Monthly Archives: February 2011

Local Authorities challenge the government

A High Court judge ruled that Michael Gove abused his powers when he axed BSF projects for six local authorities

Picture Michael Gove
Open mouthed at his own effrontery?

“Wasteful and bureaucratic” were the words education secretary Michael Gove MP used when he announced the demise of Building Schools for the Future (BSF). I was working with Accessible Futures Ltd and Northgate at the time of the election, supporting Kent County Council as it sought to modernise a group of special schools.
We were working with several special schools, each of which had its own distinctive problems. There was Foreland, a special school for children with complex and profound difficulties. Because of the nature of their disabilities, some children die before they finish their schooling at Foreland and one of the sensitive organisational challenges facing the BSF team was how to relocate their ashes to the new school grounds. Is this what Gove meant by wasteful and bureaucratic?

 St Anthony’s School caters for students aged 5-16 with a range of behavioural, emotional, social and learning difficulties. They had a good ratio of computers to children but needed robust laptops for the children who have dyspraxia or might misuse computers on a bad day. Laleham Gap School is the county’s specialist provision for high functioning pupils aged 3-16 with autistic spectrum disorders or speech and language disorders and has a residential unit for those children who cannot go home.

These schools were all victims of the BSF cuts and the pupils will lose out.
See the full version of my article and join the debate at Merlin John Online

Dyslexia and Dyspraxia

I am writing a book for Crimson Publishing called How to Help your Dyslexic and Dyspraxic Child. It is aimed at the parent market and gives ideas for activities to do at home, how to get an assessment, confidence building. I have just typed a plan and pasted the text into Wordle which makes a word cloud from any piece of text.  The more often a word appears in the text, the more prominent it is in the Word Cloud.

a word cloud from pasted textLooks like the key words are games, co-ordination, spelling activities and memory. Yup that seems about right.. Better stop playing and get writing!