On Tuesday 20 November 2018 The Education Committee held a Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) roundtable with third sector organisations. The roundtable was the third session of the committee’s inquiry into SEND. A variety of third sector organisations were involved in the roundtable including Disabled Children’s Partnership, Council for Disabled Children and the Special Educational Consortium.
The inquiry is to discuss and evaluate the impact of the reforms to the Children and Families Act 2014, as well as the level of support for children and young people with SEND, including SEN support and Education, Health and Care Plans (EHC). In evaluating the impact of the reforms, roundtable discussions evaluated the successes, areas of concern and failures of the reforms.
Key areas such as funding, parental experience, education health and care plans (EHC) and parental tribunals were discussed and reviewed during the roundtable.
In relation to parental experience, Tara Flood, the director of ALLFIE, highlighted the frustration of parents who had grown to feel exasperated due to the inefficient nature of local authorities (LAs) and schools in offering appropriate choice of provision for children and young people with SEND. Tara also discussed the idea of parental choice, suggesting that there was a misconception that parents have choices. She felt that parents only had choices that the LA and schools allowed them to have.