Special Educational Needs

Department for Education written question – answered on 3rd July 2018.

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Photo of Lord Watson of Invergowrie Lord Watson of Invergowrie Shadow Spokesperson (Education)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effectiveness of the 2014 reforms for children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Photo of Lord Agnew of Oulton Lord Agnew of Oulton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Ofsted and Care Quality Commission inspections of the effectiveness of special educational needs and disability (SEND) services, which began in 2016 and will see all 152 local areas inspected by 2021, are providing evidence of progress.

The most effective areas have strong strategic leadership, and we are beginning to see positive results on the ground in relation to joint working between education, health and care. For example, in Wiltshire’s inspection ‘senior leaders in the local area from education, health and social care are working together constructively to deliver and improve services for children and young people who have [SEND].’ In West Sussex ‘local area leaders have established strong and well-conceived joint commissioning arrangements. For example, the majority of health services that support children and young people who have SEND are commissioned jointly by the local authority and clinical commissioning groups who work within the local area.’

We are particularly encouraged by local authorities and the clinical commissioning group being pro-active in working with partners, including families, to take forward learning from the inspections, particularly where inspectors have identified concerns with services.

More than 98% of statements of special educational needs were reviewed by the 31 March 2018 deadline for introducing Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans. Moving across to EHC plans should enable those children, young people and their families to feel the benefit of the reforms and to receive a more joined-up approach to meeting their needs and improving their outcomes.

A survey of over 13,000 parents and young people who received an EHC plan in 2015 found that 66% were satisfied with the EHC plan planning process. 73% agreed their EHC plan had led to the child getting the help they needed and 67% agreed their plan improved the child or young person’s experience of education.

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