It’s back! Put your burning questions about SEND to the Department for Education

It's back! Put your burning questions about SEND to the Department for Education

It's back! Once again we are giving you the chance to ask the Department for Education the questions you want to know answers for about special educational needs and disability.

Last week myself, Renata and Matt paid a visit to the DfE to meet the new Deputy Director of SEND, Suzanne Lunn. We found her to be friendly, open and dynamic and we wish her well with the mammoth task on her desk of fixing SEND. Ms Lunn follows in the footsteps of Stuart Miller and, before him, Stephen Kingdom who oversaw the introduction of the Children and Families Act, along with then minister, Edward Timpson.

The current Government minister in post, Kemi Badenoch, is now on maternity leave. Her replacement is Michelle Donelan, who’s already impressed us by following SNJ on Twitter- so at least she’ll be up to date with SEND news.

Tania and Renata
Tania && Renata (Matt had already rushed off to work)
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Your chance to put questions to the Department for Education

We’re really pleased to say that Ms Lunn (and her team, of course) has agreed to repeat the exercise of her predecessors and answer questions from SNJ readers. So at the end of this post, I'll be asking you to submit your questions for the DfE.

But first, a reminder of everything that’s up in the air as it’s more than a little confusing.

Public Accounts Committee Inquiry

This has recently opened, following the publication of the damning report from the National Audit Office. You can read our post about the inquiry here and our report on the NAO report here. Earlier this week, the inquiry held its first oral hearing and one of the witnesses was our own stats guru, Matt Keer. Matt did a sterling job and we'll be hearing more about it soon. In the meantime, please do submit your own evidence to the inquiry which you can do here

SEND Review

The Department for Education has launched its own SEND Review. Perhaps anticipating bad news, it was announced just before the NAO report was published. It will be looking at all the evidence from the soon-to-be-published SEND Inquiry being finalised by the Commons Education Committee. You can read our article about the SEND Review here

When all the evidence and information has been gathered and examined, the Department will then look to updating the current SEND Code of Practice, in place since 2015, so this will be an iportant piece of work.

SEND Funding Inquiry

This has now closed so we await the results eagerly. You can read our post about it here. I took part in a workshop for it, as did some of you. Of course, SEND did benefit from £700 million in cash for this financial year recently. We’ve been told that how the money will be distributed across the 152 English local authorities will be announced later this month. Whatever happens politically though, the money is allocated for distribution.

However, the School Cuts campaign says even with this money, the High Needs Block will still be £1.5 billion short of what is needed.

Commons Education Select Committee SEND Inquiry

This is expected any day. We submitted evidence and covered it in detail. Matt, as well as many other witnesses, gave powerful oral evidence that shone a light on the difficulties being faced. There were around 700 pieces of evidence submitted. Hold on to your hats for this one, and of course, we’ll cover it here when it arrives. Read our posts about it here

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Submit your question to the Department for Education SEND team

Okay, it's time. Now, I know it’s tempting to go mad and write a book, or a horror story, about your experiences in relation to what you want to ask, because you have so much to say. If you have the energy of course. But we need succinct questions that you REALLY want the DfE to answer (and that is possible for them to answer, so think carefully how you phrase it). When we receive your questions we have to categorise them into the ten most popular, so please help us do this by adding up to two questions that are clear and to the point.

**CLOSING DATE: 18TH OCTOBER 2019**


Enter up to TWO SEND Questions for the Department for Education. Please be as succinct as possible 🙂

You should receive a copy of your questions after you submit for your reference (check your spam)

Read our previous Ask the DfE Q&As

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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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