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Schools break SEN laws

Schools and local authorities are breaking the law by failing to comply with their statutory duties for pupils with special needs, an expert reviewing SEN provision for the Government has warned.

Brian Lamb, chair of the Special Educational Consortium, has written to Ed Balls, Schools Secretary, about schools and councils failing to provide parents with information about their SEN policies, which the law says they must.

"The difficulty parents have in getting hold of information even where it is available is having a significant and detrimental impact on parental confidence," he said.

Mr Balls has asked Mr Lamb to extend the review to investigate the problem.

Mr Lamb has also alerted ministers to "a lack of focus" on outcomes for pupils with SEN and disabilities.

"Schools do not encourage parents of children with SEN to have high expectations," his letter says.

He said parents had to "fight" and "battle" the system to secure good provision, and that there had been a failure to consider SEN and disability issues in mainstream policies such as school leadership training.

Other problems emerging from his review are the bullying of SEN and disabled pupils and the fact that they often have the least qualified staff allocated to them.

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