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(UK) 50 charities challenge govt SPED green paper

May 9, 2022, Learning Disability Today: Charities urge government to reconsider proposals set out in SEND green paper

Disability charities and organisations are calling on the government to rethink some of the proposals made in the latest special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) green paper.

In total, 50 charities signed a letter to the education secretary, Nadim Zahawi, and the health secretary, Sajid Javid, expressing concern that some of the plans could damage disabled children’s education and development.

The charities say that some of the plans will “have the opposite effect” to the paper’s stated intentions and will instead “restrict families with disabled children from getting services and create extra barriers in an already burdensome system.”

Some proposals risk worsening an already broken system...

On top of these suggestions, the letter says it would also like to see the paper answer the “biggest issue for many families”: how are councils, schools, the health service and others going to be held to account if they don’t meet their legal duties?...

Linda Cantrill, 52, mum of seven-year-old twins Teddy (who has autism) and Reddington (who has complex needs including visual impairment), from Exmouth, Devon has joined the charities’ calls.

She said the legislation will be “detrimental” if it goes through unchallenged, and urges the public not to let the government reduce the rights that families currently have.

She added: “We may no longer have access to support for our children or the chance to choose the best school to meet our children’s needs. We might have yet another gatekeeper standing in our way to take services to Tribunal. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve our children’s lives not make them worse.”


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