Joan Ryan MP: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the findings and recommendations of the National Deaf Children's Society report, One year on: impact of changes to the special educational needs system on deaf children, published on 1 September 2015; and if she will make a statement.
Edward Timpson MP: The Children and Families Act 2014 introduced significant reforms to the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) system. The new statutory framework will ensure that support is focused on needs and aspirations, enabling all pupils to achieve better outcomes in education and adult life.
Since the Act came into force, in September 2014, there have been a number of significant changes to the SEND system, including the publication of ‘local offers’ of SEN services by local authorities; the introduction of streamlined education, health and care assessments; and new statutory protections for young people aged 16-25 in further education.
Implementing these reforms requires substantial cultural and procedural change at local level. We are closely monitoring implementation and we are continuing to provide support.
Local authorities in England each received a share of a £70 million reform grant in 2014-15; and of a further £45.2 million in 2014-15 and £31.7 million in 2015-16 to meet the additional costs of implementing the new SEN duties. Peer support is available to local authorities and their partners through a network of regional lead authorities. And we have funded a range of grants and contracts to provide advice and support to local authorities and their partners across education, health and social care. This includes support to parents and young people, through parent carer forums and the Independent Support programme (£15m per year in 2014-15 and 2015-16).