In October 2007, the House of Commons Education and Skills Committee published ‘Special Educational Needs: Assessment and Funding’, which identified parental confidence in the special educational needs (SEN) assessment system as a key issue in making provision for children with SEN. In its response to the Committee’s Report, the Government committed to setting up a group of expert advisers to advise on the most effective ways of increasing parental confidence in the SEN assessment process.

This report supersedes the interim reports: it updates the findings and the recommendations in the light of the evidence gathered in August 2009. Where action has already been taken on earlier recommendations, that is recognised and welcomed.

The Inquiry commissioned a web-based survey. The survey ran for two months, to the end of June 2009. A total of just over 3,400 questionnaires were completed. Responses were received from 1,941 parents, 544 school staff, 516 other professionals working with children, schools and families and 400 students.


  • Background and progress of the Inquiry
  • A clearer focus on outcomes
  • A stronger voice for parents
  • A more strategic local approach
  • A more accountable system
  • The national framework
  • Appendices