July 2014

The Department for Education has published the final version of the Special Educational Needs (SEN) Code of Practice. It comes into practice on 1 September 2014 and explains the duties of schools and colleges to: * provide reasonable adjustments for disabled children and young people * provide auxiliary aids and services to disabled children and young people

The Department for Work & Pensions has published its new Commissioning Strategy for welfare to work services. The new strategy provides a framework for future commissioning decisions. It recognises that we are now operating in a different strategy, policy and delivery context, and that the welfare to work market has changed and evolved. It was informed and developed by drawing on evidence, best practice and the perspectives of experts and stakeholders. It drew on analysis and evaluation of welfare to work programmes both in the UK and abroad.

Frontline Total Security has been named Cornwall ‘Employer of the Year’ in a campaign launched by the Prime Minister. Cornish business, Frontline Total Security Ltd, were delighted to win a prestigious ‘Employer of the Year’ award at a Disability Confident event held last week at the Health and Wellbeing Centre in Truro.

NCVO has published a report, Stepping Stones, calling for a major overhaul of how welfare to work schemes are designed and paid for. NCVO says that the Work Programme is failing many people with complex or multiple needs and is underutilising the skills and expertise of the charity sector. They believe that people’s needs would be better met by a co-designed, locally-led service delivery approach based on smaller contracts and flexible payment models, including recognition of milestones towards employment.

The Government has launched a young disabled people's employment portal on Gov.uk. This is intended to signpost young people, their parents and professionals who support them who may be subject, but not necessarily disability experts, to advice and ideas to help young disabled people successfully navigate the transition to work.

DWP has published Matthew Oakley's independent review of Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) sanctions for claimants failing to take part in back to work schemes. It found systematic problems in the way the government administers and imposes benefit sanctions, including disproportionate burdens on the most vulnerable. It also revealed serious flaws in how sanctions were imposed, with Work Programme providers required to send participants for sanctions when they knew they had done nothing wrong, leaving "claimants … sent from pillar to post". Summary of recommendations

The flaws in the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) system are so grave that simply "rebranding" the assessment used to determine eligibility for ESA (the Work Capability Assessment (WCA)) by appointing a new contractor will not solve the problems, says the Work and Pensions Committee in a report published today.

More than a quarter (27%) of young people with autism are not currently in education, employment or training (NEET), compared with 14% of the general population, a survey has found.

The survey, by Ambitious about Autism, a charity for children and young people with autism, also found that only 1 in 4 young people surveyed felt they had the support needed to get a job and just 10% thought employers were likely to recruit someone with autism.

Shaw Trust has published a report cal;ling for a bridging of the disability employment gap in local areas. The report, Stepping Up: Bridging local disability employment gaps contains a number of recommendations: 1. Local authorities and LEPs should carry out comprehensive local disability needs analyses to identify local barriers to work faced by people with disabilities, health problems and impairments, in order to underpin actions to break them down.

Inclusion has published a major new report on reforming employment support for disabled people and those with health conditions. The project, ‘Fit for Purpose’, has been supported by twenty-five organisations – ranging from national charities that work with and represent disabled people through to three quarters of the organisations delivering the Government’s Work Programme. BASE was a member of the advisory group.