SEND review delayed until next year due to coronavirus

The education secretary blames the coronavirus crisis for the length of time the review is taking, when questioned by MPs

John Roberts

The government's SEND review will not be published until next year it has been revealed.

The government's review into the SEND system will not be published until early next year, the education secretary Gavin Williamson has revealed today.

When he was asked why it was taking so long, he told the Commons Education Select Committee this morning that an "awful lot of the Department for Education's resource" had been taken up by the Covid-19 crisis.

The committee chairman Robert Halfon said: "There is still a postcode lottery, there is a lot of anguish for parents, they wade through a treacle of bureaucracy, and there aren't enough [SEND] professionals in schools despite some of the good things that are happening."

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He told Mr Williamson that there were real problems with the implementation of the government's SEND reforms and added: "I just think that this should be a priority for the government because we shouldn't allow these problems to drag on and on and on even during the coronavirus."

Mr Williamson said the review was not being published as quickly as he would have liked but that the department was working "full tilt" to produce it at the earliest possible stage.

The SEND review was launched by Mr Williamson in September of last year.

The education select committee has published a major report into SEND, which warned that a generation of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities were being failed. 

Mr Halfon told Tes just over a month ago that he was very disappointed by the government’s “tick-box” response to its report on the SEND system. He said that publishing the SEND review should happen soon and that the DfE had "got to make getting it right for children with SEND their number-one priority."

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John Roberts

John Roberts

John Roberts is North of England reporter for Tes

Find me on Twitter @JohnGRoberts

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