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Views wanted on SEN
Tuesday 14 September 2010
Government announces 'call for views' on a green paper on special educational needs
The government has launched a 'call for views' on a new green paper: 'Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities'.
"Parents should be in control of their child's education and future," said children's minister Sarah Teather. "Importantly, they must be involved in discussions and decisions about the support they need, rather than feel they have to battle the system. I want to make it easier for parents to choose where their child is educated."
The paper will explore how well the SEN framework meets the needs of children and young people and what could be improved. It will cover issues such as school choice, early identification and assessment, funding and family support, with a focus on greater transparency, reducing bureaucracy and finding more local solutions.
The Department for Education will collect views until 15 October, and a green paper will be published in the autumn. Mencap is running a survey to gather views and experiences from families of children with a learning disability.
David Congdon, Mencap's head of campaigns and policy, said: "Mencap welcomes the introduction of this green paper and we are encouraged by the government's commitment to improving service provision for children and young people with a learning disability and their families.
"With education reform being a high priority on the coalition government's agenda, this consultation provides a crucial opportunity to ensure that the educational needs of children and young people are at the forefront of reforms.
The call for views was followed by a review of SEN by Ofsted, which revealed concerns about the current system. Chief inspector Christine Gilbert said: "Although we saw some excellent support for children with special educational needs, and a huge investment of resources, overall there needs to be a shift in direction."
Take part in Mencap's survey on SEN
Read Ofsted's special educational needs and disability review