Wednesday, June 17, 2009

DCSF Review - SEN (Rec. 17, 18, 19 & 20)

These all come in section 7, "Special Educational Needs."
Recommendation 17
That the Ofsted review of SEN provision give due consideration to home educated children with special educational needs and make specific reference to the support of those children.
If the LA are going to have a duty of care of some sort towards home educated children, then children with Special Educational Needs certainly shouldn't be left out! This is consistent, at least. I don't know whether it would be useful to families with SEN children.

Recommendation 18
That the DCSF should reinforce in guidance to local authorities the requirement to exercise their statutory duty to assure themselves that education is suitable and meets the child’s special educational needs. They should regard the move to home education as a trigger to conduct a review and satisfy themselves that the potentially changed complexity of education provided at home, still constitutes a suitable education. The statement should then be revised accordingly to set out that the parent has made their own arrangements under section 7 of the Education Act 1996.

In the wake of the Ofsted review, changes to the SEN framework and legislation may be required.
I'd like to read this as anything other than "They should assume that parents who believe school has been shown to be inadequate for their children's needs are actually incompetents (at best) who don't know their own children and need to be checked up on." But that reading leaps out at me.

Recommendation 19
That the statutory review of statements of SEN in accord with Recommendation 18 above be considered as fulfilling the function of mandatory annual review of elective home education recommended previously.
OK, so they don't want SEN home educators to jump through both sets of hoops; that seems reasonable enough.

Recommendation 20
When a child or young person without a statement of special educational needs has been in receipt of School Action Plus support, local authorities and other agencies should give due consideration to whether that support should continue once the child is educated at home – irrespective of whether or not such consideration requires a new commissioning of service.
I don't know enough about the School Action Plus scheme - it's a school thing, but I don't know whether it's something likely to be useful or intrusive. If this bit is about the LA continuing to support families with access to resources and guidance after they find school inadequate or damaging and remove their children, that might be quite good. But that's a very charitable interpretation and not actually backed up by the stories I've heard.

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