(UK) S. Gloucestershire: Special needs kids being denied places in school; many being expelled

Jan 9, 2018, (UK) Bristol Post: Children with special needs or disabilities are being excluded from schools in South Gloucestershire A higher-than-normal proportion of disabled children with special needs are being kicked out of schools in South Gloucestershire, it has been revealed. … Over five days in November, the team of inspectors spoke with children, parents, carers, South Gloucestershire Council and the NHS officers working in the area about how SEN children were cared for. The report, which has just been published, criticised both the council and the local clinical commissioning group, and said more needed to be done to help children. … There are more than 1,550 children with an Education, Health and Care plan and another 172 young people waiting to be converted. There are also dozens appealing for one. … One of the main points brought up in the report is the number of exclusions – both fixed-term and permanent – which have been handed out to children. “Fixed-term exclusions from local schools are higher than national figures for those pupils who have SEN support and for those who have a statement for EHC plan, especially in secondary schools,” the team wrote. … Families are forced to wait a long time for assessment, and in many cases, are denied an EHC plan, the report found. A “significant proportion” of parents and carers said they were not confident in the local area, and that there were long timescales for statutory assessments to be done. … The “unacceptably long waits” for children with autism were higlighted. Delays stop children from being placed in an appropriate school and cause “unnecessary stress and anxiety”, the inspectors found.