The House of Commons Education Committee has recently published the Government’s response to the 2019 report on special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
The Down’s Syndrome Association (DSA) are active members of the Special Educational Consortium (SEC) and members of this group gave evidence to the committee. Our involvement in this influential group means we were able to represent the needs of families of children who have Down’s syndrome and ensure they were included in this important inquiry.
The report, published by the Committee of the last Parliament in October 2019, followed an 18-month inquiry into Government reforms aimed at placing children and young people at the heart of the SEND system.
It concluded that while the reforms to the support for children and young people contained in the Children and Families Act 2014 were the right ones, poor implementation has put local authorities under pressure, left schools struggling to cope and, ultimately, thrown families into crisis. See more here.
The Chair of the Education Committee, Robert Halfon MP, said: ‘With more than 700 submissions from children, families and others, the Committee’s examination of the SEND system in the last Parliament was one of the largest and widest-ranging inquiries ever undertaken by a select committee and highlighted how a generation of children and young people is being failed.
The response from Ministers is more than six months overdue so we are publishing it without further delay as hundreds of families, teachers, children and others who contributed to our work – and thousands more across the country – will have been waiting to hear how the Government intends to fix the flaws that lead to many young people missing out on the support they need.
I am pleased the Government recognises the system ‘must improve’, as it is clear that many of the provisions for those with SEND are not working as they should be.
Our committee will continue to be a voice for children and families to ensure they receive the support they both need and deserve.’
The DSA will continue to be involved in this process and will be calling on the Government to urgently make the improvements to the SEND system that are so desperately required.