Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Green Paper

In March the Government published the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) green paper.   The Green Paper says how the Government plans to change the way that children and young people with autism get support with their education and from health and social care services.   The Green Paper is a consultation, and the decisions about exactly what changes will go ahead have not been taken yet.  

Some of the main proposals in the green paper are:
-       to have single assessment process covering health, social care and education support.  Instead of a statement of SEN, this will lead to a overall plan, called an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP).  The education part of EHCPs will be legally enforceable as with a statement.
-       These plans will cover young people from birth to 25
-       Pupils who have an EHCP may receive personal budgets so they know how much money is being spent on their support.
-       School Action and School Action plus (school based support) to be replaced by new single school based SEN category
-       Increased training for new and existing teachers, covering SEN
-       Outstanding special schools able to apply to become teaching (training) schools: allowing good specialist teachers to share their expertise
-       A ‘local offer’ which will say what services are available for children with SEND in a local authority area, and will also have more detailed information about the provision that schools make for this group
-       Mediation to be first port of call to resolve disputes before a case can go to tribunal.

Although, these plans look marginally better than the current provision, I remain extremely sceptical that the new proposals would make any difference to my children's experiences at school.

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