China has confirmed that it has detained two Canadian men in what appears to be retaliation for the arrest of Huawei’s chief financial officer.

The US Senate has passed a resolution stating Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is responsible for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Theresa May’s hopes of getting EU leaders to help her push her Brexit deal through parliament have been dealt a severe blow as she prepares to return home and face her party.

The UK’s big four auditors will next week face an unprecedented move to limit their market share and allow smaller rivals to gatecrash their self-confessed oligopoly as regulators shake up a sector rattled by a string of corporate collapses.

Mike Ashley has been rebuffed by Debenhams after he offered a £40m loan to bail out the struggling department store amid speculation it had “zero chance of survival”.

 

Brexit uncertainty has pushed a key measure of the housing market to a six-year low, according to surveyors.

Shares in Superdry have plunged by more than a third after it issued its second profit warning in less than two months – blaming mild weather for a potential £22m hit to its bottom line.

EDUCATION TOP STORIES

Ofsted critiques ‘disjointed’ special educational needs provision

Ofsted- criticises-GBO

Thousands missing out on vital support, report says, with pupils being removed illegally

The school watchdog Ofsted has delivered a scathing indictment of children’s education with special educational needs and disabilities, warning that provision is “disjointed and inconsistent”, with thousands missing out on vital support to which they are entitled.

Amanda Spielman, chief inspector of England’s schools, drew attention to the plight of pupils with SEND, warning that the diagnoses was taking too long, was often inaccurate and mental health needs were not supported sufficiently in her second report.

The report, which presents a state-of-the-nation commentary on the quality of education, revealed that in 2018 more than 2,000 of the most needy children who have official education, health and care (EHC) plans – legally binding documents setting out their needs – were still awaiting provision, almost three times more than in 2010. In 2017 the figure was more than 4,000.

The overall number of requests for ENC assessment that were either refused or delayed have also increased dramatically. In 2017, there were about 14,600 refusals by local authorities to carry out an assessment—a third more than two years earlier.

Spielman also raised concerns about the number of children with special needs who seemed to disappear out of education altogether. Almost 5,800 pupils with SEND left their school between years 10 and 11; some will have been removed from the school roll illegally, because they were perceived as difficult to teach or at risk of bringing down GCSE results. Half of the 19,000 GCSE-aged pupils that dropped off school rolls between 2016 and 2017 did not reappear on another state-funded school roll.

The report also flagged up a widening gap in performance and outcomes for children with SEND between the worst and best local areas. Of the 68 local area inspections carried out, 30 were found to have serious failings.

The chief inspector’s findings come at a time of mounting anger among parents of children with SEND who say vital support services are being withdrawn. A number of parent groups around the country have already launched legal action against their local authorities to try to resist further cuts planned for SEND provision.

Legal action has also been launched against the education secretary, Damian Hinds, and the chancellor Philip Hammond. Parents have accused him of failing to provide local authorities with sufficient funding to pay for SEND services for their children.

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