School Exclusion: Timpson Review - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:35 pm on 7th May 2019.

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Photo of Lord Addington Lord Addington Liberal Democrat 6:35 pm, 7th May 2019

My Lords, the report and the Government’s responses to the key recommendations keep talking about special educational needs and integration of the approach. Of course, I applaud this; I remind the House of my declared interests. However, unless you have some form of recognition and identification earlier on in the system, you will always be playing catch-up. We know that many of the groups we are talking about will have unidentified, or undealt with, special educational needs.

The report and the Government’s response talk about enhancing the role of SENCOs. SENCOs are one person in the system and they will not be experts in every condition they have to deal with. Will the Government make sure there is better access at a school or at academy-chain level to expertise in those commonly occurring conditions? We know that three children in every class will be dyslexic, one will be dyspraxic and several will have ADHD. Unless you have that expertise on hand, it will always be a problem and we will always be playing catch-up. If you go to the local authority, there will be terrible problems with co-ordination. How will the Government start to address this?