Saturday 18 September 2010

SEN support should be based on need not budget restrictions

OFSTED’s attack on children with SEN rights is deeply unhelpful says leading campaigning organisation, Alliance for Inclusive Education. 

OFSTED recommended that fewer children should be identified with special educational needs and therefore no longer be entitled to SEN support based on their needs.   

“Many parents have to battle for LEAs and Schools to recognise their child have special educational needs and that additional support is required to enable that child to flourish in school.   Any suggestion that SEN support should only be provided if it’s reasonable to do so will be disastrous for children with SEN.    We fear SEN provision will increasingly be considered as unreasonable to arrange by schools and LEAs at a time of big cuts in education budgets.   It really is unacceptable for ‘politically driven’ decisions to determine if and what SEN provision is reasonable for children.   This will result in families having to fight harder for a well-supported mainstream school placement for their children. ” says Simone Aspis of the Alliance for Inclusive Education.

As OFSTED have pointed out the quality of SEN provision is vital if children with SEN have the best educational outcomes for themselves.   Quality of provision is likely to be adversely affected when the savage cuts to education budgets are implemented.  

“It is crucial that the support children with SEN get in school remains based on need rather the budget,” says Simone Aspis

Alliance for Education would like to see a simplified legal framework so that all disabled children including those with SEN will have their needs and provision identified in a mainstream school.      

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