Education Update – January 2009

There are two important changes I would like to tell you about:

1. Changes to The Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST)

The Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST) is changing as part of reforms to streamline the whole tribunal system under the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 1997.

SENDIST is being brought together with two other tribunals on mental health and social care. Cases will now be heard by the SEN and Disability Panel (SENDISP) within the new Health, Education and Social Care (HESC) Chamber of the Tribunal.

These changes took place on 3 November 2008 and apply to cases registered on or after that date. All cases registered before 3 November will take place under the old system.

SENDIST have produced two newsletters to explain the changes. Some inaccurate and misleading information has been circulating, so they have also written a briefing to correct this. These documents are available from the websites below.

New Rules for the Health, Education and Social Care Chamber of the Tribunal: 

New Rules for Upper Chamber of the Tribunal (for appeals on decisions made on or after 3rd November): 

SENDIST website and newsletter: 

SENDIST users’ newsletter no 2, Oct 08 (PDF) 


2. Inclusion Development Programme

There is now a weblink from the National Strategies Inclusion Development Programme website, through to the Dyspraxia Foundation Classroom Guidelines:

What is the Inclusion Development Programme?

Over four years, the IDP will develop and deliver a programme of continuing professional development (CPD) designed to strengthen the confidence and expertise of mainstream staff in early years settings and in primary and secondary schools in ensuring the progress and achievement of pupils with special educational needs.

The aim of the programme is to support schools and Early Years settings through web-based materials, which will include:

  • teaching and learning resources
  • training materials
  • guidance on effective classroom strategies
  • models of good practice for multi-disciplinary teams
  • information about sources of more specialist advice

In 2008, the IDP focused on dyslexia and speech, language and communication needs (SLCN). There is a range of resources suitable for supporting teaching and learning for children with dyspraxia/dyslexia on the IDP website – when open the page scroll to the bottom and click on ‘library’.

In 2009, the focus will be on supporting pupils on the autism spectrum.

Wendy Fidler, Education Panel Chair