SEND reform should follow six principles, says leading disability organisations in joint open letter to the DfE
This week, we have written to the Department for Education as part of a group of 30+ organisations who work with and support children with special educational needs and disabilities, and their families, to call for future SEND reform to be underpinned by six principles.
We believe, based on our engagement with parents and carers, professionals, and organisations in the sector that reform must:
- Be co-designed with children and families
- Strengthen compliance with the law
- Ensure parental choice is retained
- Make post-16 support a priority
- Not squeeze children’s needs into funding bands
- Address existing gaps in the Green Paper
The Government’s consultation on its recent SEND Green Paper closed in July. Now the Department for Education will deliberate on the feedback it received and is expected to respond by the end of the year, with new regulations likely to follow shortly after.
While the government’s SEND reforms were originally introduced to ‘improve an inconsistent, process-heavy and increasingly adversarial system’, we are concerned that the proposals in the Green Paper as they stand do not address the accountability gap and could worsen delays and access to support across the country.
Research conducted by the Together Trust earlier this year suggests that 9 in 10 parents and carers currently require specialist help to understand what support their child is entitled to.