Commenting on a major study of national data by the Education Policy Institute which shows that a child’s access to Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) support is “largely determined by the school they go to”, Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:
“This is an outgrowth of the Government's encouragement of competition between schools, and leads to a postcode lottery for parents. It raises further questions about the Government continuing with its plan to enhance the role of multi-academy trusts in supporting SEND locally. We need to stop the competition between schools and rebuild real collaboration and co-ordination between schools if we're to reverse some of these problems; the role of local authorities in this must be re-built.
“It is an impact of the systemic cuts to SEND funding that local authorities in the most disadvantaged areas are found in the report to have been forced to ration support for the children with greatest need. This report reminds us we need a properly funded SEND system if we are serious about making education flexible enough to work for students with additional needs. There is a clear urgent need for extra staffing and high-quality staff training."