Commenting on the passing of Motion 11 at the Annual Conference of the National Education Union, Dr Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:
“SEND is in crisis and the Government SEND and Alternative Provision Improvement Plan will do little to resolve the dire situation that schools, young people and families find themselves in.
“Funding shortfalls, loss of support staff, appalling access to specialist support professionals and the cost-of-living crisis are combining to prevent schools from being able to support SEND students effectively. They can’t provide their SEND pupils with the quality of provision they deserve. They can’t develop productive policies for behaviour, and nor can they implement curriculum changes.
“The government’s new plan – with its introduction of ‘National Standards – will impose new expectations on schools with none of the extra resources they tell us they need. In the words of one member, it feels like both pupils and staff are being set up to fail.
“Children and young people with unmet SEND needs require much quicker access to specialists within and outside school. They need professional class teams which include support staff, and access to a wider school pastoral team. They need SENCOs who have the time to work with and support classroom staff. Instead, they face an unprecedented crisis.
“The message from our members is clear: the problems of SEND are deeply alarming and government has no effective plan to deal with them.”