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Special educational needs reforms proposed

  • Published: Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Radical changes to the system of educational and health support provided for children with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities have been proposed. These include giving parents control of funding for the support their child needs and greater choice in what school their child goes to.

Proposed reforms to SEN and disabilities support

Have your say

Read the SEN proposals in full and share your views

The government believes that under the current system parents often have to battle to get the support their child needs.

Children can also fall between the gaps in services, or need to have multiple assessments.

To change this, the government proposes to:

  • include parents in the assessment process and introduce a legal right, by 2014, to give them control of funding for the support their child needs
  • a new single assessment process
  • a combined education, health and care plan so that health and social services is included in the package of support, along with education
  • make assessment and plans run from birth to 25 years old
  • replace the existing School Action and School Action Plus system with a new school-based category to help teachers focus on raising attainment
  • overhaul teacher training and professional development to better help pupils with special educational needs and to raise their attainment
  • see how voluntary groups might coordinate the package of support independently from local authorities
  • give parents a greater choice of school
  • give parents and community groups the power to set up special free schools

Extra help is also being provided for children that have a learning need, but not necessarily a special educational need.

This extra help includes phonics-based training to support children who need help in reading and direct funding to the most deprived pupils through the Pupil Premium.

Have your say

To read the SEN proposals in full, and to have your say, follow the link below.

The consultation closes on 30 June 2011.

More on Directgov

For further information on special educational needs, including what they are, assessments, statements of support and what help is available, follow the link below.

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