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Lichfield charity calls on parents and teachers to join special needs consultation

A Lichfield-based special needs charity is appealing for parents and teachers to take part in a Government consultation.

Time is running out for people to give their views in the consultation into the Special Educational Needs (SEN) provision in the UK – and The Foundation for the Education of the Underachieving and Dyslexic (FEUD) wants as many people as possible to take part.

The Department of Education, which is due to publish a Green Paper on SEN and disability this autumn, has a Call for Views which is open until October 15.

Dr Neville Brown

Dr Neville Brown

Dr Neville Brown, founder of FEUD and a pioneering expert on dyslexia, said:

“There are fundamental changes which need to be made to the current SEN system, which is too adversarial. It is supposed to provide for the best needs of a child, but far too often parents are forced to undertake litigation against their local authority to get access to the education their child deserves.

“The whole system needs a damn good shake-up to identify children with SEN at a younger age, and ensure parents get to choose the educational setting they feel will best meet their child’s needs – whether that is within a mainstream school, special school or an academy.

“It’s heartening that the Government has recognised this and has committed to a radical overhaul. However, ministers and policy makers need to be guided by the real-life experiences of parents and teachers. This is why I’m passionately appealing for anyone with personal experience of the current SEN system to tell their story and make their feelings known, as part of this consultation.”

Children’s Minister Sarah Teather, who commissioned the consultation, added:

“Parents should be in control of their child’s education and future. Importantly, they must be involved in discussions and decisions about the support they need rather than feel they have to battle the system. I want to make it easier for parents to choose where their child is educated.

“I want to look at every aspect of SEN – from assessment and identification to funding and education. We need to strip away the bureaucracy and ensure there is a better, more comprehensive service for families.”

Anyone wishing to take part in the consultation should log onto the Department for Education’s e-Consultations website and submit their views before October 15.

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