Power in children's hands appeals

28th August 2009 at 01:00

As a retired special educational needs (SEN) advisory teacher, I welcome proposals to allow children to appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal independently of their parents ("SEN pupils could get power of appeal", August 21).

Under the current system, whereby only parents can initiate action, looked-after children have a raw deal. I believe that some authorities cynically fail to fund reasonable adjustments for disabled pupils because they know the likelihood of an appeal is, in many cases, minimal to non-existent.

Special Educational Consortium chairman Brian Lamb's proposal - to allow looked-after children to ask a teacher or social worker to refer their case to the tribunal - is the kind of reform we need to make the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act more effective in defending their rights.

It is a great pity that NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates isn't more supportive.

Jason Hill, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent.

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