Balls pledges to improve SEN information for parents


A government minister has pledged to improve the information provided to parents of disabled children and children with special educational needs (SEN).

Education secretary Ed Balls said he accepted improvements suggested by the Lamb Inquiry which was set up by the government to improve confidence in the SEN system.

Brian Lamb, chair of the inquiry, wrote to Balls outlining recommendations for improving SEN and disability information, as part of his inquiry.

His recommendations include local authorities having to publish information on schools, and setting up a new website to bring together information for parents.

Lamb said: “We need to shift the onus from parents having to find out for themselves, to schools and services finding out what parents need.”

Lamb also urged Balls to strengthen the government’s approach to local authorities that are failing to comply with their duties to children with SEN and their parents. He said the system must be more transparent and consistent.

He also called for SEN and disability to be “embedded” in the wider work of schools, with a tighter focus on outcomes for disabled pupils and those with SEN.

Speaking at a Barnardo’s lecture on 28 April, Balls said: “I agree with Brian Lamb that a significant shift is needed to improve the interaction between parents and carers on the one hand and schools and children’s services on the other.”

Balls said he would outline in July how he will ensure local authorities comply with their legal SEN duties.

The inquiry is due to make its final recommendations to the minister in September.


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