Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Oral Answers to Questions — Education – in the House of Commons on 9th September 2019.

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Photo of Luke Pollard Luke Pollard Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Fisheries, Flooding and Water)

What plans he has to improve the provision of services for children with special educational needs and disabilities in schools.

Photo of Kemi Badenoch Kemi Badenoch The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his question, which gives me another opportunity to let everyone know that the Government have announced an additional £14 billion for schools over the next three years, including the £700 million of high-needs funding for special educational needs and disabilities that we have been discussing.

Photo of Luke Pollard Luke Pollard Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Fisheries, Flooding and Water)

Pupils with SEND account for nearly half the 41 pupils excluded from schools every day, which is contributing to the increase in the number of pupils being home schooled. What support is being given to pupils with SEND who are being home-schooled?

Photo of Kemi Badenoch Kemi Badenoch The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

We are going to be looking at that as part of a review into special educational needs and disabilities, and I refer the hon. Gentleman to the written ministerial statement that we laid before Parliament today.

Photo of Robert Halfon Robert Halfon Chair, Education Committee

Around 100 children in Harlow are without an education today as the Aspire Academy, run by TBAP, has closed yet again. Despite numerous meetings with Ministers and the academies commissioner, no action has yet been taken. Will my right hon. Friend commit to the re-brokering of this school, so that a new academy can take it over and allow the children to return to their learning and the teachers to teaching? Mismanagement by the TBAP academy chain has gone on long enough.

Photo of Kemi Badenoch Kemi Badenoch The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

An Ofsted inspection of the Aspire Academy in June 2019 rated the academy as inadequate and requiring special measures. The regional schools commissioner for east of England and north-east London issued a termination warning notice letter to TBAP, but a decision is yet to be made about the Aspire Academy and whether it will remain in the trust.