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Wednesday 19th December 2012 | 00:01
Labour press release
Sharon Hodgson MP, Labour’s Shadow Children and Families Minister, commenting on the publication of the Education Select Committee’s Pre-legislative Scrutiny Report on the Government’s proposals for reform of the Special Educational Needs system, said:
“The Committee has highlighted a number of concerns that the Government needs to urgently address to ensure children with special educational needs and their families are supported.
“Ministers must explain how disabled children and those who won’t get the new Education, Health and Care Plans will have their needs met under these proposals, and how parents and young people will be consulted on the care and services offered locally.
“The Government needs to listen to this important report and set out the minimum standard of SEN support it expects local areas to provide. We are concerned that without this we could return to a postcode lottery of care and see vulnerable children falling through the gaps in this new system.
“The Committee echoed Labour’s calls for families to be able to name independent special schools on their child’s Plan to ensure that children with the most complex needs have access to the specialist support they need. 8,000 children currently receive support in these schools, and Ministers should reassure their families that they will continue to do so.
“The Committee are also right to call Michael Gove’s attempt to rewrite key SEN policy documents without Parliamentary scrutiny a ‘retrograde step’. Labour will push to ensure that parents, Parliament, and professionals get their say on this crucial document.”