Following the publication of the SEND review in March 2022. The focus of this review was to gage proposals for reforms to how the SEND system currently works. The SEND review incorporated a 13-week consultation paper in a form of Green Paper. This allows for parents, teachers, and other interested bodies to discuss the crux of the recommendations whilst assessing how recommendations for improvements may be implemented.
EHC plans: challenges for children and parents
The SEND Review highlighted the challenges faced by parents, teachers and bodies involved with the development and the delivery of the current SEND system. Notably the SEND review highlighted the concerns parents and carers have in getting the right support for their children. The SEND report highlighted those parents and carers felt that no one was being held to account for the delivery and outcome of educational progress for their children. The review stressed the long history of parents feeling excluded from the development of educational plans and has made specific emphasis to not only increase parent involvement within the process but to create. In addition, the SEND review emphasised the inconsistencies with excellent educational resources, with parents having to compete in what it termed “postcode lotteries” to get their children the best support.
Furthermore, the SEND review questioned the reliance on EHC plans (Education, Health, and Care plans) as it considered the core reason for parents requesting such plans was due to not knowing what schools could deliver for their children. In this, the SEND review concluded that reliance on such plans came from the belief that it was the only way to get their children the correct resources.
Several disadvantages to EHC’s were detailed in the review. In particular, the review stated that the process of obtaining a EHC was too long and as such severely “delayed a child’s progress.” As mentioned previously, EHCP’s were seen as being based on “postcode lotteries” as such the review highlighted that parents around low resource schools or schools that could not deliver the needs detailed in the plans were particularly disadvantaged.
Teacher training reforms
Other areas of concern within the SEND review highlighted in trend of unaccountable alternative provisions for children with SEND requirements. It referenced the continued practices of “children and young people moving around the school system” which included “off-site direction and unregulated managed moves.” As such the review called for greater transparency and greater accountability for such moves and off-site direction with the view to increase oversight, additional resources and reduce “unregistered provision.”
The challenges presented by the SEND Review are vast and need three key considerable elements to enact true change; funding, integration and transparency. It is notable that early intervention via universal screening raised in Rt Hon Matt Hancock’s Bill, will be able to combat the challenges that arise out of late diagnosis for people namely in the health care sector, educational and criminal justice foras.
In order to truly overcome regional inequality for SEN people, it is clear that increased funding provisions for specialist teachers, NPQ qualifications and enhanced access to technologies, should be the chief solutions to overcome the challenges of ‘postcode lotteries’ that many parents face when attempting to get access to the support their children require.
Finally, it cannot be overlooked that one of the citadels of the SEND Review highlight is universal understanding of neurodiversity’s in the wider public and across sectors. Curia’s Dyslexia Commission is hosting its third inquiry session into the SEND Review and School’s Bill.
To find out more, visit the commission page or contact Policy and Research Analyst Ann-Marie Debrah at firstname.lastname@example.org.