Missing special needs support ‘a national scandal’ – Ofsted

There are 2,060 children in 2018 who have education, health and care plans (EHCs) setting out their needs, but who receive no support at all. The BBC reports.

Amanda Spielman, chief inspector for Ofsted, uses her annual report to expose what she describes as a “bleak picture” of too many children “failed by the education system”.

“One child with Send [special educational needs and disability] not receiving the help they need is disturbing enough, but thousands is a national scandal” 

The report also says: “Most disconcerting is that the whereabouts of some of our most vulnerable children is unknown.”

It revisits serious concerns that some pupils are being moved off the school roll illegally, because they may be seen as difficult to teach.

The report suggests 10,000 pupils cannot be accounted for and may have been “off-rolled” by schools in Years 10 and 11, because they did not appear on the pupil list of another state school.

It acknowledges many of these may have switched to independent schools, moved elsewhere or have been taken out for home schooling. But, it says, it is unlikely that all of this number would fit into these categories.

In 2017, 45,200 children and young people were assessed, while 14,600 were refused an assessment. Many parents complained of the long and difficult battles they had to get their child’s needs “statemented”.

Both local councils and head teachers have been grappling with huge rises in demand for high needs support – those children with the highest level of need.

The report says: “Too often, the identification of Send is inaccurate or comes too late. This only exacerbates children’s needs and puts even greater strain on the need for services.n.

“Understandably, parents feel that to do the best for their children they must go to extreme lengths to secure an EHC plan, which not every child will need.

“Something is truly wrong when parents repeatedly tell inspectors that they have to fight to get the help and support that their child needs. That is completely contrary to the ethos of the Send reforms.”

Read the full article Missing special needs support ‘a national scandal’ – Ofsted

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