Education Select Committee SEND report – open letter

Re: Education Committee – Special Educational Needs and Disability

Sadly the conclusions from the Education Committee report will come as little surprise to the parents, charities and local agencies trying to make the best out of a special educational needs and disability (SEND) system engulfed in a funding crisis. The Committee identifies patchy implementation, lack of accountability and a lack of joined up thinking at a local level.

The SEND reforms quite rightly promised to make a real difference to families by putting them at the heart of discussions about their child’s support needs. Five years later, the report finds that too many disabled children and young people have been failed, with parents marching in the streets and fighting battles through courts and tribunals just to get the basic support their children are entitled to.

Many parent-carers reading the Committee’s damning report will at least feel they have been heard. But being heard is not enough. It’s important that their recommendations are taken seriously and quickly acted upon.

Boris Johnson says he wants a ‘world class education’ for every child. The government is currently carrying out its own SEND review, and this provides an excellent opportunity to take the Education Committee’s findings and recommendations forward so that another generation of children with SEND do not run the risk of missing out on the education and support they have a right to – and for parents to be spared the battles and heartbreak they currently endure.


Amanda Batten, CEO, Contact
Dame Christine Lenehan, Director, Council for Disabled Children
Jolanta Lasota, CEO Ambitious About Autism
Richard Kramer, CEO SENSE
Mark Hodgkinson, CEO Scope
Dalton Leong, CEO The Children’s Trust
Jane Harris, Director of External Affairs and Social Change, National Autistic Society
Cheryl Ward, CEO Family Fund
Steve Haines, Executive Director of Policy and Campaigns, National Deaf Children’s Society
Mark Devlin, CEO, Young Epilepsy
Matt Stinger, CEO Executive, RNIB
Carol Boys, CEO, Down’s Syndrome Association
Anna Feuchtwang, CEO, National Children’s Bureau
Ali Fiddy, CEO, IPSEA
Charles Colquhoun, CEO, Thomas Pocklington Trust
Linda Lascelles, CEO, Afasic
Claire Dorer, CEO, NASS
Peter Imray, Developments Director, Equals
Clare Howard, CEO, Natspec
Dr Artemi Sakellariadis, Director Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education
Bryan Nott, Vice Chair Birmingham, SENDIASS Board
Niki Elliot, Managing Director, Interchange Sheffield CIC Young People’s Counselling Services
Steve Thomas, National Secretary, Prospect