Ofsted’s chief inspector of England’s schools Amanda Spielman has revealed that 2,060 children in England in 2018 have received no support for their diagnosed special educational needs.
Per the BBC, the annual report published by the governmental body paints a “bleak picture” of a large amount of children who are being “failed by the education system,” with Spielman raising concern over the issue of children disappearing from education and only being assessed upon exclusion – a common problem for disabled children in schools.
The report says: “In 2017, more than 4,000 children with an approved EHC plan received no provision, five times more than in 2010.
“One child with SEND not receiving the help they need is disturbing enough, but thousands is a national scandal.”
It continues: “Most disconcerting is that the whereabouts of some of our most vulnerable children is unknown,” suggesting that there are 10,00 pupils in England who have not been accounted for, and that a number of them may have been moved illegally from the school roll after being deemed too difficult to teach.
Compounding the issues faced by SEND pupils and their parents are demands for EHC needs assessments from local authorities, which has risen by half in the last three years, says the report. Last year saw 45,200 children and young people assessed, and 14,600 refused.
“Too often, the identification of Send is inaccurate or comes too late. This only exacerbates children’s needs and puts even greater strain on the need for services,” the report states.
“Often the worst hand is dealt to those who do not quite meet the threshold for an EHC plan.
“Understandably, parents feel that to do the best for their children they must go to extreme lengths to secure an EHC plan, which not every child will need.
“Something is truly wrong when parents repeatedly tell inspectors that they have to fight to get the help and support that their child needs. That is completely contrary to the ethos of the Send reforms.”
Image: U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Carolyn Viss