New official figures highlight grave concerns about the impact of the government’s special educational needs and disability (SEND) reforms on disabled children, according to a leading campaigner.The figures show that some local authorities are lagging far behind others in implementing the government’s reforms.Under the reforms, which came into effect in September 2014, following the Children and Families Act, local authorities in England have until April 2018 to move all disabled children eligible for support from SEN statements to new education, health and care plans (EHCPs).The plans will last from birth to the age of 25 and set out all the support a family should receive across education, health and social care.But the new Department for Education (DfE) statistics show a huge difference between local authorities in how quickly they are implementing the reforms, with some councils far more likely to be providing their disabled pupils with old-style statements instead of EHCPs.One of the worst-performing local authorities is Tory-run Westminster, which – by January 2016 – had set up just 30 EHCPs, compared with maintaining 1,005 SEN statements, with just 1.1 per cent of children with statements issued with a replacement EHCP.Labour-run Derby City Council had produced only 70 EHCPs and still had 1,200 statements, with just 3.1 per cent of children with statements issued with an EHCP.These figures compared with Nottinghamshire County Council, which only had 675 disabled children with statements but 1,170 with EHCPs (and more than half of children with statements moved on to EHCPs), and City of York Council, with 190 statements and 380 EHCPs (and 63.4 per cent moved on to EHCPs).There were also huge differences in how long families had to wait for their EHCPs, with only 8.3 per cent of EHCPs issued within the necessary 20 weeks by Oldham council, and 17.4 per cent in Kingston upon Hull.This compares with 92.9 per cent in Nottinghamshire, and 99.1 per cent in Bedford.Tara Flood (pictured), chief executive of The Alliance for Inclusive Education (ALLFIE), said she believed the figures show that many councils are struggling with education funding, partly because a significant number of disabled young people who previously were too old for statements are now eligible for EHCPs.Flood said she believed that the government’s reforms will cause the number of disabled children in mainstream school to “decline sharply”.ALLFIE is being approached by three or four parents a week concerned that their children are seeing a reduction in their support during the implementation of EHCPs.Children who previously had statements are now being awarded lower levels of support under EHCPs, she said, with both schools and local authorities blaming the government’s reforms, and some families being told their child is no longer eligible for any support.Flood warned that there had been little attempt to gather evidence on what was happening to the amount of support being offered to disabled children and young people as a result of the reforms.Last week, educational support organisation The Key revealed that a survey of more than 1,100 school leaders showed than eight in 10 schools across England and Wales had insufficient funding to provide adequately for their disabled pupils, while almost nine in 10 school leaders had seen the support they receive for these children “affected detrimentally” by cuts to council services.A Department for Education (DfE) spokeswoman said: “Just 20 months ago, we made fundamental changes to the way the SEND support system works for families – the biggest in a generation.“These figures show that overall, since the introduction of our reforms, 74,000 young people with SEND now have EHC plans – clear signs that we are on track and progress is being made.“Councils are learning new ways of working under the new assessment process, and we know there is still progress to be made to get this new system fully embedded.“These figures were collected in January and therefore do not show the current picture.“We are using this data to monitor how well councils are implementing their new duties, and to target the challenge and support we give them.”DfE said it was investing £45 million between 2014 and 2017 in providing “independent supporters” in every area to help parents and young people “navigate the EHC needs assessment and plan process”, as well as funding an implementation grant of £35.8 million for local authorities.Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission will assess how effectively local areas are working together to implement the Children and Families Act, with all local areas to be inspected over the next five years, while DfE said it would also work with the Department of Health and NHS England to help “spread good practice as well as bring about necessary improvements”.
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Students outside #SF City Hall chanting in #TrumpProtest Thursday morning, part of city wide walk-out pic.twitter.com/ztbtFas0se— Joe Rivano Barros (@jrivanob) November 10, 2016 Angel Spruell, an 18-year-old senior, spoke through a mic in the middle of the crowd and lambasted the millions of Americans who voted for Trump, saying they were mistaken and that “no one should tell us what to do.”“Everything thinks Donald Trump is a good president,” she started. “That nigga ain’t shit.”Lindsey Heldens, a 16-year-old junior from Mission High, echoed Spruell’s disbelief, saying she did not understand how half the country could vote for Trump.“I was completely astounded that so many people in our country would elect an idiot,” she said. “Donald Trump is unfit to be president.”D.J. Fisher, another 16-year-old Mission High junior, said many of Trump’s supporters were racists. As a black woman, she said she worried about the casual racism that came from Trump’s campaign and saw a bleak future for people like herself.“We have to grow up with this and know that many people are racist and that they really don’t trust people of color,” she said. 0% “Pussy grabs back!” chants morph into “Si se puede!” as hundreds of high schoolers throng #SF City Hall #TrumProtest pic.twitter.com/Xkpgi9dzyo— Joe Rivano Barros (@jrivanob) November 10, 2016 One chant began “Pussy grabs back!” in reference to Trump’s “grab ’em by the pussy” comment, and turned into “Sí se puede!” by the students, a segment of whom were waving the Salvadoran and Mexican flags and shouting “Latinos, unidos, jamas seran vencidos!” — Latinos, united, will never be defeated. From City Hall, the crowd, easily over a thousand strong, moved down Market Street towards the Ferry Building before taking a detour into the Financial District, snarling traffic as they marched down Montgomery Street. Many drivers didn’t seem to mind, however — the march received dozens of honks of support. One Muni driver gave the students high-fives as they marched past, while another matched his horn blasts to the marchers’ chants.The columns of students frequently broke up, groups of dozens often separated by blocks. Police officers on motorcycles drove along and between protesters to clear traffic, but sometimes could not anticipate the students’ path. When marchers moved down Montgomery Street, for instance, officers did not have time to clear traffic and the protesters streamed past gridlocked cars.There were no incidents, though one student threw an egg at a squad car halting traffic for the march. The car drove off and the student disappeared into the crowd.Photo by Joe Rivano Barros.Photo by Joe Rivano Barros.Photo by Joe Rivano Barros.As part of the city-wide protest, some 300 students from Lick-Wilmerding High School in the Excelsior staged a walk-out of their own. Bound for City Hall, they marched along Mission Street, crossing 19th Street around 11:30 a.m.“We are not happy about it,” said Nigel Berkeley, a senior, referring to Trump’s presidency, adding that they were calling for “a peaceful transition of power.”“We are protesting not just hate and what Trump has been talking about, but the criminalization of homelessness in the city, gentrification, the death penalty,” added one of Berkeley’s schoolmates. The walkout was student-organized and led, according to Eric Friedman, a science teacher at Lick-Wilmerding.“The students decided this morning that they wanted to have their voices heard. They organized it all and made signs this morning and brought some teachers along – we are just observing, not telling them what to do or how to do it,” said Friedman.The student protest was the second anti-Trump march in just 12 hours in San Francisco, following another on Wednesday night that saw thousands march from City Hall to the Castro and Mission districts to show solidarity with the LGBT and Latino communities, among others. Organizers said they would be among the most impacted by Trump’s presidency, and frequently shouted “Immigrants are welcome here!” while others in the march waved rainbow flags.We don’t aggregate, we don’t bloviate, we report – and that takes feet on the ground.Know your community, join Mission Local and keep our reporting alive. Near 11 a.m. and after miles of marching, students turned on Sacramento Street and moved towards the Ferry Building, continuing to block traffic as they marched down Embarcadero towards the Pier 39. They shouted “Hey hey, ho ho! Donald Trump has got to go!” as tourists and those on lunch break stood taking photos and video of the protest.They then turned back towards City Hall, where a circle of students sat near the barricaded entrance, taking turns speaking about the effects a Trump presidency would have on them.“My fellow Americans of all colors, let’s stand together,” said Abdul Abozid, a student from Galileo Academy of Science and Technology. A Muslim, Abozid said he had seen the stereotypes about his religion spread by Trump and his supporters and was concerned about the future for him and others. “Every color, black brown white, we are all equal and one nation under God.”Students at City Hall on November 10, 2016, protesting Donald Trump’s election. Photo by Lola M. Chavez.Photo by Lola M. ChavezPhoto by Lola M. ChavezPhoto by Lola M. ChavezPhoto by Lola M. ChavezRaayan Mohtashemi, a 17-year-old from Lick-Wilmerding, said he was the head of the environmental club at his school and terrified at what a Trump presidency would mean for combating climate change. President Trump, he said, could easily undo the work done by Obama.The protest, he said, was a means of showing the new president where he and others stood.“When they go low, we go high. This is what going high looks like,” he said. Those around him chanted “We reject the president-elect!”As of 1:30 p.m., some 500 students remained at City Hall, frequently joined by dozens of others as groups trickled in from other schools throughout the afternoon. By 2 p.m., they were marching towards the Mission District, quickly traversing Market Street and then Valencia Street.They made a stop at Mission Police Station before heading along 18th Street toward the Castro, where they paused at Harvey Milk Plaza. From there it was back down along Market Street for the remaining students, their numbers now diminished to several dozen, many of them young women with “My body, my choice,” written on their faces.The smaller group returned to City Hall, where after some five hours of marching, the protest appeared to come to an end.Faith Marquez, a 15-year-old sophomore at the Academy of Arts and Sciences High School, said she helped organize the walkout in part in response to what she heard at protests on Wednesday night.“I went to the protest last night and a lot of people said we were too young to understand this election,” she said.She disagreed, and said high school students are more than capable of understanding the Trump presidency. She used social media to spread the word, and got multiple schools together for Thursday morning.“I’m actually a lesbian, and my aunt’s homophobic, and I live with her,” Marquez said. She said she worried about gay conversion therapy, a practice Trump’s vice president-elect Mike Pence ostensibly supports.Kelsey Medina, also 15 and a sophomore at Mission High School, has a Mexican father and said she is traumatized by the election. Throughout the day, she periodically led the students as they marched.“I will lose the people I care about to a dumb person who doesn’t know what he’s doing,” she said.Photo by Joe Rivano Barros.Photo by Joe Rivano Barros.Photo by Joe Rivano Barros.Photo by Joe Rivano Barros.Photo by Joe Rivano Barros.Photo by Lola M. ChavezPhoto by Lola M. ChavezPhoto by Lola M. ChavezPhoto by Lola M. ChavezPhoto by Lola M. ChavezPhoto by Lola M. ChavezPhoto by Lola M. ChavezStudents marching up 18th street towards the Castro. Photo by Lola M. Chavez Tags: election 2016 • Elections • high school • protests • students • youth Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% Dozens of students from Mission High School marched to City Hall and joined hundreds of other San Francisco high schoolers in a city-wide walk-out on Thursday morning to protest the election of Donald Trump.Students left school at 9 a.m. with the full support of many teachers and their principal, according to Eva Grace, a junior. Grace said that while students had been mournful the day after the election, they were organized to march by Thursday.“Yesterday was a day of grieving — everyone was sad,” said the 16-year-old. “But today people are turning that grief into action.”Students made their way down Valencia Street, Market Street, and then on to City Hall where hundreds of others were already assembled at the building’s steps, which had been barricaded by sheriff’s deputies. There, the crowd launched into chants — “Not my president!” and “Fuck Donald Trump!” were popular, the latter often accompanied by a middle finger in the air.
Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Raise your glasses: The Mission has a new legacy business — the venerable Uptown bar at 17th and Capp. Uptown is known for its music and artistic events, and all of the unpretentious neighborhood bar amenities like couches, a pool table and a well-curated jukebox. Because it never gets too loud, it has hosted book clubs, debates, and is hospitable to community dialogue. (Full disclosure: This reporter has had one of his best New Year’s celebrations at the bar.) “Everyone seems to have an Uptown story,” Ken Cohen, one of the bar’s owners, told Mission Local. That was especially true for small business Commissioner Sharky Laguana, who ultimately voted for the bar to become a legacy business. “We would go to the Uptown and, in fact, that was where I kissed my wife for the first time,” he said on Monday. “I’d like to thank you for that contribution,” he added. “My children would really like to thank you.” The staff of the Uptown out to lunch with the bar’s original owner Scott Ellsworth (left) in 2010. Ellsworth died in 2014. Photo courtesy of Jessica Gensley.The bar at 200 Capp St., while the venue of many a good memory, experienced some tragedy in April 2014, when its founder, Scott Ellsworth, died suddenly of a heart attack, a week shy of his 60th birthday.Instead of selling it the highest bidder, however, Ellsworth’s family passed the bar to seven Uptown employees and Ellsworth’s friends, including Cohen. Increasingly, “old neighborhood bars have been closing up and turned into fancy rests and cocktail bars,” Cohen said. The legacy status, he added, will help to keep at least this one alive. “We are delighted that the Commission has recognized Uptown’s history and significance to the Mission community,” Shae Green, another one of the owners of Uptown, said in a statement. “This is a wonderful program to help preserve the character of San Francisco, and we are happy to be part of it.”The 32-year-old dive bar can now receive grants of up to $500 per full-time employee and its landlord will receive $4.50 per square foot per year — if the bar’s lease is extended at least 10 years. Ellsworth bought the bar in 1984, naming it after one of his favorite theaters in Chicago, Cohen said. Having previously run the kitchen at Rite Spot on 17th and Folsom, he wanted to open a bar of his own, Cohen said. Cohen added that Ellsworth was very protective of the music included in the jukebox, which the former owner curated himself with local musicians. “He had to approve what went on the jukebox,” Cohen said. “And now we’ve tried to continue that.” He added: “I’m not sure we’ve done as a good a job as he did.” The Uptown at night. Photo by Ariel Dovas. Email Address
THE Exiles, a team made up of the cream of overseas talent drawn from the Stobart Super League, have named former St Helens and New Zealand Warriors coach Daniel Anderson as their head coach for the 2012 International Origin Series.The two-game programme pits them against England on Saturday June 16 at Langtree Park, St Helens and Wednesday July 4 with the venue to be announced at a later date and will see Anderson return to the UK for the first time since 2008 when he enjoyed great success as St Helens’ chief, winning the Challenge Cup and Super League title.Anderson, who is currently in Australia working for a national radio station, has not wasted any time in selecting Warrington Wolves full-back Brett Hodgson as his captain for the International Series.“It is a great honour to be selected as the coach of the Exiles,” said Anderson. “I love the concept and I believe I have some fantastic players at my disposal to continue on from last year’s victory over England and hopefully win this year’s series.“Brett Hodgson will make a great leader for the group. He has bags of experience and was part of last year’s winning side. He is well respected by his peers and his knowledge and understanding of what makes a successful camp will benefit the players as we approach the opening game in June.”Anderson, who also guided Parramatta Eels and New Zealand Warriors to NRL Grand Final appearances in recent years, will also be joined by Hull FC Director of Rugby Shaun McRae, former Bradford Bulls and New Zealand star Robbie Hunter-Paul and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats assistant boss Glenn Morrison in a newly formed Exiles management team.The four-man team will take full responsibility for developing the Exiles and will monitor player performance throughout the weekly rounds of the Stobart Super League before Anderson arrives in the country in early June.“We have a number of world-class players available to pick from,” added Anderson.“I will work closely with Shaun (McRae), Robbie (Hunter-Paul) and Glenn (Morrison) to make sure we are monitoring the players on a weekly basis with a view to selecting the strongest possible squad to face England.“England will no doubt use the two-game series as part of their continued preparation for the Rugby League World Cup in 2013, which is vital to their on-going development.“I see it as a way for those overseas players playing in the Super League to have another crack at representative football. The concept is gathering awareness across the sport and an intense series can only benefit the game in England.”Tickets for the England v Exiles, International Origin Game 1, at Langtree Park, St Helens, will go on sale to St Helens Season Ticket holders only from 9am on Thursday March 15 and can be purchased through the St Helens ticket office direct on 01744 455 052. Please note you can only buy your place or seat in this time period.Season ticket holders will have a two week exclusivity period before tickets go on General sale on Thursday March 29 when tickets, priced from £18 adult and £9 concession terracing, can be purchased through the RFL Ticket office on 0844 856 1113 or by visiting www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.ukIn addition, community groups and clubs can take advantage of a fantastic ticket offer with the RFL launching a group ticket deal whereby fans can take advantage of a seated match ticket, an England replica shirt and an Exiles replica shirt for only £44 for an adult and £34 for a concession (senior citizen over 65 and junior under 16). To take advantage of the group deal, please contact Ray Tennant 07595 520338 or Bev Coleman 07595 520578 and show your support for England and international Rugby League this summer.
SAINTS Reserves face Hull FC at Hull Ionians at 2.30pm on Saturday afternoon.Ian Talbot’s unbeaten side travel over to Humberside in the re-arranged fixture.If you had a ticket for the Hull FC v Saints game last Saturday then entry is free.Tickets for the game are just £3 adults and £1 concessions (65+, under 16s).Car parking is available at the ground for £3 on a first come, first served basis.The squad for the game is:Andre Savelio, Ben Morris, Brad Pinder, Calvin Wellington, Chris Follin, Dave Llewellyn, David Eccleston, Jonah Cunningham, Levy Nzoungou, Lewis Charnock, Lewis Furlong, Liam Cooper, Matty Fleming, Oli Davies, Ricky Bailey, Shannon McDonnell, Tom Connick, Tom Whittle, Tommi Hughes, Tony Suffolk.
Held at the Totally Wicked Stadium, the students, aged 9 to 10, act out a series of safety scenarios and emergency situations.The scheme’s aim is to help the children become more aware of their personal safety, make a contribution to crime prevention, avoid being a victim of crime, know what to do in an emergency, foster good citizenship and actively contribute to their own health and that of others.The Council’s Road Safety Team, who organised the event, delivered information about being safe near and on roads whilst the Youth Service team talked about water safety when out and about.Meanwhile, ESafety covered the importance of being safe online and the tips you can use to help make being online an enjoyable experience and the Rangers discussed safety and awareness in open spaces.Merseyside Police explained to the pupils how to make a 999 call and introduced them to the 101 number as a way of reporting crimes and other concerns that don’t require an emergency response.And St Johns Ambulance covered the importance of first aid and give the children a crash course in how to put someone into the recovery position when required to do so.
BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) – The practice of seismic air testing that helps companies find oil and gas in open water could begin along coastlines like North Carolina’s.This change has many from national to local levels fired up.The approval places 5 companies closer to gain permits to test in Atlantic waters. For many, the move seems like a clear act of agencies like NOAA to not listen to the hundreds of local governments that have opposed the practice.- Advertisement – “It’s infuriating because they are clearly not listening to us,” said Pete Key President of Brunswick Environmental Action Team (BEAT).In April 2017, President Trump reopened the chance for surveys and testing in Atlantic waters. That led us to now, NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service has provided the green-light for five companies to move forward with the application process.North Carolina’s Petroleum Council (NCPC) applauding the move.Related Article: Government report says US budget deficit set to hit $897B“The U.S. needs to know what energy resources exist off of our shores,” said the Council’s Executive Director David McGowan III. “The oil and natural gas industry remains committed to improving the scientific understanding of the impacts of our operations on marine life, while responsibly producing oil and gas resources to meet our nation’s energy needs.”Key says there is nothing responsibly safe about the method.“For every ten seconds, 24 hours a day, seven days a week for possibly months on end they could be towing these buoys that emit a sound that is Earth-shatteringly deafening,” said Key. “The disruption that it’s going to have on marine life underneath the, it doesn’t take a scientist to figure that out.”NCPC cites the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management saying the there is no proof the testing harms marine life.“There has been no demonstration of population level effects to marine life from seismic or other geophysical survey activity, individually or cumulatively,” said McGowan.Key combats that finding and the regulations that require spotter be placed on these surveys to make sure marine life is not in the area when the seismic airwaves are sent through the water.“Say it’s night now, well you’re not going to be able to see a whale or see a dolphin and we’re going to be criss-crossing these patterns over the migratory paths of the Wright whale and the Atlantic bottle-nosed dolphin,” said Key.The BOEM is now the lone agency between these geo-surveying companies from beginning to conduct tests and data in the Atlantic. Communities like New Hanover County, echo their opposition to the practice.“The worst thing that could happen here is that we have offshore drilling and a spill happen like what happened in the Gulf,” said county commission chairman Jonathan Barfield.
SUNSET BEACH, NC (WWAY) — As government leaders come together for the State of the Union in Washington, one local government cannot seem to iron out its differences.Emotions are high after Sunset Beach Mayor Greg Weiss announced he was ending his term after just five months. Weiss is the second mayor to resign in just 11 months.- Advertisement – “Sometimes in working together, honest people see things differently,” Weiss said. “So I’m taking this opportunity to announce that I am resigning as mayor.”Sunset Beach business owners just shake their head.“It’s dysfunctional. You know, a lot of them come in here. Some of them don’t come in here. You read it in the papers. Every week there’s some sort of issue that they just can’t agree on,” Stephen Cuozzo said, who owns Backstreet Cafe.Related Article: Interim Sunset Beach mayor appeals DWI convictionCuozzo says the tension within the town’s government has been chaotic for years.Councilman Richard Cerrato says there have been longstanding issues between town leaders.“Politics is something, I find, that if you don’t go along to get along and if you question, you will not be treated very nicely. That has been the history of this town,” Cerrato said.Mayor Pro-Tem Mark Benton will assume responsibilities as Mayor.“I knew it was coming if a certain decision about hiring a town manager occurred, and I was prepared for that. As far as stepping in, I’ve done it before for nine months and I’ll do it for the rest of the remaining term until November,” Benton said.Benton also served as pro-tem after Robert Forrester resigned as mayor less than a year ago. Residents just hope town council can resolve its issues.“How many more mayors are we going to go through before we really get something done in here that’s really positive? They all need to work together,” Cuozzo said.Town council has its next meeting on February 19.
Chappell is an 8th-grade student at Charles P. Murray Middle School in Wilmington. She wants to use technology to conquer language barriers across the nation.“All around the world, we have deaf people,” Chappell said. “It’s such a diverse language even from the different dialects here. It could vary from New York to California. Everyone has their own way of speaking. It’s a very functional language. It will change and flow and evolve over time.”Her English teacher, Amy Steelman, pushes students to pursue passions like this.“I want them to realize that they can change the world around them and they can make it a better place,” Steelman said.Each year, Steelman assigns students to participate in an advocacy group challenge. Chappell chose the national Tata Consultancy Service Ignite Innovation Student Challenge which requires middle schoolers to identify a problem and create a digital solution.“I created what I call the ‘Sign Buddy,’” Steelman said. “It was a cube that could translate American Sign Language and English Sign Language into spoken word and so forth back and forth.”On May 24, this innovator joined the winning circle of the challenge as the Top ‘Education’ Pillar Prize winner winning a $7,500 scholarship. The other pillar categories of the challenge include Health and Planet.“I didn’t think I could actually win my pillar,” Chappell said. “I kinda danced around the room a little bit.”“It was beyond my wildest dreams for sure,” Steelman said. “I was beyond excited for her.”Program Manager of TCS’s Corporate Social Responsibility Serene Gallegos says the hope is that the ‘Sign Buddy’ could eventually be a functional product to help improve the world.“The intent or the creation of the challenge is really to help young people and students like Alex build their capacity by using computational thinking and problem solving strategies to address those problems,” Gallegos said. WILMINGTON,NC (WWAY) — One student’s curiosity about a class project sparked her to take on a major problem: how to better communicate with people who cannot speak. Her solutions could be life-changing.“There are not enough forms of media or translators that can fully translate American Sign Language into spoken word,” Alexandria Chappell said.- Advertisement –
Christopher Lawrence McNeil (Photo: Brunswick County Jail) NAVASSA, NC (WWAY) — A Navassa man is in jail charged with multiples sex crimes involving a child.According to a news release from Navassa Police Chief Preston Howell, someone filed a report with Navassa Police about a sexual assault on a minor that had occurred over a six-year period between 2005 and 2011. Howell says his department investigated with the help of the Brunswick County District Attorney’s Office investigator.- Advertisement – This weekend Navassa officers, with help from the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office, served a search warrant on the home of Christopher Lawrence McNeil at 9900 Southerland Circle. They arrested McNeil, 31, and charged him with six counts of sexual offense with a child by an adult.McNeil is in the Brunswick County Jail under $750,000 bond pending his first appearance on Monday.