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Review of 2014 Reforms & Support for Children and Young People: ages 0-25 with Special Educational Needs:

Educational Equality has consulted parents of children and young people with Special Educational Needs to confirm their concerns regarding the SEN Reforms which came into effect from September 2014.

We have connections to hundreds of ‘Face Book’ parent groups and have over 5000 members in our own groups. The responses have been assembled here, along with our own queries regarding difficulties with the current process. Some points are also noted from other advocacy organisations and parent support groups such as SOSSEN and the SEN Jungle. We would like to thank all involved for their contribution.

     Where it begins - The Narrative of Avoidance!

     Following Acknowledgement of SEN:

     The EHCP (Education Health Care Plan):

     ‘SEND’ - Tribunal Appeal:

     Misappropriation of SEN Funding:

            A parental petition regarding this matter currently has over 8000 signatures:

            Please support this campaign and sign the petition – click here.

     Support Following EHCP or Statement:


It must be recognised that the Local Authority works for and on behalf of families; as a service provider to the community. This service is funded by public taxes.

     Transparency and Information:



     Legal Aid:

Please contact us via:- educationalequality@hotmail.co.uk if you have any further comments to make or can suggest methods to raise awareness and bring about changes to improve the process and outcomes for children and young people with Special Educational Needs.


At the root of concerns is the lack of accountability of Local Authorities in the process of SEN duty of care; to ensure adherence to legislation. Parents often feel that they are left to police the system via complaints, SEND appeal or Judicial Review. They may not even be given adequate information to support this right.

Legislation which governs Local Authority adherence to greatly reduced educational budgets has priority over Children and Families Act 2014 legislation. This may lead to L.A. officers’ avoidance of statutory legislation regarding the needs of children, in favour of meeting targets and budget restrictions.

 ‘Accountability System statement for education and children’s services’

 – June 2015 – Click here to read more

Please Note in particular: –

65. The section 151 officer of each LA is statutorily responsible for ensuring that schools act in accordance with their financial framework, and that the authority has adequate oversight of distributed funds.

66. In addition, LAs’ responsibilities for ensuring that their schools have effective financial management and are securing good value for money are embedded in the local government system of local democracy. The Department has asked local authorities to confirm on an annual basis, as part of their assurance return, that all eligible schools within their remit have completed the Schools Financial Value Standard (SFVS). The SFVS is designed to feed into the local authority assurance processes and the Department will continue to monitor the effectiveness of the SFVS on a rolling basis. The Department challenges any LAs whose schools have failed to complete an SFVS return without an acceptable reason. The SFVS asks governing bodies six questions designed to confirm whether their school is acting in ways that should help them secure value for money.

67. LAs are responsible for addressing poor performance in their schools (including schools with sixth forms and providers of free early education for three and four year olds). LAs monitor schools on a wide range of information, including performance indicators and Ofsted reports. They should take an active interest in the quality of school governance and have appropriate monitoring arrangements in place to spot early signs of failure in relation to performance standards, finance, or pupil safety. LAs address poor performance by intervening with schools that are causing concerns and, in the case of a maintained school’s poor Ofsted report, by working with the school on an improvement action plan.

                 And this is the important information.…………….

                               Legislation on adherence to budgets:-

‘Accounting Officer Accountability System Statements for Local Government’

-July 2016 - Click Here to read more

Please note:- “Accounting officers in government departments are accountable to Parliament for the proper stewardship of the resources allocated to their department. Details of the requirements to ensure regularity, propriety and value for money are set out in the HM Treasury Guidance Managing Public Money”.


There have been drastic cuts to the education budget in most areas and this has led to a reduction in staff and provision in all aspects; causing delays in the process and lack of appropriate support for children and young people.

                The emotional and financial cost to families is vast and out of balance with notion of a ‘free’ national education for all.

Parents report misinformation, avoidance of duty and illegal practice by Local Authorities; with SEND Tribunal appeal being their only redress. Many families report costs in the tens of thousands to gain appropriate support and costs are rarely awarded in their favour even if mal-practice by the Local Authority is evidenced during appeal.

Like Tribunal appeal – Judicial Review is ‘solution based’ and does not usually offer any redress or accountability for emotional damage, loss of education, costs or illegal practice. In a situation where there is delay, the time taken to go through judicial review may actually extend the time available to the Local Authority to complete a process.

It is important to consider that most SEN parents have experienced numerous issues from the list below in the pursuit of appropriate support for their child. They may also anticipate and experience repeated difficulties each year at annual review. G.P.’s report an increase in prescriptions of anti-depressants around this time. The emotional damage to them should not be underestimated, with many reporting mental health issues, absences from work and relationship difficulties and as a result.

This bias in regard to duty & accountability may result in some or all of the following………………