Special Educational Needs

Department for Education written question – answered on 26th July 2022.

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Photo of Lee Anderson Lee Anderson Conservative, Ashfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support his Department plans to provide to parents of children who are unable to attend school due to their (a) special educational needs and (b) disabilities.

Photo of Will Quince Will Quince Minister of State (Education)

Local authorities have a range of strategies for supporting parents of children with special educational needs and disabilities whose children are unable to attend school due to their specific needs. This will depend on the nature of the child’s needs, but support services such as education welfare officers, educational psychologists and specialist teachers are often involved in such casework.

Where the child’s needs relate to a special educational need and the child has an Education Health and Care plan, the local authority will work with the family and other agencies to secure the provision outlined in the plan. Depending on the nature of the child’s needs, the local authority will also work with the family of securing attendance at school, where that is appropriate.

The department’s guidance, 'Working together to improve School Attendance', published in May 2022, is designed to improve the monitoring and tracking of attendance to spot problems earlier and facilitate better, more targeted multi-agency support with improved join up of early help services, external partners and support services. This is intended to improve the consistency of support offered to pupils and families, replicating effective practices across England. The guidance is also clear that schools and local authorities should be working with pupils and parents to overcome barriers to attendance. The guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/working-together-to-improve-school-attendance.

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