ASCL responds to EPI report on SEND 'postcode lottery'

19/03/2021
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on the Education Policy Institute (EPI) report 'Identifying pupils with special educational needs and disabilities'.
 

Commenting on the Education Policy Institute (EPI) report 'Identifying pupils with special educational needs and disabilities', Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

“It is essential that every child with special educational needs gets the right support, and we are extremely concerned by this report’s findings that a child’s chances of being identified with SEND are a postcode lottery. 

“Of particular concern is the conclusion that the type of school may be a factor in identifying SEND, and that children from the most disadvantaged areas are less likely to be identified than similar children in more affluent areas. 

“It is very difficult to know what is driving these patterns and we would caution against jumping to conclusions in an extremely complex educational landscape. 

“However, what we do know is that everybody in the school system – in whatever type of school or area – is utterly committed to correctly identifying SEND and providing the support that children require. 

“Schools have not been helped by the fact that government funding for this support has not matched the level of need, and that the SEND funding system is byzantine in its complexity.

“We agree with the report’s recommendations for improving the system for identifying and supporting pupils with SEND, and we are grateful to the EPI for shining a light on this issue.”