We have something special for you today - a chance to ask the questions you want about SEND to the Department for Education.
The Deputy Director for SEND, Stuart Miller, took over the role shortly after the reforms were implemented. Stuart's job is to ensure that the reforms are accomplishing what they were intended to - to ensure a better experience for children and families, to better identify those with a special educational need and ensure they are given the right help and to make sure that local authorities understand and are implementing both the legal and cultural aspects of the reforms.
There's no doubt that this is a huge task, particularly as many families, including mine, have found the transfer from statement/Learning Difficulty Assessment to an Education, Health and Care Plan has not exactly gone according to plan.
The consultation for the accountability system is currently open and I urge you to send in your views about this. If you think it looks too complicated, I'm pretty sure it's just fine to send in your views in a few paragraphs - it's the views that count, not the format.
I was invited to meet Stuart at the DfE recently to pass on your experiences of the SEND reforms that you sent in to us. I was able to describe some of the experiences that parents have told us about, as well as assure him that we at SNJ, would like to do what we can to help improve matters.
We see one of our roles at SNJ as ensuring that the voice of the parent gets directly to those in decision-making positions without any filters or spin. Only by hearing the true experiences of parents, which include the good and the bad as well as ideas for improvements, can those in high places make informed decisions. Of course, there are other great organisations out there who are funded and far larger than us, who are tasked with similar, but we do feel we fill a valuable, if a bit gobby, role.
So how can you ask your questions?
Stuart has agreed that he and his team will answer the top ten questions parents send in - i.e the 10 most popular questions asked, as this is an illustration of what's on parents' and practitioners' minds. In addition, if someone raises an important question that no one else has thought to ask, we may be able to slip that in too.
So, You can submit THREE questions in our form below and we will collate every question asked to get the top 10. If you only have one or two, that's fine, just ask those. If you have more, you'll just have to fill in the form again. You have until SUNDAY 15TH NOVEMBER 2015 to submit your questions and then the DfE will need a couple of weeks to get the answers together which we will publish verbatim.
Ok, ready? Ask away...
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She is also an experienced broadcast and print journalist & author. Tania also runs a PR, web & social media consultancy, SocialOro Media. She is a Rare Disease & chronic pain patient advocate with Ehlers Danlos syndrome.
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