Writing over in The Guardian, Liberal Democrat minister Sarah Teather says of special education needs provision:
John Harris writes of the fight he had to simply get the basic support for his autistic child (Special needs kids deserve better than a rush to reform, 21 May). His experience is a story I have heard over and over again. It is precisely this problem that the coalition government is trying to fix…
I also know the system doesn’t work well enough for children with less severe needs either, such as those with unrecognised language difficulties whose frustration in trying to communicate shows up as angry, even criminal, behaviour. For each child with an issue not picked up, there is one mislabelled as “special educational needs” (SEN) who is actually falling behind for another reason, perhaps because they’re caring for a relative or being bullied at school.
But John’s claim that the purpose of our reforms was to deliver some arbitrary reduction in the numbers on the SEN register is just scaremongering. These reforms are about making sure every child, whatever their needs, gets the right type of help early.