Advising parents about SEN reform? Don’t bother, unless you know the FACTS

Ed Timpson, the Children & Families Minister in charge of the SEN reforms has made a little YouTube video which seems entirely aimed at emphasisng the role that parent carers have made in developing the reforms and at sending a strong message to local authorities:

"No one should lose their statement and not have it replaced with an education health and care plan just because the system is changing."

He is to be applauded for this because I have heard that some teachers and local authorities* have been telling parents that their child faces losing the support that parents have, quite often, worked tirelessly to secure. *[See Editor's note below]

Or that the new Education, Health and Care Plans will be more difficult to obtain than a statement. The other myth that is being perpetuated is that statements can no longer be applied for. I've written before about this particular untruth.

  • FACT: The EHCP is education-based and the criteria remains the same.
  • FACT: The DfE does not intend for children to lose their support because the system is changing
  • FACT: You can apply for a statement until 31st August 2014
Edward Timpson giving evidence
Edward Timpson giving evidence

My message to anyone giving advice to parents about the new system: DON'T, unless you know that what you are saying is correct and you can back it up by something that is written in black and white from the Department for Education or from a trusted source like IPSEA, Contact A Family or the Council for Disabled Children. Or Special Needs Jungle, of course!

If you want to help parents understand the new system, send them here or to one of the sites above (I will add full links at the bottom) And of course, you can sign up to be emailed our posts into your inbox so you don;t miss anything, and Like our Facebook page.

If you're on Twitter, you can find us here But just don't guess, or repeat something you've been told from someone who heard it from someone else.

Look it up, print it off and give them and yourself some actual facts. If there's any doubt, here is Mr Timpson saying it in plain English.

Special Needs Jungle has developed our own two-hour training presentation about the new system. There is, of course, a cost attached to get one of us to come to your group or organisation and the presentation is adapted according to who you are, so it is also suitable for practitioners and others who work with children.

It will also be updated with any new information to make sure you are right up to date. You can be sure that, unlike the information some of you have been given, our presentation is 100% accurate.

Contact us below if you want us to come to you - but be aware that we are based in the South-East, so if you want us up north, we will have to charge for travel on top of the presentation itself. [But we're worth it] Links to trustworthy information

Contact us here about Training

*Editor's Note: I have amended this post: I was told anecdotally by a parent that someone working in Parent Partnership had given her incorrect information. A couple of people have questioned where this came from, but although it is accurately reported, I couldn't locate the source again when I looked. I stress this was one person in one PPS. Most PPS' are well informed and give correct information.

Tania Tirraoro

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