SEN reforms and Culture Change: What the Minister said

Yesterday we brought you part one of our video interview with the Education Minister in charge of SEN reform, Ed Timpson.

Ed Timpson MP, Minister for Education

Today, culture change is under the spotlight. We have said on SNJ often, that culture change, in other words attitudes, is key. That you can throw as many resources as you like at the reforms but it will all be for naught unless the people administering the system in SEN departments, the NHS, social care staff and in schools, get with the programme that the family must be at the centre.

"Person-centred" isn't just a catchy buzzword, it's an ethos that ensures the needs of the child and their family are paramount, above convenience and systems. This is, obviously, a huge challenge for many who have always done things, "in a certain way".

It's also something that cannot be achieved in such a short period of time but our concern is that it isn't learned by osmosis - and it has to be top down.

Renata and I spoke to Ed Timpson about how he thought it was going in the second of our three-part interview. Take a look and let us know what you think about what was said and if you have noticed a change in attitudes.

Tania Tirraoro


  1. Romany Wood-Robinson

    Thank you for these – and for breaking the interviews into bite-size chunks! (have duly shared via e-mail and Fb) I think effective forward thinking parent/carer groups are so important to this – we can straddle that gap between the strategy makers and the families living complicated, very real, lives. That said… it’s really hard work. I’ll remain optimistic and keep plugging away!

  2. Colette Lloyd

    Listened to with interest. I believe that the code of practice is very clear, it is unfortunate that the local authority can’t interpret it. As for change in attitude, the one breath of fresh air in this process has been the SEN officer, but I believe her attitude has always been parent /child centered. As for everyone else, including those we last dealt with 9 yrs ago. No change whatsoever. For now, I would just be happy if they followed the law.

  3. Training should filter from the top down; it shouldn’t be for each LA to decide whether they want to train their officers or not. He should be setting tougher standards on this. Mr T talks a good talk, but he needs to carry this on – he can’t truly believe that he can set the wheels in motion on this whole change and then walk away and assume it is all happening as he suggested. The wheels will undoubtedly fall off in those places where individuals have not had the training, and where they do not share the same attitude which he does……

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