Polls flash warning signs for Trump on impeachment | TheHill

New public opinion surveys show signs of trouble for President Trump in the fast-evolving impeachment inquiry unfolding just 13 months out from Election Day.

Polls out this week show independents and a growing share of Republicans warming to the inquiry or expressing concern about Trump’s request that Ukraine investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.

While early shifts in support of impeachment appeared to be driven by Democrats, a Washington Post-Schar School poll released on Tuesday rocked Washington, finding that nearly 30 percent of Republicans support the impeachment investigation and nearly 20 percent support a Senate vote to remove the president if he is impeached in the House.

Since July, the poll found support for an impeachment inquiry has grown by 25 points among Democrats, 21 points among Republicans and 20 points among independents.

According to FiveThirtyEight’s average of polls, support for impeachment among Republicans has increased from 8 percent last month to 16.2 percent presently, while support among independents has leaped from 33.9 percent to 44.4 percent.

Some Democrats who were worried that impeachment would backfire are breathing a little bit easier now, confident that if they lay out the case for impeachment, public opinion will follow.

“This is becoming a serious liability for the president and for the Republicans who remain with him,” said Andrew Feldman, a Democratic strategist.

Still, there is debate among experts about the significance of the new polls, and not all Democrats are convinced that the impeachment gamble won’t come back to haunt them.

Hillary Clinton was leading in the polls on Election Day,” said one Democratic fundraiser. “I want to see this poll again when we start having people testify over the course of a few months after Republicans stay on message and use Fox News to their advantage. If by then independents are still for it, ok. But I don’t see that happening.”

Trump and his allies have only just begun running millions of dollars worth of ads attacking Democrats for launching the impeachment inquiry.


Source: Polls flash warning signs for Trump on impeachment | TheHill

Legal advice concerns after government abandons search for new contractors | DisabledGo News and Blog

Lawyers and campaigners have raised fresh concerns about the government’s approach to providing legal advice to people who need help with discrimination and special educational needs (SEN) cases, after ministers abandoned efforts to award new contracts in those areas.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) had been seeking organisations to take on contracts to provide advice from 1 September on discrimination and education cases through the Civil Legal Advice (CLA) service.

But it has now announced that it has abandoned those efforts because there were not enough “compliant” bids from organisations seeking the new contracts.

There are now fears that the government’s difficulty in finding organisations willing to take on the CLA services from September could make it even harder for disabled people to secure the legal advice they need.

Following the passing of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) in 2013, it became possible to seek government-funded advice and assistance on discrimination and SEN issues only through the CLA telephone “gateway”.

But campaigners say the introduction of the telephone gateway has had a dramatic negative impact on the ability of disabled people – such as those with communication-related impairments, mental health conditions or learning difficulties – to access legal advice and support.

Jeanine Blamires, who gave evidence two years ago to the House of Lords Equality Act 2010 a




Source: Legal advice concerns after government abandons search for new contractors | DisabledGo News and Blog

Upper Tribunal Decision – Buckingham CC v SJ – IPSEA

The Upper Tribunal has recently published it’s verdict on the Buckinghamshire v SJ case, which provides significant clarity of how Tribunals should deal with the appeals of Young People.

Source: Upper Tribunal Decision – Buckingham CC v SJ – IPSEA

Schools Struggling With SEN Support Finds Study

Same Difference

Schools in England are struggling to support the 1.1 million pupils with special needs or disabilities (SEND) in mainstream classrooms, a report says.

A survey of 1,100 school leaders found delays to assessments, insufficient budgets and cuts to local authorities were hampering the ability to cope.

The study by The Key, which provides leadership and management support to schools, calls for increased funding.

The government says it has increased funding for those with “high needs”.

Department for Education (DfE) statistics published last year showed there were more than 1.3 million children in England – 15% of pupils – identified as having special educational needs or disabilities.

How are children with special educational needs supported?

Of these, 1.1 million are in mainstream schools rather than special schools.

The research by The Key suggested:

  • 82% of mainstream schools in England do not have sufficient funding and budget to adequately provide for pupils…

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Some special needs pupils denied education – ombudsman

Original post from BBC News      


By Hannah Richardson BBC News education reporter
Children with special educational needs often get extra help in class

Some children with special educational needs are being left without education for significant periods, a local government ombudsman report says.

The watchdog’s report highlights cases of pupils unlawfully excluded from school and denied specialist support.

Others are having their educational opportunities limited due to long delays in providing support, it adds.

The education department says it is overhauling the SEN system as too many pupils do not get the help they need.

The ombudsman receives more complaints about education and children’s services than any other area. Some 17% of its 20,186 complaints last year were in this area. And complaints about SEN provision accounted for 8.6% of these.

In its report drawing from cases it has heard, the ombudsman says the most serious area of concern is delays in assessing and providing SEN support, which can often lead to loss of education.

It also says there are cases of unlawful exclusions, in which children are wrongfully pushed out of education because of their special needs.

Under the law, councils are required to complete special needs assessments within 26 weeks of a formal request. But this assessment is due to be shortened to a maximum of 20 weeks under the government’s overhaul.

Currently, straightforward provision should be in place within four weeks, while more complex provision should be available within half a term.

In its report, the ombudsman sets out the case of an autistic boy in a mainstream school who lost out on appropriate education for two years because of delays in assessing and reassessing his needs. He also lost out on the development of essential social skills as a result.

The council was ordered to pay a total of £8,250 in compensation to the family.


The ombudsman also highlighted as concerning inadequate assessment and inadequate review of statements – the written description of the child’s special need – as well as poor planning of the child’s support.

The ombudsman cited another case of a boy with selective mutism and severe anxiety, whose final statement of needs was delayed for 15 months.

“The result… was an increase in his already high levels of anxiety about school, and more absences from school during Year 11 at a key time in his school career, which reduced his choices at post-16,” it said.

The council was asked to compensate the family with £7,000 for its failure in the case.

Local government ombudsman Jane Martin said children with SEN, and their families, must be treated fairly by councils so they received the support to which they were entitled.

‘Greater control’

“It is not acceptable when pupils miss out on crucial education, are unlawfully excluded or have their education opportunities adversely affected,” she said.

“A common phrase we hear from families when resolving a dispute about SEN is that it feels like a constant battle. It should not be this way. When things go wrong it is vital that councils act quickly to avoid children being disadvantaged.”

A Department for Education spokeswoman said it was overhauling the SEN system to give families greater control and choice over the services they received so their needs were properly met.

“All councils must ensure children are educated in a place which meets their needs and schools must follow our strict rules when excluding pupils,” she said.

“We are also spending over £3.5m on SEN co-ordinators in schools to provide targeted support to these children, and have increased funding for schools with high numbers of pupils with SEN and for children with more complex educational needs.

“We are tackling the causes of exclusion by improving the quality of teaching, raising standards in literacy and numeracy, tackling disadvantage through the pupil premium and significantly reforming alternative provision.”

David Simmonds, chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said councils were committed to working with mothers and fathers who wanted the best for their children.

“We recognise the current system is out of date and we are looking forward to working in a new regime where mums and dads have a bigger say and councils have the flexibility to deliver,” he said.  …………………..’


Ensuring a smooth transition – a parental perspective


The process of transition happens to all pupils a few times during their school life. Debby Elley reflects on good practice for schools when welcoming pupils with SEND into their community.

TRANSITION:  The word is enough to make parents of autistic pupils quake in their boots. Transition means change. Change, to an autistic child, is an anxiety-provoking beast that can only be tamed by the use of some careful preparation heavily disguised as no-big-deal-whatsoever.

The softly-cushioned world of primary school seems to go on for so many years that it seems transition is always a long way off. In Year 4, it was suddenly on the horizon and by Year 5, I realised that my son Bobby’s cossetted primary existence would soon be giving way to the Big Wide World.

Download Priestnall School's parent and carers booklet Download Priestnall School’s parent and carers booklet

Choosing a school

Choosing a school, much like choosing a house, relies on…

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