Draft Green Paper on SEN - 27 June 2011

In summary, the whole proposals:

-still lack transparency and accountability

-still give no definition of what constitutes a special educational need

-give no indication of what will happen to children who have a 'late' diagnosis, such as autism, ASD or MLD

-show no policing of the system when Local Authorities knowingly, or unknowingly, break the law.  Who is going to oversee?

-set no common framework standards

-still put the LA in the position of ultimately deciding provision and placement

-extend the Statement to age 25, but are not statutory.  Parents will therefore face two battles rather than one:  post 16 and post 19.  Statements should be extended to FE College

-show confusion over the new Education, Health and Care Plan - which is welcome - but there is not much detail about how it will work in practice.  Presumably the EHCP will be enforceable in relation to educational provision?  It is not cler whether the Health and Care elements of the plan (even assuming they can be separated out) will be enforceable or appealable.  -show that each LA dictates what they will provide, so we continue to have a postcode lottery

-do not allow for planning for child to adult transitioning in health or social servies

-continue to show confusion as to who are the disabled children who will benefit from these changes

-show there is no change to the Tribunal process, which is till under the remit of the Ministry of Justice.  Appeals to SENDIST still result in 80% of parents winning, yet there is no cost sanction against the LA  It should be that if an Authority loses, it pays the parental costs.