Petition – Stop denying children with special educational needs the right to adequate and appropriate educations.
This petitition was set up by a friend of mine. Due to failures by the system to adequately meet her son’s needs they have been home educating for 3 years. However due to serious chronic health problems they have begun trying to find a way back into the system, only to be failed and frustrated at every step.
Through home education you come across horror stories time after time in the failure of special needs provision. Home education can be an answer but it is not the right one for everyone, for many it is just not possible for health/finance reasons.
The much quoted Section 7 states:
The parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him to receive efficient full-time education suitable—
(a)to his age, ability and aptitude, and
(b)to any special educational needs he may have,
either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.
The LEA has a legal duty to provide a school place (or if not deemed suitable home tuition) for all compulsory age children and in England, a pupil with SEN is entitled to receive full-time education that is appropriate to their needs. This applies to children and young people between the ages of two and 19. This may be in a special school or a mainstream school, or somewhere else.
The problem then arises in defining what is ‘appropriate to their needs’ or ‘suitable’. This can lead to a situation where the LEA can argue they are fulfilling their duties while a parent may feel that they are not morally meeting theirs.
I fortunately have no direct experience but I have no doubt that parenting a child with special needs is both a wonderful, unique experience and a daunting difficult challenge in equal measures.
No parent should be forced to fight tooth and nail to get the Government to fulfil their legal duties to provide a service (an appropriate school place) so that it will allow them as parents to meet their legal responsibility to provide their child with a suitable education. There is just so much wrong with it all!
If anyone has had the stamina to stay with me -please sign.