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Special Educational Needs

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN HL2949, tabled on 11 October 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Disabled Children’s Partnership Then There Was Silence, published on 10 September, which found that nearly three quarters of disabled children had seen their progress managing their condition regress during the pandemic.

Answered on

21 October 2021

As part of COVID-19 recovery planning, we are working with the Department for Education and NHS England and NHS Improvement to improve the provision of health and care services for disabled children. Children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) who require additional provision will receive an Education Health and Care (EHC) plan assessment. The Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014 make clear that local authorities must complete an EHC plan assessment within twenty weeks after the request is received unless exceptional circumstances apply. The Department for Education monitors local authority performance on EHC plan assessments to establish where there are long-standing delays and provide support.

The forthcoming Spending Review will set out the Government’s spending plans for health and social care for future years. We have announced an additional £5.4 billion for the National Health Service to support the COVID-19 response over the next six months. This includes £2 billion to reduce waiting times for patients, including disabled children.

We welcome the findings of the five reports by the Disabled Children’s Partnership between February and September 2021 and we are considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on disabled children and their families.