Government’s answers on special needs delayed. Again

As Michael Gove’s education reforms gather momentum, an important group of vulnerable children are at risk of being left behind. Back in December, Left Foot Forward raised serious questions over the future of funding models for specialist services currently provided by local authorities...

By Laurence Turner

As Michael Gove’s education reforms gather momentum, an important group of vulnerable children are at risk of being left behind. Back in December, Left Foot Forward raised serious questions over the future of funding models for specialist services currently provided by local authorities.

In January the education select committee, on which the coalition has a majority, further warned:

“There is a risk that, as schools go through the transition from being dependent on local authority-provided services to having greater autonomy in purchasing their own support and services, some local authority services may be decommissioned, leaving schools, and more importantly pupils, without access to critical support.”

It was hoped the SEN green paper would map out a policy agenda that would mitigate this danger. In addition, the paper represents a historic opportunity to correct some of the very real injustices in the present statementing system.

Unfortunately, children’s minister Sarah Teather confirmed on Wednesday that the green paper would be delayed once again – this time until March. It is the latest in a series of delays for a paper that was originally due to be published last autumn.

Special needs have been the subject of indifference and inaccurate reporting in the mainstream press, but the delays to the SEN green paper are fast becoming an important political issue that deserves wider attention. Labour’s shadow education secretary Andy Burnham wrote last week:

“Such is the government’s rush to grab new powers that MPs are being asked to vote on [the Education Bill] without seeing the long-promised special educational needs green paper.

“That cannot be right. It sends a clear message to those parents that their kids are an afterthought.”

The onus is on the government to prove otherwise, but time is running out.

Additional time in exams is an acceptable counterbalance for those with special needs, but such extensions are less impressive from a government minister. In the meantime, across the country the severing of local authority links continues.

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18 Responses to “Government’s answers on special needs delayed. Again”

  1. Kim Blake

    RT @leftfootfwd: Government’s answers on special needs delayed. Again http://bit.ly/dR3YWW

  2. yorkierosie

    RT @leftfootfwd: Government’s answers on special needs delayed. Again http://bit.ly/dR3YWW

  3. ross reid

    RT @leftfootfwd: Government’s answers on special needs delayed. Again http://bit.ly/dR3YWW

  4. uniteyou

    RT @leftfootfwd: Government’s answers on special needs delayed. Again http://bit.ly/dR3YWW

  5. CAROLE JONES

    RT @leftfootfwd: Government’s answers on special needs delayed. Again http://bit.ly/dR3YWW

  6. Fiona Millar

    RT @leftfootfwd: Government’s answers on special needs delayed. Again http://bit.ly/e3vbXN

  7. John Illingworth

    RT @schooltruth: RT @leftfootfwd: Government’s answers on special needs delayed. Again http://bit.ly/e3vbXN

  8. Laurence Turner

    RT @leftfootfwd: Government’s answers on special needs delayed. Again http://bit.ly/dR3YWW

  9. stellacreasy

    RT @leftfootfwd: Government’s answers on special needs delayed. Again http://bit.ly/dR3YWW < education bill also threatens SEN provision too

  10. Laurence Turner

    New article up on @leftfootfwd – Government's answers on Special Needs Delayed (Again) http://bit.ly/e3vbXN

  11. Sarah Bickerstaffe

    RT @leftfootfwd: Government’s answers on special needs delayed. Again http://bit.ly/dR3YWW

  12. Emma Jane Richards

    children’s minister Sarah Teather confirmed that SEN green paper would be delayed once again – this time until March http://bit.ly/eMlTH1

  13. GiftedPhoenix

    Left Foot Forward on the much-delayed SEN Green Paper – http://bit.ly/eTvajx – Is the problem no ideas, no agreement or no money?

  14. Bob Harrison

    RT @GiftedPhoenix: Left Foot Forward on the much-delayed SEN Green Paper – http://bit.ly/eTvajx – Is the problem no ideas, no agreement …

  15. Mr. Sensible

    I am opposed to the Coalition’s academies program and wider school reforms for several reasons, and this is 1.

    When will the government publish that paper and assure parents of children with special educational needs that their concerns are actually being taken seriously?

  16. Stephen Bush

    @larry_turner has written a good piece on SEN children and education reform. http://tinyurl.com/6baa7dv

  17. Daniel Pitt

    #ConDemNation STILL refusing to answer on special needs delivery http://bit.ly/dR3YWW

  18. Cautious optimism over the Special Educational Needs green paper | Left Foot Forward

    […] was originally due to be published last autumn, has been dogged by a series of delays, as detailed previously by Left Foot Forward. Its arrival helps to fill an important gap in the coalition’s overall […]

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