The government’s long-awaited Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Review, now a Green Paper for consultation, has been published today by the Department for Education.
Catch22, a provider of specialist and alternative provision (AP) education through its independent schools and academies, has long been an advocate of good quality support and delivery, in both specialist and mainstream schools, for children with SEND.
Led by Will Quince, Under Secretary of State at the Department for Education, the review’s main aims are to provide an overarching picture on the UK’s current SEND system, and “improve the services available to families who need support and equip staff in schools and colleges to respond effectively to their needs”. The proposals are backed by new £70 million funding to implement them.
As well as this, and of particular importance to Catch22, its ambition is to end the ‘postcode lottery’ children with SEND often face. A staggering 27% of pupils with SEND are eligible for free school meals compared to 12% of pupils without SEND, highlighting that SEND support must come hand in hand with support across the entire welfare cycle.
Jane Reed, CEO of Catch22 Education, said:
“Every parent wants the best for their child and every parent knows their child best of all. Therefore, a SEND system that values authentically the voice and view of parents and children in decision-making will deliver better outcomes.
“A system that meets the needs of the most vulnerable child is a system that meets the needs of every child.
“It is essential that the new national strategy secures consistency and coherence in the local offer, funding and access to personalised and integrated SEND support that works well and is of good quality across education, health and social care; with clear accountability for services or provision to work better where this is needed.”
The report is hopeful in its ambitions to simplify the current SEND and Alternative Provision system into one which is single, national and integrated, and in turn improve the outcomes for children and young people with SEND.
“It is brilliant that the new Code of Practice has regard to the requirements of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. All of our Catch22 schools are Rights Respecting Schools.”