Academies: Special Educational Needs

Department for Education written question – answered on 4th November 2019.

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Photo of Fabian Hamilton Fabian Hamilton Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs), Shadow Minister (Defence)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what accountability process is in place to ensure that academies implement SEND children's Education, Health and Care Plans.

Photo of Michelle Donelan Michelle Donelan Government Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

All schools, including academies, have a duty under the Children and Families Act 2014 to identify and support the special educational needs and disabilities of pupils, whether or not they have an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.

Where a child has an EHC plan, the local authority that issued it has a statutory duty to ensure that the specified special educational provision is delivered by the named school, which could be an academy. If a parent believes a school is not delivering the support specified for their child in an EHC plan, they can take this up with the school through its published complaints procedure or directly with the local authority.

If this does not resolve the parent’s concerns, either the parent or the local authority is able to ask the Department for Education for a determination on whether the school has failed to carry out a statutory duty or has done so in an unreasonable way. Where officials find that a school has failed to carry out a statutory duty or has done so in an unreasonable way, they can make an order on behalf of my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education requiring the school to put matters right, if this would be expedient.

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