New Ofsted report highlights the challenges facing SEND pupils

First ever convictions for operating an unregistered school

New research from Ofsted has found that some pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are not getting enough support with their learning and development in mainstream schools.

Published last week, the study found that specialist support from multi-agency services often complements the support offered by schools. Although families and schools value this external support, it is not always timely or implemented appropriately.

Many of the schools and families participating in the research had experienced significant wait times and high levels of bureaucracy in the education, health and care plan (EHCP) process.

Commenting on the report, Mike Pemberton, Partner and Head of Education Law at Stephensons said:

“This report from Ofsted highlights the real difficulties that young people with SEND and their parents, or guardians have in getting proper support in mainstream school settings.  Red tape and lack of funding are specific issues that jump out of the report, as well as the even greater disadvantage that young people from poorer backgrounds face. It takes too long to get support, and it’s often stretched resources that the support comes from. 

“Our experience is that even getting an EHCP is an uphill struggle for many families and as Ofsted recognise, those who do not have a plan can often be overlooked by staff. Parents find the battle to get the best for their children too hard too often, and this puts a huge strain on families. Parents have a right to have input and this is far too often overlooked, or even resisted by professionals within the system. Working together to consider the whole picture of home and school life is really important for children’s development and achieving their potential. Parents need to keep reminding school and professionals that they should be listened to.  

Our team is able to help families get the right support for their children, which is what they are legally entitled to.”

To contact Stephensons’ specialists in education law, contact 01616 966 229.