Public Accounts Committee Reports on SEND Support

The report identifies six key things the DfE should do

  • Posted On: 20 May 2020
  • Author: Katherine Lawson
  • Number of views: 282
Public Accounts Committee Reports on SEND Support

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has published the findings of its recent enquiry into the Department for Education’s (DfE) SEN strategy.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) scrutinises public expenditure to make sure that the government is delivering the best value services that it can for the taxpayer. The PAC’s SEND inquiry was triggered by an investigation by the National Audit Office which highlighted deep problems with both the SEND system’s effectiveness and financial sustainability.

Commenting on the report, PAC Chair Megan Hillier MP said pupils with SEND "deserve the same quality of education and to get the same value from our education system as their peers.

The committee reported "Disturbing disparities in identifying pupils with SEND, and in provision for them, point to underlying problems that can only be addressed through proper data collection and information."

The committee made six recommendations for the Department for Education.

1. Urgently publish the SEND review

2. Develop a 'better understanding' of disparities in support.

3. Set out plans to reduce exclusions of SEND pupils

4. Draw on other information to get a rounded, timely assessment of the quality of support for children with SEND including from “regional schools commissioners, parent carer forums, schools forums, and head teachers.

5. Work with “schools and other stakeholders” and draw on good practice to identify “how funding mechanisms can be used more effectively to strike the right balance between incentivising schools to be inclusive without encouraging over-identification of SEN”.

6. A systematic analysis of current and future demand for school places and facilities suitable for pupils with complex needs, and develop a costed plan for meeting those needs.

Education secretary Gavin Williamson admitted last week that the SEND review report will likely be delayed by the coronavirus outbreak.

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