Lamb Inquiry

Children, Schools and Families written statement – made at on 29 April 2009.

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Photo of Edward Balls Edward Balls Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families

I have welcomed today the report from Brian Lamb, Chair of the Special Educational Consortium, on information for parents of children with special educational needs and disabled children (SEND), and accepted his recommendations.

I asked Brian Lamb in December 2008 to consider improvements to information as part of his wider inquiry into parental confidence in the special educational needs system. I accept the report's central recommendation that good engagement and communication with parents of children with SEND is something which we should expect of all those working in children's services. We will require this as part of the £3 million "Achievement for All" pilots we are taking forward in ten areas.

I will set out details in July on how we will take forward recommendations on improving school and local authority compliance with requirements on producing information for parents.

We will also take forward the recommendation to use the major reforms we are planning to make schools and children's services responsive, personalised and accountable to all parents, work for parents of children with SEND.

I have asked Brian Lamb for further advice in July in two particular areas of concern that he has raised. First, on whether the Ofsted inspection provisions and the wider changes to the school improvement and accountability framework, give sufficient priority to SEN and disability or whether changes are necessary, including to legislation. Secondly, on whether statements of special educational needs are sufficiently clear; whether they are understood by parents; and how well they contribute to improving children's outcomes.

I have placed a copy of a letter from Brian Lamb, his report, and my response in the House Libraries. They are also available on the Department's website at: