MPs who released a report criticising the implementation of the British government’s reforms of the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) system have been accused of a “disgraceful” omission of crucial evidence on inclusive education.
The Commons education committee, chaired by the disabled Tory MP Robert Halfon,released its report earlier this month following an 18-month inquiry.
The report was heavily critical of how the reforms in the 2014 Children and Families Act have been implemented, which it said had left families in England “facing a nightmare of bureaucracy, buck-passing and confusion”.
The reforms saw the introduction of education, health and care plans, which last from birth to the age of 25 and should set out all the support a family should receive across education, health and social care.
But the committee said the “significant” shortfall in government funding for SEND since 2014 was a “serious contributory factor” in the failure to deliver on the reforms.
It also called for a culture change within government, councils and schools and a more rigorous inspection regime, while it accused the Department for Education (DfE) of a “piecemeal” approach which creates “reactive, sticking-plaster policies”.