BESD and Mental Health


This blog has been written as a contribution to Martin’s brilliant #sharingiscaring collection.

Last Wednesday I ran a session for primary mainstream SENCOs on BESD and mental health. The current situation is grim….children as young as 5 are displaying symptoms of acute distress including disturbed sleep patterns, hyperactivity, feelings of withdrawal and isolation, disassociation. These can manifest themselves in poorly formed relationships with others and, at the extreme end of the spectrum, acts of violence and aggression and incidents of self-harm. As DHT of a PRU I despair that these marginalised children end up with us because often the right help is not sought, so I was on a mission to both inform and give pointers to early support.

I was fortunate to have a lovely lady from Barnardo’s come to speak to the group about their commissioned services and the role of CAMHS was also discussed with useful contact…

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Ofsted and e-Safety: updates for September 2014

Kent Online Safety Blog

In July 2014 Ofsted published the updated version of their School Inspection Framework ready for use in September 2014. Ofsted have significantly reduced the number of guidance documents which they publish for inspectors, schools and other stakeholders. This has resulted in there now being just three guidance documents: The framework for school inspection; School inspection handbook and Inspecting safeguarding in maintained schools and academies.

This means that although the section five briefing “Inspecting e-Safety” has now been removed from the Ofsted website, many elements of good e-Safety practice have now been included in the school inspection handbook and the separate safeguarding briefing. Ofsted have assured that all education, early years and social care inspectors will receive regular and up-to-date e-Safety training to enable them to identify good and inadequate e-Safety practice as part of inspections within schools, colleges and other settings.

e-Safety should be embedded throughout schools and settings safeguarding…

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OFSTED and Raiseonline – should it just be up to Boffins in a bunker? What would you change?

As I said in my last blog Mike Cladingbowl said at our meeting that in his opinion Raiseonline was too complicated and cited an example of colleagues poring over a scatter graph when there were only thirty children in the cohort.

If my memory serves me, when Raiseonline was first launched, the Full Report was roughly 50 pages. Since then it has grown to over 90!

For me, Raiseonline has always reminded me of that Jeff Goldblum quote from Jurassic Park – the bit where the characters are sitting around the table discussing the merits and other wise of the park. Ian Malcolm (Goldblum’s character) says, of creating the dinosaurs, “You were so busy trying to see if you could, you never stopped to think whether you should!” The copious charts of every variety in Raise have a similar feel. They smack of boffins in a bunker thinking of ever more unusual ways to display data. Like decorating their Christmas tree the motivating question appears to be “But could we do it like this?” – I wonder if the DFE had to print, bind and post the document whether it would be so long?

When I tweeted Mike’s comments a interesting exchange took place in which genuinely interesting ideas were put forward to improve Raiseonline. I have listed some of them here:




The FFT dashboard came out favourably as here:


So the question is, if Raiseonline were no longer to be solely the preserve of Boffins in a Bunker – what would you change? What would you like to see in? I look forward to the debate:

Debate update:
Since I posted this blog the following ideas have been put forward:

A point made about PRU’s access to Raiseonline:


Also the question of “Who are the Boffins in the bunker”? Are they the data wranglers at Raiseonline towers or are they also school leadership teams?


Exciting to see some activism as here from Charlotte:

And more people interested in shaping a future Raise:

Thank you for the debate so far!