vulnerable children


Why current assessment systems are letting children down

As expectations for all pupils rise higher and higher, the achievements of our most challenged children risk becoming marginalised. Here assessment expert Sue Hackman takes a critical look at the DfE’s current advice for assessing children who are working below the expected standards of the new National Curriculum.

Student X: A case study in managing difficult behaviour

What causes a student to behave well in one class but disrupt another? In this special report, Lloyd Hughes shares the findings of his small scale research into behaviour management, revealing the impact of teacher attitude and demeanour on the conduct of their class.

Document highlights: Tackling the mental health crisis in secondary schools

Nowhere is the crisis in young people's mental health felt more acutely than in secondary schools. This report pleads for early intervention and also suggests Ofsted inspect schools' mental health provision more thoroughly and more frequently.​

Report Summaries


Document highlights: What do families think of the new education, health and care process?

More than a year after the government's dramatic SEN reform, this DfE report looks at children's, young people's and families' experiences of the new education, health and care assessment and plans.

Document highlights: How well are we preparing vulnerable youngsters for successful adult lives?

This Ofsted report looks at how well the further education and skills sector is preparing young people with high needs for adult life.

Document highlights: The value of afterschool clubs for disadvantaged children

How does participation in out-of-school activities vary by background, and what impact does this have on children's achievement at 11? This research by the Nuffield Foundation sought to find out.

Document highlights: How safe are our children?

Despite a dramatic increase in reported sexual offences against children, neglect remains the most common form of child abuse across the UK, says the NSPCC in their comprehensive analysis of child protection data for 2013/14.

Document highlights: Using singing to nurture children’s hearing

Hearing impaired children benefit from a sustained programme of singing activities, according to this research report by the UCL Institute of Education.

Document highlights: Inequalities in education

Inequality in education has become worse in Northern Ireland since 2007, according to this report by the Equality Commission, which highlights continuing and persistent underachievement by working-class Protestant children, and wider male underachievement in education.

Recent Articles


Prone to prejudice?

Long-held prejudices surrounding the ability of poorer pupils and boys compared to girls are not going away. But such subconscious stereotypes can have a serious impact on children and their achievement. Raspal Chima reports.

Examining our perceptions of pupils

Stereotyping others based on gender, class or ethnic background is an unfortunate human tendency – and teachers aren’t immune. Andrew Pollard considers a few ways the reflective practitioner can evaluate their views of their own pupils and ensure all are treated fairly.

Nurture groups really do work

Amidst increasing concerns about the mental health of our children, nurture groups are a proven method of support that schools can use. Edurne Scott-
Loinaz explains why and how you should establish one.

The pedagogic meal at Peartree Academy

A pedagogic meal doesn’t sound very appetising, but it could be just what’s needed at your school. Gurpinder Lalli reports.

Working positively with parents for SEN reform

With so much uncertainty about what to expect from September, there is plenty of room for misunderstandings to occur. Tania Tirraoro explains how schools can be sure that partnerships with parents stay strong.

Medical needs clause – Schools’ responsibilities

The Children and Families Act includes a new clause to emphasise the role that schools must have in catering for pupils with long-term medical needs. We summarise the main points.

Working together for workforce reform

The requisite for greater multi-agency cooperation is a welcome addition to the SEN code of practice. Here, Anne Hayward takes a look at the new relationships, structures and developments that will be needed to ensure all services are able to respond positively and effectively to the new SEN reforms.