Jamie Reed – 2015 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Education

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Jamie Reed on 2015-12-02.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what provisions exist to ensure that children with cerebral palsy have access to appropriate specialist education facilities.

Edward Timpson

The reforms introduced in September 2014 will ensure that all children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) aged 0 to 25, including those with cerebral palsy, have improved access to the support they need.

Local authorities are responsible for meeting the educational needs of all children with SEND within their local area. They must co-ordinate education, health and care provision for individual children and ensure that young people and parents are involved in discussions about their individual support and about local provision more generally. Statutory Local Offers published by each local authority must set out what support is available for all children and young people with SEND in their area, including those with more complex needs.

The reforms detailed in the SEND Code of Practice were drawn up in consultation with a wide range of interested parties, many of whom represented the interests of children and young people with specific impairments. They are intended to improve outcomes for every child or young person with SEND by placing them at the heart of a system designed to respond to their individual needs and aspirations.

The Department has not assessed the impact of the SEND Code of Practice, or regional variations in provision, on the basis of any specific impairment but is monitoring implementation closely.

This monitoring includes inputs from annual data collection; termly surveys of local authorities and Parent Carer Forums; and feedback from specialist SEND Advisers and funded voluntary sector organisations. From May 2016, this monitoring will be enhanced by a new joint Ofsted/CQC inspection framework for SEND, which is currently the subject of a national consultation.

Schools are required by the Children and Families Act 2014 to identify the SEN of the pupils they support and to use their best endeavours to make sure that they get the support they need. Teachers are expected to be able to adapt their teaching to the needs of all pupils, and to have an understanding of the factors that can inhibit learning and how to overcome them.

To support the school workforce, the Department has funded almost 11,000 SEN Coordinators to attain Masters-level national awards between 2009 and 2014, at a cost of almost £33 million; is funding SEND conferences for school leaders and supporting the development of a ‘SEND gateway’ for education professionals, which offers a wide range of online training and information.