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Special Educational Needs

Question for Department for Education

UIN 13295, tabled on 6 June 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to help ensure that (a) specialist and (b) mainstream schools can provide the therapies and other services that disabled children need.

Answered on

14 June 2022

The department encourages schools and colleges to work collaboratively with their local authority, Clinical Commissioning Group, and health providers to ensure that children and young people have access to the appropriate therapies and support, including addressing any backlogs in assessments. To support this we issued joint guidance last year for educational settings and health providers, working with a cross-sector group including the Royal Colleges and professional organisations, guidance is available here: https://councilfordisabledchildren.org.uk/about-cdc/media-centre/news-opinion/delivery-specialist-11-and-group-interventions-children-and.

In December 2021, the department announced an additional £1 billon for the recovery premium over the next two academic years (2022 to 2023 and 2023 to 2024). This will help schools to deliver a range of evidence-based approaches to support the most disadvantaged pupils, and specialist providers receive an uplift in this funding in recognition of the significantly higher per pupil costs they face. Schools can use their recovery premium funding to help subsidise the cost of support such as speech and language therapies should they wish to do so. In addition, the schools-led element of the National Tutoring Programme can be used for tutoring to support catch-up in the broader curriculum, such as practising and consolidating techniques in speech and language therapy.

The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Alternative Provision Green Paper sets out the departments proposals to improve the outcomes and experiences of children and young people with SEND and their families. It aims to drive national consistency in how needs are assessed, identified, and met across education, health, and care through the introduction of national standards. This includes a proposal to commission analysis to better understand the support that children and young people with SEND need from the health workforce, so that there is a clear focus on SEND in future health workforce planning. The proposals within the Green Paper are currently open to a full public consultation until 22 July. The Green Paper is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/send-review-right-support-right-place-right-time.