-related bodies, which campaigns to improve the provision of RE in the England and Wales and have asked the LGA to highlight the importance of RE and the statutory responsibilities local authorities have for Standing Advisory Councils on RE. You can find a list of requirements local authorities must establish when looking to the provision of RE in schools in ‘Religious education in English schools: Non‑statutory guidance 2010’.

All LA maintained, voluntary controlled and foundation schools, are statutorily required to follow the local Agreed Syllabus. Academies often choose to adopt the local syllabus but may choose to follow a different local syllabus or produce one of their own. There are different regulations for schools with a religious designation. LAs receive funding as part of the CSSB to support their responsibilities for RE in relation to all schools.

The Family Justice Young People’s Board – call for new members

The Family Justice Young People’s Board (FJYPB) is once again recruiting new members aged 7-25 years who have a range of experiences of family proceedings. Members will have the opportunity to attend a variety of commissions across the country. If you have recently worked with a child or young person who you think would be interested in joining the board, please email to request an application pack.

Reducing Parental Conflict (RPC) Programme Secondment Opportunity

The RPC Programme are looking for a comms expert who is currently working in a local authority or has previous experience of such a role to come and join the team of secondees working on the Reducing Parental Conflict Programme. This is a full-time post with the opportunity to stay up to end of March 2024. If you are interested in this opportunity please contact Di Robertson on to receive a copy of the job description, the Expression of Interest form and/or to arrange a conversation. Closing date: 12 April 2022

Improving outcomes for the youngest children in the youth justice system – 27 April 2022

The LGA has commissioned a review of national and international evidence around how best to support younger children who are in, or at risk of entering, the youth justice system. This free webinar will outline the findings of this review, and give councils an opportunity to speak with councils and partners in breakout groups about embedding different approaches to supporting children. This event is free for all LGA members, visit our events page for registration and more information.

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