By Claire West
A major review of special educational needs and disability arrangements published today by Ofsted, the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills, reveals a range of concerns about the current system and how well it is serving children and young people.
The report claims that thousands of pupils are being wrongly labelled as having special educational needs when all they require is better teaching and support.
Commenting on the Ofsted publication Special Educational Needs and Disability Review, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers' union, said:
"The Ofsted report raises some important issues about the identification of SEN within the education system and these merit careful consideration.
"It is unacceptable to scapegoat teachers for the variability in identifying pupils with SEN and ensuring their complex needs are met. "High quality health and social care services are needed to remove barriers to learning and support pupils with complex and severe special needs.
"However the looming cuts to children's services, proposed by the Coalition Government, will drastically affect the ability of children with SEN to receive the support they are entitled to. "It has long been recognised that pupils with SEN after the age of 16 often do not get the support they need once they have left compulsory education.
"The Coalition Government's free-for-all approach to 14-19 education will fracture the system and threatens to reverse the positive steps that had been taken to support this group of particularly vulnerable young people."