Special Needs Wrongly Identified

Special Needs Wrongly Identified

Last week, news came out that the number of youngsters considered to have special needs was going to be cut, due to tighter legislations being implemented on which children with SEN are identified.

Ofsted are bringing the new rules into place, as they feel many children are being wrongly identified as having SEN, simply due to poor teaching. The Ofsted group ran a report in October 2010, stating that half the number of children listed as requiring 'School Action' (the lowest SEN category), simply required individual goals being set for them, and an improved method of teaching to be applied to them.

The official figures provided by Ofsted state that 1 in 5 children are special needs; this equates to approximately 1.7 million children that require definitive educational assistance.
The Children's minister Sarah Teather has spoken out about how the system is 'outdated, and no linger fit for purpose'.

Thousands of families have had to battle for months, even years, with different agencies to get the specialist care their children need. It is unacceptable they are forced to go from pillar to post, facing agonising delays and bureaucracy to get support, therapy and equipment - Sarah Teather

Teather believes that these new reforms will allow parents to be in control, giving them a personal budget to choose the correct pathway for their child's education, and removing the decisive input of councils and health services.
The reforms will see the biggest shake up of the system in more than 30years, and was mentioned by the Queen in her address to the public a few weeks prior.
Families will now have:
  • The right to buy support for their child
  • Legal powers to control their own personal budget for their child
  • The right to seek a place in free schools, and special academies for their child
Ministers are pressing for the proposal to go ahead, having first read of it on green paper in March. The view of the majority seems to be that the system is far too complex, and parents are left struggling to receive help.

Education and health services will be legally bound to work together to provide the correct care and support for children with SEN.
Christine Lenehan, the Director of the Council for Disabled Children, has spoken of occasions where children are left in severe pain due to their wheelchairs being too small. This then leads to growth problems, and operations to correct them. For the operations to take place, the children are required to undergo several assessments before a conclusion is reached.

Ministers did, on Tuesday, respond to the Green Paper, stating that the current system would be axed, and a new from birth to 25 assessment care plan would be brought into action.
They believe that this will see a cut in the number of youngsters thought to have SEN, and provide more help and support for children that are suffering, as well as their families.

To read more about the new SEN legislations click here.

  • Have you suffered due to the old SEN rules and legislations?
  • Do you think the changes will help?

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