(UK) Increase in disabled students; more refusals for assessments

Aug 9, 2017, (UK) FE Week: Quick-fix approach to SEND is poor strategy There has been a marked increase in refusals to assess young people for education, health and care plans. Fixing this will require a shift in attitude from government, says Pauline Bayliss-Jones The latest government figures about learners with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) make for sombre reading. In 2016 the number of requests for education, health and care plans refused by local authorities rose by of 35 per cent from the previous year. ... To get that extra help in education – i.e. the funding – you need an EHC plan. But the figures released by the Department for Education revealed that 10 local authorities refused more EHC needs assessments in 2016 than they actually carried out. In total, local authorities turned down 14,795 requests for an assessment – an increase of more than a third on 2015. Just 56 per cent of assessments were carried out within the required 20-week timeframe. ... Until then local authorities will continue to struggle with the increased demand for ECH plans and extra funding, with the real losers being the vulnerable young people we should be protecting.