Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) is a topic we care about at Stripy Lightbulb CIC as children with M.E/C.F.S fall under the SEND umbrella within their learning environment. We have been waiting for this report to be published and are not surprised to read some of the issues that have been highlighted.
Extract from the report summary;
‘In 2014, Parliament legislated with the intention of transforming the educational experiences of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. The reforms were ambitious: the Children and Families Bill sought to place young people at the heart of the system.
However, as we set out in this report, that ambition remains to be realised. Let down by failures of implementation, the 2014 reforms have resulted in confusion and at times unlawful practice, bureaucratic nightmares, buckpassing and a lack of accountability, strained resources and adversarial experiences, and ultimately dashed the hopes of many.
The reforms were the right ones. But their implementation has been badly hampered by poor administration and a challenging funding environment in which local authorities and schools have lacked the ability to make transformative change. The Government has recently taken initial steps to rectify the latter of these two challenges, but there is much left to be done.
There is too much of a tension between the child’s needs and the provision available.
We have had many discussions with education professionals about M.E/C.F.S being the biggest health-related cause of long-term school absence in the UK but have been told that due to a lack of funds teachers and schools would not be able to participate in our training. Our point is this –
A lack of funds in schools does not diminish the need for teachers to be trained on M.E/C.F.S.
We are happy that the report identifies the current crisis to be as a result of funding issues but also due to a faulty framework. The Government shouldn’t keep throwing good money after bad but the ‘additional’ money they have allocated will take some of the pressure off already overworked SEND staff.
This current SEND crisis is why we created our Light Up: School Initiative. We fully understand that the majority of mainstream schools can’t afford our e-training. We are encouraging businesses to recognise the need for teachers to be trained on the condition and to sponsor training in schools.
The SEND crisis is an ongoing issue but this is a positive first step towards change.
Read the full report here – https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201920/cmselect/cmeduc/20/20.pdf