-A A +A
Select color visibility that suits you Basic theme Dark theme Darker theme Text only

Disability Rights UK responds to Department for Education’s publication of Support and aspiration

Disability Rights UK responds to Department for Education’s publication of Support and aspiration: A new approach to special educational needs and disability -  Progress and Next Steps

17 May 2012

Today (15 May 2012) , the Government set out the next steps to the SEN and Disability Green Paper. The publication follows the announcement in the Queen’s Speech to introduce legislation in the Children and Families Bill.

Disability Rights UK welcomes the Government’s commitment to improving opportunities for disabled young people.

Liz Sayce, Chief Executive of Disability Rights UK said:

‘We are looking forward to working with colleagues at the Departments for Education and Business, Innovation and Skills, pathfinder local authorities and stakeholders to ensure that the views and needs of disabled young people inform the implementation of the reforms.

We know from our Helplines that lack of information about the options after school, confusion about which local authority department has responsibility for different types of support, funding issues and inadequate knowledge and understanding about what is possible, all lead to too many disabled young people dropping out of education after school and reduced employment and independent living opportunities.

We welcome in particular the report’s focus on Preparing for Adulthood and commitment to giving young people the opportunities and support they need to succeed in education, get a job and live independent lives.

There is evidence already that a more flexible, personalised approach to programmes of study and work experience for young people over 16 will help providers meet students’ individual needs and help them to reach their potential.

We also know the challenges collaboration and personalised packages will present for local authorities and health services, and we support the emphasis on staff development so that disabled young people’s individual needs are recognised and supported.

We hope the existing good practice and work developing now in pathfinder areas will become the basis for the legislation and implementation to ensure all disabled young people receive the same high quality opportunities wherever they live.’

The main elements of the report are:

  • Local authorities will be required to provide a clear, easy to understand local offer, showing the provision and support available to disabled children and young people and those with special educational needs from age 0 to 25
  • A single, simpler assessment process from birth to age 25 and an Education, Health and Care Plan setting out all the support they will receive
  • Statutory protections comparable to those currently associated with a statement of SEN for 16-25 year olds who have left school and are at college or training, wherever they are taught
  • Local authority education and social care and health services will be required to jointly plan and commission services for disabled children and young people
  • Children and parents will be able to express a preference for any state funded school including state academies and Free Schools
  • Children, parents and young people will have the right to a personal budget for their support and real choice and control of care
  • A mediation service to resolve disputes without the need for tribunal

Further information:

  • The DfE press release can be found here.
  • The DfE report Support and aspiration: A new approach to special educational needs and disability – Progress and next steps can be found here.
  • The DfE summary report on the consultation responses to the Green Paper: Support and Aspiration: A New Approach to Special Educational Needs and Disability (March 2011) can be found here.
  • The Disability Alliance response to the Green Paper - Support and Aspiration: A New Approach to Special Educational Needs and Disability can be found here.

Disability Alliance is now part of Disability Rights UK, formed through a unification of Disability Alliance, Radar and National Centre for Independent Living in January 2012.