MPs scathing in their assessment of DfE's grip on SEND system pressures

​A scathing report by cross-party MPs has concluded that the government “does not have a grip” on the mounting pressure in the SEND system, with pupils more likely to be excluded and thousands of families missing out on crucial support.

Of the 1.3 million school-age children in England who have SEND, only one in five (around 271,000) has legally enforceable entitlements set out in an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

This means that around 1.04 million SEND children have no guarantee of the support they need – of which the vast majority attend cash-strapped mainstream schools.

MPs on the House of Commons’ Committee of Public Accounts (CPA) warn that the EHCPs have become a “golden ticket” as “desperate parents scramble to secure adequate support” for their SEN children.

They highlight flaws in the SEND funding system, which act as a disincentive to enrolling pupils with SEND” and the fact that 47 out of 94 local authority areas have been judged to have “significant weaknesses” when it comes to their SEND support.

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