Securing support for pupils with SEND remains an enormous challenge for many families and the intention of legislation over recent years has been to make schools much more welcoming and accessible to children with SEND.
The Equality Act 2010 has made significant changes to the law on discrimination as it affects pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), and in particular the extension of duties on schools to include the provision of auxiliary aids and services, which came into place on 1 September 2012.
When it comes to education, parents want the best for their children but this may be even more important for parents of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). According to The Children and Families Act 2014, Section 20, ‘A child or young person has SEN if he or she has a learning difficulty or disability which calls for SEN provision to be made for him or her’. This includes dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, attention deficit hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and autism. Problems associated with these conditions can lead to issues with schoolwork, personal organisation, relationships with adults, developing and maintaining friendships or sensory and physical needs. Fulneck School is one of the only CReSTeD schools based in the north of England.
The Council for the Registration of Schools Teaching Dyslexic pupils (CReSTeD) is a charity set up in 1989 with the aim of helping parents and those who advise them to choose schools for children with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD). It is a valuable resource for parents, educational advisers and schools and acts as a source of information for parents.
Pupils with SEND continue to be very well educated within the independent sector and this is undoubtedly one of the sector’s strengths. Many parents of children with special educational needs and disabilities take them out of the maintained sector because the class sizes are too big and they feel there is not enough individual support.