The SEND Crisis is not a "demand problem"




A key advisor to the DfE on special educational needs has stated that the SEND crisis is because of a "demand problem" with EHCP’s being a golden ticket for parents who try and secure this support whether their child needs help or not.  


The position Tony McArdle, DfE’s chief safety valve negotiator, can’t come as a surprise considering he also believes that local councils are “hobbled by SEND problems” that are driving them into bankruptcy. However, considering a local council is allowed to make their own decisions on SEND spend, with the average being spent being only 11.3% of the total schools block funding allocation, the reality is that rhetoric like this will only give a green light to Councils to spend even less providing SEND services for the most vulnerable in our society.


EHCP plans are not “nodded through with the same bag of money”, when they “should diminish each year, because what is being provided is helping the child overcome their difficulty”.   The reality is that young people with EHCP's need that help to access the inclusive education that is enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).    They need the TA's that are often provided that would otherwise lose their jobs because of budget cuts.  They need the access to the social care that helps them communicate and interact.  


There are already 15,000 students with EHCP's that have not got the support they have been allocated. Let's not increase that number by demonising councils for spending money on those that need it.

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