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19 December 2012
Commenting in response to the Education Select Committee's recommendations on the Children and Families Bill, Richard Hawkes, Chief Executive of disability charity Scope said:
“This is meant to be the biggest shake-up of support for disabled children or those with special education needs (SEN) for over thirty years. But there is a real risk it won't deliver.
“The Committee has sent the Government a strong warning that its proposed reforms will not make a difference for the vast majority of disabled children or those with SEN.
“Parents have been telling us for years that they struggle to get the right support for their disabled child.
“Many refer to the daily battle they face for basic support and it will be a real blow to these families if these reforms fail to meet expectations.
“In fact, almost two thirds of parents that we spoke to said they struggled to get basic support such as childcare or nursery places, appropriate schools, essential therapies or even healthcare in their local area.
“The Committee has recognised the central role, local services (the local offer) play in getting disabled children the support they desperately need in their local communities.
“Unless the Bill contains significant improvements, it will not improve the daily struggle that families with disabled children face – particularly for the 1.3million children who don't get statements and won't get the new joint Education, Health and Care plans.
“This is a once in-a-generation opportunity to end the daily struggle that parents of disabled children face.
“We urge the Government to listen to the committee's concerns and take steps to plug the frustrating gaps in local services that families with disabled children experience.