ON the face of it the Government’s proposals to simplify the help for children with special needs seems to have noble aims.
The proposals would give parents a bigger choice of schools and the legal right to control funding for their child by 2014.
Perhaps, most importantly, there will be ‘joined-up thinking’ with a single Special Educational Needs plan for children that would include education, health and care.
Anyone who is the parent of a child with special needs will tell you about the constant battles they have to go through to get the services they feel their child deserves. If these changes puts more power into the hands of the parents, it can only be a positive move.
After all, they are best-placed to know what their child requires.
Anything that can simplify what is now a complex and sometimes adversarial system can only be welcomed.
But it’s one thing assessing children and quite another delivering the services needed to make that assessment work. All too often SEN statements can be vague.
With the public sector cuts now being made across councils and health authorities, it makes you wonder how badly affected the services for disabled children will be in the coming three years.
Many professionals would say they struggle to cope with the demand now and, if that’s the case, how will things be if that demand suddenly rises under the new system?