NUT: The issue for parents of SEN children is cuts to disability services, not choice

Commenting on the Department for Education’s announcement on SEN and disability provision Christine Blower General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers the largest teachers’ union said:

“The NUT fully supports the aspiration to improve services available for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities. However giving the assessment process a new name will not magic away the very real barriers to joint working between over burdened and time poor professionals within education, health and care services.

The proposed Education, Health and Care plans will not address the current problem of waiting times for children. They will not assist teachers who struggle to access educational psychologists, speech and language therapists or SEN advisory teachers, many of whose post have been cut or greatly reduced.

“Sarah Teather should wait for the outcomes from the current SEN Pathfinders before jumping to conclusions about what will work. Taxpayer money is being invested in SEN pathfinders across the country. The findings should not be second guessed.

“The Government is wilfully ignoring the large degree of consensus behind the current statutory assessment system. The SEN Code of Practice is the safest way to ensure resources available for SEN provision are allocated, as equitably as possible, between the children who need support.

 “Giving parents a slice of a smaller pie does not give them more control. Parents recognise that the most important issue that faces their children is insufficient funding and cuts to SEN and disability services, not choice.

“Increasing competition between schools undermines outcomes and life chances for children with SEN. The Government needs a SEN strategy which urges schools to work in partnership, to build collaboration and to share resources and specialist SEN knowledge. Local authorities should be resourced to facilitate and encourage communities of schools to work together to ensure the needs of all children with SEN are met”.
                                                            END pr83 – 2012
For further information contact Caroline Cowie on 0207 380 4706 or 07879480061

Caroline Cowie
NUT Press Officer
Hamilton House, Mabledon Place,
London WC1H 9BD
0207 380 4706 or 07879480061