Tag Archives: SEND

SEND funding in England: the Government needs your views!

Last week the Department for Education (DfE) in England made a call for evidence about SEND funding. As many of you will know and have experienced, the SEN system in England was significantly reformed in 2014 with the introduction of the Children and Families Act but that wasn’t the only change to have a big impact on children and young people with SEND.

Eighteen months or so prior to that the government made significant changes to the way SEND was to be funded at the local level. The combination of the these two major reforms has had led to numerous accounts of serious issues for children with SEND with almost daily news stories of exclusions, head teachers saying they have no money for SEND and parents taking local authorities, and even the government, to court for matters relating to funding.

The consultation is open until 31 July and the online response form can be found here.

The DfE have also asked the Council for Disabled Children to organise a small number of workshops across the country, so that they can discuss the themes in the call for evidence in greater detail. If you would like to attend one of these events, you can register your interest at [email protected], giving your name, role, organisation and email address. They will send you information about the events as soon as it is available.

Bizarrely, the call for evidence doesn’t include special school funding or school/college transport. Families are telling us that problems with the latter continue to be a serious issue for some parents meaning that sometimes they have to reduce the hours that they work or even consider giving up work all together. In many cases, getting a child/young person with SEND to school or college and providing a meaningful educational and social experience needs all the pieces of the SEND funding jigsaw to work together: it would be great if the DfE could focus on all of the pieces and not just some of them.

SEND reform event gives parents an update

On the 1st July 2015, a Cerebra Forum was held at The Space Centre in Preston which provided an update the SEND Reforms.

Emma Davies, lawyer from Maxwell Gillott, Education Law Specialists gave a brilliant presentation on how the SEND Reforms are working in practice, since the change major changes to SEN Law in September 2104. The presentation provided parents/carers lots of information on Education Health Care Plans, the duty of statutory bodies and common problems.

Thirty parents, carers and professionals attended the event.  There was a Q & A session and lots of discussions during the presentation. The presentation gave parent/ carers a clearer understanding of the new legislation.  The feedback on Emma’s presentation was fantastic with lots of parent/carers asking for another forum next year on the same subject to be updated further.

We have had some very positive feedback from people who attended:

“This event has given me the confidence to challenge! It was excellent and thank you so much.”

“ I feel more positive about getting the right things in place for my children. It was a very informative forum.”

“Great to get updated knowledge. It was very welcoming, great speaker and well organised.”

At the event information was available on national and local SEN organisations and information was provided about forthcoming Cerebra Forums in the North West.

Following the presentation there was a buffet lunch in the beautiful gardens in The Space Centre with the added bonus of sunshine on the hottest day in 9 years!

You can download Emma’s presentation below:

SEND reform presentation