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Government announces major review into support for children with SEND five years on from Children and Families Act

Monday 9 September 2019

Whilst the principles of the Children and Families Act are vital, the Education, Health and Care Plan system it has spawned is causing major issues for dyslexia support in education. We estimate the bill for administering the system surpassed £100,000,000 annually this year. The parents of many young dyslexics are fighting for months and often years at great financial, time and emotional cost to access support that should be readily available.

The British Dyslexia Association, along with other charities operating in the SEN space, has campaigned hard for the government to re-look at the system. We welcome their acceptance of the need for a review, launching, “…a cross-cutting review of SEND five years on from the Children and Families Act.” They have said, “…it is time to review how the reforms it introduced are supporting children and young people with SEND and make sure they are being implemented as well as possible.”

Whilst full details of how the review will be delivered are yet to be confirmed, the British Dyslexia Association will be proactively engaged throughout the process. We will continue to advocate for a specialist dyslexia teacher in every school to move diagnosis and support on to the front line, removing the need for almost all young dyslexics to labour through the EHCP system.

Helen Boden, CEO, British Dyslexia Association, said:

“This review is good news. The current system doesn’t work for young dyslexics, their families, schools, taxpayers or society as a whole. There is a better way to do this and we look forward to working with the review to make it happen.”

Tony McArdle, Chair, SEND System Leadership Board, said:

“Delivering better SEND outcomes will require consistent, strong leadership across a range of partners. I look forward to ensuring that this Board equips the sector with what it needs to bring that leadership to bear.”

You can find more information on the review here.