Copied as notes from Paces' first Seminar on the SEN reforms, an audience largely of parents and parent groups, and reported at the start of Paces' second seminar to an audience largely of professionals working in education, health and care; these are the messages to politicans and to those charged with implementing the reforms:
1. What we don’t want to lose is…
- Clear Timescales for dealing with assessments and preparing plans
- Parental Choice: allow the choice of those that want the bias towards inclusion strengthened and those that do not want to lose their current entitlement to specialist provision.
- Continue to work together in the child’s best interests
- Current Provision
- Legal Safeguards
2. These are our pressing concerns…
- The impact of the huge changes LA’s are going through
- Understanding the transition from the single Education plans (Statements of SEN) to EHC plans. This requires clear information and processes.
- Avoid regression to 30 years ago!
- Legal safeguards are being eroded.
- Loss of School Action Plus, e.g. those with high-functioning autism. Schools now hold the budgets, but there is no accountability about how the money is spent.
3. These are our ideas that might help Statutory Bodies help our children…
- Create benchmarks by which agencies can self-assess for managing assessments and plans based on feedback from parents and children.
- Ensure parent forums are well resourced to give independent support to parents (Calderdale model).
- The Pupil Premium should be outcome driven.
- Seminars are used to disseminate information regarding the Pathfinder progress and conclusions to parents and professionals.
- National minimum standards enshrined in local offer, make it enforceable. End the postcode lottery