Thursday 16 June 2016

SEND parents and boroughs should come together

The last week has seen an out pouring of emotion, information and suggestions following comments made by a solicitors firm caught 'gloating' about a Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Tribunal win on Twitter.

Many were extremely upset by a series of tweets that led to the story breaking in the national newspapers including in The Guardian.  LBC and Radio 5 Live both heard from parents who felt let down my the systems in place or provisions available. 

I have heard from many parents who feel that this is indicative of an adversarial system and highlights a lack of resources or provisions within Local Authorities. I expressed concerns about the way the system in our borough, via a lack of provision, pitted us not only against the borough but also against our fellow SEND parents as we competed for scarce placements.

Yesterday Steph's Two Girls looked at what should happen next, and All About Evie considered what lessons solicitors may learn from the incident.

Today, Special Needs Jungle have created a 'Call for Action' to 'Work together to stop SEND Tribunal nightmares'  proposing a voluntary code of conduct for Local Authorities and parents.

In a little under a year (by 1 May 2017), The Lord Chancellor and The Secretary of State for Education will report on a review of arrangements for SEND disagreement resolution as per their requirements in the Children and Families Act 2014

Whatever happens next, it must be a good thing that SEND parents are looking to work together with each other and with the Local Authorities to improve outcomes for their community.

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