The dust is now settling following the government’s publication of its improvement plan for children with SEND (DfE, 2023; Headteacher Update, 2023). School leaders are contemplating whether the long-awaited plan can fix a dysfunctional system that is letting down many children with SEND and their families.
School and local authority do everything they can while supporting children and families negotiating this failing system. This puts huge strain on our wellbeing, but we feel enormous empathy for parents fighting to get their children the right support.
What is going wrong?
In a nutshell, schools and councils are facing a perfect storm of growing demand to support children with SEND combined with shortages of funding, capacity, and expertise. Support is largely dictated by the funding available rather than children’s needs.
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