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Disabled children face institutional discrimination

08 July 2020

The Education Select Committee heard powerful evidence last week on the shocking situation of children with special educational needs and disabilities. During the Coronavirus crisis, the majority of families were left to cope alone with the health, care and educational needs of their disabled children. The mental and physical health of children has deteriorated and families have been left without any support or respite. Whilst this might have been understandable in the early days of the crisis, it is completely unacceptable for this to continue.

The government’s removal of rights in relation to delivering Education, Health and Care Plans has made the situation far worse. Now, as government announces that children are to return to school in September, children with special education needs and disabilities continue to be overlooked.

Witnesses told the Select Committee that plans to restore the wellbeing of disabled children needed to be a priority, and that specific catch up plans for this group of children, covering health, care and education, were urgently needed. The government also needs to improve its data collection on the experience of disabled children.

Fazilet Hadi, DRUK Head of Policy said: “Education, Care and Health bodies need to dramatically improve their services to disabled children and their families. They need to act now to restore the wellbeing of children and families,  and to work with families to shape personalised plans for September.”