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Children's minister: 'Reforms put parents in charge'

The current system is outdated and not fit for purpose. Thousands of families have had to battle for months, even years, with different agencies to get the specialist care their children need. It is unacceptable they are forced to go from pillar to post, facing agonising delays and bureaucracy to get support, therapy and equipment.

These reforms will put parents in charge. We trust parents to do the right thing for their own child because they know what is best. The right to a personal budget will give them real choice and control of care, instead of councils and health services dictating how they get support.

– Children's minister Sarah Teather

Reforms force services to work together to meet needs

The reforms will see education, health and social services forced by law to work together to provide support for children with special educational needs (SEN).

The proposals were first laid out in a Green Paper in March last year, amid concerns the current system for SEN children is too complex, and often leaves parents fighting for help.

In some cases, disabled children have had to undergo operations to correct growth problems caused by a system that has left them waiting months for a new wheelchair.

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Families to be given control of special needs budgets

Parents are to be given new rights to buy help for children with special needs under the biggest shake-up of the system for 30 years, it was confirmed today.

Under the plans, families will be given legal powers to control budgets for youngsters who need support.

Ministers are pressing ahead with the proposals in a bid to make it easier for parents to get their child help, without being passed between agencies.