Boost for special educational needs kids as failing councils named and shamed under major government reforms


COUNCILS failing to offer quality education for special needs kids will be named and shamed in a win for the Sun’s Give It Back campaign.  

Strict new national standards for local authorities will be introduced to end the “postcode lottery” of support.

The Government has announced support for special needs and disabled children

Children’s Minister Claire Coutinho said that while some schools and councils are brilliant, “too often that isn’t the case”.

Our crusade to reverse the shameful £500million cuts to the SEND budget has piled pressure on Ministers to step up support.

A long-awaited government review into special educational needs unveiled today vows to create thousands more specialist school places and further staff training.

“Pointless” red tape will also be slashed and the application for support will be digitised to make it easier to apply for help.

Ms Coutinho told the Sun: “I have heard from parents who have been chasing their council for months to get the right support, or battling to get reasonable adjustments made at school.

“Some can weigh the paperwork relating to their child’s needs by the kilo.

“The consequence is children and families who are exhausted, frustrated and at worst in distress because they cannot the help they need.”

Town halls falling short will be identified in a public dashboard and the worst offenders will face action including appointing a commissioner to take over responsibility.

Parents of disabled children have reportedly given up their jobs due to a lack of support.

Some £30million of new funding will be used for special needs and disabled pupils to go on breaks to give mums and dads respite.

The reforms published today also announced 33 new special free schools and investment in training thousands of workers to help the pupils.

But campaigners said there was still a way to go.

Stephen Kingdom, Campaign Manager, the Disabled Children’s Partnership, said: “As readers know from HOAR’s Give It Back Campaign, parents have been waiting years for the government to fix the broken SEND system.

“But the reaction of many families to today’s plan will be ‘is that it?’

“This plan falls short of the urgent access needed to address the crisis in support for children with SEND and their families which has let down a generation of children.”