The Education Select Committee report on their 18 month inquiry into Government reforms was released earlier this week. The report claimed that ‘a generation of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities is failing to receive the support it deserves.’
The report highlights poor implementation of the 2014 reforms as the main reason for ‘bureaucracy, buck-passing and confusion’. The committee supports the reforms in principle but claims that the legislation has been poorly implemented, putting Local Authorities under pressure, leaving schools struggling to cope and families facing crisis.
The report does acknowledge that lack of funding is a serious factor contributing to the issues, however, it suggests that additional funding would not have a significant impact without a culture change. The report recommends more emphasis on inspections and a more rigorous framework for this, powers for the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman to investigate complaints about schools and a direct line for parents and schools to appeal to the DfE where Local Authorities are failing them.
Earlier this month the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman released a report warning about how the system is failing young people and families.
The SEND crisis has significant impact for the North East as the region has the highest proportion of pupils with SEND. Moreover since SEND inspections were introduced in 2016 nine out of 12 Local Authorities in the region have been inspected and eight were required to submit a written statement of action.