Views sought ahead of SEN Green Paper

Catherine Gaunt
Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Children's minister Sarah Teather has asked early years practitioners, parents, teachers and local authorities to offer their ideas for how to make the education system easier for children with special educational needs and their families.

Views put forward will help develop proposals for the Government's Green Paper on SEN and disability, to be published in the autumn. Ms Teather said she wanted to look at every aspect of the special educational needs system, from assessment and identification to funding and education.

'Children with special educational needs and disabilities should have the same opportunities as other children,' she said. 'But the current system is so adversarial that too often, this doesn't happen. I want parents, teachers, charities, teaching unions and local authorities to come forward with the changes they think are needed.

'Parents should be in control of their child's education and future. They must be involved in discussions and decisions about the support they need, rather than feel they have to battle the system.'

Options being considered by ministers include giving parents a choice of educational setting, making the funding system more transparent and cost-effective, improving diagnosis so that children with additional needs are identified earlier and preventing the closure of special schools.

Lorraine Petersen, CEO of nasen, the professional association that represents people working with SEN and disabilities sector, said, 'The UK is recognised as a world leader in terms of educational provisions for young people with a special educational need or disability, but there are many areas that need continued focus and development.'

Further information

Views for the Green Paper can be submitted until 15 October at www.education.gov.uk/consultations

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