Families seeking SEND support left exhausted by 'adversarial and bureaucratic' system

Poor implementation of the government’s SEND reforms has resulted in “confusion, at times unlawful practice, bureaucratic nightmares, buck-passing, no accountability, strained resources, and adversarial experiences”, a damning MPs’ report has concluded.

An inquiry by the cross-party Education Select Committee into the overhaul of the SEND system has found that while the reforms are the right ones, families still face a “titanic struggle” to get the right support for their children.

MPs report that poor administration and a “challenging funding environment” means that schools are struggling to cope and local authorities are under pressure.
The committee published its findings on Wednesday (October 23) after its inquiry heard evidence from more than 70 witnesses and received 700 written submissions. The report concludes that there is “too much of a tension between the child’s needs and the provision available” and also highlights the tension caused by the fact that local authorities are both assessors of need and commissioners of services.

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