The Local Offer and SEND funding: 3rd part of our video chat with the SEN Minister

Our last of the three sections of our video interview with Ed Timpson, the Education Minister with responsibility for SEND reform focuses on both the Local Offer and SEND Funding.

We have covered these topics before of course, most recently about SEND funding and a while ago, about the Local Offer.  But it's always good to hear the message the DfE are getting and several of you have noted Mr Timpson's honesty in our previous interviews in admitting things are far from perfect. Of course it is only fair to note it is less than six months since commencement and not even a year since the Children and Families Act was passed.

tani renata
Tania & Renata

I do wonder, if this hadn't been so close to an election, if the rush to the starting gate wouldn't have been at such breakneck pace, but we are where we are and that is families being pushed through transfer without a complete Local Offer to refer to, half-trained staff who have never heard of culture change and Independent Supporters being, in some quarters, the reform's best kept secret. Mine has decided she's finished with us even though we don't yet have a final EHCP.

But back to Ed. This is the last of the three chunks of interview and we hope you have found them informative. We would have liked to ask many more follow ups but we had 20 minutes for six questions so we did the best we could and we would like to thank Ed Timpson once again, for his time and to Bex, Matt and Helen at the DfE & Mike their cameraman for helping us produce this video for SNJ and for you. As ever, let us know what you think of his comments and the issues raised.

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Tania Tirraoro

Founder, CEO at Special Needs Jungle
Founder of Special Needs Jungle. Parent of two young adults with autism. Tania is a member of the Whole School SEND Expert Reference Group for SEND Leadership, the Ofsted SEND Inspections Stakeholders Group, and sits on the Advisory Board of the Royal Holloway, University of London Centre of Gene and Cell Therapy.
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.
Tania Tirraoro
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Carol Dixon

Did I just hear Mr T say that when an EHC assessment is undertaken it means expectations for the child are lowered??

He did, he said it was evidence that had been found as a result of the Lamb Inquiry (we have a post about the Lamb Inquiry looong ago but it should be found in search, though I know you would know about it yourself). And he said they wanted to avoid it happening – which I suppose would be part of culture change (if not already through Aiming High)

Carol Dixon

Ok, so he’s talking historically rather than under the current process. That will teach me to wait til I’m fully awake before watching/commenting! Thanks for the clarification, the videos are great!

I feel like I’m missing the point to be honest. I think what most parents who have children with special needs would like is that single plan, a co-ordinated family approach to enable everyone involved with the child to provide the right support at the right time. They do not want millions spent on a Local Offer website which is nothing better than a directory, or which is similar to what google or other local families/support groups could already tell them. What they need is a co-ordinated approach (Early Support anyone?) at the point when problems are realised and a… Read more »

Notveryimpressed

Did I hear Ed Timpson say all Local Offers are now online? They’re not – see Kingston Council’s website: http://www.kingston.gov.uk/info/200328/local_offer/999/about_the_local_offer