Children and Families Minister publishes open letter to parent carers in England

2 mins read

Wednesday 10 November 2021

Tags: education, SEND review

The Children and Families Minister, Will Quince, has today published an open letter for parent carers of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities in England.

In his letter, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families outlines his ambitions for parent carers and their children including his commitment to the SEND Review – the government’s review into support for children with special educational needs in England.

The SEND review was announced in 2019, five years after SEND reforms were introduced. It aims to improve the services available to families needing support, equip staff in schools and colleges to respond effectively to their needs, as well as end the postcode lottery of services they often face.

However, the publication of the review has been delayed a number of times – in part, the minister says in his letter, because of Covid-19.

“The pandemic [has] intensified some of the issues in the system, and we have needed time to reflect on those,” he wrote. “We also wanted to do justice to the huge amount of input we have received and take time to check back with people that we had properly understood what they were telling us. I agree improvements are needed – and overdue.”

A steering group which brings together government departments with representatives of parents, schools, colleges and early years, local government, health and care and independent experts, has now been set up to help push the SEND review through.

Publication is expected in the first quarter of 2022, the minister said, adding: “We still have work to do on the Review and I do not think it is helpful to offer up specific details ahead of publication of the full set of proposals. I think it would be more helpful for people to see them all together, so that they can make an informed judgement about whether they will lead to the lasting changes we all want to see.”

Read the minister’s letter in full.

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(Photo credit: UK Parliament under Creative Commons licence)