There is a SEND crisis in UK schools. Children with special educational needs are struggling to cope in a system which is failing them. Today parents and educators across the country are marching and gathering to protest this issue. These are our objectives;
Funding to increase to match needs and ring-fenced for SEND
ALL funding to be increased to meet needs of the child via their EHCP, NOT based on a resource budget. The child and their needs MUST be at the centre of the EHCP process and ALL Local Authorities to identify ALL needs and specify and quantify provision to be delivered.
Pathways to assessment and diagnosis MUST have a national maximum 6 week turn around as part of an EHCP assessment as defined in the SEND Code of Practice with schools to be adequately funded to provide early intervention and SEN support. Central Government must fund the EHCPs issued and for SEN support within schools for ALL children to reach their full potential and the funding must be ring-fenced for SEND needs.
Increased funding that MUST be provided independently from the Local Authority to support parents in understanding the SEND process via charities and Parent Partnership Forums in order to make tribunal appeals and Judicial Reviews accessible to ALL parents.
Assessing, monitoring and accountability for improved Educational Outcomes for each child with SEND
Local Authorities must be transparent with their service provision and held accountable by disciplinary action, when evidence that a child’s educational needs have been neglected.
Published data on each Local Authority, in league tables, twice yearly to an independent body such as Ofsted; to summarise their Key Performance Indicators on key areas of the SEND provision process so performance can be measured outside of a formal inspection. Key indicators could include: number of EHCP requests refused, tribunal outcomes.
ALL costs including private reports via the tribunal process and for Judicial Review to be reimbursed to parents where Local Authority have lost the case or found at fault by the Local Government Ombudsmen. Parents and carers to be provided access to LGA as the current complaints policy hinders the parental right to complain and also delays effective reviewing and implementing of necessary services for each child.
A volunteer Parent and carer boards to be established in each county to work alongside regulatory bodies such as Ofsted, to monitor the delivery of SEND services.
There MUST be tracking of progress of ALL SEND children until the age of 25.
One consistent SEND process that ALL Local Authorities MUST follow
ALL Local Authorities MUST follow the SEND Code of Practice and the child and their needs must be at the centre of the EHCP; staff MUST have regular, compulsory training.
ALL local policies based on resources and not need, such as bandings, MUST be ceased, with one consistent SEND policy nationwide; used for all SEND services and enforceable by law. National policy to provide guidelines and conduct rules in terms of parent partnership and SEND service delivery. Co-production between all SEND services so that plans are not weighted to education. Health and social care providers and practitioners to have more involvement in the writing, issuing and deliverance of plans.