Less than 2 weeks to let the government know what you think about its plans for SEND services in England

3 mins read

Tuesday 12 July 2022

Tags: SEND Review England, SEND Consultation, SEND Green Paper

You have until 22 July to respond to the government’s  public consultation on its proposals for reforming SEND services. All of the government proposals are set out in its green paper. To help you tell the government your views on its plans we’ve taken a closer look at questions 6 and 7 in the government’s consultation.

Remember, you don’t have to answer all 22 consultation questions. And alternatively, you might like to answer via the Disabled Children’s Partnership’s simplified version of the government’s consultation  which consists of 6 simple questions. Your answers will be sent directly to the Department for Education and count as a response to their SEND Green Paper consultation.

What are questions 6 and 7 of the government’s consultation about?

Question 6 asks: To what extent do you agree or disagree with our overall approach to strengthen redress, including through national standards and mandatory mediation?

The SEND review expresses concern about the number of SEND tribunal appeals and the time these take and proposes making mediation before tribunal compulsory and, if needed, introducing a further step of an independent review panel after mediation.

To answer this question in the consultation you might want to think about:

  • How mediation could work best? Should it be compulsory or voluntary?
  • If there should be national standards for handling complaints related to SEND processes?
  • Whether there should be increased use of disagreement resolution or mediation and who should handle complaints related to SEND in particular where the complaint is against a school?
  • Do you think mandatory mediation would help children get quicker access to the support they are entitled too? Why / Why not?
  • Could the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman – the organisation that looks at individual complaints about councils – have a role here?

Question 7 asks: Do you consider the current remedies available to the SEND Tribunal for disabled children who have been discriminated against by schools effective in putting children and young people’s education back on track?

Currently parents can make a complaint about disability discrimination to their child’s school. They can also make a claim to the First Tier Tribunal for SEND. The Tribunal can order the school to apologise, to make changes in how they do things or to train staff. There is no monetary compensation.

We have information about the current system on our page on disability discrimination.

Does this system actually work?

Do schools actually make the changes they are told to?

Could there be a less adversarial system that is quicker and more accessible to parents?

Other consultation questions

Take a look at the other government consultation questions we’ve looked at:

Read more about the SEND Green Paper Review on our webpage.