ASCL comment on Education Committee SEND report

23/10/2019
Julie McCulloch, Director of Policy at the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on the report of the House of Commons Education Committee on support for young people with special educational needs and disabilities
 
Commenting on the report of the House of Commons Education Committee on support for young people with special educational needs and disabilities, Julie McCulloch, Director of Policy at the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

“This report lays bare the fact that the government pulled the rug from under its own laudable plan to improve support for young people who have special educational needs by failing to fund properly the public services responsible for delivering the system.

“As a result we have under-funded schools and colleges desperately trying to secure Education, Health and Care plans for vulnerable pupils with variable levels of help from local authorities and health services, while under the cosh of performance tables which effectively penalise them for having vulnerable intakes. It is hard to imagine a more muddled system. The government’s recent announcement of an extra £780m for high needs funding is a step in the right direction but it is only about half of what is needed.

“We note the Education Committee’s recommendations for a greater focus on SEND in school inspections and powers for the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman to investigate complaints about schools, and we naturally recognise the vital importance that SEND provision is delivered to the highest possible standard.

“However, this crisis cannot be solved by the big stick of more oversight when what is needed is sufficient resources and joined-up education, health and social services which ensure the needs of these young people are met swiftly and in full.”