Special educational needs reforms give parents new rights

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Special needs
Special needs reforms see the biggest shakeup to the system in 30 years Photo: ITV News

The Government is calling this the biggest shakeup to the system in 30 years.

1.7 million in England will be affected: That’s a fifth of school children in England.

There is fairly strong support for the reforms when it comes to the changes which will affect those kids with serious disabilities. Their parents often face a bureaucratic and complex fight to get the support they need.

Under the reforms, there should be more of a one-stop-shop approach: forcing health, social care and educational support to link up and provide 'joined up' care.

Parents and guardians will also have more power to choose what care and support is most appropriate for their child. They will be given budgets to buy the support they require.

Critics of the reform however are concerned that these intended improvements may be undermined by the wider welfare shakeup which some argue will hit children with disabilities hard.

There are also concerns that the numbers of children in mainstream schools who are diagnosed with mild learning difficulties, such as dyslexia, will fall.

Some see this as a benefit, arguing that up to half a million pupils diagnosed with mild learning difficulties, may simply be those suffering from falling standards and lowering expectations.

Others say those with mild learning difficulties need this vital support guaranteed and denying it to them is an excuse for further cost cutting.