Special Educational Needs

Education written question – answered on 7th September 2011.

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Photo of Graeme Morrice Graeme Morrice Labour, Livingston

To ask the Secretary of State for Education what role local authorities will have in co-ordinating specialist support for pupils with special educational needs between schools, health services and other services.

Photo of Sarah Teather Sarah Teather The Minister of State, Department for Education

The special educational needs (SEN) and disability Green Paper, “Support and aspiration”, set out a strong strategic role for local authorities in England acting as the champions of vulnerable children, including those with SEN, and their families. The three core features of this role will be: working with local partners, such as Health and Wellbeing Boards, to plan strategically for services to meet the needs of local communities; commissioning high quality provision for disabled children and those with SEN; and enabling families to make informed choices and exercise greater control over services, by, for example, setting out a local offer of provision for these children.

For individual children who require specialist support, local authorities will be an important agency, working with the voluntary sector and others, in arranging a single assessment process, drawing up Education, Health and Care Plans and agreeing on responsibility among the agencies involved for making the provision set out on the plan.

The Department is considering responses to the Green Paper and the Government will be publishing their plans for the future of SEN and disability provision in England by the end of the year.

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