After supporting a new Schools White Paper which will see all pupils who need extra help with learning in Burnley and Padiham given the support they need, Antony Higginbotham MP has welcomed the plans set out to improve the provisions in place for local SEND children.
The new national plan announced by the Education Secretary aims to better support children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities through a combination of changes to the current system.
Under the proposals set out, extra funding is to be provided to improve and expand the number of places available, alongside alternative provision which would be focused on early intervention for young people whose behaviour or needs present a barrier to learning.
To drive up standards and promote greater transparency in the system, a new qualification for SEND Coordinators is to be introduced with local and national performance dashboards setup to compare the level of SEND support being provided across the UK.
Backed up by a cash injection of £2.6billion the changes are aimed at improving the system that too often leaves parents facing difficulties and delays accessing the right support for their child.
Commenting Antony Higginbotham MP said:
Every child deserves the very best education which takes account of their needs and abilities.
But since becoming the MP I’ve seen just how difficult parents can find it to get the help and support their child needs where they have special educational needs or disabilities. The support that is available can vary significantly and whilst I’m able to help with individual cases when they’re brought to me, it’s clear that a more fundamental change is needed. That's why I'm so pleased to see this Green Paper launched today, and open to consultation so those who know the issue best can give their views.
I know the changes being consulted on will be welcomed by families who have battled to get EHCPs, and by teachers who want to provide the best support but don’t always know who to turn to. They will provide clarity and accountability and I’d encourage all those with views to take part so we can get this right for all those children who rely on the services being provided.”
Education Secretary, Nadhim Zahawi, said:
Every child has the right to excellent education - particularly those with special educational needs and disabilities, who often need the most support.
We are launching this consultation because too often this isn’t the case. We want to end the postcode lottery of uncertainty and poor accountability that exists for too many families, boost confidence in the system across the board and increase local mainstream and specialist education to give parents better choice.
I want to make sure everyone knows what to expect, when to expect it and where the support should come from. I know there are strongly held views and I want to hear from as many parents, teachers and children with experience of the system so they can help shape a future policy that works for them.
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid said:
Every child, regardless of their background, should be able to access the education they need and deserve. These plans will level up opportunities for children and young people with special educational needs.
It is vital that children, families and teachers have confidence in our education system, no matter where they live; we need to hear from them so this new national, integrated system works for the people who need it most.
Dame Christine Lenehan, Director of the Council for Disabled Children, said:
I am very happy to welcome this green paper. It shows that Government has listened to the frustration across the sector and the toll that has taken on parents, children and professionals alike.
The green paper proposes a welcome framework for change which should support children and families getting the services and support they need close to home. However, this is just a framework and so the consultation response to it will be key as it develops into a programme that delivers the change we need to see. We hope that everyone takes the opportunity to respond and support that happening.